A Facelift for the Caliphate


Peter Uzoho writes that Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has changed the narrative in Sokoto State since coming on board a year ago

Since May 29, 2015, when he came on board as the executive governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has vigorously pursued the business of governance with all his God’s given endowment. This, no doubt, has led to the phenomenal turnaround in all the sectors of the state. Today, Sokoto State is in the news for the right reasons, not wrong reasons. Tambuwal who has his eyes fixed on the administration’s set out targets, has accelerated the pace of development in the hitherto underdeveloped state.

In the civil service sector, Tambuwal in his effort to provide a conducive working atmosphere for Sokoto State Civil Servants has “provided the home renovation loan to 1,000 civil servants in the state and laid the foundation for Workers’ Estate,” says the governor’s Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Imam Imam, adding “He has also settled the payment of gratuities for 1,902 retirees.”
According to him, the Governor also recruited 500 unemployed citizens into the state civil service with different qualifications such as BSc, HND, NCE and OND. “They have already been served with offer of appointments, postings and schedule of duties,” Imam noted.

In home affairs, Imam said the governor has earmarked N500 million in the Ministry for Home Affairs in order to purchase fire fighting equipments, to the fire service department, noting “he also approved the creation of training centres for firemen in order to enhance their productivity in the state. The governor as part of job creation agenda established eight additional fire service stations in the state so as to employ youths for effective fire services delivery.

“Women are not left behind in this administration of justice, whereby 200 female are to be employed as environmental marshal, in order to keep household across the state clean and tidy.”

On environment, “Governor Tambuwal since the inception of his administration deemed it imperative to make Sokoto State clean, so that the good people of Sokoto will breathe fresh and healthy air. He re-introduced the sanitation exercise in the state which gives birth to number of employments to the unemployed youths of the state. The exercise has brought laughter to many people and has helped in keeping Sokoto State clean always.
“Governor Tambuwal also banned the habit of felling trees across the state so as to avoid the occurrence of unusual wind to the state and its environs, since the state neighbours Sahara deserts on so many axis,” the governor’s spokesman noted.

In the area of commerce, Imam enthused that Tambuwal is bent on providing industries in the state “so that our teeming unemployed youths will get job opportunities, thereby curbing restiveness among them.

“In view of the above, Tambuwal has planned to set up a fertiliser plant in the state, with a capacity of producing 100,000 metric tons of fertiliser and creating 5000 job opportunities to the state indigenes.

“Sokoto State under Governor Tambuwal also partnered ERISCO a tomato company that will create number of employments to the teeming youth and good people of Sokoto State, to boost economic standard of the state.

“In his effort, to boost local product in the state, Governor Matawalle has partnered with Italian company through United National Industrial Development Organisation to establish a cluster which will boost the leather works in the state,” he noted.

Speaking on youth development, Imam said that “Youths are basics of change, any government that neglects its youths, neglects a strategic institution for rapid development, Tambuwal was sworn-in as Sokoto State Governor on 29th May 2015 amidst cheers by youths across the state. Since his assumption of office, he embarked on the rehabilitation of youths in so many ways. This is in line with the pledge he made during electioneering that he will appropriately and justifiably ensure that youths in his government would be represented by youths not by others, other than youth and promise to curb restiveness among youths, hence will create job opportunities for them in order to be employed and self reliant. Governor Aminu Waziri in his effort to empower youths, set out to train 25,000 youth through skills acquisition scheme within two years.”

In the education sector, Tambuwal has never hidden his love for education as he has variously maintained that education is the key to sustainable development. “Education is the backbone of any societal economy, no state or nation can experience development with obsolete or non-existent education. Today, education in Sokoto State has been made compulsory from primary to the tertiary levels,” Imam noted.

According to him, “Matawalle having known the value of education to the development of any kind, made him to declare state of emergency on education in Sokoto State. Tambuwal in his dream come true on education, has set aside 29 per cent allocation from the 2016 budget for education, introduced levy on contractors and other governmental partners in funding education, in order for government to invest well in education by training and re-training of teachers, teachers’ welfare, school welfare as well as students/pupils feeding programme.

