By BEN NGWAKWE
The inauguration of Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State on May 29, 2019, marked a turning point in the developmental governance in the state. Governor Inuwa Yahaya is not only coming with hope of better life for residents and indigenes of Gombe State, he is coming with hope that is reliable and can be trusted.
Some residents of Gombe State are of the view that the last time the state witnessed development and government of the people was 2011 on the exit of former Governor Danjuma Goje, who was among the first set of governors in the North to establish state university. He left legacy that is enduring and can be attested to by anyone who cares to verify. The residents lamented that the past eight years, however, made minimal progress in the development of the state with the enormous revenue, including mountain of debt, at the disposal of the administration.
On being administered the Oath of Office and Oath of Allegiance on May 29 as the fourth Executive Governor of Gombe State, Governor Inuwa Yahaya went straight into the business of governance and developing the state, revealing his seeming renaissance of developmental governance framework left behind by Goje but abandoned by the past governor, his immediate predecessor, former Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo.
Governor Inuwa Yahaya assured total commitment of the fulfillment of all electoral promises, including implementing modern policies that will stimulate rapid development of the state and elevate Gombe to higher status of economically competitive state across the country and in global economy.
Though the governor is not limiting his administration to numeric public policies, he, however, showed preparedness to implement policies on human capital development, capacity building and capacity utilization in the state economy, infrastructure development, as well as pursue production and industrial economy in the state.
Governor Inuwa Yahaya is drawing his policy framework partly from the report of the Transition Committee presented on 11th May, 2019 which revealed unpleasant situation prevalent in the state and the challenges ahead.
The Committee listed series of disturbing socio-economic crises such as huge interest-bearing debts estimated at over N110 billion left behind by the former governor; high drug abuse ranking of Gombe State among the top three in the country; poor facilities for maternal and child healthcare; high rate of out-of-school children; poor performance in basic education, which places Gombe State on 34th position among the 36 states of the Federation in school examinations index.
Records show that majority people in Gombe State are living in abject poverty, have no access to basic necessities of life. In this era when other states in the country are taking advantage and exploring possibilities and opportunities, “we are still battling with lack of portable drinking water, inadequate medical care, epileptic power supply, dysfunctional educational system and total failure of governance thereby leaving the citizens to fend for themselves,” it was noted.
The Governor observed that the state received several federal intervention funds over the years but the utility of the funds in the state can seldom be attested to in evaluating the development status of Gombe.
The sordid situation destroyed the production of commodities from several local governments, including the associated value chain that could stimulate production and manufacturing in the state. The governor, therefore, appealed to business men and women to take advantage of the new government’s resolve to stimulate production and returned to investment in the state; assuring all investors within and outside Gombe State of the readiness the government to provide enabling environment that would make investment very attractive and profitable in the state; that the state government will encourage mutually beneficial public private partnership with the private sector in order to achieve their aims and objectives.
Governor Inuwa Yahaya further assured to improve the welfare of workers so as to stimulate optimum performance of the civil servants towards effective and efficient service delivery to enable citizens benefit the dividends of democracy. Invariably, workers emolument, training, promotion and provision of conducive working environment are considered uppermost in the agenda of the new government.
Governor Inuwa Yahaya will also overhaul the education sector to meet the 21st century standard requisite for human capital development in modern economies.
The perennial shortage of water supply in Gombe metropolis and other parts of the state is of great concerns to the governor.
The health sector, including the manpower and infrastructures is also prominent in the governor’s development plan in the next four years; including agriculture and the crisis of fertilizer.