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“Free Education and Reduced Tuition Fees for a Brighter Future” – SGS

“Free Education and Reduced Tuition Fees for a Brighter Future” – SGS

Dr. Agbu Kefas during his visit to TETFUND Headquarters in Abuja.

Dr. Agbu Kefas during his visit to TETFUND Headquarters in Abuja.

In a profound endorsement of Governor Agbu Kefas’ initiative to provide Free Education and alleviate the impact of subsidy removal, Taraba State Secretary to the Government, Chief Barr. Gebon Timothy Kataps, champions the importance of accessible education. Chief Barr. Kataps asserts that the most impactful palliative a government can offer is the exemption of primary and secondary school fees and a 50% reduction in tuition fees for undergraduates, emphasizing the transformative power of education for individuals and communities alike.

These statements by the Secretary to the Government come amid Governor Kefas’ proactive measures to address the challenges stemming from subsidy removal in Taraba State. Governor Kefas’ commitment to Free Education ensures that quality education is within every child’s reach, regardless of their financial circumstances.

Barr. Gebon Timothy Kataps’ advocacy for free primary and secondary education, coupled with reduced tertiary tuition fees, aligns seamlessly with Governor Kefas’ vision. Both leaders recognize education as an indispensable tool for development and progress, believing that by making it more accessible and affordable, the government can significantly improve the lives of its citizens.

This initiative serves as a buffer against the effects of subsidy removal, safeguarding Taraba State’s residents from the burden of excessive educational costs. Furthermore, it underscores the government’s dedication to prioritize education and invest in the state’s future by empowering its youth.

With the resounding endorsement of the Secretary to the Government, Governor Agbu Kefas’ Free Education and Palliatives program gains further validation. The state government’s unwavering commitment to quality education and financial relief for families reflects their dedication to the welfare and progress of Taraba State.

As these initiatives progress, the expectation is that more students will seize the opportunity to access education, equipping them with the skills needed for success. Additionally, reduced tuition fees for tertiary education will make higher learning more attainable and encourage more individuals to pursue advanced degrees.

The joint efforts of the governor and state officials like Barr. Gebon Timothy Kataps underscore their dedication to the advancement of Taraba State. By investing in education, they address not only the immediate challenges posed by the federal government’s subsidy removal but also lay a robust foundation for the state’s future growth and prosperity.

Gov. Kefas Visits Security Agencies in Jalingo

Gov. Kefas Visits Security Agencies in Jalingo

Taraba State Governor, Dr. Agbu Kefas on Monday 18th September, 2023 visited military and paramilitary formations in a bid to recalibrate the security architecture to effectively protect the lives and property of the citizens.

The Governor underlined that his administration will not let its guard down in the fight against insecurity so that citizens can sleep with their two eyes closed. The Governor described the visit as a follow-up visit since the security chiefs had previously visited.

The visit is also a part of Dr. Agbu Kefas’ resolute efforts to address the issue of insecurity in some parts of the State and to raise the morale of security organizations as they carry out their fundamental duty of defending society.

The Governor’s visit included stops at the Department of State Service, the Nigerian Army’s Sixth Brigade Headquarters, the State Police Command, the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency, and the Federal Road Safety Commission. Other locations visited in Jalingo were the State command of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps, the Nigerian Immigration Service, the Nigerian Correctional Service, the Taraba State Fire Service, and the Taraba Marshal Security Guards LTD.

In meetings with security personnel and traditional leaders, which the Governor frequently convened to enhance the state’s security situations, he repeatedly reaffirmed his commitment to the protection of lives and property of all Tarabans.

The visit, without a doubt, conveyed the Governor’s strong and reassuring intention to personally see to it that the security formations work by his vision of making Taraba State safe and secure to promote investment in the agriculture, mining, and tourism sectors among others.

The Governor also visited the State College of Nursing and Midwifery where he inspected the ongoing rehabilitation of infrastructure projects in the institution and the site of the new Government House.

Dr. Agbu Kefas was accompanied on the visit by the State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Aminu Abdullahi Alkali, the Secretary to the Government of the State, Chief Gebon Timothy Kataps, and the Commissioner of Information and Reorientation, Hajiya Zainab Usman Jalingo among other top officials.

– Signed: Yusuf Sanda,
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor.

Taraba State Independent Electoral Commission Fixes Date for Elections

Taraba State Independent Electoral Commission Fixes Date for Elections

Chairman, Taraba State Independent Electoral Commission, Mr Philip Duwe.

Chairman, Taraba State Independent Electoral Commission, Mr Philip Duwe.

The Taraba State Independent Electoral Commission in a statement on Tuesday announced that the local government election in the state will be held on 18th November, 2023.

The statement also requested political parties to submit names of their candidates at the commission’s headquarters in Jalingo.

Political parties have until 7th November, 2023 to indicate interest in participating in the election and to submit names of candidates, according to the notice signed by the Chairman of the Commission, Philip Duwe.

Mr. Duwe told newsmen that the commission has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ease the processes of the election.

