A day after advising President Muhammadu Buhari to postpone his scheduled state visit to Kano State on Monday, the state governor, Dr Umar Ganduje, has made a u-turn, saying the state is now prepared to receive him.
The governor had on Sunday led a delegation of critical stakeholders from the state to meet President Buhari in his country home in Daura, Katsina State after which he revealed the change of position to newsmen.
Asked if the state was prepared to host the President for a two-day visit starting from Monday, the Governor said “We are very much ready to receive him and we have a lot for him to commission including federal government projects and state government projects. They are state-of-the-art projects”.
Ganduje, had at an interactive session at the weekend with stakeholders including scholars, legislators, political leaders and business community in the state, revealed that his government had requested the President to postpone the trip, saying the state was deeply concerned about the hardship principally induced by the ongoing cash swap from old to redesigned notes.
He said the decision was taken to avoid any unforeseen circumstance.
Consequently, the state government wrote a letter to the president outlining the reasons why the planned visit is no longer auspicious at this time.
Despite Ganduje’s objection, President Buhari had, however, insisted on going ahead with the Monday visit.
Presidency sources had disclosed that he would go there to commission some projects implemented by the federal government.
But during Sunday’s visit to the President, Ganduje affirmed that he led the delegation to Daura over the issue of the ongoing currency swap and was happy with him.
He said: “Seeing is believing. You can see that I have led a powerful delegation from Kano State on the issue of new naira notes and we have seen Mr. President. We have laid the complaints of the Kano people and we are very happy.
“He explained to us and also he assured us that the time is extended and the quantity of new naira (notes) will increase so that the suffering of the people will be reduced.
“We informed him that Kano is the most populous state in the federation and also the commercial nerve center of the northern part of Nigeria, second to Lagos.
“But in terms of cash transaction, Kano is much higher than Lagos because Lagos has gone far in terms of cashless society, cashless transaction. But Kano State being comparatively a rural state, so to say, still we have 24 local governments without banks. Most of the banks are concentrated within Kano metropolitan.
“So, you can imagine the suffering of the rural areas, rural people in terms of cash transaction. But we are happy that the time has been extended and also the quantum of the naira notes will be increased.
“So, we are so grateful to the President for effort.”