Developing Critical Infrastructures Across the Central Senatorial District of Kogi(1) by Abu Micheal

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One thing you cannot take away from the present administration in Kogi State under the leadership of Captain Idris Wada in the last three years is that it has chosen to focus on ensuring stability in developing critical infrastructures across all sectors and equitable across the State.

The administration has amidst serious challenge that is associated with modern day governance ensured that it has not only sustain its policy of good governance, it is the hallmark of the Capt Wada’s administration since coming into office.

It is equally important to say that the development thrust of the administration is outlined in the Blueprint, a document that serves as a road map, put together by a committee of wise men at the inception of Wada’s administration.

It would be recalled that it is the committee’s submission that fairness, equitable distribution of infrastructures and amenities as well as appointments, remains a panacea to peaceful co-existence.

Capt Wada has without mincing words no doubt kept faith to that aspect of the recommendation of being fair, just and equitable in resources and infrastructure allocations as contained in the blueprint report.

Taking into cognizance the Central Senatorial District for example , the area in terms of appointment has the Secretary to the State Government, with each LGA having a commissioner while the number of Special Advisers, Senior Special Assistants and Special Assistants are evenly and equally spread to Local Government Areas in the District. These appointments are also applicable to Members of Boards and Commissions.

The development of critical infrastructures across the State has been a priority for the Captain Wada’s administration. The governor has always maintained that the availability of infrastructures will serve as bedrock for the state’s sustainable development.  furthermore the Governor see’s infrastructure development as a bid to quicken the pace of Socio Economic transformation in all parts of the State as envisaged by his vision.

In all, the administration has undertaken the construction of 58 road projects including the Ageva Ogori road across the State. Several others are still on going including the Obangede – Okaito – Ogaminana road that had been abandoned due to lack of funds.  There is also the 16km Otokiti- Ganaja bye pass road. Still on road construction in the Central, the Wada administration has equally constructed the access road to the College of Nursing and Midwifery Obangede.  For the sake of records the ongoing road networks across the state undergoing construction includes; those of Mopa, Kabba, Isanlu, Lokoja and Koton-Karfe township roads. Others are those of Dekina-Olowa-Abocho-Ogbabede-Agada-Ajogwomi; Idah- Onyedega, Shintaku/Odugbo/Mozum and Anyigba/Abejukolo roads just to mention but a few are all helping to provide improve access to urban markets and enabling better social interaction among the people.

As part of government’s priority for which the central district is not left out by the present administration and for which it has accorded attention is the education sector, a sector it refers to as the cornerstone of its human capital development agenda.

Part of the government’s massive investment in the education sector in the Central district includes the renovation work on Abdulazeez Attah memorial College, Okene.  Building and completion of an Administrative block at school of Nursing Obangede.  Similarly, the administration as part of efforts to improve teaching and learning of ICT, has completed and furnished an ICT centre at school of Nursing Obangede. It has as well built and completed a student hostel also at school of Nursing Obangede.

Through the State Ministry of Works and that of Education, several Primary and Secondary schools have been built and rehabilitated across the Central district.

In the water sub sector, aside the embankment to protect the Greater Lokoja Water Supply Scheme at a cost of about N400million, N2 billion has been earmarked to reticulate water to Lokoja township. The administration has also resuscitated 32 water schemes, and drilled 22 motorized and solar power bore holes in the state . The central senatorial district has a fair share in allocation and in the distribution of these bore holes.

From data obtained from the Ministry of Water Resources, the Central Senatorial District has a total of thirteen (13) water schemes. The Eastern Senatorial District has ten (10)while the West Senatorial District has seven(7) of such water projects. More than twenty of the projects have attained over 50% completion rate.

In order to ensure equitable spread of the water schemes, not only did the Governor put senatorial districts into considerations, he saw to it that the various key constituent communities in those senatorial districts benefited. For instance, in the central senatorial district, the Ogori community was recognized as different from the Magongo community whose water schemes are at 75% and 70% completion level respectively. Other communities in the central senatorial district like Essomi, Oboroke, Ikuehi, Nagazi, Kuroko, Geregu, Egge, Idoji ,Adavi, Obehira, Obangede also benefited from  the  water scheme projects.

It is also important to state that work is still on-going on the Okene and Ihima water scheme.

The State government’s intervention in the health sector through the provision and upgrading of new and existing healthcare facilities across different tiers of the sector has remained a reference.  Among the General Hospitals under renovation and upgrade to a Zonal Hospital in the state is the General Hospital at Okene. There is also the renovation of all general hospitals in the district.  Similarly, under construction is the 40 bed cottage hospital at Ikuehi at Ihima.  The MDGs clinic at Obanagede has also been completed.

Until recently when Tao FM, in Kuroko, a privately owned community radio station was bombed, the State government has ensured and recorded a measure of unparalleled peace and security in the central senatorial district. The cooperation received from the area and the support in the last general election is a testament that the people have shown avowed commitment to the success of the present administration and deserve much more if the resources are available. In the information sector, the Otite station of Radio Kogi is now back on air having be turned into a full FM station.

While no price is too much to pay in empowering a people, given to them dividends of democracy despite the states lean resources as shown by the present administration is the measure of value and respect it has for the peace and loving people of the district. For remaining supportive to the present administration’s transformation agenda, certainly, they deserve no less if not more of what they have been given. Governor Wada’s commitment has shown that he will do more if the resources improves.

Since inception, the administration has serviced other sectors with little above N400 after the payment of a monthly wage bill of N3.2billion.

The efforts to attain the little but unparalleled achievements of this administration amidst dwindling financial resources across the district of the State to many who have followed the trend in governance of the state in the last three years have had to hinged the modest success to determination, focus and courage driven by the administration’s mission to transform the State by Captain Idris Wada amidst available resources.

The scarce but greater chunk of the state’s resources has to a large extent been judiciously used across the state in building key infrastructures.

The modest success story in the central nay other districts of Kogi State is therefore a painstaking effort made by ensuring equity and fairness and the deployment of available resources in the building of critical infrastructure by the Wada led administration, who thus deserves commendation.

In the area of employment, the people of central district along side other districts have benefited from the employment the State government has so far made in the State Civil Service, while citizens of the district are among the over 120,000 that have also received free treatment, surgery and laboratory examination under the state government organised quarterly free health programme.

Similarly, youths of the districts are among the over 10,000 engaged under the youth advancement  programme of the State government.

The emphasis by the administration on fairness, equity, probity and accountability in governance, elimination of endemic corruption, complete value orientation, inclusiveness as well as harmony across ethnic religious and other interest groups in the State can best be said is the reason for the Captain Wada’s success story.

Abu Micheal is the Chief Press Secretary to Kogi State Deputy Governor.

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