He said the Commission deemed it necessary to liaise with INEC in terms of getting production of the electoral materials needed for the success of the polls.

“We are ready for the election but not absolutely ready, we must seek authority from INEC to get the materials they produce”, he said.

Mr. Duwe said that TSIEC wants to complement the vision of Mr Kefas, who is desirous of a local government system that is efficient and constitutional.

“The governor does not believe in Caretaker or Sole Administrator management which are not in the Constitution.”

Mr. Duwe, who said information was key, added that journalists are critical stakeholders hence the need to involve them in the course of what TSIEC is doing and disclosed that the commission have met with 18 registered political parties in the state where they agreed on a date for the conduct of the election.

“The leadership of Intra Party Advisory Council (IPAC) would be supervising the Political Parties on the entire processes, we have also issued a Time Table to guide them”.

On the electoral umpire’s assurance that votes of the electorates count, Mr. Duwe said election results would be declared at the polling units, then to the ward collation centres before heading to the local government collation centres.

He also revealed that about 2,000,000 registered voters would be participating in the polls, adding that the Commission has done an assessment based on the number of registered voters per senatorial district.

“There are 168 electoral wards with about 3,650 polling units across the 16 local government areas of the state”,

The SIEC boss, however, revealed that the commission wants to customise the ballot papers by senatorial district and if possible by local government to solve the problems of results and ballot papers’ diversion from one zone to the other.

Meanwhile, the notice of the election time table disclosed that 17th September, 2023 is the commencement of campaign by political parties, 25th to 30th October, 2023 is scheduled for holding of political primaries, 2nd to 4th November, 2023 will be for the sales of Forms.

In the same vein, 7th November, 2023 is the final day for the submission of nomination forms, 8th to 9th November, 2023 is for the screening of candidates submitted by parties for elections, 10th to 11th November, 2023 will be for the publication of screened candidates.

However, substitution of candidates, if any and screening of the same will be on the 12th to 13th November 2023, submission of names, passport photographs and address of party agent and polling units assigned will be on the 14th to 15th November, 2023. While the end of election campaign will be on the 17th November, 2023 and election hold on 18th November, 2023 respectively.

Illegal Mining: Over 22,000kg Seized and 100+ Illegal Miners Apprehended

Illegal Mining: Over 22,000kg Seized and 100+ Illegal Miners Apprehended

Brigadier General Jeremiah Faransa (Rtd), the Chairman of the Task Force.

Brigadier General Jeremiah Faransa (Rtd), the Chairman of the Task Force.

In a remarkable crackdown on illegal mining operations within Taraba State, the Taraba State Special Task Force on Environmental Protection and Illegal Mining has successfully recovered a staggering 22,373 kilograms of blue sapphire and other precious gemstones. This decisive action has not only safeguarded the state’s invaluable natural resources but also led to the apprehension of more than 100 illegal miners, including foreign nationals, over the past two months.

Brigadier General Jeremiah Faransa (Rtd), the Chairman of the Task Force, disclosed that this substantial cache of sapphire was concealed in Mayo Sena, located in Taraba State’s Sardauna Local Government Area. The illegal miners were apprehended at various locations across the state, shedding light on the extensive reach of their illicit activities.

General Faransa expressed profound concern regarding the severe damage inflicted on the state’s environment by both legal and illegal mining operations. This includes the indiscriminate felling of rosewood trees, often referred to as Madrid. To address this grave issue, an Executive Order has been enacted, suspending all mining and logging activities within the state. General Faransa issued a stern warning to those involved in such activities to immediately cease their operations.

He further lamented the degradation of Taraba State’s arable lands due to unregulated mining, which has led to some communities abandoning farming altogether. The impact has been so severe that farming, a vital livelihood for many, has become unsustainable in certain regions of the state.

Moreover, General Faransa criticized the exploitation of young individuals as low-cost labor within the mining industry, resulting in a concerning rise in the number of school dropouts. He revealed, “Over 20,000 individuals, both legal and illegal, are engaged in mining activities in Taraba State. Illegitimate miners often masquerade as laborers under legitimate mining companies.”

One particularly distressing example was observed in the Arufu and Akwana communities of the Wukari Local Government Area. General Faransa described the dire situation, stating, “What we saw is a sad tale. These communities have been excavated and destroyed by the activities of both legal and illegal miners. The land in these communities is no longer suitable for farming or even building. They have now abandoned farming completely, and every household in these communities has turned to mining.”

Additionally, he highlighted the concerning exploitation of teenagers in Dogon Yasu by mining companies, who employ them as inexpensive labor. “When we interviewed most of them, we discovered that they are being given N500 or N1000 a day. And that is why you see that there is an increase in the number of dropouts in Northern Nigeria,” General Faransa expressed, underscoring the urgency of addressing this issue.

General Faransa emphasized that the state is not opposed to legitimate investments in the mining sector. Instead, their primary concern lies in ensuring due diligence and robust environmental protection measures are in place to safeguard Taraba State’s precious natural resources for future generations.

