Reflecting on the Wada Administration, An Insiders View Point

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By Abu Micheal, Lokoja

Unlike the average Nigerian politician, Gov. Idris Wada is a special breed, sincere and has remained transparent in making the resources accruing to the state available for all to know.

The need for understanding on the part of citizens while we pray and hope that, like a phase– whether in the life of an individual, state or nation– this (hardship) too shall come to pass, the need to look critically on how the governor fairer amidst dwindling resources accruing the state in the last few years calls for a sober reflection.

As Governor of Kogi State, Capt. Idris Wada has shown that he has vision, a great manager of resources as well as a leader whose style of leadership has enabled the state attain its peak.

In the last four years, Capt Wada has been able to prove that through selfless service, grand vision, integrity and the courage to stay the course he represents, a solid foundation can be laid for the state.

The wheel of development in all area of the state’s life is on course.

Peace and stability, is an un quantifiable asset been enjoyed in the state in the last four years of the Capt Wada administration.

Capt Wada to all sincere observers of events in the state, have shown that he is concerned about the drive for a greater relevance for Kogi State.

He also see’s the drive to maximize the state’s rich potentials, particularly in tackling poverty, unemployment amidst plenty an area the governor has pursued without losing focus a priority.

Capt Wada needs to be commended for raising the bar of quality politics. He identified the issues of good governance and development as his sole purpose for being in government.

It is also not in doubt that a new set of values that reduces inequality, injustices has been made possible under the Capt. Wada administration.

Without fear of any contradiction, Kogi is on the threshold of genuine transformation evidenced in outstanding results, the peace and tranquility that abound the state showed much was achieved under the Capt Wada leadership because of his consistency, focus and purpose driven style of leadership.

No Kogi Worker lost his job under Wada in the last four years. Until the banks refused to grant the state over draft facilities, the state was among states that kept faith with prompt payment of salaries.

Pension and gratuities had a constant N500million, while backlog of gratuities dating from 1991 was paid up till 2009. Kogi State has a workforce of over 30,000 with a total wage bill of about N3.2billion.

Until April/May last year when the allocation came down to about N2.8/2.6 billion, the state workers who are said to be the highest paid in the region, had always had it good.

Capt Idris Wada inherited a number of personnel related problems, among which were unpaid salaries to teachers, arrears of salaries to local government workers, cases of ghost workers and unqualified persons using fake certificates to gain employment or earn outrageous salaries etc.

Several screening excersies were carried out to correct the over-bloated wage bill; but even at that, in 2012 Wada inherited the increased relativity and minimum wage to workers of the state.

Despite the huge bill, Wada did not look back; instead he ensured prompt payment of salaries, without having to lay off workers.

The challenges of a huge personnel cost, dwindling monthly allocation and uninspiring IGR, however didn’t deter the Wada administration from carrying out infrastructural development side by side human capital across the state.

For example out of the N40billion earned by the state from the federation account in 2015, and N4billion from internally generated revenue, bringing the state total inflow to N44.7billion, the state expenditure in the year amounted to N46.8billion; thus leaving the government with a deficit of over N2billion.

A look at the break down of the analysis of expenditures for 2015 stands as follows : Salaries, N22.5 billion, pension and gratuity N4.2billion, while monthly imprest to MDAs stands at N1.8billion. The state’s Overhead and Capital expenditure was N11.5billion and N7billion respectively.

Kogi State was among the first states that applied for the federal government’s bail out. However, despite  the CBN’s approval of a N50.9 billion loan to enable the state pay its workers– N5.9 billion at the state level and N45billion for the 21 local government councils, the state’s share was withheld for no reason other than political consideration .

The four years of Capt Wada as governor in all honesty, when summed up, putting empirical evidenced of growth and development, peace and tranquility into perspective, can be said to have been geared towards truly making the state fulfill its full potentials as a confluence of resources and opportunity.

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