Today marks yet another milestone in the history of our dear state with the administration of oath of office on my humble self as Governor and, His Excellency, Alhaji Idi Barde Gubana, as Deputy Governor of Yobe state. It is the beginning of a new administration which you, the good people of Yobe state, conscientiously voted into office on February 9th, 2019.
This is a new mandate enabling us to continue with the implementation of far reaching policies and programmes towards making Yobe State achieve its full potentials to greatness through the policy of CONTINUITY AND CONSOLIDATION of legacy achievements recorded by the administration of His Excellency, Aihaji (Dr) Ibrahim Gaidam FCNA, FCPA.
In keeping faith with the Oath of office and Oath of allegiance just administered on me, l seek the guidance of Almighty Allah (SWT) to guide us to deliver on our promises and to abide by their tenets. I and my Deputy also pledged to justify the confidence and trust reposed in us.
Your Excellencies, Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, you may recall that on 29th September, 2018 on the occasion of our courtesy call and thank you visit to His Excellency, Alhaji (Dr) Ibrahim Gaidam following my nomination and endorsement as the governorship aspirant and, eventually the APC candidate in our state, I pledged not to betray the trust and confidence His Excellency and the people of Yobe State reposed in me. I hereby renew the pledge to serve the state to the best of my ability with utmost sense of responsibility.
There is no doubt that His Excellency, Alhaji (Dr) Ibrahim Gaidam has placed Yobe State on the path of greatness. His leadership qualities is a reflection of the thoughts of Muhammad Bello Ibn Usman Danfodio where he says “If Almighty Allah wishes people good, He gives leadership in their affairs to the best of them. Such leaders would lead the community or state in the right path and put matters in correct places. They would seek the advice of people who have ideas that are handy in solving problems…” His Excellency Alhaji (Dr) Ibrahim Gaidam has indeed proved to be the architect of modern Yobe.
While registering our profound appreciation and gratitude to His Excellency, l wish to reassure him that we would continue to draw inspiration from his wisdom and wealth of experience to sustain, deepen and widen the legacies established by his administration.
May l take the opportunity provided by this gathering to equally appreciate the National and State leadership of our great party, party elders, women, youth and indeed all supporters of our great party the APC, for their support, guidance and wise counsel before, during and after the 2019 general elections. My debt of gratitude also goes to the Director General and members of the State Campaign Organization of the 2019 general elections. I also thank notable individuals, groups and organizations at all levels for providing strategic direction which contributed towards ensuring total and landslide victory for all candidates fielded by our party. Your love and support for the party has clearly confirmed the fact that Yobe State is indeed the home of APC and this shall be maintained, In-Sha Allah.
The elections are over, and the mantle of leadership has at this occasion been bestowed on us through the oath of office we took just a while ago. We, the good people of Yobe State, have today commenced writing another chapter in the history of our state.
May l therefore, remind us all that, this is a collective project and responsibility. We are together in making this administration to succeed in serving the state diligently and meritoriously, to make life more meaningful to our people and, to make Yobe State a better place for all.
I therefore, solicit for support, cooperation and prayers of everyone in the state for our administration to succeed in serving the people better. Government will continue to tap from the rich experiences and successes of our past leaders, fellow politicians, seasoned bureaucrats and technocrats, the academia, the business community and farmers, for us to work together and, collectively contribute to building a virile and prosperous state for the benefit of all.
It is evidently clear, that a lot of efforts have been made to provide security, qualitative healthcare, improved education, infrastructural development especially road construction and agricultural development among others, to add value to the lives of the people. These laudable achievements had no doubt improved the quality of lives of the people.
Under the new administration, these sectors will be given the desired attention they deserve. The new government will explore and exploit new avenues and opportunities locally, nationally and, internationally, to improve and expand the existing structures, programs and policies, for maximum delivery of dividends of democracy to the people.
We will take advantage of our state belonging to the ruling national government to make federal presence more visible and efficient, to contribute to the development of the state, and improve the lives of the people.
Government will pursue every opportunity with high sense of responsibility to ensure that, what rightly belongs to the state in terms of appointments, projects and programs are given to the state. This administration would partner with our national legislators to pursue our entitlements with vigor. We will ensure that the state’s quota in federal appointments are fully accessed and occupied by our people.
In this regard, a vibrant DESK OFFICE will be established at the Abuja liaison office to monitor and pursue our dues and entitlements. The era of shortchanging the state is over.
l wish to reassure you that this administration will Insha Allah be responsive to the needs of the people. Government will continue to pay special attention to security of lives and property, provide quality healthcare delivery, improve education, agricultural production, infrastructural development, youth and women empowerment.
