Nasarawa: Al-Makura’s one year in the saddle
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Tuesday, 17 July 2012
In this report, Ademola Adegbite takes a look at the developmental activities of Nasarawa State governor, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, in the last one year .
MAY 29 of every year has always been celebration galore for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Nasarawa State since 1999 when Nigeria returned to democratic governance. The festive mood last year went awry when the people of the state changed the beat of their drums from Power, the official slogan of the PDP, to Change, the official slogan of the ruling Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in the state.
For the government, now under the leadership of Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, every May 29, for the next three years, if not till 2019, brings an opportunity to take stock of what had happened in the last one year and thereafter roll out the drums to celebrate whatever success that may have been achieved in any of the sectors of the economy. The period avails the government of the opportunity to blow its trumpet for the world to see its activities and the results in the last 12 months. It also enables the people outside the government circles to analyse the activities of government and come out with rating verdict as to the performance of such government in office.
The people’s support, cooperation and joy were as a result of their belief in the person of Al-Makura who had showcased his outstanding leadership qualities and demonstrated his love for the people, even before seeking their mandate to pilot the affairs of the state. Although, the challenges were too enormous when he took over the mantle of leadership as an experienced and successful businessman, Ta’al , as fondly called by both the business and political associates, does not allow that to weigh him down, because he cannot afford to fail his people who have not hidden their faith in his ability to improve their quality of lives and transform the entire state. The administration does not leave anyone in doubt as to its determination to tackle the challenges facing each sector of the state economy.
Al-Makura has now become a household name as children, on sighting any convoy, either that of the governor or Commissioner of Police or banks, will start shouting Al-Makura –CPC and gesticulate with a sign of CPC emblem. The governor’s determination and the support of his deputy, Dameshi Barau Luka, Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Muhammed Musa Elayo, commissioners, special advisers and assistants to ensure that the state witness monumental development have started yielding fruitful results in the last one year as the entire state, particularly the state capital, wears a new look on a daily basis.
From road networks, education, health, agriculture, housing and urban development as well as water and rural development, the government has embarked on meaningful programmes that would propel the economy of the state and also better the life of the people.
Robert Sieger was quoted as saying in one of the books that “planning is as natural to the process of success as its absence is to the process of failure.”
This statement could aptly summarise the responsive attitude of members of the state executive council who work round the clock with a view to seeing that the set objectives of the present administration are achieved. It is a known fact that Al-Makura puts round peg in a round hole; that is why success is said to be coming the way of the CPC-led administration in the state. The government enjoys unflinching supports and cooperation of the state civil service which is also referred to as an engine room of the government.
The roads, whose deplorable conditions initially gave the governor sleepless nights when he came on board, have received adequate attention with the construction and rehabilitation of both new and old ones. The aggressiveness attached to the road works reflects on the quality of the roads which makes them measure up to international standard. Some of the major road projects executed by the government include Toto-Umaisha; Gitata-Panda-Gurku-Mararaba; Adudu-Azaza-Wuse-Akiri-Plateau-Border; Ashinge-Ugah-Fadama Bauna-Arikya-Wamba; Doma-Agyaragu, Kadarko-Giza-Keana,Azara-Agwatashi andObi-Assakio; Lafia-Barkin Abdulllahi; Akwanga-Awongenshen-Washo-Alushi; Loko-Daza-Umaisha; Gudi junction-Angwan and a three-kilometre road in each of the 13 local governments and 16 development area councils in the state.
The CPC-led government sees education as the bedrock of development and it demonstrated this through the attention it had accorded the sector by embarking on construction and equipping of technical workshops; construction, fitting and furnishing of libraries; construction of science laboratories; supply of furniture to schools, rehabilitation and construction of classrooms and hostels for secondary schools; purchase of textbooks and payment of examination fees of final year students in public secondary schools in the state.
Governor Al-Makura, at a recent forum, said provision of potable water and rural development would continue to feature prominently, adding that to achieve set objectives in this sub-sector, his government would continue to support the formation of partnership with the private sector to provide affordable houses for the benefit of the people. Remarkable achievements have been recorded in this area which shows that there would be light at the end of the tunnel.
On agriculture, the governor said his administration would continue to pursue agricultural programmes that would ensure self-sufficiency in the production of food for domestic consumption and the production of agro-industrial raw materials to meet the demand for rapid industrial development of the state, through the construction of abattoirs and, veterinary clinics, purchase and sale of assorted fertilisers, completion of agro-export processing centres, dry season farmers loan, agricultural show/solid mineral expo, equipping of agro-export processing centres, capital grants to the College of Agriculture, Lafia and purchase of strategic grains, as well as storage of chemicals.
Health, as they always say, is wealth and this prompted the present administration in the state to intensify more efforts at improving both the primary and secondary health care service by focusing on upgrading all the general hospitals in the state and equipping the pharmacy departments in order to serve people better in emergency situation.
The governor’s intervention in these sectors is an indication that he believes they remain the only way through which people can benefit maximally in the government they fought for.
Apart from the aforementioned programmes, tourism, culture and hotel development, commerce, industry and cooperative, and science and technology are also given adequate attention. The governor said he would leave no stone unturned in meeting the aspiration of the people. Although nobody is perfect, he promised to effect the change CPC stands for in Nasarawa State.
With the promise and assurance of bringing development to the doorsteps of the people of the state by Governor Al-Makura, observers believe that springing up of different physical projects, coupled with traffic lights, particularly at strategic locations in the state capital, Lafia, the state will soon be standing shoulder high, in terms of gigantic projects, with some of its counterparts in the country.