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Speech by Governor Mai Mala Buni to commemorate 5 years in office (Pictures)

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Speech by Governor Mai Mala Buni to commemorate 5 years in office (Pictures)

Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State has listed notable achievements of his administration to celebrate his five years in office.

This was contained in a speech delivered by the Governor titled, “Press briefing by His Excellency, Honourable Mai Mala Buni, CON, the executive governor of Yobe State to commemorate his five years in office, 12th June, 2024”.

“Gentlemen of the Press

I wish to welcome and commend you for honouring our invitation to grace this auspicious occasion marking my five years in office as the Executive Governor of Yobe State.  As you are aware, we successfully completed our first tenure on 28th May, 2023 and the people of Yobe State have entrusted us with another mandate under which we have continued to make our giant strides to make the State greater in line with the yearnings and aspirations of our people.  This gathering may also serve as another vehicle for enlightenment and accountability on our stewardship through the press which is considered as the fourth estate of the realm in our democratic practices.

For conceptual clarity and ease of reference we have sectoralized the briefing starting with:

Security:

As most of us here may recall when we took over the mantle of leadership on 29th May, 2019, there were many communities that remained inaccessible due to the threat posed by the insurgents in Gujba and Gulani Local Government Areas. With our commitment backed by the Federal Government, gallantry of the security operatives, complementary efforts of the vigilante groups and the persistent prayers of our people, normalcy has returned to the insurgency most-ravaged areas and reconstruction, resettlement and rehabilitation of communities e.g Buni-yadi have been developed while that of Malamdunari is being carried out satisfactorily at present. In almost all parts of the State, people are now moving about pursuing their legitimate goals without hindrance.

Governance Sector:

You may agree with me that the present administration has been consolidating on the achievements of successive administrations by making progress in manpower training and intensifying efforts to increase internally generated revenue collection and strengthening the Treasury Single Account. The reforms and new approaches adopted enable us to minimize leakages in the execution of government businesses and record landmark achievements in the implementation of policies such as the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), State Fiscal, Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) and the Electronic Government Procurement System (e-GP) has fetched us commendation of the Federal Ministry of Finance and by the World Bank. Similarly, the World Bank awarded us a grant of 5 million dollars due to our reforms which are in tandem with World best practices in procurement, Annual Auditor General’s Report and other fiscal reforms.

Road Construction

With the scarce resources at our disposal, we have been able to complete the rehabilitation of Katarko-Goniri and Siminti-Godowoli roads while rehabilitation work is ongoing along Geidam-Bukarti, Bayamari-Yunusari and Yunusari-Kanamma roads. We are undertaking new intercommunity road construction projects of the Damaturu-Kalallawa 25.5-kilometer dual carriage way for easier access to the Muhammadu Buhari International Cargo airport and completed the dualization of Abattoir Junction-New Bye-pass Roundabout along Potiskum road for smooth movement of high number of traffic. We are also constructing Damagum-Gubana, Bulanguwa-Kumagannam, Nguru-Bulanguwa, Danchuwa-Garin Abba-Garin Bingel, Chumbusko-Tagali, Nguru Highway-Karasuwa Galu town, Fika-Maluri, Jaji Maji-Karasuwa town and Kukuri-Chukuriwa-Dawasa intercommunity roads, among others. Similarly, contracts have been awarded for the construction of township roads in Damaturu, Nguru, Potiskum, Gashua and Geidam in addition to the earlier township roads constructed.  In total over 500km roads are being executed by the State Government.  These projects which are in various stages of completion are being carried out with a view to opening up the communities and their adjoining settlements for enhanced socio-economic activities.

 

 

In order to improve the artistic beauty of Damaturu metropolis and  give it a facelift, 2 City Gates have been completed and construction of another 2 are ongoing in Damaturu and a lot of township roads and drainages are being provided in various locations within the State capital and most of the Local Government headquarters.

Housing

Under our Mass Housing policy, 2,350 houses across the 17 Local Government Areas have been constructed and the estate provided with basic facilities.  The houses of 2-bedroom and 3-bedroom types were offered to civil servants and other members of the public across the State on an owner-occupier basis with a fifty percent discount.

 

 

Education:

It could be recalled that the education sector was worst-hit during period of insurgency as the dogma of the insurgents prohibited western education. Their attacks were seriously on school structures, teachers and students. The killings, maiming, trauma and the structural destructions were too enormous for us to contend with.  This necessitated us to immediately declare a state of emergency on education.  This was followed by convening of Education Summit, constitution of Committee on Revitalization of Basic and Secondary Education and later on, Yobe State Education Trust Fund.

