Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Governor of Niger State, Mohammed Bago, says his administration has developed strategies to tackle the lingering security challenges in the state.
Bago, who disclosed this on Sunday in Minna, at a dinner organised by the Niger State Government for the House of Representatives Press Corp, however, assured that the protracted won’t stop the state from making developmental strides.
He said: “Niger State is the largest in terms of land mass in Nigeria, with 76,300 square kilometres of arable land. Niger State also has four Hydropower dams. That is Kianji, Jeba, Shiroro and Zungeru. We have the only white sand beach in West Africa, the shagunu beach.
“There is also Zuma rock and a lot more that people don’t know. I have come here today to tell you that with this partnership we are establishing, we need to spread the gospel. Let people understand where we stand. What people understand about Niger state is the issue of insecurity and insurgency.
“Yes, we cannot shy away from insecurity, it is a reality but what percentage of our land is in that mess? Very insignificant. You cannot underscore the fact that lives are being lost but we are saying that we are working assiduously to make sure that everybody lives well in Niger state and in Nigeria at large.”
Bago said his government has signed an agreement for the purchase of 200 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses as part of effort to mitigate the hardship occasioned by fuel subsidy removal.
His words: “The 200 buses is in fulfillment of his promise to provide free transportation for students and also for civil servants at a subsidised rate.
“We are very ambitious as a government. We have already purchased about 200 CNG buses to commute for free students going to school and subsidised for civil servants in Niger State.
100 of the buses will commute Abuja and Suleja daily, while 50 will be in Minna and others will be spread between Kontangora and Bida.
“Secondly, we have awarded contracts for construction of roads. That is about 566km of the roads and we have started with groundbreaking. It is unprecedented in this state, we are so ambitious and by the grace of God, we will be there.”