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Month: May 2020

GOV SULE DONATES 20 MILLION NAIRA TOWARDS ESTABLISHING FACULTY OF ENGINEERING AT NSUK

His Excellency, Engr. Abdullahi A Sule, Executive Governor of Nasarawa state has made a personal donation of 20 million Naira for the establishment of a Faculty of Engineering at the Nasarawa State University Keffi (NSUK).

Engr. Sule revealed this today in his speech at the stakeholders meeting of the institution.

The Governor said, as an Engineer who opened a faculty of engineering, he deemed it wise to make his personal donation of 20 million Naira towards that cause.

He applauded all the previous administrations in the state for their great contributions for the development of the university, stressing that the institution is today one of the best among its contemporaries.

The governor equally appreciated the commitment and doggedness of the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Muhammad Bala, his predecessors, the university’s Chancellor and staff as well as the management of the institution.

Engr. Sule also thanked General TY Danjuma and other spirited and patriotic Nigerians for their great contributions towards the development of the Institution.

The Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Muhammad Bala, thanked Governor Abdullahi Sule for his great love and assistance towards the growth and development of the institution, praying God to continue to guide him in the discharge of the mandate given to him.

Engineer Sule lays foundation for FULAFIA senate building, commissions projects

Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, has laid the foundation stone for the construction of the senate building at the Federal University Lafia, as part of activities marking the scheduled combined convocation ceremony of the institution.

Engineer Sule, at a brief ceremony on Friday, also commissioned a newly constructed gatehouse at the entrance of the university, a road linking all the campuses of the institution, a bridge and a solar street light.

Commissioning the projects, the Governor commended his predecessor, Senator Umaru Tanko Al-makura for personally ensuring the smooth take-off and subsequent development of the university.

He expressed satisfaction that Senator Al-makura’s effort is being recognized as he is billed to receive an honorary doctorate degree from the institution on Saturday.

Engineer Sule, equally commended the Vice Chancellor of the university, Professor Muhammad Sanusi Liman, among others, for bringing much desired development to the institution.

Earlier, in a welcome remarks, Registrar of the university, Dr. Abubakar Mamuda, disclosed that already, the Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), Professor Elias Bogoro and the Emir of Lafia, HRH, Justice Sidi Bage (rtd) commissioned a multipurpose lecture hall, multipurpose research institute and medical college respectively.

ENGINEER SULE APPEALS TO SECURITY AGENTS TO ENFORCE INTERSTATE LOCKDOWN…

With three citizens of the state returning from high risk areas testing positive to coronavirus, Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, has appealed to security agents in the country, to ensure they enforce the interstate lockdown.

Engineer Sule made the appeal on Thursday at the Government House, while briefing the press on the activities of his administration to control and contain further spread of the pandemic.

The two new positive cases are females that returned recently to the state from Lagos but were quarantined.

The Governor pointed out that no matter what decisions and steps the state government took, towards protecting the citizens of the state against COVID-19, it still rest with the security agents to enforce such decisions.

Engineer Sule equally appealed to the people of the state to cooperate with government by identifying and reporting returnees from high risk areas, who may have beaten all the checkpoints to return to the state, so they can be isolated.

He said this has become necessary in order for the government to protect the rest of the state from further infection.

Updating the people of the state on the pandemic, Engineer Sule expressed concern that the state has yet again recorded two more positive cases, making a total of three COVID-19 positive cases.

The Governor disclosed that 40 returnees were quarantined at the state owned Isa Mustapha Polytechnic Lafia, having returned home from identified high risk areas.

He added that during the process of quarantining the returnees, government has to ensure samples of the returnees were tested, following which 12 samples were taken, out of which 2 returned positive.

Engineer Sule said the two new positive cases have since been moved from the quarantine centre back to isolation centre at the Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital, where the index case is under isolation.

He explained that the remaining 38 people, out of which 10 already tested negative, will remain quarantined while government monitors them, adding that already 11 other contacts traced to the index case, have also been isolated at the DASH, their samples taken, with the results being awaited.

“I want to use the opportunity once more, to appeal to the people of Nasarawa State to understand the dangers of this pandemic and to cooperate with government when it comes to isolating those returning from high risk states,” the Governor stated.

While showing appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari for enforcing the interstate lockdown, Engineer Sule, used the opportunity to express further appreciation to traditional rulers in the state, who have been up and doing, when it comes to the identifying these returnees, as well as the various stakeholders who have worked in one way or the other.

