REMARKS DELIVERED BY HIS EXCELLENCY, UMARU TANKO AL-MAKURA, GOVERNOR OF NASARAWA STATE ON THE OCCASION OF INTEGRITY AND SERVICE DINNER-AWARD NITE IN HONOUR OF HIS EXCELLENCY, PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI, GCFR, ORGANIZED BY THE NTA INTEGRITY AND SERVICE COMPENDIUM, ABUJA: TUESDAY, 13TH FEBRUARY, 2018

1. His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria;

2. His Excellency, the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria;

3. The Senate President, Federal Republic of Nigeria;

4. The Speaker, House of Representatives;

5. Chief Justice of the Federal Republic of Nigeria;

6. Your Excellences, my colleagues the Governors here present;

7. Members of the National Assembly here present;

8. Members of the Federal Executive Council here present;

9. Secretary to the Government of the Federation;

10. Head of the Civil Service of the Federation;

11. Other Top Government Functionaries from Federal and State Governments here present;

12. Their Royal Highnesses, Emirs and Chiefs here present;

13. The Director-General, National Television Authority (NTA);

14. My Fellow Awardees;

15. Gentlemen of the Press;

16. Ladies and Gentlemen.

It is with gratitude to God the Almighty that we are here today on the occasion of the Integrity and Service Dinner-Award Nite in honour of our Role Model, our Benefactor, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, taking place here in Abuja.

2. I consider it a rare privilege to be among the recipients of this Award Nite. Indeed, this honour done to me is an indication that the modest effort of our Government to better the lives of the citizens of Nasarawa State is adding value in the socio-economic transformation of our dear country.

3. Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, it is pertinent to state that Nasarawa State has been a privileged child of providence and hope since 2011 when we assumed office on the platform of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC). This is because, as it would be recalled, as the only CPC-controlled Government, we had no template for governance to fall back to in terms of guidance with near-absence of basic infrastructure and a huge debt burden. Situation was made worse, our Administration was exposed to avoidable and senseless threats of communal crisis impeachment by the State Assembly which was hitherto dominated by the opposition party. Let me, however, state that we refused to be distracted because we had a father; a harbinger of hope; a detribalized Nigerian and a principled personality who personifies integrity, social justice, respect for rule of law, honesty and, above all, fear of God and patriotism to our fatherland. He is President Muhammadu Buhari. As the then leader of CPC, he was not only our reference point at these trying times, but also serve as the pivot and springboard that made it possible to contend, overcome and surmount the situation. Now we can see that has changed from hitherto rural state to a more cosmopolitan society. Given that situation, I can say with all modesty that we assumed the position of Buhariís Political Laboratory.

4. Your Excellences, distinguished personalities at this occasion, I need to emphasize that the most important qualities and administrative policies we imbibed from our revered President Muhammdu Buhari which has become our guiding philosophy and focus in governance are the principles of accountability, transparency, probity and prudent management of State resources. These were the hallmark of our achievement in the provision of both physical and social infrastructure in addition to inclusive governance which provided platform for equal opportunity hence our Youth Empowerment Scheme and Social Safety in poverty alleviation intervention for women, the vulnerable and the disabled.

5. Your Excellences, our hope in this regard is to in line with the diversification policy of the federal government, provide opportunities for industrial revolution in Nasarawa State, considering the fact that we are blessed with both human and natural resources, including availability land not only for cultivation of both staple and cash crops that will create agricultural value chain addition to the FCT make the already planned 13,000 hectares available as home to all Nigerians but also as neighbouring and contingent states. This, by extension, is a lee way to economic prosperity of Nasarawa State in particular and Nigeria at large. In this regard, we will continue to create synergy with the Federal Government to achieve the populist ideals of Buhari Administration.

6. At this juncture, let me once again express my profound appreciation for finding me worthy of this Award. At the same time, I thank you for giving me this Award during an event specially organized to honour His Excellency, our amiable President Muhammadu Buhari as he celebrates his 75th birthday.

7. Once again thank you for this recognition and historic honour done to me and the good people of Nasarawa State which I represent.

8. Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Happy Birthday to our President.