State News

PRESS BRIEFING BY HIS EXCELLENCY, ENGR. ABDULLAHI A. SULE, GOVERNOR OF NASARAWA STATE ON THE MEASURES TAKEN BY THE NASARAWA STATE GOVERNMENT ON COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS) IN THE COUNTRY

My dear people of Nasarawa State.

2. It would be recalled that I addressed you last week on the outbreak of COVID-19 in Nigeria. During my address, I made a commitment to update you as the event unfolds in our collective determination to safeguard the lives of our people.

3. In furtherance to this pledge, it has become necessary to take further measures to continue to contain and control the pandemic which has since become global pandemic with attendant consequences on human lives and economic development.

4. As you are aware, report from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Federal Ministry of Health, indicates that the spread of the Coronavirus disease is raising on an alarming proportion. Although, Nasarawa State has not recorded any incidence, it behoves on us to take more stringent measures in order to prevent the spread of the virus in the State.

5. This is particularly necessary, considering the influx of people from the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja which has been locked down as part of measures to control the spread of the pandemic. It is for this reason and in line with the provision of the Nasarawa State Dangerous Infectious Diseases (Emergency Prevention) Regulations, 2020, as well as the advice of the Nasarawa State High Powered Committee on COVID-19, the following measures come into immediate effect:
• Enforcement of a 24 hour curfew in Karu Local Government Area with effect from 6:00pm of Thursday, 2nd April, 2020 for 14 days in the first instance;

• Entry into Nasarawa State is hereby restricted to between 6:00pm to 6:00am and all persons coming into the State shall continue to be screened at the designated check-points/mobile clinics;

• Movement in Lafia, the State capital and other Urban centres are hereby restricted from 8:00pm to 6:00am with effect from Thursday, 2nd April, 2020.

• All markets are to remain closed except sellers of food items and medicaments outside the markets except in Karu Local Government Area where there is a 24 hour curfew;

• People of Nasarawa State are urged to continue to maintain the social distancing directive of the Federal Government of Nigeria and other measures to prevent the spread of the pandemic;

• All civil servants from GL. 01 – 12 are to remain at home except those on essential services until further notice;

• All security personnel are hereby directed to ensure the enforcement of these directives.

• A palliative Committee has been constituted to ensure that the citizens of the State are provided with necessary succour during this trying moments.

6. Let me reiterate our commitment to continue to monitor closely, the implementation of the additional measures taken to contain the spread of the virus.

7. Finally, I call on all residents of Nasarawa State to continue to abide by the instructions on the restriction of movements, social distancing and gathering in order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 in our dear State.

8. Thank you and may God continue to bless and protect us all.

 

CORONAVIRUS: HEALTH TEAMS AND CONTACTS AT ENTRY POINTS TO NASARAWA STATE

At all the 8 entry points of Nasarawa State, there is Health Team and Heads of Mobile Clinics established to curb the spread of Coronavirus.

All chairmen and Government functionaries in those area assist are expected to support in monitoring the activities of both the mobilsed Medics and the Security Agencies.

The team are expected to check temperature of everyone coming into the state and ensure social distancing is complied with by not overloading public transport vehicles.

Note:
The Governor has by the Proclamation of Yesterday restricted travels through Nasarawa State to 6:00am to 8:00pm.

Entrances will be sealed at 8:00pm from today.

Nta ya-Mararaba,
Gitata- Tattara,
Gwantu-Andaha,
Sisimbaki-Wamba,
Shendam-Sabon Gida,
Kadarko-Makurdi,
Loko-Agatu,
Abaji- Toto.

No one will be allowed entry from 8:00pm Night to 6:00am morning

.

SPECIALIST HOSPITAL LAFIA TO RECEIVE COVID-19 EQUIPMENT

The Chief Medical Director (CMD), Dalhatu Araf Specialists Hospital, Lafia, Dr Hassan Ikrama says the hospital will soon receive medical equipment to boost the state’s preparedness in controlling the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Ikrama, who spoke with News men Friday in Lafi, said the hospital had made presentation on the equipment the hospital needed to boost facilities in the isolation centre.

