Kogi @ 23: ‘We have made substantial progress’, say Capt Idris Wada

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Kogi State was 23 years old recently. Despite the low keyed celebration, Capt Idris Wada, the State Governor, had a long session of interaction with journalists. Micheal Abu, CPS to Kogi State Deputy Governor brings out excerpts of the meeting.

Capt. Idris Wada, Kogi State Governor has described the journey so far in the twenty-three year history of the state as very eventful. Capt. Idris Wada, stated this in a chat with newsmen as part of activities marking the twenty-third anniversary of State Creation.
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In the last two and half years of his administration, substantial progress he disclosed has been made, stating that the state has been kept relatively secure and safe for citizens to go about their businesses.

His administration, the Governor explained eliminated thuggery and youth restiveness and has focused on youth development as well as on the strategy of teaching the youths how to fish rather than continue to share out fish to them.

According to Capt Idris Wada, in the Agriculture sector, his administration has brought agriculture to its prominence to all parts of the state as people are now embracing Agriculture with renewed interest, vigour and determination to make agriculture a business.

The administration, the Governor added is focusing on Agric business rather than subsistence farming and said the efforts was realized through the partnership between the State and Federal government who have supported the ideas of his administration.
While noting that his administration has fully embraced the federal government’s transformation agenda as it affects agriculture, in-house, the state government he added has developed its own accelerated rice and cassava production programme.
The federal government, Capt Wada added is in partnership with Cargill, an American investor, to develop a staple crop processing zone in Alape, Kabba-Bunu Local Government Area, for Cassava processing. The project, Wada revealed will lead to production of starch, sweeteners and livestock feeds.
The crop processing zone, Capt Wada added will not only create employment opportunities for both the young and old all over Kogi State, the project he added will attract income and foreign exchange to the state.
On infrastructure, Capt Wada disclosed that his administration completed many inherited road projects and has began new ones across the districts of the state.

His administration he said has completed the secretariat building, the stadium and is building an ultra-modern motor park at Felele that will capture traffic that transit the state north and south. The state, Capt Wada also said is equally building a Teaching hospital at Anyigba to provide for the manpower needs of the state in the health sector. Presently, the temporary site of the teaching hospital he maintained is already generating income adding that in future the state university will be self sustaining from the income the hospital is generating and may not rely on the government for funding.

On housing, the administration, Capt Wada disclosed has began work on its five hundred housing estate along Ganaja-Ajaokuta road, for civil servants and other private citizens who live in Kogi State. The houses on completion, he opined, will be sold on long term financing basis to citizens.

Contract for the construction of the main trunk road from International Market through Lokoja township to Army Barracks and to welcome to Lokoja, with pedestrian lane and proper lighting to give a good outlook to the state capital, the Governor added has been awarded to CGC Construction Company.

As the rainy season subsides, work, he disclosed will begin in earnest on the road project.
On education, while noting that the state remains number one in the North central zone, his administration he added is working hard on correcting the challenges of teachers’ salary issues, arising because of he new minimum wage, providing educational equipments, and assured that efforts is however being made to address the challenges. His administration, Wada stated is focusing on quality education in public schools, and said his administration will not toy with quality education for the people.

In the health sector, Capt Wada said the free medical programme has become popular and embraced by the people, said his administration is embarking on the renovation of all General Hospitals in the state, disclosing that the facilities in the hospitals have not been rehabilitated in the last twenty years, are now undergoing replacement.

The administration, the Governor added is controlling flood by making sure culverts are cleared up with new ones constructed to ensure smooth flow of flood water.

Already the flood housing estate in lokoja he pointed out is now been equipped with water and electricity,said work is on-going on the access road, assuring that very soon, the houses will be allocated according to a formula worked out by a committee.

In terms of human capital development, his administration, Capt Wada explained has focused on training within and outside the country in all fields and sectors of the service.

Investment has also been made in the areas of the state’s potentials which he noted had hitherto remained untapped for over twenty years and said serious investors are now coming in to help in exploring the potentials of some of the raw materials in the state for the benefit of employment and wealth creation that will lead in the improvement of the quality of lives and the people.

The state government Wada said is working on Kogi Hotels and converting it to a VIP Lodge for visitors into the state. The government he added is also equally remodeling the confluence Beach Hotel with a Gulf and Tennis court, a swimming pool with proper designed chalets, more like a beach resort, which will eventually be connected to Mount Patti development programme with cable cars.

The Governor added that discussions have all also reached an advanced stage with serious investors to make the dream of linking the confluence beach hotel with Mounti Patti a realty.

The Governor disclosed of the recent launched of Lokoja metro bus service, aimed at subsidizing the transport needs of the people, which he noted will be made sustainable, while efforts is now geared towards commencing an inter-city and intra-city state transport service.

While noting that his administration has touched lives in positive ways, Capt Wada added that he is confident that his administration will work hard to improve the lives of the people better than he met it.

The Governor further assured that by the end of his administration, the quality of lives of the people will be much higher that what he met when his administration came on board at the beginning of 2012.

Capt wada lamented the damage caused by the 2012 flood that ravaged the state, but said the state is now better equipped and prepared to fighting flooding in the state.
The Governor used the meeting with newsmen to warn politicians against violence even as we approach 2015.

He lastly disclosed of plan to develop shoreline and embankment along the river banks of Kabba in Lokoja LGA.

Capt Wada while soliciting the continuous support of the people for his administration to succeed, the Governor thanked the people for their support so far, assuring that better days lie ahead for the state.

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