By Mahmuda Ya’u Dan Sarki
“The broad based policy thrust of our government will focus on security of lives and property, education and human capital development, water & sanitation and primary healthcare, youth employment, women empowerment, and poverty alleviation through agriculture and agro-allied processing.” – Governor Muhammadu Badaru Abubakar, MON
These were the words of His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Jigawa State, Muhammadu Badaru Abubakar in 2015 shortly after he assumed duty, six years ago to be precise. He took the oath of allegiance to serve the good people of Jigawa State and promised to provide qualitative leadership with the fear of Almighty.
His Excellency, Governor Badaru clocked Six years in office and his initiatives have earned him tremendous support from Jigawa people due to his developmental achievements.
Indeed, the people of Jigawa are very proud to have Badaru as their leader, who left no stone un-touch in every sector. He is one of the best performing governors in Nigeria, who is serving the electorates with all sense of humility and dedication.
He has all it takes to celebrate his six years in office, the governor has undertaken various projects and initiatives in critical areas that will better the lives of his people, especially in Agriculture, Commerce and Investment, Infrastructure, Education, Water, Economic Empowerment and many others.
To support various interventions in the State especially in Agriculture, the administration of Muhammadu Badaru introduced small scale mechanization on farming process to improve efficiency and reduce drudgery in agriculture. Unemployed youths were trained in mini harvester and thresher operations and pesticide applications. Over 2,000 hand held harvesters, planters, 60 tractors, 20 combined harvesters, over 500 mini threshers, 2,500 sprayers and pesticide were supplied to over 5,000 beneficiary on empowerment loan basis, and they are assigned to cluster to provide these service as at when due.
It has also created thousands of jobs through value chain for youth that are not directly involved in the cluster farming. When Army worms infested about 11 states, Jigawa State deployed over 600 pest control agents across the state to contain the invasion. Affected farmers called the nearest extension worker, while pest controller was directed to collect appropriate pesticide from JASCO and distributed it to the affected persons.
Some of the Badaru’s mega Agric investments like The Jigawa Rice Mills have already started production and expansion exercise while, Dangote Rice Mills and GNA Sugar mills are progressing accordingly.
The governor promised to continue to nurture and support SMEs which are the engine room of economic growth and hold the greatest potential for employment and entrepreneurship.
He signed an Agricultural Cooperation Agreement with Hunan Provincial Department of Agriculture from the Peoples’ Republic of China, which involves substantial investments in the area of Hybrid Rice Seeds Production, Rice Processing, Agricultural Mechanization and Upgrade of Irrigation Infrastructure.
A survey report jointly published by SMEDAN and National Bureau of Statistics in 2013 estimated that there over 820,001 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in Jigawa State, out of these enterprises, only 1,022 are classified as small and 75 as medium. This data largely summarises the vulnerability of the average enterprise in Jigawa, and the inability to grow beyond petty business status.
The administration of Muhammadu Badaru, through Jigawa Investment Promotion Agency, partnered with Jigawa Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture to provide requisite financial and technical support to enhance the growth of local enterprise and provide viable platform to boost competitiveness and exposure to local and international partners. N300,000,000 was earmarked and disbursed to 95 businesses during first batch of the intervention.
In 2019 national competitiveness report published by the national Competitiveness Council, Jigawa State was placed at number 9th spot in the country in quality of infrastructure, and not surprisingly, 1st in the quality of roads in sub-category with a score of 96.38%.
Governor Badaru’s administration has consistently invested heavily in the roads sector including the provision of township roads to the extent that Jigawa State could boast of having one of the most extensive State Road Networks in Nigeria, covering about 2,400 kilometers. Virtually all the Urban Centers and Small Towns in the State are interconnected with very robust and reliable road networks including feeder roads, connecting hundreds of other towns and villages with the main regional roads.
Badaru considers roads construction as one of the major objectives of his administration, the state, through the ministry of works and transport has recorded tremendous achievements. He constructed over 1,500 kilometer roads at the sum of N100 billion that link State Capital with all the Local Government Headquarters and major towns.
Some of completed critical projects infrastructure includes: Regional Roads: Gagarawa – Taura-Garki, Gudichin-Aguyaka; Dutse – Madobi – Katanga – Dangoli with a spur to Baranda; Darai – Gilima; Gambara – Waza – Baranda – with spur from Waza to Yalwa; Asphalt overlay of Babura – Yarkirya – Kuzunzumi; Bariki- Munzarau – Tuwunkalta – Tarabu; and Harbo Sabuwa to Harbo Tsohuwa Access.
Feeder Roads: Shuwarin–Kanya-Duzau-Goron Maje; Sada-Kanawa-Dankari-Nasarawa-Kuda; Kazaure-Fanda-Sabaru-Gallu-Karkarna; Kaugama-Mallam Madori; and Hammado-Danfarantama-Mele-Baikarya-Garin Baki-Kokinami-Liman Mado.
Township Roads: Access roads to 744, Sabuwar Takur and YalwawaTownship Roads; Kiyawa; Kanya-Babba; Jigawar Dan-Ali; Kaugama; Miga, Chaichai, Babura and Hadejia Township Roads.
He also provided solar-based urban street lights in twenty-five small towns most of which have been completed; electrification of 12 Villages namely Hambarawa, Gidan Garko, Guntai, Alaye, Askandu, Masanawa, Marke-Yalo Inter-Township Connection and extensions to NTA and Sambo Primary School in Hadejia, and commencement of new ones. Additional 17 Towns and Villages are presently ongoing all of which will be completed soon.
