By Zakari Kafin hausa
When Governor Umar Namadi became the flag bearer for the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Jigawa State, virtually, all his challengers conceded and were discouraged from continuing the fight seeing the kind momentum and excitement his candidature arouse in the state. Aside from the top members, the party’s ranks and files were quick to rally around him by virtue of his humility, decency and the excellent record of dedication and commitment with which he conduct himself throughout his over 4 decades of public service.
For the five months at the helm of our affairs, Mallam Umar Namadi exemplified the trust reposed on him which has now endeared him to not only his party members but also, the opposition and the fence seaters for displaying a unique and uncommon leadership, encapsulating what the humble people of Jigawa have been yarning for.
As a first term governor, Mallam Umar Namadi has shown that he is a dedicated leader committed to bettering the lives of the downtrodden. He reorganized, perhaps, one of the derelict civil services in the country where workers unjustifiable absconded from duty while receiving monthly salaries. Within this period he made sure that the laxity had stopped in the state, and paycheck must be earned.
Mallam Umar’s mission and vision which are practicable as encapsulated in an integrated 12-point agenda titled “Greater Jigawa Agenda”, has since made an impact in the lives of commoners who have been touched in every sector of the socio-economic set-up.
Mallam’s experience as a classroom teacher, chartered accountant, businessman and consummate public servant is being brought to bear in the management of Jigawa State, shaping the state’s economic and financial policies in ensuring prudence and accountability that every kobo released must not only be accounted for but must also be justified and made impact on the lives of the governs.
Since he assumed office, Mallam Namadi has undertaken unscheduled visits to schools to ascertain the magnitude of their challenges. Despite competing demands for scarce resources in other sectors of the economy and social services, his government has swung into action through judicious utilisation of available funds to equally transform education to the admiration and amazement of keen observers in the state.
Governor Namadi’s preference for education is perhaps the reason why he assembled, inarguably, the most inspiring team of educationists in the history of our dear state. With 6 PhDs in the cabinet and as head of critical agencies in the sector, the Governor has set the pace for the total and complete overhaul and reform of the sector. The result is being manifested. He has increased up to 100 per cent in scholarships for students of tertiary institutions, employment/conversion of 3000 J-Teach teachers to permanent and pensionable teachers, as well as engagement of another 3000 J-Teach teachers to address the teacher-student ratio gap in the state, equally procuring instructional materials to schools at all levels.
Others include the splitting of the Ministry of Education into two for improved services across the education sector – Ministry of Basic Education and Ministry of Secondary and Higher Education, increasing the actual feeding cost by up to 40% across the boarding schools in the state, approved the deployment of 1,973 graduates from the Ministry of Basic Education to Ministry of Higher Education, – construction of 156 new classrooms, – renovating of 221 classrooms, construction of 40 Blocks of 4 cubicle toilets and 68 Hand – pumps Boreholes and procurement of 14,016 sets of classroom furniture.
In the area of agriculture, deliberate policies, capable of strengthening the state’s position as one of the food baskets of the country, are being unrolled, and the sector is already witnessing massive transformation as fertilizers were made available at a very subsidized amount, farm inputs were purchased and distributed to boost food production and promote self-reliance as part of palliatives following the removal of fuel subsidy.
Provision of improved seeds and other farm implements at an affordable and accessible price. The procurement of 54 tractors to 27 Local Government Areas aims to empower local farmers to facilitate farming activities in the state and attract 50 companies that will invest in the state agro-business and mining sector. Perhaps, it is in recognition of Malam Umar’s commitment to Agriculture that Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari visited Jigawa State to inspect the location of the 70,000-hectare federal government wheat farming project.
As a leader and administrator, Mallam Umar Namadi is working relentlessly, initiating reforms and fortifying capacity-building measures with the knowledge that it takes institutions, not individuals, to build enduring systems that can change the course of history. His, is a throne of the people. His thoughts and wishes allowed him to be bent towards the people’s satisfaction.
He makes decisions based on what is good for the people. He has put his head high up and refused to surrender to cynics, critics and political merchants.
In terms of partnerships with agencies of the federal government and international development partners, the Jigawa State government have partnered with NEPZA to revamp Maigatari Free Trade Zone For Improved Economic Activities. Recently, the WAMY Director of education was in Jigawa, in recognition of Namadi’s initiatives in youth’s empowerment and education, where he pledged his organisation’s commitment to establish an Islamic university in Jigawa state. Other initiatives and partnerships include, signing of MoU with Zinder State of Niger republic on Integrated Livestock and Pastoralism, approval to the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) for the establishment of first ‘Halal Lab’ In Jigawa, securing 3.1 million vaccines for the fight against Diphtheria by UNICEF.
The health sector also witnessed sizable milestones which include approval for the NPHCDA to disbursement of N84,510,750.00 for the direct facility financing to 281 accredited PHCs across the 281 wards in the State for the 3rd quarter of 2023 and partnered with WAMY for free Eye Surgery and Drugs to 2,000 patients in Jigawa State. The state has just released its N250 million counterpart funds for the purchase of RUTF to fight child malnutrition.
In his effort to enhance employment and empowerment, Mallam Namadi established the Jigawa State Youth Employment and Empowerment Agency, empowering 1,000 Women with 50,000 each startup capital, empowering 1,500 youth with take of grant of N50,000 each to improve their businesses, Trains of 240 Youths in Different Skills With Start-Up Kits and resuscitation Of Skills Acquisition Centers Across The State, Support 1,000 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) under the J-Cares Program with financial assistance of N100,000, to boast their operations and growth prospects.
Other achievements include the construction of over 100km of embankment around flood-prone communities, the Reintroduction of monthly environmental Sanitation exercises, distribution of several items as palliatives to less privileged individuals, aged groups and people living with disabilities.
Undoubtedly, Mallam Umar Namadi, true his name and reputation has shown total devotion and dedication to duty and will continue in the pursuit of justice and dignity of his people. He stood his higher ground on a pedestal that genuinely represented the path of reason, morality and humility. Whatever task he chooses to undertake, he approaches it with the same dedication, sincerity and consistency.
Kafin hausa wrote in from Dutse.