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Gov. Ishaku Presents the 2022 Appropriation Bill to the Taraba State House of Assembly

Gov. Ishaku Presents the 2022 Appropriation Bill to the Taraba State House of Assembly

Below are details of his presentation:

Mr. Speaker,
Honourable Members,

I am delighted to address you this day on the occasion of the formal presentation of the 2022 Appropriation Bill that contains the details of the Proposed Budget Estimates of the State Government for the next fiscal year.

It is indeed gratifying to perform this solemn annual ritual which is central to the sustenance of my administration mantra the Rescue Agenda.

Before presenting the 2022 Budget, let me on behalf of the Executive, acknowledge with profound gratitude the commitment that the House of Assembly has demonstrated in ensuring an enduring partnership with the Executive in the interest of our people.

I recall the thoroughness with which you considered the draft 2021 estimates which you kindly passed in record time. The passage enabled us to sign the 2021 Budget by 17th December 2020 and have the general expenditure warrants issued effective January 1, 2021.

Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, during this address, I will present highlights of our 2021 Budget performance and proposals for the next fiscal year. The full details of these proposals will be provided by the Honourable Commissioner of Budget and Economic Planning to the Honourable House subsequently.

OVERVIEW OF THE 2021 BUDGET
Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members may recall that this Honourable House appropriated the sum of One Hundred and Forty One Billion, Six Hundred and Twenty Five Million, Four Hundred and Thirty Five Thousand, Nine Hundred and Sixty One Naira, Eighty Kobo (N141,625,435,961.80) for the services of the State Government for the 2021 fiscal period.

This was broken down into Eighty Two Billion, Two Hundred and Forty Two Million, Six Hundred and Forty Thousand, Six Hundred and Fifty Naira, Ninety Kobo (N82,242,640,650.90) for recurrent expenditure while the balance of Fifty Nine Billion, Three Hundred and Eighty Two Million, Seven Hundred and Ninety Five Thousand, Three Hundred and Ten Naira, Ninety Kobo (N59,382,795,310.90) was for capital investment.

In the course of the year, there were need to revise the 2021 Approved Budget due to our inability to meet the funding needs of most of the expenditure items. Budget revision is a normal exercise in a budget life cycle as often times unforeseen circumstances arise during implementation.

The revision of the 2021 Budget estimates did not alter the Budget size of One Hundred and Forty One Billion, Six Hundred and Twenty Five Million, Four Hundred and Thirty Five Thousand, Nine Hundred and Sixty One Naira, Eighty Kobo (N141,625,435,961.80) but altered the Recurrent and Capital figures as follows;

Recurrent Expenditure from Eighty Two Billion, Two Hundred and Forty Two Million, Six Hundred and Forty Thousand, Six Hundred and Fifty Naira, Ninety Kobo (N82,242,640,650.90) to Seventy Four Billion, Nine Hundred and Fifty Seven Million, Six Hundred and Forty Thousand, Six Hundred and Fifty Naira, Ninety Kobo (N74,957,640,650.90) and Capital Expenditure from Fifty Nine Billion, Three Hundred and Eighty Two Million, Seven Hundred and Ninety Five Thousand, Three Hundred and Ten Naira, Ninety Kobo (N59,382,795,310.90) to Sixty Six Billion, Six Hundred and Sixty Seven Million, Seven Hundred and Ninety Five Thousand, Three Hundred and Ten Naira, Ninety Kobo (N66,667,795,310.90).

As at 30th September, 2021, provisional figure shows that a total sum of Sixty Five Billion, Two Hundred and Forty Eight Million, Twenty Two Thousand, Three Hundred and Seventy Two Naira, Thirty Eight Kobo (N65,248,022,372.38) accrued from the recurrent and capital sources of revenue.

