By Abdulmalik Suleiman.
By January 27 2017, the Kogi State governor, Alh Yahaya Adoza Bello will be exactly one year in office.
Since assuming office Gov Bello did not leave anyone in doubt in the state, that there will going to be a departure from the wasteful past and politics of retrogression that has eclipsed the state for long and at the same time retarded her progress.
There is no gainsaying that the task before him was enormous, giving the present prevailing atmosphere.
But Governor Bello was very passionate about improving the livelihood of the people through prioritizing his development agenda and implementation process.
Having watched the governor since his inauguration in January 27, 2016, I am convinced that from all that has happened in the state, he has demonstrated purposeful leadership and good approach to governance.
Governor Bello outlined his administration’s development agenda from the campaign process, inauguration and the 2017 budget presentation to the Kogi State House of Assembly.
The administration quickly took off with the appointments of some officers by Governor Bello, key among them was the Chief of Staff to the governor, Hon Edward David Onoja.
In the inaugural address, he outlined that the “administration shall exist for the sole purpose of serving the superseding interests of the people of Kogi State to the very best of its capabilities. We also undertake to never lend our capacities to servicing the avarice of anyone or group–whether from Kogi State or elsewhere.
“There is no greater evil than Corruption and nothing champions that evil more than Impunity…Corruption and Impunity made sure our people repeatedly arrived at a promised future and found it bereft of substance, or the promised better life” he stated.
The Governor demonstrated this passion by setting up a screening committee to ascertain the actual workforce of the state civil servant and also to fish out ghost workers. The committee which has since submitted its report to the government and currently undergoing consideration. The report clearly vindicated governor Bello that the state truly needed a departure from the past and status quo. In the report, it was discovered that over one billion naira was being siphoned monthly from the state as a results of over bloated wage bills by certain cabals in the state civil service. It was a courageous and laudable steps seen by many as a clear road map towards development, its content is well-intended towards creating the new Kogi.
Although, the process and procedures greatly affected genuine workers, the sacrifices made during the period are today benefitting the workers as they keep getting their salaries as at when due putting an end to percentage salary in the state. Also, throughout the period the governor shows he was a compassionate leader with a listing ears, he displayed his emotion openly and share the pains of the workers. Several occasions he apologised to the workers assuring them that it was in their own interest to get the exercise complete for the betterments of the entire state.
For Governor Bello’s administration, top on its development agenda are what matters to the people of Kogi state. It includes functional and sustainable public infrastructures, good road. Today, most roads in lokoja city is wearing a good look, the same can be said of Okene, Dekina, Idah, Yagba East etc.
Functional education system that delivers skills, innovations and technical competencies for teeming youth and adults, an efficient health care delivery system that is affordable, available and accessible to all the people across the state.
Another area the governor has perform creditably well is Security, before governor Bello assumed office, Kogi State was fast becoming a safe heaven for criminals especially kidnappers who were on the rise. Gov Bello quick interventions by providing the necessary tools worth billions of naira for the various security agents in the state tamed the rising insecurity the state. Travellers are moving both in the day time and night without any single incident of armed robbery attack of whatsoever throughout the period of Yuletide and now.
Electrification is also not left out in Bello’s one year in the saddle, many communities that lack electrification are presently receiving attentions including Omala LGA that has their son as a governor for nine years.
The administration is also committed to a viable agricultural sector that will sustain and enable economic growth and job creation. Given the rich agricultural potentials in the state, the administration noted that it will invest in key agriculture infrastructure as could be seen from the calibre of Investors and personalities that had visited the state last year like Alh Aliko Dangote, President of Dangote groups, Chinese investors, etc.
Others sectors include effective and measurable youth development process that seeks to harness the potentials of the young people in the state by empowering them.
The water supply sector is also top of the state government agenda. Access to water is one utility at the heart of Gov Bello by ensuring good and healthy living by the people and this has prompted him to visited the greater Lokoja works instead of supervising commissioner in charge of Water ministry and today, the people have felt the visit as Water supply in the metropolis has greatly improved. On Environment, the governor has since instituted the monthly sanitation exercise, Gov Bello personally kick started the programme by making himself and other aids available on the streets of Lokoja, the state capital sweeping and picking garbages. This instantly earned him a nickname “talk and do governor” The rural development sector is high on the Governor’s development agenda.
Provision of basic and sustainable rural infrastructure that will raise the living standards of the people as well as halt the rural urban drift is important to the state government and this as led to massive road projects across the state.
Tourism is not left out of Governor Bello agenda for the state, the famous Confluence Beach and Resort owned by the state government is presently receiving attention, the government has invited a reputable first class investors in hospitalities for a joint venture with the state government.
Governor Bello’s early approach to governance is worthy of emulation in many respects, as it indicates that the administration indeed mean well for the people who voted for change. Governor Bello style of leadership is making Kogi a model state in the North Central and entire country.
Gov Bello’s sure footed steps has raise the bar on good governance and service delivery to citizens.