May 29 in Nigeria, except for some election circumstantial states, is regarded as the start of tenures in our political space. It is also a time to take stock of how politicians whose political campaign promises are gauged against their achievements. Tommorow would be exactly a year after, power baton changed hands and it is time to take a look at how each state in the country fared within the last year counting from May 29, 2015. No fewer than 27 states had elections and new oaths of office taken by the winners. On that day, the president and state governors took oath of office. On the anniversary of that day, citizens ask questions while leaders give accounts of their stewardship. They tell their compatriots how the journey had been. Often times, it is also a day to lament paucity of funds to run the government. But irrespective of their excuses of lack of funds, it is important and incumbent on the people to scrutinise the performances against their promises. In this special report, we focus on the governor one-year in office. Have they fared well? What has happened to the hospitals they promised and the schools they vowed to rebuild? What about the meals they said school children would get free of charge and the social security they promised senior citizens? Will there be free education as they promised? From Lagos to Borno; from Rivers to Katsina; from Niger to Enugu; from Oyo to Plateau; from Ekiti to Adamawa and from Kogi to Cross River, governors will celebrate their achievements and also answer questions about their stewardship. Our correspondents reports on how each state has fared
Kebbi: Agriculture is the Focus
There is no doubt that within one year in office, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu has made appreciable progress in Kebbi State. Agriculture has received the desired attention, especially rice farming. This was as a result of the efforts of the governor and the Federal Government, through the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Anchor Borrowers Programme. Although larger chunk of the money for the programme came from the CBN, the governor has demonstrated good political leadership to drive the process.
Bagudu also created similar loan packages worth several billions of naira to accommodate farmers who were left out in the CBN loan package. There is no doubt that the commitment shown by the governor has triggered off agricultural activities especially rice production in most parts of the state, especially Suru, Augie, Kangiwa, Aliero, Argungu, Yauri, among other rice producing communities. Current statistics shows that Nigeria requires seven million tons per annum to sufficiently meet its rice demand. But the governor promised President Muhammadu Buhari that Kebbi farmers would be able to provide the country with one million tons annually.
Another feat achieved by the governor in the last one year, was the completion of Yauri Local Government township roads which now wear a new look. Similarly, Bagudu has ensured that electricity supply to the state capital was maintained at least 20 hours daily. In fact, Kebbi is one of the few states in the country that enjoy almost uninterrupted power supply. On assumption of office, the governor embarked on regular visits to the Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company and contributed substantial amount of money to the company to provide transformers and cables to aid the distribution of electricity in the state. Street lights in the state capital which were hitherto not functional now works. He has also been pressurising the power companies dealing with electrification projects in Zuru and Yauri Local Government Areas to hasten the completion of the projects which has been at a snail pace for years.
Sokoto: A Story of Focus and Commitment
Governor Aminu Tambuwal’s focus has been on completing projects started by his predecessor, Senator Aliyu Wamakko. In fact, Tambuwal had during his inauguration on May 29, 2015, declared that he would give priority to completing projects left by his predecessor rather than embarking on new projects. He believed that abandoning such projects would not augur well for the state. Some of the uncompleted projects left by the past administration included College of Midwifery, Tambuwal, the N1.7 billion College of Agriculture, Wurno, School of Legal Studies, Wamakko, and 500 housing units of three-bedroomed flats at Gidan Manada area of Sokoto metropolis and road projects, among others.
The governor also identified education and agriculture as key sectors that could transform the lives of people of the state. It was in view of the need to revamp education in the state that his administration declared a state of emergency in the education sector. A committee was set up six months ago under the leadership of former Vice Chancellor of the Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto Prof. Riskuwa Shehu, to develop realistic work-plan and budget aimed at streamlining the education sector infrastructure, manpower and community development.
Already, the state government has concluded plans to launch an educational appeal fund to effectively provide basic educational needs for the people of the state. The move was part of the efforts to ensure that all the various stakeholders make their meaningful contribution towards revamping the sector. Thus, the state government intends to reach out to wealthy individuals, corporate organisations, development partners and donor agencies to complement its efforts in providing basic educational needs.
A Technical Committee on Immediate Framework for Agricultural Development under the leadership of Alhaji Abdullahi Chiso Dattijo, was also set up few months ago to liase with traditional leaders in order to revamp agriculture in the state. The committee organised an agriculture summit and deliberated with stakeholders to chart a road map for the revival of agriculture as a viable business in the state.
In fact, efforts of the government have started yielding fruits, as it signed an agreement with Erisco Foods to establish a tomato processing factory in the state.
Tambuwal also signed a memorandum of understanding with Henan Province of China for the establishment of a demonstration farm and boosting of agriculture in the state.
Zamfara: Just Little to Show
Governor Abdulaziz Yari has made giant strides in providing good road networks to the towns and rural areas especially the farming communities in the state. Hundreds of kilometres of roads were constructed linking many communities in the hinterlands. Residents of some villages and towns that never dreamt of having asphalted roads can now smile. Township roads projects are being carried out in all the 14 local government areas of the state. Yari also spent billions on the semi-urban water scheme and this is the first of its kind in the state. Yari prefers to lay emphasis on provision of infrastructure with available resources of the government.
In fact, Governor Yari has been applauded for completing most of the projects initiated by his predecessor, Shinkafi. These include the completion and equipping of the Yarima Bakura Specialist Hospital, State Ministry of Finance and court complexes in Gusau, the state capital. Other township road projects in Tsafe local government area, the dualisation of the road from Muslim Foundation to Birnin Ruwa area and the asphalting overlay of Sani Abacha way in Gusau, the state capital, among others have been completed.
