Dr. Emmanuel Agbadu Akabe
Deputy Governor, Nasarawa State
[ngg src=”galleries” ids=”22″ display=”basic_thumbnail” thumbnail_crop=”0″]1. The Right Honourable Speaker;
2. Principal Officers and Honourable Members of Nasarawa State House of Assembly;
3. Members of the State Executive Council here Present;
4. The Secretary to the Government of Nasarawa State;
5. Special Advisers here Present;
6. Permanent Secretaries here Present;
7. Members of the Press;
8. Ladies and Gentlemen.
I have the pleasure to welcome you all to the signing into Law of the reversed budget of the 2020 Appropriation Bill.
2. It would be recalled that I signed into Law the 2020 Fiscal Appropriation document on Monday, 30th December, 2019 of One Hundred and Eight Billion, Four Hundred and Forty-four Million Eight Hundred and Five Thousand, Six Hundred and Fourteen Naira (N108,444,805,614.00) only. We started the implementation of that law on 1st January, 2020 as a responsive Government in accordance with the provision of the law, which stipulates that the accounting year shall begin from 1st January to 31st December, 2020. This is the first time that Nasarawa State Government began the execution of its fiscal policy strategy on the day it was supposed to begin.
3. It is important to note that, in the process of implementing the 2020 Appropriation Law, the world witness the sudden upsurge of a novel pandemic of Coronavirus tagged Covid-19 which is still ravaging the global economic system. The virus has shutdown global economic activities rendering capital markets ineffective for income generation and purposeful development. However, we remained committed and focused on our determination to provide good governance based on reality that is anchored on the principles of transparency and accountability to our dear State. This we belief is geared towards uplifting the living standard of our people and transforming the State into a viable socio-economic and prosperous entity.
4. It was based on these realities that it became imperative to present another Appropriation Bill to our esteemed House of Assembly within the mid-year of 2020. The revised version of the 2020 Budget is in line with the reality of the expected income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The House of Assembly deliberated on the revised fiscal document and passed same into Law on Thursday, 23rd July, 2020. This is a demonstration of our collective commitment to the development of our dear State.
5. Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, ladies and gentlemen, we are all witnesses of the ravaging nature of this pandemic. However, this Administration has made significant landmarks in the control and containment of the spread of the virus in the State. I am happy with the manner in which our medical personnel are demonstrating their professionalism in containing the disease, as well as handling those infected. No amount of money can actually pay for the sacrifices they are rendering in this regard.
6. In this connection, Isolation Centers have been provided by Government in most parts of the State for quick and easy access to those infected. We will continue to provide welfare to the health personnel within the limited resources at Government disposal in order to spur them, as well as to show Government’s appreciation for the enormous sacrifices.
7. In the same vein, medical equipment have been provided in these Isolation Centers and we shall continue to provide more as our resources can afford. This was the major reason why Governments in most part of the world have reversed their budgets and Nasarawa State cannot be left out.
8. In spite of the negative trends of the economy, we are committed to ensure total development of our dear State, hence, the provision of basic infrastructure that have direct bearing in the lives of our people. Some major roads construction have started such as Mararaba – Udege Road, Sisinbaki – Farin Ruwa road, Bus Terminals at Lafia and Karu, and other Feeder Roads within the State. This Administration shall ensure the completion of all viable projects started by the previous Administration such as the Cargo Airport at Lafia, Lafia – Keffi Road, Adudu – Azara – Wuse – Plateau Border Road amongst others. We want to re-emphasize that, we shall not neglect the remaining Lafia Township Roads and other Urban Roads in the State. We shall continue to uplift the health facilities in the State and also elevate infrastructure in the education sector.
9. Let me reiterate that, in consonance with the reality of our current financial position, Government will be strict in expenditure control to ensure efficiency in spending and accountability. I want to believe that the Bureau for Public Procurement has put in place mechanism for effective monitoring of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to strictly comply with budgetary provisions and fiscal control.
Parameters and Basic Assumptions of the 2020 Amended Budget
10. Mr. Speaker and the Honourable Members, I am aware that the State Budget Preparation Committee met severally to brainstorm on the reality of the effect of COVID-19 on the general income to the State. Therefore, in reversing the 2020 budget, they were guided by the Macro-fiscal and Mineral Sector Assumptions as projected by the Federal Government when making submission of the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) to the National Assembly, as well as the trend in the global capital market. Our assumptions are essentially dependent on the Federal Government Fiscal Strategy Paper, since the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is the major source of revenue to the State. The following, therefore, are our assumptions:
i. Crude Oil Price
In the original approved budget, the State’s assumption for crude oil price was $57 per barrel. However, in the revised budget, crude oil price is $20 per barrel. This crash was caused by the Coronavirus.
ii. Oil Production
Following the low oil price in the global market, Nigeria cuts its oil production from 2.2 million barrel per day to 1.7 million barrel per day. This means Nigeria will earn less.
iii. Exchange Rate
Exchange Rate of US$305 was projected in the original budget but Government has reviewed the rate upward to $360 to reflect the current economic realities.
iv. GDP Growth Rate
In the original approved budget, the GDP Growth Rate was 2.98%. However, in the revised budget it was projected at -4.42%. This negative GDP growth rate is influenced by the larger than expected storms to global value chains due to the Coronavirus, affecting global demand for goods and services.
v. Inflation Rates
Inflation Rate has been revised from 10.80% in the original budget to 14.13% in the revised budget. This increase in inflation rate is based on the April 2020 Consumer Price Index (CPI) Report recently released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) for activities in March 2020.
