SPEECH BY THE GOVERNOR OF SOKOTO STATE, RT. HON. AMINU WAZIRI TAMBUWAL, CFR (MUTAWALLEN SOKOTO) ON HIS SECOND INAUGURATION AS THE STATE GOVERNOR OF SOKOTO STATE, ON WEDNESDAY 29TH MAY, 2019 HELD AT SHEHU KANGIWA SQUARE, BY 9:00AM.
All praises are due to Allah (SWT) the Lord of the Universe. We Glorify His Holy names and attributes and pray for His guidance and Blessings in all our affairs, May His peace and blessings continue to be showered on the Noble Prophet Muhammad (SAW), his kinsmen; his blessed companions and all those who are guided by his worthy teachings.
2. Today, we celebrate another victory for democratic governance, Alhamdulillah, I am today sworn-in for a second term as the Governor of our dear State, following the mandate given by the Almighty Allah through the good people of Sokoto State. While thanking Allah (SWT) for His countless blessings, I am indeed, duty bound to express my deep sense of gratitude to the entire citizens over this glaring proof of renewed confidence and trust.
3. I would like to seize the opportunity offered by this joyous moment to, on behalf of the entire good people of Sokoto State, welcome our distinguished guests who came from far and near to share with us the joy of this unique moment. I should indeed use this occasion to express my appreciation to you all for finding time to grace this event. We are happy to host the executive members of our party the PDP distinguished elder statesmen, astute politicians, highly respected personalities, from far and near, who are here with us to witness this inauguration ceremony.
4. I must appreciate the efforts and sacrifices of PDP members at all levels. The selflessness of devoted men and women who propelled the electioneering campaigns is a clear testimony of the confidence people have in our great party, the PDP. I am truly inspired by the high-level commitment of all our party stalwarts in this struggle. We have indeed gone through turbulent times, crossed many barricades, but absolute trust in Allah has seen us through. I am grateful to each and every member and supporter of PDP for I have gained considerable experience in the unfolding process.
5. When I was first sworn in as the Governor of our beloved State in May, 2015, I declared that it was my duty to carry everybody along. I wish to assure you that the stand has remained unchanged. Inshah Allah, this administration will as usual be driven by all stakeholders. I wish to assure you that it is certainly the common will of the people that will prevail.
6. As we are all aware, partisan politics is at the moment over. We should therefore, endeavour to stand under one banner, irrespective of our political party affiliations or inclinations. All those with hatchets should please bury them in the interest of our state. On my part, I hold no grudges against anybody as I believe that power belongs to God. By the sacredness of the oath of office administered on me, I am duty bound to be fair and just to all people in the State. Accordingly, my constituency is the entire State. In this regard, my avowed determination is to continuously carry everybody along. We are all stakeholders, and we all have contributions to make in moving Sokoto State forward. We shall inshah Allah resist all insinuations or misguided politicking that will amount to vendetta or score-settling. I wish to therefore passionately appeal to each and every citizen of Sokoto State and residents alike, to join hands with us for the development of our dear State. To this end I wish to assure the good people of Sokoto State that, I will do everything humanly possible to justify the confidence reposed in me and my Deputy.
7. Alhamdulillahi, the privilege of service of the people you further confer on us is whole heartedly accepted by my humble self, by my worthy Deputy and indeed, by all those who will be assisting us in discharging our duties in different capacities. As we open a new chapter in the socio-political and economic development of our State, I wish to assure you that I will make any sacrifice that circumstances may warrant in propelling the progress of Sokoto State.
8. Our administration has since inception declared a state of Emergency on Education, which is being religiously pursued with the guidance of a blueprint from a committee of our state’s prominent educationists and leaders. In this regard, we have made far reaching successes in the provision of new infrastructure and facilities across all levels of learning and throughout the state. We have also complemented that with the marked improvement in the capacity and welfare of teachers and improved supervision of the school system, especially at basic and secondary levels.
9. We have recorded a rapid rise in enrolment figures in primary schools as a result of a passionate drive, which entails the active involvement of communities and all stakeholders in the form of Schools Based Management Committees. Another milestone is the achievement recorded by the Consultative Committee on the State of Emergency on Education being steered by His Eminence the Sultan of Sokoto.
10. Accordingly, the State Government has enacted the Right to Education Law aimed at propelling enrolment, retention and completion at the basic level of education. Similarly, the state Female Education Board has been established with a view to improving Girl-Child Education. This is currently being championed through Girls Education, Cash Transfer and Scholarship at the basic and tertiary levels. The Sultan’s Consultative Committee on Education is also sensitizing our communities as well as constructing ECCD integrated Schools and Junior Secondary Schools in order to widen access and acceptability of western education. The foregoing achievements especially at the Basic level have culminated in reducing out of school children as attested to by the UNICEF.
11. Similarly, in this sector is the settlement of inherited backlog of scholarship fees in local and foreign institutions of learning and the sponsorship of many more for foreign courses in specialized fields especially in medicine and related courses, in which our state is relatively lacking.
