Women of Change Series - A Reflection of Change

Author: PERL

In 2019, and for the first time in Kaduna’s 103-year rich history, the state generated N44.030 Billion, a 50% increase in Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) collection from the previous year. With support from FCDO’s PERL programme, the beginning of 2020 was ushered in with ambitious plans to ensure Kaduna State meets its new long-term IGR goal – to generate at least N100 Billion in a single fiscal year. On the 29th of March, Kaduna’s reform champion and Governor Mallam Nasir El-Rufai took to his personal twitter account to inform users that he had tested positive for the novel Coronavirus, thus making him the state’s index COVID-19 case. It was clear that priorities had to change and reports from Political Economy Analysis indicated a likely halt in the governance reform processes; fortunately, this did not materialise. Since the Governor’s announcement, Her Excellency Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, Kaduna’s first female Deputy Governor and the second in Northern Nigeria was saddled with the responsibility of not only acting Governor, but also managing the State Steering Committee for COVID-19 (and its composite strategic sub-committees made up of professionals responding to various pillars of the COVID-19 response strategy). A medical doctor by training, she has been described as strategically suited to navigate Kaduna in the trying times ushered in by the pandemic, with Governor El-Rufai describing her as “a superstar, who has great capacity for leadership”. Efforts made by Dr. Balarabe have been instrumental to implementing the Kaduna Governance Continuity Plan and sustain the ongoing efforts by the state to ‘flatten the COVID-19 curve’.