•I’ll build a stronger Delta —Okowa
•We’ll surpass first term performance in Akwa Ibom — Emmanuel
•Umahi assures Ebonyi citizens of improved welfare
•There’ll be no discrimination against any person or group in Abia –—Ikpeazu
•Land allocation’ll be reviewed, revoked or reverted to original owners –—Ihedioha
By Our Reporters
ABUJA—TWENTY-NINE governors, yesterday, made lofty promises during their inauguration as they took their oath of office across the country.
Their promises ranged from timely payment of salaries and pensions, fighting insecurity, improving the welfare of the citizenry, to ensuring equity and even development, among others.
However, Oyo State civil servants have little or no cause for cheer as Governor Seyi Makinde, after being sworn-in, said the state cannot bear the burden of paying the new N30,000 minimum wage now.
Why Oyo can’t pay new minimum wage – Makinde
While giving his inaugural speech at the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, Governor Makinde noted that with the current financial status of the state, it would be a heavy burden for the state to pay the minimum wage.
He promised to set up a committee that would put all machinery in motion to see how the issue would be resolved amicably, adding that with time the state could afford to pay above the national minimum wage.
The governor, who said about 400,000 students have dropped out of school due to the inability of their parents to afford their education expenses, directed that the compulsory tuition fees of N3,000 imposed on each student in public secondary schools by the former governor, be abolished with immediate effect.
Governor Makinde said: “I have always said that the Oyo State civil servants deserve to earn a whole lot more for their dedication and service to the state. Recently, the Federal Government announced a new salary scheme in which the lowest cadre of civil servants are expected to earn at least N30,000.
“I know how access to this type of money will improve the lives of many of the families that I have direct contact with. However, with the way the Oyo State account currently stands, I will be deceiving you if I said we are capable of taking on this burden.
“I believe the states should decide the minimum wage of their workforce based on individual realities. All states are not created equal. So, it is against the principle of fairness to apply a blanket rule to governor them all.”
Ishaku begs FG To release N22bn spent on federal roads
In Taraba, Governor Darius Ishaku, who was inaugurated for his second term, appealed to the Federal Government to release the sum of N22 billion the state spent on rehabilitation of federal roads across the state.
He noted that the state’s intervention on federal road projects was to create an avenue for easy movement of persons and goods in and out of Taraba, for economic advancement and development of the state.
He furthered that his second four years in office would be used to consolidate on the gains of his first term.
He also assured students, parents and guardians who had been at the receiving end of the strike action embarked upon by lecturers of Taraba State University that negotiations have reached advanced stage and the prolonged strike would soon be called off.
Abiodun vows to tackle unemployment, opens portal for youths
The new Governor of Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun has said that his government has devised a means to tackle unemployment in the state.
The Governor said he will launch a portal where unemployed youths will register with the motive of making companies and industries recruit from the fold.
The governor announced the establishment Employment Trust Fund that will focus on providing entrepreneurship training, skills acquisition and access to seed funds; and Ogun State Enterprise Development Agency that will facilitate the development of Micro, Small and Medium Scale
Enterprises to enhance their capacity, through Business Development Services, Access to Market, Access to Fund and similar services.
He said: “Unemployment has attained the status of an epidemic in the country and in our state too. The army of unemployed youths roaming the streets should be a matter of concern to all.”
Sanwo-Olu vows not to toe Ambode’s style
In Lagos, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, while being sworn-in as the sixth democratically elected governor and 15th Governor of Lagos State, promised to fulfil all his campaign promises and make the state greater and better.
The governor stated that his administration would not toe the lines of governance of his immediate predecessor, Akinwunmi Ambode, describing the administration as one that governed in a special manner.
Sanwo-Olu stated that the challenges confronting the state were huge and could consume the state.
In his inaugural speech, tagged: ‘’Awakening a Greater Lagos,’’ Sanwo-Olu said that the change of guard in the state marked the beginning of a new chapter in the journey to greatness and sought the support of the people of the state to take Lagos to greater heights.
He said: “I agree that Lagos has many challenges before it, challenges that have the power to consume us. We must therefore be prudent, yet not afraid to act, to ensure that this large population enjoys the economic prosperity and social security that our developmental agenda has to offer.’’