These include: economic empowerment for women. During the campaign, Yari pledged that women in the state would be economically empowered by receiving N25,000. This promise, however, has not seen the light of the day with many women expressing indignation over the unfulfilled pledge.
Moreover, the governor is also at loggerheads with civil servants over non-implementation of minimum wage. Many workers are still expressing their disappointment over his administration’s failure to implement the much touted N18,000 minimum wage when other civil servants in other states are already being paid the wage.
Akwa Ibom: Keeping Faith with Campaign Vows
Deacon Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, upon assumption of office, announced that his policy direction and focus would centre on a five-point agenda namely, job creation, wealth creation, poverty alleviation, economic and political inclusion, infrastructural consolidation and expansion.
Following one year in office, in the area of construction, like the Mkpok-Okat road in Onna, dualisation of Awa-Ikot Nkang road with drains in Onna Local Government Area, Ikot Udom with 15m span bridge in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area as well as internal roads have been completed. Work is also going on about 117 kilometers of roads across the state including dualisation of 19.7km Uyo-Etinan Road, construction of 39.4km Etinan-Ndon Eyo Road with two bridges, construction of 7.3km Ikot Ebekpo-Ikot Ebidang Road, resumption of work at Ikot Ekara/Ikot Ibritam Road in Oruk Anam Local Government, construction of 5km Ikot Usop-Ikot Edeghe Ikot-Ekpuk Rod with 30m span bridge in Mkpat Enin LGA, dualisation of Eket-Ibeno road, urban renewal projects within Eket and Oron townships, construction of second runway at Ibom International Airport, construction of three collapsed bridges and internal roads in Obot Akara Local Government Area, construction of 1.2km underground drainage in Uyo by Nsikak Eduok/Oron road junction, dualisation of Uyo-Okobo-Oron Road linking East-West road, spanning 30km, construction of water reticulation and head-works in Ifa Atai and Idu Uruan, in Uyo and Uruan Local Government respectively, construction of an ultra-modern gynecology ward at St. Luke’s Hospital Anua in Uyo Local Government and renovation of male and children wards in the hospital and emergency intervention on gully erosion at Enen Atai-Calabar-Itu highway.
Emmanuel has also revitalised and inagurated the moribund Peacock Paints Industry Limited at Ikot Ekan, Etinan, for full operation, development of coconut plantation at Eastern Obolo, site clearing for 100,000 barrels per day petrochemical refinery in Eket.
In area of power generation, additional power sub-stations have been built in the state which resulted in the improvement experienced in electricity supply in the state..
Rating: Above Average
Jigawa:Punching Within Its Weight
Governor Mohammed Badaru, on assumption of office, abolished payment of school fees for male students of senior secondary schools as part of his campaign promises to improve education in the state.
Badaru also settled over N604m State Counterpart Funding of outstanding UBEC/SUBEB Intervention Fund immediately he assumed office.
On the economic development, Governor Badaru launched the goat breeding and rearing micro credit scheme for widows. The objective of the scheme was to empower them and other divorced women who do not have tangible means of livelihood.
So far the administration also partnered with a private company,s WACOT Nigeria Limited, on the establishment of sesame processing and cleaning plants in the state. Under the arrangement, about 300 hectares sesame seeds were distributed free to farmers at the launching of the programme in Gumel Local Government Area. Also, about 3,382metric tons of assorted fertilizer was provided to farmers at less than half of its landing cost.
Within one year also, Governor Badaru also signed an MOU with International Crop Research Institute for Semi Arid Tropic (ICRISAT) on development of groundnut value chain including seeds, processing, marketing and Aflatoxin management.
There is also a plan with collaboration with Central Bank of Nigeria on mopping up of N43bn worth of paddy and support to private sector investments in agriculture through allocation of land to about 10,000 outgrowers, provision of 20,000 hectares for sugar, 12,000 hectares to Lee Group Limited for sugarcane production.
The administration also undertook the upgrading of Birniwa cottage hospitals to general hospital status to boost access to healthcare. Badaru also approved the establishment of second school of nursing in the state at Hadejia and procurement of dialysis machine for Hadejia General Hospital.
Cross River: Bringing Dreams to Fruition
Professor Ben Ayade, on assuming office, said the policy thrust of his administration would be “creation of wealth through industrialisation and provision of first class infrastructure.” Ayade then announced the proposed Bakassi Deep Sea Port and the proposed 240-kilometre super highway from Bakassi to Katsina. He has held strongly to this as his signature projects which on completion, would serve as evacuation corridor for cargoes from the deep sea port to states in the northern part of the country and other African countries; thereby opening up the state’s hinterland communities to economic boom.
The calculation is that when operational, the deep sea port would create at least 30,000 jobs and also create wealth for investors and the people.
However, the paucity of funds is constituting a hindrance on Ayade’s dream. But undauted, Ayade has traversed the world in search of foreign investors to actualise the signature projects which would cost over N700 billion. He seems to be making progress. To this end, the Federal Government has set up Implementation and Steering Committee towards actualising the project. EIA at advanced stage, detailed design, barthymetric survey have been completed. The soil studies of the Superhighway route, detailed route survey completed.
To his credit, within the last 12 months, he has also established the Cross River Garment Factory, which is the biggest in Africa with a size of 5,000sqm, and employs 3000 people.
Four primary health care centres have been renovated and equipped. Currently, on going, are the construction of Calabar Pharmaceutical Company and Rice City which will serve to provide food, thus boosting the economy of the state.
