Dear Nigerlites read through this and see why the continuity of Abubakar Sani Bello’s RESTORATION AGENDA come 2019 is crucial, important and significant. Let’s read ;
We are in the election season and desperate opposition elements would make every attempt to take our eyes off the ball. But we will stay on the issues and avoid all their distractions. My attention has been drawn to a malicious article entitled: Ten reasons why Niger cannot grow under Lolo. In it, the author who writes under the name, Abubakar Abdullahi Abdulkadir and who is purportedly a journalist, made some spurious allegations and recycled some fake information about the Niger state government and the person of the Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello.
In the said article, Abubakar Abdullahi Abdulkadir, an obvious pseudonym, describes himself as a freelance journalist. He then went ahead to write one of the most uninformed diatribes of the year where he exhumes some dead propaganda that has since been laid to rest. He asked about the SUKUK bond which the state didn’t proceed with but which the writer is criticising the Governor for misappropriating. Plus the recycling of the N500bn misadventure and hallucination by Umaru Nasko, the PDP gubernatorial candidate in the state.
His apparent lack of touch with both recent and the not-too-recent events in the state has incompetence written all over it, if he truly is a journalist and not just an errand boy, which I suppose he is, then his masters are throwing their monies down the drain.
It is in this light that the first allegation of the writer falls flat. He alleges that the Governor has paid over N1.5 Bn on air flights “in his globe-trotting” since 2015, that’s a drab joke. I feel the writer is more of a comedian, Isn’t it? Were this to be true, it means that the Governor would have to make over 500 trips at an average cost of N3 million per trip to spend N1.5Bn. But these kinds of amount are easy to mention for PDP goons like Mr. Abdulkadir because his sponsors oversaw those kinds of financial hemorrhage of the state’s resources when they held the reigns like when they expended over N3 billion to provide water between 2007-15 and yet the taps ran dry until the Bello administration undertook a turnaround maintenance of the waterworks and even increased its capacity from 20% to 80% and initiated similarly, water reticulation plans in other parts of the state which have since taken off.
Pumps, panels, electric motors and generator sets have been procured and supplied to Chanchaga, Suleja, Bida and Kontagora waterworks. Vital accessories were installed for Chanchaga waterworks and Dutsen Kura booster station. In the 2019 fiscal year, work at Agaie and Katcha would be completed, but a comedian will always remain a comedian that must make jokes to entertain, Mr Abdulkadir is blessed with comic talent.
Mr. Abdulkadir asked about the Minna-Suleja road and what the Lolo government is doing with the SUKUK bond it shopped for? Well, with an out of date agent like Mr Abdulkadir, these people have reduced governance to child’s play and should not be honoured with a response but as misguided citizens of the state, they need enlightenment. Governor Bello didn’t take any bonds. He withdrew his earlier application for it and if our inquirer was hands-on, he would have known. But that withdrawal irrespective, the state government has evolved a creative way to fund the repairs of the most damaged parts of the Suleja-Minna road, which as we know is a federal road and is arterial to the activities of the state.
The intervention which is ongoing has eased the suffering of motorists and passengers on the road. A palliative that will subsist until the federal government takes charge and does the needful. This issue was one the many tabled to the present when the governor recently led a delegation of elders to the Villa. This initiative has scored high points for the government.
If the writer was writing to make a mischief out of what the Lolo administration has achieved despite the paucity of funds, then he ended up ridiculing himself and his paymaster (s) as the case may be. He had no proper brief from his masters. He should catch a cold when finally realises his folly. For example, he wails that state-owned tertiary institutions are at the risk of losing accreditation. Like seriously..? Mr Abdulkadir doesn’t even know or maybe intentionally ignored a glaring fact that it is the Abubakar Sani Bello’s led restoration agenda that successfully got the school of nursing Bida and school of midwifery Minna full accreditation after 42years of establishing these schools, and already on the way, is that of newly established school of nursing, Kontagora.
