Barrister Muhammed Tanko Musa is the immediate past Administrator for Kogi Local Government Council of Kogi state, who has blamelessly served his people for uninterrupted four years.
His tenure was full of positive developments that has placed the area above most of its peers in the state and the country at large.
In this interview with our Editor, Idris Ahmed, the legal practitioner and politician, said his success was from God, the good people of the area and the necessary support he enjoyed from the government of Alhaji Yahaya Bello.
Globaltimesnigeria: Our findings show that Kogi local government area has improved in terms of provision of socio economic amenities despite lean resources available to the council. What were the magic?
Barr. Tanko: Let me start by thanking God Almighty and the governor His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello and the entire people of Kogi local government area.
Determination and self control were part of success story. We were determined to maintain and sustain peace and peaceful co existence among various ethnic groups resident in the local government area. Vigilante groups were setup in every community to checkmate the violent crimes, kidnappings, robbery and inter ethnic and religious crises.
Traditional rulers led by the Ohimege Igu, HRM Alhaji Abdulrazak Isa Koto were at their best as they cooperated and collaborated with the Administration to ensure that peace reigned in the local government and people conducted their businesses un molested. In addition, regular parleys were held to ensure adherence to the accord entered into with the various communities that constitute the local government area.
Globaltimesnigeria: With peace and tranquility established in the local government area, what can you say has been some other achievements so far recorded since your assumption of office?.
Barr. Tanko: The people of Kogi local government area are predominantly farmers and fishermen. My first concern then was agriculture. I met the Agricultural department of the local government in disarray, with heavy equipments like tractors hired out to some farmers in the neighboring state, while inputs like fertilizer and herbicide were either sold out or not available for the indigenous farmers to buy. I had to investigate the whereabout of these essential implements. The tractor was retrieved, but fertilizer and herbicide were allegedly sold to some merchants from far away states in the northern part of the country. All these diversions were stopped and our farmers now get their allocations of fertilizers and other inputs directly at subsidised and affordable prices in accordance with the Bello agricultural policy.
Though the crops yielded to the admiration of all, the annual flood disasters cut short the hope and joy of the farmers and consumers.
Rescue operations by the people, the local and state government as well as national and state emergency agencies could not meet up the loses incurred by the farmers and fishermen whose farms were submerged and fishing ponds and equipments were washed away. In view of the annual flood disasters that has been a source of worry and concern for all the residents of local government area, the Administrator has worked out a comprehensive list of the communities in the local government area that are prone to the flood and erosion menace and have been presented to the relevant agencies like the ministry of local government and Chieftaincy Affairs, national and state emergency management agencies.
I will also state that we have influenced the citing of the Agricultural Farm Center in Kogi local government area.
Feeder roads were graded for the easy access to the rural areas and farms where the bulk of the agricultural produce are harvested and transported to the urban markets. Roads linking Robomi, Adahu, Tanahu to the major roads were equally graded, while the Koton Karfe new layout was also given a face lift to ease movement of residents to the town.
The boundaries of Kogi local government area are well protected to avoid unnecessary border disputes with people from neighbouring states and the Federal Capital Territory.
The Bank accounts of the local government frozen due to duplicity that questioned their validity were unfrozen and centralised that paved way for the workers to collect their earnings. The Administrator had to approach the court to file applications and made spirited submissions for lifting of the garnishee order on the account of the local government council.
Cleanliness is faith as an Islamic adage says, Barrister Tanko has made it a point of duty to lead the people of Kogi local government area to participate in the monthly environmental sanitation exercise which has now been imbibed as a good culture as the local government headquarters and its environs are glittering with clean outlook.
It was for the action of the Administrator that an organization “Good Hygiene Initiative of Nigeria” decided to give him an award of excellence for the promotion of Hygiene in the society .
Education being the bedrock of any meaningful development, could not be neglected, the Administration had to ensure that offices were provided for the LGEA officials to enable them work under conducive atmosphere without interference from any quarters. For proper and effective supervision of schools and staff, a vehicle was provided to the Education Secretary.
Deserving students across the entire local government area were registered to sit for the WAEC/NECO examinations, while Pupils in the local government primary schools were provided with uniform.
In this computer era, the administration provided a stand by generator to the LGEA office to enhance the use of the computers and other accessories necessary for the running of a modern office.
