Lawali M. Liman, elected Chairman, Kauran Namoda Local Government Council and the state Secretary Governor Abdulaziz Yari’s Continuity Movement, has offered to sponsor 21 indigenous students selected from absolutely poor families in the local government to study Medicine abroad. In this interview with Ibrahim Sidi Muh’d, the Chairman narrates how he plans to improve commercial activities in the local government. Excerpts:
How did you come by the idea of sponsoring 21 students to study medicine abroad and another 80 at Abdu Gusau Polytechnic Mafara?
It has been in my mind even before I was elected as council Chairman. The health sector was unfortunately bedevilled with the dearth of medical professionals and other necessary facilities. I have witnessed with sadness times without number when our medically educated people hanged abroad to serve after graduation thereby leaving our beloved country’s health sector with dearth of personnel to man our dilapidated hospitals and other clinics.
Education is very important. Important in the sense that without it, all routes leading to better life would be blocked. That is why may administration gave priority to that sector so as to succeed in hitting two birds with one stone. For example, I sponsored 21 indigenous students to go and study Medicine, out of which eleven have already departed for their respective schools abroad. But the main aim is to record various achievements in the health sector.
It has become a popular tradition as you have said, that Nigerian medical students do not normally come back to serve their country, but rather chose to stay there, what assurance do you have that these would behave contrary?
The students have signed an agreement as legally directed by the council that they will come back to serve the local government and the state at large for three years before they would move to any place of their choice. We will have every constitutional right to challenge them if they breach the contract. In view of effort to provide room for their anticipated services, the council has already swung into renovations and rehabilitation of health structures across the local government as well as the security of required facilities. This is in addition to the total renovation and upgrading of Women and Children Welfare Clinic (WCWC) where the distribution of free medication is fully practiced.
What efforts are you making to ensure healthy environment so as to consolidate the impact of free medication?
You see, apart from adequate public enlightenment on environmental cleanliness, the council has introduced a weekly environmental sanitation. We use the local government environmental staffers and other necessary equipment to fight malaria and other killer diseases. This is the situation in my local government now, and the most important point to note here is that people are responding positively to that programme to extent that our environmental vehicles are 24-hour busy conveying waste to the appointed dump refuse for final action.
Right now, we are virtually ready for the oncoming raining season as majority of functional culverts and drainages across the local government area have been cleared. This is a success to be highly impressed with simply as it would help to reduce the amount of threat caused by the disaster of flood that occurs annually.
What other viable projects have you delivered for the benefit of your people?
When we came on board, we found that some communities were abandoned in almost every aspect in the local government services. In the light of re-injecting sense of belonging to numerous communities in the villages, we embarked upon electrification and connection to national grid of Magizawa village which have never dream of such a development before 2012. The said village is now electrified, the situation that paved way for numerous jobs opportunities. Also, Barkeji village hitherto with vandalised facilities has been reconnected to electricity.
The project is 100 percent completed, and what we have noticed following the completion of such an electrification projects in both Barkeji and Magizawa villages were very great, because the jobs found in the completed power projects had prevented youth from participating in crime-related activities, thereby achieving the restoration of peace in many areas of the local government. More transformers, aimed at enhancing the power supplies, were installed at Hayin Mahe and Yarima quarters as well as Kungurki area in the local government headquarters.
All these were in addition to the eighteen boreholes already constructed by the local government as fulfilment of promise made during campaign days on adequate water supply. There was shortage of water until we came on board; though the state government had done much to tackle the water scarcity suffered by our people.
What about youths empowerment programmes in your local government?
About a couple of months ago, we distributed some amount of funds to our teeming youth whom we have trained on various fields to enable them run small scale businesses in what they have learnt. This is followed by security advises received from certain quarters, though our teeming youth were somehow petty traders, but not criminals despite efforts by some unpatriotic politicians to lure them into thuggery.
What is your local government doing to improve commercial activities among your teeming populace many of whom are merchants?
Before my election as Chairman, my attention was drawn by the rate of rapid backwardness in commercial activities due to urgent need for our markets to be upgraded so that they could compete with other markets and rise up to the challenges in commerce sector.
We have constructed three ultra modern markets across the three zones of the local government. It appears a great achievement as it gives more room and services to the visiting marketers from within and even neighbouring countries; therefore, more jobs were provided for our teeming youth. All our aim is to ensure the total reduction of crime rate in the area and to make sure our youth are busy doing what would be enough to take care of them.