Aside from creation of wealth through infrastructural development, the establishment of the Green Police to protect the environment, especially the rain forest, represents another area Ayade’s administration has targeted to create direct employment for at least 1,000 youths from the state’s three senatorial districts. Ayade has also completed the mono-rail to link the CICC with Tinapa, and sections of Unicem Road; projects his administration inherited from the administration of former Governor Liyel Imoke.
On May 1, the governor was declared the most labour-friendly governor in the country. The achievement stems mainly from his ability to pay workers’ salaries regularly since he assumed office. He has achieved this feat at a time many other state governors are unable to pay workers salaries.
Perharps, were it not for lack of funds, his bigger dreams would have come to fruition. No one will deny the energy, passion and the dexterity of Ayade to leave indelible footprints in the state’s landscape.
Niger State: So Far, So Fair, So Average
It took the administration of Governor Abubakar Sani Bello almost four months to settle down to business after upon assumption of office last year. Even after the Executive Council was constituted, allotting portfolios to the members became an Herculean task primarily because of vested political interests.
One year after, the governor has not been able to appoint all the 15 special advisers he sought and got approval for from the State House of Assembly. Out of the seven appointed, only three were sworn in.
The administration was also weighed down by paucity of funds due largely to a serious reduction in the amount accruable to the state from the federation account. Between May 2015 and April this year, it is, however, to the credit of the administration that it has religiously paid salaries and allowances of civil servants and pensioners though the administration had to go borrowing to augment what it received from Abuja to do this.
A couple of months ago, a massive road construction programme in Minna, the state capital, and some other roads in the 25 local government headquarters began. Roads such as the Makera-Kwangila which has remained impassable for decades is now being reconstructed; ditto is the road from the NNPC mega station to the Brighter International School where residents have had to swim through ponds of water during raining season to get to other parts of the state capital. The construction of the Abdulkadir Kure Ultra Modern Market-Sabongari road which the last administration of Governor Muazu Babangida Aliyu commenced and terminated at Obasanjo Shopping Complex roundabout is also nearing completion.
In the health sector, some sort of transformation is being witnessed in the general hospitals as a result of the monthly release of funds for the day-to-day administration of the institutions which resulted in the improved physical structure of the Minna General Hospital and the IBB Specialist Hospital. But, the hospitals. These institutions have continued to grapple with the problem of inadequate manpower especially medical doctors, nurses and pharmacists.
Lagos: Ambode’s Defining One Year
At his inauguration, AkinwunmiAmbode rolled out a programme of actions, which he said, would be given utmost priority in his first term in office. Specifically, his policy thrust was built on a tripod with focus on security, infrastructure development and job creation, which according to him, were designed to restore hope to the hopeless; defend the defenceless and give voice to the voiceless in the state.
However, the first six months of his administration were fraught with three intractable challenges: hydra-headed traffic gridlocks, gnawing insecurity and environmental issues. He provided strategic leadership, which relatively restored public order to the state.
Due to the state’s rising security challenges, Ambode donated security equipment worth N4.756 billion to the state Police Command. The equipment included three helicopters, two gunboats, 15 armed personnel carriers (APCs), 100 salon cars, 55 Ford Ranger Pick-ups, 10 Toyota Land Cruiser Pick-ups, 15 BMW power bikes and 100 power bikes among others.
This intervention, which was the first of its kind in the history of Nigeria, became imperative because the Federal Government could no longer fund the Nigeria Police effectively. By implication, official statistics showed that the intervention plucked the state’s crime rate by 65 per cent in the last quarter of 2015, with Ambode saying, Lagos “is a lot safer and more secure.”
Likewise, the governor initiated ‘The Light up Lagos Project.’ He introduced this initiative on a notion that crime “thrives best in darkness.” The initiative was designed “to light up our major roads, highways and inner roads.” Consequently, the State Electricity Board rehabilitated public street lighting in 366 locations covering a stretch of 600km of roads.
During the electioneering, Ambode promised to construct two roads in each of the 20 Local Government Areas and Local Council Development Areas to mark his first anniversary in office. In this spirit, he inaugurated the construction of 114 roads at the cost of N17.5 billion. The projects are now at different stages of completion across the local councils and many of them have even been commissioned.
The administration rehabilitated about 500 major roads, which Ambode said, largely unlocked intractable gridlocks that almost crippled the state’s economic activities in his first three months in office. His government has also started constructing fly-overs in two of the state’s high traffic zones namely, Ajah roundabout and Abule-Egba junction respectively in the Lagos Central and West Senatorial District.
In addition,, Ambode initiated different mega projects, which he said, would be executed under the public-private partnership (PPP) arrangement. Some of these projects include Fourth Mainland Bridge, Marina-Ikoyi-Lekki Monorail, Oshodi Transport Interchange, Lagos Medical Park and 8-lane Ikorodu-Epe road. Even though the state is faced with scarce resources, the governor said he was resolute in his commitment “to serve and justify the trust Lagos residents reposed in me.”
Oyo: One-Man Show as Governance Flounders
Governor Abiola Ajimobi broke the second term jinx in the 40 year-old state when he was re-elected last year. But it seems the state might have seen the best of him in his first term. Constituting the cabinet has remained a Herculean task since May 29 last. Save for the appointment of the Secretary to the State Government, Ismail Olalekan Ali, announced five weeks ago, and the constitution of public communication team headed by Yomi Layinka, it has been a one-man show.
In his first term, he tried in the area of road construction but same cannot be said of him in the first year of his second term. A typical example is Eleyele/Ologuneru-Ido-Eruwa road, Ijokodo-Apete-Awotan road, General Gas-Akobo-Olorunda road, Akala way, Wofun-Exide road, Oriya Challenge-Odo Elewe Liberty Academy road in Oluyole local government, Wire & Cable-Orisunmbare-Ire Akari road, to mention but a few. And these are just within Ibadan metropolis. The state of other roads in Ibarapa, Ogbomoso, Oyo and Oke-Ogin are better imagined.
