By Mary Noel-Berje
We all face criticisms at various points of our lives. As individuals, organizations or government, criticisms are inevitable. Indeed, while criticisms negatively distract some to failure, it spurs others to achieve success. Being constructively criticized is healthy. However, when persons or entities become excessively and captiously critical, they become blinded by their sentiments and mischief such that any good deed is either not seen or is condemned as incompetent and unworthy.
Such has been the case and a major problem with critics of the governor Abubakar Sani Bello’s administration in Niger State, whose ‘glaucomal’ amnesia and calculated mischief has led to their inability to see and acknowledge where glaring progress and development have been achieved in the last eight years. They are rather fixated only on what is not or has not worked. This negative mindset and attitude does not only deny some people the opportunity to see, analyze and appreciate successes, but also weakens their faith in leadership and good governance.
Unfair criticism can be harmful. To make such an unwholesome statement as ‘the State Government has not done anything’, is manifestly irrational and ridiculous. Thus, it is important, and rightly so, to set the records straight by presenting a factual, but selected representation of Governor ASB’s major, landmark achievements across sectors, zones and or local governments:
FACT-CHECKING ASD’s EIGHT YEARS IN THE SADDLE:
YOU SAID GOVERNOR ABUBAKAR SANI BELLO DID NOTHING, BUT HE DID THESE:
1 – The state government has provided over 400 operational vehicles, vans, motorcycles, bicycles and Tri-cycles to the conventional security agencies in addition to 70 operational trucks and 2,300 motorcycles distributed as mobility support to the Vigilante Group in the State, apart from funding many operations carried out by the security agencies and payments of stipends to the Vigilante groups as well as sponsorship for the children of slain vigilante members.
2 – The state government injected billions of naira in providing camps, relief materials and health care services to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and victims of flooding across the state.
3 – Government tackled the infrastructure deficit in the health sector through the construction, rejuvenation and upgrading of ailing Primary Health Care (PHCs) facilities across the 274 wards in the State.
4 – Construction, renovation and rejuvenation of IBB Specialist Hospital and the General Hospitals in Minna, Suleja, Kontagora, Bida and the construction of College of Nursing Science also in Kontagora as well as supply of medical equipments to all health facilities in the state.
5 – Government carried out the total rehabilitation and overhaul of the Water Works in Minna, Kontagora, Bida and Suleja and across the state, through the procurement of water equipment (low lift and high lift pumps), drilled over 100 solar-powered and 200 hand pump boreholes while over 300 were rehabilitated, procured and rehabilitated water treatment machines and the completion of Agaie/Katcha statewide water supply project.
6 – Construction and total overhaul of Fire Service Stations with supply of modern fire-fighting engines and vehicles in ten LGAs including Bida, Agaie, Minna, Suleja Kontagora and Lapai, and recruited more fire-fighting personnel for effective and efficient service delivery.
7 – Renovation of the state High Court Complex and all Magistrate Courts across the state, purchase and distribution of vehicles to High Court Judges and Magistrates.
8 – Construction of new Legislative Complex and the renovation/extension of the State House of Assembly Complex.
9 – The Whole Schools Development Approach which saw the government comprehensively renovate and construct some selected schools like the Government Science College, Izom; Maryam Babangida Girls Science College, Minna; GGC Kontagora, MICSS Kontagora, GSS Tegina, Maidubu Primary School, Kontagora; GSS Rijau; GSS Bida; DSS Baro; JILSC Kutigi and Kpege Primary School, Mokwa and Limawa Primary School Minna, among others.
10 – Government established the Teachers Professional Development Institute (NSTPDI) at Dandaudu to give teaching profession a robust and solid foundation in the state.
11 – The state has constructed and renovated over 2,500 additional classrooms, toilet facilities as well as drilled boreholes across primary and Junior Secondary Schools, under SUBEB and in collaboration with the Federal Government.
12 – This administration has sustained the CBN Anchor Borrowers Scheme to provide opportunities in the Agricultural value-chain, procured 500 tractors and subsidized fertilizer annually for rural farmers across the state to boost mechanized farming.