 

 

 

In this regard, we have been able to establish six new Model Schools, seven Mega Schools, nine new Government Girls Day Senior Secondary Schools, eight new co-education Government Day Senior Secondary Schools and additional one for boys across the State. One IDP School was also established in Buni Yadi.  All these were in addition to construction of new classes, laboratories, ICT centers, hostels and other vital structures as well as provision of teaching and learning materials to primary, secondary and tertiary institutions of learning for the attainment of conducive learning atmosphere for our students and pupils.

 

 

Over 4,000 teaching and non-teaching staff were recruited and posted to various primary and secondary schools,  and 26,000 teachers were trained or retrained to enhance their capacities.  Through sustained school feeding programme and prompt payment of counterpart obligation as well as school, tuition and examination fees for our candidates studying nationwide and abroad, we have been able to achieve massive increase in school enrolment and pursuance of education at all levels. The Tsangaya schools were also integrated into the system with a view to having all segments of our teaching and learning process on a common focus.

Healthcare Delivery

You may recall during my inaugural speeches in 2019 and 2023, I informed Yobeans of our commitment to the provision of functional and standard primary healthcare system at ward level, secondary healthcare system at Local Government headquarters, specialist care at zonal levels and tertiary care in the State capital with the aim of achieving universal health coverage throughout the State. To achieve our target of providing one functional primary healthcare center in each of the 178 Electoral wards of the State, so far 140 have been completed and commissioned. We have also procured and launched 88 customized tricycle ambulances and distributed to the remote areas to ease movement of patients to the health centers.

 

 

The Yobe State Contributory Healthcare Management Agency (YSCHMA) was established and over 300,000 people including civil servants and other members of the general public have enrolled in the scheme.   The scheme enables patients to pay only 10% of the total cost of medication. The Yobe State Drugs and Medical Consumable Management Agency (YODMA) was also established with a total drugs worth over N2.3 Billion to address drugs and medical supply system needs of the State.

 

 

In addition, the State Emergency Medical Ambulance and Yobe State Healthcare and Health-related Facilities Inspection and Monitoring Agency was established to boost healthcare delivery in matters relating to domestic and road traffic accidents and monitoring of health facilities to provide best standard practice.  The State provide free health services to pregnant women, children under five and for accident victims for the first 48 hours in addition to free dialysis for patients of kidney ailments.  We also effectively collaborate with development partners in the implementation of programmes against the spread of polio and child killer diseases, among others.  Thus, the Federal Ministry of Health has recognized Yobe as the most improved State in terms of immunization coverage from 16% to 65%.

 

 

 

Our tertiary healthcare delivery service was enhanced with the provision of a well-equipped Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) Complex at the Yobe State University Teaching Hospital.  The complex has 300-bed capacity with 7 blocks comprising Gynecology Clinic Ward, Obstetric Theatre, Labour and Delivery Suites, Emergency Pediatric, Pediatric road and a Special Baby Care Unit.

The complex has vastly increased the Teaching Hospital‘s bed capacity to over 700 and made it the biggest and one of the most equipped hospitals in the Country.  At present, the Teaching Hospital has state of the art equipment including radio-diagnostic center equipped with MRI, 164 slides CT scan, Mammography, digital/mobile Xray, Ultra Sound among others.  Our aim is to make Yobe State the hub of medical tourism in the Country.  It is our hope that this will reduce incessant travel of patients outside the Country and enable the citizens save medical foreign exchange for the State and the Country.

In order to boost the manpower need of the State, particularly paramedical staff, the Shehu Sule College of Nursing, Damaturu was provided with adequate teaching, learning and welfare facilities like construction of 200 bed capacity student hostel, automatic employment to graduates of college, additional classrooms and demonstration room, wall fencing and tarred roads with drainages. While the Galtima Mai Kyari College of Health Sciences was also provided with additional classrooms, hostels and other basic infrastructure were provided to enable them maintain their accreditation.