Your Excellencies, invited guests, ladies and gentlemen, our tragic and horrendous experience of the Boko Haram insurgency, which claimed many innocent lives and rendered thousands of people as Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), had also destroyed several public and private properties. It was an attempt to shatter our collective dreams and hope for a prosperous future.
We the people of Yobe state are appreciative and remain immensely grateful to His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, President and Commander-in-Chief of the Nigeria armed forces, the security chiefs, officers and men of the security forces for the commitment to the war against insurgency and subsequent liberation of some communities initially seized by the insurgency.
We are indebted to the efforts of our gallant officers and men of the Nigeria Army, Air force, the Nigeria Police Force, Department of State Security Services, Civil Defence, Vigilante and Hunter groups, some of whom had paid the supreme sacrifice for the peace and security we now enjoy. May the souls of the departed officers and men of the various security organizations Rest in Peace.
Let me also appreciate the support rendered by the state government to the security organizations during the trying period under the able leadership of His Excellency Alhaji Ibrahim Gaidam. The support had no doubt contributed to the success of the fight against insurgency in the state. Today, most of the displaced persons have returned to their communities and actively engaged in various economic activities to rebuild their livelihoods.
Furthermore, I salute the courage, resilience and determination of communities affected by the insurgency and their commitment to resettlement and rehabilitation to pick their lives once again.
Although there are still pockets of security challenges on some soft targets, it is gratifying that there is general improvement in peace and security across the state. We are confident that the efforts of our security forces will be crowned with more improved and sustainable peace and security in no distant future, Insha Allah.
Let me use this opportunity to reassure the security agencies and our people that, this administration would no doubt build on the peace and security achieved. We shall also explore other avenues for a stronger cooperation, collaboration and synergy between the state government and security organizations to be more proactive in tackling potential security threats, to enhance sustainable peace and security across the state.
I therefore enjoin everyone to support and cooperate with the security operatives. You should endeavor to provide them with credible, useful and timely information to enhance proactive approach to security situations. We are all stakeholders in the security of our state.
Education as we all know is the bedrock of meaningful development in every society or nation. We have in the last 10 years, in spite of the security challenges, recorded tremendous improvement in educational development under the Gaidam administration. The efforts in improving primary education and upgrading facilities in the secondary schools are quite commendable. Our own university, the Yobe State University, has no doubt moved so fast, and moving so close to older universities in terms of facilities, infrastructure and intellectual content.
Let me also state that, we are not unmindful of the over stretched facilities in schools and, the need to provide more. We are conscious of the increase in population of some communities especially, where displaced persons choose to settle in such communities.
This administration would strive to ensure prompt payment of counterpart funds to the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), to enable the state access UBEC grants to improve primary education. Government would also build more schools, classrooms, employ more teachers and provide additional instructional materials to meet the educational needs of these communities.
This approach would be replicated in the secondary education sector to make education attractive and functional. The payment of examination fees by government to students in public schools would be sustained. Parents and guardians in the state would be free from the burden of paying school and examination fees for their wards.
In order to improve and encourage pupils enrollment in our schools, this administration will partner the federal government for implementation of the Home Grown Feeding Programme.
We will continue to support the state owned tertiary institutions including, the State University, Polytechnic, College of Nursing and Midwifery, College of Agriculture, College of Legal and Islamic studies and, the College of Administrative and Business Studies, to be centers of academic excellence, and to produce adequate, trained and qualified manpower to serve the state and beyond.
Similarly, government would provide scholarships to support and encourage research by our vibrant and resourceful intellectuals in the state university. We are a state with our peculiarities. This administration would support the conduct of research and development to proffer home grown solutions to the peculiar challenges faced by the state. This should be seen as a challenge to the management of the university and the academic community at large.
In view of the great loss suffered by the education sector from the insurgency, the state government would partner and seek for special intervention from the Federal Ministry of Education, the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TET Fund), philanthropists and international organizations to support us in our commitment to rebuilding education in the state.
Your Excellencies Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, our administration is determined to move the state away from an educationally disadvantaged state, to an educationally prosperous state. This, we will, Insha Allah, pursue it with vigour, determination and the commitment it deserves. Accordingly, government will within the first one year of this administration build and equip a secondary school in each of the Senatorial zones of the state.
