Since the return of democratic rule in 1999 to Nigeria, the people of Adamawa have been clamouring for sustained delivery of dividends of democracy.
According to them, the values of democracy are indicated in its positive impacts on the lives of majority of the citizens.
But in Adamawa, before the inception of the present administration, some residents claim that they have not known what the actual components of dividends of democracy are.
For instance, Alhaji Ibrahim Mahmud, trader in Yola, observed that before the inception of Bindow’s administration, most roads in the state capital were not good.
“The situation is even more pathetic in the health centres due to dearth of qualified manpower, drugs and infrastructure.
“The general hospitals in Adamawa can best be described as glorified village dispensaries,’’ he said in an interview.
But on assumption of office, Gov. Mohammed Bindow of the state observed that a credible administration has to convince the people that dividends of democracy are real through the provision of visible and tangible development projects.
He explained that in the light of this, his administration awarded contracts for the rehabilitation of 46 kilometres of road networks in Yola, Jimeta and Mubi since his inauguration seven months ago to create a virile platform for developments.
Interacting with some editors recently in Yola, Bindow said that most of the roads across the state were bad when he took over the administration.
He observed that the reconstruction of the roads would open up the state, facilitate movement of good services and promote economic activities.
“Some of the roads have been completed while others are at various stages of completion; I have pledged to work for my people in spite of the dwindling revenue accruable to the state.
“We have also awarded contract for the provision of street lights on Jimeta-Yola road to enhance security and beautify the state capital,’’ he said.
For better healthcare delivery to the citizens in the state, he said the government had awarded contract for the construction of four general hospitals.
He attributed the achievements recorded by his administration within seven months to prudent and transparent management of the state’s resources.
“To conserve money for development, I have cut down my salary to about 50 per cent; the salaries of the state’s deputy governor and other principal officers have also been slashed,’’ he said.
He promised the people of the state that the state’s funds would be used only on sustainable development projects aimed at delivering dividends of democracy.
“I promise to make a difference in governance by leaving a legacy of development, never to disappoint the residents of the state who have yearned for dividends of democracy.
“l am in this position to make a difference and it is not a difficult task to change Adamawa from the poorest state to one of the richest in the country,’’ he said.
The governor pledged his resolve to renovate the Government House and the abandoned Adamawa International Hotels.
According to him, his administration will give priority to the provision of clean and safe water to the people of the state.
“The administration will soon begin the sinking of 3, 400 water boreholes across the state,’’ he noted.
Bindow claimed that his administration had also approved the disbursement of N20, 000 each to widows in the state to enable them to start small businesses.
“This is part of our concern for the plight of the vulnerable persons in the state; the insurgency which affected some parts of the state made some women widows.
“We have identified some 46 widows in each of the local governments to benefit from the gesture,’’ he said.
Besides this, the governor said that the state government had set aside N500 million from its share of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas dividend for disbursement as revolving loans to boost the growth of small businesses in the state.
“We have also set aside another N300 million for disbursement as loans to boost small scale agricultural businesses in the state.
“I have approved the engagement of 100 unemployed youths as sanitary officers in Yola, the state capital, who will receive a monthly stipend of N10, 000 each,’’ the governor said.
He said further that his administration had spent N7 billion to settle the outstanding arrears of salary and allowances owed the state’s civil servants by previous administrations.
He pledged not to play politics with the welfare of the civil servants, insisting that prompt payment of salaries and allowances of the civil servants were vital components of dividends of democracy.
“You must appreciate that Adamawa is a civil service state; if you take care of the civil servants, you are automatically empowering the rest of the people, including traders in the state,’’ Bindow said.
Bindow, however, expressed concern over the reported cases of ghost workers in various local government areas of the state and promised to get rid of the practice.
“I have directed a census of the local government workers in the state because that is where the ghost workers thrive. I am expecting a report on the exercise very soon,’’ he said.
The governor said noted that the insurgency, which had ravaged the commercial viable zones of the state, had negatively affected the ability of the state to raise its internal revenue profile.
“The northern part of the state is the economic nerve centre of the state where the revenue is coming from, but completely devastated by the Boko insurgents.
“However, we have engaged a consultant on how best to raise our internally generated revenue and have given the consultant one year to show the difference.
“Our salary burden is more than N2 billion monthly, but we only received N1.6 billion from the Federation Account in October,’’ he said.
Bindow urged the people of the state to be patient with the desire of his administration to turn around the fortunes of the state for the good of all.
He also pleaded with the media to ensure fair, balance and objective reportage of events.
Commenting on the governor’s resolve to provide dividends of democracy to the residents of the state, Alhaji Abdulraham Abba, Chief of Staff to the Governor, said the Bindow’s administration was on “a rescue mission’’ in the state.
According to him, the administration has taken a departure from what existed in the past and is willing to place the state among the comity of developed or developing states in the country.
He, however, noted that the inability of the political class to agree on some issues had affected development in the state.
Irrespective of this, observers believe that if the tempo of development in the state is sustained, the state will witness tremendous transformation. NAN

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