MUAZU ABARI reports on how Gov Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri has consolidated on his earlier achievements to return the glory of the state lost to bad governance of past administrations.
Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, the governor of Adamawa state came into Dougerei Government House Yola with a promise of fresh air and commitment to make Adamawa work again, not only for the present but also the future anchored on 11- point development agenda.
His return to Government House in 2019 election after serving briefly as acting governor in 2014 is seen by most people as a continuation of the journey to rescue the state that was hitherto on life support.
Fintiri came prepared for the task knowing the enormity of challenges and expectations from him.
While assuring the people of the state in his inagural speech titled: ‘Hope Restored’, he said, “As a government of popular consent I am mindful of the responsibility this has bestows on me. I hereby affirm that hope has been restored and true change has come to Adamawa. Let us embrace as I solemnly pledge to provide leadership that is required to make this change work for the good of all.
“It would be a change that would balance policy and politics. A change that would eschew might over rights and treat all citizens as equal. A transformational change that would harness the vast human potentials of the people into attaining and enjoying the dividends of democracy which have so far eluded us.
“Politics is over and the state is now set for the extra job of making Adamawa work again.
“The actual message is think progress; think development and put Adamawa first. “Hopefully, we would set the pace and become the standard by which others measure themselves. I assure you that this leadership would be about adding value to the lives of the people not taking away from them.”
With these commitments, Fintiri swung into action to fulfil his promises to the people through massive investment in infrastructural development. He started his infrastructural revolution by bringing all contractors handling various roads projects back to sites after abandonment by his predecessor due to huge debt.
Massive roads construction
Subsequently, he went further to award various new roads contracts especially within the state capital and some major towns towards making Adamawa a model of good governance and infrastructural development. Some of these roads projects include Bachure Road, Karewa, Nasarawo Borehole, Jambutu Street, Togo Street, Lekki Toba Street, Mambilla Street, among others.
As these projects were ongoing, Fintiri saw the need to expand the horizon of his good governance and breadth of his fresh air to local governments and rural communities in the state where majority of Adamawa citizens live.
Therefore, he went ahead and paid the counterpart fund for Rural Access Mobility Project (RAMP)2, a joint project with the World Bank and French Development Agency leading to constructions of over 341 kilometres of rural roads in various communities in all the 21 local governments areas which have now been completed and commissioned.
Some of these rural roads include 8.8 km Sansri rural road (Ganye), Yerima Mayo rural road (Toungo), Parda-Mininga (Fufore), 25km Bazza-Maa (Michika),16.9 km Mararaban Dumne-Honbo rural road (Song), 31 km Ndikong rural road (Mayo Belwa), 9.3 km Ngongoshi rural road (Yola-south), Kuvu Gaya rural road (Hong) among other rural roads across the 21 local government areas.
This was immediately followed with approval and awards of new contracts for the constructions of two flyovers with underpass and interchange routes, the first ever not only in the history of the state but also in the North-east geo political zone, in addition to the constructions of new set of township roads in seven local governments areas across the three senetorial districts awarded at the cost of 18 billion naira.
Some of these roads include Zumo street and links, Mafia road with two span bridges, Mbamba street, Doctors Quarters road, Nyibango-Yolde Pate road with two span bridges, Weekly Scope road all in Yola-north and Yola-south local governments. Others are Izala-Gwede Mallam-Malam Rafa -Wayam road in Numan local government, European Quarters road in Hong local government, Gulak township road in Madagali local government, Jada township road, Jada Mbulo in Jada local government and Michika township road in Michika local government, respectively.
Speaking at the flagg-off of the flyovers Gov Fintiri justified his administration’s decision to embark on this gigantic projects aimed at re-writing the history of Adamawa in line with his administration’s vision for a better and greater state despite critism by the opposition.
He said, “This event marks a major milestone in the fresh air administration commitments to actualising our key campaign promise of vigorously undertaking an urban renewal that would make Jimeta, Yola and other towns in the state a befitting model to showcase. In addition to the construction of these flyovers and underpass which are the flagships of our urban renewal/development agenda, work would continue on Weekly Scope road among other township roads already earmarked for constructions.
“The construction of the flyovers and great interchange in the heart of Jimeta is in anticipation of the state capital’s ever expanding population and attendant explosion in urban traffic.To those who have been counselling that we are biting more than we can chew with these projects, government assures of total commitments to delivering these projects and would not concede any inch to failure.”
Also, Finitiri has also embarked on the constructions of 2,000 housing estate to address the housing deficit with the first phase of 1,000 housing estates commencing in earnest to be followed with another 1,000 in the second phase to be built in all the 21 local governments.
Electrification and water supply
Rural electrification and water supply are other areas that have received the attention of Fintiri’s administration in the last two years.
The administration has succeeded in restoring electricity and reconnected Michika and Madagali which was destroyed by Boko Haram insurgents to the national grid.
Also, the Toungo Electrification Project not connected to national grid for almost three decades has reached 85 percent completion and it’s meant to cover some communities in Ganye local government in addition to electrification of Dumna in Guyuk local government and other communities in the state. All these are beside the distributions of transformers to various communities in the state.
The administration has succeeded in procuring and installing modern water pumping machines and other equipments for the state water board and embarked on upgrading and rehabilitations of water supply scheme across the state, constructions of solar boreholes across various communities and payment of the state counterpart funds for water projects under the water and sanitation project of the World Bank, among many other efforts. The two water treatment plants in the state currently supply 23m litres per day as against 9m inherited by Fintiri’s administration.
Fintiris administration has also made giant strides in the area of education as he succeeded in implementing free education in all public schools across the state from primary to secondary levels. He also introduced schools feeding programmes, payment of WEAC, NECO and other forms of national examinations, payments of scholarship to over 27,000 Adamawa students, payments of 1.2bn counter part fund to UBEC and massive renovations of schools across the state.
Likewise in the area of health, Fintiri’s administration has facilitated the clearance and transportation of medical equipments rotting away at ports for years, in addition to total overhaul of the Specialist Hospital Yola as well as staff training, constructions of new and complete renovations of primary healthcare clinics.
There is also ongoing constructions of brand new cottage hospitals in Gerei, Gombi, Shelleng and Lamurde local governments; so also is the renovation, upgrading of facilities and constructions of OPD, admin block, library, theatre complex, maternity complex, female surgical wards among other infrastructures in Gombi, Mubi, Ganye General Hospitals as well as engagement of more health workers.
Other achievements of the administration can be seen in the areas of security, civil service reforms, financial autonomy to local governments, agriculture as contained in his 11-points agenda.
With these achievements recorded in less than two years of his ‘Fresh Air’ administration mantra, there is no doubt Fintiri has raised the bar of governance in Adamawa.