He equally commended the media, that have continued to spread the decisions taken by government and the steps that his administration are taking to protect the state.

The Governor further disclosed that he had earlier met with members of the officials of NURTW, tricycle and motorcycle associations, where he sought their cooperation and understanding towards measures being put in place by government to combat the further spread of coronavirus.

Engineer Sule then called on various stakeholders in the state to join hands with the government in order to deliver a COVID-19 free state.

COVID-19: Nasarawa traces 74 contacts linked to late lawmaker

Nasarawa State Government said it has traced 74 contacts directly linked with the late Hon. Adamu Suleiman Ibrahim (Nasarawa Central, APC), who died from complications related to coronavirus.

Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, disclosed this in an opening remarks during an expanded meeting to review measures put in place to control and contain the further spread of COVID-19, at the Government House, on Tuesday.

Engineer Sule revealed that urgent steps were taken to track and identify all those who had direct contact with the deceased, especially from his hometown of Nasarawa, including his immediate family members and all those that participated in the lawmaker’s burial rites.

According to the Governor, the number of the contacts traced however does not include those of his colleagues or associates at the state assembly, but that work is still ongoing to trace additional contacts who may have links to the 74 direct contacts.

“Our team is currently in Nasarawa taking samples of all the members of his family. The 74 contacts are all in Nasarawa and has nothing to do with the contacts he had at the assembly,” he stated.

He explained further that out of that number, samples from 10, who are considered high risk, were taken for test.

Engineer Sule added that the House of Assembly has been fumigated as preventive measure.

He stated that Keffi has been added to high risk areas because of the number of positive cases isolated at the FMC Keffi, stressing that the decision was also taken to designate Keffi high risk area because health workers may have come in contact with the deceased.

Updating stakeholders at the meeting, Engineer Sule said the state has recorded 12 positive cases, from the previous 11, following the report of another positive case of an NCDC driver working in Abuja but residing in Ado.

He gave a break down of the cases as follows: Lafia, 2, Obi, 4, Keffi, 4 and Karu 1.

Engineer Sule expressed satisfaction that all the precautionary gears ordered by the state government have arrived Lafia, the state capital. These include, 50, 000 imported face masks, 50, 000 face masks bought locally from the NYSC, additional 30, 000 face masks donated by the Kenyang Mining Company, 6000 Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), as well as four monitors donated by Access Bank.

Commenting on the state’s isolation and holding centres, the Governor said so far, there are 10 separate rooms where the infected patients are receiving treatment, with additional 100-bed capacity isolation centre fully equipped.

He added that at the Shabu isolation centre, 96 beds have been fixed and ready for use, while at the FMC Keffi, there is a 10-bed isolation centre for the infected.

On the holding centres, where returnees are being quarantined, Engineer Sule disclosed further that the NYSC Camp in Keffi is currently being turned in a holding centre, just like the Isa Mustapha Awai Polytechnic, which can hold 100 persons.

He added that a section of the College of Education Akwanga will also be turned into a holding centre for 60 persons, with the Akwanga General Hospital has an isolation centre for 8. Also, in Karu, there is a 25-bed isolation centre.

The Governor also used the opportunity to clear the air regarding the over 100 Almajirai returned to Taraba State, adding that the Taraba State Government has intervened and accepted the returning Almajirai.

“I want to use this opportunity to show great appreciation to the Governor and his Deputy, for accepting the over 100 Almajiri in Taraba,” he stated.

The Governor equally used the opportunity to show appreciation to traditional rulers in the state, members of the state executive council, who have worked so hard to ensure that the Almajiri were evacuated, with so far 788 of such returned to their states of origin.

Engineer Sule further announced that the palliatives from the Federal Government, comprising of rice, potatoes and vegetable oil have arrived the state, just as he reaffirmed that the 40 trucks earlier donated by COCAVID will arrive the state next week, delayed mostly due to difficulties loading the food items.

“Since the Chairmen are here, we will also discuss during this meeting about the distribution, so that people who are facing some measure of hardships, will begin to receive these food items, because this is the moment they will require these foods” the Governor stated.