“The government has already placed order for the equipment and they are already on the way. lt will arrive the state any moment, as soon as the equipment arrive, the hospital will take delivery and make them known,” he said.
He however noted that staff were screened before getting access to the facilities which is part of the measures to control the spread of the virus.

He strongly emphasised that non-essential staff are directed to stay at home following Nasarawa state government directives, adding that the management had provided protective kits to essential staff who are still coming to work.

The CMD urged the general public in the state to continue staying at home, wash hands with soap and running water frequently, avoid crowded places, maintain social distance and follow the instructions from various government agencies.

You would recall that governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State had on Thursday while updating newsmen on government measures to control the spread of the virus, said it would soon take delivery of medical equipment.

 

ENGINEER SULE HAILS BURATAI FOR UPGRADING SPECIAL FORCES CORPS TO A COMMAND

Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule has commended the Nigerian Army, under the leadership of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt- General Yusufu Buratai, for upgrading the Special Forces Corps, located in Doma, to a command.

Engineer Sule showed his appreciation while hosting the outgoing Commander of the Special Forces Corps, Maj. Gen. G. Oyefesobi, at the Government House, on Friday.

The Governor specifically thanked the COAS for constantly keeping Nasarawa State close at heart, monitoring developments in the state.

Engineer Sule equally commended the series of victories recently recorded by the joint special forces taking the fight to the Boko Haram terrorists in the North East.

The Governor expressed satisfaction that at the time an outstanding officer in the person of Maj. Gen Oyefesobi was leaving , another veteran who is familiar with the North East and the offshoot of the Boko Haram, is also coming to the state.

Though noting that presently the state is going through a trying moment in terms of security, especially around the Toto area, Engineer Sule pointed out however that Nasarawa State is not volatile but one of the most peaceful states in the North Central.

On the security challenge in Toto, the Governor said: “I have been speaking with the military hierarchy concerning the situation in Toto and if there is any better time for your presence to strengthen Nasarawa State, this is the time.”

Welcoming the new Commander of the Special Forces Command Doma, Maj. Gen M. G Ali, the Governor was optimistic that the new commander will build on the good work of his predecessor.

“Honestly speaking we want to thank you, we really want to show appreciation and we want to welcome you Maj. Gen Ali for coming home with your team. And we strongly believe that just like Maj. Gen Oyefesobi is leaving with pride, you will also leave with pride,” he stated.

Earlier, Maj. Gen Oyefosobi, in his farewell speech, recounted that the Special Forces Corps was established by the Nigerian Army in December last year, as a fallout of the COAS reaction to the security situation not only in the country but in Nasarawa State in particular.

Oyefosobi described the Special Forces as a versatile special unit that is meant for only special operations, especially with Nasarawa State not having any military presence apart from Keffi, for which the COAS deemed it fit to establish the headquarters of Corps in Nasarawa State, to take care of the security situation.

He disclosed that last month, the COAS, decided to upgrade the corps to a command status, with the command now more of an operational status, not administrative.

Maj. Gen Oyefosobi introduced the new Commander, Maj. Gen M. G Ali, as resourceful and a veteran of the North East.

According to the outgoing Commander, Maj. Gen Ali commanded the Special Forces in the North East a while ago.

 

NASARAWA STATE GOVERNMENT TAKES STRINGENT MEASURES TO CONTAIN CORONAVIRUS

1. All Social gathering including weddings, naming ceremonies are advised to be suspended, if not, attendance should be restricted to members of the immediate family of not more than 20 people. The security personnel are hereby directed to monitor the activities of the residents to ensure strict adherence.

2. Motor parks in the state are advised to be collapsed to only one in each Local Government Area, including Lafia, the state capital. In this regard, manifest must be maintained in all the parks.

3. Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) are directed to provide hand sanitizers and face masks in their respective offices.

4. Appropriate retired Nurses who are still strong are to be recruited to run the facilities for the centre of COVID-19 Virus and provided necessary training and kits.

5. To visit isolations centres in the Federal Medical Centre, Keffi, Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital, Lafia, Medical Centre Mararaban-Gurku, Doma, Akwanga and Awe to inspect facilities and readiness.

6. Construction of strategic reserve to ensure food security as a matter of urgency. Food stuff to be procured and stored for distribution to the people when the need arises (Maize, Beans, Rice, Millet, etc).