11. On the basis of these assumptions, aggregate revenue is projected at Sixty One Billion, Seventy Four Million, One Hundred and Eight Thousand, Eight Hundred and Eight Naira (N61,074,108,808), while the expenditure outlay is estimated at Sixty Two Billion, Nine Hundred and Sixty Eight Million, Three Hundred and Forty Eight Thousand, One Hundred and Thirty Eight Naira (N62,968,348,138) only. The deficit of N2.505 billion is expected to be financed through internal and external borrowings.
12. Accordingly, the 2020 Amended Appropriation Law is Sixty Two Billion, Nine Hundred and Sixty Eight Million, Three Hundred and Forty Eight Thousand, One Hundred and Thirty Eight Naira (N62,968,348,138) only which translates into the total expenditure outlay.
13. This shows that the original 2020 budget of the State was reduced by 41.94%, that is, from N108,444,805,614 to N62,968,348,138. The details of these figures are contained in the estimate’s document.
14. In keeping faith with our original plan, we still christened the Revised Budget as “Amended Budget of Inclusive Development”. This is in line with the present Administration’s philosophy anchored on transparency, accountability, prudence and inclusiveness in the discharge of its responsibilities to the good people of Nasarawa State.
15. The COVID-19 pandemic has escalated the Nasarawa State expenditure requirements. This is reflected in two ways; first is the need for the State to implement an expansionary fiscal policy, to recharge the economy, and second is the reallocation of expenditure to focus more on support to specific sectors such as health, providing welfare support to the vulnerable, and a shift to other priority and high impact projects that are driven primarily by economic rationale and not political expediency.
16. The total recurrent budget decreased by 37.78%, that is, from N58,670,129,609 to N36,502,715,764 only.
17. In selecting the capital projects as COVID-19 response expenditure, Government first and foremost identified the challenges arising from COVID-19 and developed clear plans, objectives and strategic options for responding to the challenges that will help the State to identify expenditure items for responding to COVID-19. Therefore, the Capital Expenditure of the State was reduced by 46.83% using the plans, objectives and strategic options to select the projects. The original capital budget was N49,774,676,004 but reduced to N26,465,632,374 in the Revised Budget.
COVID-19 Responsive Expenditures
18. The COVID-19 responsive expenditure is very essential to Government. As stated earlier, the revision of the 2020 budget is in response to the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. In line with this, Government will ensure that COVID-19 responsive projects/programs are projects that meet the broad definition of COVID-19 response expenditures.
19. The unfolding health and economic crisis demand bold action, Government is therefore, poised to draw on practical support to rapidly scale up its healthcare system and its capacity to contain the likely escalation of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially, as it progresses to the most vulnerable areas, disrupting millions of people’s livelihoods, with a disproportionate impact on poor households and small and informal businesses.
20. Our Administration has developed a comprehensive blueprint, Nasarawa COVID-19 Economic Response for responding to the challenges of the Pandemic. The Revised 2020 Budget is aimed at allocating resources towards strategic Government objectives and strategic options provided in the blueprint. Government deliberately provided a COVID-19 responsive expenditure of 17.56% total expenditures in the Revised Budget. Some of the strategic areas covered in the 2020 Amended Budget are as follows:
• Payment of hazard allowance to health workers and other response activities.
• Increasing hospital beds, quarantine/isolation facilities, equipment and consumables.
• Improved agricultural productivity to increase source of income for our citizens.
• Provision of access to food producing areas to access health facilities and increase food distribution in the State.
• Provision of stimulus package/ loan/support to help our citizens navigate out of the crises.
21. In conclusion, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, there is no doubt that we are in a very trying times. I, therefore, appeal for the understanding of the people of Nasarawa State, as we continue to evolve measures to cushion the envisaged consequences of the situation.
22. Thank you and may God bless us all
[ngg src=”galleries” ids=”17″ display=”basic_thumbnail” thumbnail_crop=”0″]Speech Delivered by His Excellency, Engr. Abdullahi A. Sule, the Executive Governor of Nasarawa State on the Occasion of Distribution of COVID-19 Palliatives to Vulnerable People in the State, Lafia: Wednesday, 1st July, 2020
1. His Excellency, the Deputy Governor of Nasarawa State;
2. The Right Hon. Speaker, Nasarawa State House of Assembly;
3. The Hon. Chief Judge of Nasarawa State;
4. Principal Officers and Members of the State House of Assembly;
5. Members of the State Executive and Security Councils;
6. The Secretary to the Government of Nasarawa State;
7. The Head of the Civil Service;
8. Special Advisers;
9. The State Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC);
10. Permanent Secretaries;
11. His Royal Highness, Hon. Justice Sidi Bage Muhammad I JSC (Rtd) Emir of Lafia and Chairman, Nasarawa State Council of Chiefs;
12. Chairmen and Chief Executives of Commissions, Boards and Parastatals;
13. Executive Chairmen of Local Government Councils and Overseers of Development Areas;
14. Your Royal Highnesses, Emirs and Chiefs present;
15. Gentlemen of the Press;
16. Ladies and Gentlemen.
It is with a sense of responsibility that I address you today on the occasion of the second phase of the distribution of food items as palliatives to the vulnerable people across the thirteen (13) Local Government Areas of the State.
