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Kefas and his Chairmen: The New Direction

Kefas and his Chairmen: The New Direction

– Emmanuel Bello

Governor Agbu Kefas is clearly on the threshold of history in local governments administration. With some of the most trusted hands in local politics voted in last Saturday as chairmen, Dr Kefas is now focused on literally rolling in the tanks on the grassroots. “My dream is to give the people what they want not just what we want”, he said.

During the new chairmen swearing in Monday, Gov Kefas did not leave anyone in doubts on this new direction at the local levels. He told his audience that local government administration is the fulcrum of development. He repeated the oft repeated axiom that all politics is local. He rightly noted that if developments does not sink to the wards and the units levels, governance have failed. Kefas also said a successful local government regime will translate into over all development of the state. “I believe that the nation is where it is today because local government administration has failed. We need to inject life and energy back to the government closest to the people”, he said.

Invariably, that’s the new kind of local government Dr Kefas is envisioning for Taraba state. One that is alive and responsive to the yearnings of the local populace. Not the comatose entities the local councils have now become with chairmen treated as common appointed aides. Kefas said, “I want my chairmen to be like semi governors in their own local governments, taking full charge. I don’t subscribe to a weakened system that has turned chairmen into chair boys.”

Consequently, the governor’s plan is to make the LGAs viable, effective and very modern. To do this effectively, Gov Kefas plans to deploy not just the resources needed but the right technologies. He urged the newly sworn chairmen to leverage on technology in monitoring IGR and other growth indices.

With greater funding comes greater responsibilities. Kefas believes that a well equipped chairmen body will have no excuse but to deliver. Meanwhile, the governor, from today, will unleash a training program on the chairmen to start them off on the path of the reorientatation they all require. Old mindset and a tendency to be slothful would be dealth with at the retreat. Indeed, the local governments are set to jerk back to life.

Minimum Wage: Payment Excites Populace in Dramatic Ways – Emmanuel Bello

Minimum Wage: Payment Excites Populace in Dramatic Ways – Emmanuel Bello

Since the full implementations of the minimum wage policy of the Gov Agbu Kefas administration, the state has been thrown into a frenzy of excitement.

Many beneficiaries, who can not hide their joy, have been expressing their happiness and gratitude. This cuts across the entire state irrespective of tribe or religion. The citizens have continue to hail the governor for his compassion and proactive moves.

A lady who introduced herself as Ladi said God will continue to bless Governor Kefas. She noted that the increase have revolutionized her purchasing power and has given her a new lease of life.
She said, “now I can afford to buy what I couldn’t before. The former administration really left us in penury. What this governor has just done is beyond word. I’m speechless but I’m still talking. Our lives have changed.”

It would be recalled that Kefas recently gave a marching order that he wants the minimum wage implemented. He had vowed to deal with anyone slowing the process through unnecessary bureaucracy.

The eventual payment was met with great appreciation by the civil force. A young man who gave his name as Rufai said the new salary structure has helped in dealing with the hardship the fuel subsidy removal had caused. “It is a huge relief”, he said, adding that “I now feel a sense of pride as a worker because my take home income can actually take me home now.”

A cleric who spoke in anonymity said Governor Kefas has demonstrated that he belongs to all. He said, “this increment has showcased him as a true leader because leadership is all about meeting the need of the people. We really commend him for the bold initiative aimed at the common man. This has increase our love for him and we are going to support him to succeed.”

A widow who gave her name as Grace said the salary upgrade is for her and her constituency. She noted that struggling to bring up her children have been a herculean task but the increments has lessen her burden.

For Asabe who lives in Jalingo, the increments mean that her Christmas would be glorious. She said, “with this change I can do all my Christmas purchases so me and my family will have a good time.”

Governor Kefas had, during the campaigns, said his mission was to change the narratives and bring happiness to the people of the state. Workers welfare is central to this and the governor is clearly committed to that promise.

Why Did Kefas Visit all the Military Service Chiefs

Why Did Kefas Visit all the Military Service Chiefs

In an unprecedented move by anyone in his position, Gov. Agbu Kefas has visited all the military service chiefs in Abuja. At the heart of these trips is just one mission: the need for better security in Taraba state. In all the trips, the governor makes a point of carrying everyone along. He does not walk alone: National Assembly members, state Assembly members, his commissioners, elders, women, and youths of the state all go with him.

