Two Years After: Wada-Awoniyi placing Kogi State on track, by Mike Abu

The challenging journey and achievements for the present administration in Kogi State after its emergence as the third democratically elected government has remained an issue of public discourse.

Kogi Deputy Governor Yomi Awoniyi and Governor Idris Wada
Kogi Deputy Governor Yomi Awoniyi and Governor Idris Wada

Initially the present administration of Capt Idris Wada as governor has been that of mixed feelings when viewed against the several expectations.
There was an initial slow pace of development experienced when the administration actually assumed office.
This therefore made many to erroneously say that the dreams of the founding fathers of the state and those who overwhelmingly voted to entrench the present government are far from being met.
There assertion was occasioned by the several unfulfilled expectations months after the Wada led administration mounted the saddle. Thus making several many indigenes and non indigenes alike hold several negative opinion about the present administration.
While some may have reasons for their misgivings, unpleasant comments and opinion about where the State ought to have been but has not,few others do so only for political reasons.
The consolation however is the fact that indigenes of the State who are in majority who have followed development since the coming of the Capt Idris Wada’s administration,have had genuine reasons to show appreciation each time a review is made of where the state is and what the present administration has been able to put in place.
Twenty four months in the saddle, there are sufficient signals that suggest that Capt Idris Wada had made haste slowly.
It is a known fact that governance in Kogi State is no longer business as usual.
A scientific approach that is result,excellence and merit oriented is what is now obtainable and practiced in the state.
Kogi State is one among the least State on the revenue accruing index even though the State is big in terms of untapped natural and mineral resources.
The inability of successive administrations, hinged on several leadership factors to harness this potentials, as well as a follower ship that has not been cooperative,is said to have contributed largely to the under development of the State.
Without mincing words,that the pace of development of the State is slow,is a carry over problem that was inherited and could not have being caused by the present administration in the State.
But more importantly, the new thinking and the assurances displayed by the Wada administration that presently sits in the saddle at the helm of affairs,showed that all hope was however not lost.
It is a sigh of relief that two years in office,Capt Idris Wada’s purposeful and focus administration seem to have place the state right on track.
The journey of governance for the current administration has not been easy, it has also been arguably tough and mixed.
But the great consensus and convergence of opinion especially now as can be seen by the bold identity of creative leadership and enterprise at work by the Wada’s administration is commendable.
Indeed,Kogi under Wada is presently undergoing an agricultural and industrial transformation and this has been made possible through the influx of foreign investors to stimulate the state’s economy, culminating into the signing of about 12 memoranda of understanding running into billions of Naira.
The attraction of foreign partners into the state’s economy is anchored on the political will of Capt Wada and the creation of an enabling environment for businesses to thrive in the state.
The sole objective of the Wada administration since it came on board is geared towards bringing back the once lost glory of where the State ought to be.
Aside the fact that the present administration is limited by lack of funds to operate, the lack in proper developmental road map, among other challenges before Capt Wada took over the reins of affairs in the State,was one major problem of the State.
Up until the current administration,the level of development achieved by successive administrations out side that of the party in power,has been greatly influenced by spontaneous demand to meet widening gaps.
Previous administrations had battled with the dire challenge of development without a blueprint,this has remained a huge challenge for development to take place.
So far, what little other administrations were able to achieve,Capt Wada,the people say have more than doubled them.
In a space of challenging twenty four months in office, Capt Wada had to battle with numerous distracting litigations, a monumental evil flood disaster that ravaged the State, an auto crash that almost claimed the life of the Governor in the later part of 2012, absence,collapsed and decayed infrastructures, as well as an over bloated monthly wage bill amidst dwindling resources are some of the administrations few challenges.
In his reaction on whether Capt Idris Wada has justified his mandate after two years in office,Abu Micheal,Chief Press Secretary to the Kogi State Deputy Governor described the last two years under Capt Idris Wada as one that is transformation compliant having met the yearning and aspiration of the people that elected him.
He said within the last two years, Kogi State Government under Captain Idris Wada has gone to remarkable extent in providing critical social services to the people.
He said from Agricultural Development to Road Construction; Water Supply to Health Care delivery; and Education to Housing, a lot has been achieved despite constraining financial resources and challenges.
He specifically said in the area of Agriculture for example, regular and Fadama farmers across the State have been provided subsidized fertilizers,tools including tractors, improved seeds and extension services.
Still on Agriculture, the Wada led administration Abu said has equally embarked on aggressive production of Rice, Cassava and Palm Tree Plantations in council areas where it has comparative advantage at a rate that it has created employment.
Towards consolidating on the administration’s Agricultural transformation agenda considering that it is the mainstay of the state’s economy, government Abu noted procured excavators, mounted planters, harrows and levelers, harvesters and water pumps for farmers use in the council areas.
Similarly,more than 1500km of new Rural Roads the aide said have been opened up in different parts of the State. This gesture he said is aimed at assisting farmers move their produce to the market.
The administration on assumption of office according to Abu inherited 36 road projects. several of the roads are still under construction or either completed.
The road projects mostly domiciled in Local Government Areas he added is the hallmark of the administration’s road transformation agenda in the transport sub sector.
Aside the 270 post flood housing estate nearing completion in Lokoja, one of the benevolent housing scheme Abu said the present government intends to build very soon will offer close to 1,000 houses to civil servants mostly living in Lokoja at owner occupier basis.
Towards providing qualitative health care delivery services to the people of the state who majorly reside in the Local Government Areas. The Wada led administration Abu maintained has also embarked on a free rural medicare that has treated close to 50000 patients. This he said is aside the establishment, renovation and purchase of standard hospital equipments to all the general hospitals and health facilities across the 21 Local Government Areas in the State.
Over 51 Rural Water Projects, involving the provision of motorized bore holes and 20m3 Capacity Pressed Steel Over – head tank; installed with 30KVA Generator and a Generator house he added is currently on-going in some Local Government Areas and health institutions across the State.
In addition, Kogi State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency, Abu further disclosed has drilled bore holes at about 107 locations in 13 Local Government Areas of the State.
Already the present administration he said has completed 30 rural electrification schemes in some Rural Communities. Several others he said are at advanced stages of completions in other Local Government Areas.
Similarly, Transformers to boost electrification in some Communities across Local Government Areas across the State he opined have been installed.
5,000 jobs have equally been created in the state for unemployed school graduates mostly living in Local Government Areas through the Youth Empowerment Scheme of the Wada administration.
These and many other interventions in the education sector especially Abu explained have no doubt seriously impacted on the lives of people,described the two years in office of the Wada administration as meeting the expectations of the people.
The odds according to Abu when viewed against the background of the coming year for the present administration he noted is definitely in favor of the Wada led administration as it is on the verge of creating history,through its Agricultural,industrial and socio economic revolution.
Abu described Kogi as a state for the future,assured that when the blue print of the economic transformation of the present administration would have been fully implemented,the state will remain the cynosure of all. The last 24 months for Kogi state may have been a challenging journey through thick and thin.
There are however sufficient reasons to appreciate God and the present leadership for the remarkable peace,development and progress that has been made in almost all spheres.