Taraba state Governor, Arc. Darius Dickson Ishaku said he is determined to explore all the abundant natural resources that abound in the State.
Governor Darius Ishaku made this known when he visited the Japanese Embassy in Abuja with a view to partnering with the Japanese Government as well as prospective investors from the country.
He said Taraba state is blessed with abundant mineral resources that are yet to be tapped hence the need to seek for a collaborative effort for its exposure with a view to attracting both local and foreign investors to the state.
The Governor indicated that for the State to efficiently explore the God-given resources, it would require a holistic partnership with the Japanese government, especially, in the area of Agriculture, solid minerals development, energy and tourism.
Governor Darius Ishaku emphasised that the state is peaceful and blessed with hard working people and promised to create more conducive and enabling ground for business activities to thrive for the betterment of the people and the development of the state.
Commenting, the Japanese Ambassador, Sadamobu Kusaoke of the Japanese Embassy in Abuja said he was interested in those areas mentioned by the Governor that needed collaboration.
Ambassador Sadamobu thanked the Governor for his visit and promised to support Taraba state government in its quest towards the development of the State.
Taraba State Governor, Darius Dickson Ishaku says the State is not completely free from the Boko Haram insurgency going by the numbers of arrest made in some parts of the State recently.
Governor Darius Ishaku made the revelation in Government House, on Monday when he received a team of Senators led by Senator Kabiru Ibrahim Gaya representing Kano South in the National Assembly, who were in the State on a fact finding mission in respect of the influx of insurgents into some parts of the State.
The Governor lamented that, with the series of arrest of some insurgents in the State it portents danger, which is an indication that the State is not completely safe from the Boko Haram insurgency.
“Kabiru Sokoto was arrested here in Mutum Biyu, several arrest were quietly made in Garba Chede where they were trying to form a formidable sect, also in Tella, Gassol axis, as I speak to you, last week I had to take a phone and call the CP because they were bringing some people in Buses to come and settled in Taraba State.
“I agreed with Senator Bwacha when he was speaking on the floor of the House and I have said it repeatedly here in this room to those who come to visit us, I said the Fulani that we know are not Fulanis that kill people, they put their stick across their neck and if there is anything the Fulani loves is the radio.
“But the new Fulanis that we see as herdsmen don’t carry stick, but AK 47, and the new herdsmen that we are seeing are herdsmen that come to kill everybody on their road. The Fulanis that are grazing need the people and so they don’t kill them, and so is good that the citizens and Government are beginning to sieve the wheat from the chaff,” he emphasised.
He maintained that, the State Government is working relentlessly in reducing the sufferings of the Internally Displaced Persons who are at the moment taking refuge in some camps in the State.
Accordingly, the Governor stated that various camps have been set up to take care of the IDPs and commended the contributions of all the security agencies for working relentlessly towards ensuring that peace is sustained throughout the State.
Darius Ishaku used the forum and appreciated Tarabans for their cooperation by embracing peace and harmonious coexistence and promised to reciprocate the good gesture by ensuring that peace is further sustained and fortified in all the nooks and crannies of the State.
Speaking as the team leader, Senator Kabiru Ibrahim Gaya said, their visit to the State was to ascertain the authenticity of the infiltration of the displaced persons.
Senator Kabiru Gaya commended Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku towards the maintenance of peace and for creating conducive atmosphere for the people to coexist peacefully.
“The essence of our visit here is on the motion raised by the Deputy Minority Leader, Senator Bwacha on the issue of influx of groups that are creating problems here in Taraba State and we are here to find out what is really happening. I remembered when the Military disbanded the insurgents from the Sambisa Forest, some of them moved across, I am also affected, I am a Senator from Kano South and in fact some of the insurgents move down to Borgon Rimi and therefore if the come to Taraba is not something that we could say it does not exist because they are closer to Taraba than to far away Kano State.
“Therefore, the Senate after the motion raised indicates that in some few Local Governments, it is becoming difficult and some people have started leaving those and living in camps with the IDPs.
“So, the purpose of this visit is to ascertain the problems and also to suggest solutions to the National Assembly for viable actions to be taken.
“But I am happy to say that even though we could not come earlier, the Arc. Governor did not wait for us, but went into action and we are happy to say that there is peace here in the State,” he stated.
Senator Kabiru Gaya informed the Governor that the committee will meet with stakeholders to also hear from them with a view to reporting back to the National Assembly on their findings.
It was a moment of great jubilation for the people of Old and new Takum as the construction of Ndibang bridge in Takum Local Government Area being undertaken by the State Government has reached completion.
Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku who inspected the project while in Takum for the Sallah celebrations, stated that the completed project will be inaugurated after the sand filling of the road leading to the bridge and construction of drainage channels are done.
Governor Ishaku who said, the completed bridge will boost the socio-economic activities of the area and the State at large, stressed that many people from these areas in the past usually struggled to reach the two ends due to the water stream dividing the two communities as well as poor road network.
According to him, the old Takum town has long been neglected in terms of development due to the bad road, which cut off the people from many socio economic activities, which informed the State Government’s decision to bridge the two communities.
He also called on other communities in the State in need of similar development to be patient as the Government will soon reach out to them, adding that the present economic crisis means Government must plan and prioritize well before embarking on projects.
The contract was awarded three months ago to facilitate the movement of people and goods from one point to another.
Meanwhile, Governor Darius Ishaku has expressed appreciation to the Federal Government for its continuous presence in the State.
The Governor expressed this during a visit to the site of the Kashimbilla Hydro Power Sub Station in Takum Local Government Area under construction by the Federal Government .
Work has commenced on the administrative block while the area for the installation of the electricity evacuation terminal has also been cleared and leveled.
According to the Governor, when completed it will be connected to another substation to be constructed in Wukari which will link the already existing electricity sub station at Mile six in Jalingo the State capital, thereby boosting electricity supply in the State.
Governor Ishaku further expressed optimism that, with the on going diversification policy by State and Federal Governments, such hydro power stations will solve the problem of epileptic power supply in the country, thereby encouraging entrepreneurship and industrialization.
Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku
Taraba State Government is to establish one Skills Acquisition Center in each of the Senatorial zones of the State to encourage entrepreneurship development.
Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku disclosed this while inspecting the abandoned premises of Ministry of Works in Takum Local Government Area which may be converted to one of the centers.
The harsh economic realities confronting many Nigerians suggest that Government at all levels must seek ways of creating jobs and wealth for the people.
One of such measures is the encouragement of entrepreneurship by providing adequate skill training in manufacturing and production of goods to individuals, who will end up self reliant and employers of labour.
Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku after inspecting the abandoned State Ministry of Works Office in Takum said, the place is likely to be converted to a Skills Acquisition Center since it already has a work shop and it is nearer to the town.
He revealed that the Government has already contacted some experts from Germany for grant in the provision of equipment and training of participants.
As many State Governments blame the delay in the payment of workers salaries on the present economic recession, and many companies are laying off some of their staff to cut cost of operation, Governor Ishaku is hopeful that entrepreneurship remains the best option for jobs and wealth creation in order to overcome the challenge.
He said all the necessary framework will be put in place to ensure the sustainability of the programme to prevent abandonment after his tenure.
Taraba state Governor, Darius Dickson Ishaku has directed the Caretaker Committee Chairman,Takum LocalGovernment Area to investigate encroachment into the land belonging to the ADA barracks, Takum by some civilians.
The Governor gave this directive when he visited the Barracks on the invitation of the Commander of Operations (CO) Takum, Lieutenant Colonel l B Gambari to see the level of encroachment for appropriate action.
The Governor directed the Caretaker Chairman, Takum Local Government, who was represented by his Deputy, to immediately meet with the community leaders to find out the reasons for the encroachment and called for appropriate demarcation of the area to stop any trespass.
He further stated that the residents should be served early notification to evacuate and relocate to other places as the houses are likely to be demolished.
Lieutenant Colonel Gambari who earlier took the Governor round to see the ongoing renovation work embarked upon by the Nigerian Army on housing of army personnel in the barracks pointed out that, apart from insurgency and militancy which the Nigerian Army is battling with, the army is also facing another tough challenge of stopping host communities from encroaching into most of the territories mapped out as military zones.
According to him, the Army has notified the people of the danger but many are ignoring the warning as more are trickling in and expanding deeper, adding that the Army wants a peaceful resolution of the matter.
He also took the Governor round the affected areas, showing him the demarcation lines and marked houses in military territory.
As an Architect himself,Governor Ishaku gave suggestions and advice on some of the structures, pledging State Government’s support to the Army.
Forty Chinese engineers have visited the site of the 3050 WM Mambilla Hydro-Power project at Gembu in Taraba State.
The high-profile visit undertaken in the company of officials from the Federal Ministry Power, Works and Housing and heavy security which took place weekend is preparatory to the take-off of the project; official sources told Daily Trust.
The area is located about 340 kilometres away from Jalingo, the State capital.
The team inspected areas mapped out for the project from River Dongo in Gembu, headquarters of Sardauna Local Government Area.