This is broken down as follows;

Opening Balance of Two Billion, Three Hundred and Thirty Three Million, Four Hundred and Seventy One Thousand, One Hundred and Eighty Seven Naira, Thirty Kobo (N2,333,471,187.30);

Federal Statutory Revenue of Twenty Six Billion, Forty Million, Five Hundred and Thirteen Thousand, Four Hundred and Fifty Five Naira, Ninety One Kobo (N26,040,513,455.91);

Value Added Tax (VAT) of Thirteen Billion, Five Hundred and Thirty Million, One Hundred and Forty Nine Thousand, Nine Hundred and Fifty Five Naira, Seventy Seven Kobo (N13,530,149,955.77);

Internally Generated Revenue of Six Billion, Five Hundred and Fourteen Million, Nine Hundred and Sixty Six Thousand, Five Hundred and Seventy Six Naira, Fifty Four Kobo (N6,514,966,576.54);

Aids and Grants of Three Billion, Five Hundred and Nine Million, Six Hundred and Fifteen Thousand, Six Hundred and Thirty Three Naira, Ninety Six Kobo (N3,509,615,633.96);

Domestic Loan of Eleven Billion, Two Hundred and Fifty Four Million, Five Hundred and Seventy Thousand, Eight Hundred and Twenty Two Naira, Ninety One Kobo (N11,254,570,822.91) and

External Loan of Five Hundred and Twenty Six Million, Nine Hundred and Thirty Two Thousand, Eight Hundred Naira, Zero Kobo (N526,932,800.00), out of which Government had expended the sum of Forty Five Billion, Three Hundred and Forty Six Million, One Hundred and Twenty Three Thousand, Three Hundred and Fourteen Naira, Fifteen Kobo (N45,346,123,314.15) on recurrent activities and Nineteen Billion, Nine Hundred and One Million, Eight Hundred and Ninety Nine Thousand, Fifty Eight Naira, Twenty Three Kobo (N19,901,899,058.23) for capital layout.

The expenditure profile shows that 69.50% of the total receipt went for Recurrent Expenditure and 30.50% went for Capital Expenditure. Therefore total percentage performance of the Budget stood at 34.55% as against the expected 75% for the period of review.

Some sector projects executed within the period include the following:

WORKS AND TRANSPORT
Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, my administration’s intervention in road constructions remains sacrosanct. We are on course to deliver on the following road projects:
Lacheke – Pantisawa road of 20 kilometre is 45% completed,
Wukari – Tsokundi road of 30 kilometre is 97% completed,
Mararaban – Baissa – Abong roads (Lot 1 of 28 Kilometre is 27% completed,
Lot 2 of 28 kilometre is 26% completed and Lot 3 of 26 kilometre is 10% completed).

The Dual Carriage way from the NYSC Permanent Orientation Camp along Wukari Road to Jalingo City Gate at Pantinapu along Yola Road including Pedestrian Walkways, a Bridge across Nukkai River, a Flyover and six (6) Pedestrian Bridges of 18 Kilometre is 67% completed.

Other roads that resources were expended on in the year 2021 include;

Takum – Lissam road of 1.5 Kilometre is 100% completed, Pamanga – Dakka road of 35 Kilometre and Yerima – Gassol – Dominion road of 24 Kilometre.

Contractors have been mobilized to sites and work has commenced. I want to re-emphasis that these road projects are very dear to the heart of my administration.

Also the sector has provided and installed baggage security machine at the Danbaba Suntai Airport, paid fee for engineering design for a new run way in the airport, settlement of Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) 2021 service fee including North East Regional Shuttle contribution for the takeoff of the North East Regional Shuttle Airline amongst others.

In all government has spent the sum of Sixteen Billion, Six Hundred and Twenty Million, Seven Hundred and Thirty Five Thousand, Nine Hundred Eighty Five Naira, Fifty One Kobo (N16,620,735,985.51) in the sector as at 30th September 2021 and the 6th Certification of Valuation (CV) has been processed to the sum of Three Billion, Six Hundred Million Naira (N3,600,000,000.00) to be paid before the end of the year.