Also workers are owed salaries from February to date. Workers are given the sqek and the latest being some permanent secretaries and six directors of the State Broadcasting Corporation (BCOS). Just two weeks ago, the SSG said about 16,532 workers would have their salaries suspended with immediate effect and may be ultimately relieved of their jobs unless they were able to scale the hurdle of a fresh panel empowered to verify their issues.”
Though some observers say dwindling revenue is responsible for the governor’s lacklustre year, but the state government through its many agencies set up to generate internal revenue, are making huge profits in billions billings, yet his state is not feeling the impact of the huge revenue stream. The state’s signage agency (OYSAA). But lack of a functional cabinet is also said not to be helping matters as well.
Rating: Below Average
Abia: A Governor’s Fixation with Infrastructural Development
A year ago, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu had issues concerning his election. But as he marks one year in office, he seems sure of himself and his agenda. And that is improvement of infrastructure in the state. The governor identified five “pillars” on which he hinged the development agenda of his administration namely: Education, Oil and Gas, Trade and Commerce, Agriculture, and Security.
He hit the ground running with his first port of call to the commercial city of Aba, which for years was reeling under total decaying infrastructure. He was determined to fix the roads in Aba. Ikpeazu is presently on 55 active road projects across the state. Out of these, 27 have been completed. Governor Ikpeazu is not contented with building roads but providing roads of high quality with long life span. The chief press secretary to the governor, Godwin Adindu, explained that “the idea is to extend the life span of the roads, to ensure durability so we don’t come back to them very soon.” And the governor has also made it a point of duty that drainages and street lights must adorn every road he builds. Aside from building new roads, the government also adopted a policy of zero tolerance to potholes under which old roads are being asphalted and resurfaced to make them smooth for road users.
Ikpeazu is also paying attention to security; especially because of security challenges posed by the Fulani herdsmen. He has provided 20 patrol cars to the state police command to enhance their crime prevention operations. He has also embarked on youth empowerment programme anchored on skill acquisition. tagged Education for Employment, E4E, the programme is aimed at imparting vocational and technical skills to thousands of Abia youths to enhance their potential for self-employment as well fit into the job needs of industries.
Kaduna: Taming the Scourge of Insecurity and Infrastructure
Though he made enough noise, as he used to do before becoming governor, Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, has embarked on some reforms to cut down cost of governance, ensure transparency, accountability and efficiency in the affairs of government since he came in last May. Part of this was the adoption of the Single Treasury Account, TSA, of the Federal Government and ministries were reduced from 19 to 13.
El-Rufai listed education, security, health, agriculture, job creation and provision of basic infrastructure as top priority of his administration. He introduced free basic education and free feeding for primary schools as well as the rehabilitation and provision of furniture to the schools. According to the governor, 1.5 million pupils were being fed everyday in schools, adding that over N6 billion has been spent on school upgrade and provision of furniture between September 2015 and January 2016.
In the area of security, the government donated 107 vehicles and bullet proof vests as well as 51 motorcycles to the police and other security agencies to combat crime. Also, joint security task force, made up of the Nigerian Army, Air Force, Police and the Department of State Security, was constituted. The government also set up a committee headed by former Chief of Defence Staff, Lt. Gen. Martins Agwai, to look into the incessant invasion and killing of people by armed gangs in Southern Kaduna and proffer solutions.
The Manchok, Saminaka, Kafanchan, Kaduna water works are being rehabilitated while the health sector received a boost following the contract awarded to General Electric (GE) to modernise and equip 255 primary health centres in each ward across the state.
Township roads are also being constructed with solar powered street lights being installed on major roads. The multi billion naira Kawo dual carriage way expansion which was initiated by the previous administration is in progress.
Rating: Above Average
Kwara: Modest Feats Amidst Paucity of Funds
Govrnor Abdulfatah Ahmed, a year into his second term in office, knows his limitations: paucity of funds. And he has inaugurated a verification committee to determine the regular increase in the wage bill of the government every month.
The governor has also set up Kwara Internal Revenue Service during the year under review and this has now improved the internally generated revenue of the state monthly federal allocations to the state has dwindled.
The governor recently paid N2.4billion to contractors handling over 35 road projects across the state. These include the Aduralere-Isalekoko-Ojagboro-
Debt Management Office (DMO) recently announced the approval of the state’s N10 billion infrastructural development bond and some of the projects tied to the bond, include the expansion of some major roads in the state capital, construction of two new campuses for Kwara State University, KWASU, in Ilesha-Baruba; and Osi in Baruten and Ekiti Local Government areas respectively; construction of overhead bridge at Garin Alimi; construction of Kishi-Kaiama road; dualisation of Michael Imoudu to Ganmo Road in Ilorin, and construction, equipping and fitting of new KWASU School of Business and Governance.
Others include the renovation and equipping of the Ilorin Stadium Indoor Sports Hall, equipping and training for the International Vocational Centre, Ajase Ipo, renovation of Oro General Hospital and four other cottage hospitals, renovation of 481 old classrooms and 318 new ones at secondary level, contribution to the construction and equipping of the Kwara Textile Industrial Park, compliance with Contributory Pension Scheme and sinking of 938 boreholes.
To increase water supply to residents of the state and alleviate their sufferings, the state government commenced the final phase of Ilorin water reticulation project.
Similarly, as part of its vision to develop the state housing sector, Governor Ahmed in March this year, flagged off the construction of a commercial complex known as The Hub in Ilorin.
