A Bauchi State Government delegation has arrived China to sign a partnership agreement worth $27.5 billion investment in solid minerals to explore selected minerals and establish a Pithead Power Plant project that will contribute 3,500 megawatts of electricity to the National grid in partnership with a Chinese consortium of investors.
A press statement signed and made available to journalists by the press secretary to Governor Mohammed Abubakar, Abubakar Al-Sadique, states that the governor stated this while presenting his score card in the second-year anniversary of his administration.
The statement which quoted Governor Abubakar of as saying his administration has delivered given the paucity of resources, unrealistic monthly wage bill of over N5 billion and corruption in the system, revealed that the projects when completed will generate 10,000 direct and indirect employments to unemployed youth in the State. The statement further revealed that in addition to generating over $250 million annually from the project, the consortium will construct a 2,500 bed General Hospital with matching facilities worth $30 million to the host communities as its corporate social responsibility which will benefit the people of the state and entire north-east region.
Governor Abubakar said a special purpose vehicle, the Bauchi Mining Synergy and Exploration Limited, has been established to serve as framework for Public-Private-Partnership to acquire mining rights of virgin minerals terrain and take over all viable titles that failed to meet the Mineral and Mining Act of 2007 requirement.
The governor explained that a memorandum of understanding has been signed with the World Bank that will allow the state to access $50 million grant for rural roads construction, pointing out that all these are in tandem with the mission and vision of the administration anchored on the policy thrust of the APC’s change mantra that mainly focuses on the “provision of security, healthcare delivery, education, tackling unemployment through youth and women empowerment, infrastructural development, and human capital development”.
He stressed that the “influx of Internally Displaced Persons into the state as well as beehive of activities of government and non-governmental organizations in the State is a testimony of the peaceful disposition of the State, which was achieved through synergy and effective liaison with security agencies as well as non-conventional security outfits, traditional, religious and community leaders”.
Governor Abubakar noted that in an effort to maintain security in the state, Bauchi State government in the last two years provided 624 hectares of land and paid compensation worth over N400 million for the establishment of the Nigerian Air Force Base in the state which provided employment opportunities to the people of the state.
The governor recalled that no meaningful development could be achieved without adequate security, which he said informed his administration’s decision to provide 25 Hilux pickup vehicles equipped with modern communication gadgets to security agencies and distributed 30 motor cycles to the Nigerian Army to assist in them in reaching out to places where motor vehicles cannot access due to bad terrain.
Governor Abubakar said in spite of the huge monthly salary bill of over N5 billion for an over-bloated workforce on the payroll of the state, the government is up-to date in paying workers’ salaries, assuring that efforts are being made to reduce government’s over-reliance on allocations from the federation accounts by diversifying the state sources of revenue. He said government had committed 16 per cent of budgetary allocation in the 2016 and 2017 financial years to the health sector, stressing that the 5-point health agenda of the administration, Lafiya Garkuwa, was launched to strengthen primary healthcare services with particular emphasis on diseases affecting maternal, new born and child population as well as routine immunization.
Similarly, the statement quoted the governor as saying the administration had within the period under review established the Bauchi State College of Nursing and Midwifery and facilitated the accreditation of its courses in order to increase manpower in the health sector, while providing medical care to under-fives, maternal, neonatal, and child-health. Governor Abubakar said his administration has been consistent in the release of counterpart funding in 2016 while 60 per cent of 2017 for the routine immunization basket funds for the memorandum of understanding with Bill and Melinda Gates and Dangote Foundations has been paid.
In the education sector, Mr. Abubakar said 400 teachers have been trained on improved teaching technique and train-the-trainers workshop on effective teaching and learning method, while other 5,414 teachers have been trained in 1,805 schools across the state that seeks to improve enrolment, retention and completion of the girl-child in schools.
Mr. Abubakar revealed that classrooms are being renovated in both primary and junior secondary schools to become learner-friendly, while another 799 classrooms have been constructed or renovated and supplied with 34,876 different categories of furniture under the State Universal Basic Education, SUBEB projects just as counterpart funds for 2016 UBE matching grants have been released.
He noted that construction of the Faculty of Agriculture of the State University and the permanent site of the university have all been completed and are awaiting commissioning, while massive infrastructural developments in tertiary institutions in the state through the TETFund intervention have been carried out in other institutions. He said the state government had supplied over 25,000 metric tons of assorted fertilizer worth N2 billion and distributed to farmers across the state during the 2015-2016 farming season.
He further said efforts of the administration in other critical areas that have started yielding dividends are deals the administration sealed, through public-private-partnership with investors, for the establishment of sugar refinery plant and plantation in Warji Local Government Area worth $200 million which has the capacity to generate 7,000 jobs and contribute $50 million to the Internally Generated Revenue of the state, 53 megawatts power supply to the state. He further revealed that about N24 million has released for reconditioning of 3.0 MVA power transformer to serve as standby to the 5.0 MVA power transformer at Gubi Dam, while laboratory reagents and other chemicals are being supplied for the treatment of water.
Governor Abubakar said through the State Rural Water and Sanitation Agency, RUWASSA, provision of rural water, including the construction of 1,248 hand pump boreholes across the 20 LGAs, construction of 15 solar/motorized power water supply schemes and rehabilitation of 72 existing motorized/solar powered water schemes and 1,268 hand pump boreholes have been carried out in various parts of the State.
He noted that 4,732 jobs have been created for Bauchi State indigenes through the public works components of the World Bank supported Youth Empowerment and Social Support Operation, with a monthly stipend of N7,500 and 11,615 are expected to be the next batch of beneficiaries.
The statement also quoted the governor as saying that conditional grants scheme of N600,000 was released as counterpart funding for the 2015 CGS projects under the sustainable development goals, with the construction of 19 primary healthcare centres with staff quarters and VIP toilets, drilling and installation of 33 solar-powered boreholes, drilling and installation of 57 hand pumps, and supply of hospital equipment to 19 PHC.
Governor Abubakar commended the federal government for the “intervention in similar projects such as the recently flagged off road projects by Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara traversing Dass-Wandi to end at Bundot”, promising to push for the funding of the road linking Futuk to Mansur in Alkaleri Local Government Area by the federal government.
While calling for continuous support of the people of the state and all Nigerians to the APC governments at various levels, the governor urged Nigerians to remain steadfast in committing the quick recovery of President Muhammadu Buhari and the nation in their daily prayers and promised his administration’s commitment to the execution of projects.