EDUCATION
My administration has made some modest achievements in the year under review, these include continuous interventions in basic, secondary and tertiary education sub-sectors. Prominent among these interventions is the deployment of 2019 Matching Grants (Draw Downs) received by the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) in the year 2021.

The Board delivered the following: constructed 207 classrooms across the State with 71 toilets, 1 library, 1 laboratory, 1 examination hall, 1 generation room, 1 security post and 1 fence while it rehabilitated 631 classrooms across the State, provided 19,428 furniture, 1,800 sets of plastic furniture, 280 sets of teachers’ seats including library furniture & 90 stools of laboratory furniture.

Others include geophysical investigation for the drilling of boreholes, procurement of Post – COVID 19 Sanitation items, provision of agriculture/nutrition intervention.

The sector also ensured that students in exchange programme are taken care of. Likewise in the course of the year, the sector hosted National Council on Education for all education stakeholders in Nigeria. Taraba State University has made some giant strides in the sector.

The University is today ranked 17th out of over 200 universities in the country. It has produced 70 Professors in 2021 from 2 in 2017. It has increased its faculties from 6 in 2017 to 11 faculties in 2021 amongst others. There were also great interventions in the State Polytechnic Suntai and the College of Education Zing.

In all the sum of Three Billion, Seven Hundred and Eighty Million, Four Hundred and Eleven Thousand, Three Hundred and Eighty One Naira, Seventy One Kobo (N3,780,411,381.71) was expended in the sub sector.

WATER RESOURCES
Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, the year 2021 witnessed the gradual picking up of activities from the post COVID-19 period with concentration of efforts towards the completion of projects earlier started but could not continue due partly to financial and other challenges.

Jalingo Primary Water Project:
My Government through the Ministry of Water Resources saw the need for the speedy completion of the Jalingo Primary Water supply project to avert further rise in the cost of the project by reviewing the project and inclusion of additional work providing funds to facilitate its completion by early 2022.

The total reviewed cost of the project now stands at Twelve Billion, Four Hundred and Nineteen Million, Five Hundred and Seventy Nine Thousand, Six Hundred and Seventy Five Naira, Forty Three Kobo (N12,419,579,675.43).

Total payment so far made stands at Eight Billion, Three Hundred and Two Million, Four Hundred and Fifty Thousand, Five Hundred and Forty One Naira, Fifty Nine Kobo (N8,302,450,541.59). The project is currently at 60% completion level and progressing steadily.

AFDB Urban Water Supply Improvement for Jalingo, the reform of the Urban Water Supply Sector being initiated and funded by the Taraba State government and the African Development Bank witnessed a boost in the Jalingo water improvement with most of the planned construction, institutional reforms and capacity development trainings both within and outside Nigeria to boost service delivery almost completed.

With the support from USAID, the TAWASCO has undergone series of reform process aimed at repositioning the corporation to provide improved services to its teeming customers.
Inclusive Basic Service Delivery and Livelihood Empowerment Integrated Program (IBSDLEIP)

The TRSG/AfDB-funded Inclusive Basic Service Delivery and Livelihood Empowerment Integrated Program (IBSDLEIP), is a five – year loan package of Twenty Seven Million Four Hundred and Forty Thousand US Dollars ($27,440,000.00) and is being carried out in collaboration with other relevant line ministries.

It is aimed at achieving its goals of poverty reduction and improvement of lives for the rural people of the state in the areas of Water supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Health, Education, Livelihood/Economic empowerment and Institutional strengthening/Program management activities, including capacity building trainings for both the program implementers and beneficiaries across the ten (10) prioritized and selected Local Government Areas of the State.

So far, the sum of Two Million, Nine Hundred and Sixty One Thousand, Two Hundred and Eleven US Dollars, Eighty Five Cents ($2,961,211.85) has been disbursed to the program by the Bank for the execution of its approved work planned activities in the above sectors since commencement in 2019 to date for the provision of service delivery, capacity building and infrastructural development.

