Niger on the threshold of greatness -By T.A. Haruna

In this part of the world, leaders are known for saying much and doing little. This has been a trend that the people have to live in with for a long time.

But in all situations, there are always exceptions; in Niger State, the people are lucky to have a Governor today that says little and do more of actions.

The state which housed the three hydro power stations is been position for a greater developmental strides by the government of Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello led APC administration.

The coming of Governor Abubakar Sani Bello has changed how people view government. At least now they can trust and have confidence in the Governor who is sacrificing his all to make Niger State a true Power State.

The Government of Abubakar Sani Bello in Niger State touches every sector in the state. Despite the little resources at the disposal of the government, it ensures that people are provided with the basic amenities and have promoted the peaceful co-existence of all the people in the State.

It is important to run a highlight of some of the achievements recorded by Governor Abubakar Sani Bello as given below

Agricultural Sector:

Threading the path of the Federal Government, the Niger State Government has been very supportive to farmers – from early distribution of fertilizers to the provision of other incentives needed by the farmers. This made farming more lucrative in the state.

The state received and distributed thousands of metric tons fertilizers through the Federal Government Special Fertilizer Intervention Programme and sold directly to farmers at subsidized prices.

The state government established the pilot Shea Butter Tree and Palm Fruits Production Centre at Shakwatu in Shiroro and in other parts of the state that is favourable to Shea Butter Tree and Palm Fruits cultivation. Also, pilot ginger farms were established in Tegina and 15 other locations in the state. The state government also did not relent in funding FADAMA III Project and equally established three additional Agricultural Equipment Enterprising centres equipped with tractors, 50 units of threshers and 5 units of power tillers. Several tractors were refurbished to support farmers in all the 274 wards in the State. In another positive move, Hundrends of

youths have been trained in various agricultural enterprises.

Intervention on Agricultural sector has boost the morale of the farmers , this has resulted in high output from the farmer , the government has make access to loan and other financial incentives easy for the farmers.

One major factor that discouraged farmers in the past is the difficulty they faced in getting their farm produces to the market. To check this trend, the state government invested heavily by providing access roads across the state. So far, over 221.12 kilometres of rural and feeder roads have been constructed by the present administration in the state under the astute leadership of Governor Abubakar Sani Bello. In the same vein, numbers of crossing bridges are constructed ,while some are still under construction to “open up” more rural areas.

The government also gave fisheries and livestock a good boost with the setting up of Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development – the first of its kind in the entire country. Already, the Ministry has recoreded many feats such as the completion of Kontagora Abattoir, the standardization of Tagwai Hatchery as well as the supply of hundreds of boats and out-boards engines to support fishermen.

Economic Development: No country or a community can really be defined as been strong without viable and strong economy. This is one of the reasons why the state government organised an investment summit tagged “Impact Investing for Advancing Agricultural Economy and Innovation”. The summit was organised to attract genuine investors to Niger State. The fruit of the summit has started yielding as the state has signed agreements with local and foreign investors for projects in key areas especially the agricultural sector.

Linked to economic development is Rural Electrification. In other to boost businesses at the grassroot, a lot of communities have enjoyed electrification since the coming of this administration. The key success in this regards includes the completion of Etsuworo, Shabafu, kokogi, Jama’are, Shambo, Zabbo-Ewugi and Ekan electrification projects. Also completed are Bangi and Agwara electrification projects.

Roads: The Governor Abubakar Sani Bello administration has taken issue of infrastructure as its topmost priority. To this end, the government embarked on the construction and rehabilitation of township roads in Minna, Bida, Kontagora, Suleja,Mokwa, Kagara,Agaie and host of other communities.

Niger State has the longest network of federal roads and most of the roads are in bad shapes. This made the state government to maintain and rehabilitate some of such federal roads, such as the Tegina-Birini Gwari, Zugeru -Tegina road, Minna-Diko road and the repairs of Lioji Bridge ,Minna-Suleja road, Other achievements in this subsector include construction of new Fire Service Station at Mokwa, Lapai, Agaie, Minna and Suleja in addition to modern fire fighting vehicles and equipment that were also procured by the state government.

Water: In its pursuit to provide water for the generality of the people,the state government has taken a lot of steps to achieve this. Highlights of achievements in this sector includes: procurement and installation of twelve complete pumps and other accessories at Chanchanga Water Works and reticulation of water lines to boost water supply to Minna Metropolis.

Also, the government in it holistic approach to make sure every citizen has access to portable drinking water, a contract was awarded for the procurement of pumps panel and other equipments for Suleja, Bida and Kontagora Water Works. The Government has resuscitated the abandoned Lambatta, Lapai, Agaie/Katcha Water Works. Similarly, several motorised and hand pump boreholes were constructed in over 50 locations such as Tagagi, Lagun, Kashikoko, Karami Ramin etc.

