October 8, 2017

Katsina remembers Babangida, 30 years after

General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd),


Former President, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, created Katsina State from the old Kaduna State on September 23, 1987. At that time, Katsina had just seven local government areas, but today it has 34. No doubt, the state has gotten its fair share of the good, the bad and the ugly.

With tertiary institutions such as Hassan Usman Katsina Polytechnic, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua University, Federal University, Dutsinma, Isa Kaita College of Education, Dutsinma, Katsina  is not educationally backward.

General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd),

Other institutions in the state include the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua International Airport; Umaru Musa Yar’Adua University and the multi-billion Naira Katsina Olympic-size stadium.

The state made history by producing two elected Presidents – the late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and incumbent Muhammadu Buhari.

The state produced the first and the last military governor of the defunct Northern Region – Major General Hassan Usman Katsina.

Administrators of the state include Major General Abdullahi Sarki Mukhtar, (1987 – 1988); Major Gen. Lawrence Onoja (1988 – 1989); Lt. Col. Joseph Akaagerger (1998 – 1999). Others are Saidu Barda (1992 – 1993) and democratic governor, the late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.  Governor Aminu Bello Masari was sworn in  May 29, 2015, under the All Progressives Congress, APC.


The education sector is the number one priority of government.  The sector takes the lion share, receiving 22% of the total budget in 2016 and 20% in 2017.


Katsina relies on agricultural activities for economic growth and sustainability.

It, in fact ranks first in cotton production and is the second largest in sugarcane production. The governor said recently: “We are working to fully exploit the cotton value chain, to meet local demand and also become a net exporter of the commodity after considerable value addition and we intend to become the largest producer of refined sugar, capable of meeting local consumption and for export.”

The establishment of farms at Funtua by the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), in collaboration with a private investor, has adopted the trending revolutionary agricultural technology, Green House Farming, with its capacity to generate massive employment and as well industrialize the state.

The most recent intervention in the agricultural sector of the state was the government acquisition of 225 Mahindra 60hp two-wheel tractors deployed across the state to boost mechanized farming.

Bello Masari

As part of government’s efforts at industrializing the state, it is working on proposals for the establishment of tomato paste industries in Funtua and Bakori, and it is also in the process of registering at least 50,000 rice growers.


The General Hospitals in Katsina, Funtua and Daura are being renovated and expanded to about 25% of their former capacity. The Out Patient and Emergency Departments are targeted to be the best in the country.

Others include the renovation and upgrade of General Hospital, Kankia, College of Nursing and Midwifery. Arrangements are in top gear to establish a teaching hospital at Umaru Musa Yar’Adua University.


For safe drinking water, the government embarked on rehabilitation and expansion of Malumfashi Water Supply Scheme, Kafur Water Supply Scheme, Ajiwa Water Works, Zobe and Mairuwa Dam. The administration extended rehabilitation to Katsina, Funtua and Daura. Over 700 boreholes have been dug in various parts of the state by the administration


Incidents of cattle rustling had been a menace, so government, on assumption of office, chose to tackle the issue headlong. The incident of March 12, 2014, during a state visit to Katsina of former President Goodluck Jonathan, when suspected cattle rustlers slaughtered 142 residents in Mararrabar Maigora, Sabon Layin Galadima and Unguwar Doka, all in Faskari local government areas, is still fresh in the three communities.

Seven local government areas of Safana, Batsari, Jibia, Danmusa, Kurfi, Dutsima, Kankakara, Dandume, Faskari and Sabuwa local government areas were affected.

Masari initiated a meeting with neighboring state governors of Kaduna, Jigawa, Niger, Kano, Zamfara and Sokoto to confront and tame the insecurity.

The governor introduced amnesty for repentant rustlers while  over 33,000 were recovered.


Katsina has employed 20,000 youths under the inter-switch program. Three agencies handle the scheme.

Activities lined up for the 30th anniversary was an occasion to honour Babangida under whose administration the state was created, and the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. The Chairman, Main Organizing Committee, who is also the Secretary to the State Government, Mustapha Inuwa, said the occasion would also be used to honour persons who had distinguished themselves and assisted the state. Others honoured include past military governors/administrators of Katsina State from September 1987 to May 1999 – Major General Abdullahi Sarki Mukhtar; Maj. Gen. Lawrence Anebi Onoja; Col. Yahaya John Madaki; Navy Capt. Emmanuel Aziwike Acholonu, the late Sama’ila Bature Chamah and Lt. Col. Joseph Akaagerger.

Pioneer civilian governors of Katsina, Alhaji Saidu Barda (1992 – 1993) and the late Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua (1999 – 2007) were also honoured.

A  driver, Malam Garba Surajo, and a messenger, Malam Abdulrahman Amadu Batagarawa, were also award recipients.

The governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel, whose state created on same day as Katsina, delivered an address while Katsina delegates in return visited  Akwa Ibom as part of activities marking the events.

A lecture was delivered on “Katsina @ 30: The Journey So Far, Challenges and Prospects”, by Professor Ismaila Tsiga from the Department of English Language, Bayero University, Kano.