Aminu Masari had his eyes on the governorship position of Katsina State since 2007. Though he failed to clinch the position that year and four years later, the former Speaker of the House of Representatives was third time lucky in 2015.
As Mr Masari will be rounding off his constitutionally-allowed second and final term in office, this report reviews his performances in key developmental areas.
State governments in the country are usually criticised for not doing enough to increase their revenues. Analysts have argued that state governments need to do more to reduce their dependence on the dwindling allocations they get from the Federal Account.
According to BudgIT, Katsina under Mr Masari ranks high among states that “have comparatively limited” reliance on the federal government. Though the state can not undertake all its activities with its internal revenue, the Masari administration did well in revenue generation in the last eight years.
Though not ranked among the top five states, it has risen away from the last five (heavily relied on the federal government). The state, which was ranked the 30th most reliant state on federal allocation with a paltry internal revenue of N6.22 billion in 2015, generated N24.22 billion in 2021 and as of August 2022 had generated N10.5 billion.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Katsina generated N3.15 billion in 2010, N4.23 billion in 2011, N5.02 billion in 2012 and N6.85 billion in 2013.
There has been a steady increase in the state’s internally-generated revenue since 2017. In 2016 after Mr Masari’s first full year as governor, the state’s revenue generation dropped marginally from N5.79 billion to N5.55 billion. In 2017, the state generated N6 billion and N9.89 billion in 2018. However, there was a sharp drop in revenue in 2019 when the state generated N8.5 billion.
In 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Katsina’s internal revenue increased to N11.4 billion, while it generated N24.22 billion in 2021, according to BudgIT, which got its data from the NBS, Sustainable Development Goals and the World Bank. Mr Masari thus increased the internal revenue of Katsina State from N6.22 billion in 2015 to N24.22 billion in 2021.
As it stands, Katsina State has a domestic debt of N62.3 billion with an external debt of $53.9 million. In total, the state is in a debt of about N86.5 billion which will be inherited by the incoming governor.
In 2014, the state had a domestic debt of N586.6 million. In 2015, when Mr Masari took over, the domestic debt was N11.5 billion with an external debt of $72.2 million. Katsina’s domestic debt, thus increased by over 400 per cent under Mr Masari while the external debt decreased by about 25 per cent.
In his first full year as governor (2016), the domestic debt profile of the state reached N21.4 billion while the external debt stood at $68.06 million. In 2017, domestic debt was at N31.1 billion while external debt was $67.9 million. Domestic debt declined in 2018 when it reached N30.8 billion while external debt also decreased to $64.7 billion. In 2019, domestic debt skyrocketed to N66.1 billion while the external debt was $79.0 million.
From 2016 to 2020, Katsina State did not make any progress to manage its debt. In 2020, the state ranked number 32 out of the 36 most indebted states in the country. It had a debt growth of 79.6 per cent
It is ranked number four among the states with the most debt growth from 2015 to 2022 with +266 per cent growth. It is only behind Sokoto ( +472), Niger (+336) and Kaduna (+287).
Despite the improved efforts, the state still relies on the federal allocation from Abuja. Katsina received N41. 44 billion in 2016, N52.03 billion in 2017, N64.76 billion in 2018, N67.99 billion in 2019 and N65. 20 billion in 2020, according to Budgit’s State by States economic performance index.
Katsina State under Mr Masari did not make appreciable efforts in tackling poverty. For instance, NBS statistics from 2018 showed that poverty rose across the country, but while some states made progress in fighting poverty, Katsina lagged behind.
In 2019, the poverty index in the state showed that 56.42 per cent of its population were poor. The national average then was 40.1 per cent. Katsina State was ranked 13th out of the 36 states assessed.
The recent (2022) NBS multi-dimensional poverty index showed that Katsina State had a 72.70 per cent poverty rate. In plain language, about 7 million out of the state’s 9.5 million people are poor. Today, Katsina is third in the list of states with the highest number of poor people, only behind Kano with 10 million people and Kaduna with eight million people.
Some of the basic determinants in arriving at the poverty index include adequate food, shelter, potable water, healthcare, quality education and employment opportunities.
To be fair to Mr Masari, Katsina State had always been among the poorest states long before he became governor, but the poverty rate only worsened under him.
Mr Masari scored mixed results in the education sector. While the state’s performance in the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) and National Examination Council (NECO) results improved under his administration, the number of out-of-school children in the state has been on the rise.
For example, in 2014 before he took over, only 30 per cent of the pupils got five credits and above in WAEC while 46 per cent did the same in NECO. The statistics changed to 57 per cent for WAEC and 67 per cent for NECO in 2016.
The upward trend was not sustained, however, according to data released by the WAEC. In 2019, 41.11 per cent got five credits and above including in mathematics and English language; In 2020, 42.06 per cent passed while in 2021, 49.16 per cent got such results.
Mr Masari believes the relative success of the state in both examinations is because of his administration’s insistence on paying the registration fee for only qualified pupils.
“Even though so many people grumbled on the qualifying examinations, the results indicate drastic improvement in the general performance of the sponsored candidates,” Mr Masari said in 2017.
Other strides made in the education sector include the clearing of the backlog of promotion for 2013, 2014 and 2015 which saw the promotion of 19,046 primary school teachers and installation of 125 staff with complete payment of their three months salaries.
While Mr Masari has improved external examinations results, the number of out-of-school children has been on the rise, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
UNESCO says that Katsina is one of the 20 states with “an alarming rate of” out-of-school children in Nigeria. The percentage of these children roaming the streets instead of going to school in the country rose from 41.1 per cent in 2014 to 61.4 per cent in 2022.
In Katsina State, the percentage of out-of-school children rose from 22 per cent in 2018 to 33.5 per cent in 2022.
According to 2018 data by the NBS, Katsina State had appreciable statistics on neonatal, infant, and under-five mortalities.
Neonatal mortality is the death of a child within the first month of birth while infant mortality is the death of a child before the first birthday. Under 5 mortality is the death of a child before reaching five years.
In 2018 in neonatal deaths, the state had 38 deaths per 1,000 births. It had 66 deaths per 1,000 births in infant mortality, while it recorded 131 deaths per 1,000 in child mortality and 188 deaths in 1,000 births for under 5 mortality.
In the latest (2021) Multiple Cluster Survey (MICS) and National Immunisation Coverage Survey (NICS), Katsina State recorded an improvement in child mortality and under-five mortality rates but failed to make an impact on both neonatal and infant rates.
The 2021 data showed neonatal deaths increased from 38 to 49 deaths for every 1000 births while the number of dead infants increased from 66 to 89 deaths per 1000 births. Child mortality reduced to 77 deaths from 131. The under-five deaths were reduced to 159 deaths from 188 for every 1000 births in 2018.
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