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COVID-19: NASARAWA IN AGGRESSIVE CONTACT TRACING OF COVID-19 VICTIMS

The Nasarawa State government said its aggressively tracing contacts of the lawmaker who died as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Governor Abdullahi A. Sule stated this during the expanded COVID-19 meeting held at Government House Lafia on Tuesday.

He maintained
that the meeting was targeted at reviewing the restrictions and situations in the state as it concerns government proclamations and the COVID-19 position in the state.

Governor Sule who said as at yesterday had eleven cases with one death added that a new positive case has surfaced in Ado, Karu Local Government.

The Governor continued “the victim delivers samples for NCDC and in the process contacted the pandemic as his test result was released and found to be positive bringing our total number of confirmed cases to twelve”.

“Seven of the cases are in Lafia while four of the active cases are in Federal Medical Centre Keffi where they are receiving treatment”. Governor further stated.

While speaking on the contacts of the deceased lawmaker, Governor Sule said so far seventy four people has ahd contact with the deceased in Nasarawa alone apart from the members of the state assembly and other contacts in the house of assembly.

He added that samples of the high risk contacts of the deceased have so far been taken and the family members are part of the samples taken for testing.

“Nasarawa State House Assembly has been fully fumigated” said the Governor.
On palliatives, Governor Sule said materials awaited which include 50,000 imported face masks, 30,000 face masks from Kenyang Mining Company, four trucks of food items from the federal government have all arrived in the state.

“Another set of 50,000 face masks ordered from the NYSC in the, 40 trucks of CACOVID food palliatives are on the way” the Governor stressed.

The state has also taken delivery of 6,000 Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs).

On the issue of isolation centres in the state, the state has provided ten separate rooms and another 100 bed capacity in Dash while at Shabu the Government has a 200 bed capacity isolation Centre and both are fully active as the federal medical center Keffi has a 10 bed capacity isolation Centre where the there are about four active cases receiving treatment.

“The state polytechnic and NYSC camp in Keffi are all set to be holding centres while College Of Education Akwanga is to serve as holding and isolation centres. Another center is established in Mararaba area of Karu” said Governor Sule.

Meanwhile, Almajiris from Bauchi have arrived the state and the process of reuniting them with their families have began with observation of the Children.

“All the close to 1000 Almajiris repatriated to 5 states of Jigawa, Kaduna, Gombe, Taraba and Plateau and they have all been received in their various states” The Governor further maintained.

*NASARAWA STATE TASK-FORCE ON COVID-19* *HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MEETING OF HIGH POWERED COMMITTEE*

1. Establishment of emergency Operation Centres with dedicated medical secretariat for Management of patients;

2. Local Government Chairmen have been directed to identify schools in their localities to serve as holding centres in order to reduce congestion of the State holding Centre at the State polytechnic, Lafia;

3. Rehabilitation of NYSC Orientation Camp, Keffi to serve as holding cetnre for Keffi and Karu;

4. Establishment of holding center of the 3 zones of the State i.e. Lafia, Akwanga and Keffi in addition to the existing centres in DASH, FMC and Keffi;

5. Training of staff of the FMC and other health personnel in the LGAs for rapid response;

6. Training of PHC personnel from all the LGAs;
7. Sustenance of sensitization and advocacy for awareness creation;

8. Intensive contact tracing of people;

9. Upkeep of isolated individuals;

10. Mass distribution of face-mask to commence immediately;

11. To sustain enforcement of control measures by the security agencies; and

12. To intensify the enforcement of the ban on motorcycles and tri-cycles in the State.

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Rural Roads and Security: Gov Sule Walking the Road Less Traveled

Nasarawa State, created alongside six others on October 1st, 1996 has had a tortuous ride indeed. The state is known as the home of solid minerals because of the huge mineral deposits wasting away in its bosom or sometimes mined with impunity by orientals, however, the states Economic mainstay is unarguably, Agriculture.

This sector makes up over 80% of the means of livelihood of the people of Nasarawa State. From the Yam hips in Asakyo, to the mountains of Melon and sesame bags in Mararaba Udege, Nasarawa and Keffi; everywhere in the state, it is very hard to overlook the industry of the proud people of Nasarawa. Favoured by nature, there is almost nothing that the people of the state can not grow. With a land mass that is more than thrice its human population, it is shocking to imagine that past leaders didn’t see the need to develop the rural areas and trade.