12. We shall continue with our teachers’ recruitment drive and the settlement of WAEC and NECO fees for our students. Our administration is planning to complement this with the establishment of zonal computer literacy centers to improve the performance of our candidates in computer based tests.
13. It is worthy of our attention is the deliberate effort of the State in ensuring the availability of the necessary infrastructure in our tertiary institutions, some of which include the provision of office complex (comprising of 60 number offices ) and the construction of a library structure at the state University.
14. In addition is the improvement of facilities at the Sultan Abdulrahman School of Health Technology Gwadabawa, especially the provision of laboratory equipment and and X-ray facilities. The culmination of these have paved the way for a successful outing in the Accreditation exercises by the respective National Bodies.
15. The Health sector has from inception been a cornerstone of our government’s development drive. Consequently, we have recorded resounding success in the provision of healthcare to our people. The upgrading, renovation and re-equipping of health centres across all Local Governments is a part of this initiative.
16. Policy initiatives include the establishment of the Contributory Healthcare Scheme aimed at putting healthcare in the ownership of communities especially the low income earners. The bolstering of the Malaria Control Agency, to curtail the spread the malaria, pandemic, which is more dangerous than HIV/AIDS, our administration has strengthened the Malaria Control Agency. Dividends of these programs are manifest in the positive changes being witnessed in the health indices of our dear state. These include the increase in immunization target, which drastically reduced the occurrence of child killer diseases among our people.
17. As a priority, our administration shall in the second term, sustain and even improve on the training of various categories of health personnel. We shall also pursue arrangements for the setting up of the College of Health Sciences at the Sokoto State University and the Specialist Hospital.
18. Our collaboration with the Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital in the area of medical doctors and consultants, has availed our state with over 800 such personnel on locom basis.
19. The enhancement of remuneration for health workers through the implementation of the consolidated medical salary structure (CONMESS) has greatly motivated personnel in the sector for higher productivity. As part of our government’s transformation of the health sector, I have recently signed the Murtala Muhammed Teaching Hospital Law, as well as that of the School of Midwifery, Tambuwal.
20. This will in no small measure, increase the availability and quality of health personnel and Medicare in our state.
21. As we all know, from time immemorial, Agriculture has been the mainstay of our economy. In today’s world, Agriculture provides endless opportunities. it ensures food security, it offers ample employment opportunities and economic prosperity for communities or nations that invest in it. Mercifully, we are blessed by the Almighty with vast arable land, good climatic condition suitable for all year- round farming and the added advantage of a strong productive population.
22. As a mark of our commitment in this regard, we have completed the college of Agriculture, Wurno that was inherited from the last administration, sustained the procurement and distribution of fertilizer, farm implements and improved seeds, pesticides and other essential requirements by farmers to ensure we give the necessary support that will yield a positive result in food production.
23. Only recently we took delivery of a Herd of One Hundred and Seventeen cattle from South Africa for the smooth take-off of the Sokoto Dairy Project.
24. We have equally forged strong collaboration with members of the business community, both at local and international level to explore the possibility of joint ventures investments in several Argic- Based business.
25. It has been indeed been the vision of this administration and as a cornerstone of our policy, to industrialize agriculture, in order to transform it into a commercial venture, to maximize its economic and employment potentials.
26. Re-curing shortages of potable water in the state capital, have been of serious concern to our government. This necessitated previous administrations to take strenuous measures to curtail the menace including programmes and projects, unfortunately, with limited success. I have very recently engaged a water supply expert to join hands with the government as one of my efforts in solving the problem. Positive results have already been achieved.
27. The 40 Million Gallon water project for the state capital which was awarded since 2014 but yet to be completed is being reviewed. With this, I wish to assure the good people of the state that this administration will continue to do all that is humanly possible to adequately satisfy their potable water needs and by the grace of God, bring a lasting solution to the problem.
28. Rural Development is the backbone of the socio economic development of any society. In line with this, we are in collaboration with the World Bank, transforming the rural feeder roads network, through the 500km Rural Access and Mobility project RAM. The ongoing construction of 1.5 Million cubic litres water supply facilities in each of 17 local government headquarters will further enhance the availability of potable water in the rural areas.
29. Within the last four years, we have carried out the sinking and construction of hundreds of solar power and motorized boreholes across the state, with a view to bringing clean water to the door steps of the rural populace.
30. Under Urban Water Supply, we have carried out strategic equipment replacements that have boosted water supply in the metropolis. As an ongoing exercise, Government is poised to complete the ongoing expansion water schemes in the metropolis which was kick-started with the completion of the water supply scheme at Runjin Sambo. The ongoing reforms of the water sector will be concretized with the signing and adoption of a new reinvigorated water policy, in partnership with UNICEF.