In line with our commitment to reform the education sector, l hereby declare a state of emergency on primary and secondary education in the state, to build a solid, vibrant and robust foundation for the advancement of education. Government would as a matter of deliberate policy, provide the necessary support to move education in the state to greater heights.
Healthcare delivery is undoubtedly a key priority of this administration. We appreciate the solid foundation laid by the Gaidam administration and, would work assiduously to improve on it.
In conformity with the principle of Continuity and Consolidation, the scope of the State Primary Healthcare Management Board will be expanded to promote efficiency in primary healthcare delivery. Government would establish more health centers, maternity clinics and dispensaries, provide adequate drugs and facilities and, employ more healthcare providers for accessible, affordable and efficient primary healthcare services at the grassroots.
Government will also consider extension of the free drugs services to expectant mothers and children below the age of five in our rural communities.
Similarly, more General Hospitals will be established in the local governments headquarters to ease the burden of traveling long distances to access secondary healthcare services.
The Yobe State Teaching Hospital has no doubt made impressive mark as a tertiary healthcare institution, providing efficient services to the people. No wonder, the state has become a hub of medical tourism for patients in search of qualitative medical attention.
This administration considers it necessary to upgrade the capacities of health institutions in the state by providing state-of-the-art medical facilities and equipment to provide the best services to the people. Government will continue to look into the welfare of healthcare providers to enhance service delivery.
The Medical College established in the state university, will be nurtured and supported to provide a conducive learning environment for the training of manpower for our health institutions.
As the saying goes, Health is wealth, this administration is determined and committed to creating a healthy population for an economically prosperous state.
Agriculture remains the major employer and mainstay of our people. This administration will soon unfold an agricultural blueprint to make agriculture attractive and profitable. The program is designed to empower our people to move away from subsistence farming to large scale production, for food security and economic growth.
Government would as a matter of priority, support our farmers with timely provision of agricultural inputs mainly tractors, improved seeds, fertilizer, herbicides and pesticides to control the scourge of pests during harvests.
In our drive to achieve food security and improved agricultural production, the state will procure more tractors while, every local government council will also procure 20 tractors each in the next one year.
We have mapped out plans and strategies to canvass for an extension of the federal government Farmer Anchor Borrowers program to the state. Government will also scout for organizations and international agricultural foundations to support individual and group farmer organizations to expand and establish more farms.
Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, this administration is conscious of the threat posed by the existing environmental challenges in the state, and our share of the scourge of Global Warming and Climate Change. The combination of these factors would no doubt continue to have negative impact on agricultural production in the state.
In view of this therefore, government would encourage irrigation farming on the existing wetlands across the state. A survey would soon be carried out to identify areas where rain water will be harvested and harnessed for the purpose of irrigation. Accordingly, government will sponsor our youth for training on Agricultural Extension Services and Modern Agricultural Technology within and outside the country.
While acknowledging the efforts of the Gaidam administration in developing irrigation farms in Nguru, Giedam and Jumbam, we shall consider establishing more irrigation services on Ngeji, Ngalda, Nyakire, Dokshi, Buni Gari, Buni Yadi, Gujba, Damagum,Jakusko, Gashua, Yunusari, Buduwa and Njamel wetlands. This will continue in other places as we progress.
AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES POTENTIALS
Your Excellencies, Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, Yobe State is hugely endowed with agricultural resources and mineral deposits in large commercial quantities that can support establishment of industrial processing plants in the state.
Government shall fully harness the rich agricultural deposits in the state, to improve the economy, create jobs, reduce poverty as well as, promote food security across the state. The agricultural potentials include:
This economic tree is massively planted in Nguru, Bursari, Gujba, Tarmuwa and Jakusko local government areas. The product is in high industrial demand for pharmaceuticals and confectionary use in Europe, America, Middle East and Asia.
The Sesame seeds are produced in all the 17 local government areas. There is increasing demand for the product across the world. Although many of our farmers are already engaged in cultivation of the seeds, government will provide the necessary inputs and make arrangements for ready markets to save our farmers from exploitation by Shylock middlemen.
Similarly, incentives would be made available to boost production of wheat, rice, Sorghum, Groundnut, beans and cotton to meet our local needs and for export to improve the economy.
Yobe State is undoubtedly a leading livestock production state in Nigeria with an estimated livestock population of over 2.7 million herds of cattle, 2.1 million sheep and 3 million goats being the highest in the country according to 2016 records of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
With these huge potentials, livestock farmers would be supported and provided with incentives to boost production. Government will continue to provide free annual mass vaccination against trans-boundary diseases, establish additional veterinary clinics, water points and food supplements to boost production. This is expected to translate into increased production of healthy beef and dairy.