To ensure adequate staffing for secondary and primary schools, Barrister Tanko in collaboration with NYSC brought in corpers to the local government to teach in the schools.
The traditional institution being the custodian of our culture and tradition were created and existing ones were equally upgraded in view of their roles in the maintenance of peace and mediatory roles they play between government and the entire people. As a lover of culture and tradition, the Koton Karfe Fishing and cultural festival was revived and strengthened and would soon be internationalised.
Already Kogi state government has given it recognition as arrangements have been concluded to co sponsor the annual festival along side other corporate organizations and individuals.
My Philosophy Is To Make Positive Impact In The Lives Of people – Alhaji Shuaibu Abubakar Audu
…. My Father, Prince Abubakar Audu, Architect of Modern Kogi.
Alhaji Shuaibu Abubakar Audu, in this interview with Victor Oluwasegun, Political Editor, APC NewsOnline, explains why he has a passion to help the citizens of his State, Kogi. The Banker, who is one of the sons of the 1st Executive Governor of Kogi State, Prince Abubakar Audu, speaks on his father’s legacies, his job, foundation, and other important national issues…
My name is Alhaji Shuaib Abubakar Audu, I am an Executive Director at Stanbic IBTC where I have been working for close to 20 years. I have both Corporate & Investment Banking as well as Asset Management experience for close to 2 decades. I also hold an MBA from the University of Oxford (St. Hugh’s College) in the UK. Although I did my undergraduate and Master’s degree in the UK (details provided below) both my Primary and Secondary School Education were done in Nigeria.
Question: Your father, Prince Abubakar Audu was renowned and recognized for his legacy projects in Kogi State. Which one of his legacy projects excites you most anytime you remembered?
Some of the most important to me were the provision of Higher Educational Institutions in the State e.g. Kogi State University which was named after him as Prince Abubakar Audu University Anyigba by the present Administration of His Excellency Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello and also Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja, Kogi State.
Alhaji Shuaibu Abubakar Audu
Question: As the first and second Executive Governor of Kogi State, many see your Dad as the father of modern-day development in Kogi State, do you agree with them?
Yes, absolutely. As most of the projects he started, completed, and commissioned are the foundation upon which Kogi State development was built on. For example, Kogi State Government House Complex, Commissioners Quarters, Phase 1 and Phase 2 Housing Estates, First and Second 200 Housing units for the Civil Servants in the state, Construction of State Secretariat, and many office complexes in Kogi State. Others are Obajana Cement Company, Radio Kogi Corporation, Construction of Confluence Beach Hotel where River Niger and River Benue meets, provision of Water Supply, and Electricity to various communities in the State. An International Airport in Kogi State was among his dream before he passed on.
Question: You have, to an extent, veered into the banking world, would you say you’re presently satisfied/fulfilled in terms of being able to support/assist indigenes/citizens of the state as you would have loved?
Yes, I am in the Banking and Financial Services world just like my father before his foray into Politics. However, I have supported/assisted a lot of citizens through my Foundation, Shuaibu Abubakar Audu Foundation, through the provision of Social Amenities, Education, Health Care, and infrastructural Developments across the three senatorial districts of Kogi State to complement the effort of state government. I believe development should not be left for the government alone. However, I believe I can still do more and certainly I am not yet fulfilled because I pray God will give me a bigger platform that will enable me to do more for the Great people of Kogi State.
Question: You hold an MBA from the University of Oxford (St. Hugh’s College) UK. an MSc. in International Securities, Investment & Banking from ICMA Centre, Henley Business School, University of Reading, UK, and; a B.A. (Hons) degree in Business Economics from Leicester University, UK. What is your take on the quality of education in the country?
The quality of education in Nigeria can certainly be improved upon as it leaves a lot to be desired. The factors responsible are lack of adequate funding, incessant strikes, infrastructural deficit, lack of power, outdated curriculum, a huge disconnect between the school and industry/real world, which affects the quality of graduates produced.
Question: Would you say that Small and Medium Scale Enterprises are getting enough financial support from the banking sector in the country presently?
They are getting some financial support, but it is clearly not enough considering the huge number of persons engaged in small and medium scale enterprises in Nigeria.