Education: The Niger State Government under the visionary leadership of Governor Abubakar Sani Bello initiated the Transformation Education in Niger State (TENS) programme. To this end, Over 150 professional teachers for core subjects in secondary schools were recruited. The government also embarked on Whole School Development Approach Programme, this programme has resulted in total renovation and furnishing of post primary boarding schools in the State. The state government also re-introduced the Teacher Training Colleges with three of such centres spread across the state. The Mararaba Dandaudu Centre in Munya Local Government has taken off, while those of Agaie and Nassarawa – Kainji are expected to come on stream .

The state government also has expended billions of naira on the construction and renovation of blocks of classrooms, toilets, fencing and provision of furniture for schools.

Tertiary institutions in the state were not left out as Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University; Lapai secured the NUC accreditation of more courses through the support of the state government. Other areas covered by the government includes: the reconstruction of the burnt administrative block at Niger State Polytechnic Zugeru, Construction of twin Anatomy/Physiology and Micro-Biology Lab at College of Agriculture, Mokwa, Construction of Physics/Chemistry Lab and provision of science equipment at Institute of Innovation Minna and the procurement /Installation of ICT equipment at Fati Lami Institute of Legal and Administrative Studies , Minna.

Health: The State Government recruited hundreds of Health Workers to enhance health care delivery. Niger State is the only state in the North that met requirements for inclusion in the pilot phase of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) to improve the quality and access to Primary Health Care Services. The state government also renovated and equipped Primary Health Centres at Beri, Ebbo, Maje, Kaboji and Doko, all completed. The government also awarded contract for the remodeling of General Hospitals in Kontagora and Suleja. Also, the state’s School of Nursingin Bida has been upgraded,while a new college of nursing science has been built in Kontagora by the administration of Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello.

Equally, a Memoranda of Understanding was signed with Bill and Melinda Foundation worth over N2billion for the upgrading of PHC facilities and capacity building of the state’s health personnel.

The construction of Laboratory at General Hospital, Minna and the renovation of IBB Specialist Hospital has been completed.

Information and Communication: The state government revamped the existing facilities at Niger State Television (NSTV) and FM station to enhance information dissemination and also to comply with digital switch over target of Nigeria.

Sports and Youth Development: The state competed in various championships and won laurels in Football, Volleyball, Basketball, Hockey etc.

Bako Kontagora Stadium Minna has been renovated and given a new face .

The state government has taken into serious consideration the importance of youths and women empowerment. Already, the government has taken measures to make sure the youth are meaningfully engaged. Over 3,000 youth have been trained on various empowerment programmes. Similarly, 250 Graduates were recruited, (10 from each LGA) into the state’s civil service.

Judiciary: Magistrate courts at Suleja, Kontagora, Lapai, Mokwa, Zungeru and others have been renovated. An e-library was also established in the Ministry of Justice.

Security: The state government has procured and distributed hundreds of Hilux Vehicles and other types of vehicles, out of which 30 are kitted with modern radio communication equipment to support the operation of security agencies and vigilante corps in the state.

Also over hundreds motor-cycles and bicycles were distributed to ease movements of security agencies in remote areas.

With most of these achievements , it is convincing that the Governor Abubakar Sani Bello in Niger State is fulfilling its campaign promises and also taking the state to greater heights thereby restoring the confidence of the people in Democracy.

Niger state has experienced a lot of developmental strides since the return of democracy .

Democracy is working in Niger state , the state governor has spread developmental strides across the state , no zone or local government is left out .

Abubakar Sani Bello popularly call Lolo is an ardent lover of rule of law , it is for this reason , every action taken by the government followed due process and this has results in achieving the desire results.

One action that has close the gap between the govern and the government was the tour taken by the state governor , the governor toured all the local governments in the state , interacting with the people ,getting first hand information from the people ,thereby solving alot of problems encounter by the lovely people of the state

Other sectors like Health, Agriculture, Education has also been reinvigorate, as clinics are been built across the state , Hospitals been upgraded and renovated, drugs are now easily accessible.

Civil Servants in the state can’t wish for more as the government of Abulolo has been up to task , salaries are been paid as at when due ,improved welfare for civil servants in the state .

It is worthy of note that the people of Niger state have gotten the change they yearned for ,they wouldn’t have wished better than this ,Abubakar Sani Bello administration has added value to democracy, now ,the people of the state knows what it takes and the benefits of democracy.

In life , what everyone aspire is to have results for efforts, the people of Niger state effort in electing Abubakar Sani Bello as their governor is not in vain , their hopes were not dashed , they now brim with smiles on their faces , confidence has been rebuilt in them , they now know their votes counts .

The future is bright and hopeful better days are ahead .

T.A Haruna writes from Minna, Niger State

Hassan Usman Author

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