“in his zeal for improved education, he ordered that they release the sum of N903 million for payment of students tuition fees studying abroad and for registration fees of Sokoto State students studying in various universities across the federation. He also released the sum of N20 million to Sokoto State University as grants for research and development. He also purchased and distributed 8,000 UTME/JAMB forms to Sokoto State students seeking admission into Nigerian universities. In his effort to provide a conducive teaching atmosphere, he pledged to build houses (teachers villages) across the 23 Local Government Areas of the state. Sokoto State government initiated a programme to enrol 1.2 million kids into schools recently flagged off by Governor Tambuwal.”

Tamburlaine in the area of finance, has showed high level of prudence in managing the resources of the state. “This is the most difficult sector to run, because it comprises all the finances such as expenditure, revenue of every government. In the midst of this economic hardship across the federation when states run out of cash to run governmental activities as usual. And when governments accounts running in hundreds of number, thereby add burden of other charges to governments by commercial banks.

“The Governor decided to centralise government account in order to cut the charges to the barest minimum. He introduced Treasury Single Account (TSA) in the state, which saved government funds from unnecessary leakages. When the TSA took its effect, over 100 redundant accounts belonging to State Government were discovered with the sum of N1.5 billion in such accounts.

“Governor Tambuwal set to establish three Micro-finance banks in three Senatorial Zones of the state in order to ease access of getting loan by small scale medium entrepreneurs to boost economic activities in the state. The Banks are Giginya Microfinance Bank, Fodio Microfinance Bank, and Gudale Microfinance Bank respectively.”

In housing, Tambuwal knew that shelter is second to food and the backbone of every family and community life. “Knowing the paramount importance of shelter compelled him to ensure 100 per cent completion of all housing units inherited by previous government and pledged to build additional 1,300 houses across the 23 local government areas of the state.”

Imam also said the governor has done well in the area of water. “Water they say is life and it’s the most precious necessity to human life. This has no doubt encouraged the Governor to ensure stable water supply to the good people of Sokoto state both in urban and rural areas.”

In the area of health, Tambuwal has keyed into the saying that “Health is wealth” knowing that without health no human can prosper or do anything in life.

According to Imam, Since the inception of this administration the Governor has focused mainly on healthcare delivery to his people, he left no stone unturned in fighting and kicking out all kind of diseases attacking the people and the environment. He ensures the consistent free medical care to Sokoto State citizenry, fight polio out, attack Lassa fever all of which have been level to zero level. He provided all equipments, facilities and drugs needed in all the hospitals and Public Health Centres across the state.

“Governor Tambuwal has ordered the purchase of cold chain equipments for immunisation in order to fight polio, meningitis, measles, yellow fever among other diseases bedeviling the good people of Sokoto State at the cost of N297 million. Provision of free drugs to the poor and indigent members of the society, administered under the auspices of the state Zakat and Endowment Committee. Every month, the sum of N10m is deposited in hospitals and pharmaceutical stores to provide prescribed drugs free of charge to the poor,” Imam said.

Also not left out is religious affairs, which is among the most influential sectors in the state. According to Imam, “religious activities in the state have been encouraged as all programmes inherited from previous administrations have been funded such as payment of N6,500 monthly to less privileged, Zakat and endowment committee now elevated to commission, Ramadan feeding programme and payment of free medicine for less privileged.
“Governor Tambuwal’s administration earmarked N10 million monthly as relief fund to some selected hospitals and pharmacies in order to help the less privileged in paying their medical treatment across the state. In a nutshell, government of Sokoto State under the distinguished leadership of Governor Tambuwal is spending N31,500 million every month on less privileges in the state.

“These are very few, among the activities duly funded by this administration, and there is no doubt that Governor Matawalle will bring about more developmental programmes in religious sector for the development of Islam.”

In the area of works, Imam said that “Tambuwal has approved the construction of some rural roads across the state which include a 13 Kilometer road which links: Dabagin Ardo – Illelar Gajara – Dutsin Andi – Hetarete Sidingu – Gi’ere at the cost of over N136 million Naira. Similarly, the construction of Arkilla – Gidan Bawan Allah – Paila junction road has been approved at the cost of over N49 million.
On the Hajj tragedy in Saudi Arabia, Imam said that the state government donated the sum of N500,000 each to the 138 families of the 2015 hajj stampede victims from Sokoto State. A breakdown of the number showed that 114 pilgrims were confirmed dead, 22 missing and two injured but were later treated and discharged.