Gombe: Pressure Mounts on Yahaya to Reform Agric, Education, Health
By Auwal Ahmad, Gombe
Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State administration is currently under intense pressure to give agriculture, widely regarded as the mainstay of Gome state’s economy.
Concerned citizens of the state in Northern and Central Senatorial Districts are pressing for agriculture to be given pivotal attention in the state.
This is the outcome of a community to community stakeholder’s engagement organized by Wildan Care Foundation in Gombe central and Advocacy Centre for Development (AC4D) for Local Governments in Gombe North.
The State Government had a few months back set up a high powered committee under the Chairmanship of the state’s Deputy Governor, Dr Manasseh Daniel Jatau to marshal out a ten-year development plan aimed at positioning the State on a pedestal of development in its practical sense.
Stakeholders are however oblivious that the plans must not only be another work on paper but it must have a sustained workable implementation procedure in place.
They also want serious attention to be given to the health, education and rural infrastructural development, adding that the traditional institution, must be given recognized official roles in the communities.
According to Malam Umar Gurama from Bozonshulwa in Dukku Local Government Area of the state, the 10-year development plan could be one of the best document so far produced to serve as a guide to the development of the state.
He, however, stressed that it could be another work in theory without implementation.
Gurama stated during the community and stakeholders engagement in Dukku LGA that “our major challenges are in the area of water scarcity, road infrastructure, health and education as well as agriculture”.
For Mohammed Abdullahi from Yamaltu/Deba LGA, the state government has to look into the agricultural sector of the state.
He said, “Nothing will boost economic activities of our communities more than promoting agriculture, as such, the government should ensure timely provision of adequate fertilizers and other implements to farmers”.
Most farmers in Gombe practice the old traditional method of farming but most of these that spoke to our correspondent said deliberate efforts must be made to improve the farming system to mechanized farming.
They said fertilizer is still a big issue because despite the government’s efforts, it still doesn’t reach many farmers and even if it does, it is always highly exorbitant.
“The government should also focus on developing means of tapping mineral resources believed to be found in the state, I understand we have deposits of coal, gypsum, hydrocarbon and kaolin in Gombe state.
“The development plan should identify ways of utilizing the natural resources for the state”, 58-year-old Bunu Abubakar of Garko community in Akko LGA said.
According to Zariyatu Abubakar, Executive Director of Wildan Care Foundation who led the community engagement in Akko, Yamaltu/Deba and Dukku LGA’s, the engagement was to gather the challenges and expectations from various communities to be incorporated to a plan.
“This will help the government in delivering the needed intervention in the communities, wards and LGA’s. And from what we have received from various communities interviewed, the government need to give more attention to the agricultural sector, road infrastructure, water, health and education. They also need to invest in fighting climate change, erosion, flooding and desertification,” Zariyatu said.
Deputy Governor, Dr. Manasseh Daniel Jatau, who is the chairman of the Committee for the ten year development plan had stated that the plan is aimed at positioning the state on a pedestal of development in its practical sense.
He said the government has the determination to implement the plans when put together stressing that, “Development in its practical sense addresses holistic improvement in the general living standard of the people and this is what the plan seeks to achieve”.
“We as a government are committed to implementing the plan if finally ready, especially the needed political will, which is very key to achieving the desired goals”, the Deputy Governor had remarked while addressing members of the technical committee during a visit to his office. He said the government has the determination to implement the plans when put together.