FIVE YEARS DEVELOPMENT STRIDES IN KEBBI STATE:
ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY ADDRESS TO THE GOOD PEOPLE OF KEBBI STATE BY THE STATE GOVERNOR, SENATOR ABUBAKAR ATIKU BAGUDU ON FRIDAY, 12TH MAY, 2020.
Fellow Citizens of Kebbi State,
With gratitude to Almighty Allah, I wish to acknowledge the grace and opportunity given to me to address you on this august occasion of Democracy day, which equally marks my one year second term in office and half a decade of shepherding in Kebbi state.
No doubt, a day like this (Democracy day) calls for commemoration and sober reflection of our democratic gains and dividends amidst several impediments that have been bedeviling the nation as a whole.
Kebbi state went through a lot of transformation within the half decade of our rule; the major one being the transformation of the economy from its hitherto mirage to reality in the areas of Health, Agriculture, Commerce, Infrastructural Development and Ecotourism.
With understanding of the notion that national development of any society, especially over the past three decades, has been driven by paradigm transition towards thinking globally and acting locally and having been in touch with reality that successful national growth and development are usually accomplished under inherent deft, visionary and people-oriented national policies and strategies, we decided that education of our children should be given priority. We also engaged in providing all what is required for our children to get sound education in order to fit into the new world of 21st century.
Such action include the construction of new blocks of classrooms and renovation of hundreds of blocks of classrooms for Primary and Junior Secondary School levels; construction of hostels at Adamu Augie College of Education (AACEO), Argungu and renovation of College of Agriculture Zuru; procurement of 34,120 sets of furniture for Primary and Junior Secondary School levels; drilling of boreholes cum hand pumps and upgrading of schools to model level; supply of computer sets and laboratory science equipment for schools; provision of first aid facilities to schools; upgrading of Education Management Information System (EMIS) Centres and procurement of books and journals.
Other interventions in education include the supply of Sport Equipment for schools and ECCDE play facilities; accreditation fees for courses being offered at College of Health Technology and College Nursing Science and workshop for entrepreneurship to tertiary Institution across the State and training of teachers. The sum of N250, 000 million is spent monthly for feeding of students. The administration has also been consistent in payment of scholarship and bursaries for student of tertiary institutions in Nigeria and abroad.
Recently, renovation of Primary and Junior secondary schools via SUBEB is to be embarked upon in the state.
The cardinal policy of this administration from inception to date is self-sufficiency in food production and it will continue to be pursued with vigour and undiminished intensity. As you are aware, the cardinal programme of this administration has been the diversification of the economy through agricultural revolution.
The mere sight of rice milling factories all over the state is an indication of the tremendous achievements in our drive to produce more food for our teeming population and to ultimately export to the word – an indication that our great farmers of Kebbi State have risen to our call for massive food and cash crop production.
Provision of assorted fertilizer; implementation of agricultural transformation agenda (ATA); anchor borrower programme and introduction of commercial agriculture loans for the benefit of Kebbi state farmers; purchase of rice and wheat from the state farmers; purchase of 100 tractors, 80 thrashers, 30 riffers and power tillers to enhance agricultural development in the state; purchase of wheat milling machines for farmers and 100 units of motorcycle for extension workers as intervention on anchor borrowers’ programme; 5,000 farmers were engaged for the production of soya beans in the state at Danko Wasagu Local Government and 10,000 farmers were engaged for the production of Sorghum, rice and soya beans all over the state.
A total of about 450, 000 jobs were created by anchor barrowers 40,000 thousand Multi-millionaires were raised, which culminated into 1.9 million metric tons of paddy rice being produced for self-reliance in a year after we assumed leadership in the state (2016). Our current status is 3.56 million metrics tons of paddy rice in the year 2017/2018. Inshah Allah! This is to be doubled in the near future
It could be recalled that a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between Kebbi State Government and Tomani Farms and Agro Industry Limited for Tomato industry, at Gafara, Ngaski Local Government. I wish to report that remarkable progress has been achieved and several dividends shall be reaped out of it as soon as possible.
Recently, a development in Tractor Hiring Unit has been achieved, another memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed with Machine and Equipment Africa (MECA) – private company that manages agricultural implements for the management of one hundred tractors purchased hitherto by the state government under it tractor hiring scheme to small scale farmers. The company is to manage the tractors under the tractor hiring scheme spread through the four agricultural zones in Kebbi state; the zones include Argungu, Bunza, Zuru and Yauri.
Couple of weeks ago, provision of animal feeds was launched by the state Government in collaboration with the state Ministry of Animal Health Husbandry and fisheries.
It should be noted that lack of food security undermine psychological and social security. Let me therefore, urge you farmers to continue with your efforts in tilling the soil for food sufficiency.
From our end, we shall not relent in implementing our policy trust in pursuing our agricultural goals for the benefit of farmers, so that the agricultural revolution could be sustained.
In the area of health care development, the administration embarked on renovation of maternity complex and ANC unit at General Hospitals; completion and commissioning of General Hospital, Jega – the hospital has been named after Her Excellency Aisha Muhammadu Buhari; sponsorship of cancer screening activities and treatment; upgrading of School of Health Technology, Jega and School of Nursing Birnin Kebbi to colleges of Nursing Sciences; Rehabilitation of maternity ward, labour room and ANC unit at General Hospital, Argungu; payment of medical assistance abroad and in Nigeria to over 50 patients from the May, 2015 to date; construction of maternity complex at Argungu General Hospital; construction of 12 New Radio Diagnostic Blocks in 12 General Hospitals; remodeling of 10 radio diagnostics centers.
Others include the facilitation of six (6) free medical outreach services by Moses Lake Medical Team from USA with about 500,000 people benefiting; free eye surgeries to over 4000 patients sponsored by Kebbi State Government by Albashir International Hospital.