This administration intends to establish a modern abattoir in Damaturu to process meat for local consumption and exports. Government will upgrade the trade in hides and skin to fully exploit the livestock value chain production to improve the economy.
In line with the government industrial policy, this administration will provide a friendly investment climate with incentives of free feasibility studies and free lands to promote Public Private Partnership (PPP) and Private sector investments for establishment of industries to generate employment to our youth and women.
Furthermore, Government will take advantage of the Damaturu Cargo international airport when completed and the railway stations in Nguru and hopefully in Buni Yadi to transport finished products and raw materials from and into the state. This we believe will improve the economy of the state and purchasing power of the people.
Your Excellencies, Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, it may interest you to note that Yobe State has huge mineral deposits in commercial quantities. These deposits were verified to be of high quality and in large quantity by team of Consultants from the University of Maiduguri as well as the National Steel Raw Materials Exploration Agency, Kaduna. These include:
This is found in Gulani, Gujba, Fune and Fika local government areas. The product is used for production of cement, tiles, glass and fertilizer. It is a product in high demand with an estimated reserve of 247 million tons in the state.
The state has large Kaolin deposits in Gulani, Gujba, Fune and Fika local government areas. There is an estimated 231 million tons. It is used in the pharmaceuticals for production of medicines.
Gypsum is found in large commercial quantity in Fune, Fika, Gujba and Gulani local government areas. An estimated deposit of 141 million tons is found in the state. It is used for the production of cement, Plaster of Paris, tiles and soil conditioning..
We are also blessed with large deposits of Trona, also known as potassium in Giedam, Bade, Nguru, Yusufari, Yunusari and Machina. This product is used in production of glass, paper, soap and detergents. The state boasts of 88.3 million tons deposit.
Diatomite is another mineral found in commercial quantity in Gulani. It is used for production of paint, tiles, plastics,soap and detergents among others, with a reserve estimate of 152.8 million tons.
This is found in commercial quantities in Giedam, Nangere and Fika local government areas with an estimated reserve of 1.9 million tons. This is a raw material for glass making.
The aforementioned minerals are of large quantity and high quality that are in high demand for industrial use, locally and internationally. l therefore urge investors to take advantage of these opportunities.
ECONOMY AND INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES
The economy of our state is largely dependent on the federal allocation with a very low Internally Generated Revenue. However, the rich agricultural and mineral potentials in the state, can turn around the economic fortunes of Yobe state.
In our bid to industrialize the state and create employment opportunities to stimulate the economy for improved revenue generation and wealth creation, this administration in collaboration with the private sector, will In-Sha Allah, resuscitate the following industries:
>Nguru oil mills
>Polythene and Woven Sacks Company, Damaturu
>Dofarga Spring Water Company, Dokshi
>Yusufari Soda Ash Plant, Yusufari
>Fertilizer Blending Plant, Gujba
>Sahel Aluminum Roofing Sheet Plant, Potiskum
>Yobe Flour and Feed Mills, Potiskum
Your Excellencies, Distinguished invited guests, in furtherance to our determination to industrialize the state, we will adopt a philosophy titled “Fast Tracking Industrial Development and Greening the Desert”. This philosophy entails identifying at least one natural resource or raw material in towns and local government areas to achieve our goal of “One-Town-One Product (OTOP) or One-Local-Government-One-Product (OLOP).
The process of developing each product will require business plan, technology, production, storage and marketing. The success of this philosophy will lead to an industrialized economy with job creation and improved revenue.
The feat achieved by the Governor Gaidam administration in infrastructure development especially, road construction is worthy of mention and consolidation. This administration would continue and consolidate the road projects to open up more communities through construction of additional urban, semi urban roads and drainage as well as, to provide more roads to the villages to ease movement of agricultural produce, livestock and other services to enhance economic development of the state.
Furthermore, to facilitate movement of goods and services into and out of the state, this administration will ensure completion and commissioning of the Damaturu International Cargo Airport.
Your Excellencies, Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, you will all agree with me that the state lacks standard modern markets to promote commerce and trade. In realization of this therefore, government will immediately embark on construction of Ultra Modern Markets and Vehicle Terminus in Damaturu, Potiskum, Geidam, Gashua, Nguru, Buni Yadi and Ngalda.