Question: There are great complaints about the administration of pension funds by PFAs whereby pensioners cannot access their funds especially the additional bulk payments. What ought to be done concerning this, as they are hungry but have money sitting in pension accounts?
The complaints are real and concerning. Although the Pension Reform Act enacted in 2004 was meant to improve and address some of these shortfalls. The current law allows retirees to access their retirement benefits through either lump-sum payments where 25% can be accessed lump sum and the balance through monthly payments or an annuity program.
Question: What philosophy guides your daily living?
My philosophy is trying to maintain a good relationship with my creator (Allah) and make a positive impact on the lives of people knowing that one day I shall give account to God.
Question: What do you think should be done concerning the state of insecurity in the country?
Fundamentally, the root of insecurity is injustice and a bad economy where an average person finds it difficult to live well. The leadership has needs to tackle it headlong by providing the security and military personnel adequate funding to tackle it. All critical stakeholders also need to be engaged including community leaders, religious leaders, and political leaders. Also, acts of sabotage would also need to be checkmated.
Question: You have a foundation by the name Shuaibu Abubakar Audu Foundation. Can you explain to us what it’s all about?
The foundation was established to make a positive impact on humanity by touching the lives of ordinary people and to make the world a better place for all and sundry.
The foundation plans to set standards for other foundations with similar goals and to leave enduring legacies for posterity. In a bid to achieve this vision, we are into the provision of rural electrification projects, portable water, and the construction of feeder roads for the citizens of Kogi State.
We also provide improved health care facilities and awards Scholarships to indigent students as well as leadership training and mentorship for our teaming Youths.
The Foundation is into the establishment of vocational centers and giving soft loans to our market women and medium scale enterprises. We also renovate dilapidated primary and secondary schools within our communities and beyond.
Alhaji Shuaibu Abubakar Audu is happily married to the daughter of Senator Jibrin Isah (Echocho) of Kogi East in the Senate.
Source: APC Newsonline.
YESSO Committed To Strengthening State Level Social Safety Network And Reducing Vulnerability In Kogi – Dr. Noah Alilu
YESSO Committed To Strengthening State Level Social Safety Network And Reducing Vulnerability In Kogi – Dr. Noah Alilu
Kogi state youth Employment and social support operations YESSO is a collaborative intervention program initiative of the world Bank aimed strengthening the state level social safety net system and reducing vulnerability of the youth and women through increased access to work opportunity and promoting human capital development , protection and Economic Empowerment of the poor and vulnerable,midwifed by the kogi state government under Governor Yahaya Bello to frontally and decisively tackle the agitating issues of poverty.
The program commenced in 2015 when the state along with 14 other states of the federation who are equally YESSO participating states embraced the program as a solution to poverty reduction.
YESSO has ensured social safety net systems by providing Technical assistance to project implementation, it has also put in place a platform for public workfare which involves cash transfer to poor and vulnerable youths who engage in various public agencies at the grassroots to provide labour intensive services in rural communities.
It has also provided skills to the youths and vulnerable in the society towards making them Economically independent.
Doctor Noah Alilu (PhD) is the man at the helm of affairs of this all important body which has taken up the social responsibility of identifying the poor and vulnerable in kogi state with the view to providing the necessary support
Doctor Noah Alilu in this Exclusive interview with our correspondent Husseini Abubakar exrays the vission and mandate of YESSO in providing sucour to the poor and vulnerable in the state.
He explains the modus operandi used in arriving at identifying the poor and vulnerable,the bootlenecks,successes and inherent challenges of the social service Agency.
Doctor Noah Alilu can you tell us more about kogi YESSO ?
The youth Employment and social support operations YESSO is a world Bank initiative aimed at strengthening the state level social safety net system and reducing vulnerability of the youth and women through increased access to work opportunity and promoting human capital development. concept behind the implementation of YESSO in kogi state is to amongst other things increase access of the poor and vulnerable using improved social safety net systems,to improve youth Employment opportunities in the state and other participating states,also, it is to provide targeted cash Transfer to the poor and vulnerable and internally displaced persons in North East. YESSO is now doing a program under ministry of humanitarian disaster management and social development,there is a program under this ministry called National social safety coordinating office (NASCO) that is a in charge of developing social register for the poor and vulnerable in the country,the target now is any poverty related issues, anything that has to do with the poor and vulnerable in the land,we want to articulate their data base in the country so that resources can get to the poor and vulnerable as the occasion demands, everybody claims to be poor but we want to know the severity of poverty across the land.we have the single register of kogi state which has already been uploaded into the National social register that is domiciled in the NASCO office in Abuja supported by the world Bank.
