By Ndahi Marama – Maiduguri
Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State has expended a total sum of N5 billion in reactivation and equipping of secondary and primary healthcare institutions across 178 wards since January to December 2020.
The administration has also concluded arrangement to recruit 3,000 primary and post-primary teachers in the year 2021, as well as reformation of the Almajiri system mostly those who were repatriated back home from other states of the North due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Commissioner of Home Affairs, Information and Culture, Hon Abdullahi Bego, made the revelation during ‘2020/ End of Year Scorecard’ of the Governor while briefing Journalists at CEDARS HALL, Damaturu, the state capital.
He said, the N5 billion was transparently utilised in construction of Maternal and New-Born Child Health Care Complex at The Teaching Hospital Damaturu, upgrading of Machina and Yusufari Health Centres to General Hospitals, and upgrading of Health Care Centres in all the Wards which cuts across the 17 Local Government Areas of the state.
Other interventions in the health sector according to Bego was the refurbishment, rehabilitation, expansion and construction of 39 new Doctors Quarters, free treatment for accident and bomb blast victims, 100 per cent increase in monthly allowance of nursing students and construction of 200-bed capacity students’ hostel storey building at Dr Shehu Sule College of Nursing and Midwifery, purchases of project vehicles and 39 customised tricycle ambulances among others.
His words: “Today’s press briefing served as a recap to what most of you have reported through your various medium in the last one year despite the challenges we all faced as government and journalists.
“I want to start by commending all media practitioners working in the state for your resilience as you have never run out of the state due to Boko Haram or the COVID-19 global pandemic.
“I also want to commend our security agencies and vigilantes for their untiring efforts towards securing the lives and property of the citizenry and the good working relationship that exists between Governor Buni-led administration, security operatives and the media.
“During the year under review this government has judiciously expended about N5 billion in construction of Maternal and Newborn Child Health Care Complex at the Teaching Hospital Damaturu, upgrading of machina and Yusufari Health Centres to General Hospitals, upgrading of health care centres in all the wards which cuts across the 17 Local Government Areas of the state.
Beside, the Commissioner recalled that when Buni takes over the mantle of leaderahip precisely in 2019, he declared a ‘State of Emergency’ in the Education Sector, had a summit which led to establishment of high powered Committee to resuscitate the decay in the sector.
The Committee which was chaired by the former Vice Chancellor, University of Maiduguri, Professor Mala Daura sat and made some valued recommendations, in which, Governor Buni immediately approved the implementation of the report that was constituted to revitalize basic and secondary education in the state.
“The present administration has constrcuted more schools and classrooms and renovation of existing ones In 17 LGAs, including fencing of five model primary schools in five Council areas.
“Seven model schools completed in Damaturu, Gaidam, Gashu’a, Nguru, two (2) in Potiskum and Buni-Yadi, this is in addition to 7 mega schools currently ongoing. The model schools will start operations in first quarter of 2021, even as government plans to recruit up to 3,000 new teachers to address acute shortage of teachers in 2021 respectively.
“Another mile stone recorded was the construction Of 8 Blocks of Upstairs (38 classrooms, 12 offices, 18 toilets), 4 Flat Blocks (24 classrooms, 6 toilets 6 offices), 69 Yobe indigenes were sponsored to Law School.
“Additionally, 204 Yobe Youths were sponsored for Undergraduate Courses to India And Asian Countries (to leave within the new year if situation permits) as well as approved N200 million for 2018/2019 Scholarship Students among others,” he stated.
In road projects, Bego said, “Township Roads and concrete drainages across Buniyadi, Damagum, Jajimaji, and Babbangida were completed in addition to construction of 16km New Roads from Nguru to Balanguwa, 25.5km Dual Carriage Damaturu to Kalallawa and 3.6km Runway for cargo airport.
“Likewise, construction of Link Road to Cargo Airport, 2.4km Concrete Drainage and 1.2km road linking Mallummatari with Gujba road, 1.0km road and 2.0km concrete drainage linking Obasanjo estate to Mallumatari, Damagum-Gubana 12km road, 40km Gujba-Mutai Road and 18km road and Garin Bingel to Garin Abba and Danchuwa road projects among others were carried out by the present administration.”
The Commissioner, however, said the 2020 is a roller-coaster of a year, a year of the Coronavirus pandemic and global economic recession in which Yobe State has made some major progress but was held back by equally major challenges.
He, therefore, called on the people of the state particularly his critics who were bent on mischief to desist henceforth, by alleging that the Governor spend much of his time attending to national politics rather than giving more attention to state matter as National Caretaker Committee Chairman of the ruling APC.
He said despite the responsibilities placed on Governor Buni, the 2020 state budget performance stands at 94.92 percent.
The Commissioner insisted that Governor Buni had no choice than to accept the offer as leader of the Caretaker Committee Chairman of the APC due to exigencies at the moment and as networker.