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The day was Thursday, 25th of November 2010. I was part of the huge crowd that witnessed the unveiling of the plaque for the Foundation Laying Ceremony for a shopping Mall centre at the Kano Trade Fair Complex. The ultra modern shopping centre, which promises to expose Kano as centre of Commerce to the business world is named after the emir of Kano, His Highness, Alhaji (Dr) Ado Bayero due to his selfless service rendered for the country. At this august event, speaker after speaker took turn to enumerate the essence of Ado Bayero Shopping Mall and paid encomium on those behind the noble project. Ado Bayero Mall project is the first ultra modern world-class shopping Mall in northern Nigeria. It is a product of private sector-driven economy under the Public, Private Partnership championed by Malam Ibrahim Shekarau administration through the then Honourable Commissioner of Commerce, Industry, Cooperative and Tourism now moved to Land and physical planning, Alhaji Ahmed Ibrahim Yakasai. Incidentally, the Commissioner was the Chairman, Organising Committee of the ground-breaking ceremony of the Ado Bayero Shopping Mall. The first speaker at the event was Alhaji Ahmad Rabiu, the President of Kano Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KACCIMA). Ahmad Rabiu noted with gratitude that the project would not have taken off without the active participation and encouragement of the Kano State Government for "facilitating and fast-tracking the lease of the land to the Promoters and revamping the road network around the project site." He saluted the courage of the promoters of the landmark project and their faith in the economic future of Kano State. The Chairman, Organising Committee of the event, Alhaji Ahmed Ibrahim Yakasai took his turn to make a very short, precise and thought provoking speech about the Ado Bayero Shopping Mall. The Mall he said will provide the lead in commercial innovation, urban renewal, restoration and rejuvenation for northern Nigeria. Yakasai was highly enthusiastic about the contributions of Malam (Dr) Ibrahim Shekarau administration in the support and encouragement of Public, Private Partnership by the administration, while he extended the same gratitude to His Highness, the emir of Kano for allowing his humble name to be emboldened in the project. Yakasai also expressed confidence on Malam (Dr) Ibrahim Shekarau becoming the next President of Nigeria. General T. Y. Danjuma, Chairman of Danjuma Holdings and a core investor in the Ado Bayero Shopping Mall commended and appreciated Shekarau's effort in the development of Kano State. He cautioned that the activities of the Shopping Mall should reflect the culture of the host community. In this respect, General Danjuma stated that the selling of items as alcohol and pork should be prohibited in the Shopping Mall. Also present at the occasion was the former Permanent Representative at the United State and the Dan Masanin Kano, Alhaji Yusuf Maitama Sule who, in his usual oratory speech, poured encomium on promoters of the project especially the Kano State Governor, Malam (Dr) Ibrahim Shekarau for his marvelous achievements in the growth of Kano State. In his presentation, the Chief Executive Officer of the Alpine Group, Alhaji Mohammed Hayatu-Deen showed a vivid description of the Ado Bayero Shopping Mall in Kano. He praised the Chairman Organising Committee; Alhaji Ahmad Ibrahim Yakasai for his deep support and commitment on the project, stressing that Ahmed Yakasai left no stone unturned in ensuring the success of the historic event. He however classified him into one of the future generation leaders of the land. Hayatu-Deen thanked the Sardaunan Kano, emir of Kano, T.Y. Danjuma and the First Bank for their various commitments and cooperation towards realizing the desired goal. His Highness, Alhaji (Dr) Ado Bayero and the Governor of Kano State, Malam (Dr) Ibrahim Shekarau, Sardaunan Kano expressed their gratitude and appreciations at the occasion. Over N11 billion is estimated to be spent for the establishment of Ado Bayero Shopping Mall due to commence in two years time and its impact on the lives of the people among others include employment generation of over 1,500 people, boosting tourism, both local and regional, expansion of markets for local farmers and expansion of revenue based of the state. The establishment of Ado Bayero shopping Mall is the product of the significant role played by Public, Private Partnership since every thing cannot be dependent on government or federation account. It is in this spirit that Alhaji Ahmed Yakasai, who manned the Kano Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Cooperative and Tourism for five years took the bull by the horn to champion the PPP in Kano for economic growth and development. Ahmed Yakasai strongly believes in Public/Private partnership, perhaps due to his vast experience as a man who has travelled far and wide. In order to meet the need of Kano, he had to bring in the private sector, considering the fact that he is also from the private sector, so that together they can restore the past glory of Kano. This was the essence why he organized an economic summit, the first economic summit in Kano in 2006. This gave birth to economic movement in the state. As a result of this struggle, Kano state under Shekarau administration was able to partner with private sector, which culminated into receiving many proposals especially the independent power plan, the international Market (Kanawa Market), the ICT Park and Shopping Malls. It is no wonder therefore that when the issue of Organising the Ado Bayero Shopping Mall Foundation Laying Ceremony came up, Alhaji Ahmed Ibrahim Yakasai was called to chair the organizing Committee, because of his recognition for hard work and his deep sense of commitment to restore the past glory of Kano. Abdullahi Bichi Yusuf wrote from Bichi, Kano State. Email: [email protected]

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