We are doing this data transparently so that the poor and vulnerable get socour from other donor agencies across the world and to go further,this single register we have built for this country,we have donor agencies across the world that are using the register today,we have international Labour Organization (ILO),we have United Nations women group that are using the data,we have UNICEF that is using the data, we have conditional cash transfer of the federal government using the data, we equally have the national health insurance scheme both at the national and at the state level, they are visiting the register to impact positively on the life of the poor and vulnerable in the land.
This single register is developed transparently across board without discrimination,no politics in it,we are mandated to cover all the nooks and crannies,we don’t discriminate against any community.
Going by your data ,what is the number of the poor and vulnerable in kogi state?
We have three approach to select the poor and vulnerable, first of all,we start with what we call geographical targeting, under the geographical targeting what we first of all do is to use the kogi state poverty map, from the poverty map we discover the poorest of the poor local government,we go there and aggregate the list of the entire community and with the aid of the local government authority we now rank the list of those communities.
Community based targeting is an approach that we use to engage the community one on one, we gather the community together to sensitize and mobilize them ,then we engage them into a pool discussion,in the cause of discussing with them, we engage what we call the focused group discussion.
We then this community people into the youths, the women and adult s ,we sample opinion, what causes poverty in your community and from this discussions they mention names of the poor and vulnerable in the community unknown to them.with the list in the single register you will now conclude that those list are people that the community themselves approve as the poor and vulnerable and they need support.
How would you rate the performance of YESSO in kogi state?
As at today we have recorded over three hundred and thirty thousand poor and vulnerable households in kogi state.
When I talk of household am talking about head of the households , now when you talk of the individuals in the households, it comprises of the poor youths, the women and the girls.in a household you can have ten or Fifty people.
The population we have gotten in our register is over one point one million people, looking at the household and the number you will discover that we have covered all wards in kogi state but there are still some communities we have not touched and very soon with the assistance of NASCO we are going to ensure that those communities that have been left untouched are brought on board.
“I Will Thread The Path Of My Predecessors For Safe Sailing” – Says Barr. Tanko Osuku
The Chairman, Kogi State Civil Service Commission, Barrister Muhammed Tanko Musa says he will build on the legacies of his predecessors in his quest to achieving the results expected of the Commission.
Barrister Tanko speaking in an interview with Newsmen at his Office in Lokoja, the state capital.
He said in view of the blueprint Agenda of Governor Yahaya Bello at ensuring better lives for civil servants in the State which was duly followed by his predecessors, following same will ensure smooth sail all through his reign as the privileged Chairman of the Commission.
Barrister Tanko pointed out that civil service is now witnessing a positive change after the screening exercises conducted by the present Administration, stressing that irregularities such as ghost workers, age falsification among others have been tackled.
“One of the thematic Agenda of my Governor during his assumption of Office is civil service reform. Before his coming we know how things were and we thank God that today the table has turned for the good. Our TALK and DO Governor has changed the narratives civil service to the admiration of all. The issue of ghost workers, falsification of age, erotic documentations, uncommitted and quack workers have been laid to rest. What about salary issues? Today civil servants are wearing smiling faces because they are now receiving their salary as and when due. So, it will be wisdom for me to follow the template that my predecessors followed that helped them to serve without rancor and acrimony”
The Chairman appreciated Governor Bello for finding him worthy of the position and promised his commitment to the success of the Commission.
“I want to appreciate the Number One citizen of our dear State, His Excellency Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello for appointing me to occupy this position. I pray that God in his infinite mercy will continue to guide him, grant him uncommon wisdom as he continue to pilot the affairs of Kogi State. I tell you that the people of Kogi State are happy with His Excellency because of his doggedness and commitment towards giving the State a face lift. We’ve never had it this good so, the people are happy”
He called on civil servants in the State to cooperate with the Commission and charged staff of the Commission to continue in their display of professionalism at all times.
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