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Zulum: Quick sectorial notes on one year scorecard

Zulum: Quick sectorial notes on one year scorecard

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By Abdurrahman Ahmed Bundi

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Borno Governor, Babagana Umara Zulum on emerging as the APC Governorship flag bearer on 1st of October 2018 and his subsequent victory at A General election on Saturday 9th March 2019, he has been the most popular Governor in Nigeria. Considering the quantum of expection on him, one may be tempted to ask “One year after, has Governor Zulum made a difference.”

However, before we move further, let me quote from His Excellency former Governor Kashim Shettima.

“I would like to say that the task of recommending one aspirant to our stakeholders have more than anything else, tested me. I have faced the test of choosing between my personal interest, my friendship and my political associations, all on one side, and on the other, my conscience and the future of Borno State.”

“Everywhere in the world, post conflict rehabilitation, restoration, reconciliation & resettlement are complex, composite & interwoven. With humility and absolute respect for all aspirants, I would like to say, that from overwhelming opinions and feed backs. The aspirant with an edge in understanding the Peace-Development Nexus of Borno’s post conflict future is Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, mni.”

“My recommendation of Professor Zulum does not, should not and will not stop any aspirant from contesting in the primaries. It is easy to market Professor Zulum before delegates. If we succeed, Insha’Allah, we will go round Borno State, to remind electorates from Gwoza to Chibok, Bama to Damasak, Konduga to Kaga and all over Borno State. We will tell electorates to look around their neighborhoods and see how Professor Zulum was able to rebuild their communities—from the thousands of homes, hundreds of schools to healthcare centres and restored their livelihoods at the risk of being attacked by Boko Haram.”

It’s completely mind-blowing when people turn out in their thousands to elect the Professor Governor, Babagana Umara Zulum on a polls in 2019. Zulum polls 1,175, 440 votes as against his closest rival who has 66,115 votes, first in the history of Borno, a candidate scoring over a million votes.

To mark the one-year anniversary of his administration and to answer the question, “one year after, has Governor Zulum made a difference” let me take you through the numerous achievements of Governor Zulum in one year.

The first one year of Prof. Zulum in Government House has been eventful, to say the least. However, let us focus on sector to sector reforms that have been made so far.

SECURITY AND RESSILIENCE BUILDING

Governor Zulum began his term with a meeting on security issues, one day after he was sworn in as a Governor of Borno State, he summon a security meeting comprising the state security chiefs and the traditional institution.

Zulum in an effort to restore civil authorities and strengthen resilience, have visited all the 27 local Government Areas of the State, where he equally identified needs. 300 surveillance vehicles purchased and distributed to the military, other security agencies and volunteers in fighting insurgency. Procurement of security gadgets for Youth vanguards (CJTF), Vigilante and hunters.

The insurgents destroyed over 70 percent (or more) of municipal buildings like police stations, local government secretariats, courts, palaces of traditional rulers, etc, some of which they occupied and then destroyed before such communities were liberated.

The Borno State Government under Prof. Zulum is continuing with the work of his predecessor, by rebuilding municipal buildings in 21 LGAs. 11 of these were newly built across 8 LGAs. The projects include 15 LG lodges, 5 LG secretariats; 32 market shops and 38 market stalls, 8 court complex/quarters; 14 traditional rulers’ residences (emir, district/village head);14 worship centers; 1 shopping Complex; 3 LEA offices; 3 police stations; 1 police barrack; 1 administrative office and 1 state secretariat; as well as the furnishing of secretariats in 2 LGAs. Overall, 34 out of 53 instituted projects were completed to show the urgency towards the return to normalcy, and the provision of conducive environment for constituted authorities to administer municipalities.

HUMANITARIAN AND RESETLMENT.

In one year of his administration, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum assumed the role of Borno’s Chief Humanitarian Officer. Zulum undertook several humanitarian trips to 14 LGAs, most severely affected by insurgent-displacement.

In these activities, which are not captured under physical projects, Zulum distributed over 600,000 bags and cartons of food varieties as well as 126,000 pieces of wrappers to displace women.

Zulum was in Niger and Cameroon to support a combine total of about 200,000 refugees from Borno State and is currently building homes in preparation for their safe and voluntary return to Borno State.

The Governor approved one billion naira as counterpart funding to the Bank of Industry to support small and medium-scale entrepreneurs amongst internally displaced and vulnerable persons.

Zulum distributed another one billion naira as Social protection to a combination of 120,000 female IDPs, 3,127 petty traders, another 3,127 physically challenged persons, another 1,037 vulnerable blind men and women; 28,162 youths engaged in waste-for-cash following ban on political thuggery and 300 female IDPs who survived Gender-Based violence supported to start businesses after acquiring skills.

EDUCATION

On education, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum undertook seventy-six capital projects in one year. He created and built 21 primary, secondary and sub-tertiary schools in 13, local government areas. These include a new 60-classroom Mega primary school at Njimtilo; 30-classroom Mega school at Ajilari Cross, another at Abuja-Sheraton community; yet another in Askira.

All of these were started and delivered within one year. Six additional new schools were delivered while eleven are at various levels. Fifty-five existing schools were completed, reconstructed or rehabilitated and equipped across the state. Beyond infrastructure, Zulum regularly appears in schools unannounced. He takes teachers roll call to instill discipline and restore the glory of public school system in Borno State.