The main project, including the massive turbines, is to be constructed at Baruf where River Dongo cascaded from 1671 metres above sea level into the basin below.
It was gathered that this was the first time such some experts visited the site since the plan to construct the dam was conceived several decades ago.
The Dam, according to its design, will also boost irrigation farming in the State, a major source of excitement for thousands of people who live in the project area.
A community leader, Alhaji Suleiman Zubairu, has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his commitment towards the execution of the project, adding that the arrival of experts in large number to the project site was a good indication that the Federal Government was fully committed to the actualisation of the project.
In a related development, the squabbles between two Chinese companies that caused setbacks previously had been resolved, officials told Daily Trust yesterday.
It was also learnt that the scope of work at the site has finally been presented by the Chinese contractors to the Federal Government.
A consultant and former staff of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) had told our reporter that, President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration got a new French expert who expanded the project’s scope to 3050 MW and re-valued the cost at $3.2bn (about N636.9bn) in 2011.
The power sector expert attributed the delay in flagging off the project since 2011 to the inclusion of Sinohydro Corporation, a Chinese firm that was not part of the original bid winners – CGC/CGGC in 2005.
“The Obasanjo government signed the contract with the Chinese firm in 2007, and if it were followed by now, we would have added 2600mw additional hydropower to the grid,” he said.
Earlier this year, Fashola had said the Taraba State Governor who was a former Minister of State, Power, Mr Darius Dickson Ishaku acquired the project land and would construct an access road to the site.
“The first thing to do is to acquire the land and deal with compensation issues, which the Governor has promised to accomplish.
“The feasibility study has been done and so to the Environmental Impact Assessment. We move one day at a time closer to starting Mambilla,” Fashola had stated.
The Director, Energy Resources Development in the Ministry, Mr. Emmanuel Ajayi who responded to a recent Daily Trust enquiries said the Federal Government this year resolved that the two Chinese firms, Gezhouba Construction Group Corporation (CGGC), and the Sinohydro Corporation must agree to handle the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract.
Mr Ajayi in the exclusive interview said project cost had been reviewed by the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) valuing it at $5.732billion (about N1.140 turn).
Another official in the ministry said the project could last for 63 months (over five years) after it is flagged off, including 12 months for a Defect Liability Period (test running). On the funding sources, it was gathered that the federal government will contribute its 15 per cent equity financing after raking in about N1 Trillion from the sales of the ten gas-based power plants under the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPPs).
The transaction process has been on since 2014 when the bidders were announced.
Our reporter learnt that should the funding delay, Government is ready to explore a loan source for the 15% from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to fast track the construction as the 85 per cent funding from China is already domiciled with the China Export-Import (EXIM) Bank.
Senior Special Assistant on Media to Taraba State Governor, Silvanus Giwa yesterday confirmed the visit to the area by the Chinese firm saying they were there on a feasibility study preparatory to the commencement of the project.
On the issue of compensation, Giwa said the Taraba State Government was working towards creating the conducive environment for its payment which, according to him, had to come from the Federal Government.
“It is because this that the State Government recently issued a warning to landowners at the place to stop selling land to speculators to avoid a crisis in the payment of compensation”, Giwa said.
Also, a former deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Babangida Nguroje yesterday confirmed the visit by the Chinese to the Mambilla Hydro Power project site saying he was reliably informed that all necessary arrangements had been concluded for the taking- off of the power project.
Nguroje who hails from Nguroje community on the Mambilla said: “I can confirm to you that the Chinese were at the project site yesterday, and we have been reliably informed that they are making the necessary arrangements for the commencement of the project.”
He said the people of the Mambilla are excited over the project, especially following the recent visit to the area by former President Olusegun Obasanjo while assuring that they would give their maximum cooperation for the success of the project considering its potential economic benefits.
“We are psychologically prepared for the taking- off of the project,” he said even as he appealed to the Federal Government to expedite action on its take-off.
Among the 27 active power generating plants in Nigeria, only three including Kainji, Jebba and Shiroro Generation companies (Gencos) are hydro-based electricity source.
The other 24 plants are at the mercy of present vandals activities cutting short gas supply to them.
The country’s power grid had dipped to less than 2,000mw in this year and had barely risen to 4,133mw in mid-August when series of vandalism of gas pipelines crashed it to about 3,500mw yesterday, statistics from the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) revealed.
Top most of the Hydro Power projects are the ongoing 700mw Zungeru project in Niger state, 40mw Gurara project in Kaduna state, 40mw Kashimbila project and the mega 3050 MW Mambilla project, both in Taraba state.
#Culled From Daily Trust Online News.