7. Rehabilitation of ten (10) moribund boreholes in each local government area in the interim to ensure supply of clean water.

8. Anybody seen on the street begging should be arrested by the security agents.

9. Worship centres such as Mosques and Churches are advised to remain closed until further notice.

10. Government to cut down cost of governance by 60% with effect from April, 2020.

11. Markets are to be closed except those selling food items and Pharmaceutical shops to cater for the aged and the ill ones.

12. Task Force Committees are to be established at the Local Government levels to be supervised by the Local Government Chairmen which is expected to replicate what the State Committee is doing. This will also extend to the Ward levels.

The Taskforce would be chaired by Deputy Governor, a renowned medical Doctor, Dr Emmanuel Agwado Akabe while that of Local Government will be supervised by Council Chairmen.

PRESS STATEMENT: ADAMU AND AL-MAKURA CHARGE CITIZENS TO GIVE GOVERNOR SULE COMPLETE SUPPORT

It was the making of history at the 10th year anniversary of His Highness Alhaji Abubakar Ahmed Sabo Umar on the royal stool as Sarkin Loko.

In his remarks as chairman of the occasion, Senator Abdullahi Adamu who held sway as the 1st Executive Governor of Nasarawa State, admonished the entire citizens of Nasarawa State to be “law abiding” and support the policies, activities and initiatives of the current administration of Engineer Abdullahi A Sule.

In the same vein, the immediate past Governor of Nasarawa State, Senator Umaru Tanko Al-makura charged the people of Nasarawa State to be loyal and faithful to the government of Engineer Abdullahi A Sule, whilst assuring the attendees that Loko which used to be called “Loko London” for it’s pioneering prominence and prestige as a center of trade and commerce in the old Northern province of Nigeria is now poised to reclaim it’s historical position of being the leading light for economic activities in Nasarawa State under the banner policy thrust of Engineer Sule who is championing the “rapid industrialization” of the state.

The 10th Year Anniversary of His Highness, Mai Loko saw an outpouring of eloquent testimonials and encomiums on the loyal dedication and forthright character of Tijani Aliyu Ahmed, Secretary to the government and new Dan Masanin Loko.

His Excellency Engineer Abdullahi A Sule was also presented with a horse and conferred with a new twin title of “Barayan” Loko, just as he also holds the title of: “Barayan Lafia!”

On his part, Senator Walid Jibrin the National Patron of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association assisted those gathered that he will never succumb nor subscribe to politics of unfair and relentless negative condemnation of Government even if he is a member of the political opposition.

Former Senator Jibrin reaffirmed his unflinching commitment to continually support Governor Sule in his developmental strides, noting that the Fulani in active collaboration with Miyetti Allah have begun to deploy internal cultural mechanism to convince those armed Fulani bandits and kidnappers, who are still hiding in the bush, to put a halt to their criminal and nefarious activities. Just as His Excellency, Engineer Abdullahi A Sule, congratulating to the SSG, also vowed not to relent in curbing security challenges so as to make Nasarawa State, the destination of choice for investors.

Signed
Yakubu Lamai
Director General, Strategic Communication and Press Affairs
22nd February. 2020

GOVERNMENT OF NASARAWA STATE SPEECH DELIVERED BY HIS EXCELLENCY, ENGR. ABDULLAHI A. SULE, GOVERNOR OF NASARAWA STATE ON THE OCCASION OF THE INAUGURATION OF THE VOLUNTEER GUARD (VIGILANTE), DOMESTICATION OF THE MODEL PENAL CODE, KIDNAPPING ACT PROHIBITION LAW AND CHILD’S RIGHT PROTECTION EXECUTIVE ORDER, LAFIA: WEDNESDAY, 26TH FEBRUARY, 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. The State Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC);

9. Special Advisers;

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. Chairmen of Local Government Councils and overseers of Development Areas;

14. Gentlemen of the Press;

15. Ladies and gentlemen.

I am delighted to address you today on the occasion of the inauguration of the Committees to constitute the Volunteer Guard (Vigilante) and Domestication of Model Penal Code, 1960 (as amended in 2015), as well as assenting to the Nasarawa State Kidnapping Act Prohibition Law and the Protection and Implementation of the Child’s Right Protection Executive Order.