Adamawa: Governor Mohammad Jibrilla Bindow’s Stewardship for One Year
A year after he came in, Governor Muhammad Jibrilla Bindow of Adamawa State has concentrated more on constructing roads than on any other projects. The development was as a result of the deplorable nature of roads in the state.
Bindow has spent over N12 billion to construct a number of roads within and outside the state capital.
In the last one year, the Bindow administration rehabilitated three hospitals which were moribund and in a bad stale, in the three senatorial zones of the state, ensuring drugs were also supplied to the clinics.
The administration is also renovating the abondoned Yola International Hotel.While supervising the level of job done, the governor said when the hotel is completed, it will create more than 2000 jobs and boost tourism in the state.
In the last one year, the governor also introduced the Bindow for Social Change, BSC, which is meant to encourage small scale businesses and crafts work like blacksmith.
As much as Bindow is trying to make an impact within one year of his government, one sour point is non-payment of teachers’ salaries as well as that of health workers, and some entitlements for about six other months. The governor is not also maximising the state’s economic potentials to generate revenue but always depending on Statutory Allocation which is not always enough to run the state.
Plateau: Taming the Ethnic Monster
Governor Simon Bako Lalong, on assumption of office a year ago, rolled out a five-point policy thrust to guide him in tackling the many challenges his administration met on ground. The points are: peace, security and good governance; human capital development and social welfare; agriculture and rural development; entrepreneurship and industrialisation and physical infrastructure and environmental development.
Lalong has done well in the area of peace and security, seeing that the state has became a tinder box in the past decade, a development that pitched various ethnic, political and religious groups in the state against one another. His administration has restored a semblance of peace to cities and villages.
Commendably, he has chosen to continue with the many projects, especially those of road construction, started by his predecessor, Jonah David Jang. Many see it as an achievement seeing that some other governors would have abandoned such projects started by their predecessors.
A major campaign promise Lalong made to workers of the state before he was elected was that he would clear backlog of salaries owed workers by the previous administration. He has tried to do this within the limit of resources available to him. However, he currently owes the workers about three month salaries. But sadly, one year after assuming office, Lalong has failed to take democracy to the grassroots. He dissolved the local government structure he met on ground and appointed management committees to oversee the councils with a promise to conduct elections to democratically elect chairmen. However, tenures of the committees have been renewed three times. The reason he repeatedly advanced is lack of fund to conduct the election.
Also, for similar reasons of poor economy of the state, the governor has failed to appoint special advisers and assistants to join him in running the government. This has angered some of his supporters who expected they would be rewarded for their loyalty.
Nasarawa: Little Push, Over-bloated Ideas
One year into the second term of Governor Tanko Al-Makura in Nasarawa State, there are mixed feelings among residents and indigenes of the state on the development efforts of the state government. THISDAY checks reveal that while the government has a robust plan to engender an economically viable state, the pace of delivering the promises amidst an unfavourable economic environment has remained a challenge.
Al-Makura has so far targeted infrastructural development; more of consolidating the modest achievements of the first term. With feats like the construction of about 800 kilometers of asphalted roads, three ultra-modern hospitals across the three geopolitical zones; completion of 36 modern classrooms for “Taal” Primary Schools; completion of four modern market facilities; infrastructural expansion of the Nasarawa State University in Keffi, and a couple others during the first term, laying foundations for greater achievements.
Al-Makura’s most conspicuous project in his second term so far has been the construction of a cargo airport in Lafia. According to the governor, the project is meant to “open the economy of the state for enhanced investment and better fortunes for the people.”
In a recent visit to the site of the airport, the governor maintained that the project was timely and well-thought out, in an apparent response to opposition of such project. The opposition, All Progressives Grand Alliance, in the state tagged the project “Al-Makura’s White Elephant.”
The cargo airport, expected to gulp N17 billion, is being jointly financed by the state and a Chinese interest, Messrs Tongyi Engineering Nigerial Limited through its financial consultants, HYPAC Group.
But organised labour in the state, through the Chairmen of the Nigerian Labour Congress, and the Trade Union Congress, Comrades Abdullahi Adeka and Suleiman Ode, respectively expressed reservations about the needfulness of the project. They called on the government to rather revive the state’s transport sector.
Rating: Below Average
Benue: Not Too Much to Show Off
When Samuel Ortom became governor of Benue State, a year ago, he said the vision of the state has not been fulfilled and so he was going to ensure the state reaches its full potential.
“Though we appreciate the achievements of the past 39 years, we acknowledge the fact that our state is far from reaching its potentials. Our collective vision for the state is yet to be fulfilled. The many challenges on our path notwithstanding, we must not stop in our determined march forward nor allow ourselves to be distracted from our vision of a healthy, united and prosperous Benue where capacity, potential, resourcefulness and integrity will converge to enable the state break into the league of top states in the country. Our administration will build private sector capacity and encourage it to thrive by creating the enabling environment.”
However, one year later, it has been a mixed grill if of unfulfilled promises and plans. Since its inauguration into office, the government has been bedeviled with problems of funds. Workers in the state have not been paid for about five months despite huge borrowing by the government. The take-off of infrastructural development has been slow while the private sector development is almost non existent.
Despite these challenges, the governor has commenced the total renovation of the school of nursing in the state and also pursuing its accreditation.
On road construction, the state government has awarded contract for eight roads to be constructed while it is at the level of completing the Achusa ring road started by the previous administration. The governor has also begun the Mobil-Barrack road and the Daudu Gbajimba road which are now at various stages of completion.
Kano: Little Feats, Attritional Continues
Abdullahi Umar Ganduje’s one year in office has witnessed massive development in the state considering his pledge to complete existing projects starting of new ones.