Energy and Transport

The Muhammadu Buhari International Cargo Airport was completed and commissioned purposely to provide easy access for the transportation of livestock and other agricultural products both within and outside the country.  The airport covers an area of 15km by 7km.  The runway was 3.6km by 45m with 1000m of emergency access road and both end and loading weight of over 400 tons. The airport has international standard equipment for safe landing and take-off which were certified by NCAA, NIMET and EIA.  It has also Control Watch Tower, 3Nos of 800KVA generator and power-back-up, 2.5MVA Transformer, Fire-fighting equipment, meteorological equipment, DME, DVOR, ILS, AWOS, LLWAS, Terminal building, administrative blocks, Apron, Taxi way, Police Post, among others.

 

 

We have also purchased 20 new buses to boost inter and intra town and city transportation for the Yobe Transport Corporation.  Similarly, over 100 different types of cars were procured and sold out to people at subsidized rate to encourage local commuting.  In the area of electrification, 25 villages were electrified while electricity was extended to over 200 different locations.  We have also rehabilitated and strengthen Damaturu – Potiskum, Potiskum – Gashua, Gashua – Yunusari, Damaturu – Babbangida – Bayamari, Bayamari – Geidam – Bukarti, Bayamari – Yunusari, Potiskum – Kukar Gadu and Maiduwa-Gadaka 33KVA lines. We have also ensured provision of a 24-hour power supply to all the General Hospitals in the State as well as provision of generator sets to some Government establishments.

 

 

Commerce, Industry and Tourism

In our continuous efforts to boost commerce and promote industrialization, we have reactivated the Sahel Aluminum Company, Yobe Flour and Feed Mills Company and Pre-stressed Concrete Pole Company.  We have so far completed and commissioned the Ibrahim Geidam Ultra Modern Market, Damaturu; Senator Ahmed I. Lawan Modern Market, Gashua and the Sheikh Ngibirima Ultra Modern Market, Nguru while construction works are ongoing in Geidam and Potiskum Markets.  Furthermore, construction of Potiskum Truck Transit Park and Mega Shopping Mall in Damaturu are ongoing also.  Being the State with largest production of high quality Sesame seeds, we are making efforts to complete establishment of 3 Sesame Seeds processing factories in Damaturu, Nguru and Machina towns.  To further boost commercial activities, we constituted the Ease of Doing Business Council under my chairmanship and investors can now get easy access to information on our current business enabling reforms and potentialities of the State through our website http://yapppip.com/resources/.

 

Agriculture:

Agriculture is the mainstay of our economy that employs 80% of our people. The sector plays key role in women and youth empowerment, employment generation, poverty alleviation, among others. However, when we came on board, we realized that the sector was largely characterized by traditional practices of subsistence farming resulting in continuous low productivity and less profits to farmers. This was further being undermined by multifaceted factors such as drought, flooding, inadequacy of machinery, lack of capital, weak research and extension system, inadequate inputs and infrastructure issues.

 

 

This therefore, prompted us to organize an Agricultural Summit in 2019 to chart a new course for agricultural transformation to enhance food sufficiency, food security and to make agriculture more profitable.  The outcome of the summit culminated in the formation of Steering Committee on Revitalization of Agriculture which in conjunction with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation developed the State Sector Strategic Plan. The strategic plan was designed to address inadequacies in the agricultural sector and make it more comprehensive, productive and commercially attractive. Using inputs from the plan, the State has now developed its agricultural policy document which is the first of its kind since the creation of Yobe State. This policy document has since been validated in collaboration with EU-Yobe Public Finance Management (PFM) Project in conjunction with DAI international. The policy document has already been approved by the State Executive Council.

In order to modernize and change the way we practice agriculture the following measures have been carried out:-

  1. Fertilizer Procurements and Distribution

In Agricultural development, of all the input required for production, fertilizer tends to be the most critical and limiting factor which has a marked effect on crop production. In realization of this, we procured 7500 metric tons (250 trucks) of NPK 15:15:15 fertilizer for the 2019/2020 cropping season and sold to farmers at highly subsidized price of N5,000.00 per bag. Due to fluctuation in conditions occasioned by climate change, dependence on rain-fed cropping and continuous cultivation of same land for a longer period of time, agricultural productivity continuous to go down thereby dwindling the fortunes of peasant farmers in the State. To enhance crop production, Government has now placed emphasis on the dry season cultivation of crops to further boost production for the attainment of food security in the state.