2. It would be recalled that Government procured twelve (12) trucks of rice in our commitment to cushion the plight of our people during the locked down period as a result of the need to control the spread of CCVID-19 in the State. You are also aware that the Olam Farms Ltd also donated one (1) truck of six hundred (600) bags of rice bringing the total to thirteen (13) trucks. These trucks were distributed to the vulnerable people across the thirteen (13) Local Government Areas of the State at the first instance.
3. The distribution was carried out by a special Committee of Honourable Commissioners, Special Advisers, Local Government Council Chairmen and other appointees of Government. Today’s event is in furtherance of our commitment to continue to provide succour to the vulnerable households and indeed, the poorest of the poor across the nooks and crannies of the State.
4. My dear people of Nasarawa State, you would also recall that the State Government recently received essential commodities worth thirty-five (35) trucks of different food items from Coalition of Private Organization (CA COVID-19), as part of its support to complement Government efforts in cushioning the effects of hunger in this period of COVID-19 pandemic.
5. I commend the Coalition of Private Organization (CA COVID-19) and other philanthropists for this humanitarian gesture, aimed at assisting the less-privileged and vulnerable groups in the society. Indeed, this gesture is worthy of commendation.
6. Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I need to state that these commodities will be shared across the one thousand, four hundred and ninety-five (1,495) polling units in the State. It is important to note that these food items are to be shared to the poorest of the poor who have no source of income to cater for their daily needs. In this wise, salary earners, businessmen and other privileged people are exempted from this intervention.
7. I need to state that Government has re-strengthened the palliatives distribution Committees at the Local Government, wards and polling unit levels to ensure transparency in the distribution of the palliatives. Accordingly, the State Steering Committee on COVID-19 will ensure strict supervision and keen monitoring of the distribution process. I need to put on notice that the Palliative Committee at all levels will be held accountable for any anomaly in the distribution of the palliatives.
8. I, therefore, charge you to justify the confidence Government reposed in you by ensuring transparency and fairness in the distribution of these palliatives which should be conducted irrespective of political consideration, religious affiliation and ethnic bias or any other form of sentiments. Above all, you must allow the fear of God to prevail in the course of carrying out your assigned responsibility.
9. Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, as you are aware, Government has continued to issue Proclamations in an effort to curb the spread of Coronavirus in the State. This is aimed at protecting the lives of our people against contracting the virus. As you may be aware, report from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), indicates that, Nasarawa State recorded over two hundred (200) cases. It therefore, becomes necessary on all and sundry to continue to comply with the preventive measures and Government directives in order to prevent further spread of the virus in the State.
10. Let me use this opportunity to thank individuals and organizations for their immense contributions towards the fight against the virus. I assure you that Government will continue to support and complement the effort of individuals and groups in turning around the fortunes of our dear State and the country at large.
11. At this juncture, let me express our profound appreciation to the people of Nasarawa State for your understanding and resilience in our collective commitment to control and contain the spread of the pandemic in the State.
12. On this note, it is now my pleasure to flag-off the distribution of food items to the vulnerable people across the thirteen (13) Local Government Areas of the State
13. Thank you and may God bless us all.
GOVERNMENT OF NASARAWA STATE
Address by His Excellency, Engr. Abdullahi A. Sule, the Executive Governor of Nasarawa State on the Occasion of the Foundation Laying /Flag-off of the Construction of Special Force Command Headquarters, Doma, Nasarawa State: Monday, 1st June, 2020
1. Your Excellencies and my Colleagues, Executive Governors here present;
2. His Excellency, the Deputy Governor of Nasarawa State;
3. The Right Honourable Speaker, Nasarawa State House of Assembly;
4. The Honourable Chief Judge, Nasarawa State;
5. Distinguished Senators and Members of the National Assembly here present;
6. The Honourable Minister of FCT, Alh. Muhammad Musa Bello;
7. The Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Yusuf Tukur Buratai;
8. Members of the State Executive and Security Councils;
9. The Secretary to the Government of Nasarawa State;
10. The Head of Civil Service;
11. Permanent Secretaries in the Service of Nasarawa State;
12. His Royal Highness, Hon. Justice Sidi Bage Muhammad I JSC (Rtd) Emir of Lafia and Chairman, Nasarawa State Council of Chiefs;
13. Your Royal Highnesses, Emirs and Chiefs from the North-Central States here present;
14. Your Royal Highnesses, Emirs and Chiefs, Nasarawa State;
15. Representatives of Security and Para-Military Agencies;
16. Gentlemen of the Press;
17. Ladies and Gentlemen.
I am highly delighted to address you today on the occasion of the Foundation Laying/Official flag-off of the Construction of Special Force Command Headquarters in Doma, Doma Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.
2. I warmly welcome Your Excellencies, the Executive Governors of Plateau, Benue and Kogi States who found time to be in our midst at this all-important event. Indeed, we are honoured by your esteemed presence. Let me specially welcome the Honourable Minister of the FCT, Muhammad Musa Bello to Nasarawa State to grace this event.
3. Similarly, I welcome the Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Yusuf Tukur Buratai and his entourage to Nasarawa State, whose auspices we are gathered to witness the foundation laying ceremony for the construction of the headquarters of the Special Force Command in Doma. Your presence in our midst today is a demonstration of our collective commitment to address security challenges not only in Nasarawa State, but the country at large. Indeed, this development is an indication that the North Central Zone, including Nasarawa State will soon join the league of States that experience peace and security in the country.
