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BROADCAST OF HIS EXCELLENCY, MOHAMMED ABDULLAHI ABUBAKAR ESQ., GOVERNOR OF BAUCHI STATE, ON THE OCCASION OF CELEBRATION OF THE FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF THE PRESENT ADMINISTRATION IN THE STATE ON 29TH MAY, 2016

As shared by Shamsuddeen Lukman Abubakar on his Facebook.

I am indeed delighted to address you today on the occasion of the first anniversary of the present administration in the State. We must give glory to Allah (SWT) for making it possible for us to witness this important day. As you all know, May 29th of every year is observed as Democracy Day to commemorate the ascendancy of democratic rule in this country. However, May 29th 2015 is a day with a difference because it was the day that ushered in the present administration into office, following the historic General Elections in March 2015 in what is today known as the “BROOM REVOLUTION”.

You will recall that May 29th 2015, I was sworn in along with my Deputy during which we swore to an oath to hold in trust the mandate given to us by the people of this State and lead our dear State on to the path of progress and development. Today is exactly one in our journey of promise and I am happy to inform you that in spite of many challenges, we have recorded some modest achievements in all facets of development.

In line with the tradition of a democratic rule, we are expected to give account of our stewardship in the last one year. I am therefore glad to report to you the major activities recorded in the State in the last one year.

INTRODUCING SANITY AND DISCIPLINE IN THE MANAGEMENT OF STATE RESOURCES

Having carefully studied the handover notes given us by the previous administration and after receipt of the report of the Transition Committee, we were overwhelmed by the large scale corruption and embezzlement perpetrated against the State by some officials of the immediate past administration in the State to a halt. In order therefore to address the financial crises we inherited, we were forced to take some urgent measures aimed at curtailing the spending of the Government. As a first step, we inaugurated A Budget Review Committee which adjusted the 2015 budget to reflect the current realities and serve as a catalyst for a broad-based economic development of the State. We also cut down the spending of the Government and as a demonstration of our resolve, we cut down the salaries of the Governor and the Deputy Governor by half, including domestic and other office expenditure associated with our offices. The cut in office expenditure was further extended to Ministries, Departments and Agencies across the State as we embark on a deliberate effort to improve our internally generated revenue. In our effort in ensuring sanity in governance, we set up a Recovery Committee which was charged with the responsibility of recovering all resources of the Government that were carted away or converted into private use by officials of the previous government. This is in line with the change mantra of the APC government. These resources include vehicles, power generators, landed property etc. The Recovery Committee had completed its assignment and submitted its report and a Government White Paper Committee is currently studying the report with a view to advising Government on the next line of action. In the same vein, Government realized that the award of contracts was one of the avenues where public funds were siphoned by the last administration as a result of poor execution of work, over-invoicing and lack of proper supervision by appropriate Government Agencies. Considering the high level of corruption exhibited in the award of such contracts, we were left with no option than to inaugurate a High-Powered Committee to investigate all major contracts awarded in the State between May 2007 to May 2015. The Committee is still working and upon the receipt of its report government will take appropriate action on the individuals affected.

STATE-OWNED AIRCRAFT

The State-Owned Aircraft is with Overland Airways facility in Lagos. It had recently been inspected by an Executive Council Committee and was found to be intact. However, the engine of the Aircraft was said to have minor problem which will be repaired soon. When this is done, the issue of recertification of airworthiness of the Aircraft will be tackled and Government would then decide on either to lease out or dispose off the Aircraft.

PROSITION OF SECURITY OF LIVES AND PROPERTY

The major responsibility of and Government is the provision of security of lives and property. I am happy to report that the present administration in the State has succeeded in creating a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere as a result of which people pursue their activities without any hindrance. The State is the most peaceful State in the North-East sub-region despite series of security challenges. Similarly, as a result of the peaceful disposition of the State, a lot activities both national and State were conducted peacefully. In order to demonstrate the avowed commitment of Government in the maintenance of security in the State, the Government had in April 2016 handed over twenty-five number of brand new Toyota Hilux vehicles fully equipped with security gadgets to security agencies in the State for effective patrol.

Similarly, as a result of its peaceful disposition, the State has become home to tens of thousands of Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, and migrants from neighbouring States which were ravaged by insurgency in North-Eastern region of the country. The State Government has provided relief materials in form of food and non-food items to the IDPs across the 20 Local Government Areas of the State. In addition to the support given to the IDPs by the State Government, the Federal Government through the Presidential Initiative for North-East has been supplementing the effort of the State Government in providing relief materials to the IDPs such as food and non-food items, drugs and medical consumables. Government also acknowledges the support provided to the IDPs by the UNHCR, UNICEF, Nigerian Red Cross Society and indigenous Non-Governmental Organizations.

