TEXT OF MONTHLY/PERIODIC BRIEFING DELIVERED BY HON. BARR. DANJUMA A. ADAMU, TARABA STATE COMMISSIONER OF INFORMATION AND RE-ORIENTATION ON THE UPDATE OF ACHIEVEMENTS OF HIS EXCELLENCY, THE EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR OF TARABA STATE, ARC. DARIUS DICKSON ISHAKU ON 8th SEPTEMBER, 2020.
The journey so far…
It will be recalled on the inauguration of Governor Darius Ishaku on 29th May, 2015, he spelt out the cardinal areas his government will be anchored on. These are:Peace, Security, Unity and Transformation of Taraba State, tagged: THE RESCUE AGENDA PROJECT.
By the end of that first tenure, some substantial achievements had been recorded in those sectors, despite serious challenges, notably financial constraints. My predecessors had touched on these achievements during their tenure in office.
However, building on all those successes, Governor Darius Ishaku started his second term in office with greater vigour, commitment and clarity of purpose in fulfilment of his pledge to meet the everyday needs of the people of the State and transform Taraba into a viable State.
The resounding and overwhelming victory in the 2019 governorship election, gave him further impetus to do more for the people of Taraba State.
Changing the landscape of Jalingo:
Among some of these achievements include the on-going dualisation of the Kpanti Napu city gate to the Jauro Yinu city gate with bridges, a flyover at the Roadblock area, and other pedestrian bridges in Jalingo, the State capital, being carried out by the Ministry of Works. The construction work, which is being executed by a reputable firm is expected to be completed within 24 months. This project will go a long way to give Jalingo a face lift and transform it into a model city, befitting its status as a State capital. There are also on-going road projects which were started in the first tenure of the Governor across the three Senatorial zones of the State. They include: Mararraba Lacheke – Pantisawa road and Wukari – Tsokundi road.
Governor Darius Ishaku’s name in gold.
Another significant and historical undertaken by the Rescue Captain during this period under review is Mararraba – Baissa – Abong road in Kurmi Local Government Area of the State. Though attempts were made in the past by previous administrations to construct the road, the project however, suffered several administrative bottlenecks, leading to its eventual abandonment. It is worthy to note that before the bold step taken by the Governor to address this important project, which was also part of his campaign promise to the people of the area, the road was a death trap, causing nightmares to travellers plying it.
The Kurmi axis is endowed with enormous and untapped agricultural and other natural resources, but the deplorable nature of the road has hampered the economic development of the area. When the road is eventually completed, Governor Darius Ishaku would have his name written in gold for this bold intervention in the socio-economic development of the area. Work has since been started on the road project and it is hopefully expected to be completed within the short period of time.
Boosting Agricultural Output:
Taraba is an agrarian State endowed with tremendous natural resources. Its arable land is suitable for cultivation of varieties of agricultural products such as rice, maize, millet, yam, beans, soybeans, cassava, fruits among others. The climate is also ideal for all-season farming.
To this end, Governor Darius Ishaku has given top priority to agriculture to boost agricultural output so as to ensure food security and increase income for farmers. He has also encouraged mechanised farming through the provision of tractors to farmers at subsidized rates. Similarly, the administration had provided the needed farm inputs like seedlings and fertilizers on regular and at appropriate time to farmers, also all being subsidized by the State government.
Furthermore, animal husbandry is not left out. Taraba climate provides favourable condition for animal breeding. To avoid the perennial farmers and herders clashes, the Government in collaboration with the Federal government will establish a Model Ranch and Livestock Training Centre in line with the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranch Establishment Law for the benefit of this group of agriculturists.
Controlling Covid – 19:
In the health sector, which is also one of the major priorities of The Rescue Agenda Two Project, the Governor has never relented to promote the health needs of the citizens. For example, adequate funds have been budgeted and spent on the purchase of drugs and medical equipment for state hospitals and health care centres in the 16 local government areas.
In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has ravaged many countries around the world, the Governor took several proactive measures to ensure its containment and check its spread to the barest minimum. For a start, the Governor constituted a 24-member Covid-19 Technical Committee to coordinate all the activities relating to the control and the spread of the disease in Taraba State. In addition, the Committee was tasked with the goal of ensuring adequate publicity and sensitization on various media platforms, and in churches and mosques on the dangers of the disease.
