By Ovasa Ogaga,
The Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) has given reasons why it appointed Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai as its Patron, the third it appointed since 2012.
President of the NIPR, Mukhtar Sirajo, gave the reasons in a message to the investiture of the governor on Friday in Kaduna.
Sirajo, whose message was delivered by the National Vice President of NIPR, Adewale Adeniyi, said it was because of El-Rufai’s successes in redirecting Kaduna state to the path of growth and development.
“In fact, it is on record that the institute has performed only three such investiture ceremonies since 2012.
‘’We are reluctant to begin to go on an investiture spree because we are careful about who we identify with.
“Individuals do not have to be professionals, but we look out for excellence in people we want to have anything to do with,’’ he said.
The NIPR president listed some of the governor’s interventions in the areas of infrastructure, education, civil service reform and ongoing massive urban renewal projects, as reasons for the recognition.
According to him, El-Rufai has left indelible footprints in these areas.
‘’Learning environment was not conducive and there was a huge dearth of secondary school teachers in the field of science.
“You embarked on a massive renovation of the state-owned public schools, including tertiary institutions,’’ he noted.
‘’Also pleasing to note is the increase in the budgetary allocations to these institutions to boost their effectiveness and place them amongst the leading tertiary institutions in Nigeria,’’ he added.
Sirajo pointed out that the civil service reform saved the system from collapse, reduced corruption and extricated ghost workers from payroll, thus saving the state huge sums of money.
The president also commended the administration’s urban renewal projects where road construction and rehabilitation are seen in virtually all local governments.
‘’The El-Rufai led administration has also recorded a tremendous increase in the state’s Internally Generated Revenue.
“The state government was able to increase the state IGR by blocking leakages and ensuring that taxpayers pay directly to the bank,’’ he added.
Sirajo also said that the institute was impressed with the governor’s commitment to end the endemic water problem in Zaria city and its surrounding local governments.
‘’The water project was started in 2008, but successive governments had shown less commitment towards completion of the project.’’
The official also said that the NIPR was impressed with the governor for creating over 2500 jobs through the state Traffic and Environmental Control Authority (KASTELEA), and thousands of teachers, health workers and environmental sanitation officers.
Earlier, the NIPR Chairman in the state, Malam Bashir Chedi, recalled that even when the state chapter recommended El Rufai for appointment as patron, the national body had to do an independent assessment.
He expressed delight that the governor scaled through the council’s verification and stringent reviews.
In his remarks, El-Rufai shortly after his investiture, expressed appreciation for the gesture and commended the work being done by the NIPR across the country to strengthen national unity and progress.
“I promise to look into the charge that the institute has imposed on me and I will do my best along with my colleagues to meet those expectations,” he said. (NAN)