4. Let me express our profound appreciation to His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for graciously approving the construction of the Special Forces Command Headquarters in Doma. I wish to also appreciate Mr. President for the establishment of two (2) Super Camps at Mararaban-Udege and Kanyehu in Nasarawa and Toto Local Government Areas. Similarly, let me appreciate Mr. President for establishing Mobile Police Training School in Nasarawa Eggon and the siting of Airforce Command Base in the Lafia Cargo Airport for air surveillance within the North-Central Zone.
5. Your Excellencies, distinguished guests, as you are aware, Nasarawa State is located in the North-Central Geo-Political Zone alongside Benue, Kogi, Plateau, Kwara, Niger and the Federal capital Territory, Abuja, whose major occupation is farming. It is important to note that our soil has rich potentials with good climatic condition in which over 80% of our population engages in one agricultural activities or the other. The competition for scarce land between the farmers and herders in the zone has made it vulnerable to many security challenges ranging from communal crisis, clashes between herdsmen and farmers, kidnapping, banditry, cattle rustling, among other socio-economic security challenges in the zone. This, no doubt, has continued to threaten the fragile peace and security in our respective States with attendant effects on the security of the zone.
6. Consequently, successive Governments in the State took far-reaching measures, including reporting to Mr. President at various stages of the crisis in addition to the conduct of Joint Security Meetings in the zone with a view to resolving security challenges amicably, especially in our border areas in which resolutions were always reported to Mr. President for consideration.
7. Your Excellencies, distinguished guests, it has become imperative to come-up with holistic measures to address these plethora security challenges in order to avert the likely breakdown of the seemingly peaceful and harmonious co-existence among diverse ethnic nationalities, as well as maintenance of law and order in the society. To address this menace, the Federal Government has set-up different Military Operations in the zone. These include:
i. A Special Joint Military Operations which was codenamed Ayum Kpatuma or Cat Race with the operation headquarters in Nasarawa State to take care of the entire North-central zone.
ii. Operation Whirl Stroke Special Force, with its Command Headquarters in Makurdi, Benue State and operational bases in the States to address farmers herders conflict in the zone.
iii. Establishment of 123 Special Force Battalion in Doma. The Barrack, if fully completed, will serve as the headquarters of the Nigerian Army Special Forces Command which will assist in checkmating the menace of cattle rustling, banditry, kidnapping, farmers/herders clashes and other forms of criminalities in the zone.
iv. The establishment of two Military Super Camps at Mararaban-Udege in Nasarawa Local Government and Kanyehu in Toto Local Government Areas.
8. In furtherance to our commitment to complement the efforts of Nigerian Army in the fight against crime and criminality in the State, the State Government has constructed four (4) bedroom flat and boys’ quarters as Commander’s residence, as well as 5Nos. bedroom semi-detached for other Senior Officers. This is in addition to the provision of three (3) brand new Toyota Hilux Pick-up Vans; brand new motorcycles; Solar-powered boreholes; one hundred (100) 8spring mattresses; Generating sets, as well as provision of Perimeter Excavation round the two Camps.
9. I am happy to inform you that, in 2018, the Nasarawa State Government donated the sum of Two Hundred Million Naira (N200,000,000.00) only as part of its contribution to support the construction of this project. In addition, I have also approved the sum of Ten Million Naira (N10,000,000.00) only as monthly allocation for the sustenance of the two Super Camps.
10. Your Excellencies, distinguished guests, let me use this medium to appreciate the Chief of Army Staff for his doggedness and resilience in fighting insurgency in the North-east; farmers/herders conflict in the North-central and kidnapping & banditry in the North-west. To this end and as part of the measures to combat crime and criminality in the State, the Nasarawa State Government has signed the Kidnapping Act Prohibition Law; Community Volunteer Guard (Vigilante); Executive Order for the Implementation of the Child Right Law of Nasarawa State and Street Begging. All these measures are aimed at ensuring security and peaceful co-existence with the view to providing enabling environment for socio-economic activities to thrive.
11. At this juncture, let me once again express our profound appreciation to Mr. President for approving the establishment of the Special Forces Command Headquarters; Special Military Super Camps in Kanyehu and Udege-Mbeki in Toto and Nasarawa Local Government Areas. Let me also commend our Military Personnel for the untiring effort in the maintenance of peace and stability in the society. I urge you to sustain the tempo for the benefit of our people. I assure you of our continuous synergy in our collective determination to protect lives and property.
12. On this note, it is now my pleasure to flag-off the Construction Headquarters of Special Force Command in Doma, the headquarters of Doma Local Government Area of the State.
13. Thank you and may God bless us all.
[ngg src=”galleries” ids=”5″ display=”basic_thumbnail” thumbnail_crop=”0″]
1. His Excellency, the Deputy Governor of Nasarawa State;
2. The Right Hon. Speaker, Nasarawa State House of Assembly;
3. The Hon. Chief Judge of Nasarawa State;
4. Principal Officers and Members of the State House of Assembly;
5. Members of the State Security Council;
6. The Secretary to the Government of Nasarawa State;
7. The Head of the Civil Service;
8. Special Advisers;
9. The National Vice Chairman, North Central Geo-political Zone, All Progressives Congress (APC);
10. The State Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC);
11. Permanent Secretaries;
12. His Royal Highness, Hon. Justice Sidi Bage Muhammad II JSC (Rtd) Emir of Lafia and Chairman, Nasarawa State Council of Chiefs;
13. Chairmen and Chief Executives of Commissions, Boards and Parastatals;
14. Executive Chairmen of Local Government Councils and Overseers of Development Areas present;
15. Your Royal Highnesses, Emirs and Chiefs;
16. Gentlemen of the Press;
17. Ladies and Gentlemen.
It is with gratitude to Almighty God and a sense of fulfillment that I address you today on the occasion of the Flag-off Ceremony for the Construction of the Modern Bus Terminal in Lafia, the State capital.
