Bashir Abddulmalik Gafia
AlQalam University, Katsina
A Critical Review of Dikko Umar Radda’s ‘Strategic Policy’ Introduction
On Monday 31st October 2022, Umar Dikko Radda All Progressives Congress (APC)’s
Katsina State gubernatorial candidate presented his manifesto to the people of Katsina
State, which he titled ‘Building Your Future’. According to him, building your future
contains policies that would guide him, if he becomes the governor, to lead Katsina
State towards building other people’s future. He added that the document does not
contain “…empty promises designed to garner votes in the upcoming elections”
(Paragraph five in the forward to the document). He further stated that the document
was not drawn by consultants, who were ‘fully detached from him or his vision’. Those consultants who ‘drew’ the document were close to him, probably, his friends and Furthermore, he stated that “I have invested … more than a year”, or 365 days in
developing the policy documents. The assumption made here is that he worked, as he
assured, closely with the consultants for 365 days or more (possibly from October 2021
to October 2022) to develop the policy document that presents ‘Famfon Fura’ promises.
To recollect, Famfon Fura promises are some of the NPC’s campaign promises of the
late 50s and early 60s.
After reading the document multiple times, first, in PDF form, and, then, second, in hard
copy this review was made. It should be stated here that the two versions of the
document are the same in every respect. The document (Radda, 2022) is 41 pages and
contains 12,232 words. After reviewing the document for two days, I realized that the
document is what it was meant not to be: Famfon Fura or empty promises.
It shall, however, be stated that the attempt by the candidate to present a policy of what
he intended to do in government is a commendable effort and must be praised for the
bold step. Others shall as well follow the set example of the APC candidate.
This review follows the structure of the document, that is, in sections following the
format of the document. The next paragraph highlights what is regarded as the general
issues in the document.
I. General Issues
This section addresses issues that are of concern and related to the entire document.
These issues are as follows:
A. First, and on a lighter note, the document was not written in the standard public
policy documentation. However, different authors have their styles. Despite
these, there are standard ways to draft policies, especially, those that address
social and governance issues. The document under review did not follow the
standard procedure. This procedure, for those interested, is available in libraries and databases or even a simple google search using the keywords: ‘writing’,
public, policy and paper or document. The written procedure is mentioned here
simply because the document is public and therefore open to all to see.
B. The title of the document is by default excluding the writer or the supposed
author. ‘Building Your Future’ is too vague for a policy document. There are two
issues with this heading: 1. the heading suggests that DU Radda or his family are
not a party to the future of Katsina State. 2. Who is/are building their future? Is it
the citizens who shall employ and pay DU Radda to work for them? Is DU Radda
saying that all that was needed of him is to be employed to work for Katsina
State? 3. Whose future is the people of Katsina State building by voting for him?
This reviewer believes there are many questions to answer. Maybe the
consultants were not close to the candidate and are not even from Katsina State.
C. From para, A above, standard policy documents are not made to be speculative.
The document under review contains phrases such as ‘when resources permit’ that readers may find disturbing. Public policies are designed to be sound and
robust and based on tested frameworks.
D. From C above, it must indicate that public policies are not built on speculations
but probabilities. This means that these policies are built based on evidence and
not assumptions. For example, for a standard policy document, it is wrong to
state that we shall vaccinate all children under five in Katsina State in 3 years.
The policy shall be able to state what the vaccines are expected to do and how
many children will be covered, particularly, what informs the decision. In
essence, evidence is important in designing public policies.
E. It has also been noted that the author or authors of the document are completely
unaware of the situation in Katsina state. For example, the document pointed out
in many sections that certain departments or agencies would be established.
Meanwhile, these agencies have been in existence in Katsina State for several
years. Similarly, the document did not acknowledge the existence of budgetary
plans over the years, including those prepared by him (while he was chief of
staff). Again, there have been several policies, documents and summits
(including, the 2016 economic summit in which the author of the document under
review took part), but all these have not been referenced. This reviewer does not
believe that the contents of these academic and quasi-academic documents are
all not relevant to the design of a policy document for the future of Katsina State.
