By Hussaini Muhammad Baba
Considering the fact that elections are around the corner and all process, preparations and programmes to that effect have since began. Neptune Prime engages one of the arrow head of Borno state political arena. A private sector key performer who metamorphosed to a public sector administrative mathematician and also became one of the erudite and corner stone persons of progress in Borno state, Adamu Alhaji Lawan popularly known as Zau Fanjinba is the Commissioner for Works and Transport, Borno state. He spoke on several issues regarding his achievements and political ambitions.
NP: Who is Adamu Lawan?
“My name is Adamu Alhaji Lawan popularly known as “Zau Fanjinba”. (He explained that the name “Zau Fanjinba has literal and technical meaning. According to him, literal meaning of the word is “The one who does not feel pain” while technically refers to “Someone who does not despair in helping others”). He said “I assumed the office of the Commissioner of Works and Transport, Borno state in September 2015”.
NP: How did you find the ministry and what impact have you made so far?
“I will begin by thanking almighty Allah for such opportunity and Governor Kashim Shettima for his unflinching support which helped so much in the achievement we have made so far”. He stated that his appointment to the Office of the Commissioner of Works and Transport is his first experience in the public sector. He puts that “I have been in the private sector for the span of about 18 years, which as a result, I came to the public sector with private sector mentality”.
Lawan outlined that the first thing he did to get the ball rolling is to embark on supervision of every nook and crannies of the ministry as well as offices and agencies under its watch in order to acquaint himself with the happenings and current situations. He said “the condition I found the ministry is worrisome. It is worrisome in the sense that there are available, receptive, creative and intelligent engineers without up-to-date training”. He added that the first thing he did was to establish a platform for engineers to get exposed to up-to-date engineering through training, seminar and workshops both in Nigeria and abroad. This according to him has gone a long way in sharpening their performances in various design and execution of projects. Lawan outlined that the approach of inclusiveness, friendliness, adequate supervision and monitoring helped greatly in reviving and completing so many abandoned projects within short period of time in the state. He added that the performance of the ministry has lured the attention of many and won several awards among which include:
Award of Best Commissioner in North-East by Independent Newspaper and
One of Best Commissioners in 2016 by Nigerian Association of Women Engineers
NP: There have been rumblings that your ministry concentrates only in Maiduguri, what can you say about that?
“Absolutely, this is not a fair judgement. Perhaps if you do not visit other part of the state you cannot see what we are doing outside the state capital but I want to state here that the ministry has done well in every part except the Northern part which is still risky for engineers and contractors”. He outlined some of the achievements and interventions made by the ministry. He said “We recognised that there are transportation issues and the ministry intervene through Borno Express with procurement of vehicles. However, Borno state Road Maintenance Agency (BORMA) which is an agency under the ministry has completed several projects within Maiduguri, Biu and Askira whereas various others are ongoing. For instance, reconstruction of Biu township, Damboa-Chibok road, Marghi highway in Askira, Dikwa-Bama road, Dikwa-Ngala (to resume). Governorn Kashim Shettima has also directed immediate commencement of the 38Km road from Gamboru Ngala-Kala-balge.
NP: How do you compare your ministry and other ministries in terms of achievements?
“Every ministry has different responsibility as well as different approach to contain their issues. To this end, it will not be fair to judge them on a platter of assumption. But I assure you every ministry has done wonderfully well.
NP: What is the nature of your relationship with the state government?
“This September I will mark my 3rd year in office and I will gladly say that the support provided to us by the state government and the Governor in particular is what enables us to realise all the achievements I have mention. However, the government has ensure that every transport and works problems be attended with quickest response through provision of adequate resources and support”. He also stated that the achievements of the ministry have generated huge job opportunities in the state.
NP: the time for transition is around the corner, do you have any ambition to partake in the process?
“Yes I have a political ambition”. He said “Politics is a very complex and resourceful game which does not requires you to partake without adequate preparation and consultations as well as mentorship”. Lawan also reiterated his stand that “Even though I have ambition, my fingers are still crossed waiting for what will unfold in our consultations”.
NP: What action or reaction will you take if your people demanded for you to partake in the polity?
“I will accept the challenge or rather the clarion call to serve them well”. He stated that the state has suffered from the whim of insurgency and had glory lost as a result. He said “the state need hardworking people to bring back its lost glory and if the people think I deserve, there is nothing I can do than to accept the charge”.
NP: What is your final note?
“I really commend the people of Borno for their prayers and resilience through the years of hard times. I assure them there is light at the end of the tunnel”.