In same vein, the government in collaboration with Access Bank Plc, provided a 100-bed capacity isolation centre for the treatment of Covid-19 patients in the State. This is, apart from the two Covid-19 isolation centres set up at the Federal Medical Centre and the State Specialist Hospital, both in Jalingo. Aside, the provision of face masks, hand gloves, hand sanitizers and other medical kits to the frontline workers and some institutions, the government also ordered the lockdown of the State and the closure of its borders with neighbouring States and the Republic of Cameroun.
As a result of the focused and proactive measures taken by the Darius Ishaku led-government, Taraba today is one of the least affected States in the country by this dreaded Covid-19 pandemic.
As a matter of fact, the State has not suffered a single death from the disease. This is a remarkable feat, when compared with the staggering number of deaths recorded worldwide.
In the same vein, plans are afoot to purchase some mobile testing equipment to enhance the capacity of the State government to test people with suspected cases of the disease, as well as carry out general tests on members of the public.
Checking Youth Restiveness:
In the area of employment, Governor Ishaku granted approval to the Taraba State Civil Service Commission to recruit new staff, absorb some of the casual staff working in different government ministries, departments and agencies, fill some of the vacancies created in the State civil service as a result of retirements, deaths and transfers among others. This commendable move has helped greatly in reducing the high level of unemployment in the State, thereby checking youth restiveness and social vices.
Protecting Lives and Properties:
As regards security in the State, the administration has been active in ensuring adequate protection of lives and property. This it does by liaising and synergizing with all the security agencies in the State, and giving the adequate support for the realisation of this goal. On the few instances, where there had been breaches of security the government had always responded promptly to contain such crises and provide succour to those affected.
Water is Life:
Another important sector that has received a major boost is the Ministry of Water Resources. The Governor is passionate in making portable drinking water available to the citizens of the State, especially the rural areas where a majority of the people live. One of such commitments is the multi-billion naira Greater Jalingo Water Project, which also involves extending pipelines to the suburbs of the State capital.
Only recently, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the United States Agency for International Development, USAID, which formalized the partnership on the management of water and sanitation referred to as EWASH. This no doubt, will help reduce incidence of water borne diseases.
Also worthy of mention are the 255 boreholes provided in the rural areas of the State to reduce water scarcity being encountered by people in such localities.
Lighting up Taraba:
On power supply to boost economic activities and foster infrastructural development around, the State Rescue Team under its Captain, Arc. Darius Ishaku took an important step by connecting Mutum Biyu, the headquarters of Gassol Local Government Area to the national grid. This development has led to significant increase in business activities in the town and its environs.
Also work is in progress to link Gassol town, Garba-Chede, Bali town and other settlements in the area to the national grid.
Knowledge is Power:
As somebody who values education highly, Governor Darius Ishaku since coming on board in 2015, has paid close attention to the education sector. For example, budgetary allocation to this sector has increased, thus helping to boost performance at various levels of the sector. It is important to note that prior to assuming the leadership of the State, students of Taraba State had consistently performed poorly in WAEC. Today, because of the active intervention of the Governor, Taraba State has been doing far better than in the past. For example, in the 2019 academic year the students from the State scored an impressive 84.74 per cent in the WAEC. This is a great achievement recorded in such a short period of time, and the credit rightly goes to the Governor for these sound educational policies and programmes.
New Lease of Life for a Neglected Community:
Also a giant stride worthy of mention is the creation of Ngada Special Development Area out of Kurmi, Donga, Sardauna, Bali and Gashaka Local Government Areas with its headquarters in Sunkuru. This initiative is specifically aimed at bringing development to these hitherto neglected communities. Today the people of this area are enjoying a new lease of life with the provision of such facilities as secretariat, police post, primary health care centre, primary and secondary schools, rural roads and the empowerment of the youth through skills acquisition programmes. This is a clear demonstration of the Governor’s concern for citizens of the State, especially those living in the rural areas.
Governor Ishaku’s Pact with Tarabans is on Track:
Without doubt, Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku’s second tenure has been eventful, packed with many laudable programmes and projects, which will greatly impact positively on the lives of the people of the State. His pact with Tarabans is on track, and if the first tenure is any guide, then this second tenure surely will be a pointer to greater things to come for the people of the State.
Barrister Hon. Danjuma A. Adamu
Commissioner of Information and Re-orientation.