Taraba State Governor, Arc. Darius Dickson Ishaku says his two years in office has been torturous and characterised by court cases and ceaseless search for peace and mutual coexistence.
Governor Darius Ishaku stated this yesterday during a reception marking his two years as the Governor of Taraba State, hosted by the State Ministry of Science and Technology at the Jolly Nyame Stadium Gymnasium Hall.
Darius Ishaku remarked that, he was seriously pained because, almost two years were wasted as a result of moving from one level of litigation to the other, just because some people were bent on snatching the mandate that was willingly given to him by the people of the State as ordained by God.
He lamented that, the about two years that were wasted would have been judiciously used to put smiles on the faces of Tarabans, engage in activities that would positively impact on their lives, but was rather wasted on crossing of hurdles of litigations in courts at Abuja, Jalingo and Yola.
The Governor maintained that, irrespective of the challenges, the people of the State stood firm and supported him throughout the most turbulent time in his life and that, amidst all the challenges, he has been able to record some landmark achievements in some facets of the State.
The Taraba State Governor stressed that even with the lean finances as a result of the recession, his administration has been able to revive five companies out of the 25 moribund companies he inherited which included the Highland Tea Company Kakara, Viva Feedmills Zing, Palm Oil Mills in Baissa, Taraba Polythene Bags Company and Taraba Gas Company Limited.
He used the opportunity to inform Tarabans that the Highland Tea has passed German test of standard and soon state would start exporting tea to Germany.
Governor Darius Ishaku said his administration has been able to establish Greenhouse, which is the newest in the country which has started the production of cucumber and lettuce while cabbage, tomatoes, hot and sweet pepper are also billed for harvest any moment from now.
He revealed that buyers from Abuja, Lagos and Portharcourt have indicated interest to partner with the Greenhouse and that arrangements have also been concluded with Overland Nigeria to lift one ton of the produce daily to the mentioned destinations via Jalingo Airport.
Speaking on Agriculture, Darius Ishaku remarked that his administration is actively supporting about twelve thousand rice farmers as part of measures to reduce the Country’s over dependence on the importation of rice and boldly stated that, Taraba State has the capacity to supply the rice demand of the Country.
He further announced that the Cassava processing plant would be revived, adding that, IITA has agreed to supply improved Cassava stems to farmers in the State.
In addition, he mentioned that, he will establish a Gari processing plant and farmers would be motivated to go into Sesame seeds farming, disclosing that Nestle food company has indicated interest to partner with the State in these areas.
Darius Ishaku enumerated other key achievements to include dualization of Kona road, construction of township roads in Magami, Nipost and FMC road linked to Teaching Service road, completion of projects hitherto started by the immediate past administration, constitution of Taraba State University Governing Council, employment of 3000 teachers, renovation of secondary schools will soon commence and further said the State performance in WAEC has greatly improved putting the current scores at 67%.
He said during the period under review, his administration sunk over 100 boreholes across communities in the state, provision of water to Jalingo and its environs, improved electricity, renovation of three pilot hospitals in Wukari, Bambur in Karim Lamido and Gembu, roads and bridges construction inTakum, installation of solar powered streetlights and the offer of employment to some citizens of the state in some strategic ministries and the digitization of Taraba Television TTV and Taraba State Broadcasting Service TSBS.
Other areas mentioned by Governor Darius Ishaku included the ongoing reconstruction and rehabilitation of Bali, Gashaka to Sardauna road, saying efforts would be made to complete the road, adding that the Federal Government intends commence work on the Mambila Hydro Power project by December 2017, saying that, the completion of the road is critical to the actualisation of of the hydro power project.
Rolling out his achievements on the health sector, the Governor said Schools of Nursing and Midwifery Jalingo has been accredited and has commenced the training of nurses and midwives, which was halted for almost ten years because of lack requisite infrastructure and accreditation as well as the upgrading of School of Health Technology Takum for the training of health workers, which the state greatly needs and the retention of retiring nurses to help beef up the depleted number as a result of retirement in the sector.
The Taraba State Governor further used the opportunity to inform people of the state that the TY Danjuma Foundation has commenced the construction of maternity Hospital in Takum to carter for the health challenges of women and children during pregnancy and delivery and would be donated to the state government at completion.
Darius Ishaku however said the state intends to venture into mining and tourism, stressing that Taraba State is blessed with the 20 most rarest solid minerals in the world as well as one of the most diverse tourism enclave, noting that there is the urgent need to invest into these two sectors to improve the revenue base of the state to reduce over dependence on Federal allocation.
According to the Governor, efforts have been intensified to block leakages in the payment of salaries but lamenting that, there are still pockets of problems with the Primary school teachers despite the suspension of some key officers of the finance department.
He said effort would be intensified to end it soonest, saying that of the Local Government’s staff has been completed and they will soon get their entitlements.
Similarly, he informed the crowd that, a committee would soon be set up to help fashion out an acceptable means of payment of gratuity of retirees and pleaded for understanding from the pensioners, considering the lean finances that have slowed down the pace of development throughout the country.
Governor Darius Ishaku commended his wife, Barr. Anna Ishaku for playing a vital role which led to discovery of people of Sunkuru and the subsequent creation of Ngada Development Area, which earned her an international award for her contribution to human development, particularly, women and Youths Empowerment.
Darius Ishaku appealed to the gathering to always come up with positive suggestions that will help the state government, saying that, he is open to genuine and constructive criticisms, meant to better the lots of the state.
Earlier in address, the Commissioner of Science and Technology, Hon. Hassan Bako Gassol told the Governor that the Democracy day celebration is hosted by his Ministry with a view to showcasing the talents embedded in the people of the state.
Hassan Bako maintained that, though the Ministry is a young one it is poised to compete favourably with other Ministries in the state and said purpose of the scientific displays is to encourage young ones to embrace science and technology as means of fast tracking development in the state and as means of self reliant and sustenance.
The Commissioner reiterated his Ministry’s desire to partner with Schools and Agencies that are science and technology inclined so that Taraba State will also be a force to reckoned with in the field science and technology innovation and development.
The Democracy day celebration was laced up with drama display by the state cultural troupe, Goge dancers from Wukari and the inspection of some inventions and designs by students from various schools in the state, agencies and some welding and fabrication Companies by the Governor led by the Commissioner of Science and Technology.