Gov. Agbu Kefas Pledges to Address Bandit Violence in Jalingo Metropolis

Gov. Agbu Kefas Pledges to Address Bandit Violence in Jalingo Metropolis

His Excellency, Dr. Agbu Kefas.

The Executive Governor, His Excellency, Dr. Agbu Kefas.

The Executive Governor, Dr. Agbu Kefas, addressed the alarming surge in violence orchestrated by bandits within various parts of Jalingo metropolis and the state in general.

The Governor unequivocally condemned these acts of violence, categorically stating that such behavior was entirely unacceptable and would not be tolerated under his leadership and went on to reassure the citizens of Taraba that his administration was fully committed to implementing robust strategies aimed at combating criminal activities and ensuring the safety of the state capital.

“I have been fully briefed of acts of violence by bandits in some parts of Jalingo metropolis. It is totally unacceptable, and I won’t condone it.”


“Let me assure our citizens that my Government is vigorously finding new ways to deal with criminals and make the state capital safe for all, and to rid the State of insecurity.”

Governor Kefas disclosed the establishment of a dedicated committee, emphasizing that the days of criminals in the state were numbered.

He extended an earnest call to the public, urging citizens to actively support the government’s efforts by providing credible information and maintaining vigilance within their communities, stressing that the government was in complete control of the situation and resolute in its determination to restore peace and security throughout the state.

NEGF 8th Meeting: Deputy Governor Represents Taraba State

NEGF 8th Meeting: Deputy Governor Represents Taraba State

A communique issued at the end of the 8th Meeting of the North-East Governors’ Forum (NEGF) Held in Maiduguri, Borno State. Saturday, 9th- September, 2023.

The Northeast Governors’ Forum (NEGF), comprising the Governors of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, and Yobe with the Governors of Gombe and Taraba represented by the Deputy Governors, held its 8th meeting in Maiduguri, Borno State. It expressed delight at the growing strength of the cooperation, collaboration, and cordial relationship between the Governors of the 6 States of the region. The Forum reiterated its commitment to foster a common ground and pursue a collective course for the benefit of the region.

After exhaustive deliberations, the Forum resolved and presented the following Communique:

1. The Forum appreciated the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Senator Kashim Shettima for gracing the opening ceremony of the 8th meeting of the NEGF and the Government and People of Borno State for hosting the event.

2. While acknowledging the relative success recorded against insurgency, a new dimension of growing banditry is added to worsen the security situation in the subregion. As a result of the concerted efforts of the Military to flush bandits from the other parts of the country, the bandits are now moving towards the Northeast. The case is becoming worse in Bauchi, Gombe, and Taraba, places hitherto without banditry. The Forum calls on the Federal Government to urgently intervene to address this issue.

3. The Forum is aware that some traditional rulers and other local authorities are conniving with the bandits, sheltering them and covering them to commit crimes within the subregion. The Forum unanimously resolved to decisively deal with any Traditional ruler or community leader that is found to be harboring or conniving with the bandits.

4. The proliferation of mining in the region is becoming a problem. This includes both legal and illegal mining. It noted The Forum reiterated its call for strict compliance with the provisions of the Land Use Act.

5. The Forum noted with great concern that Climate Change and environmental degradation is a major issues affecting the subregion. The issue of flooding that had affected the States leading to the destruction of properties and loss of livelihoods is increasing the sufferings of the people. This has been compounded by the silting of our rivers as well as deforestation brought about by the massive charcoal business. There is a need for the Federal Government’s intervention in the area of desilting the rivers. Furthermore, there is a need for effective control of deforestation with stern regulation to local authorities against compromise to granting approvals for such businesses. The Forum has resolved to key into the Global Initiative of Carbon Credi, the Great Green Wall, and other initiatives that will mitigate the devasting impact of climate change in the subregion.

6. The Forum noted with dismay the seeming neglect of road and railway infrastructure especially along the economic corridors that link the Northeast subregion to the rest of the country. The Roads from Enugu to Maiduguri are in a deplorable State. Equally worse is the railway from Enugu up to Maiduguri which has been destroyed. The Forum is calling on the Federal Government to look into the situation and consider the reconstruction of these basic infrastructure along the Enugu-Maiduguri Economic Corridor. This is a major route for regional trade and is very important for integration, peace-building, and improving national unity.

7. The Forum agreed that all the States within the subregion are to domesticate the Education Law 2022, as recommended by the Northeast Education Council earlier constituted by the Forum.

8. The Forum charges the Northeast Development Commission (NEDC) to be more proactive with the issues of development in the sub-region. Its intervention should be well prioritized in the short, medium, and long term to take care of the sustainable development needs of the people within the subregion.

9. The forum resolved to promote subregional commerce among member States. It further agreed to resuscitate the northeast trade fair to be held in Bauchi in January 2024.

10. The Forum resolved to hold the 9th Meeting in Yola, Adamawa State between Friday 3rd – Saturday 4th – November 2023.

– Signed:
Professor Babagana Umaru Zulum, CON, mni, FNSE