13 – It has renovated 17 grain stores across the state, established new irrigation scheme in Tamanai, Borgu local government area, reactivated four existing ones, established 30 hectares Oil Palm Plantation and revitalized/ upgraded the Farm Institute in Tegina, , as well as its study centre in Kuta.
14 – The state government also established the 33,731 hectares multi-million naira Bobi Grazing Reserve (which has been gazetted) to boost meat and dairy production, generate revenue and address Farmer/Herder clashes.
15 – Governor Sani Bello’s administration has constructed and dualized several kilometers of roads across the state, reconstructed and rehabilitated many township roads and also completed many inherited road projects from the past administration and constructed drainage system and waterways.
These include but not limited to:- Garima – Tunga lowcost – Police Station- Ibeto Close; the Radio Niger – Morris Fertilizer roads A, B, C, the construction of Abattoir – Anguwan Biri – Bosso road, Anguwan Daji – Masallacin Idi road, Kure Market-Bomas-Obasanjo Complex-Kuta Road, Sabon Gari – UK Bello Road, Tagwai Dam Road, Bunu –Genu road, Gogo Mailalle road, Old Alheri and Aliyu Babadoko roads, Lady of Fatima, Yusuf Kolawale and Dattijo Aliyu roads all in Tunga. Brighter Schools Road, Tudun Fulani Road, Bosso Estate Road Network, Himma – NNPC Mega Station Road, the dualization of Broadcasting Road, Maikunkele Township Road, Maitumbi – Gbadnayi Road, Makera Road, Sarkin Bosso Road in Bosso, Fadikpe Road in Minna and 4 other roads at London Street have all been completed”. The Jubilee Road, Maje Junction to Kwamba and Suleja, Kontagora (GRA Road Networks in Kontagora, Jikan Shehu-Garkuwa Sabon Layi Road in Kontagora, Mu’azu Babangida Commercial School-Eid praying Ground and Anguwan Yamma Roads in Kontagora), in Bida (Bangaie Dokozha Road, Danchita Road and Landzu Road), the Kagara, Lapai and Agaie township roads, as well as the 10km Federal Highway towards Tegina road.
16 – Through sustained partnership programme with International Development Partners, under the Rural Access Mobility Programme (RAMP) government has constructed more than 500km of rural roads and river crossings across the state, and also carried out a bituminous surface dressing of 235km of some of the rural roads constructed by RAMP.
These Include:- Kaboji – Adogon Mallam, Adogon Mallam – Mazakuka, Kutriko – Eyangi-Liman, Takuti – Kutriko, Shakwatu – Gunudna, Ibeto – Gyengi, Maikujere – Madaki, Makera – Beji – Labuda, Mukugi – Adako, Sarkin Pawa – Iga, Kontagora – Gangaren Sagi, Gbadafu – Emighimanzhi, Daban – Ndaruka, Lambata – Nyela – Baji, Napankuchi, Maikunkele – Jangaru. Those surfaced dressed are:- Kutigi – Tashan Hajiya (55.32km), Suleja – Abuchi – Izom (21km), WuyaSuman – Leme (37km), Kampanin Bobi – Bangi (88,7km), WuyaKantin – Etsu Tasha (11.2km), Old-Gawu – Farin Doki (21.9km).
17 – Governor Abubakar Sani Bello led administration revamped the State-owned Transport Authority (NSTA) and procured sixty four additional buses for its operations as part of deliberate efforts to promote easy movement of goods and services across the country.
18 – Governor Abubakar Sani Bello inaugurated the state’s Traffic Management Agency (NISTMA), an intra-transport management system, and allocated 21 vehicles to the agency to facilitate its operations.
19 – The State Government has completed key electrification projects in the state and have been certified by the Nigerian Electricity Management Service Agency (NEMSA). It has completed the Agwara and Bangi electrification projects in Mariga and Agwara Local Government Areas as well as Yelwa/Emigi, Goshaigi and its environs in Katcha and Gbako Local Government Areas. Government has electrified over 70 villages including but not limited to Kasanagi, Doko Bokun, Panti, Lafiagi, Langba, Gozhigi, Bakondare, Kara, Nagia, Edukuso, Angulu, and Masantali all in Katcha LGA.
