While delivering a lecture at the 4th Annual Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Lecture on February 15, 1998, General Muhammau Buhari, quoting an economist, argued that to establish the state of development and growth of any entity during a given period, the questions to ask are three:
What has been happening to poverty?
What has been happening to inequality?
What has been happening to unemployment?
To halt the above, and reverse them to a minimal level, every proper administrator understands that some fundamental adjustments need to be put in place especially in infrastructure and policy. And as a proper administrator, since coming into power on May 3rd, 2015, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello has been putting in a lot of work to halt and reverse poverty, inequality and unemployment in Niger State.
The dreadful trinity-poverty, inequality, and unemployment- have been a formidable force, yet Governor Bello, in his three years in office, has managed to reverse them to a reasonable level.
By Returning Niger to Her Rightful Place in Agricultural Production:
Niger State has forced her way back as the number 1 producer of rice in Nigeria. But Governor Bello is not satisfied. He believes Niger has the potential to feed not only Nigeria, but the entire West of Africa, and this is why His Excellency reduced the cost of obtaining CofO for agricultural production from N200, 000 to only N15, 000; this is why the state is subsidizing the purchase of farm equipment and has purchased 130 tractors, and has distributed Rice Threshers machine to farmers; this is why thousands of bags of fertilizers have been distributed to farmers across the state; this is why irrigation farming in Niger State has been revitalized.
By Improving Education:
The simplest way to end poverty is by eliminating illiteracy. While this cannot be achieved in only 3 years, Governor Bello has taken steps towards that direction. So far, 600 Basic Schools across the 25 LGAs of the state have either been constructed or wholly renovated. Further, Governor Bello has also constructed and renovated 9 Premier schools, 3 in each Senatorial zone.
By Improving Infrastructure:
The administration of Governor Abubakar Sani Bello has embarked upon the construction of over 579km of rural and urban roads, with a larger percentage fully completed and the remaining approaching completion.
Further, 81 villages have been electrified, some with solar installation.
The rehabilitation of the 4 Premier Waterworks embarked upon by Governor Bello is without doubt the most ambitious exercise yet. This multibillion naira project will put the water troubles of Niger State to rest for good.
Because Health is Wealth:
Abubakar Bello’s administration has constructed or renovated 274 Primary Health Care Centers, 1 in each of the 274 wards of the state. Not unmindful to the fact that these centers need to be manned, Governor Bello ensured the renovation of School of Nursing Science, Bida which has been neglected for 41years. Collage of Nursing Sciences in Kontagora and School of Health, Minna also received the Bello touch. In Abubakar Bello’s Niger State today there is at least one health institution in each of the senatorial zones.
God bless Niger State, God bless Nigeria.
The writer is on Twitter @ngugievuti
October 30, 2020
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