Prompt payment of salary, pensions, my priority – Fintiri
In Adamawa, Governor Ahmadu Fintiri pledged to make prompt payment of salaries to civil servants and annual increment of same his priority.
Recalling his government’s generosity towards workers when he served as acting governor in 2014, he pledged that payment of salaries would be equally accorded top priority now that he is back.
“Payment of salaries, pension and gratuity on time shall be my priority, as well as yearly salary increment and promotion. We shall strive to build a robust government-labour relationship,” he said.
On his desire to make Adamawa a model state, Fintiri said: “True change has come to Adamawa State. I pledge to provide leadership that is required to make things work for the good of all. My aspiration for Adamawa is for it to be listed among the committee of respected states not only in Nigeria but also in the world as a whole. The central message is that we will bring development and make Adamawa State a standard to copy,” he said.
Bello gives corrupt civil servants red card in Niger
Governor Abubakar Sani Bello has given red card to fraudulent civil servants in Niger State. He asked them to quit for more honest, and dedicated workers to take over.
Speaking after his swearing-in for second term, he vowed to deal ruthlessly with fraudulent civil servants who he said have formed a syndicate to defraud the state of millions of Naira monthly.
His words: “I want to say that the choice before us in this second term is clear which is to work together to move our state forward or to get out of the way for those who are willing. This is the time for service and we need to rise to meet up. It is with deep faith in our state and our future that I ask you to join me in the work ahead.”
Governor Bello stated that his second coming will focus more on education, healthcare service, infrastructural development, improved agricultural services, clean water and sanitation, renewable energy, security and an investment friendly environment.
El-Rufai extends maternity leave to 6 months in Kaduna
Governor Nasir El Rufai has extended the maternity period for women in public service in Kaduna State from three to six months in order to promote healthy development of children through prolong breast feeding.
In his inaugural address shortly after being sworn in, Governor El Rufai, who was flanked by his Deputy, Dr Hadiza Balarabe apologised to the people of the state for what he said was the difficult decisions that he will take in his second term. The governor, who sounded conciliatory in his 15 minutes speech enjoined every body living in Kaduna State to live in peace with one another, saying that there can be no development without peace.
“The challenges confronting us are numerous and they are hard. But if we do our job well we will solve them, with your help, support and prayers. We will continue to take very difficult, and sometime painful decisions. We ask your understanding and forgiveness in advance.
“With your support and prayers, we will not waiver in supporting ordinary people to attain their aspirations. We will continue our tradition of cooperation with the other arms of government in the service of our people. We will devote every energy and talent in putting people first and making Kaduna great again,” he said.
Okowa promises to build a stronger Delta
In Delta, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, said in his second term he would build a united and stronger Delta.
Speaking amid cheers from Deltans who were at the Stephen Keshi township stadium, venue of the inauguration ceremony, Okowa said: “The oath of service that I just took is more than an official function or constitutional requirement; it is a covenant between us, a covenant to build a stronger Delta in which we can freely – and confidently – pursue our dreams of prosperity and happiness in a safe and secure environment.”
He continued: ‘’When I took this oath four years ago, it was in a time of general unease. The national economy was in distress, unemployment was high, the infrastructure deficit was intimidating, the education sector was hard pressed, and there was palpable despair in the land. It was a test of our desire, our resolve and our preparedness to deliver the prosperity we promised the electorate.
“There was a compelling need to elevate our politics and governance to a broader view of the people’s paramount concerns and legitimate expectations. That required superimposing on the old structures the ennobling values of fiscal discipline, prudent management, robust and continuous community engagement, effective and efficient public communication, and excellent public service delivery for the benefit of this generation and the next.
“Our progress in the four years that just elapsed is nothing short of remarkable. My first term was quite busy with road and physical infrastructure construction of the most vital interest and consequence.
“Through the Ministries of Works, Urban Renewal and the Delta State Capital Territory Development Agency, we embarked on a total of 455 projects comprising 1,269.42 kilometres of roads and 517.34 kilometres of drainage channels. As at April 30 this year, 263 of these roads, covering 638.23 kilometres of roads and 295.71 kilometres of associated drains have been completed. The Direct Labour Agency also made great strides in the development of road infrastructure during this period.”
Masari plans joint operation with Zamfara, Sokoto to secure Katsina
In Katsina, another second term governor, Aminu Bello Masari, pledged to secure the state from security threats.
