By Abubakar Idris Papah
Today, I feel obligated to reflect on the last three decades after Adamawa state was carved from defunct Gongola state which birthed both Adamawa and Taraba states. This reflection became imperative, looking at the positive changing faces Adamawa state is witnessing under the stewardship of His Excellency Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri.
It could be recalled that this day, 30 years ago, precisely on the 27th August 1991, Gongola state was divided into two states of Adamawa and Taraba.
As government progresses, Adamawa state for the last 30 years had about 5-6 leaders who governed the state. Yet, Adamawa state in the last 28 years was on snail pace of development until the 2019 general election which ushered in the project master, His Excellency Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri who upon took off as the Executive Governor of the state rejigged all facets in the state.
These developments ranging from Education, Security, Health, Agriculture and urban/Rural renewal are glaring and cannot be disputed.
Different sectors have their shares in the developmental prowess shown by Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, under just two years of stewardship.
In the Educational sector, Governor Fintiri relieved parents from paying the mandatory Exams fees of WAEC/NECO for two years, and possibly till he leaves office, he has for two consecutive years been paying scholarship funds to Adamawa indigenes studying in all the tertiary institutions in the country.
Not only that, the Governor procured school learning materials, improved on school structures with the construction and rehabilitation of 5000 classrooms within the 21 LGAs of the State.
Apart from reintroducing free school feeding, he also reintroduced free and compulsory basic Education. Similarly, Governor Fintiri offered scholarship allowances to 60 Adamawa indigenes to study Engineering Courses abroad, India to be precise.
His Excellency Fintiri, improved on the capital projects being implemented by the state Universal Basic Education Board Yola, by offsetting the backlog and fresh counterpart funding to UBEC.
In the Health sector, Governor Fintiri approved the upgrade of all general hospitals in the state, he initiated 7 new cottage hospitals which 4 are almost completed while 3 are ongoing. During the covid-19 first wave, Governor Fintiri procured some basic equipment like the ventilators, Personal Protective Equipment’s (PPE), logistics and staff welfare.
In the thorny of Security, Governor Fintiri procured logistics for Army, DSS, Police, Civil defence and local hunters. He galvanized support which saw security arrangements tackling the dreaded Shila boys, kidnappers are not spared and the farmers/ herders clashes reduced to its bearest minimum.
The Governor achieved all these by setting up the OPERATION FARAUTA apparatus that saw a synergy amongst security agencies towards curbing crime rate throughout the state and its borders. Other communal clashes have also been nipped in the bud due to the Governor’s tough stance on maintaining peaceful co-existence.
In the Agricultural Sector, His Excellency Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri approved N233m for farm inputs after distribution of Fertilizer to Farmers across the state for wet and dry season. This prior to an earlier similar gesture for the 2020 wet season.
His Excellency Gov Fintiri having completed most of the abandoned projects initiated by previous administrations, has on one hand came up with new architectures that changed the developmental strides in the state.
Notable among Fintiri’s new and gigantic projects include Rehabilitation/ Construction of over 300 township roads both within the state capital and some LGAs. Plus, the establishment of two giant flyovers in the heart of the capital city to ease traffic and promote comfortable traverse of road.
One is located at the Total filling station/ capital junction in Yola while the grade interchange Flyover replaced the old police roundabout at the heart of the city and the road linking Yola town, Government house and several other routes this giving the capital city a beauty to marvel, as well as being the first in the Northeastern part of the country.
His Excellency who is also dubbed the Hasken Toungo, will forever be remembered by the people of ancient Toungo town for his ability to connect them with National grid, the first time since the creation of the Local Government Area more than 15 years ago. It is imperative to note that until then Toungo was the only LGA in the country without power supply, similarly he connected all the communities without electricity to the national grid. This major feat is now regarded as historic.
I can go on and on in a bid to enumerate on the impactful changes done by Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri in Adamawa, the truth is Adamawa is still counting its blessings under a leader who has been code named MR TRANSFORMER.
The revolution in development as demonstrated by our young amiable Governor is a testament to the fact that he came prepared to change the fortunes of the state for the better.
All that is needed for Adamawa people is to replicate this gesture by giving him the necessary support and cooperation needed for development to thrive.
Yes! 30 years down the line… I make bold to say that Governor Fintiri has not disappointed us in the few years he attained mantle of leadership.
Truly, FRESH AIR IS BLOWING as nothing and no one will be left BEHIND OR UNTOUCHED!!!
Abubakar Idris Papah, writes in Yola.
Refineries Not Created To Reduce Petrol Price, Kyari Tells Senate
Forty eight hours after being summoned by the Senate, the Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, Mele Kyari, has now appeared before the joint committee on appropriations.
The Senate had issued a 24-hour ultimatum on Wednesday to the NNPCL boss after an observations that he had in previous occasions, shunned summons by the Senate to appear before its ad-committee probing over 11 trillion naira expenditure on turn around maintenance of refineries in the country between 2010 and 2023.
Responding to questions by the senate committee on appropriations on the potential drop in pump price of petroleum owing to the expected functionality of refineries, Kyari clarified his comment after he was interrogated again. He explained that it might be possible to have a reduction, but it is not the main objective of the refineries.
He buttressed that maintaining the energy security target has fostered the confidence that in 2024, Nigeria will become a net exporter of petroleum products.
