Unveiling Nasir Idris’ developmental scorecard one year as Kebbi governor

By Haruna Usman, Birnin Kebbi

As both the federal and some state governments including Kebbi State took stock of their administration’s claimed accomplishment within the last one year, Governor Nasir Idris has resolved to replicate his first year achievements, if not more, in the second year.

Already, the state government has identified some critical infrastructure and human resources development projects and programmes that will equitably be spread for gradual execution in the second year of his administration.

The state commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Alhaji Abubakar Umar Dutsinmari, was quoted saying that the idea of equitable distribution of infrastructure was part of the governor’s determination to change the narrative of development in the state, particularly the state capital which suffered unjustifiable neglect over the years and being referred to a glorified local government headquarters.

Although the governor’s one-year achievements in projects execution, which he always maintained are absolutely necessary, verifiable and cost effective have adequately been publicized. Lets reflect on some prominent ones for the purposes of this analysis.

The expansion and dualisation of the major roads in the state capital including the longest Sani Abacha bye-pass with the provision of standard solar powered streetlights and redesigned beautiful roundabouts befitting its status has been achieved. Another milestone accomplishments was the completion of multi-billion naira state secretariat complex abandoned for nine years but now at completion stage.

Similarly, no one needs to be told that structures and facilities of strategic government institutions such as the Government House, lodges and central motor park and were not only outdated but also remain in a state of dilapidation for years before their reconstruction and comprehensive overhauled.

Payment of accumulated pension, gratuity and death benefits to the retired civil servants and families of the deceased in addition to payment of leave grant allowances to the hardworking civil servants have been acknowledged, appreciated and commended.

Also worthy of note was the provision of operational vehicles to all the security agencies including vigilante groups, members of the state executive council and State House of Assembly have facilitated their respective public assignments in providing adequate security and monitoring implementation of government developmental programmes, to mention a few.

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Conscious of the inadequate infrastructure in all sectors of development and his pledges to the people, the Governor identified and selected some critical infrastructure and human resources development programmes in each sector which he believed can turn around the socioeconomic and political fortunes of the state for gradual execution.

Although critics of the government, most of them from the opposition party have been critical on the alleged inflated cost of the projects, Governor Nasir maintained that his administration is judicious in utilisation of funds and transparent in governance and should be subjected to verification and not baseless allegations with clear elements of envy.

As the state government fine tunes its effective projects execution strategies for the second year, it has been observed that community leaders and interests groups in different parts of the state are believed to be compiling their preferred projects which might have not been captured in the government developmental programmes for submission to the Governor for consideration. Some of the community spearheading the submission of the preferred projects were reported to have revealed that they were encouraged and motivated to make the move by the laudable and qualitative projects executed by the Governor within a short period.

Among the drastic but beneficial policy review to be carried out with effect from the second year includes stoppage of foreign scholarship award to the children of elites with the capacity of sponsorship.

Governor Nasir was said to have expressed annoyance on his discovery that only the children of the elites were being considered for foreign scholarship to study irrelevant courses at the expense of those of the less privilege believed to be even more qualified for admission in such institutions. He therefore resolved that henceforth children of the elites will no longer be considered for government foreign scholarship while qualified children of the less privilege will be considered for scholarship to study only medical related courses.

On the health sector, the state government was said to have also discovered that salary disparity is the major factor responsible for the exodus of medical Doctors serving under the state government to the federal medical centres across the country. Accordingly, Governor Nasir Kaura has approved the increase of the salary of the Doctors to be the same with that of their counterparts in the federal medical centres.

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To ensure effective health care delivery services throughout the state beginning from the second year, the government has concluded arrangement for upgrading the General Hospitals in Argungu, Yauri, Zuru and Bagudo to referral Hospitals with the provision of standard and adequate facilities as well as trained and qualified personnel.

Another one will also be established either in Maiyama or Jega for the people of the catchment areas. It is envisaged that with a well-equipped Hospitals the era of referring patients from different parts of the state to Federal medical centres will be over.

Now that the State capital has gotten its fair share of township roads rehabilitation and expansion, in addition to other standard infrastructure, the state government has worked out arrangement for the construction of five kilometres roads at the headquarters of each local government with standard solar powered streetlights similar to the type provided in Birnin Kebbi. However, the project which has already been flagged up in Yauri, will start with the emirate headquarters after the commencement of the reconstruction of Koko-Zuru road expected in the next three weeks,having gotten the approval of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

A major reform of the state civil service was said to be on the pipeline, expected to start with the review on the procedure for appointment of permanent Secretaries. Comrade Governor was reported to have discovered appointment of permanent Secretaries was being done with total disregard to justice, equity and experiences. While some local government have between three and more permanent Secretaries others don’t have one and not that there is no qualified and experienced person. He resolved that henceforth, appointment of permanent Secretaries must be based on experience and equity and every local government must have a permanent Secretary.

On employment creation, he stated that the government has concluded arrangement for the establishment of nine Skills acquisition centres for the youths and unemployed, one in each emirate headquarters while the remaining at the zonal centers. Adequate facilities and training for different small-scale businesses will be provided. Monthly stipends will be paid to the trainees and on graduation, they will be given take up grant to establish their own business in the respective field they were trained.

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In view of its multiple socioeconomic importance, the state government is still on the process of producing a holistic and result oriented agricultural development programme that will cover all the farming seasons and categories of farmers in all farm produce. It is expected to be unfolded before the full commencement of the wet season.

While the government was concluding preparations for the commencement of the gradual execution of its planned developmental programmes, some community leaders and interests groups from all parts of the state have been reported to have compiled their different choices of priority projects based on their immediate needs for submission to the Governor and request for possible adjustments or reconciliation as it concerned their areas.

Alhaji Abubakar Dutsinmari the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs said government has its priorities based on its understanding of the peculiarity of the prevailing challenges. He however added that if the communities eventually come forward ” Kauran Gwandu operates People’s oriented administration and is open to advise and meaningful contributions. They are better and more patriotic than some mischief markers, envious of the visible achievements recorded by the Governor Comrade ”

However, Almustapha Haruna who slammed the governor’s critics   challenged them to come up with half of what Idris achieved, “Am not a politician but a public analyst with no business with government but I am excited and attracted by his rapid progress, that does not means I will be silent in face of injustice or under development” he said.

He added that, their primary responsibility is to hold political leaders accountable in good or bad hence our reason to approach his commissioner to give us what his governor did which helped us arrive at our analysis of his government.

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