The administration purchased transformers of various capacities and distributed to end users. Government purchased and distributed over 900 high and low tension concrete poles to different communities, as well as an 5MVA Power Transformer with Ring Me Unit (RMU) for Kagara Town with an outdoor breaker for Tegina town.
A 500KVA “B” distribution transformer was installed at Barikin Sale area in Minna, a 50KVA Transformer at Izom Water Works and the full electrification of the commercial town of Beji in Bosso Local Government Area, neglected for more than 20 years without electricity. The state government also commissioned a Pilot Solar Electricity Project at Tungan Jika.
Government also carried out electrification projects of 12 communities in Lapai Local Government Areas of Niger State. These include Emirokpa, Chepa, Pelemi, Jankara and Gbedu communities. The projects consisted of seven transformers connected to 33KVA lines based on inter-township connection.
The state government undertook the supply and installation of 33KVA Lt Line and Substation, 33KVA Outdoor breaker and Transformers of various capacities to many more communities in Bida, Katcha, Edati, Lavun,Mokwa, Bosso, Chanchaga, Paikoro, Rafi, Munya, Suleja, Shiroro, Agwara, Kontagora, Magama, Mariga, Mashegu, Rijau and Wushishi Local Government Areas.
20 – Governor Alhaji Abubakar Bello performed the groundbreaking and laid the foundation for the construction of 279 units housing scheme in Suleja town, as part of the government’s efforts to provide affordable housing accommodation to citizens in the state. The housing scheme is in partnership with Bamhill Properties.
The State Government also completed the Col. Sani Bello Housing Estate in Kontagora, the Umaru Musa Yar’adua Housing Estate, Sabon Wuse in Suleja, the Mamu Estate along Western Bye-pass in Minna, the Kwanayi Housing Estate along Minna-Paiko road, completion of the existing duplexes at the 3-Arms Zone in Minna as well as the provision of infrastructure at Airport City Housing Estate and Kwanayi Estate.
The list is selective and by no means exhaustive. But it is tangible and on record that Governor Abubakar Sani Bello-led administration has constructed over 200 civil engineering projects, 80 mechanical/electrical projects and more than 30 public building projects across the state.
The administration may not have gotten it right all through, but it has definitely made significant impact on some key sectors of the economy.
Governor Sani Bello’s administration would come to an end in some few days time, but the full impact of the administration would surely be felt in its legacies, years after its long gone.
21 – RENOVATION OF GOVERNMENT HOUSE AND OTHERS: – A lot of critics of this administration erroneously, and mischievously, believe that the fencing and renovation of the Government House was a wasteful venture. Remarkably however, little did they realize that the renovation was only part of a bigger project carried out in the overall best interest of the state.
Governor Abubakar Sani Bello realistically believed, and rightly so, that it would make a better economic sense to renovate the existing Government House, Lodges and Guest Houses than to spend billions constructing new ones.
So, in the lifespan of this administration, it has carried out: The renovation, rehabilitation and reconstruction of Government House, Minna; the renovation, furnishing of Governor’s Lodge in Asokoro, Abuja and Victoria Island, Lagos; the renovation, rehabilitation and reconstruction of Government House Main Lodge, Chief of Staff Office, Conference Hall and Council Chamber.
Also carried out by Governor Sani Bello are: the Construction of Armoury in Government House, Minna; the renovation, furnishing and beautification of 8No Government Guest Houses in Minna; the construction of Deputy Governor’s Office at SSG’s Complex, Minna; the laying of asphalt concrete wearing course of road within Government House, Minna; the renovation of Government House Clinic; the supply and installation of electronics, transformer, solar street lights and outdoor lamps, as well as Fiber Base Broadband Internet Service at Governor’s Main Lodge, Minna and the furnishing and beautification of ADC Quarters I & II at Governor’s Main Lodge, Minna among numerous others.
Noel-Berje is the Chief Press Secretary to Sani-Bello