Published On: Tue, May 31st, 2016

Gov Masari’s administration is meeting peoples expectation – Info Comm

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Hamza Muhammad Brodo is the current Commissioner of Information in Katsina State. In this interview with selected journalists, Brodo spoke on the one year achievements of Governor Masari’s administration. Lawal Sai’du was there.

It is one year since the current administration in Katsina state came to power. Do you think it has lived up to the people’s expectations?

Well without being immodest, the government has been able to justify the confidence of the people and, within the last one year, able to successfully meet the expectations of the people. This was done to through the implementation of programmes and policies that are currently improving the living standards of the good people of Katsina state. The administration began by taking clinical analysis of the situation it inherited and there is no point repeating the fact that the level of rot inherited was alarming. But then his Excellency has set different machineries in motion with a view to putting the state on sound pedestal of growth and development.

People need to appreciate the fact that this administration came at the time the nation’s revenue from the major source of its income that is, the petroleum product, is declining rapidly. Of course this has a tell-tale effect on the way the government performs as far as service delivery is concerned. But this notwithstanding, the administration of our able governor has remained committed to its task of restoring the lost glory of Katsina state and has been making appreciable progress in the areas of health, education, agriculture, water supply and security among others.

In the area of education, the Masari led administration has successfully renovated and upgraded different schools across the state, procured tables and chairs for schools, teaching and learning equipments are being procured and teachers are regularly being recruited to augment the alarming dearth of teachers across primary and post primary schools. Just recently, His Excellency directed that over six hundred local government staffs that have teaching qualifications should be posted to teach in schools. Of course this will also boost the state’s teacher population.

In our tertiary institutions, funds have been made available for infrastructural upgrade and other necessities needed for effective accreditation of courses. The list is endless. As a matter of fact, to demonstrate his commitment to education, the governor allocated the lion share of the 2016 budget to the sector. Another critical sector that received and has continued to get deserved attention is the health sector.

After an assessment of the situation on ground, the government released about two billion naira as special intervention fund to help reposition health care delivery. At the moment, three premier hospitals in Daura, Katsina and Funtua, are undergoing renovation, remodeling and redesigning with a view to making them at par with modern centres of health care delivery. Once works on the remodeling are completed, all the necessary equipments will be provided. To address the challenges of shortage of health personnel, government is already finalising plans to recruit personnel across all cadres. Within the last one year, this administration restored Water supply to Daura and Malumfashi. Specifically, the Malumfashi water scheme was neglected for long but upon assumption to office, the governor said the situation must change and indeed it has. Different water schemes across the state have been resuscitated and people now enjoy water supply.

Places like Dutsinma, people now enjoy close to twelve hours of water supply. Plans have been concluded to sink more boreholes across the state. Interestingly, contract has been awarded contract for the rehabilitation of the Ajiwa Water works to restore it to its capacity of providing 11 Million litres to Katsina city and environs. This is the first overhaul the dam is getting since its construction in the last forty years. Perhaps you may recall that this administration came with the zeal to restore the lost glory of Katsina state. Good enough, Governor Masari has remained committed to his promises of restoration and this is exemplified in the numerous policies and programmes being implemented across different parts of the state.

Traditionally, celebrating one year in office is often associated with commissioning of projects. How comes the state government has not commissioned any project?

First of all, let me state candidly that I hold the opinion that there is nothing special in rushing to commission projects. Having said that, let us not forget that Governor Masari met an almost empty treasury with huge liability of pension and gratuity. As a matter of fact, we inherited a liability of pension and gratuity to the tune of N11 billion. So as a rational government, the first thing to do was to carefully analyse the situation of ground, and pay this people, some of whom have died in pain living behind dependants, their entitlements. Aside from this, the government embarked on numerous economic empowerment programmes where different youths were trained and supported with funding to engage in different skills and trade including farming. As a matter of fact, the list is endless. All this were done with the meagre resources. So naturally, project execution began fully a little later in the last one year. Because of this, most of the projects are at different stages of completion. In fact, some have reached over seventy percent completion. In any case, we don’t believe in rushing to commission projects because, this administration is not keen about impressing anybody rather, the concern is on how to deliver quality service for the good people of the state and at the end, live behind a lasting legacy. But if you must know, very soon we will start commissioning most of these projects.

In spite of all you said, the residents are concerned that the change the government promised them appears slow in coming?

It is understandable that people share such concerns because naturally, people want quick fix to their problems. The desire for change is high. And so a lot of people want government to perform magic in a manner that they will wake up and see sudden transformation all over the places. But you see this is not possible. Government is battling with meagre resources in the face of contending demands so the most rational thing to do is to prioritise. The change may be slow but it is surely coming. In Katsina, Our Governor has laid solid foundation for the full implementation of the restoration agenda. Patience and support of the citizens is all that is needed.

While most states owe workers salaries running into months, Katsina is not indebted to its workers and as you said, has been dutiful in executing projects in the midst of scarce resource. What is the secret?

Basically, the secret is prudent resource management. It is true that workers receive their salaries as and at when due in Katsina state. In fact, the state government has, over the last couple of months, been supporting some local governments that had shortfall in their salaries. Don’t forget, our share from the federation account keeps declining due to the dwindling prices of oil but through prudent resource management and careful planning, government has been living up to its responsibilities in paying salaries and wages of its workforce and, in executing people-oriented projects. More than anything else, this has exposed our leader, Governor Masari, as an attested resource manager who has is diligently managing both human and material resources of Katsina state for the realisation of his laudable restoration agenda.

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