AGRICULTURE
Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, in the year 2021, the agriculture sector consolidated her interventions by providing the following to her farmers to enhance their productivity: Certified Assorted Seeds and Assorted Agrochemical & Equipment. The Ministry also re-invigorated Cassava Mass Production and Soya Beans Production programmes in the State.

The deliverables encapsulated above will shove up the income base of our farmers and subsequently the State revenue base. Also the European Union interventions in the State through PROSELL/OXFAM have covered several milestones in empowering the locals in their farming skills.

This is aside their facilitation of the State Agriculture Policy development. My administration therefore committed the sum of Four Hundred and Forty Million, Eight Hundred and Thirty Two Thousand, Five Hundred Naira, Zero Kobo (N440,832,500.00) in the Agriculture Sector.

HEALTH CARE DELIVERY
In ensuring that Tarabans are given quality health care services, my administration resolved to consolidate on the gains of service delivery in the sector. The provision of Solar Panel Roof Racks building for our hospitals is to ensure that health care services to our citizenry are not hindered.

Also there is a provision of Specialized Health Services in the Specialist Hospital in Jalingo through the establishment of Molecular Laboratory of international repute. The sector equally received a boost in funds mobilization for the State Contributory Health Insurance Agency to hit the ground running. In all the sum of Five Hundred and Nineteen Million, Four Hundred and Twenty Thousand, Eight Hundred and Twenty Six Naira, Thirty Three Kobo (N519,420,826.33) was expended in the sector.

OTHER SERVICE DELIVERY
Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, several service delivery were carried out in the year under review. In Urban Development sector, in order to ensure that roads and drainages in cities and towns are protected, heavy duty equipment are overhaul annually to meet up with the demand of their maintenance.

The sector also procured sanitation equipment for the urban wastes. The Youth and Sports sector was able to carry out the followings activities: State Sports Festival, Zonal Sports Competition, National Sports Competition and assistance to National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). Under Rural Development sector, my administration scaled up our rural area intervention by supplying and installing 230 Kilowatt Solar Energy in Wukari, Bambur and Gembu Hospitals.

The sector also procured twenty (20) numbers transformers for the communities in the State. For Humanitarian services, this year witnessed a lot of interventions particularly in the coordination and management of disasters.

For the Environment sector, the administration was able to undertake the following: Enhancing afforestation and re-afforestation schemes, monitoring and promotion of forest and game reserves, solid waste management including purchase of chemicals for cleaning and fumigation for COVID-19, and the State contribution to Ngel Nyaki Mountain Resort activities amongst others.

The Office of the Secretary to the Government of the State (SGS) undertook several interventions as the engine room of my administration. In all the sum of One Billion, Sixty One Million, Two Hundred and Twenty Five Thousand, Seven Hundred Seventy Nine Naira, Zero Kobo (N1,061,225,779.00) was expended in these service delivery.

2022 BUDGET ESTIMATES
As a sub-national government with no control over monetary policy, the State budget is our key fiscal policy tool and the only opportunity to insulate the State economy from negative shocks and turn the tide towards growth and development. The budget is also our most important mechanism towards achieving the goals of the Rescue Agenda.

The preparation of the 2022 Budget was guided by the following macroeconomic variables as determined by the Federal Government:

International oil price benchmark of $57.00 per barrel, Oil production quota of 1.88 million barrels per day, United States Dollar exchange rate to N410.15, Inflation rate of 13% and a GDP growth rate of 4.20%.

Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, for the State services in the 2022 fiscal period, the Government has budgeted the sum of One Hundred and Forty Six Billion, Seven Hundred and Eighty One Million, Six Hundred and Fifty Three Thousand, Six Hundred and Seventy One Naira, Eighty Two Kobo (N146,781,653,671.82) which represents an increase of Five Billion, One Hundred and Fifty Six Million, Two Hundred and Seventeen Thousand, Seven Hundred and Ten Naira, Two Kobo (N5,156,217,710.02) or 3.64% increase than the 2021 Approved Budget.