Masari disclosed this in his inaugural speech shortly after taking oath of office for second term at the Peoples Square opposite the General Muhammadu Buhari Government house.
The Governor condemned the recent attacks by armed bandits in the state which claimed lives of 39 persons and 200 others injured, describing it as unacceptable.
“My dream, I must admit at this juncture, is to see a Katsina State that is secured from all manner of security threats; a Katsina State that is financially buoyant; and a Katsina State with a happy and prosperous populace. With my team, we hope to bequeath a Katsina State where the well-being of our people would not be measured by the presence of the rich, but by the absence of the poor among us. This dream is not an impossible one. But its realization would depend solely on how sincere and dedicated we work in the next four years and even beyond.
“Let me seize this opportunity to once again express my heartfelt condolences to victims of the recent terrorist attacks at Batsari and Kankara Local Government Areas where over 39 people lost their lives with more than 200 injured.’’
Apart from tackling insecurity, other areas, the Governor promised that his administration will consolidate on and improve include Education, Agriculture, Health, Water resources, facilitating wider political inclusion and youth engagement, promoting greater public private collaboration and entrenching good governance, political accountability and transparency to put the state on the path of growth and development.
Lalong pardons prisoner, promises improved governance
In Plateau, Governor Simon Lalong, in appreciation of his re-election pardoned a prisoner who was serving life imprisonment and promised to improve governance in the state by consolidating on the gains of his first four years.
His words: “In line with the decision to celebrate June 12 as Democracy Day, on this special day, we shall unveil the vision and programmes of the government for the period of 2019 to 2023 through a Town Hall meeting. While we hope to consolidate on our gains and achievements, in light of increasing challenges, it is imperative to review and fine tune some of the policy thrusts into a new normal and more results oriented and robust package of deliverables.
“We shall strive to inject new ideas and philosophical paradigm into our governance efforts. A critical policy of this administration developed and embraced is the concept of forgiveness, as a mark of our appreciation and thanksgiving to God and in exercise of the powers conferred on me as Governor in Section 212 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), I have granted Prerogative of Mercy to one prisoner, Evaristus Mozie from life imprisonment to absolute pardon.’’
Abdulrazaq pledges paradigm shift in Kwara
On his part, Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara State, who was sworn in as the seventh executive governor of the state, pledged a complete paradigm shift from the activities of the past governments and evolving of a state that works for all.
He also said that he would welcome constructive criticism that would bring about development in his administration and urged residents of the state to watch out for an improved and better administration.
Meantime, the immediate past governor of the state, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, said that he left about N5 billion revenue inflow in form of tax refunds from the Federal Government in public coffers, adding that the state has also recently benefited from a $750m World Bank grant for some development projects.
Abdulrazaq said that the new government would make a difference, adding that, “what we have lacked before now are dependable and sustainable development plans, credible policies and policy discipline, accountability and transparency, a good sense of social justice and ability to expand social and political spaces that will promote tolerance, equality and innovation.”
“In all our policies, programmes and actions, the people of Kwara shall always come first. Today, I invite you all to join hands with us in government to repair and rebuild Kwara. I invite constructive criticism and urge you all to utilise our open door policy to communicate ideas and suggestions to us. What we stand for is to empower our people. Make society and life better. Strengthen family values. Improve efficiency and service delivery in our public services. Revamp our education to produce the best minds that will in turn make Kwara second to none. Promote industry, agriculture, technology and social services and open up new vistas of opportunities that will promote the common good.”
Ganduje offers people with disability free education
In his second inauguration address, Governor Umaru Ganduje of Kano promised to make education free and compulsory at the basic and post-basic levels and free at all levels for the disabled persons.
He also promised to fight the menace of drug abuse in the state by establishing an agency to fight it.
On the health sector, he promised to establish the largest cancer treatment centre in Nigeria to battle the rising rate of cancer deaths especially among women.
He promised to run a people-oriented and open government irrespective of political alliances.
Speaking about the creation of four additional Emirates in the state, Governor Ganduje stated that it is part of the plan to expand development through the creation of more big metropolitan cities in the state.
Umahi targets robust economy for Ebonyi people
Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State stated that his second term administration would embark on integrated policy of economic development and transformation geared towards achieving improved standard of living for Ebonyi people.