2. You would recall that in furtherance of our commitment to complement the efforts of our security Agencies in securing lives and property to ensure that emerging crimes and criminality are curtailed and contained, I directed the Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice to put in place necessary machinery for the constitution of Volunteer Guard (Vigilante) for the State and the Local Government Areas. This is in line with the domestication of the amended Model Penal Code of Northern Nigeria 2015. Having carried out the necessary processes in tune with the Court, we are gathered here today to witness the inauguration of the Nasarawa State Volunteer Guard which Executive Order I signed moment ago to give it effect.

3. As you are aware, during the recently concluded Security Summit for the North-Central Zone, the security architecture of the Zone and by extension, our dear country was appraised and recommendations made towards the enhanced security of our people. At that Summit, the issue of community policing was extensively deliberated and appropriate measures proffered to address the security challenges for the continued sustenance of peaceful co-existence among the diverse ethnic nationalities, not only in the region, but in the country at large.

4. Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, it is against this background that we resolved to take deliberate steps in order to secure our environment to rise up to crime and criminalities to ensure that law and order are maintained at all times for the socio-economic development of our dear State.

5. I need to state that this measure is imperative in developing the policy framework for security sector reform, with a view to incorporating security actors in the formal and informal sectors including the community policing into the national security architecture. In this regard, the Volunteer Guard (Vigilante) is expected to complement the effort of the State Security Agencies, especially in the rural areas to respond effectively and adequately in the emerging security situations. Most importantly, it will help the State at all levels to rebuild and reinforce its law enforcement and security provisioning capacity through the partnership of the Nigeria Police Force with the community and all other stakeholders in order to make Nasarawa State a secured place.

6. It is pertinent to note that, this country is contending with a lot of security challenges, ranging from bomb explosions, armed robbery, human trafficking, kidnapping and abduction, murder, activities of Boko Haram sect, communal clashes and conflict between farmers and herdsmen, among others. Indeed, crimes and criminality have led to the proliferation of small arms and light weapons which are freely used by unpatriotic elements to achieve heinous and selfish aims. This unpleasant development has become worrisome and a cause for concern not only to the security agencies but to all and sundry.

7. I need to state that the Nasarawa State Kidnapping Act Prohibition Law was extensively deliberated and passed by the State House of Assembly. This bill spelled out various offences relating to kidnapping and prescribed stringent punishment for perpetrators, such as life imprisonment and dead penalty. In the same vein, it is important to note that buildings used in keeping victims of heinous crimes will henceforth be forfeited to Government.

8. It is worthy of note that Nasarawa State has domesticated the Penal Code Law of Northern Nigeria to enforce law and order by retaining most of the criminal law doctrines in the State without much alterations.

9. As part of today’s occasion, we are also gathered to assent to the Protection of Children and Implementation of the Child’s Right Protection Executive Order, 2005 of Nasarawa State pursuant to section 5 (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended. This will guarantee the safety, security, wellbeing, care, good health and education, as well as guarantee the future of our children.

 

10. Without sounding immodest, this Law apart from the prohibition of street begging, provides punishment for parents who out of irresponsibility threw away their children to street begging. In this regard, Government has taken measures to enroll our children into Tsangaya Schools with a view to addressing the menace.

11. Let me state that members of these Committees were selected based on their records of experience, professionalism, patriotism and pedigree. I charge you, therefore, to live above board and justify the confidence Government reposed in you. You must carry out your assignment diligently, devoid of any sentiment or favouritism.

12. I need to point out that the Commissioner of Police will chair this all important Committee. Other Members include heads of security agencies and other stakeholders in the State. To ensure the effective take off of this outfit, the Chairmen of Local Government Councils are hereby directed to constitute coordinating Committees comprising of Security Agencies and other Stockholders at the Local Government and Development Areas levels of the State to ensure the execution of this project. Accordingly, I appeal to our Traditional Rulers, Religious and Community Leaders to support this initiative for the good of all.

13. Let me take the liberty of this occasion to state that the State Volunteer Guard is not a security outfit and should not be used under whatever guise to promote or protect personal interest and inclination, it is essentially empanelled to complement the security agencies in the conduct of their onerous responsibilities of protecting the lives and property of the citizens.