31. The Lands and Housing Sectors have continued to play their traditional functions. Landmark achievements in the housing sector include the historic sales of Government Quarters to sitting tenants, a scheme that remained hanging and elusive for over ten (10) years with previous administrations. The completion and sales of the Kalambaina Housing Estate has been concluded, while the completion of Gidan Salanke Housing Estate is under way. This Administration will embark on the digitalization of land administration through the setting up of the Sokoto Geographical Information System. Similarly, the Sokoto Masterplan which has since expired will be renewed for a controlled Urban Development growth. The proposed Megacity protect will get attention in tandem with the Masterplan programme. The cadastral mapping of Sokoto State which has also expired will be given priority attention.
32. In the transport sector, the 40% subsidized, welfarist, transportation system powered by the State Transport Corporation, has continued to address the needs of the people with government support. Plans are under way to enhance this and also ease the pains of school going students.
33. Boosting information dissemination is a priority of our administration, considering the critical role of information, mobilization and enlightenment to the success of Government’s programs and policies. A digital upgrade process has started as can be seen on RTV, and this in truth, is the beginning of a deliberate and comprehensive restoration scheme of all our media outfits. In like manner, we intend to upgrade the Sokoto Newspaper Company back to optimum performance and production.
34. To augment the dwindling Federal Allocation, against the background of increasing demand for expenditure on social and infrastructural development, the government shall strive to build the economy of the state. This we intend to do by exploiting the potentials of our small and medium scale industry and provide greater incentives for smalls medium and large scale entrepreneurs.
35. We have revitalized and repositioned the Sokoto Investment Company ltd to strengthen the investment climate in the state.
36. Fellow citizens, the security challenges facing us are no doubt a source of grave concern to all. The spate of armed banditry and incessant killings of innocent people is needless to say giving us sleepless nights. While government, in collaboration with security agencies is making concerted efforts to curtail the unfortunate situation, each and every one of us has a role to play in reversing the trend. I wish to however assure you that far-reaching strategies have been adopted to enable security operatives restore peace and order in all parts of the state. We intend to convene a security summit that will enable all stakeholders brainstorm on the implementation of the aforementioned strategies. We pray to Allah (SWT) to assist us in this endeavour. We also pray for the repose of the souls of all those who lost their lives in the hands of these murderous bandits.
37. The civil service, as the engine of service delivery and execution of projects and programs has enjoyed our priority attention since the inception of our first term. The prompt payment of salaries to civil servants with occasional advances and settlement of accumulated gratuity underscore the importance we attach to the welfare of our workforce. Training in computer and other skills have enhanced the competence and productivity of civil servants in our state, while the digitization of the nominal roll is aimed at improving data on the work force to modern standards.
38. Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, our administration has made modest effort to address the ever increase government expenditure profile especially in meeting up with its obligations to civil Servants whose salaries have now astronomically increased owing to the recent upward review from N18,000 to N30,000 minimum wage package, and the larger society’s requirement for essential services such as drinking water, efficient healthcare infrastructural and other welfare needs.
39. To this end, government has set up a committee to fashion out modalities for the implementation of the new National Minimum Wage.
40. The traditional institution is the custodian of our values, the symbol of our heritage and pride as sons and daughters of the Great Sokoto Caliphate.
41. We shall continue to repose respect in our royal fathers and seek their invaluable involvement in our policies and programs, while sustaining our commitment to their welfare and wellbeing. Continued consultation with the institution is top on our agenda with a view to actively involving them in security initiatives and other people oriented programs in health, education, agriculture and other critical sectors.
42. At this juncture, I must commend the fatherly role of His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto in our State, Nigeria and beyond. He has been unwavering in his support for the policies and programs of our administration, especially in the areas of education, security and community engagement.
43. Let me also express my deepest gratitude to the State Transition Committee, chaired by His Excellency, Alh. Ahmad Muhammed Gusau, MFR, for effectively co-ordinating the transition committees. The committees worked assiduously in not only organising this event but has indeed provided us with a very articulate, feasible and realistic blueprint that would guide the activities of the state government for the coming four years, insha-Allah. The people of Sokoto state are highly indebted to the chairman and other members of the committees for their selfless service. May Allah (SWT) reward them abundantly.
44. Special appreciation goes to our development partners for their continued support and assistance towards addressing the huge developmental challenges facing our state. Our engagements have been open, robust and impactful. I want reassure you that our doors shall remain open. We shall continue to fulfil our partnership obligations. However, like Oliver Twist, we are requesting for increased collaboration. For development partners that are yet to establish their presence in Sokoto State, please factor us into your strategic plans.
45. Finally, I want thank the good people of Sokoto State for the voting us into power, giving us the mantle of leadership of the State for second term in the just concluded Governorship election, which mandate has made today a reality. We assure you of our continued commitment to work for the good of all for the development of our state.
46. My fellow citizens, as we begin our second term, I pledge to you, the readiness of our administration to be equal partner in the quest to transform our dear state. You will find us, as always a sensitive government to your yearnings and aspirations.
47. Thank you.
God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria
God Bless Sokoto State.