TOTAL REVENUE BREAKDOWN
The projected revenue of One Hundred and Forty Six Billion, Seven Hundred and Eighty One Million, Six Hundred and Fifty Three Thousand, Six Hundred and Seventy One Naira, Eighty Two Kobo (N146,781,653,671.82) comprises an Opening Balance of Three Hundred and Fifty Million Naira, Zero Kobo (N350,000,000.00) representing 0.24%,

Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) estimate of Ten Billion Naira, Zero Kobo (N10,000,000,000.00) representing 6.81%, Federal Statutory Revenue of Fifty Billion, Six Hundred and Sixty Two Million, Two Hundred and Thirty Four Thousand, Fifty Naira, Eleven Kobo (N50,662,234,050.11) representing 34.52%,

State share of Value Added Tax of Nineteen Billion Naira, Zero Kobo (N19,000,000,000.00) representing 12.94%, Federal Government Bridging Facility of Eighteen Billion, Two Hundred and Twenty Five Million, Three Hundred and Thirty Six Thousand, One Hundred and Three Naira, Eighty Nine Kobo (N18,225,336,103.89) representing 12.42%,

Domestic Borrowing of Seventeen Billion, Five Hundred Million Naira, Zero Kobo (N17,500,000,000.00) representing 11.92%, Aids and Grants of Eighteen Billion, Three Hundred and Seventy Three Million, Four Hundred and Nineteen Thousand, Seven Hundred and Twenty Four Naira, Zero Kobo (N18,373,419,724.00) representing 12.52%,

External Loan estimate of Twelve Billion, Forty Million, Six Hundred and Sixty Three Thousand, Seven Hundred and Ninety Three Naira, Eighty Two Kobo (N12,040,663,793.82) representing 8.20% and the Sales of Government Assets of Six Hundred and Thirty Million Naira, Zero Kobo (N630,000,000.00) representing 0.43% (Revenue Source).

EXPENDITURE
Total Recurrent Expenditure is estimated at Seventy Eight Billion, Seventy Two Million, Five Hundred and Eighty Seven Thousand, Six Hundred and Seventy Nine Naira, Ninety Kobo (N78,072,587,679.90) representing 53.19%.

This is made up of total Personnel Cost of Thirty Nine Billion, Two Hundred and Fifty Five Million, Two Hundred and Fifty Five Thousand, Four Hundred and Forty Eight Naira, Zero Kobo (N39,255,255,448.00) or 26.74%,

Overhead Cost of Twenty Three Billion, Three Hundred and Eighty Eight Million, Six Hundred and Fifty Seven Thousand, Nine Hundred and Seven Naira, Fifty Five Kobo (N23,388,657,907.55) or 15.94%,

Social Benefits (Old and Aged) of One Billion, Three Hundred and Twenty Four Million, Eight Hundred Thousand Naira, Zero Kobo (N1,324,800,000.00) or 0.90%,

Grant and Subsidies of Three Hundred and Ninety Million, Twelve Thousand, One Hundred and Thirty Nine Naira, Zero Kobo (N390,012,139.00) or 0.27% and

Debt Services of Thirteen Billion, Seven Hundred and Thirteen Million, Eight Hundred and Sixty Two Thousand, One Hundred and Eighty Five Naira, Thirty Five Kobo (N13,713,862,185.35) or 9.34%.

The 2022 Budget has a capital expenditure estimate of Sixty Eight Billion, Seven Hundred and Nine Million, Sixty Five Thousand, Nine Hundred and Ninety One Naira, Ninety Two Kobo (N68,709,065,991.92) representing 46.81% with the following sector allocations in accordance with the classifications of National Chart of Accounts:

Economic: Thirty Seven Billion, One Hundred and Seventy Two Million, Nine Hundred and Forty Two Thousand, Six Hundred and Two Naira ,Ninety Kobo (N37,172,942,602.90) representing 25.33%.