Among his one-year achievements are introduction of free health care system, training of health personnel and free eye treatment to over 20,000 people.
On agricultural development, Ganduje provided subsidised fertilizer to farmers in the state and also improved the irrigation activities.
Ganduje’s one year in office has witnessed innovation of new projects like construction of Madobi underpass road, construction of schools and other metropolitan roads.
He also directed contractors handling the construction of five kilometre roads across the state’s 44 local government areas to return to sites and ensure completion of the projects within a short time.
Governor Ganduje also revisited and directed for continuation of abandoned Zoo Road Hospital started by the Ibrahim Shekarau administration but abandoned by his predecessor, Kwankwaso.
The challenges now confronting Ganduje Administration is the political attrition between him and his former boss. A situation which is threatening his administration considering Kwankwaso’s political influence and his group, Kwankwasiyya, in the state.
There is also the inability of Ganduje to sustain some laudable projects embarked upon by his predecessor especially on free education, overseas education sponsorship of indigent students and provision of free meals to students. These were low marks of his administration.
Ebonyi: David Umahi: Peace, Urban Renewal Take Centre Stage
Engr. David Umahi, has recorded some modest achievements in Ebonyi State, especially in the area of roads construction and reconstruction.
Some have attributed this to peaceful co-existence amongst the people of the state. Umahi has reconstructed and constructed over 20 urban roads within the capital. Some of the projects include three flyovers at Centenary City, Dr Akanu Ibiam Roundabout, also known as Speredeo Junction and Presco Junction respectively that are at advance stages of completion; reconstruction of the Abakaliki-Afikpo federal road; Agbaja/ Nwofe road; Nkalagu/ Ehamufu road; Agba/ isu road; Odumoke/ Ugbodo road; Amasiri-Amagwu/ Edda road; Okposi/ Uburu road and numerous bridges across the state.
The administration has also embarked on aggressive agricultural revolution with about N2billion consolidated fund to boost rice production in the state. Umahi’s administration has also set aside another N2billion for youths’ empowerment.
In less than five months in office, the governor embarked on aggressive streets lighting projects, making night activities to sprout in the state capital since its creation in 1996. It was during Umahi’s administration that residents first witnessed the presence of street lights which have tremendously assisted in the reduction of crimes in the state. The street lights, which covered over 15 major streets, no doubt have added to the aesthetic outlook of the city.
However, workers unrest nearly collapsed the administration over agitation by organised labour for the continuous payment of the 50 per cent salary increment, which the former administration approved before leaving office.
Ogun: Ibikunle Amosun; More Motion, Less Speed
Recently, Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, marked the 40th anniversary of the creation of the state which was held in the state capital, Abeokuta, where the governor gave account of his stewardship to the people.
During the ceremony, the governor inaugurated 40 projects that included: shopping malls, flyovers, roads, schools and hospitals. The inaugurated projects cut across the 20 local government areas.
The governor reiterated his administration’s determination to continue to develop the agricultural sector. This, according to him, is in a bid to improve the socio-economic life of the people in the state.
Meanwhile, the challenges the state maybe facing in the next one year include lack of funds to complete other capital projects in the state.
The issue of workers’ salary deductions which include cooperative deductions, contributory pension fund, Ileya/Easter deductions and other bank deductions by the state government may resurface, which led to a one-week strike by the state’s civil servants.
According to Secretary, Ogun State Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council, Comrade Modiu Bello, the state government has refused to pay four months’ deductions made from workers’ salaries in October, November, December 2014 and January 2015.
He said the non-payment of the deductions had made life unbearable for the workers.
However, the governor assured that his government would continue to expose the state’s workforce to local and international training in order to broaden their knowledge.
Borno: Contending with the Shadows of Terrorism
Borno State has been in the news more that any other state in the federation for the wrong reasons. The state has been the hotbed of terrorism which has engulfed the North-eastesrn region of the country. Although, there has been some relative improvement, it is not yet time for celebration. So far, the state is grappling with redevelopment of destroyed communities by the Boko Haram terrorist sects. The cost of Post Insurgency Recovery and Peace Building Assessment Report on Borno is put at $6 billion. 20,000 persons were killed, two million displaced, about one million houses, 665 Municipal buildings and 201 healthcare centres were destroyed. A total of 5,335 classrooms and other school buildings were destroyed across 512 primary schools, 38 secondary schools and two tertiary institutions.
Realising this daunting task of wresting Borno State from the jaws of destruction and the need to get the development train back on track, Governor Kashim Shettima upon his re-election created the Ministry for Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement with a mandate of rebuilding all communities, private homes, public structures as well as rehabilitating victims.
With that in the bag, the task of getting the IDPs, to come home instead of living camps has begun. Reconstruction works were started with communities in Kaga, Maiduguri, Jere, Konduga and Bama local government areas having the first shot in the phase one. The government made the choice of communities based on immediate access to avoid interrupting military operations. Already, so much has been achieved with the government working in over 20 different sites.
In the reconstruction work, affected communities were remodeled to meet certain standard, schools, district head palaces, central mosques, primary healthcare centres, and water supply with repair of boreholes destroyed by the insurgents. Equally rebuilt were the Nigeria Police Quarters, general hospitals and dispensaries, Local government secretariat; police stations and barracks, magistrate courts, upper area and the complex of the Federal Road Safety Commission with emergency clinic, office and staff quarters, among others, destroyed by insurgents.
Despite the drawbacks, Shettima built a resettlement estate Yerwa Peace Estate, comprising of 500 units of two-bedroomed flats, now permanently occupied by insurgency victims of Umarari, Gwaidamgari and Jajeri communities which were completely razed down during the military offensive that led to the final exodus of Boko Haram from Maiduguri. The terrorists had earlier controlled the three communities for two years, chasing away residents who had lived there for decades.
