The Confluence State of Kogi has never had it so good since the incumbent Governor, Idris Wada got into the seat of government on January 27, 2012 as the third civilian Governor of the state.
For Governor Wada, who trained as a pilot, governance is not about what one is able to acquire personally, it is about what the government can do for the people and the generations to come. So, his philosophy has been ‘do your best and leave the rest,’ and the people of the North Central State are happy that at least the state is now in safe hands, and that it is being controlled by a man, whose guiding principle is ‘a bird is safe in its nest-but that is not what its wings are made for.’
Wada knew he needed to rise to the occasion and bring development to his people, which is what he has been able to do over the years since he got into office.
He is not one to be overwhelmed by the paraphernalia of office, which is why he has embarked on projects that would impact on the lives of the people. He has demonstrated that once you put a round peg in a round hole, you would get the desired results.
Indeed, Kogi under Wada has undergone 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 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 outside 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.
Initially, 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.
He has since attained transformation compliant having met the yearning and aspiration of the people that elected him.
Kogi State Government, under Captain Idris Wada has gone to a remarkable extent in providing critical social services to the people.
His focus ranges 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.
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 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, the government 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 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.
“We are encouraging commercial agriculture, we are encouraging value-chain agriculture, processing of harvests and micro enterprises (small scale enterprises) and giving incentives for establishment of large industrial axis using the raw materials available from agriculture, attracting a lot of youths and women into it and generating lots of employment.
I’ll give you a simple example. About a year ago, after the flood, there was devastation along the shoreline, the flood prone planes. We converted them into rice production areas and we enlisted the Federal Ministry of Agriculture in training young men and women who are interested in agriculture.
“For harvesting, we bought rice mills. So, we are producing rice now in Kogi State, bagging rice and selling rice. We also created the environment for people operating their own farms. We formed co-operatives of young people. These co-operatives cultivate one or two hectares of farmland, then, they harvest, process, bag, and sell. Some deal directly with government, others deal directly with owners of the farm. This is an interesting aspect of agriculture in Kogi State. We were focusing initially on cassava and rice. For the cassava value-chain, we are establishing cassava processing plants that produce garri, livestock feed mills, and things like that. We are also establishing ethanol plants from cassava which we intend to propagate as substitute for kerosene, to preserve the environment and encourage our people to use ethanol for cooking, instead of chopping down trees and using them as firewood,” the Governor said in an interview.
The administration on assumption of office, inherited 36 road projects. Several of the roads are still under construction or either completed.
The road projects mostly domiciled in Local Government Areas 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 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 has also embarked on a free rural medicare that has treated close to 50,000 patients.
This 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, has drilled bore holes at about 107 locations in 13 Local Government Areas of the State.
Already the present administration 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 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 have no doubt seriously impacted on the lives of people.
Kogi State once raised a bond at the capital market. The multi-billion naira fund was used for infrastructure and activities mainly in township local governments, connecting towns and constructing the by-pass, (dualized by-pass), and creating diversion for traffic from coming directly into the city.
For instance, those coming from Abuja and going to the Eastern part of Nigeria through Kogi East will now have an easy by-pass, without coming into the traffic of the city, the same with people coming from the East, either to the north, to eastern or western senatorial zones. They will no longer have to come directly into the town. This is a major infrastructural provision.
An artery road through the city-Lokoja has come to help. This road is now going to be expanded with pedestrian lanes and proper drainages right through the heart of the state capital.
Many roads in all the zones – Eastern, western, central, all the big towns (Kabba, Iyalla, Egbe, Mopa) all of them are connected.
The Kogi State Government is not relenting in its efforts of providing security, shelter, job opportunities and infrastructural development for its people.
Governor Idris Wada is selfless, focused, determined and resilient in making sure Kogi State is given its pride of place amongst the committee of states in the country and turned to Nigeria’s latest haven, where everyone would love to visit and even reside. To many people, this is enough for the action Governor to be elected for a second term of office.
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