According to him, the job of safeguarding Taraba state goes beyond the political. He said he must carry all stakeholders along so they would appreciate the level of the problem and the work that will go into it. He stressed that the challenge required the support of all. He rejected the old notion that governance is only for the governor. The bipartisan approach, he stressed, is anchored on the need to manage all diversities and work as a team.

Starting with the Army Chief, it was a homecoming of sorts for the retired Lieutenant Colonel who made a historic mark in the Intelligence Corps of the military. The visit was memorable as major military top brass welcomed one of their own to the Army Headquarters. Their friend and brother, who had crossed to the “other side”, haven’t forgotten them. They assured him of their support and expressly encouraged him to represent them well. Dr Kefas, on the other hand, was very grateful for the kind reception. He told them he wouldn’t forget his roots and that he would be a great ambassador. It was heartwarming to note that many of the officers present were coursemates to the governor.

After the Army, the governor moved to the Navy. Taraba state is named after a river and it has the longest stretch of the River Benue. Invariably, this visit was pivotal. The Kashimbilla Dam is located in the southern parts of Taraba state. River Ibi is one of the largest bodies of water in the North East. The Navy therefore has an important role to play in the scheme of things as far as the overall security of the state is concerned.

The final visit was to the Airforce Headquarters. Again, as with the Navy, Taraba state is largely a mountainous state with many large forest reserves. The role of aerial surveillance and air-related defense can not be overemphasized. This is where the Air Force comes in.

These visits have proven one thing: Governor Kefas is deeply concerned about security. He is committed to taking his number one duty very seriously. He is hopeful and desirous that Taraba state shall be rid of all criminal activities, banditry, and crises caused by outside interferences and age-long loopholes. No one is left in doubt of his capacity and commitment to these ideals.

Bello is the Special Adviser on Media and Digital Communications to Governor Kefas

What Governor Kefas Told ASUU/TSU Management Behind Closed Doors – Emmanuel Bello

What Governor Kefas Told ASUU/TSU Management Behind Closed Doors – Emmanuel Bello

On Monday, Governor Agbu Kefas called for a meeting with the leaders of ASUU, the Taraba State University (TSU) chapter. After the public meeting, he went into a closed door session with the union and the university top management. It was a frank, open and very interactive exchange. Dr Kefas- an academic in his own right- was on a familiar turf. He has a relationship with univeristies dating back to his own earliest school days to when he was busy sponsoring over 500 students in the Kwararafa University in Wukari as a private citizen. For him, this is familiar territory. And although the challenges are different, the underlying issues are very similar ones he has confronted in the past.

ASUU clearly came prepared too for this meeting. Their leader, Dr Mbave was clear and concise in his demands. He regaled the audience with the hardship none payments of salaries had caused. He delved into the dynamics of the relationship between welfare and the slow response as far as salaries are concerned. The picture he painted was graphic enough to elicit reactions.

In responding, Dr Kefas told them the home truths: he needs their buy in to deal with the crisis heads on. He beamed the searchlight back at the university system itself, noting that the university needs to rid itself of internal contradictions. He solicited for their support, stressing the need for the unity of purpose. “This is a collective exercise”, he declared. “We need to be on the same page and with the same objectives. The goal is just one: the good life for both students and their teachers.”

Dr Kefas was very direct on the issue of strikes. He said strikes do not solve problems but that dialogue and constant engagement do the magic. He noted that when lecturers down tool, they and the students suffer loses.

Appealing to the conscience of the union leaders, Dr Kefas said they must make sacrifices for the future of the children they are lecturing. He urged them to see the students as family beyond the faculties. He called on them to be role models and moulders of characters. He said unless they can think straight themselves, it would be difficult for them to make any meaningful impact.

On their welfare, the governor said he is committed to them and that he has planned to create an enabling environment for their growth and development. He lamented the past salaries owed them by previous administration and said he would look into it. On the trending 3 months salaries, he ordered the commissioner of finance to promptly pay off the amount. It was a very frank exchange.
He asked the Vice Chancellor to breakdown what needs to be added to the running cost to offset workers backlog. Governor Kefas then said the payments might mean extra sacrifices but that he was willing to go to any lengths to solve problems.