F. Again, and, on a lighter note, also, the document under review is full of errors.
This reviewer is not an accomplished writer in any way. However, it is noted that
there were 323 errors in the document. These errors range from simple
punctuation to grammatical. Thus, on average, every page has at least 7 errors,
or after every 38 words, there would be an error. This number of errors must be a
result of not doing enough work on the document or better still there were few
reviewers (if any) before it was made public. With acclaimed authors such as
Maiwada Danmalam (Journalistic writing), Dr Bashir Gambo Saulawa (academic
writing) and several others available to the author (or authors) these number of
errors should not have been detected by this reviewer (an upcoming academic).
In addition, many accomplished editors in UMYUK and AUK can make a
thorough review of the document at minimum fees. Before writing this review,
talking to people who knew the original author assert that he does not consult
and is too authoritative to ask for other people’s opinions. Indeed, the finding in
this review is an indication of the assertion in the previous sentence.
G. The worst of the general observation is that a criminal offence was committed:
Plagiarism. The document under review was assessed using a plagiarism
checker and it was found that 46.7% of the document was lifted from other
people’s work word-for-word. With a similarity index of almost 50%, each section
was then independently reviewed and investigated against plagiarism. It must be pointed out that not all people have their ideas original. Ideas are borrowed from
other people or built on the ideas of others. However, it is unacceptable to use
other people’s ideas without acknowledging them and even, worst still, word-for-
word. Due to the high similarity index on a 41-page document that took DU
Radda more than one year to write, to satisfy the curiosity of readers of this
review, his PhD dissertation was searched for online. It is of utmost importance
to do a plagiarism check on the document as well.
This section introduces the backbone of the policy including the framework, overview
and objectives. However, the general vision of the strategic policy has not been stated.
It is believed that with a vision, objectives can be developed to build on the main ways
to meet the vision. The framework is stated and explained but never followed thoroughly
throughout the document.
III. Public Sector Reform
Explaining what the document refers to vision in Public Sector Administration, the body
and the subject matter are different. The expectation here is that the vision should focus
on PSAR but because the section was plagiarized (25% similarity index the document
used is here referenced to (PDF) LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT – Nairametrics ·
lagos state government lagos state development plan 2012-2025 main document
september 2013 ministry of economic planning and budget – PDFSLIDE.NET), the title
and the body of the section were explaining different things. Thus it was difficult to
understand the vision or what is set to achieve here. Again, reading through
subsections, there were no measurement indicators that may be used to access the
vision even if it was understood.
The document proposed setting up the Bureau of public administration. First, the author
is not sure what the function of the bureau should be. The bureau is assigned multiple
tasks including being a source of funds and provision of technical assistance, provision
of laws, regulations and policies, capacity plans annually and monitoring MDAs’
performance. In addition to the bureau, an academy of public administration and
governance was to also be established. The work of this academy was copied 76%
from About NCPAG (upd.edu.ph). Two issues are of interest here, first, there is the
need to understand how the work of the academy is related to the already established
similar academy in Bala Abdullahi School of Administration, Funtua and its relationship
with the many academic institutions in the state. Second, the author seemed to display
ignorance of the difference or relationship or better still the integration between
governmental management and governance for the public interest. These terms should
be explained and how the academy shall be made to build a synergy between the terms
Other subsections within this section are pure plagiarism. For example, when
established, the centre for local and regional government’s main function is to Assist
with the academic program in the development and implementation of the specialization
in local government and regional administration in the MPA degree program. Note that
the centre is to award degrees, MPA degrees. More than 80% of the body here is
copied directly and word for word. Also, the centre for leadership, citizenship and
democracy (whatever that is) has 83% similarity with a document found online (T he –
PDF Free Download (zombiedoc.com).
The section concludes with key transformation initiatives that have been plagiarized
(20% similarity index). The source of the initiative is a document found online titled
Priority Area 2: Service delivery – ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND POVERTY
REDUCTION STRATEGY II (1library.net)
IV. Education and Skills Development
The focus on education and skills development is defective. Indeed, nothing shows the
commitment and the desire to make education great because of the following reasons:
- The section is copied from a document online titled evaluation of Canada’s
international education strategy.
- The authors exhibited a lack of knowledge of existing laws and policies,
including the free Basic education policy.
- The authors did not make a thorough research on existing and running education
management systems in place in Katsina State.
