//Baba Ndace, Minna//
Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello has said his administration is running a progressive government in line with the manifesto of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and in tune with the needs and aspirations of people in the state.
Governor Sani Bello stated this during an interview with news men shortly after 4th Progressive Governance Lecture Series organised by Progressives Governors’ Forum in Kaduna.
The Governor disclosed that his administration is premised on the ‘Restoration Agenda’ with its key priority areas geared towards boosting socio-economic activities in the state.
According to the governor, “Based on the manifesto of our party and the need to provide quality, accessible and affordable services for the good of Nigerlites, we set out to reposition the state in line with our Restoration Agenda which is premised on the following priorities: Agriculture, Health, Education, Youth and Women Empowerment, Peace and Security, Value re-orientation and Industrialization.”
He noted that the cardinal priority of his administration was in line with the core commitments of the ruling party which include Relief, Recovery and Reform.
“The change mantra of APC is about the people. And all steps taken by our administration has been people-centred and focused on service delivery in qualitative and affordable manner. We are determined to continue to provide purposeful leadership despite the paucity of funds”
Governor Sani Bello revealed that his administration took off with a major reform in the state civil service in order to reduce the cost of governance.
“We started with a major institutional reform in the state civil service. We reduced ministries from 25 to 15. We also reduced permanent secretaries from 54 to 25. We have started implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy to curb corrupt practices.”
“Through reforms, we are creating the enabling environment for both local and foreign investors to see Niger State as a preferred destination”.
Governor Sani Bello who frowned at dependence of states on FAAC allocations, said:
“We are putting in place new policies to boost IGR of the state. We will take advantage of our proximity to the federal capital to increase IGR. We want to achieve this by looking at the avenue of taxable income or property.
He said that to deliver to the people the dividend of democracy, the present administration is engaging one hundred thousand farmers in the N220 billion Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Anchor Borrowers’ programme for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Fund.
He said the effort is to alleviate poverty especially in rural areas and fight food insecurity in the state.
Sani Bello added that the government has also taken measures to reposition the educational sector by establishing Senior Science Schools in the three senatorial zones of the state to improve the quality of education.
He said that the rehabilitation programme for some state-owned media outfits would soon kick off to make them operational and functional for information dissemination in nook and crannies of the state.
The governor disclosed that four hundred youths have also been engaged in skills acquisition programme to equip them for self-reliance and reduce youth restiveness in the state.