Following the passage of the 2020 budget by Borno state House of Assembly, the expectations of the residents are higher as SADIQ ABUBAKAR writes.
Finally, Borno state House of Assembly (BOSHA) unanimously deliberated and passed the 2020 Appropriation Bill presented to the House by Governor Babagana Zulum in the first week of December 2019. What is important about it is that it took the House only 25 days to pass the bill into law with incremental adjustment of about N12 billion to enable the governor carry out his proposed developmental projects and programmes effectively. To that extent, much is expected of him especially with the lingering insurgency problem bedevilling developmental activities in the state.
Residents share their expectations
Many residents like traders, artisans, teachers, civil servants and internally displaced persons (IDP) who spoke to Blueprint want the government to know that their expectations are high.
For instance, a roadside mechanic at Leventis area of Maiduguri, Mauna Kolo said, “We expect Governor Zulum to fulfill the promises he made to the electorates about roads, hospitals, schools, water supply destroyed by Boko Haram group, drilling of boreholes, construction of feeder roads to villages and towns to link rural areas to the urban centres and opening of commercial areas to boost socio economic activities.
“We expect him to keep to his pledges that he made to the people especially during the electioneering campiagns. As a democrat, we are expecting nothing less. He is also an academcian who knows everything,” Kolo said.
A roadside welder along Baga Road near Maiduguri, Abdulmalik Abdulmuttallab said, “People have been praising Zulum and commending his concern for the people especially the poor masees, so we expect him to support the poor and helpless artisans and craftsmen in order to boost our occupation. As it is today, things are hard and one hardly gets anybody to assist him or her.
“We are working and struggling on our own without any support from anyone. So, we expect him to support us with money to improve in our works under the poverty alleviation and youths empowerment programmes,” Abdulmalik said.An IDP residing in London Ciki area, Goni Bukar Masa said, “We expect Governor Zulum to concentrate on the welfare of rural people especially the millions of internally displaced persons scattered through the activities of insurgency who are now living in IDP camps and a host of other congested communities. Most of them are living in hunger and starvation.”We also expect him to relocate us back to our ancestral homes in order to continue our normal life especially farming and fishing which is our major occupations. We cannot continue to live in this condition for life,” Goni said
A civil servant, Amos Balami, said, “With the size of the 2020 budget, I expect him to concentrate on reconstruction and rehabilitation of schools, houses and hospitals destroyed by the insurgents in almost all the towns and vilages of the state.
“I also expect Zulum to concentrate on the resettlement of IDPs congesting and polluting major towns and cities across the state whose presence compound the socio-economic problems of the state,” Amis said.
Another civil servant, Mary Mbaya, also said,” I don’t expect Zulum to do less but more on the issue of our salaries, allowances, gratutities and leave grants as well as pensions of retired workers.
“The amount budgeted for ministries and parastatals is enough to accommodate and ensure regular and prompt payments of salaries and allowances prudently.
“And knowing our governor, we are not expecting anything short of his ability, commitment, dedication, care, concern and honesty in dealing with people and workers generally,” Mary said.
Non indigenes want security for business to flourish
A vehicle spare parts dealer in Bola area of Maiduguri metropolis, Nwachukwu Okafor said”, We the Igbos are with the governor and like what he is doing for the people generally.
“We don’t expect him to change and we don’t pray for that but we expect him to rather continue with the good works he started already that people are seeing in the area of security, education, health, water supply, agriculture, poverty alleviation and youths empowerment, among others. This is because without security, no development can take place. With proper security, schools would function, the children and almajiris would all go to school and learn while the women and others would access functional hospitals for healthcare delivery services with available drugs and not just mere beautiful physical buildings,” Okafor said.
Recruit more teachers
A primary school teacher in Gomari Ward, Maiduguri, Adam Musty said, “We also expect him to recruit teachers to address the quality and standard of education at all levels in the state which he had started especially with the setting up of high- powered committees to review the teaching system same as that of the LGC service review with a view to reform the systems.
“The education system had for long been a worrisome issue posing great obstacle to our children’s development especially in securing admission into tertiary institutions to further their studies.
“So, we expect him to prioritise education more and concentrate on quality and standard of education at all the levels of education in the state,” Musty said.
We are praying for Zukum- Trader
A trader and shop owner in Bukumkutu Kasuwa Maiduguri, Hajiya Kella Modu said, “We always pray for the governor because of what we hear he has been doing for the people.
“He has changed lives of many and we expect him to continue to do so in this year and even better. He should continue to support the petty traders with money to trade and improve in our businesses.
“We also expect him to rebuild all the schools destroyed by Boko Haram insurgents and replace the amenities destroyed in those schools,” she said.
We need minimum wage
A civil servant, Musa Ahmed, said, “We expect Governor Zulum not to listen to enemies of the civil servants to continue with the staff screening exercise but should pay us our new minimum wage as being enjoyed by the federal workers.”The 2020 budget would be able to accommodate the new minimum wage and I also expect that this year, the civil service would be reformed with the right kind of occupational attitude to work introduced by the governor.
“I also expect him to continue with the general works he is doing which other governors could not do,” Ahmed said.