14. On this note, it is my pleasure to inaugurate the Committees to constitute the Volunteer Guard (Vigilante) and Domestication of Model Penal Code, 1960 (as amended in 2015), as well as assent to the Protection and Implementation of the Child’s Right Protection Executive Order and Nasarawa State Kidnapping Act Prohibition Law.

15. Thank you and may God bless us all.

 

NASARAWA TO BENEFIT FROM BILATERAL TIES WITH HUNGARY IN AGRICULTURE, SCHOLARSHIPS

Hungarian Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr Sandor Beer has said his country is willing to support the Nasarawa State Government in the area of agriculture, as well as scholarships in oil and gas exploration for economic development, wealth creation and job opportunities, in line with Engineer Abdullahi Sule’s economic development strategies.

Dr Beer gave the assurance while receiving a copy of the Nasarawa Economic Development Strategies (NEDS) document from the Senior Special Assistant to the Nasarawa State Governor on Liaison Office Abuja, Yusuf Maianguwa during a courtesy call on the Ambassador at the Hungarian Embassy, River Niger Street Maitama Abuja, on Tuesday.

The Hungarian Ambassador who appreciated the visit, which he described as the first of its kind since he came to Nigeria, expressed commitment to partner with the government of Engineer Sule in the areas of agriculture and scholarship to indigienes of the state to study mechanized farming especially on dry maize farming and software development which Hungary specialised on.

He said the NEDS document has demonstrated the political will of Engineer Sule’s unwavering commitment to re engineering the state to the next level of development.

Dr Sandor Beer also pledged to visit Nasarawa State soon to see the agricultural potentials of the state and further discuss on how to do business especially on oil and gas following the discovery of oil in some parts of Nasarawa State.

The Hungarian Ambassador added that for now, his country is doing business with Lagos, Sokoto and Adamawa states, promising to extend such support to Nasarawa State due to it’s proximity to the nation’s capital.

Earlier while presenting the NEDS document to the Hungarian Ambassador, the SSA on Nasarawa State Liaison Office Abuja, Yusuf Maianguwa said the document was well packaged by Engineer Sule to provide a road map for economic development of the state, thereby opening its window of opportunities on economic prosperity and potentials abound in the state for both local and foreign investors willing to invest in the state.

Maianguwa said the visit was an initiative of the Liaison office in complementing Engineer Sule’s economic development strategies and appealed to the Hungarian Ambassador to partner with the Nasarawa State Government on agricultural development and scholarship.

Yusuf Maianguwa equally told his host that has signed Memorandum of understanding MOUs with reputable conglomerates including the Dangote Group and the government of Russia on railway , sugar and rice production in Nasarawa State, calling on Hungary to also take advantage of the agricultural potentials and its proximity to Abuja to invest in the state.
Meanwhile, the SSA also received the chairman of Wellman Integrated Farm Limited, Ishaku Abdu Awatai at his office in Abuja Tuesday where they discussed on agric business for the benefit of the state

NASARAWA AMONG 6 STATES WHERE AFDB WILL ESTABLISH AGRO PROCESSING ZONE, SAYS ENGINEER SULE

Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule has confirmed that the state has been identified as one of the six states selected by the African Development Bank (AfDB), for the establishment of agro industrial zone.

Engineer Sule made this known while speaking at the 2019 Bankers Committee dinner and award night, which held in Lafia, on Saturday.

According to Engineer Sule, officials of the bank in the country, confirmed that Nasarawa is among the six states selected to benefit from the project.

The Governor appealed to the banks to partner with the state government to make this a reality, since with the coming of the agro processing zone, lots of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), and subsequently major players, will be part of the agro industrial zone.

The AfDB recently said it has earmarked $500m loan for the development of agro-industrial zones across various states.

Called the Special Agro Industrial Process, officials of the bank said it will be similar to the free trade zone, where thousands of direct and indirect jobs will be created for Nigerians across the country.

This is coming on the heels of recent achievement recorded by the administration in the area of agriculture, particularly with the Dangote Group already working in Tunga, Doma and Nasarawa Local Government area, with Azman Farm and Rice Mill having completed all arrangement to cultivate 14, 000 hectares of land for rice production in Toto Local Government Area.