The Governor stated this in his inaugural address after being sworn in for another term in office at the Pa Oruta Ngele stadium Abakaliki.
In his address titled: “On the Part of Divine Mandate: Stepping into the second half,” Umahi added that his administration will pursue prospection/exploitation of the rich mineral deposits of the state for rapid industrialisation and its multiplier effect.
According to him, my administration will aim to generate sustainable employment in the state especially in the private sector by making the state a haven for investors by completely solving the problem of infrastructure in the state.
The governor stated that he will create an economy that will be self-propelled, self-sustaining and self-reliant within 10 years to reduce over dependence on federal government allocations.
Bala Mohammed vows to diversify Bauchi economy
Governor Bala Mohammed vowed to diversify the economy of Bauchi State thorough investment in education, agriculture and mineral resources development.
The governor made the declaration in his inaugural speech, after taking oath of office administered by the Chief Justice of Bauchi State, Justice Rabi Talatu Umar in Bauchi.
The newly sworn-in Governor assured the surging crowd at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa stadium that he would create enabling environment for private sector organizations to take advantage of opportunities that exist on the global market for both unprocessed and semi-processed agricultural products that abound in the state.
“Our state is blessed with abundance of unprocessed and semi processed products that are in high demand all over the world. What is lacking is the capacity to tap into the treasure chest of our state. We shall promote and support value addition to empower our local farmers to eventually become competitive globally.’’
Land allocation will be reviewed, revoked or reverted to original owners – Ihedioha
Imo State Governor, Chief Emeka Ihedioha, has assured the citizenry that his administration will institute appropriate measures to review all land allocations made by the immediate past government.
Ihedioha, who stated this yesterday, in his maiden address to the people, also said that he will where necessary, “revoke or revert to original purposes.”
“I consider this an irreversible obligation to Ndi Imo. You will agree with me that the matter of land administration in the state, has been a vexed issue over the past eight years. It was characterised by illegalities, lack of due process and transparency, or even near privatization”, Ihedioha said.
He assured that to address this, he would revitalize and reposition the moribund Imo State Geographic Information Agency, IGIA.
Continuing, Ihedioha lamented that “eight years of maladministration, policy inconsistencies and disregard for rule of law destroyed, literally, the foundations laid by our founding fathers, for a thriving economy, lowered the educational standards, chased away investors, confiscated people’s lands, expropriated our commonwealth and threw to the dogs our collective esteem.”
I will tackle insecurity within my first year in office – Zamfara Gov
Zamfara State Governor, Alhaji Bello Muhammad (Matawallen Maradun) vowed to tackle the scourge of insecurity in Zamfara within his first year in office, lamenting the way armed bandits have taken over the state over the period of 10 years.
Claiming that insecurity had led to the death of no fewer than one million people and rendered thousands homeless, crippled and devastated the economic prosperity of the state, the governor warned local armed vigilante to stop taking laws into their hands and ordered that whoever kills any person illegally will face the wrath of the law.
I am governor for all —Ikpeazu
In Abia State, re-elected Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, said he is governor for all Abia people and would not discriminate against any person or group.
Speaking after taking his oath of office for his second tenure, Ikpeazu also said he did not take the bad blood and animosity generated by election campaigns personal and called on the opposition to join him in the development of the State.
“The elections naturally came with some bad blood and animosity but it is the nature of electioneering the world over and I do not take anything that transpired personal.
“As has always been my belief, we must be able and willing to separate electioneering from governance. Electioneering ends once a winner has been declared and governance begins. I am Governor, not just of those who voted for me, but of all Abians and residents of Abia State.
My mandate is for all and I shall do right to all. It is on that note that I wish to once again call on all those who contested the Governorship elections with me to come and join hands with me so that together, we can work for the benefit of Abians.
The administration, he further said would focus on strengthening the quantity and quality of education and improve massively the health care system.
“Beloved Abians, it is with a high sense of responsibility that I am therefore rededicating my services to you all my employers. And I stand here to pledge that I am ready to do more and I shall give my best to the service of this state.
“We have taken note of areas we fell short and ran an internal review of our processes with a view towards adjusting our systems to deliver better quality of service. We have noted areas we got it wrong and we are committed to make amends.
