By Segun Awofadeji
Gombe State Governor, Alhaji Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya has said the Development Agenda for Gombe State (DEVAGOM) is an attempt by his administration to harness the state’s immense potential.
This, he said would enable the state take advantage of emerging opportunities and to tackle challenges to attain its developmental objectives, stressing that “It is the road map for the transformation of Gombe State that is aligned with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as set by the United Nations”.
The Governor made the statement on Tuesday during the official unveiling of Gombe State’s 10- Year Development Plan (2021- 2030) at the Government House.
Yahaya said his administration was committed to planning and implementing people-oriented policies and programmes, obtained through a bottom-up stakeholder consultation process from the unit, ward, local government to state level.
He explained: “DEVAGOM projects Gombe to be a terminus that encapsulates growth, development, peace, and shared prosperity for all.
“Considering our comparative advantage in agriculture, commerce and trade, our tremendous human and natural resources, and our strategic position at the centre of the Northeast sub-region, I have the conviction that our vision is both realistic and achievable.”
The Gombe State Governor restated his administration’s commitments to prioritising human capital development through infrastructure, agriculture and health resuscitation, improved education and rural development.
Yahaya said: “So far, our administration has placed high priority on human capital development as the catalyst of growth with special focus on education, health and youth development.
“Our agricultural transformation drive is aimed at harnessing our vast irrigation potentials along our major dams; rural infrastructure projects that connect and open up our rural communities; social and environmental policies that create jobs, protect our environment and promote peaceful coexistence amongst our people.”
Yahaya, who quoted Benjamin Franklin’s saying ‘if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail,’ also added that the wheels of the unveiling of the state 10-year development plan was set in motion as far back as April 2019, when he was elected as Governor.
He said he had to commission a Needs Assessment team to tour round the nooks and crannies of the state covering over 420 communities across all the 114 wards in order to principally ascertain the developmental needs and priorities of the people.
This, the Governor added, was borne out of his administration’s commitment to plan and implement people-oriented policies and programmes.
He said the assessment was the beginning of a bottom-up stakeholder consultation process from the unit, ward, local government to state level, thus giving his administration the opportunity to define Gombe State’s vision through the eyes of its people.
“That’s why DEVAGOM is an agenda of the people, by the people and for the people.”
He said in order to create a better future for the people of the State, his administration is making relentless efforts to stimulate and sustain economic growth and human capital development.
“However, for us to ensure that the choices we make, the steps we take, and the outcomes we envisage are technically desirable and consistent with our goals, it is necessary to have a robust plan for building durable institutions, mobilising resources and capabilities, as well as managing risks and shocks from unforeseen domestic and global events”.
Yahaya said in line with international best practices, development planning in the 21st century requires collaboration between various stakeholders at subnational, national and international levels.
“In this regards, DEVAGOM is a product of synergy and collaboration with local and international development partners most of whom are here today to celebrate this historic achievement with us,” he added.
He said in order to ensure the success of DEVAGOM, his administration has put in place the necessary structures and institutional reforms that will drive its effective implementation.
“Since coming to office about 20 months ago, our administration has focused on improving internal revenue generation, ease of doing business, infrastructural development and civil service reforms amongst other initiatives.
These efforts will soon be complemented by a legislative bill to further strengthen DEVAGOM’s institutional legitimacy and guarantee its long-term success and sustainability,” he said.
The Governor said so far, his administration has placed high priority on human capital development as the catalyst of growth with special focus on education, health and youth development.
He said his administration’s agricultural transformation drive was aimed at harnessing the vast irrigation potential along its major dams; rural infrastructure projects that connect and open up rural communities; social and environmental policies that create jobs, protect the environment and promote peaceful coexistence amongst our people.