Governor Umaru Tanko Al-makura of Nasarawa state has said that his administration has finally settled a N40 billion debt he inherited from the previous administration.
Al-makura stated this at the weekend shortly after inspecting road projects in the southern senatorial zone of the state earlier embarked by the previous Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administration but were however abandoned.
The Governor also disclosed that his administration has also offset unspecified sums of money as settlement for the completed Kitata/Panda road as well as the state assembly complex, all projects initiated by the former Aliyu Doma administration.
Shortly after inspecting a network of roads in Keana, headquarters of Keana local government area, Governor Al-makura told journalists that his administration will as from next week commence work on the following abandoned road projects: Adudu/Azara road, Keana/Giza/Kadarko and Agyaragu/Gidan Ausa/Doma.
He however said he has particular interest in the Keana road project as according to him “all the stakeholders, including the Osana of Keana, Emmanuel Elayo, have passion to see the town developed.”
The Governor said he was impressed with the development because it was in line with the goals of the All Progressive Congress (APC) government that is in a hurry to do those things left undone in order to catch up with other states of the federation.
Al-makura disclosed that a kilometer of the standard asphalt road with double drainages for the projects is expected to cost the state over N300 million.
While defending some of his policy thrusts, Al-makura stated that his major challenge are the elites who he said are insisting on taking the major chunk of the wealth accruing to the state at the detriment of the ordinary people that constitute the majority of the population.
He emphasized that out of the N3 bn monthly federal allocation to the state, N2.7 bn is being spent on the payment of emoluments, making it difficult for the government to embark on fresh employment.
“When workers retire or even through natural death, it is not possible to replace them because they retire with their salaries as pension or gratuity. That explains our drive to expand our resource base so that we can provide employment for our youths” he said.
Al-makura explained that his decision to make education free from primary to secondary school was in a bid to break the circle of poverty among the rural poor who he said could not afford to send their children to school.