This is a totally unnecessary alarm as months before this, the governor who has made a mincemeat of whatever change foreboded the sector, had said in his budget presentation speech to the state house of assembly that “we will continue to support our tertiary institutions to enable them to compete with their peers by making sure they meet accreditation requirements thereby giving credence and recognition to the certificates they give”. Let me add that a doubting Thomas had to show himself in most ignominious fashion. Well, his doubt is like a dance. He has danced well and attracted a huge crowd and I’m only making him realise that now he is dancing NAKED at Mobil roundabout.
Governor Lolo’s policy on education is not only based on strengthening tertiary education. He took from the foundation level. Since his assumption of office, he has seen to the renovation of over 600 primary schools while the bidding process for the next 400 has been concluded. It may interest our inquirer to know that only 417 schools were renovated by the previous administration out of the over 3000 primary schools in the state.
The state has also begun the process of providing quality teachers to its schools with the introduction of the Teachers Secondary Education schools to prepare teachers of the future. The first of the three schools have opened in Munya LGA.
Quality healthcare delivery is not cheap anywhere in the world. But the restoration government is doing a fantastic job in restoring the otherwise, comatose hospitals and decrepit facilities in other to provide quality and affordable healthcare service for the people of Niger state. And for this reason, an unaware citizen like Mr. Abdulkadir thinks that the investment of N3 billion naira is too much an investment to make in a neonatal clinic. To conceal his mischief, he simply says the amount is only for a renovation. He conveniently excludes other details in the overhaul of the facility or that the said amount included debts incurred on them by the previous government on the project.
A little clarification on the 3billion neonatal propaganda, the Abubakar Sani Bello administration met a debt of 500million naira left by the previous administration which has been cleared up to 90%. Operationalization, function and maintenance cost is 70million per month and this will be broken down to ;
Salaries of the newly employed Nurses, Doctors, Pharmacists, Laboratory Scientists, 4 Consultant Specialists in maternal health and 3 consultant specialists in child health. The quarterly visits of the Professor from Imperial College UK to ensure the standard is maintained for efficiency. Purchase and Installation of a 33KVA generator plus 12 months will give you a total sum of 840million which if multiplied by 3years will amount to 2.5billion. Let me also remind Mr. Abdulkadir that, at 2.5billion Niger still runs the cheapest maternal and neonatal hospital in Nigeria.
In agriculture which is the mainstay of Niger’s economy, the Bello administration has procured over 100 tractors and distributed over 300,000 bags of fertilizer to farmers in 2018 alone. And it has held the state’s first economic summit to harness the potentials of the state in other sectors into its agenda for growth and development. So, why would anybody be bent on the rehash of dead issues? Because the whole idea of good governance was only observed in breach by the cronies he now writes to defend.
On the contrary, the restoration agenda of governor Lolo has brought the transparency and accountability to bear in the administration of public funds. That is why the commissioner of finance addressed a press conference a few weeks back and opened the books to the scrutiny of all. He told the world that the total revenue that has accrued to the state since 2015 stands at 256 billion, this throws the writers N500 billion claim out of the window as it did to the imagination of his boss Umar Nasko.
The years of the locust are over in Niger and we are now on the path of growth because Governor Sani Bello has made all the right investment from education to healthcare, infrastructure to the economy.
All other submissions in his diatribe were laced with sugar-coated theories and imaginations. But this will not blackmail the RESTORATION AGENDA of Abu Sani Bello administration to loosen his firm grip on the various channels through which state was bled of its revenue.
Niger has for too long groped in the dark because of bad leadership. This informed the choice of the restoration slogan by the Lolo campaign team back in 2015. Restoration is not possible without rehabilitating, overhauling, remodelling, rethinking and remaining prudent with resources, that is what the restoration Governor and his restoration team have been doing. Those who held the state back and profited in the evil ventures of the past would choke from the kind of cleansing that the restoration brings and they will wail but the restoration agenda only cares for the greatest good for the greatest numbers. And we Nigerlites are the greatest numbers and beneficiaries of the RESTORATION AGENDA.
Fodio Ahmed writes from Minna.