- On STEM, an old strategy of promoting science and mathematics, the document
copied what is in existence in other places (Plagiarized from What Is Stem
Education? It’s Important! (uopeople.edu)) instead of developing ideas that could
work for the State.
- On skills development, the authors demonstrated a lack of knowledge on the
availability of numerous training centres in the State including youth craft village
and several BATCs. Instead, the documents copied over 30% of the content from
Convention on Technical and Vocational Education | UNESCO https://www.oecd-
ilibrary.org/sites/da2a. The skills development strategy should be unique to
Katsina State and not copied from a quasi-document published by a multilateral
- The teacher training program is not comprehensive and also demonstrates a lack
of teacher needs. Also, the authors should understand that there is an existing
teacher service commission and thus no need for the establishment of another
one. Teachers’ programmes are completely defective simply because what was presented was copied (more than 28%) from Challenges for Quality Primary
Education in Papua New Guinea—A Case Study (hindawi.com).
- The universal school management system presented was more than 45%
plagiarized from Excellent School Records Behaviour for Effective Management
of Educational Systems (sapub.org) and, thus, the authors are unaware of what
is in existence in the state. There are comprehensive school management
systems developed by the state and other development partners such as
UNICEF. There should be no need for the establishment of a new system. The
understanding here is that the consultants were writing a proposal for jobs.
V. Social Care
This is another vague mention of figures. Mentioning 5% of the budget set aside for
social welfare is too vague. Especially, stating that with the 5% in two years 15
community care centres and 1000 houses shall be built. One should expect the main
body to arrive at the liquid cash derived from the 5%. It must point out that the authors
of the original document are unaware that in Katsina State, education is free in the first
12 years and subsidized at the levels of higher education. Therefore, there was no need
to state that education shall be free again. The authors of the document under review
limited social care to only health, education and food security leaving several other
pressing issues. The understanding here is that the authors of the original document are
not conversant with the state of affairs in Katsina.
VI. Poverty Reduction and Economic Development
Although the section on MSMEs and Economic development as it was titled, had the
least similarity index of 11%, the section was not specific on how to improve the
economy of the state. Adequate mention and provision were made for MSMEs
development, but there has not been any linkage to the state’s economic growth and poverty reduction. It is more like the candidate does not have any economic blueprint to
present to the people.
VII. On the Healthcare
The idea of healthcare was least understood by the authors. First, Katsina State has
three tiers of the healthcare system and has recently introduced health insurance. Also,
there have been numerous healthcare centres. Thus, the strategy exhibited a lack of
knowledge of the state of health in Katsina State.
As the mainstay of the state economy and the largest employer of labour, the
Agricultural sector should be given special focus. However, there was not much effort
into the development of the sector. It must be acknowledged that agricultural value
chain development is a good conception, although it was not properly discussed in the
manifesto. Another effort is the Agricultural Fund. There was only a highlight and not
discussed adequately. In summary, the section was not adequately covered and from
what was discussed the is not much to say that can happen within the sector.
IX. On Security
This section also did not require any review. It was so lightly discussed in the document
and except for what is referred to as a future partnership project, there is nothing that
has not been available in the tons of security literature. Even the partnership project
was not clear on who are the partners, w
X. On State Revenue
Reading through this section, this reviewer is not surprised to note the characteristics of
most people who are aspiring to positions of authority for the simple reason: get onto
other people’s money. I would like to invite people to read the one-page strategy of the
candidate’s revenue generation. It shall make interesting reading to most of those who
are interested in a better Katsina State.
From the sections above, it is clear that, although the candidate made a good attempt to
present his position to the people, the policy document so presented is a document
‘drawn’ by consultants that are completely detached from the reality of the state within
which the social and administrative issues the document is developed to address. The
document is thus another ‘Famfon Fura’ promise. For a refresher on Famfon Fura
promises, these were made to voters in the late 50s and early 60s when there was less
education and understanding in the north. This reviewer estimates that voters are now
wiser and will not fall for empty, unclear and impossible-to-implement promises. It is
also noteworthy that the candidate began addressing the voters with clear-cut excuses:
‘if resources permit’. To this reviewer, the ‘if’ is always likely to follow with ‘else if’.
Radda, D. U. (2022). BUILDING YOUR FUTURE: STRATEGIC POLICY. In A. P.