As the expiration of the second tenure of Nasarawa State governor,Umaru Tanko Al-Makura comes to an end on the May 29,2019,this will usher in a new crop of leaders to pilot the affairs of the home of solid mineral for the period of four years,our Nasarawa State Correspondent,Rabiu Omaku writes on achievements and daunting challenges of the All Progressives Congress under governor Al-Makura.
Umaru Tanko Al-Makura was elected and sworn in on May 29,2011 as the third democratically governor of Nasarawa State through a popular vote that truncate the re-election bid of late Aliyu Akwe Doma,a lot was achieved by the APC with his popular “Seeing is Believing”.
Some of the greatest achievements of governor Al-Makura in office includes the construction of township roads across the thirteen Local Governments of the State,this single act has transformed some of the Local Governments headquarters to mega city.
Further investigation revealed that all the township road were build from the coffers of the third tier of government,it was
again gathered that the State government used part of Bailout and Paris refund to build those roads,culverts and drainages without penny coming from the State government purse making the third tier of government bankrupt as no consultation was made with heads of Local Governments in the State.
Other momentous feat of Al-Makura also include the construction of storey buildings under the Nasarawa State Universal Basic Education Board as over 24 storey buildings were constructed with the sole aimed of addressing the dwindling of Junior Secondary and Primary education.
The aimed of building storey buildings and renovate dilapidated schools has been defeated because all the storey buildings are existing without pillars as onlookers continued to blame the State governor for not supervising the projects.
Again the N1.9bn earmarked for the procurement of desk and chairs for onward distribution to Junior Secondary and Primary Schools failed,this foist the fourth State Assembly to served the State governor with impeachment noitce.
Another cogwheel of the outgoing administration which Engr.Sule must be keen with is the whearabout of N9bn collected from the Universal Basic Education Commission for the second time,it was authoritatively gathered that UBEC contributed N4.5bn while the State government also contributed N4.5bn bringing the amount to N9bn.
Under governor Al-Makura civil servants been the engine room of government businesses were relegated to the background as promotion which was the right of civil servants was termed as privilege,this lead to the non promotion of civil servants while if there promotion is a nortional promotion,meaning promotion without benefits.
This was resisted vehemently by workers leading to the killings of two workers while protesting the denial of their right, the Uphill task of the governor-elect was to negotiate with civil servants for him to succeed in office.
The relationship between the organized labour and the government was nothing to right home about, the denial was also extended to retirees who resisted percentage payment of pension as hundred of pensioners are leaving in squalor,this compelled them to drag the government to industrial Court in Makurdi.
Under governor Al-Makura the three Tertiary Institutions comprises of College of Education, Akwanga,College of Agriculture, Lafia and the Nasarawa State Polytechnic, Lafia went on series of strike over the non implementation of 2015,2016,2017,2018 promotions,as the Chairman Joint Union of Tertiary Institutions,Useni Paul after the Congress of JUSTI called on its members to stay at home until the State government do the needful by paying N50 to N60M to the affected institutions.
The governor-elect should not hesitate have a round table with the aggrieved tertiary institutions to end the lingering impasse that has affect the academic calendar of the three institutions.
One of the ongoing strike was the closure of courts by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, Nasarawa State wing,the strike that began in November leading to the dismissal of twenty staff even with the intervention of the national leadership of JUSUN failed,the strike has potray the State in a bad light as Judiciary Staff accused the State Chief Judge, Suleiman Umar Dikko for illegal deduction of their salary.Engr.A.A.Sule must do something urgent to tackle the numerous challenge of his predecessor.
The dearth of Nasarawa Newsday, Nasarawa Investment and Property Development Company,Other State assests affected are the dearth of Lafia Hotel and Conference,Hotel ,the State owned properties respectively.
The State would be able to generates it’s Internally Generated Revenue to augment the lean resources accrued to the State from the Federation account.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT ARE PAID IN PERCENTAGE SINCE NOVEMBER 2015
In the area of appointment,the governor only succeeded in making appointments one sided by favoring his acolytes, the State Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party,Hon.Francis Orogu has stated.
Ali his brother was appointed Member of Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal Commission
Yakubu Ahmed Ubangari his in-law
Yakubu Ahmed -Chairman Nasarawa Board of Internal Revenue his nephew
Bursar Nasarawa State Polytechnic,Lafia his brother
Safiyanu Registrar College of Education,Akwanga,the governor-elect should spread the positions to other party members but not to recycle juicy positions to family and friends only this would foster unity amongst the people of the State especially those that work day and night for the party to succeed.
