Governor Mohammed Umaru Bago: How Far So Far
The Governor of Niger State, Mohammed Umaru Bago has taken off with a sense of purpose. While it is not a 100-day yet, keen observers are seeing a fruitful pattern that holds a promise of progress and development.
—Arresting the Water Challenge
Everything Governor Umaru Bago has done suggests His Excellency came prepared. On the Inauguration Day, the demolition of a Police Station sitting on a water pipeline was announced and promptly carried out.
Further to this, the government has relocated the police station to a more convenient location in the same Chanchaga area, only a stone throw-away from the demolished location.
Governor Bago is most appreciative of the importance of police in maintaining peace and order in any community and will continue to provide support for the force to continue the good job of maintaining order in the state.
All these and other measures such as reticulation, ensuring water pipelines are free of obstruction are being taken so that the problem of water in the capital will be addressed and laid to rest once and for all.
—Addressing the Problems of Education
While this sector will require a significant investment to address the problem of infrastructure and quality so as to dramatically reverse the number of out of school children in the state, as well as avoid the ceaseless embarrassment being faced each year from examination bodies by withholding results due to non-payment of examination fees by the government, Governor Bago has taken the right step in the right direction by meeting with Examination Bodies and setting up a sustainable repayment plan of debt (30m monthly) so as to ensure that the result of Nigerlites are no longer withheld over a matter of debt.
—The Niger State Urban Renewal Plan
A need to address the deficit in infrastructure is at the center of the objectives of the Bago-led government. Already a preparatory visit to CCECC has been carried out to judge the capacity of the construction company in the readiness for the Minna Urban Renewal Project that will place the capital and other towns in the state at par with other developed cities in Nigeria.
—Harnessing the Potential of Suleja
Because of her proximity to Abuja, and the enterprising nature of her residents, Suleja has been one of the commercial towns of Niger state. The potential for the town is enormous and Governor Bago is working to ensure that all of it are achieved.
His Excellency has already taken intense steps to recover government-owned lands that were illegally acquired and repurposed. Already the process of the construction and relocation of Madalla market so as to decongest the town and ease traffic has been initiated and results are already being recorded, users of the road on Thursdays can testify that there is no longer gridlock on the road which before now will have users spent hours on a five-minute movement.
The policies for addressing the challenges of insecurity in the state will remain a continuous one. Governor Bago has shown willingness to use local resources to address the issue while remaining open to collaborative efforts with the Federal Government. This has been demonstrated with the recent visits to Service Chiefs and a private meeting with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Although the service chiefs were later retired by the President but the result of his visit can still be seen. The Governor will continue to use all within his powers to keep the state safe.
—Investment Promotion for Job Creation
Governor Umaru Bago has been marketing Niger State as the idle investment destination in Nigeria especially to business persons and developmental partners invested in Agriculture, Renewable Energy, ICT and Education. To affirm this, the Governor visited the Nigerian office of the African Development Bank where he met with a team led by DG of Nigerian office to discuss partnership with the state. The meeting was appreciated by the team and has led to the birth of a committee which will now work directly with the organization to see to bringing several interventions to the State.
Also, in a recent visit to the France Embassy, His Excellency met with the France Ambassador to understand collaborative areas for the development of agricultural and the improvement of the lives of those in the rural areas.
Similarly, the Niger State Government is making ready to host a Green Summit upcoming summit which will be a pivotal platform for unveiling the Niger State Blueprint on Green Economy. This comprehensive roadmap will guide the efforts of the State Government in achieving a sustainable and prosperous Niger for all.
—State Development Plan (SDP)
It will be recalled that Gov. Bago also received report from the Niger Development Forum headed by the immediate past Minister of State Foreign Affairs, Alh. Zubairu Dada. The forum is made up of technocrats, politicians and captains of industries. The content of the report is a Development Plan that covers all sectors and will be considered for use as a tool to plan for the development in Niger state.
Governor Bago has also ensured the availability of resources to the 25 Local Government Authorities in the state.
This is in accordance with FAC guidelines and allocations and also in tandem with His Excellency’s vision for accelerated development in the state by deepening the autonomy of LGAs.
It is His core belief that, being the Government closest to the people, the LGAs should enjoy the most support from the state to allow them deliver the devidends of democracy to our people.
All of the above strides are part of a roadmap that’s currently being developed by a community of Niger State intelligentsia to ensure that the economic future of the state is carefully planned, managed to ensure that the state is peaceful, educated, developed to ensure that her economy is sustainable and resilient.
Abdullberqy U Ebbo is the Special Adviser on Digital Communications to Governor Mohammed Umaru Bago of Niger State.
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