HEALTHCARE

In his first year, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum accorded greater priority to primary healthcare at the grassroots level. Zulum undertook 46 projects, from which 37 new primary healthcare centers (PHCs) were established in 17, local government areas. Twelve of these new PHCs have been completed while 25 are at various stages. Zulum reconstructed two primary healthcare centers in Tungushe and Walama; and rehabilitated the state’s Psychiatric and Skin Disease Hospitals.

Zulum rehabilitated two hospitals in Rann and Lassa; and upgraded Biu and Monguno General Hospitals to a specialist level. The Umaru Shehu Specialist Hospital was also remodeled. Zulum also established and funded a Contributory Healthcare Scheme to increase access to quality, and affordable healthcare services by the people of Borno State.

RURAL & URBAN HOUSING

In one year of Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, six thousand, five hundred, and forty-four rural and urban houses are being delivered under twenty-one projects.
Already completed are duplexes for professors; three bedrooms for senior lecturers; two-bedroom for junior staff and a Mega hostel for students, all at Borno State University.

Zulum also delivered 20 bungalows and 50 houses for staff of University of Maiduguri. At on large scale, Zulum completed 500 low-cost re-settlement houses at Ajiri and 250 in Kawuri Township. A total of three thousand Low cost houses are ongoing in Monguno; Guru-Soye; Kawuri village; Auno and Gamdu.

URBAN & RURAL WATER

In one year, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum combined focus on urban and rural water supply. Aggressively, Zulum succeeded in drilling 213 new boreholes alongside distribution lines, in 17, local government areas. Zulum rehabilitated 122 dysfunctional boreholes in Jere, Konduga and MMC. He also approved maintenance on 204 existing boreholes within Maiduguri and Jere.

These bring to 539 boreholes in 26 LGAs, all of which were collapsed under 25 projects. At different times. Zulum undertook 13 other projects maintaining underground reservoirs, Low cost Estate, Alau Raw Water Facility and above all, the Maiduguri Water Treatment Plant, for the benefit of Borno’s multi-ethnic residents.

ROAD INFRASTRUCTURE & TRANSPORTATION

Good road infrastructure guarantees a flourishing economy and prosperity to the people, and strengthens the value-chain in the agricultural sector by reinvigorating trade and safety. Across 9 LGAs, 26 new projects were instituted, out of a total of 40 in the sector and a dozen was completed.

RURAL & URBAN ELECTRIFICATION

In its first year, the administration of Professor Babagana Umara Zulum shared attention to power installations in the metropolis, sub-urban and rural communities. 18 projects were carried out. These include the electrification of thirteen township locations and villages in Chibok, Damboa, Hawul, Kwaya-Kusar, Shani, Bama and Mafa local government areas.

Five additional projects were carried out on the installation of fifty-five units of five hundred KVA transformers, and the optimization of streetlights in eighteen communities, estates and public institutions within Maiduguri, Jere and Konduga.

Zulum’s ultimate target is to power all portions of the State for safe-comfort; and to stimulate businesses in Borno’s race towards economic recovery.

AGRICULTURE

Borno State has always been an agrarian community and agriculture has always been the main stay of its economy until the emergence of the Boko Haram insurgency. People dreaded going to the farms due to a fear of attacks from the insurgents. The Zulum-led administration, knowing that food security is key to economic emancipation decided to invest heavily in this sector to allow the people return to their homes and till the lands, once again. The Zulum-led administration had also started an agricultural revolution, and to no surprise, all eight (8) projects across 16 LGAs in the sector were completed and delivered.

These included the cultivation of 3,611 hectares of rice in Konduga, Ngala, Dikwa Mafa, Gubio, Damboa and repair of 56 tractors in MMC, distribution of 350 water irrigation pumps in Biu, Mobbar and other agricultural equipment in MMC; installation of 1500 tons/day rice mill in Jere, and activation of 5 irrigation schemes in Kaga, Jere, Dikwa, Mafa, Ngala, Gwoza Bama and K/Balge LGAs.

COMMERCE & INDUSTRY

This is the backbone of any economy and its development. With this realization, Governor Zulum sprung into action to resuscitate key state government-run industries and corporations. Five pilot projects targeted 5 LGAs; and three have already been completed.

ENVIRONMENT

In collaboration with other partners working on environmental sustainability, all eight (8) ecological projects were delivered across seven (7) LGAs to mitigate the impacts of environmental degradation and desertification. The projects included newly built drainage networks in A/Uba, MMC, Bayo and Jere; and collaborative establishment of 130 hectares of woodlot plantation in six LGAs as well as seedling raising.

VOCATIONAL SKILLS FOR JOB CREATION

In August 2019, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum began This vocational training institute in Muna.

The facility is designed for annual training of 1500 displaced youths above school age. The institute has six (6) blocks of hostels, Auditorium, Administration block and Fourteen (14) workshops been equipped for training on ICT, Tailoring, Barbing, Auto mobile, Electronics, Solar and Electrical Installation, Air Conditioning and Refrigerator, Plumbing, Pipe works and Fiber.

While building Similar one in Mafa, Zulum has Rehabilitated Five (5) others and completed another vocational centres initiated by community members in Marama town.

Indeed, Zulum is waging war against mass unemployment in Borno state.

About Femi Ige