Dec 3 Guber Race: Our Plans for Physical Infrastructural Development – Gowon Egbunu

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Human existence will be incomplete without basic amenities. Kogi State is an emerging developing State in the Federation within the context of its peculiarity and available resources. Solid foundations in various areas were laid from its creation, first as Benue State in 1976 till 1991 when the State was created. Unfortunately, since then, most… of these infrastructures have suffered various forms of decay, and are in dire need of a renewed effort at overhauling them. The burden of building a 21st Century modern infrastructural base for the State is, therefore, a herculean task which our administration must tackle. We shall mobilize the rural communities living in development areas council to participial in the maintenance of critical infrastructure in their domains.

The following infrastructure will be rigorously provided thus:-
(a) Radically work on the rehabilitation and expansion of all township roads and drainage systems to give the State the befitting tourist attraction status that it deserves and to facilitate free movement of people and goods.
(b) Engage the services of 3 major road construction companies; one each per Senatorial District, to handle and maintain the construction of State roads in these districts. We shall ensure that all district headquarters are linked up with the LGA headquarters. We shall in addition engage the services of local indigenous construction companies to handle the construction of local roads, linking rural areas to the State roads. Federal roads within the State will be reconstructed in liaison with the Federal Government.

We shall work closely with the Federal government and NGOs to achieve the targets set in National Water Policy. Towards the end, therefore, an aggressive rehabilitation of urban water supply facilities in the State will be undertaken to ensure the supply of adequate and portable drinking water to our people. Rural water supply schemes like the construction of earth dams, bore-holes and hand-dug wells will be massively undertaken to alleviate the water problems of our rural communities and to enhance industrial and agriculture activities in the State. We shall undertake a comprehensive survey of our existing rural water supply facilities. We shall continue to partner with all international NGOs that have shown considerable interest in the provision of safe drinking water and good sanitation for our people.

Currently, Kogi State is only being served with about 25 mega watts of electricity which is a far-cry from the minimum of about 200 mega watts required to drive the State’s economy. The Transformation 2011 Government will, therefore, actively explore partnership arrangements with Independent Power Providers (IPP), to bridge the short fall. Government shall encourage the use of alternative energy source, including renewable and non- conventional forms, especially in the rural areas.

We shall embark on extensive environmental protection and conservation work statewide. An average of one million trees per annum will be planted in the State to promote the re-greeenning of the eco-system, bio-diversity and clean health, which will further enhance the tourism friendly ambiance potentials of the State. Similarly, an active private sector involvement will be put in place to ensure effective collection and disposal of liquid and solid waste in the State. Deliberate efforts will be made by Government to beautify our cities and towns through promoting horticultural practices, public parks and gardens, and neat stone-paved sidewalks for the public. To achieve this, the State Environmental Protection Agency will be revived and empowered to perform its functions.

To effectively grow the State’s economy, Government shall mobilize and actively encourage public transport companies to embark on organized mass movement of goods and services within and outside the State. To this end, the Kogi Transport Company will be strengthened and recapitalized to partner with the private sector, and given the impetus to regulate effective operation of the sector.

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