Other important areas where the government has made impact are in the construction and rehabilitation of roads and building of bridges that were stalled during the tenure of his predecessor due to the security situation then. In the last one year, pace of work has gained momentum and many of the projects are due to be commissioned on May 29, 2016. Shettima also acquired complete construction equipment for the state Ministry of Works, making it possible for the roads and bridges to be completed.
One other important area where the government has made impact is in agriculture, with acquisition of numerous machineries and equipment which however are awaiting the end of the insurgency to kick start agricultural revolution in the state.
Though the insurgency has dealt a great blow on Borno, with the “Marshall plan” put in place by Shettima which work has already began, it is believed that in no distant time the state will be back on track.
Rivers: In the Throes of Violence
Governor Nyesom Wike, upon assumption of office, said his administration would, in the short term, focus on development of infrastructure, urban renewal, re-opening of shut institutions like the state judiciary and House of Assembly as well as tackling the rising incidence of insecurity and cult activities. He also promised to complete projects started by the previous administration which have direct bearing on the welfare of the people.
The administration has obviously fared well in the area of urban renewal as it has reconstructed more than 70km of roads within Port Harcourt metropolis, Obio/Akpor, Ikwerre, Eleme and Oyigbo Local Government Areas. The governor has also kept his promise of completing projects, especially roads, started by his predecessor, Chibuike Amaechi. This however did not include the monorail project which Wike described as a monumental waste. The 1.5 kilometre monorail has so far cost the state more than N45 billion and is a subject of controversy between Wike and Amaechi.
There is also a massive construction of roads in different parts of the state. The governor has said he would unveil and inaugurate the roads to mark his one year anniversary.
On assumption of duty, he cleared the backlog of four months’ salary of civil servants and six months of pension arrears. He also re-opened the courts that had been shut for about one year and also resolved the crisis of appointment of a substantive chief judge of the state and the president of the customary court of appeal. This is in addition to re-opening the state House of Assembly complex that was shut since July 2013.
But while the government has restored vital institutions for the running of democracy, the major challenge facing the administration has been insecurity arising from killings in some parts of the state by suspected cultists, especially in Orashi, and Ogoni areas. The government however believes that the issue of insecurity was being exaggerated by the opposition, All Progressives Congress, to make the Federal Government declare a state of emergency in the state.On insecurity, Wike said: “It is painful. I don’t know people who do this and what they want to achieve. I believe that in the nearest future people will see that they are politically sponsored and whose interest they want to serve I do not know.” In conclusion, Wike appears to have satisfied a vast majority of the people in his first year in office.
Yobe: Modest Strides Amidst Insurgency
Ibrahim Gaidam came into power with high expectations despite demoralising pains of insurgency that nearly pushed the state over the precipice. His task was not made easy with paucity of funds. He solved part of this by facing the menace of ghost workers in the state civil service which saved the state N20 billion. He started rebuilding communities affected by Boko Haram crisis and renovating of the water system and facilities destroyed by the insurgents.
The state government has also commenced a comprehensive plan of helping people displaced by Boko Haram insurgents to return to their homes. The internally displaced persons camps in the state have been closed and the IDPs assisted by the government to get back on their feet.
It has not been easy on Yobe State with insurgency making it impossible to access revenues that should have been generated internally coupled with dwindling revenue from the federation account. It takes financial discipline to pay salaries and meet other expenditures, but the good news is that a seasoned administrator and prudent manager of resources is at the helm to see the state through this ugly patch.
Rating: Above Average
Imo: Okorocha: The More He Shouts Change, the More Things Stay the Same
The second tenure of Owelle Rochas Okorocha as the Governor of Imo state has not been easy. He earned his second term due to the last minute emergence of Muhammadu Buhari as President-elect. However, Okorocha consolidated his victory from the re-run election involving some local government areas and wards as the first election was declared inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Though, many thought the re-election of the governor would have changed a lot of things in his first few months the people’s wish has not materalised. The high expectation of Imo people, this period no doubt earned the governor some unprintable names. The worst issue was the backlog of salary arrears of Imo workers and pensioners. The Federal Government’s release of bailout as a palliative to the workers’ salaries were the magic that brought some level of sanity into the system.
Realising the need to redeem his image, Okorocha reconstituted the local government caretaker committees, appointed commissioners and special assistants and advisers, and then charged them to assist him deliver the dividends of democracy. Again, determined to remedy the poor road infrastructure within the state capital, Okorocha embarked on total road rehabilitation and reconstruction, while new ones are being developed with a view to giving the state capital the needed face-lift and attraction that it deserves.
Already, the governor is intensifying efforts to complete the flyover which its foundation was laid by former Governor Ikedi Ohakim. The flyover which unarguably will add glamour and beauty to the state capital is a welcome development. Presently, Okorocha has laid foundation for a new Imo State considering his developmental strides of the three zones of the state, namely Okigwe, Orlu and Owerri. He is also busy widening and daulising the roads in the state capital. However, his search for foreign investors that took him to Turkey twice with a 100-man strong delegation has so far failed to attract any foreign investment to the state. For a man who is on his second term in office, a lot more was expected. But so far, the impact of change has been less than impressive on the citizenry.
Rating: Below Average
Delta: Okowa: 365 Days of Weathering the Financial Storm
In his determination to keep faith with his people whom he promised a new lease of life through the “prosperity for all Deltans” development agenda of his government, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has, in his first year in office, been braving the odds of nation-wide financial crunch to execute several people-oriented programmes. His development blueprint is encapsulated under the S.M.A.R.T. Agenda.