RESTRUCTURING OF THE STATE CIVIL SERVICE

In appreciating that the civil service is the engine room and the avenue through which government policies and programmes are implemented, the present administration had embarked on a full scale revitalization and repositioning of the civil service. Accordingly, the number of Ministries was reduced from 26 to 16, Directories were also reduced from 309 to 243 while some aspects of the reforms embarked upon at the Federal level were adapted for the State civil service which include the tenure policy. Similarly, as a result of the decline in oil revenue which drastically reduced our monthly statutory allocation, this situation has placed the Government in a very difficult position in trying to meet its financial obligations to the people of the State.

Government aggressively pursued the machinery of internally generated revenues at both the State and Local Government levels. In addition to this, it then embarked on the verification exercise of salaries and pensions in the State and Local government using the Bank Verification Number (BVN). The position so far is that out of the 105, 960 workers and pensioners in the State, 84, 940 have been cleared and paid as at 31st March, 2016. The exercise is ongoing. To hasten the conclusion of the exercise, Government has appointed six Committees comprising of highly placed officers to go round the Local Government Areas to verify all 20, 000 workers across the State with a view to paying them their 3 months salaries before the commencement of the Ramadan fast. In the course of the verification exercise, some staff of the State and Local Governments were found to be negligent in the discharge of their responsibilities and were therefore suspended forthwith. The Office of the Head of Civil Service, Civil Service Commission and Local Government Service Commission respectively were directed to investigate and decisively deal with any officer found wanting. Let me use this opportunity to reemphasize the commitment of the Government in upholding the dignity of labour and in creating a good atmosphere in which workers and the Government can relate very well. As you can see this resolve has been demonstrated even before our assumption of office where we engaged the labour leaders and succeeded in persuading them to suspend their strike action embarked upon by civil servants in the State over non-payment of accumulated four months salaries owed them by the immediate past administration.  After our assumption of office and in spite of the poor financial position we inherited, we made sure that we cleared all the three months salaries we inherited and went on to pay the salaries of the subsequent months as and when due. Also since our assumption of office, we made sure that we upheld the spirit of dialogue and collective bargaining in decision making in virtually every aspects of workers and labour in general. I must at this juncture, express our appreciation to leaders of the organized labour and the civil servants in general for their support and understanding so far. I assure you that as a progressive Government, we will not relent doing everything humanly possible to provide the basic requirements of our workers.

The recent verification exercise in the State is carried out with the primary aim of sanitizing our payrolls. It was not intended to create any hardship or any inconvenience to any person in the State. We are resolved to peruse it to its logical conclusion and no amount of blackmail or intimidation will make us change our course or lose our focus.  

IMPROVEMENT OF THE HEALTH SECTOR

In line with the objective of the present administration in the State of having a healthy society free from communicable and non-communicable diseases, the Five Point Health Agenda ‘LAFIYA GARKUWA’  was launched in September, 2015 which is aimed strengthening the Primary Health Care Services with particular emphasis on diseases affecting the maternal, newborn and child population as well as routine immunization exercise. Other achievements recorded by the present administration in the health sector include improvement of funding of the health sector through innovative financing mechanism, accountability and transparency, payment of over two hundred million naira as part of the State Government’s commitment in the Memorandum of Understanding with Bill and Melinda Gates and Dangote Foundation respectively. These are aimed at setting up emergency operation centres on Polio, resuscitation of patient-feeding and fueling of generators in General Hospitals and other health facilities in the State. Other achievements include facilitating the accreditation process of the State College of Nursing and Midwifery, facilitating the accreditation and commencement of Dental Health Services training at the State College of Health Technology, Ningi, collaboration with Al-Basar International for Free Eye Treatment tp about 10, 000 eye patients. In addition to this, Government has approved the adoption of the implementation of conditions and scheme of Service for new Bauchi College of Nursing and Midwifery.

