By Emeka Nwankpa
It is another auspicious and glorious moment for the people of Bauchi State as the purposeful and vision-driven government of Mallam (Dr.) Isa Yuguda rolls out several successfully-completed projects for official commissioning by Vice President Namadi Sambo who is billed to embark on a two-day state visit to the state.
It is a testimony of a governor’s patient, patriotic and pain-staking commitment to the collective progress, growth and development of his people as appreciation for his people’s unanimous electoral choice of his gubernatorial candidature in 2007 and re-election in 2011.
More significant also to observers in the Development community is Isa Yuguda Administration’s sustained and systematic pursuit of an ambitious programme of opening up the state to genuine investors both local and foreign moreso after Bauchi State continues to be rated by the World Bank as one of the most investment friendly states in Nigeria and particularly as the potential investment capital of the North.
It is therefore not by accident that the state is not only the “Home of Peace and Hospitality” but also “The Pearl of Tourism” where its unique hospitality finds robust expression in the attribute and character of Isa Yuguda as a soft but focussed personality, a trait which he has allowed to permeate his administration.
It is to his credit as an apostle of peace for progress in the state that in the midst of all anti-peace schemings such as including Boko Haram, Nigeria’s worst post-civil war challenge, Bauchi State has remained peaceful, stable and strong.
This is indeed what appears as the central message in the array of people-oriented projects and facilities being officially-commissioned after their successful completion at record time. It is also a message that Bauchi State under Mallam (Dr.) Isa Yuguda is indeed in a hurry to live up to its name as the investment capital of the North, nay Nigeria.
There are over 30 projects listed for commissioning, according to the committee raised by the governor to coordinate the programmes under the coordination of the Secretary to the State Government, Barr. Ahmed Ibrahim Dandija who is believed to have played significant roles in the successful completion of the projects through constant inspection, diligent supervision and timely execution.
Top on the list of these projects are the Yankari National Park, Bauchi State University, Bauchi General Hospital, Bauchi Community Radio Station, Sangaya Koranic School in Buzaye, Giade-Isawa-Azare Road, Kafin-Zaki-Dam and the 300-bed Bauchi Specialist Hospital. The list is endless.
Two other key projects which are said to be dear to the heart of the governor, according to a member of the planning committee are the Bauchi International Airport and the Yankari Power Plant. Work on both projects, he said, has gone quite far in spite of unforeseen challenges.
“His Excellency, Mallam (Dr.) Isa Yuguda has left none in doubt that both the international airport and the power projects hold the key to the final opening up of Bauchi State to the whole world. It is also instructive to note that the governor has been able to align such projects to other equally important projects that directly touch on the lives and wellbeing of the Bauchi people. As a people-oriented leader and an investment specialist, he has been able to align all the goals and harness resources in such a seamless manner that the state still continues to meet all its obligations effectively. He has earned our total respect”, he said.
He further disclosed that the governor conceived the idea of the airport since 2000 when he was Minister of Aviation, noting that he actually went very far to prepare the ground for it. He remarked that because of the importance of the project, he got a team which reports directly to him regularly. He is on top of it.
On the power project, he said that the governor also raised another team comprising a German-based power specialist since 2008 to develop a workable roadmap bearing in mind the state’s peculiar lean finances. He is bent on building the plant based on his conviction on its success and investment potentials for the state.
“The governor has further proved through this power project to be a man of his word having made it a campaign promise. In fact, by the way and manner he has been pursuing this key project he has proved many cynics wrong. In his subtle, steady and stable manner, he has caught many unawares such that it is now clear to all and sundry that this power project is indeed real”, the source said.
Only recently, the governor told reporters in Abuja after a meeting with a delegation of a Chinese consortium working on the 140 megawatts capacity gas turbine plant that his government would soon award the contract valued at $201 million (about N31.7 billion). He also said that the power project and the international airport would cost an estimated sum of N44billion on completion.
“The Yankari power plant project is important not only for Bauchi but for the nation at large as Bauchi has the capacity to consume only 40 per cent of generated megawatts while the remaining 60 per cent would be sold to the national grid”, the governor told newsmen, adding that the China Exim Bank is involved in the project funding.
According to him, Bauchi state government was pleased to secure the blessing of the Federal Government and the National Assembly through the granting of a sovereign guarantee. Consequently, the project timeline of 18 months has been reduced to 9 months.
It is this ecstatic mood in Bauchi that awaits the Vice President, Arc. Namadi Sambo when he arrives the historic state tomorrow. The choice of the Vice President to visit the state is well-placed. As a professional architect, he is technically knowledgable to appreciate what Governor Isa Yuguda, the visionary architect of the modern state of Bauchi is doing for his people and environment.
Nwamkpa wrote in from Abuja
Category: Bauchi State News