“The primary focus of our administration for the next four years will be consolidating on the achievements of our first tenure, completing all our ongoing projects and creating avenues for our teeming youths to have jobs and be self-sufficient. We are poised to create over one Million jobs before our tenure is over. Our administration is a trans-generational one. We will meet the needs of today while ensuring we lay solid foundations for the tomorrow of our children.’’
Security, education, job creation major parts of my 10-Point Agenda – Zulum
The new Governor of Borno State, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum has said that restoration of peace, quality education and job creation would form part of his 10- Point Agenda to reposition the state for the better.
He noted that the era of political thuggery a.k.a. ECOMOG which constituted nuisance in the state is over as the present administration would come up with a robust entrepreneurship skills to engage youths who are the leaders of tomorrow.
Zulum stated this at Ramat Square Maiduguri, Venue for the official handing over and swearing in ceremony as the elected governor by the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Kashim Zannah.
In his acceptance/inaugural speech which was hitherto disrupted by firing of tear gas to control the mammoth crowd, the new Governor said, apart from restoration of peace, education and job creation, his administration will have an inclusive government devoid of selfishness, political, religious or ethnic divides.
My next task, mission in Rivers – Wike
Governor Nyesom Wike, after taking oath of office for his second term, affirmed that his administration, in the first lap, did not complete and accomplished some of its mission.
Wike, who extended olive branch to his political opponents and promised to engage youths productively, said: “The next four years are pivotal as we consolidate on the progressive foundations of the last four years to take Rivers State through a greater era of achievements and progress, because making Rivers State the greatest State in Nigeria is a task that must be accomplished.
“Our economy is great but it should be greater and made more beneficial to all. And so we will continue to grow our economy, expand our tax base, provide a friendly business environment and attract foreign and local investments to create more jobs and empower our people.
“We will continue on the economic trajectory of fiscal discipline, prudence, prioritization of capital projects over recurrent and giving value for money spent in the delivery of services. We know we are developing, but it’s better and more result oriented if approached in an organized and strategic form.
“We will therefore adopt a holistic approach to development by partnering with relevant national and international agencies and expertise to initiate and implement a 25-years Marshall Plan for economic transformation and development to guide and accelerate the future development of our State.
“We are already doing great to close existing deficit in infrastructure but we need to deliver more roads, bridges and modern jetties to connect our communities, improve our economy, accelerate development and improve general well-being of our people. This we will do with greater vigour and commitment.”
“For too long, we have relied mostly on a single vanishing revenue source to fund development. We cannot continue in this economic folly, lest we remain forever vulnerable to the ripples, uncertainties and miseries of the mono-product based national economy.
Apart from oil and gas, Rivers State also has a vast agricultural potential, which has remained largely untapped for decades. It is about time we embraced green revolution as a strategic measure for achieving economic diversification, job creation and food security for the State and our people, and we are just ready to do that.
Our role will span from granting interest free loans to providing training, land preparation and logistical support to willing youths to invest in commercial agriculture and allied businesses. We will establish regional agricultural development belts in partnership with private firms to advance commercial farming in cash and other crops and invest in agro-allied industries and processing plants across these belts.
We’ll surpass first term performance, Emmanuel assures
Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has assured that his second term administration policy thrust would focus on surpassing the performance recorded in the first tenure.
Emmanuel, who cataloged the achievements recorded in all the sectors of the economy especially the industrial sector in the first term despite the economic recession in the country and lean resources available to the state, boasted that his administration was rearing for more in the second term.
The governor who gave the assurance while delivering his second term inaugural speech yesterday at Godswill Akpabio International Stadium Uyo noted that four years ago, when the people first entrusted him with their mandate, he came emboldened by the Five Point Agenda.
He added: “In my 2019 Manifesto which we christened Completion Agenda, I emphasized eight major policy thrusts: Industrialization, Aviation Development, Security, Infrastructure, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, Human Capacity Development, Agriculture, and Rural and Riverine Area Development.
“Most of these areas also formed the basis of our First Term policy direction. In our Completion Agenda, we will raise the bar of performance in all these areas and lift our state to such an enviable height that it will be the pride of the nation.’’
The governor promised that he would not fail the people as they have shown him that they believed and trusted in his leadership qualities to pilot the affairs of the state.
He also promised that he would continue to serve the people as their servant-Leader, in absolute humility and devotion to their needs and desires as well as appropriate the state resources improving living their condition, and secure the future for the children.