IMPROVEMENT OF THE EDUCATION SECTOR    

The education sector, like all other sectors was in shambles when we came on board. The sector was characterized by decayed condition of schools, while in some schools the structures were in serious state of disrepair, lack of learning materials and demoralized teachers. In order to reverse this ugly situation and in line with the objective of the APC administration of providing dynamic approach to education and learning and ensure that youth across the State have access to knowledge and skills in conformity with global standard, we made sure that we double the budgetary provision for the education sub-sector in 2016 budget. Government has also has intend to embark on massive renovation of the existing structures and building of new ones as well as provision of learning materials and increase the level of school enrolment. In addition to these measures, I have appointed the Deputy Governor to take charge of the Education portfolio. I have also appointed him to head a Task Force Committee on the improvement of education in the State. The committee is made up of educationists and other prominent people drawn from relevant fields. Other achievements recorded in the education sector include monthly release of N80 million for the schools direct feeding programme, the release of N119 million to settle WAEC and NABTEB registration fees for indigenes of Bauchi State for 2015 and N133,443,522.84 being 40% payment for 2016. Government had also paid the sponsorship of twenty-five students from the State to attend the National Mathematics Competition in Abuja who won 9 gold, 5 silver and 8 bronze medals. Government has paid the sum of N26,353,528.25 for the supply of furniture to some schools in the State. The State Government is also collaborating with development partners and donor agencies on ways to explore possible areas of intervention in the Education sector. The State Government is also taking measures to improve girl-child education through enlightenment campaigns and improvement of the girl-child in school. Also in an effort to ensure the provision of Mass Education to the people, special emphasis is being placed on Adult and Non-formal Education/Second Chance Education to those who did not have the opportunity of acquiring education in the formal way. This programme targets adult, young, adolescent and women in the society as well as out-of-school children. This programme has a two-way advantage because apart from education, the target groups are also provided with various skills acquisition training thereby providing them with source of income generation thereby reducing the level of poverty in the society.

Government has reconstructed the Board of SUBEB in order to provide effective management of human and material resources. It has further deployed some staff as well as suspended others for their negligence in the payment of staff salaries and failure to disclose information regarding finances and salary amount for teachers lodged in the Board’s Accounts. Meanwhile steps are being taken to ensure prompt payment of Teachers’ salaries, while at the same time Government is making efforts to rehabilitate and provide necessary infrastructure in the schools for effective teaching and learning.

As part of reforms in the disbursement of scholarship allowances to Bauchi State students in the institutions of higher learning, Government had appointed a Committee for the disbursement of the 2015/2016 scholarship allowances for deserving students. The total amount released is N162,336,875.00 while the sum of N121,022,502.06 was paid to 14,971 students by the Committee, leaving a balance of N41,314,372.04. The Committee submitted its report and Government is studying it for appropriate action. Government has paid the sum of over N1,700,000,000.00 as counterpart for UBEC funds for 2014 and 2015.

IMPROVEMENT OF AGRICULTURE

The present administration in the State attaches great importance to the agricultural sector. This is in recognition of the role of agriculture in the socio-economic development of the people. It is the highest contributor of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the State. It also serves as a means of wealth creation for the teeming population because of the employment opportunities it provides. It is realization of this fact that one of the first assignments of the present administration after assuming office was the launching of the 2015 farming season in Misau. This was followed by the disbursement of 10,000 metric tones of fertilizer to farmers at subsidized rate of N2,750.00 for NPK and N3,000.00 for Urea which was the cheapest price in the country. Similarly, tractor hiring services were provided to farmers to ease their farming activities. Other achievements in the Agricultural sector are partnership with the Food and Agricultural Organization, (FAO) in the improvement of food security of about two thousand Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in the State through the provision of 60 metric tones of assorted improved crop seeds and the distribution of artisanal fisheries inputs which include nets, floats, sinkers, ropes etc to about two hundred fishermen under the Growth Enhancement Scheme (GES) Project. In addition to these, Government is inviting investors from China, Lebanon and other countries to invest into modern Agricultural production and Agro-processing in the State. This will provide direct employment to our teeming unemployed youths. Government has attracted a soft loan of over N400,000,000.00 from the Central Bank of Nigeria through the Bank of Agriculture for disbursement to farming cooperatives in the State.

PROVISION/IMPROVEMENT OF INFRASTRUCTURE

In its bid to provide and improve existing infrastructure in the State, the present administration had awarded contract for the complete rehabilitation of Misa-Bulkachuwa-Udubo road project at the cost of N4,719,345,971.94. We have also awarded contract for the rehabilitation of Murtala Mohammed Way in Bauchi from Central Bank of Nigeria roundabout through Federal Low Cost to Railway road at the cost of N2,323,679,294.33 as well as contract for the design and construction of 1.3 kilometre link road at Fadaman Mada at the cost of N298,596,929.40. Government had also provided adequate logistics to the Nigerian Air Force for the establishment of 89 Composite Group, Nigerian Air Force Base in Bauchi. For this, the sum of over N300,000,000.00 was paid by government as compensation to farmers in the area. This will facilitate the installation of landing and take-off facilities and general improvement at the Airport. While at the same time it will assist in the improvement of security in Bauchi and North-East sub-region as a whole.

Government has released the sum of N12, 843,500.00 into the hitherto moribund street light system in urban centres of Bauchi, Azare and Misau. The street lights are now functioning and are being constantly checked for better performance. Government has also released the sum of N1,843,500.00 to selectively repair some potholes in some roads in Bauchi town on a pilot basis. There are plans to extend this exercise to other urban centres of the State. In order to restore the master plan of our urban cities, the Government was forced to demolish some illegal structures at DP/23 and DP/69 in Bauchi metropolis, and various individual layouts were cancelled and all structures removed. Similar exercise will be extended to other urban cities of the State. Government is planning to review the master plan of Bauchi, Azare and Misau while at the same time develop an urban plan for Jama’are, Ningi, Darazo and Dass.