Recently, Sir Yahaya Memorial Hospital, the major secondary health facility in the state capital, Birnin Kebbi, is wearing a face lift as additional structures and befitting facilities are put in place to meet international standard. As one of the isolation centers to the state, ventilators and other facilities have been provided to the hospital to cater for patients in need.
We also tackled the issue of the corona virus with the seriousness it deserved through interstates border patrols and closures, contact tracing, sensitization of the public the community mobilization, provision of palliatives and other support to the state tasks force, quarantine and isolation centers were also provided. Today, the fight has paid off in the state with the last patients being discharged on the 28th of May, 2020 after two consecutive tests proved negative. It could be recalled that the first case of Covid 19 was first reported in Kebbi State on the 28th of April, 2020.
Now that Kebbi State taskforce on Covid -19 has declared one single person positive of corona virus in the state and receiving treatment at the moment, we still have to consider that it is still possible to have pockets of active cases that were hitherto unpicked. There is also the possibility of importation of the virus from other epicentres (Kano, Abuja, Lagos etc) within the country and from our surrounding countries like Niger and Benin republics.
Therefore, it is incumbent on us to support and embrace the campaign on prevention of community transmission by washing our hands with soap regularly, using face masks and sanitizers; persons who are sick are advised to go to hospitals for evaluation with their face masks on; persons with signs and symptoms suggestive of Covid 19 should to go to the hospital for immediate evaluation.
In the same vein, I urge all persons returning from places with active Covid 19 cases to self-quarantine for 14 days or report for testing and if they fail to comply, report them immediately to the state taskforce. Let me at this juncture remind people of their responsibilities in ensuring that we all stay alive and remain safe by regular hand washing with running water and soap. We must continue the use of face masks where necessary; avoid unnecessary crowd and physical distancing. If possible, help your neighbours with palliatives, stay at home and eat nourishing food with vegetables.
The outbreak of Covid-19 wholly informed our decision to celebrate this democracy day low key devoid of elaborate ceremony that could mar the philosophy physical and social distancing that has been the antidote to the spread of Corona virus.
Provision of clean water to improve the health status of citizens informed our decision to sink motorized and solar powered boreholes in several towns and villages in addition to hand pumps in several places across the state, while others were repaired. These include hey include rehabilitation of over 80 motorized borehole schemes and over 30 solar powered water schemes across the state, rehabilitation of over 2000 hand operated borehole across the state and procurement of water treatment chemical for water supply to Birnin Kebbi, Zuru, Argungu and Yauri.
Industry, Commerce and Tourism is one of the critical sectors for achieving the State’s vision to restore its former glory, create abundant economic opportunities, jobs and wealth and achieve inclusive and sustainable growth.
One of the cardinal essences of giving a boost to the four major festivals we have in the state, the famous Argungu International and Fishing and Cultural Festival, Yauri Rigata (Regatta), Gwandu Hottungo and Zuru Uhola by the State Government is to have a multiplier effect in boosting tourism and to show case agricultural potentials particularly in all our emirates, at State, Federal and at international levels. Apart from fishing and farming which occupied the main economic stream of our people, all the emirates are equally endowed with abundant underground natural resources waiting to be tapped. It is now crystal clear that the dual purposes of enhancing economic activities via tourism (Ecotourism) are for the development of the emirates, Kebbi State and Nigeria in general.
Permit me to say at this juncture, that, a candle will not diminish its glow by lighting another candle; rather the combined glow of the two or more candles will illuminate the room more brightly to the general joy and comfort of all occupants. It’s in respect of this that since 2015 we aggressively embarked in the provision of Infrastructural facilities such as roads, water and electricity supply to complement other aspects of development we provided.
Construction and rehabilitation of township and rural roads and drainages amounting to billions of Naira were evenly carried-out across all the four emirates in the state. In the same manner, urban and rural electrification projects have been carried-out in which extension of electrical lines and provision of electrical equipment such as transformers, relocation and extension of HT lines to villages and town in 15 Local Government areas in the state were carried out.
It could be recalled that when the Administration took over land administration was in a very chaotic situation. Farm owners were allowed to scheme their lands into plots for sale to the public without following the rudiments of town planning, leading to various court cases. From 2015 we abolished all illegal scheming and sub-divisions, which now led to land matters to stabilize and are done only with the approval of the appropriate ministry.
A total sum of N3,062,639,350.00 (Three Billion, Sixty Two Million, Six Hundred and Thirty Nine Thousand Three Hundred and Fifty Naira Only) was expended for the payment of compensation for various houses, properties, farmlands and economic trees affected by various developments programmes of the State Government. The payments were in 15 Local Governments of the State, namely Aliero, Argungu, Augie, Bagudo, Birnin Kebbi, Danko/Wasagu, Jega, Kalgo, Koko/Besse, Maiyama, Sakaba, Shanga, Suru, Yauri and Zuru.
A lot has been done to boost the information dissemination by upgrading the state broadcast outfits to digital standard while institution to do with women in development and social welfare will continue to receive deserved government attention.
In the manner, I wish to state that the Government has been playing a subterranean role not only in providing materials and equipment support to various security outfits to improve security for the state and this should be complemented by the public to report to the authorities concerned any suspicious movement. I urge all and to be vigilant.
Let me conclude by urging all and sundry to support our zeal, passion and desire to enlarge Kebbi State, so as to further boost our economic prowess to achieve the desired objectives of developing our economy in all sectors. We have in the last five years, laid the basis for economic diversification and industrialization with priority that was given to modernized agriculture and agro-allied industries to achieve greater diversification by rapid expansion and broadening of industrial activities in the economy of Kebbi state.
Long Live Kebbi State!
Long Live Federal Republic of Nigeria!!
Thank you and God bless!!!