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Published On: Mon, Sep 25th, 2017

A Speech Presented By His Excellency, The Executive Governor Of Katsina State Rt. Hon. Aminu Bello Masari, Dallatun Katsina During A Lecture To Mark The Thirtieth Anniversary Of The Creation Of Katsina State, September 23, 2017

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It is my great pleasure to welcome you to this historic occasion where all sons and daughters of Katsina State are celebrating 30th Anniversary. Specifically, I wish to acknowledge with appreciation the presence of friends of Katsina State: His Excellency, the Governor of Zamfara State, Alhaji Abdul’aziz Yari and the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum; His Excellency, the Governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Aminu Waziri Tambuwal; His Excellency, the Governor of Kebbi State, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu; and His Excellency the Governor of Jigawa State Alhaji Badaru Abubakar.It is my great pleasure to welcome you to this historic occasion where all sons and daughters of Katsina State are celebrating 30th Anniversary. Specifically, I wish to acknowledge with appreciation the presence of friends of Katsina State: His Excellency, the Governor of Zamfara State, Alhaji Abdul’aziz Yari and the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum; His Excellency, the Governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Aminu Waziri Tambuwal; His Excellency, the Governor of Kebbi State, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu; and His Excellency the Governor of Jigawa State Alhaji Badaru Abubakar.Today it is exactly thirty years since Katsina State was created together with Akwa Ibom State by the Military Regime of General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida. As the current Executive Governor of Katsina State, I have the privilege and singular honor to welcome you to today’s event which is part of the activities designed to celebrate this historic anniversary. The creation of Katsina State out of Kaduna State was not only historic but remarkable as well. The significance of this achievement for the people of the new State was enormous. It heralded the dawn of a new administrative structure in which for the first time in history we held in our hands the keys to the doors of our success. We became directly responsible for our success or otherwise. Our destiny was in our hands. Quite naturally, expectations were incredibly high. For millions of Katsinawa and Daurawa, statehood meant the promise of instant and radical social transformation, economic opportunities and empowerment, greater political participation and inclusion, and easier access to educational opportunities, social justice, and affordable primary healthcare.Our leaders and other eminent Daurawa and Katsinawa that led the movement for the creation of Katsina State and who equally participated in laying the first rudimentary structures and institutions of governance for the baby State were not ignorant of those expectations. In fact, the gusto with which they took over and laid a solid foundation for the State was an enduring testimony to their sacrifice and commitment. Today, it is not debatable to say that the grand vision for a strong, inclusive, just and financially vibrant and independent State which these founding fathers envisaged for the State is very much alive. Sadly, it is also not debatable that the achievements recorded by the State over the last three decades have failed to match this grand vision.Poverty is still wide and prevalent among our people, especially those living in the rural communities. Gainful employment and other economic opportunities are few and far-in-between to adequately cater for all our youths. Healthcare remains out of reach for ordinary people. Education, which for centuries raised the profile of Katsina and its people throughout the Bilad Sudan, became out of reach for the poor. Agriculture which served majority of our people for ages, providing them with honest income and ensuring food security for them almost collapsed. On top of all that, government which is expected to be sensitive, responsive, just and fair to all and sundry transformed itself into an unresponsive and unjust behemoth that promotes impunity, condones corruption and celebrates bad governance.These constituted the fundamental concerns when our administration came on board in May, 2015. Realizing the enormity of the challenges and what needs to be done to resuscitate the vision of our founding leaders, we were compelled to dub our administration as restorative one and the agenda we pursue as Restoration Agenda. Essentially, our administration is convinced that any effort or attempt, deliberate and conscious, to propel Katsina State to greater heights must start with an honest and painstaking attempt to restore its lost glory. Success in the future depends solely on how successful this generation of ours is in knowing where we missed the crucial steps, in retracing our steps, and in being courageous enough to reorient ourselves. Thus, our vision for the future must start with a critical assessment of our past and present. This is necessary if we hope to lay a solid foundation for the future of our State and its people.Indeed it is not out of place to mention that our restoration policy took off as soon as we took over the mantle