Social Services: Twenty Two Billion, Eight Hundred and One Million, One Hundred and Twenty Thousand, Three Hundred and Fifty Naira, Twenty Two Kobo (N22,801,120,350.22) representing 15.53%.

Law and Justice: Two Billion, Six Hundred and Sixty Two Million, Five Hundred and Sixty Three Thousand, One Hundred and Ninety Nine Naira, Sixty Kobo (N2,662,563,199.60) representing 1.81%.

Administrative: Six Billion, Seventy Two Million, Four Hundred and Thirty Nine Thousand, Eight Hundred and Thirty Nine Naira, Twenty Kobo (N6,072,439,839.20) representing 4.13%.

IMPLEMENTATION OF THE 2022 BUDGET

In implementing the 2022 Budget, government has resolved to fast track the completion of all on-going capital projects that are close to the heart of my administration. The resolution is sacrosanct so that we will not bequeath any project for the succeeding administration.

Therefore the implementation of the 2022 Budget will be guided by the following:
Even though revenue generation/collection has remain our major fiscal problem, all ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) must ensure that they vigorously collect, account for and remit their internally-generated revenue.

All ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) must grow their revenue and plug all linkages. In achieving the objectives of this year budget, my administration will be bold, decisive and take urgent actions. So we will act as may be required.

All ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) must however continue to rationalize their expenditures as we cannot afford waste. In reality our largest expenditure items are personnel cost and capital expenditure which account for over 70% of the 2022 Budget.

In ensuring that all on-going capital projects are completed, my administration will likely resort to borrowing to finance our fiscal gaps as encapsulated in the 2022 Budget in line with Section 41 (1)a of the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007 specified that borrowings are essentially for Capital Expenditure and Human Development.

Also the implementation of the 2022 Budget will welcome citizen’s participation via monitoring or oversight due to our administration’s signed-in in Open Government Partnership (OGP).

Lastly, I wish to again applaud the leaders and honourable members of this hallowed chamber. You have continued to partner with the Executive in ensuring that our bills are considered and passed with speed. I know that this one will not be an exception.

In the light of this, I wish to inform Mr. Speaker and the Honourable Members that an executive bill on the establishment of TARABA STATE BUREAU FOR STATISTICS will be forwarded shortly for the House consideration and passage.

It is now my singular honour and privilege to lay before this Honourable House the 2022 Taraba State Appropriation Bill that I christened the BUDGET OF HOPE AND CONSOLIDATION to the tune of One Hundred and Forty Six Billion, Seven Hundred and Eighty One Million, Six Hundred and Fifty Three Thousand, Six Hundred and Seventy One Naira, Eighty Two Kobo (N146,781,653,671.82) .

Wishing you fruitful and speedy deliberation.
Thank you and God Bless.

Address By The Secretary to the State Government of Taraba State, Mr. Anthony Jellason At The Inauguaration of Taraba State Resource Mobilization Technical Working Group on HIV/AIDS in Jalingo

Address By The Secretary to the State Government of Taraba State, Mr. Anthony Jellason At The Inauguaration of Taraba State Resource Mobilization Technical Working Group on HIV/AIDS in Jalingo

I am delighted to be in your midst this day to inaugurate the Resource Mobilization Technical Working Group for HIV funding from donors has dwindled over the years while the pandemic still remains a disease of public health concern with a high attendant treatment burden put at over 40,000 patients on treatment in the state.

Eliminating new infections in the state and ensuring access to quality anti-retroviral therapy (ART) by People Living with HIV (PLHIV) continues to ravage and is a key thrust of HIV interventions and achieving epidemic control in the state.