FREE PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION POLICY OF AL-MAKURA
Sir primary and secondary education was never free in Nasarawa State from the very first day Umaru Tanko Al-Makura made the pronouncement rather it was ‘A PARTIAL FREE PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION”education would be totally free where the government in power shoulder the responsibility through the provision of school uniforms.
You should remember that the people of Nasarawa State are not ready for a unrealistic promises
FOCUSED ON THE REVIVAL OF DEARTH NEWSDAY AND NASARAWA TRANSPORT SERVICE
Other uphill task of your in-coming administration is for your government to have a rethink over the scrapping of Nasarawa Newsday by your predecessor,with the payment of staff and their deployment to Information ministry would not solved the situation.your government should look inward by rejuvenating the collapse institution.
Also NASARAWA ON THE MOVE
Nasarawa On The Move remain one of the best State owned transport company till the coming of Al-Makura that the company was shutdown and workers laid off without any benefit as the State government claimed that the company is a Public Liability Company.On The Move as it was popularly called before it was renamed to “NASARAWA EXPRESS SERVICE” huge amount of money ranging from N5m to N7m was generated monthly to the State,it could be recalled that the sacked staff are in court over their entitlements.
FOCUSED ON THE BUILDING OF RURAL ROADS AND BRIDGES
Considering the predominant occupation of the people of Nasarawa State which was farming,there is urgent need for your administration to focused on rural road projects instead of wasting taxpayers money on white elephant project termed “AIRPORT” more roads should be constructed to open a window of opportunity for the teeming population, though the outgoing administration had succeeded in construction of 3-5km township road from the resource of the third tier of government.is a paradigm shift on the side of governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura for the judicious utilization of Council funds to development Local Governments in the State,the feat had given a facelift to almost all the Local Government headquarters that benefited from the road projects which was first of it kind since the creation of the State in 1996.
NON PROMOTION OF CIVIL SERVANTS IN 8 YEARS
The civil servants been the engine room of government businesses were relagated to the background under governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura and this seriously affects government businesses, Nasarawa State witnessed the highest number of industrial action leading to the death of two staff while on peaceful demostration.
World over promotion is the right of a worker not a privilege for that reason utmost respect and attention should be accorded to workers,promotion serves as a morale booster to civil servants and they deserved it,under Al-Makura APC 8 years promotions are still hanging or where there is promotion no implementation.
The non implementation of promotions was the reason for the shutting down of three Tertiary Institutions namely, The Nasarawa State Polytechnic,Lafia,College of Education, Akwanga and College of Agriculture,Lafia respectively.the Joint Union leader,Paul Useni stated that their staff are owing 2015,2016,2017,2018,2019 promotion,urging the State government to do the needful.
FIGHTING CORRUPTION IN OUR TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS AND THE CIVIL SERVICE
The in-coming government should try by all means to block leakages in our tertiary institutions as some few individuals use the schools as their Cash cow to enrich themselves,is never too late to change the narrative.the implementation of the white paper should be your focus,if this is achieved,sky would be your starting point.
THERE IS THE NEED TO CONVERT THE SPECIAL SCHOOL FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITY
The education of people leaving with disability is the most expensive thing to do considering the conditions of such pupils as some of them needed devices for conducive learning. the amount that would be needed to fund the three institutions cut across the three senatorial zone instead should be channeled into something meaningful.the proposed amount should channeled into the provision of desk and chairs
The State government for the moment is in court with pensioners,the retirees drag the State government to court for paying them on percentage for the period of three years leading to the death retirees with high expectations.
Also Your Excellency you should be candid with your statement before taken any State decision,don’t rush to implement what you don’t know the financial implication like the implementation of new minimum wage by your predecessor,as an Industrialist be keen and mindful of the negative side of your decision.
RELOCATE TRADERS TO EXISTING MARKETS
The Al-Makura government no doubt has expended billion of naira for the establishment of International Market Kwandare,Modern Markets in Lafia and Akwanga,Neighborhood market,Lafia as well the completion of Muhammadu Buhari International Market,huge amount of money was spend on the construction and commissioning of those markets but still were abandoned.Is a herculean task
on your administration to put into use those markets, the relocation of traders along the highway causing gridlock to commuters must be averted ,the feat would also boost the Internally Generated Revenue of the State.