By Patrick Nwabueze
When Governor Atiku Badugu took over the reins of state authority on May 29th 2015, Kebbi state was indeed in a parlous state as the condition of educational, health, power, agriculture, roads and water borehole infrastructure was nothing to write home about and something needed to be done to drastically turn around conditions in the Land of Equity if the long suffering citizens were to be accorded a new lease of life and hope for a better future.
Any other leader would have been daunted by the scale of seemingly insurmountable obstacles facing the newly sworn in administration but rather than being fazed by the enormous challenges at hand, the action oriented Atiku Badugu swung into action to take democratic dividends delivery to the people to the next level. In the critical arena of road construction, the kinetic governor decided to take immediate action to rehabilitate the long neglected state road network in order to raise it to world standards by embarking on the
repair of the pothole riddled Koko-Mahuta-Dabai road at a cost of 200 million naira, the construction of a bridge on the Shema-Bakoshi road at a cost of 50 million naira through the Nigeria Army Corps of Engineers, and also completed the repair of bridges along the Giro and Ka’oje-Illo road.
Also the Bagudu government has constructed culverts and a 2.0 kilometer erosion control project in Bunza town at a cost of over 464
million naira, the Kwanar Dabai – Zuru township road awarded at a cost of 226 million naira to Habib Engineering Ltd has reached 95%
completion, work is also progressing on the Moga – Riba road and 56.8 km Riba – Bena road projects. Other road projects that the progressive Atiku Bagudu has also initiated is the construction and completion of the access road between Mechanic village, Birnin Kebbi by CNIC at cost of over 236 million, the 31km Jega township
road at a cost 582 million, construction work at Tudun Wada road in Binin Kebbi metropolis at a cost of over N414m, while also taking over and completing the Sabiyel-Kashin Zama road abandoned by the lacklustre and incompetent Usman Dakingari administration, Other road projects that Governor Atiku Bagudu has spearheaded include the rehabilitation of Sultan Abubalar road, the First Bank
roundabout-Sir Yahaya roundabout and the Ahmadu Bello way, extension of the Rafin Barau outfall down to the Fadama area at a cost of over 376m to address the problem of persistent flooding in Birnin Kebbi town. More road projects that Governor Atiku Bagudu has declared a priority is the Badariya-Kola Zuguru road and the construction of access road at the Adamu Aliero Housing Estate
(completed) and also the provision of access roads at Gwadangayi quarters while compensation of 240 million naira has been paid to the property owners affected by the construction of the various infrastructural projects.
On the crucial arena of housing, a foresighted Atiku Bagudu has not been caught flat footed as he has allocated 10 hectares of land at Gwadanji to the Federal Government for its mass housing project, 140 applications have been processed for the grant of statutory rights of occupancy 20 applications for consent for mortgages and 88 certificates of occupancy processed. Also the construction of a new Government House, Deputy Governor’s house, House of Assembly quarters, Stadium, Amusement Parks, Solar Plants site and Housing Project are soon to commence. Having studied the persistent challenges of providing adequate water supply, Barrister Atiku Bagudu decided to tackle them frontally by allocating the sum of N230m for the expansion and renovation of broken down water supply schemes across the state including motorized, solar operated
and hand pumped boreholes, 153.7 million naira for the procurement of water treatment chemicals, 93.5 million naira for the improvement of water supply to Yari town as well as 36.7 million naira on repairs of broken pipes at Aliero quarters, Birnin Kebbi affected by ongoing road construction.
In the area of adequate power supply, the Kebbi people are enjoying a new lease of life as the Rural Electricity Board has expended huge sums of money on the repair of high tension lines, the connection of Equality Fm Radio and other communities to the national grid, improvement of electricity supply to Gwandu town, 50 million naira spent on electricity supply to the Adamu Augie College Of Education, Argungu, supply of 30 units of assorted transformers at a cost of 116.5 million naira in the first phase and supply of 40 units at 150 million naira in the second phase. Another 11 million naira has been released for the installation and labour cost of 500 KVA transformers installed at Hajiya Turai Yar Adua General Hospital, Zaura/Ambursa; Haliru Abdu Secretariat in Birnin Kebbi and two others to service Jega town. Other areas that received the transformers are Gamji Gulumbe, Birnin Kebbi Local Govt Area, Zara Birni, Gumbin Kure, Kuberi, Giwa-Tazo, Kalgo as well as in Nakagan and Kwali – Kwali in Dandi LGA. Having the motto health is wealth as part of his policy thrust desiderata, Governor Atiku Bagudu has made concerted efforts to improve the health indices of the populace as well as up lift the health institutions of the state through interventions and partnerships with local, national and international bodies and agencies. He has directed the deployment of mobile health teams with support from EU- UNICEF to deliver services such as treatment of minor ailments, immunization, iron
and vitamin A supplementation, birth registration and health promotion to strengthen the community linkages and uptake of integrated PHC services through outreaches to 225 hard to reach settlements as part of the state government’s commitment towards
achieving universal health coverage of the federal government. Also the state government has sponsored free cancer screening activities and treatment across the state to improve women and children health, facilitated the accreditation exercise of the School of Health Technology, Jega to the College Of Health Sciences through procurement of needed machinery and facilities. Renovate room and the maternity ward labour room and antenatal care at the Argungu General Hospital and paid out its counterpart fund for measles, cerebro spiral meningitis, Maternal New Born And Child Heath Week And EU-UNICEF MNCH Program In Kebbi State. The
Atiku Bagudu administration has also identified and established 21 basic obstetric emergency care facilities one per L.G.A to promote the basic heath of the citizens, partnered with the Moses Lake Medical and Albashir International Hospital team to provide free heath care services to about 14,000 people across the state and in order to correct the dearth of qualified heath care manpower the government has encouraged scholarship through the purchase of essential and required books for the schools of Nursing and Midwifey, Birnin Kebbi Library and also procured uniforms for nurses, midwives and hospital orderlies across the state. In the agricultural sector, Government Atiku Bagudu has received deserved accolades and commendation for sign posting an agrarian revolution in rice production thus turning Kebbi State into the largest rice producing state. In Nigeria, his appointment as the Chairman Of The Presidential Task Force on Rice and Wheat Production: Indeed Governor Atiku Bagudu achieved this herculean feat by initiating an agricultural revitalization, transformation and diversification drive through partnerships with the Bank of Agriculture, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and the Central Bank of
Nigeria and the launching of the Anchor Borrowers Programme aimed at production of food, jobs creation, income generation and self sufficiency by President Mohammedu Buhari.
Over 3 million tonnes of rice has been produced and over 700,000 farmers mobilized in Atiku Bagudu’s amazing rice revolution which has attracted investors from within and outside the nation thus turning Kebbi in to an enviable hub for rice and wheat production sale and distribution. His epoch making partnership with Lagos state to produce the much heralded LAKE RICE has forced down the price of the grain throughout the nation thus leading to him being named the Vanguard Leadership Newspapers Governor of the Year and Person of the Year respectively.