. The Kaduna State Security Council met Tuesday in Sir Kashim Ibrahim House to discuss the security situation in the State and the preparations for the elections. Participants at the meeting, chaired by Malam Nasir El-Rufai, included the heads of the federal security agencies deployed in the state, royal fathers and officials of the state government.
2. Security agencies briefed the meeting on the steps they are taking to secure the elections and the efforts being made to maintain law and order in the state. They noted the improvements in the security situation since operations were launched against the bandits late in 2022.
3. The meeting discussed the cash crunch, and its severe impact on citizen welfare, trade and economic activities. It noted reports that managing the situation has necessitated the diversion of some security personnel from vital field operations to guarding key financial assets. The Council commended the security agencies for strengthening the state government’s efforts to ensure that citizens remain calm, peaceful and of lawful conduct amidst the challenges.
4. The Security Council took recommendations on ways of mitigating the impact of the cash shortage on citizens. These measures are designed to provide a measure of immediate relief to the problems caused by the lack of cash by citizens to pay for services like transportation and health care, and for necessities like food.
5. The Council therefore adopted these three emergency palliative measures to last for a week, starting from Wednesday, 22nd February 2023:
i. The Kaduna State Government will provide free transport services along designated routes in Kaduna, Kafanchan and Zaria, the three biggest cities in the state. This will be done in partnership with the transport unions, who will provide the buses and tricycles.
ii. The Kaduna State public health system will offer free routine care in government hospitals for common illnesses like malaria and typhoid. This is in addition to the free care for pregnant women and children younger than five years that has been government policy since 2015. Prescriptions will be given, and the health facility visited will administer drugs, if available. To access this service, citizens will be required to present their National Identity Number or the Kaduna State Residency Card, issued by the Kaduna State Residents Identity Management Agency (KADRIMA).
iii. Provision of palliatives, as was done during the response to the Covid-19 outbreak.
6. KDSG went public with its concerns about the suffering associated with the naira scarcity on 1st February 2023. Since then, it has continued to seek lawful and peaceful means of resolving the matter. While awaiting a resolution, it is important to seek ways of relieving human suffering. The measures above represent a limited intervention for a severe problem. But every act of relief for citizens is welcome in a crisis, even if the crisis was needlessly unleashed by those who ought to know better.
Special Adviser to the Governor (Media & Communication)
21st February 2023