Nasarawa state is buzzing with developmental projects within the first 100 days of Governor Abdullahi Sule, who had promised no less at his inaugural speech. Mohammed Yangida writes.
Engr Abdullahi Sule, who took oath of office on May 29, 2019, as the fourth executive governor of Nasarawa alongside his deputy, Emmanuel Akabe, would be marking their 100th day in office on September 8, 2019.
Abdullahi Alhaji Sule, unlike his predecessors, is from the private sector with little background in active party politics. This explains why one of his core campaign pledges had centered on making government more efficient and business- friendly.
In actualizing the commitment he made during his inaugural speech and in particular within the first 100 days in office, Governor Sule had promised to record some achievements that would be markedly different from what used to be in the past. As the 100 days approaches, the governor is now looking beyond tangible attainments in view of the series of developmental activities currently ongoing in the state.
Little wonder in a recent event, the governor reiterated his administration’s determination to provide social services which would enhance socio-economic activities across the state.
What first 100 days holds
Governor Sule’s top on the agenda of projects he earmarked for execution within the first 100 days the setting up of the state economic management and investment advisory council, review and reform of the civil service, payment of pension, gratuity and salary arrears.
Others include the construction of two kilometres solar power street light in each of the 13 local government areas, and construction of technology innovation hub in Lafia, Akwanga, Keffi and Karu.
The governor promised to provide state-wide free medical outreach and to sustain the supply of fertiliser and other agricultural inputs to farmers for the current farming season.
Sule also said that youths would be screened and trained for small scale agricultural and trading enterprises in partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
He said he would build on the achievements of the Tanko Almakura administration and focus on industrialisation in order to create job opportunities for the young. The latter was especially pegged on the completion of the Lafia Cargo Airport project, construction of rural roads and electrification of these key areas.
Beyond these, he promised to run an all-inclusive government and called on the people of the state, irrespective of religious political or ethnic differences, to close ranks, cooperate and work with the government for the development of the state.
Within 48 hours, Governor Sule fulfilled the promise of empowering people when he provided 100 vulnerable women with sewing and grinding machines across the 13 local government areas of the state. The empowerment items were donated by the Nigerian Ports Authority.
Also, amongst his first decision after taking oaths of office was the appointment of nine Senior Special Assistants (SSAs), who are serving as the liaison between the ministries, departments and agencies.
To ensure everyone was on the same with him and drives his cherished vision, he immediately on assumption of office summoned a meeting with all the permanent secretaries, and heads of other agencies where they were properly briefed on what his agenda was and he intends to use them to drive the process.
Consequently, he held various security meetings with the state’s traditional rulers led by the Emir of Lafia, Sidi Mohammed Bage, Jsc, rtd, and other security officials, basically to that ensure Nasarawa state remains peaceful. He said his administration would accord priority to the security of lives and property of the citizens. So far, there has been no major insecurity issue.
Also, on June 27, Abdullahi Sule inaugurated a 12- man committee headed by Mr Silas Dakor responsible for the restructuring of the state civil service for effective service delivery and payment of pension, gratuity and salary arrears. The committee’s report was submitted on August 1st.
July 8, the governor commenced the free eye medical outreach across the three senatorial districts of the state. Sule was able touch the lives of over 5,000 people with the programme, 3,000 eye glasses were given, while over 2,000 received assorted medical eye drugs. What joy for the 209 people who were operated of cataracts!
There was an all-inclusive stakeholders meeting where political elite across party lines had converged at the government house Lafia at the instance of the governor. The meeting has opened doors to the opposition political parties to rob minds with the government on how to advance the course of the state. What a way to fulfill his promise of promoting unity and working with all stakeholders for the development of the state!
On July 22nd, Governor Sule disbursed 3,960 metric tonnes of fertilizer to farmers across the state. He gave out the fertilizer to every farmer, who wanted to buy at the subsidized cost of N3,500 per bag, and warned them against reselling same at exorbitant rate.
July 27, Governor Sule laid the foundation of the 26 classroom blocks under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) projects which is to be extended across the 13 local government areas in the state.
Sule said the projects would include provision of offices for the staff and head of schools, solar lighting boreholes and toilet facilities. He reiterated the determination of his administration to quality education, urged all stakeholders to support his government to succeed.
July 29, Sule inaugurated a 15-man investment and economic advisory council to transform the economic development of the state with Prof Kenyisola Ajayi as the chairman.
August 9th Sule commenced the installation of solar streetlights across the 13 local government areas of the state which would cover a distance of 26 kilometres, two kilometres to each local government.
The governor said the objective of the exercise was to ensure energy efficiency, while lessening reliance on fossil fuel and reduce global warming due to climate change amongst other promises.
Of course, the government has received commendations from sundry quarters including the common man, the beneficiaries, stakeholders and political opponents.
There have been many positive comments about the governor’s outstanding performance since he assumed office and many have prayed that these strides be sustained.
Barrister Abdullahi Ubandoma, the candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) for Lafia/Obi federal constituency in the 2019 National Assembly elections, expressed confidence in the governor’s performance. He said it was a good start, adding that the achievements of Sule administration have surpassed that attained by the previous government of Almakura.
“Governor Sule has done very well within his first 100 days. He has kept to his promises and we pray he will sustain the tempo because it is a good start. When you have a leader that made these kinds of promises and fulfilled it I think much is expected from him in the future.
“If these could be achieved in his first 100 days then you should expect that the life of his administration, which is four years, people of Nasarawa state are going to be happy with him at the end.
“In his first 100 days in office he has so far shown he is a man of his words and straight forward person by ensuring that all ongoing projects inherited by his predecessor are being completed”.
“In my opinion, he may be the best governor Nasarawa ever produced. I might not be right but I can say the governor’s activities are not getting enough media hype.
“His media handling is very poor compared to what is happening in Borno state, where you can see the governor showcasing his achievements. I think our governor has performed better than Prof Zulum of Borno state.
“But I believe even the worst critics will attest to the fact that the governor has done very well in his first 100 days and have achieved virtually 98 percent of his promises”.
Ubandoma advised the governor to put his ears on ground, listen, and allow people to give him directions. He urged all citizens to be patient with the administration and allow it to settle down.
“We must take note of the fact that things are not like before and there are so many things that the governor needs to be conversant with. We should allow the governor to know the nitty-gritty of governance after we can properly assess his performance.
Also speaking, a retired civil servant Alhaji Gambo Mu’azu Dan-Gogo, expressed optimism that the government of Engr Abdullahi Sule would initiate viable programmes towards addressing youth restiveness, thuggery and idleness among the youth and women in order to move the state forward.
He explained that what the governor did less than 100 days the residents had also attested to that.
”In fact, I have never seen a governor like Sule in the history of Nasarawa state. This man means business, and is ready to provide good governance. He has kept civil servants on their toes with his many unscheduled visits to ministries and parastatals.
“Again thousands of persons, whose pensions and gratuity were withheld for years, have been paid 100 percent as against the percentage payment by the previous government”.
He like others called on the people of the state to support the new administration to enable it to serve them even better it is currently doing.