Okowa revealed that his government within the period created 17,173 jobs which include 6,800 direct jobs and 10,373 indirect jobs of both skilled and unskilled workers. As a special purpose vehicle, the Office of the Chief Job Creation Officer accounted for 7,522 of these jobs while the remaining 9,651 were created through projects, programmes and initiatives implemented through the various MDAs with 66 per cent of the beneficiaries being females.
Within the period, he awarded 34 roads across the three senatorial zones.
The mandatory contributory Health Insurance bill was passed and signed into law. The inauguration of the Delta State Contributory Health Commission on May 4, 2016, makes Delta the first state in the country to have a mandatory health insurance scheme for the purpose of universal healthcare coverage. A law establishing the state commission on HIV/AIDS bill was brought on stream under him while more executive bills have been sent to the State House of Assembly.
Several hospital projects are ongoing with the Abavo Cottage Hospital ready for service.
On August, 2015, the state government inaugurated a 41-member Delta State Peace Building and Advisory Council.
Deputy Governor Kingsley Otuaro with his security advocacy team is going round the coastal areas of the state in a bid to check the resurgence of militancy.
The focus has been on technical and vocational education. Six technical schools are being restructured, with three of them fully rehabilitated, while currriculum review and retraining of the academic staff is in progress. Infrastructural development is ongoing in the three campuses of the Delta State University, Abraka.
The state distributed tractors 64 Cooperative Societies. Other Cooperative Societies got Mellon Shellers, Outboard Engines, Fishing Gear, improved variety of cassava stems, fertilizer, cash, fingerlings, feeds, day-old chicks and feeds. Others got layers, feeds and cash, growers, feeds; while 40 tomatoes farmers were supported with seedlings, agrochemicals and cash.
Worked has reached advanced stages on the remodeling of the Asaba Airport, which was downgraded by the Nigeria Aviation authorities in April. Okowa is rejiging the airport.
However, the decision by the state government to establish a new independent power plant (IPP) project had elicited a gale of criticisms. This is against the backdrop of the apparently abandoned N23 billion IPP located in Oghara in Ethiope West Local Government Area of the state and awarded to Davnotch Nigeria Limited in 2009.
Rating: Above Average
Enugu: Ugwuanyi: Mission Not Impossible
On assumption of office on May 29, 2015, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State pledged to sustain the legacy of his predecessor, Sullivan Chime, by running a government of seamless continuity and consolidation. One year down the line, he has kept his words while also embarking on new projects.
No fewer than 20 road projects covering 35 kilometers were completed in the last 12 months. Some of the completed urban roads includes Holy Ghost Road, Samuelson Road, Holy Trinity Road, Nawfia Street., Mbanefo Street. in New Haven, Ridgeway Rd, Colliery and Lake Avenue all in the metropolis. Others are Airport Roundabout-Emene-Eke Obinagu Road, 9th Mile By-pass, Isiuzo Street. and Abakpa Nike Road.
Some rural roads constrution covering 11.6km are either ongoing or almost completed.
Apart from the Ezi-Nze Injection Sub-station, servicing three local government areas which has been inaugurated, Ugwuanyi also approved N155 million for other rural electrification projects in 15 communities of Igboeze North and Igbo-etiti councils.
In agriculture, the state now has two hatcheries producing 360, 000 day – old chicks monthly that crashed price of the birds from N250 each to N100. Enugu has over 300 pineapples planted within the period
On security, the government procured 20 vehicles for security agencies in the state and also donated an initial seed money of N100 million to reactivate the activities of vigilante groups in all the communities.
The government also paid 30 per cent equity contribution for civil servants between grade levels 01-10 for the purchase of 100 units of one bedroom flats at Elim Estate, Ibagwa Nike. It provided the sum of N100 million as grant to the State Water Corporation upgrade. Perhaps, the greatest achievement of Governor Ugwuanyi-led administration is the prompt and regular payment of workers’ salaries.
The lingering economic downturn remain a major challenge to the administration as it obviously slowed the pace of development especially in the health sector.
Taraba: Making Impact Amidst Ethnic Tensions
Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku came into office with almost all the local government areas in the southern zone, including Gassol and Bali Local Government Areas in the central zone, engulfed in crises which claimed several lives and properties as well displacing thousands of others.
So, the policy direction and focus of the Ishaku administration has been the restoration of peaceful co-existence among all the various ethnic groups across the state as well as ensuring the safe return and rehabilitation of the displaced persons. And this explains the rationale behind the governor’s popular slogan to the people of the state: “Give me peace and I will give you development.”
Within his first hundred days in office, Ishaku commissioned a 414 kilowatts power plant for Mambilla Beverages Company just as he commenced the construction of second phase of the power project which is to equally generate additional 330 kilowatts. Besides the power project, he procured ultra modern Cut, Tear and Curt (CTC) machine to boost the operations of the company which has finally returned the company to the path of profitability after several years of losses.
In the area of road, the administration constructed a 6.5-kilometre entrance road from Takum to Katsina Ala in Benue State as well as the construction of a double carriage way from Jalingo to Kona as well as the reconstruction and dualisation of Market Road including the reconstruction of Magami road.
In the area of rural development, the administration installed a 7.5KVA transformer at Takum which is to supply electricity to Takum, Ussa, Marraraba and Yangtu development area as well as the installation of another transformer at Sunkani including the connection of Kunini in Lau Local Government to the national grid.
In conjunction with the World Bank, the administration embarked on a project of providing potable water for Jalingo which is to serve several other communities in the northern and central zones which has turned the state capital into a huge construction site.