He challenged the lecturers to also think outside the box and come up with creative means to raise more funds for running the school. He said the Green House project of the last administration may be revived and enlisted as a way of raising money to run the College of Agriculture. He encouraged the academics to come up with ideas as researchers and intellectuals.

The closed door meeting ended with all sides satisfied at work done.

Gov. Agbu Kefas Marks First 100 Days in Office With Bold Vision for Taraba State

Gov. Agbu Kefas Marks First 100 Days in Office With Bold Vision for Taraba State

His Excellency, Dr. Agbu Kefas.

His Excellency, Dr. Agbu Kefas.

His Excellency, Dr. Agbu Kefas, commemorated his first 100 days in office with a resounding speech outlining the achievements and ambitious plans for Taraba State’s future.

In a comprehensive address delivered on September 6, 2023, Governor Kefas highlighted significant accomplishments and his commitment to building a more prosperous and secure Taraba State.

Infrastructure Development: Governor Kefas unveiled a commitment to key infrastructure projects aimed at enhancing road networks, healthcare facilities, and educational institutions. Notably, plans to reopen and upgrade the vital Suntai Airport in Jalingo were announced, promoting economic growth and improved connectivity.

Agricultural Transformation: The government has been actively supporting farmers and introducing modern farming techniques to harness Taraba State’s fertile land. Plans to further bolster food security and agricultural productivity are in motion.

Education and Skill Development: Investment in education and skill development programs is underway to empower the youth for future challenges. Continued support for educational institutions is recognized as essential.

Healthcare Access: Access to quality healthcare is a fundamental right, and the government aims to expand healthcare services to reach more communities, ensuring timely and affordable healthcare for all.

Security: Security remains a top priority, with collaborative efforts and enhanced border surveillance to address security challenges. Engaging local communities and responsible border business practices are integral components of the plan.

Civil Service Reform: A comprehensive civil service reform agenda will enhance the efficiency and transparency of the government, focusing on capacity building, merit-based recruitment, transparency, and digitalization.

Payment of Salaries, Pensions, and Entitlements: Governor Kefas acknowledged the challenges faced by civil servants and retirees regarding timely payments and outlined steps to address these issues, including improved financial management and automation of payment systems.

Mining Activities: Responsible mining practices are at the forefront, with a commitment to environmental impact assessments, sustainable mining, strict regulations, community engagement, health and safety measures, water management, biodiversity conservation, waste management, and transparent monitoring and reporting.

Unemployment, Rural Development, Corruption Eradication, and Infrastructure Completion: While significant progress has been made, the government remains dedicated to reducing unemployment, promoting rural development, fighting corruption, and expediting ongoing infrastructure projects.

Governor Kefas assured the people of Taraba State of his commitment to fulfilling campaign promises. He emphasized that Taraba State is on the path to progress, and with continued support and collaboration, a stronger, more prosperous, and inclusive future lies ahead.

What Governor Kefas Told ASUU/TSU Management Behind Closed Doors – Emmanuel Bello

Subsidy: Kefas to Trim Agencies, Reduce Cost of Governance – SA Media and Digital Communications

As states device means to cut down on cost of governance, Governor Agbu Kefas has moved to trim the number of agencies, harmonize functions, while making them more viable.

Already a committee headed by former Secretary to the State Government Chief Obadiah Ando has been mandated to look at how to trim departments and agencies to reduce repetition of duties and unnecessary expenditure. The effort will also reduce confusion of duties and clashes among state actors as far as roles are concerned.

Constituting the body that will be coordinated by the office of the Chief of Staff, Dr. Jeji Williams, Mni, Dr Agbu Kefas asked them to find ways to make MDA’s more responsive to new realities. Proliferation of functions can cripple efficiency, he noted. Some of the agencies would be merged, while new ones may be created.

Relatedly, Gov Kefas is committed to plugging leakages in the system and ensuring that scarce resources are prudently used to better the lives of the state citizenry.
The governor has continue to emphasize reticence and transparency in all government dealings to stave off extravagance in expenditures.