“But just a few days ago, we also received the Flour Mills of Nigeria, who are also going to establish their own 20, 000 hectares of land around Umuasha that they will be establishing cassava and sugar plantations,” he said.

The Governor however noted that all these will not be possible without the support of the bankers.

SPEECH DELIVERED BY HIS EXCELLENCY, ENGR. ABDULLAHI A. SULE, THE EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR OF NASARAWA STATE ON THE OCCASION OF THE 2ND, 3RD, 4TH AND 5TH COMBINED CONVOCATION CEREMONY OF THE FEDERAL UNIVERSITY OF LAFIA: SATURDAY, 15TH FEBRUARY, 2020

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

2. His Excellency, the Deputy Governor of Nasarawa State;

3. Members of the National Assembly here present;

4. The Honourable Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu;

5. The Right Hon. Speaker, Nasarawa State House of Assembly;

6. The Hon. Chief Judge of Nasarawa State;

7. The Chancellor of the Federal University, His Royal Majesty, King W.S. Joshua Igbugburu, the Ibenanawei of Bomo Kingdom;

8. Principal Officers and Members of the State House of Assembly;

9. Members of the State Executive and Security Councils;

10. The Secretary to the State Government;

11. The Head of the Civil Service;

12. The Pro-Chancellor, Chairman and members of the University’s Governing Council;

13. The Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed;

14. The Executive Secretary, TETFund

15. The Registrar, Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB);

16. The Vice Chancellor and Principal Officers of the Federal University, Lafia;

17. Visiting Vice-Chancellors;

18. His Royal Highness, Hon. Justice Sidi Bage Muhammad I JSC (Rtd) Emir of Lafia and Chairman, Nasarawa State Council of Chiefs;

19. Your Highnesses, other Royal Fathers here present;

20. Staff and Students of the Federal University, Lafia;

21. My dear Graduands;

22. Gentlemen of the Press;

23. Ladies and Gentlemen.

It is with gratitude to Almighty God and utmost joy that I join you today at this auspicious occasion of the 2nd 3rd, 4th and 5th combined Convocation Ceremony of the Federal University, Lafia, taking place here in the University Campus.

2. Let me specially welcome His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the visitor to the Federal University, Lafia. Indeed, we are honoured by your esteemed presence. Similarly, I warmly welcome the Honourable Minister of Education and his entourage to this citadel of learning. In the same vein, I acknowledge the presence of our distinguished personalities, who find time amidst your tight schedules to grace this memorable occasion.

3. Today, marks yet another milestone in the history of the Federal University Lafia. Let me, therefore, on behalf of the Government and people of Nasarawa State, express our profound appreciation to our celebrated scholars, professionals, philanthropists, industrialist, friends, associates and men and women of goodwill from within and outside Nigeria who have turned out in such a large number to be part of this event. As we say in Nasarawa Barka da zuwa. Your presence in our midst today is a strong re-assurance that this solidarity will continue to grow from strength to strength.

4. Let me congratulate the Governing Council, the management and the entire staff of the University for successfully organizing this historic event. I also congratulate my dear graduands whose convocation we are witnessing today. It is my belief that the knowledge and skills which you have acquired during your studies will be necessary potentials for accelerating your career development and, by extension, add value to the technological, industrial and socio-economic development of our dear nation.

5. I wish to also congratulate the distinguished Nigerian statesmen who are conferred with the Honorary Doctorate Degrees at this convocation ceremony. This, indeed, is the manifestation of your enormous contributions towards the development of dear nation.

6. Your Excellency, distinguished guests there is no doubt that this combined convocation ceremony marks a watershed in the history of this young university, and the story of education in Nasarawa State and the Nation at large. It is gratifying to note that within just one decade of its existence, this institution has grown in leaps and bounds in terms of scholarship and research, infrastructure development, social impact and collaboration.

