The urban renewal of Bauchi

Even though Gombe state was founded in 1996 from the old Bauchi state, the unprecedented infrastructural development that Gombe has witnessed, has made it tower up and above Bauchi, and a visit to the capital cities of the two states a few years back would make you believe that it was Bauchi that was carved out of Gombe. This has now changed, thanks to the urban renewal of Bauchi by Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi state. Bala Mohammed, Kauran Bauchi, was recently honoured with an Award of Excellence on Urban Renewal by the Nigeria Excellence Award in Public Service (NEAPS), in recognition of his performance in urban revitalisation and renewal efforts in Bauchi state. This recognition is from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

Bauchi is certainly wearing a new look and if you’ve not visited Bauchi in a while, you would be amazed by the development that has taken place. Since the inception of the Kaura administration from 2019 to date, over 500 kilometres of roads and drainages have been constructed within Bauchi metropolis alone. Two major flyovers are being built within the metropolis presently, one at Wunti market/ Murtala Mohammed Way, and the other at Central Market/ Gombe road, to ease the congestion of traffic around two of the busiest areas within the capital city. Over 200 kilometres of roads and drainages have also been constructed in Azare, Ningi, Jama’are and Misau.

The capacity of the Gubi Dam treatment plant has been expanded from 45 million to 75 million litres, supplying over 1 million Bauchi citizens with portable drinking water. It is important to note that the Gubi expansion project was initiated by the M.A Abubakar Esq. administration, Kaura’s predecessor. The Kaura administration has also built over 2,500 housing units in Bauchi, Ningi, Azare, Dass, Misau and Jama’are towns. A new ultra modern government house has also been built and was recently commissioned by the Vice President, Sen. Kashim Shettima. Schools and healthcare facilities have also been rehabilitated across all levels in the state.

Some of the very critical township roads built include the Gwangwangwan-Bakaro-Kofar Dumi road, Mallam Goje-Bakin Kura-Muda Lawal road, Sabon Kaura-Jos road, Yakubun Bauchi-Nitel road, Yakubu Wanka road, Bakaro-Karofi road, and Jaja road. Others include the dualisation of the Muda Lawal market road, expansion of Adamu Jumba road, dualisation of Sam Njoma road, construction of Gombe-Maiduguri bypass, road network at Hajj camp, and Shagari road, all within Bauchi metropolis. There’s also the dualisation of the Airport/Kano road. Roads constructed in other townships include: Sani Abacha road in Azare, Tafawa Balewa road in Azare, and Hospital road in Azare. Others are: construction of Alkaleri bypass, Bununu township road, and Marshall road in Misau. The Kaura admin did not shy away from completing inherited road projects such as the Awalah roundabout to Miri, the Murtala Mohammed/ Federal low cost road, and the Awalah roundabout to Giwo academics, and some roads in Misau and Azare Town.

Ambitiously, new roads have been embarked upon in 2024. Some of these new projects including the flyovers mentioned earlier are: 4 township roads in Alkaleri, dualisation of GSS Ningi to Gudduba road, dualisation of GSS Misau road, construction of Gwallameji-Doka-Rafin Zurfi Road in Bauchi town, construction of Sabon Kaura-Birshi Gandu-BRC road, construction of Zago-Gwallagan Mayaka road in Bauchi town, and the dualisation of the Setraco roundabout-Emirs Palace township road in Azare. Internal road networks at Sa’adu Zungur University are also being built. Almost all the emirs palaces in the state are either being redesigned, renovated or upgraded.

The infrastructural gap between Bauchi state and its peers has been bridged finally, and I am in no doubt that after Kaura’s 2nd term as Bauchi Governor, Bauchi will become the envy of its peers, especially in terms of road networks, both in urban and rural areas. Gone are the days when our jaws drop in awe of the development that has taken place in states like Kano, Kaduna and our neighbouring Gombe. For Kaura as a PDP governor (2nd term) to beat all other APC states like Borno (2nd term), Gombe (2nd term)and Yobe (2nd term), for an APC Administration’s award at the federal level, one can be sure that he must have done excellently well. What Bauchi has lacked is continuity in development, as enjoyed by the likes of Borno and Gombe states. Kaura has embraced that spirit and is carrying the torch well. He has not only completed all of the projects he inherited, but has been able to embark on new ones, completing them one after the other. As a Bauchi citizen, I am proud to look back at my state and be contented that yes, our infrastructural deficits are being addressed squarely. The urban renewal of Bauchi has been a long time coming. It is now here to our delight.

Tahir is Talban Bauchi.