1. It is with utmost delight that I welcome you all to Sir Kashim Ibrahim House. Today, we launch the most comprehensive urban renewal project in the history of Kaduna State. Beginning with Kaduna, our state capital, the government is initiating a series of investments in urban infrastructure. These investments will improve our competitiveness, support economic dynamism and promote the well-being of our people. Similar projects are envisaged for our two other main cities, Kafanchan and Zaria.
2. The Kaduna Urban Renewal Project responds to the accelerated urbanisation of Kaduna City. Our state capital now straddles four local government areas: Kaduna North, Kaduna South, Chikun and Igabi. This metropolitan area is projected to be home to more than half of the state’s population by 2050. Kaduna Renewal seeks to make Kaduna a friendly home to its residents, a safe place to live in, equipped to support and promote the livelihoods of our citizens.
3. Kaduna city has grown tremendously in the 100 years since its founding. But public infrastructure in the city has not kept pace with the vast increase in its population. Neither has infrastructure followed its expansion into new districts. We acknowledge that the existing infrastructure is not robust enough to support the current population, let alone cater for the projected population.
4. Kaduna Renewal seeks to transform into opportunity the challenges that exist in delivering urban infrastructure. It is an accelerated, coordinated, integrated and sustainable urban renewal project that will position the State as a choice place to work, live and play. Along with ongoing social sector investments in education and healthcare, concrete upgrades in housing, transportation, energy systems and other infrastructure will create jobs, improve the welfare of our people and enhance economic activity.
5. There are 14 components at the heart of Kaduna Renewal. These include:
b. Mass Transit,
c. Housing & Improved Land Use,
d. Street Lights,
e. Parks & Recreational Centres,
f. Markets & Neighbourhood Centres, and
g. Waste Management.
6. The roads component of Kaduna Renewal will open up the city and connect communities. It will create alternative roads and reduce travel time, from north to south, and east to west. This will have a multiplier effect on housing, business and social development. It is also expected to promote integration across communities and enhance unity.
7. Kaduna Renewal begins with the construction of seven new roads, spanning 23.4km, within Kaduna metropolis. All the roads selected are based on the Max Lock Masterplan for Kaduna city. Fourteen existing roads will also be dualized or upgraded.
8. New roads will connect Kabala Costain to Aliyu Makama Road in Barnawa and Malali to College Road. A new 9.65km road will connect Rabah Road to Nnamdi Azikiwe Road (the Western By-pass), with a link to the Rigasa train station. Another 5.73km road will connect the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua road in Millennium City to the Eastern By-pass.
9. The urban renewal project will dualize WAFF Road, from the NEPA Roundabout to Essence Junction. It will also dualize Yakubu Gowon Way and build an underpass at Leventis Roundabout. Several other roads will be upgraded, including Alkali Road, Tafawa Balewa, Swimming Pool Road, Poly Road to Dutsenman Road via Kasuwan Barci Roundabout, Kinshasha Road, Katuru Road, and Shehu Laminu to Ramat Road in Ungwan Rimi. The 4km Nasarawa to Flour Mill road will also be completed.
10. The roads captured in the Kaduna Renewal project represent a significant investment in the present and the future of our capital city. They have to be constructed and delivered to world-class standards in reasonable time, with markings, solar lighting and shoulders. That is why we are today signing a Memorandum of Understanding with CCECC to build all the new roads and upgrade the existing ones. It is my understanding that CCECC will today flag-off the 5.73km road project to link Millennium City to the Eastern By-pass.
11. Government has been assured by KADRA that Malali to College Road will be delivered within 12 months. Many of the other roads will be delivered over a 24-month time frame. We look forward to the prompt completion of the projects in the roads component.
12. These road projects will also embrace the demands of our Mass Transit Programme. Kaduna needs to upgrade beyond the rickety cabs and rickshaws (tricycles) that pass for public transportation in the city. Kaduna Renewal will bring to fruition our long-held aspirations for a mass transit system. The Kaduna State Transport Regulatory Agency (KADSTRA) will unveil its chosen operator(s) for the bus mass transit when it concludes the selection process. The responsible agencies will similarly update the public on their mandates for delivering Kaduna Renewal.
13. I call on the public to support the delivery of these projects for the benefit of all our people. Widening roads will require the removal of buildings and attachments in the public interest. Construction work will also impose some temporary inconveniences. As we said in our second inauguration speech, we have to make difficult decisions to deliver public goods and services for our people.14. Thank you for listening.