2. You would recall that few months ago, I flagged-off the construction of Ultra-modern Bus Terminal in Karu Local Government Area of the State. During that occasion, I made a commitment to construct more bus terminals in the three senatorial zones of the State. It is for this reason that we are gathered here to witness the flag-off of the construction of the Lafia bus terminal.
3. It is important to stress that provision of infrastructural facilities is one of the veritable tools of enhancing development, particularly in the transport sector. It is also important to note that the transport sector, with adequate infrastructure is capable of spurring the socio-economic development of the society. It is in this connection that it becomes necessary to develop modern transport infrastructures which are considered necessary in order to unravel the potentials abound in the sector.
4. This and other reasons necessitated the need to put in place necessary infrastructural facilities for a well ordered city in order to enhance the desired developmental growth which will complement the status of the State capital.
5. Let me state that Lafia metropolis is faced with inadequate infrastructure with attendant increased cost of doing business which result in lower return in investments, fewer jobs and less productive labour with attendant negative effects on our economy. It is in this regard that Government is committed in providing infrastructural development towards improving the living standard of the people, as well as creating job opportunities for socio-economic development.
6. Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, it is in this premise that this Administration considers it necessary to construct Megacity Terminals in Karu and Lafia. Accordingly, arrangement has been concluded to construct two other terminals of lesser status at Akwanga and Keffi respectively. This development is critical to the success of the mass transit service delivery, as every terminal will promote good culture of passengers embarking on a journey and arriving at its destination successfully.
7. It is pertinent to state that Lafia is strategically positioned as the State capital, as well as its advantage in linking major cities of Benue and South East. It becomes imperative to put in place the necessary infrastructural facilities to motivate the desired developmental growth that will be commensurate to the status of Lafia as the State Capital.
8. The Lafia Bus Terminal will serve as a hub for all transportation activities within Lafia axis. The facilities include civil works (roads, parking lots, opened and covered pedestrian walk ways), terminal building, drivers lounge, clinic, shops, cargo building, fencing, external electrical/mechanical installation, covered bus stop, restaurant/shops and refuse dumps, among others.
9. The contract for the construction of the terminal is awarded to Messrs KCC Construction, Messrs Ojeil Construction Limited and Messrs Mauritalia Nig. Ltd., which are to handle different sections of the construction. The project is estimated at the total cost of One Billion, Two Hundred and Sixty-seven Million, Seven Hundred and Twenty-seven Thousand, Three Hundred and Thirty-three Naira, Sixty Kobo (N1,267,727,333.60) only. The project is expected to be completed within the period of forty (40) weeks.
10. At this juncture, let me state that this project will be supervised by the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to ensure quality and compliancy to standard. I, therefore, charge the contractors handling this project to adhere strictly to the specifications and complete the project within the time frame. Similarly, I appeal to all and sundry to cooperate with the contractors to ensure the successful execution of the project.
11. On this note, it is now my pleasure to Flag-off the Construction of the Modern Bus Terminal in Lafia.
12. Thank you and may God bless us all.
My dear people of Nasarawa State.
When I sought for your mandate to become the Governor of Nasarawa State, I did so with a clear understanding of the challenges associated with leadership and the imperatives of good governance for socio-economic development. Based on this premise we commenced this journey together and by the divine grace of Almighty Allah, we have clocked 365 days today.
2. It is, therefore, with a sense of fulfillment that I address you today in commemoration of the 20 years return to Democratic rule in Nigeria in 1999. Today also marks the 1st year of our Administration in Nasarawa State. I rejoice with the people of Nasarawa State on this historic occasion.
3. Let me congratulate the people of Nasarawa State and, indeed, other Nigerians on the attainment of 20 years of democratic government in the country since the ouster of the Second Republic in 1983. It is important to state that the journey so far has been herculean and daunting considering our peculiar background and democratic antecedents. It is, however, gratifying to point out that our attainment of 20 uninterrupted years of civilian administration is a commendable stride and calls for celebration.
4. Let me also express our appreciation to you all, especially at this challenging period of COVID-19 pandemic for your cooperation, support and understanding. My heartfelt gratitude goes to our leaders, His Excellency, Senator Umaru Tanko Al-makura, His Excellency, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, Members of the State Executive Council, Security Agencies, our esteemed Traditional Rulers, Religious Leaders, Non-governmental Organizations, Youth and Women Organizations, Corporate Organizations, Public Servants and the Media.
5. My fellow compatriots, it is imperative to note that, in Nasarawa State, we have had our share of the challenges in our democratic journey to statehood and concomitant resolve to entrench a process that is in tune with the best global practices. It must be acknowledged that, one year down the lane in the management of the affairs of our people, I must admit that our unity of purpose has been inspirational and given us the needed strength to forge ahead in the collective determination to excel in providing exemplary leadership which is a panacea for development.
