One Year of Inimitable Footprints of MMB in Office -By Abba Dukawa


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Abba Dukawa

Upon taking the Oath of Office on 29th May 2019, Governor Mai Mala Buni’s  address assured of the high anticipations from within and outside the state that their expectations for consolidation and continuity would not only be sustained, but new innovations introduced to change the lives of people of the state.  

He pledged to  the people of Yobe state  that his  administration will be responsive to the needs of the people and   will continue to pay special attention to security of lives and property, provide quality healthcare delivery, and improve education, agricultural production, infrastructural development, socio-economic development as well as youths and women empowerment.  Governor Mai Mala Buni  set out his priorities with a declaration of state of emergency on basic and secondary education. Other cardinal principles of his administration would be Resettlement, Reconstruction and Rehabilitation (R3), for the people affected by insurgency to live a life of honor and dignity. The administration also proffers its commitments to create employment opportunities to stimulate the economy for improved revenue generation, and industrialize the state for the greater wealth creation. 

This piece is going to be dissecting on how  the administration has fared in the last one year.

 Let me start with state’s Educational Sector.Yobe had been one of the educationally-disadvantaged states in the country.  To demonstrate his political will and commitment to the education sector, the sum of N22.8 billion out of the N108.4 billion 2020 budget was allocated to the sector.   Buni administration quickly organised a summit by pulling seasoned educationists and scholars to develop a realistic and sustainable approach that would fast-track basic education in the state. The summit birthed a working committee called the ‘Technical Committee to Revitalise Basic and Secondary Education’, which was charged with the responsibility of materialising the lofty recommendations of the education summit. The governor has already studied and approved the report, and instructed for specific course of action to be taken, including the recruitment of qualified teachers, establishment of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education schools, and there is justified hope that education in the state will witness an  outstanding uplift in the coming  years.

Health: As the saying goes, health is wealth;  Mala’s  administration considers it necessary to upgrade the capacities of health institutions in the State by providing state-of-the-art medical facilities and equipments to provide the best services to the people. Apart of upgrading the sector he also looks into the welfare of healthcare providers to enhance healthcare delivery. Mala’s administration is set to establish at least one functional primary Health Care Centre in each of the 178 wards of the State. Similarly, General hospitals are on course in the Local Government Headquarters where none exist to ease the burden of travelling long distances to access secondary healthcare services.  His administration   fast – tracked the establishment of the Contributory Health Management Agency and a Drugs and Consumables Management Agency to make the state eligible to access the basic healthcare provision fund. This was why the federal government and the World Bank  approved a grant of 29 million US dollars (or around N10.5 billion) to the  state for emerging as the overall best among the 36 states of the federation in the implementation of the Saving One Million Lives Programme.

Agricultural sector: Buni’s administration held  “Yobe Agricultural Retreat”,  the retreat aimed at assembling relevant stakeholders  to re-position agriculture and move it away from its current subsistence level to a commercial enterprise. The   Governor directing that a bag of the NPK varieties, which sells for N10, 000 in the open market, be sold to farmers at the subsidized rate of N3, 000 and also unveiled 103 Mercy Ferguson tractors which will be deployed to the 17 local government areas to be used by farmers’ associations to boost food production in the state. 
Rehabilitation and Recovery:  for the people affected by insurgency to live a life of honour and dignity and to accomplish his plan named – Resettlement, Reconstruction and Rehabilitation (R3 ) Governor Buni signed an agreement  with Family Homes Funds Ltd,  to construct 2, 600 housing units across the state. The houses, comprising two-bedroom and three-bedroom bungalows, will be built at the total cost of N10, 830, 339, 654.00 with an envisaged completion period of 18 months. 

Socio-economic development: within one year in review  he leaves no stone unturned in grassroots developments, socio-economic. Hon Buni wooing local and international investors toward invest in state deposits natural minerals resources like  the gypsum and limestone deposits. The stabilizer  Yobe governor   attended the 4th Istanbul Public Private Partnership [PPP] where the governor and the investor  discussed a wide ranging issues including the establishment of a cement factory in the state, financing of education and road projects and small business micro finance . Buni also met representative Qatari investors from the office of Sheikh Saoud Bin Nasser Bin Khalid al-Thani in Abuja aimed  to exploring an investing partnership to set up a cement company and meat processing factory in Yobe State.  Buni’s administration revived mariboud state own   Industries like Yobe Aluminum industry in Potiskum Yobe Flour Mill Industry in Potiskum and  Yobe Polythene and Woven Sack Company Damaturu.
State Internally Generated Revenue (IGR); towards improving  the state Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), Governor Mala Mai Buni has already provided 50 hectares of land in Potiskum for the construction of trailer park under the  Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement and the this Modern Trailer Park in Potiskum, would have   the distinction of being home to the highest number of trailer trucks in the whole of the North. The  project would projected to create over 5,000 direct jobs to the Yobean. This project  will  house mechanic village, hotels, fuel stations, among others. 
Security: the state had its own bitter  taste of horrendous experience of the Boko Haram insurgency, which claimed many innocent lives, rendered thousands of people as Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) had also destroyed several public and private properties. Today the  state had relatively enjoying peace as result of  stronger cooperation, collaboration and synergy between government and the security organizations. In fact  Yobe state Government  supported the Nigeria Army, Nigerian police and other security agencies with many Toyota Hilux  in tackling potential security threats , toward enhancing sustainable peace and security across the state. As result of this synergy many communities are librated which was   occupied by the insurgents and many  displaced persons have returned to their communities.  Buni’s administration   has greatly contributed to the success of the fighting the war against insurgency and subsequent other related insecurity in the state.

If the Almighty Allah wishes people good, He gives leadership in their affairs to the best of them. Such leaders would lead the community or State in the right path and put matters in correct places. His Excellency Hon Mala Buni    had indeed proved to be consolidator   of modem Yobe state. As an observer, since Governor Mai Mala Buni took over the affairs of Yobe State I can say Yobeans have greatly benefited from his stewardship by provided them with  devidents of democracy.
Dukawa can be reached