 

 

We have procured 1500 metric tons (50 Trucks) of NPK 20:10:10 fertilizer to support 2022/2023 irrigation farming in the state. These fertilizers have since been distributed and sold at a subsidized rate of N13,000.00 per bag through open market sales to the general public and allocation to LGAs, Ministries, Agencies, Farmers Cooperative Societies, Large Scale Farmers, among others. Furthermore, through Public Private Partnership, we have procured 1,500 metric tons of Neem-coated NPK 20:10:10 fertilizer to support rain-fed crop production for 2023 farming season. Under this arrangement, a company supplied the fertilizer at a cost of N25,000.00 per bag while Government on its part sold the fertilizer to farmers at the rate of N13,000.00 per bag which translated to a subsidy of N12,000.00 per bag. Arrangement has been completed for the procurement of fertilizer and other farm inputs for this year’s cropping season.

 

  1. Tractors and Implements

For sustainable agricultural development, the use of agricultural machineries contributes significantly to the development of value chains and food systems activities more effectively and efficiently. Agricultural machineries particularly tractors reduce production time and increases efficiency in farm operations thereby increasing crop yields, enhancing food security and reducing poverty. The State in the year 2019 purchased forty units (40) of Mersey Ferguson Tractors (MF375) and were sold out to large scale farmers on loan at a subsidized price of N11,025,000.00 without any interest payable within four years.

  • Establishment of Livestock Development Centers

The Yobe state Government and the Federal Government has agreed on mutual collaboration to establish Livestock Development Centers (LDG) in the three Senatorial Districts in the state in phases, starting with Jakusko/Nasari LDC (Zone C) in the year 2021/2022, Gurjaje LDC (Zone B) in 2022/2023 and Bade Gana LDC (Zone A) 2023/2024. These projects consist of the following facilities: Veterinary and Human clinics, Milk center and Milking Parlor, Artificial Insemination unit and small Ruminant multiplication unit, 50 units of Herdsmen’s settlement, Feed mill and Feedlot, 5Nos. Earth Dams and Aquaculture, Administrative Block, Security outpost, Primary School, Tractors, Planters, Harvesters, Lawn Mowers, Ambulatory Vehicles, Renovation of loading ramp and pasture development, Construction of Warehouse,  Construction of 6.0 km access road and Provision of Electricity.

 

  1. Other Partnership Projects

The State in partnership with Chad Basin Development Authority is currently undertaking the revival of the Lava Irrigation Scheme in Bursari Local Government. About 200 hectares of land have so far been developed ready for dry season cultivation of wheat. In the same vein the State through the Ministry of Agriculture are in collaboration with the World Bank for the take off of the Livestock Productivity and Resilience Support Project (L-PRES). So far, Government has provided the counterpart contribution for the take off of the project.  The project is designed to provide support to livestock farmers to boost sheep and goat production as well as enhance dairy and beef supply. The State also undertakes annual animal vaccination exercises against the spread of diseases in the State.

Wealth Creation

In our quest to stimulate economic growth, curb youth restiveness and empower our people, particularly the youth, we created the Ministry of Wealth Creation, Empowerment and Employment Generation. Under this Ministry, we procured and distributed 500 units of mounted vulcanizing machines and accessories, procured and distributed 1900 units of water pump for irrigation; 500 units of GSM repair kits; 500 units of sewing machines; 150 units of commercial pick-up tricycles; 150 units tricycles (Keke Napep); 500 units of grinding machines; 620 work bulls, 310 ox-cart and310 ox-plough among others. These were deliberately geared towards teaching our youth and women how to catch fish so that they can in-turn be employers of labour also.

 

 

I also wish to stress that our administration would continue to dwell on provision of safe drinking water; environmental issues such as combating desertification and desert encroachment, flood disaster, other natural factors and man-made threats to safer environment; youth and women empowerment; sports development; manpower development and tourism, among others.

 

 

Gentlemen of the press, before I conclude my briefing may I use this opportunity to inform you that this administration’s slogan is consolidation: This is to say consolidating on the achievements of the previous administrations by completing all the projects we inherited including the Damaturu Regional Water Supply jointly funded with the Federal Government and the new ones we initiated In-sha-Allah before the end of our tenure.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is important to stress and appreciate the cordial working relationship with the Yobe State House of Assembly that immensely contributed to all the successes we have recorded so far. With such mutual cooperation, I believe, we can transcend our achievements in the next three years.        Similarly, I wish to take this opportunity to express our deep appreciation to our development partners for their huge support in various fields of cooperation that accelerated our fulfillments. Equally important, I would like to thank the good people of Yobe State for their persistent trust in us, support and prayers that continue to inspire us to do more for the development of our dear State.

Thank you.”

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