6. My dear people of Nasarawa State, from the inception of this Administration, I assured you of this Administration’s resolve to serve our people diligently and selflessly through deliberate policies by executing programmes that will bring development to all the crannies of the State. We also made a solemn commitment to complete all ongoing projects initiated by the previous Administration.
7. This course of action is aimed at turning around the fortunes of the State. Accordingly, we commit ourselves to the continuous upgrade of our physical infrastructure, particularly, our road network, upliftment of our educational standard, improvement of our agriculture, upgrading of our health sector and market facilities, as well as other social services in all the facets of the State economy.
8. My dear compatriots, today’s event offers us an opportunity to present to you in brief, our score card of the one (1) year journey of service delivery to the good people of Nasarawa State. Let me hasten to state that one year is not enough to assess the success of an Administration such as ours. However, we owe you a duty to do so as a responsive Administration that has imbibed the culture and principles of transparency, accountability and due process in the management of our resources. It is pertinent to note that our one year stewardship has had its share of daunting challenges. As you are aware, Nasarawa State is among the least in the revenue allocation chart. This state of affairs was further worsened by the recent global pandemic of Coronavirus and its attendant toll on the scarce resources not only in Nasarawa State but the country at large. We have, however, remain resilient and focused on meeting the development aspiration of our people. The sectoral achievements are as thus;
My fellow compatriots, it is important to note that, security is the bedrock for harmonious co-existence and socio-economic development of the society. Let me reiterate that our development partners can only key into the State’s development agenda in an atmosphere of peace and order. We commenced our efforts on security as soon as we were sworn into office. We visited Benue State in order to resolve our border crises, met severally with the leaders of Fulanis, Tivs, Alagos and other ethnic groups. We also met severally with the security agencies. It is for this reason that approval has been granted for the establishment of Military Super Camps at Kenyehu and Udege in Toto and Nasarawa Local Government Areas respectively in order to reduce the upsurge of criminal elements in the State. We also increased the number of security personnel on our highways and major towns. We hosted the North Central Zone security summit in Lafia and established Mobile Police Training School in Nasarawa Eggon, as well as an additional Squadron in Toto.
I am happy to inform you that I recently visited President Muhammadu Buhari where I used the opportunity to discuss the security situation in Toto, Nasarawa, Doma, Obi and Keana Local Government Areas. Mr. President has immediately directed the stationing of an Air Force Special Forces Base in Nasarawa State. The Air Force Special Forces is expected to utilize the Lafia Airport for its operation and will cover the entire North-central zone. In furtherance to our resolve to enhance security in our boarder communities, myself and colleague, His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Benue State again met some few days ago in our collective commitment to broaden our understanding and consolidate on existing peace for a bumper agricultural season.
Similarly, in order to complement the effort of security agencies in the protection of lives and property, as well as ensuring harmonious co-existence among the diverse ethnic nationalities in the State, we have recently inaugurated the State Community Policing Advisory Committee in line with the new policy of the Nigeria Police Force under the able leadership of the Inspector-General of Police, Muhammed Adamu.
It is important to state that this Committee is expected to form the fulcrum on which the recruitment and operation of Special Constabulary will be anchored. The full realization of this will entrench a formidable and robust synergy with the newly inaugurated Nasarawa State Volunteer Guard. We shall continue to strive to sustain the existing stability for the desired progress of our dear State.
10. RELATIONSHIP AMONG THE ORGANS OF GOVERNMENT
My dear compatriots, I need to state that the cordial working relationship among the three arms of Government in the State has been responsible for the pace of development witnessed in the past one year in the State. It is for this reason that, I wish to specially express my gratitude to the Honourable Speaker, leadership and Members of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly for their unalloyed support and worthy partnership. Let me equally thank the Chief Judge and the hierarchy of the judiciary for their patriotism in the discharge of their constitutional responsibility which has contributed immensely to the prevailing stability in the State.
Let me reiterate the imperative of the synergy between the three arms of Government in our desire to deliver dividends of democracy to the citizenry. This has become necessary for the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary to demonstrate mutual cooperation and understanding at all times. It is for this reason that this Administration has sustained the relationship among the three arms for the past one year and will continue to do so for the benefit of our people.
11. YOUTH AND WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
It would be recalled that two days of my assumption of office, we distributed sewing and grinding machines to some selected youths and women across the State, as part of our promises and deliberate efforts towards the empowering of our youths and women in line with our policies and programmes geared towards wealth creation, employment generation and poverty alleviation in the State.
We have also trained our youths on Compressed Earth Brick Making and Laying programme initiated to impart vocational skills for self-reliance. At the end of the training programme, we issued forty-one (41) fabricated machines to enterprise groups where two hundred and forty-six (246) young men and women in a ratio of six to one (6/1) benefited across the State. Similarly, Government has completed and equipped the Lafia Institute of Technical Education, aimed at imparting necessary vocational skills to our youth and women, including those who could not have the privilege of formal or pursuing higher education.
12. CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE ECONOMIC MANAGEMENT AND INVESTMENT ADVISORY COUNCIL
In keeping with our commitment to promote economic empowerment and the general wellbeing of our people, we inaugurated the Investment and Economic Advisory Council chaired by Prof. Konyi Ajayi and supported by several global citizens both from our State and other parts of Nigeria, in furtherance to our determination to engender economic growth and development of Nasarawa State. Our Administration is poised to initiate polices that are economically viable through the professional guidance of this all-important Council. Through this initiative, Nasarawa State Government has attracted investments from Azman Rice Ltd., Flour Mills of Nig. Plc, as well as utilization of our various assets, including the markets, Fertilizer Blending Plants and Packaging Company in Akwanga, among others.