of leadership. This, we started, through the identification and addressing unpopular policies that hinder effective performance in the Civil Service. For example the Tenure System Policy, the promotion examinations etc were abrogated to give the Civil Service an ample opportunity for growth and good performance.In addition, to ensure continuity, maintain discipline and equal opportunity, the present administration maintained the public office holders they inherited from the previous administration, which include the Permanent Secretaries and Chief Executives of Government Departments and Agencies.To improve the welfare of teachers in the Primary Schools, the present administration cleared the backlog of promotion for 2013, 2014 and 2015. A total of 19,046 Primary School teachers were promoted while 125 staff were re-instated and paid their salaries with 3 months arrears.When we came in as Government of Katsina State in 2015, we met so many promising and qualified Local Government staff that were dismissed from Unified Local Government Service without any cogent reason. As at today, the State Government re-instated 1,871 out of 1,904 staff that were verified and cleared. The remaining 33 will soon be verified and cleared before the commencement of payment of salaries. The Government has committed the sum of N131,049,334.14 for payment of salaries and 3 months arrears in respect of the 1,871 re-instated staff of the Local Governments.The present administration inherited a policy where the State Government was spending so much to pay for examination fees in respect of Candidates of the State origin. Despite the huge sum of money the Government paid the results always put Katsina State as the last or second to the last in terms of performance across the nation. With our coming on board, we amended the policy and introduced the Qualifying Examinations. Candidates must attain the laid down pre-requisites before they are sponsored for NECO, WAEC and other Examinations.Even though so many people grumbled on the qualifying examinations, the results indicate drastical improvement in general performance of the sponsored Candidates. For instance in 2014 only 30% of the sponsored Candidates were able to obtain 5 Credits and above in WAEC and 46% in NECO. But in 2016 when we introduced the qualifying examination Katsina State Government Sponsored Candidates recorded 57.0% of those with 5 Credits and above in WAEC and 67.1% in NECO. This is a clear manifestation on the general performance of the Candidates.   Similarly, in an effort to ensure judicious utilization of public funds, the present administration continued and completed the projects it inherited before embarking on new ones. These include the construction of Marabar Sayaya – Sayaya – Tashar Icce Road (24KM); Eka – Kadandani – Kuraye – Yargamji Road (21KM); Sandamu – Baure – Babban Mutum Road (75KM) etc.   It is equally important to note that any vision which we formulate for the future must be one grounded in a holistic and realistic assessment of current and emerging local, national, and global trends. It must also be one that takes cognizant of our local cultural peculiarities, economic resources, strengths and comparative advantages. Above all, any vision that seeks an enduring and comprehensive transformation of our State must be one that focuses on harnessing human potentials and cultivating our immense human resources. This explains why, on our part, our administration makes education its first, second, and third priorities. Because this Government recognizes that there could be no sustained development for our dear State without education, we are determined to continue to invest in this sector as an integral component of human development.Ladies and Gentlemen, I feel humbled with all modesty to announce that since coming into office we have undertaken necessary measures aimed at restoring sanity in Local Governments administration in the State. Health facilities were upgraded; new ones are being built and necessary equipment have been provided in Health Centres across the State. On security, the Amnesty Programme has indeed addressed the menace of cattle rustling and has restored confidence of the rural populace, who are able to cultivate their farm lands and rear cattle in all the hitherto affected areas. In the area of provision of infrastructure and social amenities, this administration has expended a lot of funds towards providing the dividends of democracy to the populace despite the dwindling finances accruing to the State.With gratitude to the Almighty Allah we also embarked on special youth empowerment programmes in which the teeming youths were exposed to skills acquisition training after which they were provided resettlement packages. A number of them have settled and have become employers of labour or self employed, as against the practice of being political thugs.  At this juncture, therefore, I would like to call upon the good people of Katsina State to continue to support the Government in order for us to successfully deliver on our mandate and help restore the State to its glory. I would like to conclude by registering on behalf of the Government our deepest appreciation to our Special Guest of Honor, our Guest Speaker, our Royal Fathers and our invited guests who rejoice with us on this historic occasion.Thank you for listening.

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