This is because, Agriculture in Nigeria is known to be a rural area business chiefly run by rural folks, many of whom abandon their villages for a whole year, to seek fertile farms lands deep in the wilds, all in a bid to make a living off the craft of their fathers. To the industrious villagers, this sacrifice is made for the survival of their immediate families in particular, and the community in general, for in Nasarawa state, food is considered the right of every one whether they could produce it themselves or not. Unknown to the people however, their industry benefits the state even more than it benefits them as Agriculture accounts for a very large chunk of the states Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).

Unfortunately, successive governments in Nasarawa state have treated the village people with disdain to the surprise of many. From Education to Health Care and road infrastructure to security, rural areas have been left in coma since the return of democracy in 1999. Those of us who had had a stint in the villages in the 90’s will agree that there was more government presence then compared to now, and that is regrettable; to say the least.

Despite the neglect since 1999, the people have tended their farms with the zeal it deserves until all hell broke lose, beginning from 2011 or so when killer herdsmen took over their farms, burning what their animals could not eat and leaving corpses in their wake. Brandishing sophisticated weapons, the ordinary farmers were no match for them. Policing the thickets was a herculean task because of the lack of roads, reducing security response time to forever. The only option left for the farmers then, was to abandon their farms and with it, their means of livelihood.

Unfortunately, even this sacrifice proved inadequate as the now emboldened herdsmen formed an alliance with misguided youths, products of the domino effect of government neglect; to mainstream a new era of criminality in the form of daring kidnappings for ransom that most times proved fatal and even daylight robberies. Many petitions were sent to the erstwhile governor, Tanko Al-makura, but little or nothing was done besides the alleged release of criminals apprehended by the people, giving them a free pass to return and continue to wreak havoc.

However, where the failed approaches or inertia of the past government reduced the people to hopeless and defenceless targets that are picked up at will by criminal elements, the proactive approaches and positive posturing of His excellency, Governor AA Sule is rekindling their hope and enthusiasm.

For instance, insider sources reported that, in a meeting with stakeholders which also had the first executive governor of the state and a current Senator serving his third term, Abdullahi Adamu in attendance, it was Governor AA Sule who insisted that the security of the general Nasarawa Local Government Area (in Abdullahi Adamu’s constituency) which has become one of the most volatile areas in the state, should take priority. That passionate showing is what has now led to the establishment of two Military Super Camps in Kenyehu of Toto LGA and Mararaban Udege in Nasarawa LGA.

Only recently, Gov AA Sule presented three brand new Hillux vans, 15 motorcycles among other necessary equipment including Radios, Mobile Handsets etc. to the Military to help in the smooth running of the camps. Aside from committing whooping amounts to the construction of observation posts, perimeter excavation, installation of solar powered lamps as well as 5 brand new generating sets to ensure power supply to the camps, the Governor also approved a monthly running cost fund of 10 million Naira for the camps. This practical show of leadership is unprecedented as far as the state is concerned!

Beyond security however, the governor has commenced the process of delivering road infrastructure to rural areas. The first time in more than 16 years. You will have to go back to 2003 or so, during the reign of Abdullahi Adamu to find any attempt at rural roads development. The focus of the Al-makura led government was urban beautification, concentrated around Lafia – the state capital and Kwandare, with a few kilometre stretches approved for other so called towns in Nasarawa state. However, in one fell swoop, Engineer Sule is constructing six rural roads in what is a phased exercise. The roads, in this first phase are: Shabu – Doka – Arugba – Lakio road; Agwade – Ashupe – Atabula – Obi road; Kagbu A – Atsako – Wana road; Kanje – Abuni road; Mararaban – Udege road; Sisin baki – Farin ruwa road; and the completion of Shinge BAD road.

The decision of the governor to invest in security and roads, especially those selected for construction in this first phase reflect his desire to truly harness the potential that abound in Agriculture and tourism, and use it to reduce the state’s over dependence on monthly allocations from the federal government, specifically since the nation is facing acute paucity of funds occasioned by the impact of COVID-19 on the global economy. But, more than anything, investing in rural development and by extension, Agriculture makes lots of economic sense as it positions the state to benefit from many Federal Government interventions in the area.

I am, naturally a sceptic. However, I have seen enough from these initiatives to know that Engineer Sule means well for the state, if only he can stay focused and avoid the deification advances of sycophants who have derailed what could have been very laudable projects of past governors.

Ismaila Y Kana Onzonu writes in from Biu, Borno state.