13. PUBLIC SERVICE RESTRUCTURING
We also inaugurated a Committee, chaired by Mr. Silas Dachor and supported by several experienced professionals to review our Public Service Structure in order to re-focus and revitalize the sector for effective and efficient service delivery. We have adopted most of its recommendations and streamlined Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies in the State.
I need to reiterate the commitment of this Administration to reform the Public Service and provide it with necessary infrastructure that will place it on the right pedestal for enhanced efficiency and productivity. Guided by the desire to ensure the progress and development of Nasarawa State, this Administration developed what it calls the Nasarawa Economic Development Strategy (NEDS). This initiative encapsulates the economic development focus, vision and mission of this Administration.
14. PAYMENT OF PENSION
In our determination to improve the living standard of our people, we restored the 100% payment of monthly pension to the State retirees as soon as we were sworn in. However, I need to point out that the issue relating to the Local Government Salaries and pensionis as a result of the shortfall from the Federation Allocation Accounts, occasioned by the Coronavirus pandemic and the inability of the Local Government Councils to generate Internally Generated Revenue. Let me assure you that we shall not relent in our efforts towards addressing percentage payment both in the State and our Local Government Areas.
15. PROVISION OF HEALTHCARE SERVICES
It is pertinent to state that within one (1) year of this Administration, we have recorded significant landmarks in various sectors of the State. We carried out medical outreach for the treatment of Glaucoma and Cataract surgery among other illnesses. This exercise had significant effect on the citizens of Nasarawa State who were suffering from this ailment. In this regard, our Administration also committed itself to the continuous expansion of the Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital (DASH), Lafia which was started by the Umaru Tanko Al-makura’s Administration to facilitate the seamless transition to a Teaching Hospital. With the support provided by Government, the additional structures provided in the hospital has since been put to use for the benefit of the people. In the same vein, the Specialized Hospitals in Lafia, Akwanga and Nasarawa have been completed and put to use already by the Hospitals Management Board.
I need to state that, the global pandemic of COVID-19 has exposed the state of our healthcare centres at all levels. In this regard, Government has resolved to go back to the drawing board in the provision of health facilities at primary, secondary and tertiary levels. We have already committed resources to the completion of the Centre for Infectious Disease Control located at the Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital (DASH), Lafia. As a result of the outbreak of Coronavirus in Nasarawa State, Government has converted the 300 bed IDPs hostel in Shabu and upgraded the facility to serve as Isolation Centre in the State. Similarly, we have upgraded a structure in Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital (DASH), Lafia to an Isolation Centre. We have also established smaller Isolation Centres in the thirteen (13) Local Government Areas of the State.
It is disheartening to state that we have already recorded more than forty (40) cases of COVID-19 with one (1) death but over twenty (20) discharged in the State. However, Government is relentless in its effort to continue to control and contain the further spread of the virus in the State. Similarly, we shall continue to manage the patients who are currently receiving medical attention, as well as the suspected people who are already isolated in our various Isolation Centres in the State.
Furthermore, the newly constructed School of Nursing and Midwifery has been furnished and fully equipped. Following certification by the Nursing Council, the School of Nursing and Midwifery have fully moved to the new site and academic activities fully commenced.
16. EDUCATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURES/FACILITIES
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, realizing the importance of education in our society, we have attracted the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) to Nasarawa State through the establishment of a Technology Innovation Hub and provided equipment worth over N200 Million. The equipment have been installed and fully operational at the just commissioned Tanko Al-makura CBT Centre here in Lafia.
This Administration has also constructed classroom blocks in Angwan Jarme, Mahanga and Mararaban Gongon in Kokona, Awe and Wamba, as well as Keffi and Akwanga Local Government Areas respectively in collaboration with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This gesture has been extended to other schools that were lacking basic infrastructures for effective teaching and learning. Already the projects for the mass construction and rehabilitation of Primary and Junior Secondary Schools in the State reached advanced stage. Similarly, we have formalized the appointments of the two thousand, two hundred and fifty (2,250) engaged teachers and were posted to various schools across the State.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, few days ago, I commissioned the new hostels, multi-purpose hall and classrooms renovated by the Keystone Bank Plc at the Government Girls secondary school, Garaku. In the same vein, we have upgraded the erstwhile College of Agriculture, Lafia to the status of College of Agriculture, Science and Technology. Accordingly, we commenced the provision of projects befitting of the new status of the institution. Similarly, Government constituted a High Powered Investigative Committee to investigate the activities of College of Education, Akwanga. The Committee has submitted its report and Government is closely studying the report of the Committee for implementation in order to turn around the fortunes of the institution.
Similarly, Government also set up the Professor Kida Committee to conduct the baseline survey of our Primary and Junior Secondary Schools. The Reports on this important survey have been submitted and are being carefully studied for implementation.