The NNPCL boss affirmed that no subsidy is charged to the federation, adding that the NNPC has contributed 4.45 trillion naira as direct revenue into the federation in a combination of taxes, royalties and dividends and paid 406 billion naira as dividend to Federal Government’s account from July 2023.
According to him, Nigeria does not have credible data for PMS consumption in the country because of the absence of the instrument to measure.
The Chairman of the Senate Appropriation Committee, Senator Adeola Olamilekan, had on Wednesday, directed Kyari to appear before the committee in 24 hours.
Olamilekan, who asked Kyari to appear in company of the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), warned that failure to appear undermines the legislature and sabotages the process.
They are required to present the list of all individual companies operating with OML licenses in Nigeria as well as total production output approved on a daily basis.
The lawmaker expressed concerns that some of the revenues required to drive the 2024 budget was attributed to the NNPCL, which according to him, was owned by the Federal Government and responsible to it, and by extension the three arms of government. Channels TV.
Labour Leaders Meet To Work Out Living Wages
Ahead of the expected resumption of negotiation between the Federal Government and the organised labour on the new Minimum Wage, the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, is meeting in Abuja to brainstorm so as to arrive at a living wage that is commensurate with the prevailing cost of living.
This came as the NLC has vowed not to be deterred by the recent assault on workers and their leaders in Imo State, which it said poses a grave threat to freedom of association and collective bargaining as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended and the ILO Conventions 87 and 98 on Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining.
These were contained in the welcome address by the NLC President, Mr. Joe Ajaero, at the Opening Session of the NLC 2023 Harmattan School with the theme: “Building Workers’ Skills for Policy Engagement” in Abuja.
Ajaero, represented by the Congress Deputy President, Benjamin Anthony said: “In the face of adversity and brutality encountered while advocating for the rights of workers to earn their legitimate income and benefits, our resolve remains unwavering. We are motivated to continue our efforts towards achieving decent work and improving working conditions in the formal and informal sectors of the economy.
“The recent assault on workers and their leaders in Imo State poses a grave threat to freedom of association and collective bargaining as enshrined in Section 40 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended and the ILO Conventions 87 and 98 on Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining, and should unequivocally be condemned by all people of goodwill.
“The only thing that can assuage our pains is for the Imo State Government to address all labour issues and return the so called ‘ghost workers’ to their jobs, pay all outstanding salaries and pensions and call back all victimized workers to their jobs.
“It has become very necessary for governments at all levels to recognize that life and living conditions are exceedingly difficult, especially for working people in both the formal and informal sectors of the economy.”
“The removal of subsidy on petroleum products has further exacerbated the challenges faced by working people, unleashing severe pain and contributing to galloping inflation and increasing inequality and poverty.
“We must reckon that a well-motivated and well-remunerated workforce has a positive impact on productivity and national development,” he added.
He implored participants to approach the training programme with a quest and thirst for knowledge through asking of questions and sharing of experiences with the facilitators and with one another.
He thanked the representative of the Minister of Labour and Employment, the Country Director of the ILO for the English Speaking, West African Countries, the Director General of the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association, NECA, the Resident Representative of the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, FES, Country Director of the Solidarity Centre, members of the NAC, CWC and NEC of the NLC for finding time to attend the Opening Session of the 2023 School.
Operatives Of NDLEA Uncover Illicit Drugs Concealed In Dolls, Local Soap, Milo Tins
Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have uncovered illicit substances bound for Europe, United Arab Emirates and Asia.
Disclosing this in a statement on Sunday, NDLEA spokesman, Femi Babafemi, said the illicit substances intercepted included various quantities of methamphetamine and opioids concealed in hems of new jeans trousers, dolls, buttons, local soap and tins of milo beverage.
Noting that the operation was carried out by operatives of the Directorate of Operations and General Investigation (DOGI) at courier houses in Lagos, he said some of the items seized included tramadol 225mg concealed in hems of new jeans trousers heading to Cyprus; shipment of cannabis sativa hidden in heads of dolls going to Dubai; sachets of tramadol 225mg buried in tins of milo beverage going to UAE; and another set of same drug hidden in local soap also going to UAE.
Others were a consignment of methamphetamine concealed in buttons heading to Hong Kong; and a shipment of another illicit substance coming from Florida, USA.
“Operatives in Lagos on Friday 1st December also arrested a drug kingpin, Okechukwu Ogala, 56, who specialises in exploiting and recruiting young citizens to export meth to Asian countries.
“He was arrested at Blue Moon Hotel in Okota area of Lagos with 60 wraps of methamphetamine weighing 1.009 kilograms.
“In another operation in Lagos, operatives on Friday 1st December recovered 393kgs of cannabis in a shop at Akala, Mushin while a suspect, Justin Enuonye, who deals in Canadian Loud was arrested by the police at Victoria Island and transferred to Lagos Command of NDLEA on Friday 1st December with 154 parcels weighing 92kgs.
“A team of NDLEA operatives also intercepted a vehicle at Oyingbo area of Lagos and recovered 108kgs of cannabis from it, while 675 kilograms of the same substance were recovered from the store of a wanted dealer, Wahab Olota at Adedoja area of Mushin, Lagos,” Babafemi said. Channels TV.
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