By Lawal jet Kaugama
Jigawa state governor, Abubakar Badaru, is one of the outstanding state executives in the country. Even though he is not one public officeholder who blows his own trumpet, the Jigawa citizens found that it is necessary to tell their compatriots in other states and Nigeria what their governor has achieved in the few years he assumed office as the governor of Jigawa state.
Since assumption of office, Badaru’s attention has been focused on the aspects of the economy that have direct bearing on his people in terms of welfare and social uplift, not forgetting their viability and economic worth.
Badaru, unlike governors in the country, whose major preoccupation for seeking public office is the pursuit of parochial self-interest, never execute projects and programmes for the advantage of self, family and friends, but the welfare and future of Jigawa people always remain his focal point. He completes projects initiated by his predecessor who was elected not on the platform of his party, APC, a digression from the norm in the Nigerian polity. His major concern is to execute projects that hold promise to the growth of the state and welfare of the people. He doesn’t care who takes the glory after completion. Therefore, old projects are duly completed and commissioned before going over to new ones. Thus, the usual white elephant projects that dotted other states of the federation at the expense of the people are not in Jigawa under Badaru.
Many of his aides pay glowing tributes to his personality. Some of them are his deputy, Alhaji Umar Namadi; acting caretaker chairman of APC, Alhaji Muhammed Umar Dikkuma; chairman, Jigawa state APC membership registration and revalidation committee, Alhaji Ibrahim Umar Dawakiji, and members of the state House of Assembly as well as state executive council.
These public officers play their respective roles in congeniality with the vision and philosophy of the governor, thus their synergy lifts jigawa to an enviable height under Gov Badaru. Worthy of mention are the Commissioner for Works, Engr Aminu Usman Roller Gumel who goes about his official duties as if the next day would be too late, and Commissioner for Water Resources, Hon. Ibrahim Muhammad Garba Hannun Giwa, who works round the clock to make sure that all water projects in the state are completed in record time, according to specification and as cost-effective as possible, reaching all nooks and crannies of the state.
As a testament to Badaru’s political shrewdness and business acumen, in 2019, WACOT Ltd celebrated him with fanfare. He was honoured with Distinguished Honorary Patron award, for his substantial and outstanding services and contributions to the growth of agriculture in the state.
During the presentation, Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Manager, WACOT Ltd, Ms. Osenaga Umobuarie, described the support of the governor as laudable and unprecedented.
“Your Excellency, under your watch, Jigawa has grown from a marginal sesame seed producer to the main producer in the country, placing Nigeria as the third-largest exporter of sesame seed globally with 580,000MT per annum,” she said.
Badaru responded, “Our current strategy is to diversify our non-oil exports to meet the needs of our families and communities. We must be able to feed our two hundred million Nigerians and create jobs. By doing this, we need to move away from the shocks associated with oil prices which have exposed our economy to factors outside our control,” the insightful governor stated.
Also marking his one year in office, Badaru said “When we came here last year, we saw residents pushing carts in search of water. What efforts have been done to solve this perennial water shortage in the state? Water and sanitation is another key area in our list of prioritised intervention sectors. We discovered that no maintenance had been carried out on our water facilities in three years.
“The rapid water intervention scheme was, therefore, our first major infrastructure rehabilitation effort and we expended N1.9 billion, of which N636 million is recurrent, because of the motorised nature of most of our water facilities.”
The intervention placed under the capable Commissioner for Water Resources, Engr Usman Hannun Giwa, resulted in the replacement of 402 submersible pumps, repair of 92 overhead tanks, overhauling of 251 generators, and various civil works to provide or repair pump houses, conversion of 39 motorised schemes to solar and rehabilitation of 4,192 hand pumps.
Pipe reticulation, covering 3322 meters, was also carried out within the period and 42 new solar facilities, 510 new hand pumps and 11 boreholes put in place to bring water to the people. Greater Dutse Water Scheme covering about 21 communities and providing water to the capital has been redesigned.
Under Badaru, the state government has fast-tracked the development of solar energy with Nova Scotia Power and Pan Africa Solar taking advantage of the LARF policy to fast-track land acquisition and compensation process to commence 80MW solar plant in Dutse and another 100MW divided between the Hadejia and Dutse substations.
One of the most authentic attestations of Badaru’s unqualified love for the people was one given by the former Deputy Governor to Gov Sule Lamido and Director-General of the campaign for Badaru’s second term, Alh. Ahmad Mahmud who said.
“The first thing Badaru did when he came in was to prioritise people-oriented investments by way of human capital development, through education. Education was, and is still a priority of this administration. He believes that once education is right, every other thing will be right. The other one is the issue of agriculture.
Agriculture for this administration is like crude oil and that is why the government is investing heavily in agriculture such that it even has a slogan, ‘Farming is a Business”.
Badaru has galvanised Jigawa youths into the agricultural value chain and ensures that they not only participate but make a living from it.
What Jigawa grows at present on its farms is even bigger than what a couple of states or more, grow. Very soon, Jigawa will not only be supplying the rice needs of the country but of the entire West African sub-region.
Badaru is the first governor to abolish security vote in the country. After being sworn in, he moved swiftly to stop the payment of security vote.
“I was Commissioner for Finance between 2000 and 2005. I know how the ministry was run. I have never in my life thought of getting a leader who is so prudent, so accountable like Badaru. Unlike before, this governor is a budget man.
Everything and anything that the government must do must be documented, that is, it must be in the budget. If it is not in the budget, then, you won’t see him appending his signature.
“That is why I said this governor is a big deal in Nigeria today. His actions are totally different from what is operational in Nigeria presently. It is unheard of that a new government from another party and different manifestos would still continue the projects of his predecessor, Alh Mahmud said.
Badaru had completed projects that he inherited worth over N100 billion before he started new ones of his own. His action is a real time progression in our political developments.
Nigeria needs more of the likes of Badaru in our polity. We need more shrewd businessmen in our polity. We need more of God-fearing administrators in our polity.
Like a golden fish that has no hiding place, Badaru’s charisma is drawing opposition party members to his party. People are defecting in droves to APC in Jigawa state. Unlike what happens in some states, Badaru never induce anybody with money; Like Buhari like Badaru.
The defectors have seeing the new Jigawa and want be part of the development team.
Governor Badaru has justified his election and the confidence the people reposed in him for being at his duty post always, attending to his people no matter their social standing.
Lawal Jet Kaugama is chairman, Jigawa State Radio Corporation