17. PROVISION OF RURAL AND URBAN INFRASTRUCTURE
My dear people of Nasarawa State, in our determination to provide basic infrastructure for enhanced socio-economic activities in the State, we have commenced the completion of the on-going construction of Shinge-Ricemill-Kilema road. Similarly, the construction of the all-important Mararaba to Udege 25km road and 15.5km Asphalt Sisinbaki-Kwarra road projects in Nasarawa and Wamba Local Government Areas are on-going appreciably, considering the huge potentials that abound in these places. The design for the construction of other roads within the Lafia metropolis and some inter-Local Government roads have been completed and work on the projects will commence in due course to ensure all-round development of the State. I had the rare honour of flagging the completion of some critical roads as part of activities commemorating our one year in office.
It is imperative to state that, this Administration remains resolute in its commitment to open our rural areas for enhanced economic activities. In this regard, we have embarked on the construction of Agwade-Shupe-Atabula-Obi, Shabu-Doka-Arugba-Lakio, Kanje-Abuni and Kagbu A-Atsoko-Wana roads. I am happy to state that these roads are at various stages of completion.
It is important to note that the transport sector with adequate infrastructure is capable of galvanizing the socio-economic development of the society. It is for this reason that we are developing a new transport infrastructure in Karu Motor Park which is considered necessary in order to unlock underivable growth potentials. This is considering its proximity to the Federal Capital Territory, as well as its advantage in linking many major cities of the Northern and Southern parts of the country. As you are aware, Karu also plays significant role in providing residential accommodation for reasonable percentage of the workforce in Abuja, with high rate of increase annually. I have also flagged off the construction of Lafia modern bus terminal in order to give the State Capital a befitting outlook and I also flagged off the construction of Keffi Neighbourhood Market to create opportunities for enhanced revenue generation.
18. LAFIA CARGO AIRPORT, KWANDARE
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, as part of our commitment towards the completion of on-going projects critical to the development of the State, we are consolidating on the foundation laid by the previous Administrations. In this regard, this Administration has made concerted efforts to complete the Lafia Airport and expand to an international standard with the view to accommodating the envisaged influx of investors, goods and passengers, as well as liaising with the security agencies for effective utilization.
19. PROVISION OF 2KM SOLAR POWER STREET LIGHT PROJECTS
My dear compatriots, I am happy to state that within one year in office, Government has provided 2km Solar Power Street Light facilities to all the thirteen (13) Local Government Areas of the State and in strategic locations in Lafia metropolis. In addition, we have procured transformers and distributed them to various communities to support our rural electrification drive. The exercise is ongoing in Lafia and other Local Government Areas.
20. AGRICULTURE/WATER SUPPLY
As an agrarian State with good climatic condition and soil texture, this Administration has taken advantage of this opportunity to make some strides in the agricultural sector. In this wise, we have signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Flour Mills of Nig. Plc. and Azman Rice Mills and Farms Ltd for rice, sugar and cassava production.
As part of our commitment in this direction, we have recently entered into agreement with the Lower Benue Rivers Development Authority to access 500 hectares of land in Doma and other Local Government Areas for the production of rice and other crops in the State. This is intended to provide employment opportunity for our teeming youth, as well as cushioning the post-COVID-19 hardship in the State. We have also made a commitment to secure about 150 tractors to enhance commercial farming in the State. In the same vein, we have procured fertilizer and distributed to our farmers to boost agricultural production in the State. This is with a view to open vistas of opportunities, as well as wealth creation through agriculture. In addition, Government has concluded arrangements to secure 20,000 hectares of land around Umaisha, Toto Local Government Area for Flour Mills of Nig. Plc. for processing and production of cassava and sugarcane.
Let me state that, in our determination to revolutionize the agricultural sector and enhance harmonious co-existence in the State, we have keyed into the National Livestock Transformation Plan of the Federal Government. This is aimed at transforming the agricultural sector to ensure sustainable food security and value-chain addition, as well as finding lasting solution to the incessant farmers/herders clashes. To ensure effective implementation of this policy, we have set-up the State Steering Committee and management team and allocated office to serve as Secretariat. In addition, we have identified eight grazing reserves in Awe, Keana, Lafia, Doma, Wamba, Nasarawa and Karu Local Government Areas of the State. I am happy to inform you that significant progress has been made towards the implementation of the blueprint of the grazing reserves and the National Economic Council (NEC) has approved Nasarawa as one of the three pilot States for the commencement of the project.
In a related development, there is no gainsaying the fact that water is one of the essential commodities to human development. It is on this premise that we deemed it necessary to provide water for both human consumption and agricultural activities. We have constructed and rehabilitated water schemes in Keffi, Akwanga, Kokona and Karu Local Government Areas of the State.
21. Let me take the liberty of this address to urge the people of Nasarawa State to continue to comply with the directives of Government in its determination to contain and control the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the State. As you continue to stay at home to avoid further spread of the Coronavirus, Government shall continue to provide palliatives to cushion the hardship. I, therefore, wish to assure the good people of Nasarawa State of more monumental achievements in all facets of human development.
22. My dear compatriots, having enumerated the humble achievements of our one year in office, we should bear in mind that we have a long way to go. In this wise, the task of building a Nasarawa State of our dream has just begun. We have no other State than Nasarawa State. It is for this reason that the need for us to unite and secure the future and that of our children becomes sacrosanct.
23. My fellow compatriots, let me once again, congratulate the people of Nasarawa State and, indeed, other Nigerians on the attainment of 20 years since our return to democratic rule and the 1st year of our Administration in Nasarawa State.
24. Once again, happy democracy day and may God continue to protect us against COVID-19.
25. Thank you and may God bless us all.