IMPROVEMENT OF TOURISM INDUSTRY IN THE STATE

In order to improve the tourism industry in the State and improve its revenue base, the State Government had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Zlin Zoo in the Czechs Republic on collaboration between the zoo and Bauchi State Government on improvement of Yankari Games Reserve and collaboration between the zoo and the Bauchi State University Gadau on improvement of tropical agriculture. Similar collaborations are being made with the People’s Republic of China, Lebanon, Switzerland etc all with the aim of improving the agricultural and other potentials of the State.

YOUTHS EMPLOYMENT

In line with the manifesto of the APC, the provision of employment opportunities to our teeming youths is one of our top priorities. Apart from providing gainful employment to the youths, the problem of youths restiveness will also be curtailed. Accordingly, the State Government has lined up a number of programmes aimed at providing vocational education and training in such areas like electrical/electronics, mechanical works, carpentry, metal works and other vocations. This is being carried out in liaison with foreign institutions and donor agencies in countries like Switzerland and other relevant countries.

MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS

The State Government had paid its counterpart contribution of N6,000,000.00 to add up to the Federal Government amount of N6,000,000.00 for the execution of 2015 Millennium Development Goals projects in the State. The contracts for the projects have been awarded for 20 solar powered boreholes, 18 primary healthcare centres, 18 flats for staff accommodation, 18 VIP toilets, supply of equipment to 18 primary healthcare centres, purchase of 5 ambulances, drilling of 55 hand pump lifted boreholes and renovation of one primary healthcare centre across the 20 Local Government Areas in the State.

WATER SUPPLY

Considering the importance of water as an essential ingredient of life as well as a fundamental resource for the socio-economic development of the State, the State Government has initiated the Water for Sustainable Health (WASH) Project. The Ministry of Water Resources being the WASH sector lead, coordinates the activities the activities of the sector through the State Water Board and the State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA).

In order to provide portable drinking water to the good people of Bauchi State, Government had embarked upon the rehabilitation of solar powered water schemes at Sabon Garin Nabardo, Badakoshi, Dagarau and Maikore in Toro, Alkaleri, Katagum, and Zaki Local Government Areas. Government had undertaken the rehabilitation and upgrading of irrigation work at Lake-Diya in Dambam Loacl Government Area at the cost of N6,640,000.

Government in collaboration with our development partners – DFID, UNICEF and USAID have embarked upon water projects in Toro, Shira, Katagum, Jama’are, Misau, Dambam, Giade, Bogoro, Ganjuwa, Ningi and Bauchi Locall Government Areas of the State, while Government has rehabilitated 33 water supply schemes at N6,000,000.00, constructed a solar powered water supply at Tilden Fulani and rehabilitation of 210 HPBHs across the State at the cost of N14,050,000.00. In order to ensure steady supply of portable drinking water supply to Bauchi metropolis and other urban centres, Government has released N23,635,122.00 to recondition the two power transformers at Gubi main treatment plant, procure water treatment chemicals, laboratory reagents, pipes and fittings. The sum of N26,050,000.00 was released for procurement of diesel to supplement the power supply from the National Grid. Government has also released the sum of N1,230,000.00 for repair of power cable for 14 boreholes at the Yola water works along Jama’are towns. In the year 2016, beginning from January, Government has commenced the payment of counterpart contribution in the tune of N72,222,224.00 for the World Bank assisted rehabilitation and expansion of water supply scheme to Bauchi metropolis. The World Bank is injecting USD65 million as its support to the project.

RURAL ROADS AND ELECTRIFICATION

Government has embarked upon repairs of roads washed away, construction of culverts, procurement of 186 transformers, restoration of Waya Small Hydropower, extension of electricity services, construction of classrooms across the State costing over five hundred and eighty million, five hundred and eighty thousand four hundred and ninety one naira eighty four Kobo.

The achievements recorded by the present administration could not have been possible without your support and cooperation. I therefore urge you to cooperate with the Government in its effort to reposition the State and move it out of the difficult condition it finds itself. I urge you never to lose hope in the change promised by the APC administration. However, for any change to be meaningful, there must be sacrifice by all and sundry and to make a change, you must be willing to pay the price. The price we are paying today in order to build this country on sound footing and establish a good foundation for the future generation is hard work, resilience, and endurance. Change doesn’t come easy and men and women who changed this world did not come about it overnight. Although the change they initiated was rejected at first but in the end people see the benefit of such change and accept it with enthusiasm and treat the change agents as heroes.

Thank you. Long live Bauchi State and long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria

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