I’m too old to be governor, says El-Rufai
Kaduna State governor Nasir El-Rufai has emphasised the need for Nigerian states to be led by young, experienced people.
El-Rufai spoke Tuesday while commenting on the need to reform the Kaduna State civil service, describing himself as being too old to be a governor.
“Public service is for young people. I’m too old to be a governor,” he said. “I should have been a governor when I was 40-something,” said the 57-year-old governor.
“That’s the right age because you are active, you have experience, you can put in long hours. I know how many hours I could put in when I was the minister of FCT, I can’t do that now,” added El-Rufai, who was Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory minister from 2003 to 2007.
He, however, added that he would not hesitate to stand for re-election if there were "significant progress being made."
Currently, the youngest governor in the country is the 41-year old Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, followed by Yari Abubakar of Zamfara. Incidentally, Yari is the leader of Nigeria’s influential governors’ forum.
But in a country where the old guard constantly dictates how things pan out, El-Rufai’s wish may not be realised anytime soon. But he insists giving the younger generation opportunities to lead was the right way to go.
He said: “We just have to find a way to give way to the younger generation and, in Kaduna, we are working on that.”
El-Rufai also noted his government is looking to reform the state’s civil service to enhance service delivery. The reform would see the government easing out ageing workers and replacing them with a younger, tech-savvy workforce.
“If we don’t do that we will not have a modern civil service and ICT-compliant public service,” he said.
He nevertheless added that the workers to be disengaged would be trained and given access to government funded micro-credit facilities.