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Published On: Wed, Jun 17th, 2020

Governors should borrow a leaf from Badaru

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By Lawal Jet Kaugama

Upon taking office in 2015, Governor Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa State did something remarkable in the history of the state. He embarked on the completion of important projects started by his predecessor, Sule Lamido, . Instead of wasting public investments by abandoning these important projects, Badaru decided to complete those he inherited from the previous administration. He has demonstrated that he has focus and clear understanding of what governance means.
This is a significant development and policy strategy that deserves commendation. If Badaru were a selfish leader, he would have abandoned the inherited projects and thereby causing enormous losses to the people of the state. He realised that since these projects are important and relevant to the welfare of the people, completing them should be given a priority. He has shown clearly that he has foresight. He didn’t follow the path of other governors that abandoned uncompleted projects to carry out new ones, thereby putting more financial burden on the state. Prioritisation is Badaru’s major achievement. By completing relevant and important projects, he has demonstrated his understanding of good governance.
Although Badaru gave priority to the completing of abandoned projects, he also embarked on the execution of new ones which are no less important in the welfare of the people.
Given the importance of water in the sustenance of life, the Badaru administration has drilled a borehole in every ward of Jigawa state.
Health, education, road projects, electricity and others have been given the same level of priority and improvements. He gave priority to every part of Jigawa state in the provision of social services. He didn’t ignore any part of Jigawa state or discriminate against them because of politics.
The people-oriented government of Badaru had been consistent in spending five percent of the state budgetary allocation on health , having spent N11.5 billion on the sector.
“The state government has achieved one health facility per ward. The state government has built one health facility in each of the 287 wards in the state.,” he said.
Speaking to journalists in Dutse to mark his one year in office, he outlined his achievements so far, the challenges he encountered, promising more democracy dividends for the people who he commended for their patience with his government.
“Water and sanitation is another key area in our list of prioritised intervention sectors. We discovered that no maintenance had been carried out on our water facilities in three years.
“The rapid water intervention scheme was, therefore, our first major infrastructure rehabilitation effort and we expended N1.9 billion, of which N636 million is recurrent, because of the motorised nature of most of our water facilities.
“This intervention resulted in the replacement of 402 submersible pumps, repair of 92 overhead tanks, overhauling of 251 generators, and various civil works to provide or repair pump houses, conversion of 39 motorised schemes to solar and rehabilitation of 4,192 hand pumps,” he said.
For Badaru, politics ended at the polling both. Once he was sworn into office, his preoccupation is to work for the welfare of everyone, regardless of party affiliation.
It is also important to note that the successful implementation of government policies depend on boosting the morale of government workers. In fact, there is a direct connection between the level of morale and production among the civil servants. One of Badaru’s major strides is the regular payments of pensions and gratuity. Given priority to regular payments of salaries and pensions have contributed greatly in sustaining the stability of many families.
Governor Badaru has justified his election and the confidence the people reposed in him. He has always been at home to carry out the job for which he was elected. He doesn’t engage in frequent private foreign trips at the expense of the people. Governor Badaru is too busy attending to poverty alleviation and other welfare issues that he considers unnecessary foreign travels a luxury he cannot afford.
I have taken enough time to evaluate good governance in Northern Nigeria and Governor Badaru comes across as a leader with a vision from day one. I’m convinced he didn’t seek this office for the sake of satisfying a personal ambition for power. He is a man who contested election to sincerely serve his people, and he is doing just that successfully. As a citizen of Jigawa State, I’m proud to associate with the successes of Governor Abubakar Badaru.
He is loved by everyone, regardless of political differences. When you are performing very well, nobody cares about the party platform on which you are elected. Other Northern Governors should borrow a leaf from the leadership style of Badaru by focusing on people’s welfare rather than obsession with elitist comforts while poverty is ravaging the people.
Speaking of his milestone achievements in Jigawa, Badaru said, “I believe we have, and it was not easy. We had to go the extra mile in attracting the right kind of investment in Jigawa, because we are surrounded by states, like Kano, that have a comparative advantage, in terms of infrastructure and a ready market.
“We have made giant strides in the agricultural sector with conglomerates moving in to give impetus to our goal of large-scale production.”
In recognition of his hard work, philanthropic activities, Abubakar was conferred with the traditional title of Sardaunan Ringim and Walin Jahun in Ringim and Dutse emirate councils respectively.

Lawal Jet Kaugama, a writer on political issues, writes from Abuja.

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