By Solomon Attah,
May 29, 2019 is the day, and was exactly one year Abdullahi Alhaji Sule was handed the seal of power, and became the 4th Executive Governor of Nasarawa State from 1999, and the 6th since the creation of the state 1996.
Engr. A. A. Sule as he is foundling called and being address assumed leadership of the state with the commitment to industrialized Nasarawa State, making it to be the hub of economic and industrial state in the North Central zone.
In the just one year, nothwithsanding, Governor Sule has steadily and diligently steered the affairs of the state, promoting the industrial and economic growth and development as well as giving equal opportunity for the citizens to participate in governance of the state.
With the slogan ‘Exceeding All Expectations’ speaks volume of Governor Sule’s commitment to address the development issues in the state and to meet the yarning and aspirations of the people in line with his policy thrust, heard towards transforming the state to an enviable height.
Even though, the last one year of Governor Abdullahi Sule’s government partly focus consolidating on the gains of his predecessor (s), he was able to initiate new policies and programmes that are peoples’ oriented.
Aside from this, the industrial drive Governor embarked on some projects aimed at revamping the rot in education, health, agriculture sectors as well as addressing other critical areas of development in the last one year. The government which focus is on youth and women empowerments, through the various agricultural initiatives, further extended hands of partnership to local and international development partners to help achieve the dream of industrializing Nasarawa state.
For those wrongly adjudging the performance of Governor Sule in the last one year will certainly be in awe after discovering that, there sense of judgement is based on their ignorance of the direction, focus and policy thrust of Governor Sule’s led All Progressives Congress government in the state.
As one who had successful work and rose through the ladder to the peak of his career, spanning over 35 years, both in the public and private sectors, has demonstrated the political will, commitment and zeal to addressing the infrastructure deficit, reforms civil service and harnessing the mineral deposits of the state for the overall benefit of the people.
As he has often said, his determination is to translate, and/or to bring to bear the successes recorded in the private sector in the governance of the state without sentiment, and as such, he was able to justified considering his records of achievement in just one year in office.
It is pertinent, however to note the efforts of Governor Sule’s administration towards repositioning Nasarawa State, which development strides cut across all the sectors of human endeavours.
As one who understood the herculean task of governing an heterogeneous state, with mega resources like Nasarawa, Governor did not relent to study documents handed to him, whereas he set up various committees to help him ascertain issues or areas that need urgent attention, in view of the financial strength of the state.
Thereafter, he quickly assembled a team of competent, experienced, knowledgeable hands and persons with impeccable characters, who have attain successes in their careers to help him deliver service to the people.
It is interesting to note that, Engr. Sule came at the time when the people of the state are in dare need of an industrialist, someone who will help in actualising the dream of it founding fathers.
Giving the commitment of Governor Sule in the last one year, the people of the state now have the privilege of harnessing and processing some of the food crops and minerals deposits, in a value chain manner for the benefits of the people. This, the governor is doing in partnership with some investors, considering the enormous potentials in the state and it proximity to the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja
Aside being an agrarian state, with the farming population of about 80%, Nasaraw State has metamorphosed to become an ‘investors’ friendly state’ due to the interest, knowledge and networking of Governor Sule in the private sector, which alone stand a chance of wooing investors to the state.
It is however important to state that, immediately Governor Sule came on board, he set the ball rolling by providing grinding and sawing machines, compressed Earth bricks making and laying machines to youths and women across the state, as this was part of his administration’s commitment to empower them to be self reliance.
This, no doubt demonstrated the great zeal of Governor Sule in providing the kind of service that is allien to the people in this part of the country, such that many have began name calling, entertaining fear, that, his administration will be no different from his predecessor (s).
His critics who are practically impatient, have within three months in office christened him ‘a Committee Governor’, simply because of the various committees he insituted to chart the path of purposeful governance to the people.
In spite the critics, Governor Sule has proven beyond doubt that, his government will, and is exceeding the expectations of the people (his critics) in all ramifications, as the stride recorded in the last one year are visible for every doubting Thomases to see.
It is against this backdrop that, Governor Sule kept faith with the people at the rural areas, to allay the doubts of those who could not believe in his strength and capability to provide the desire services to the people.
It is imperative to know that, the leadership style and policy direction of Governor Sule is targeted at engaging the people at the grassroot, making them feel the impulse of governance.