In fulfillment of our campaign promises, government will construct Gujba-Ngalda road, Daura-Maluri-Maiduwa roads, Tikau-Jajere and, completion of the Yusufari-Machina Trans Sahara road. We shall extend this to many other communities as we execute them in phases.
As part of measures to ensure adequate water supply to our people, the state government would partner the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and relevant agencies including the newly established North East Development Commission for completion of the Damaturu Regional Urban water supply scheme. A new reticulation of pipelines would be executed to ensure water supply to every nook and cranny of the state capital.
Furthermore, government will focus attention on the following water projects:
>Potiskum water supply
>Fika/Gadaka water supply
>Nguru water supply
>Gashua water supply
>Geidam water supply
Similarly, government will also consider developing water sources from rivers Kumadugu-Yobe, Kumadugu-Gana and Annuma as well as the Ngalda-Gongola tributary to boost urban and rural water supply for human and livestock use and irrigation.
Additional boreholes would be sunk in the headquarters of the 17 local government areas to meet the water needs of the growing population. This is to be supported with a new reticulation of pipelines to replace the old rusty and leaking pipes.
In our determination to improve water supply in the rural areas, government will construct motorized and solar powered boreholes in the rural communities where they are lacking and, additional boreholes in communities where they are inadequate.
The state would also ensure prompt payment of counterpart funds to our partners on rural water supply and sanitation, to enhance water supply and improved sanitation in the rural communities.
With the installation of the 330kVA transmission station in Damaturu, this administration shall strive to hook up our rural communities to the national grid to boost small and medium scale enterprises. Government would lighten up villages and communities to be tune with changing times.
Tourism has become a major foreign exchange earner to many countries and, contributor to many national economies. The State boasts of beautiful cultural sites, artifacts, monuments and festivities of international standard that can attract local and international tourists to the state. Prominent among which includes the Machina annual cultural festival where horsemanship are colorfully displayed, in addition to traditional wrestling.
Yobe state proudly hosts Africa’s oldest canoe and, the third oldest in the world, the DUFANA canoe. The radio carbon dating conducted on the canoe in laboratories in Europe indicates that, it is 8,000 years old. Government would expeditiously look into packaging this exquisite material for public display.
The state also has the Dagona fishing festival in Bade, Bula Tura Oases in Nguru, Goya valley in Fika and a host of others suitable for tourism.
Government would partner traditional institutions to develop these tourist sites and cultural festivals in their domains to attract local and international tourists. We will showcase these potentials to foreign embassies in Nigeria to encourage their nationals visit the state.
RESETTLEMENT, RECONSTRUCTION AND REHABILITATION
There is no doubt that our people have suffered grossly from the about 10 years of devastating insurgency. We give glory to Allah (SWT) and express gratitude to the security operatives for the improvement in the general security of the state. Most of the Internally Displaced Persons have returned to their communities and, trying to rebuild their livelihoods.
We shall partner the newly established North East Development Commission, local and international humanitarian organizations in line with the government policy on Resettlement, Reconstruction and Rehabilitation for the people affected by insurgency to live a life of honour and dignity.
The civil service remains the engine room of government and vehicle for development. Accordingly, this administration will provide adequate support for training and retraining of the workforce for capacity building to enhance efficiency and productivity.
I am delighted to announce that government will soon look into the process of implementing the newly approved Thirty thousand Naira (N30,000) National Minimum wage as well as, the outstanding leave grants.
Our traditional rulers who are custodians of our cultural heritage, norms and values, have very important roles to play in security monitoring and intelligence, peace building, community development and, socio-economic development of the state.
We shall continue to rely on their advice, guidance and fatherly dispositions while, they mobilize their subjects to embrace government policies and programmes, promote maintenance of law and order and,peaceful coexistence.
Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, in conclusion, l wish to once again remind us that, we will run an all inclusive government, with an open door policy for everyone with meaningful contributions to make in the interest of our dear state. Government will have listening ears to worthy advice and suggestions that promote unity and people’s interests.
However, let me quickly add that there will be no room for distractions, diversions and other selfish sentiments or, promotion of personal interests against the collective interests of the good people of Yobe state. I look forward to your support and cooperation in our collective drive to move Yobe state forward.
Finally, on behalf of the government and good people of Yobe State, we thank Your Excellencies, Distinguished invited guests and others too numerous to mention for honoring us with your esteemed presence. We wish you at the end of the occasion a safe journey back to your respective destinations and abodes. We also pray for guidance of Almighty Allah (SWT) and seek for His protection and guidance in the daunting task ahead.
I thank you all