Jigawa state government has so far completed 40 out of the 42 road projects it inherited from the previous administration which cost nearly 87 billion Naira.
Education sector is part of the Badaru’s social transformation agenda, which is to ensure a healthy and well educated populace that will contribute to the national growth and development.
Governor Badaru constructed new classroom blocks while a good number were renovated and all were supplied with appropriate furniture in order to create conducive environment for students. In his efforts to strengthen science and technical education through long term goal of establishing special secondary schools all over the state, so far nine Centers of Excellence has been established.
These schools, according to the governor are part of the twenty seven (27) targeted to be completed within three years are fully equipped with ICT materials, laboratory equipments, power generators, sufficient and qualified teachers of all subjects.
Other achievements recorded in the education sector include: Establishment of additional Day Secondary Schools to decongest the existing ones; establishment of College of Remedial Studies at Babura; establishment of five new Day Science Secondary Schools in each of the 5 Emirate Headquarters; upgrading College of Islamic Legal Studies at Ringim to a full pledge College of Education and Islamic Studies. This is in an effort to produce more teachers for all levels of education system in the state. Furthermore, Bilyamunu Usman College of Agriculture has been upgraded to Jigawa State Polytechnic in Hadejia.
At the tertiary level, State government was able to access about N2.5 billion from TETFund in addition to direct State Treasury Funding. This was expended largely on the improvement of infrastructural facilities and teachers development, which contributed to the establishment of new departments and accreditation of more courses by the relevant accreditation bodies. The establishment of new College of Remedial Studies in Babura has reached an advanced stage of completion and is expected to commence academic programmes this year.
Similarly the state government has succeeded in putting additional students’ hostels, resources centers, staff quarters and libraries. While at the State University, Senate Building, Vice Chancellor’s Lodge and 60 Units of Staff Houses have been completed.
On the Health Sector, over 50 Jigawa State indigenes sponsored to study medicine abroad, have successfully graduated and returned home, and they are presently working in various hospitals across the State. Almost all the remaining 99 foreign students from the State are undergoing studies in the medical field including the 59 medical students in China.
Governor Badaru constructed General Hospitals in Garki, Guri, Buji and also upgrading four of Primary Health Centres to General Hospitals at Gwaram, Miga, Malam Madori and Auyo Local Governments have reached an advance stage of completion.
He constructed 25 Basic Health Clinics for comprehensive and emergency obstetric care services; Birnin Kudu General Hospital has already reached 85% completion stage. Hadejia and Kazaure Specialist Hospitals is currently at about 70% completion stage as well as engagement of over 400 ad-hoc health staff mostly in rural areas, nurses, midwife and doctors retained.
To achieve universal access to water and sanitation services, Governor Badaru Abubakar administration has continued to significantly invest in the sector as well as evolve policies that ensure sustainable management of water and sanitation across the State.
He upgraded and converted Water Supply Schemes to New Solar-Powered Schemes across the State which resulted in providing 783 hand pumps boreholes and 772 ventilated and improved pit latrines in rural communities and public institutions particularly schools and health facilities.
Rehabilitation and expansion of existing Water Schemes involving procurement and replacement of submersible pumps as well as overhauling and replacement of generators; additional satellite water schemes within Dutse and its environs to improve water supply in the State Capital.
Improvement of Birnin Kudu Water Supply Schemes through State Counterpart funding of the Third National Water Project and direct procurement of 200 KVA generator for the Regional Schemes.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) recently adjudged Jigawa State as one of the states with access to clean water, ranking the state as number 4th in the country and 1st in the North.
These reflect the good policies and government investment in the sector which resulted in the construction and conversion of 1,016 Solar-Powered Schemes, Conversion and Rehabilitation of 6,912 Hand Pumps, Rehabilitation and Upgrading of 516 Motorized Water Schemes and Construction of 2,216 VIP Latrines in five years
Despite the global financial crisis due to Covid-19 pandemic which made the environment unfavorable, the state government was able to execute several youths’ empowerment programmes. About 510 youths were empowered in collaboration with NITDA, ITF and GT Bank in the area of Agriculture, Vocational Trades and Agency. 54 youth were also supported with mobile phone charging systems. This is in addition to 2,600 youths trained under the MAFITA Program who were supported to obtain certification by the National Business and Technical Examination Board which qualifies them as professionals in their acquired skills.
Thousands of youth were benefited with 700 Rice Mills with daily processing capacity of 1 Tonne, 150 Multi-Crop Thrashers, 100 Pieces of each of Handle-harvesters and Sprayers, 100 Pieces each of Single and Double Row Multi-purpose Planters; 50 Power Tiller Mini-Tractors, 20 Locally Fabricated Rice & Wheat Thrashers, 5 Dual-purposed Corn Peeler and Thrashers; and 30 Solar-powered Irrigation Water Pumps.
Economic Empowerment Programs undertaken in 2020 brings the total number of beneficiaries to about 150,000 in the last five years.
Governor Badaru has left no one in doubt about his capacity, dedication and passion to serve the good people of Jigawa, who are highly appreciated and delighted that they have made the right choice at the polls in 2015.
His achievements in six years has transformed the state and improved the life of people of Jigawa State.