BY NASIR DANLADI BAKO
OUR attention has been drawn to the recent NBS report postulating that Sokoto State is the poorest state in Nigeria. This is even further ridiculed with the assertion that it ‘retained’ its position.
With all due respect to Dr Kale and the survey researchers employed to do this project, I am very confident that no researchers were seen in the state doing the very elementary function of scientific sampling or application of questionnaire as is fundamental in surveys of this nature.
Or maybe they employed other forms of research like Quesswork or Extrapolation.
As Information Commissioner, it is extremely difficult or virtually impossible for researchers on sensitive issues like poverty to work in 23 Local governments, 233 wards in Sokoto without me or someone close to me coming across them. Who were the respondents?
I conducted researches myself to earn my Masters Degrees at the prestigious University of Lagos in 1981 so I know a thing or two about surveys.
For the record, Sokoto State Government under Gov Aliyu Wamakko pumped N2billion into the State economy by way of grant to the State Chamber of Commerce.
Today, from one car dealer in 1990, there are more than 30 car dealers. From about 200,000 residents in Sokoto in the 80s, Sokoto town is home to more than two million people. Do people rush or migrate to a poor city?
Education has always taken more than 30 per cent of the State Budget since 2007, enrolment has gone up by more than 30 per cent and more than N2bn is spent on books and teaching aids annually. Health facilities in all the Local government areas have upgraded health facilities.
To buttress our affirmation of Gov Wamakko’s rural development successes, the Sokoto State NUJ awarded him their highest honour for Rural Development. This is because Gov Wamakko has provided more than 25 motorized and solar boreholes in each of the 23 local governments.
Electricity has reached more than 500 villages since 2007, while more than 800 kilometres of rural roads have brought government closer to the people.
Farm produce now gets to bigger markets more easily.
16 out of Sokoto’s 23 LGs are in the FADAMA, so agriculture is a major occupation and so all year round Sokoto people both in rural and urban areas have abundant food to eat.
What more is evidence of good living? I use this medium to advice NBS to jettison their Wall Street /IMF parameters and indices and develop a more realistic, pragmatic and home grown index and yardstick for African societies.
Dr Kale should also assist by making his researchers go to the field and not sit in the office or hotel rooms and allocate figures based on guesswork and NEPA – style estimates.
*Mr Bako, is Sokoto State Commissioner for Information