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Re: Transforming Bauchi State

I was in high spirit when I read Mr. Abdullahi Kabir’s write-up which was published on page 43 of your well-liked newspaper of Monday 22…

I was in high spirit when I read Mr. Abdullahi Kabir’s write-up which was published on page 43 of your well-liked newspaper of Monday 22 April, 2019. In the piece, the writer spoke about Bauchi State, yesterday, today and tomorrow. He made a comparison between unprecedented legacies left behind by the former governors and that of the incumbent governor, and ultimately advised the governor-elect to prioritise human development as well as to run an all-inclusive government when he takes over.

I feel obliged to have my say regarding transforming my dear state.  First of all, it is vital for the governor-elect to remember that people of the state voted for him because of the confidence they have in him and in anticipation of reaping true democratic dividends. Insecurity is the major threat to progress and economy. He should leave no stone unturned in securing the state from kidnappers, armed robbers, ethnic militancy and build sustainable peace, development and tolerance. Youth unemployment, poverty, deprivation, illiteracy, depression and hopelessness are major drivers of all forms of crimes. The youth unemployment problem can only be tackled through skills acquisition, empowerment and entrepreneurial practices.

Additionally, in the current era of economic diversification, the incoming governor has to diminish overdependence on federal allocation by diversifying the state’s source of revenue for instance by reviving some moribund companies of the state that include Arewa Ceremics Company, Bauchi Meat Factory, Bauchi Furniture Company, Azare Flour Mill, Bauchi Waste Recycling Plant and Bauchi State Agricultural Supply (BASAC).  The significance of finding other ways and sources of revenue to meet the increasing needs of his people.

Being one of the poorest states in the country that is endowed with vast arable land for agriculture, the new governor should emulate Akwa Ibom government’s massive investment in agriculture in collaboration with the Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project (RAAMP) funded by the World Bank and French Development Agency. The funds were used for ensuring food security, food sufficiency, poverty alleviation, job creation, improvement of urban and rural infrastructure, healthier water sources, exports and sustainable economic development of the state. The governor-elect should declare a state of emergency in the agricultural sector.

It is very important for the incoming governor to embark on massive renovation of schools and hospitals across the state and equip those schools and hospitals with modern and necessary facilities. The pensioners’ issue should also be addressed aptly to ameliorate their families’ suffering.

Last but not least, I want to draw the governor-elect’s attention to the unprecedented legacies left behind by the first democratically elected governor of the state, the late AlhajiAbubakarTatari Ali, who was governor of the state from 1979 to 1983. He was a patriotic, selfless and insightful governor who made giant strides. He established agro-allied industries, constructed major roads and launched model farms. I urge the incoming governor to replicate the aforementioned achievements when he assumes office.

Mustapha Baba Azare wrote from Bauchi State.

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