7. There is no gainsaying that education remains the all-time solution to the myriad of challenges facing mankind. In the current global race, therefore, there is no place for ignorance. In the circumstance, no investment can be too much to make in education. It is for this reason that I commend the Federal Government under the leadership of President Muhamadu Buhari, GCFR for the commitment to the education sector in the area of expansion of opportunities for the citizenry, provision of infrastructure and facilities, as well as capacity building towards meeting the global standards and in the delivery of education.

8. I need to point out that the giant strides recorded by the Federal University of Lafia since its establishment in 2011 is an eloquent testimony of our collective determination to work in harmony to conquer societal backwardness. As a State poised to changing the narrative of cultural, religious and social impediments to the acquisition of education in this part of the world, we have zero tolerance to illiteracy in all ramifications. It is on the strength of this conviction that we have adopted a multi-pronged approach to addressing the plethora daunting challenges threatening the development of education in the State.

9. Your Excellency, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, on assumption of office in May, 2019 we were confronted with the grim realities of the state of education at all levels. Conscious of the ultimate benefit of our commitment to the people of Nasarawa State from whom we received our mandate, we are not limiting our effort in the development of education. This is why we have made a bold statement by allocating 26% to the sector in the 2020 budget in tandem with the UNESCO benchmark. Given the resources, we desire to transform the educational landscape of our State for the good of the people, particularly our teeming youths.

10. Let me place on record that, in consonance with our stakeholder’s role, the Government of Nasarawa State has provided the following interventions among others, aimed at fast-tracking the holistic development of the Federal University Lafia.

i. Donation of 206 hectares of lands for the permanent sites;
ii. Donation of the newly constructed Lafia General Hospital to serve as a Teaching Hospital for this University in view of the introduction of Medical and Pharmaceutical courses in the University.
iii. Construction of a female hostel at the permanent site;
iv. Construction of 1.2KM road from the Multi-disciplinary research Laboratory to the hostel area;
v. Automatic employment and provision of scholarship award to five (5) 1st Class students of the University, including a physically challenged student from Kogi State.

 

11. I am happy to state that, within the past nine (9) months. We have embarked on aggressive upgrading of physical structures of primary and secondary schools through collaboration with UBEC and the SDGs. we shall not rest on our oars until we have changed the scenario of dilapidation and desolation in the remaining schools in our efforts to improve the educational system in the State.

12. In the same vein, Government spends N29Million monthly to feed students in boarding schools across the state. Our modest effort in this direction has created tremendous impact in the welfare and wellbeing of our students. Concomitant to this, we intend to focus on capacity building and improvement of the quality of the hard and softwares that will facilitate the delivery of the set objectives in an ICT era education system.

13. At this point, Your Excellency, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, I crave your indulgence to commend my predecessor, now a Distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Umaru Tanko Al-makura, whose signature is very conspicuous in all spheres of the State’s development, including education. I wish to specially congratulate him and my former boss and philanthropist, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, President of Dangote Group of Company for the award of the Honorary Doctorate Degrees. Indeed, this is a worthy recognitions.14. To the graduands whom we have gathered here to celebrate, I congratulate you all for successfully completing your courses of study in the Federal University Lafia. The certificates you received today are more than mere meal tickets. In other words, you are leaving this event with your letters of credence as ambassadors of Federal University Lafia to the world. It behooves you, therefore, to fly the banner of honour and integrity of your alma mater at all times.

15. You must go and build your communities, the nation and humanity as a whole; and not become agents of destruction under whatever guise. I have no doubt that you all have passed through this great institution, having been mentored in learning and character, and you are expected to give back in equal measure and more. Despite all the challenges, society does not expect less from you.

16. Let me, also use this auspicious occasion to specially commend the Governing Council, Management, Staff and the entire community of Federal University, Lafia for keeping faith with the noble ideals of the institution and working assiduously to creating the bright impact in your host environment and, indeed the larger society. May your efforts continue to yield the desired fruits in the years ahead.

17. Before concluding this address, let me humbly crave the indulgence of the Federal Government to facilitate the take-off of the Teaching Hospital that the Nasarawa Government donated to the University. I wish to once again re-echo my profound appreciation to Mr. President and the Federal Government for the attention being accorded to this University in particular and Nasarawa State in general. We remain grateful. It is our ardent prayer that the Almighty God will crown your painstaking efforts with resounding success.

18. Thank you and may God bless us all.