Our Governor, His Excellency, Arc. Darius Dickson Ishaku recently hosted the Director General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) and the Charge D’ Affairs of the US Embassy in Nigeria, Kathleen FitzGibbon to address the o boarding process for the HIV programme in Taraba stat. This secures the U.S President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) support for the HIV treatment programme for the next two to three years in the state.

As at 2021, about 85,082 people were estimated to be living with HIV in the state and out of this figure, 40,762 people are on treatments as validated in August 2021. I was also told that this figure can be more after further tracking of patients who may have defaulted from treatment.

It is worth to note that during the tenure of this Administration, thanks to His Excellency on the efforts he made to support the HIV response in the state and this has contributer significant decline in HIV prevalence in the state from 10.5% in 2012 to 2.9% in 2018 (NAIIS 2018).

It is said that at least N95,411,141 million needs to be spent on HIV testing services to seek out 95% of around 45,000 People Living with HIV (PLHIV) not yet identified and who will eventually require treatment to achieve the first 95% of the 95:95:95 target by 2030.

Similarly, I am told that 40,762 have validated to be receiving ART will require at least N2Billion annually for treatment.

With this in mind, I believe this Resource Mobilization Technical Working Group has its work cut out for it, as its overall aim is to provide guidance and support the efforts at resourcing for the HIV response in the state.

This includes though not limited to identifying and implementing alternative financing initiatives for sustainable HIV response in the state.

The Resource Mobilization Technical Working Group (RMTWG) will provide coordination and technical guidance to Domestic Resoirce Mobilization (DRM) efforts for the HIV prevention and treatment in the state. It is also hoped that the RMTWG will provide the state with continuous update on Resource Mobilization activities for effective HIV implementation.

I believe that with this, the state will be better positioned to assume greater ownership of the HIV response including its financing and avoid shocks that may arise due to partial or complete pull out of donor interventions in three year’s time.

Taraba’s Finest Moment

Taraba’s Finest Moment

By Bala Dan Abu..
Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku’s mission to rescue Taraba State from infrastructure decay and take it to greater heights in development has continued to yield dividends in leaps and bounds.

The fruits of these efforts manifested handsomely again last week with the latest ranking of universities by the National Universities Commission, NUC which placed Taraba State University, TSU, among Nigeria’s 20 best universities in the country.

The TSU was ranked 17th out of the 170 universities in Nigeria, beating 153 others.

The university is also number four in the entire North, beating older institutions like Bayero University, Kano, University of Jos and University of Abuja.

With this ranking also, TSU becomes the best university in the North East geo-political zone, coming one step just behind Atiku’s Amerian University, Yola, which was ranked 16th best university in Nigeria.

That is not the end of the sweet story about Taraba under Ishaku. In the same week, Taraba emerged as the Six state in Nigeria with the best Transparency and Integrity records in the conduct of public business.

Taraba State beat 30 other states and the FCT to take this enviable position. The rating was contained in the Transparency and Integrity Index 2021 released last week.

The rating exercise is conducted annually to determine the level of transparency exhibited by the states and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, in the conduct of government business.

This latest twin laurel achieved by Taraba is, no doubt, a remarkable and fitting feather on the trademark red cap of Governor Ishaku. It is a recognition and an appreciation of his hard work and commitment to the promotion of the welfare of the generality of the people of Taraba State. It also underscores the philosophy of selflessness that the administration has promoted in its conduct of government affairs.

When Ishaku assumed office as governor in 2015, TSU was not a rated university. It was merely struggling to survive. It had only three professors and a few faculties.

The Rescue Agenda of the Ishaku administration intervened with the appointment of a new vice chancellor, employment of over 50 professors and many other categories of highly qualified lecturers.

The administration also added a lot more modern facilities, built of lecture halls and lecture theatres and increased students population. Then the story changed dramatically.