In providing road map for the realisation of his dream for the state, Governor Sule first reel-out a lofty template, which evidently provided a clear direction of his government.
Also, bearing in mind the role of development partners in governance, the governor however extended hands of partnership to some mining and agribusiness companies, such as kenyang, and Synee Alimony mining companies, flour Mills Nigeria, Azman Nigeria Ltd, Olam Nigeria Ltd, Dangote Group of company among others, some of which have open up large scale farms for rice , cassava farming, sugar plantation, exploration of Mineral deposits and established agroprocessing company, with the capacity of engaging thousands of youths and women in the state.
Aside from addressing the challenges of water scarcity, where most Urban areas and villages now have access to portable drinking water, Governor Sule has taken the bold step in tackling cases of insecurity in the state by introducing a community base security approach, where all are responsible for the security of lives and properties of their immediate environment.
In furtherance to this, the government is seriously synergizing with the military and police high command, providing them logistics support to nib the emerging cases of Tiv farmers, and fulani Herders’ crisis at the Benue border and the ethnic crisis between the Igbera and Bassa people in the western zone of the state and by extension North Central states.
By this, the government of Governor Sule is not only reengineering the affairs of the state, it has also within the last one year provided a purposeful and inclusive governance, as well as fixing the decays in the state.
In the area of health, the state government has awarded contract for the upgrading of 71 Heath care facilities, eight general hospitals across the state as well as part of Dalhatu Araf Special Hospital, all in the efforts to providing quality, accessible and affordable healthcare service to the people.
Also, within the first 100 days in office, the Governor has organised a statewide free medical outreach, where about 7000 people were treated free of various ailments.
Another area that received huge government attention in the last one year is the education sector, which is seen as the critical component of modern development.
It is a statement of fact that, renovation and construction of new blocks of classroom is on going across public primary school in the state, aimed at improving quality of infrastructure, as well as training and retraining of teaching staff and improving standards at the teachers’ training institutions in the state is ongoing.
Also, within the last one year in office, the government has established Technical and Vocational training centres each in the three Senatorial zones of the state, aimed at developing the skills of youths to be self reliance.
In the efforts to enhance production and generate revenue to the state, Governor Sule has directed the leasing out of state owned companies, such as Modern Fertilizer Blending Plant and Nasatawa Sack and Packaging Company to Execution Age Company Ltd and Kayadogi Company Ltd, just as government has taken over the federal government moriboud company that specializes in mineral processing, as doing so will enable state government process the minerals found in the state before being taken outside.
The mineral resources which are falcrum of Governor Sule administration, is already yielding positive results with development partners harnessing the deposits.
Perhaps, not satisfy with the measures put in place to increase the revenue profile of the state, the state government under the watch of Governor Sule came up with a blueprint, consider the Hallmark of development plan in the state, with the name Nasarawa Economic Development Strategy (NEDS) to augment the federal government allocation to the state.
The document which set the pace for development drive of Governor Sule, seeks to promote business activities, investment opportunities and gave steps for job creation.
Against the forgoing, there is no gain stating the fact that, in just one year in office, Governor Sule has remarkably repositioned Nasarawa State in a manner that is attracting investors and other development partners to invest in the state.
At this point, it is imperative to say that Governor Sule has demonstrated a high sense of commitment to meeting the yearning and aspirations of the people, towards attaining the development needs of the state.
Already, the effort and direction of the present government did not only attracted big time investors to the state, they are able to established a base in efforts to actualised the economic and industrial needs of the state, which has opened a vista of business opportunity for small scale and medium enterprise to expand and grow their businesses.
Reflecting back on the projects executed by Governor Sule, it is obvious to assert that the focus of his government in the second year would somewhat be on providing the needed facilities that will sustain the initiatives of his government.
The project, basically is geared towards transforming the economy of the state, which will enhance the internal revenue generation of the state as a whole.
Giving his prudency in financial management, the government of Governor Sule has adopted a Treasury Single Account (TSA), which block leakages and streamline financial flow in the state.
This noble initiative did repositioned and improved the revenue capacity of the state through the automation and centralization of financial system in the state.
In the whole, and let it be known in the most modest way that, the government of Governor Abdullahi Sule has recorded a significant improvement in the last one year, which, if given the needed support, more of such development projects will be seen executing in the next three years.