Today’s positive story of the outstanding success of TSU is intrinsically linked with the revolution that has also taken place in the lower rungs of the educational ladder in Taraba State. In fact, the education sector under Governor Ishaku is an unbroken chain of positive accomplishments. From the building of over 500 additional classrooms to the renovation of over a thousand classrooms, the provision of millions of instructional materials, the motivation of teachers with training opportunities, regular payment of salaries and the employment of 3,000 graduate teachers in one fell swoop to boost quality of teaching, the sector has seen the best of attention, the type it has never experienced since the creation of the state.

These outstanding credentials of positive transformation in education are replicated in every sector of public service by the Ishaku administration.

The health sector today boasts of three world class hospitals, the transport sector now proudly flaunts numerous well built roads with the addition of an airport that is now open to daily flights.

All these are part of the credentials of remarkable achievement by the Ishaku administration that have continued to earn major awards and recognition for Ishaku and Taraba State.

The state, courtesy of the administration, has provided regular water supply to Jalingo. It’s determined to consolidate this feat with the completion of the on-going Jalingo Gigantic water scheme. The rural communities have all been served with clean water with the sinking of 800 boreholes in 800 communities in the state.

The agricultural sector has not only become a source of stable food production but has stabilized food prices. Farmers, on the other hand, are making good money and smiling to the banks daily.

The icing sugar on this grand cake of positive achievements by the Ishaku administration is the rating of the administration by Transparency and Integrity Index 2021. What the agency has said of the Ishaku administration with that rating is that it did everything it did to transform the state in the most honest and transparent manner. It is, therefore, also a declaration that Gov Ishaku as a man of great integrity.

Bala Dan Abu,
Special Adviser to the Governor
(Media and Publicity)

The Many Achievements of the DDI Administration – Commissioner

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.

Thank you.

Barrister Hon. Danjuma A. Adamu
Commissioner of Information and Re-orientation.

TSIEC Boss Should Be Sacked? Getting the Facts Straight…

TSIEC Boss Should Be Sacked? Getting the Facts Straight…

Does TSIEC have the sole responsibility to put an election date before they communicate to political parties?

Answer: Yes, TSIEC went further to involve all political parties and agreed upon the date with attestations of 16 political parties gearing up for election.

Do you cancel an election because of one political party?

Answer: No.

Is the TSIEC Chairman, Dr Phillip Duwe competent enough to chair the state’s election umpire?

Answer: Yes. He has the experience and mental capacity having served twice as Commissioner and reached the peak of his Civil Service career, as Permanent Secretary for 10 years. Aside this, he was trained in election management by the European Union.

Why is the APC Taraba accusing TSIEC and its Chairman of bias?

Answer: APC Taraba is only economical with the truth. If TSIEC was bias in information dissemination, then who involved the 16 political parties that signed their attestations in readiness to the election?

How true are allegations by APC that they won In Ibi, Karim and Zing in the last LG election but TSIEC upturned its victory?

Answer: APC didn’t win election in the previous LG election. There was no election in Ibi and the materials are still in TSIEC till today.

There was only cancellation of PUs where there were reports of snatching of ballots and violence related issues orchestrated by the APC which disrupted people from exercising their franchise. Because that is what the law says about it.

Now you know the truth. Disregard fake news organizations like Taraba Truths and Facts who do smear campaigns and go behind to ask for huge sums of money to clean up the mess.

Taraba to Benefit from N13 Billion Pest Control Fund

Taraba to Benefit from N13 Billion Pest Control Fund

The Federal Government has approved N13 billion as intervention fund for pest control in 12 northern states to reduce the effects of COVID-19 on the nation’s food sector.

The 12 frontline states to benefit from the fund are Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, Katsina, Kano, Jigawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa, Taraba, Yobe and Borno States.

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development made the disclosure in a statement issued on Saturday.

The Minister, Muhammad Nanono, said the intervention fund was to ensure uninterrupted agricultural activities during the 2020 farming season in the states.

He explained that the fund would also be used to control trans-boundary pests and minimise the impact of COVID-19 as well as guarantee nutritional and national food security.