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.
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.
Mrs Kikelomo Akande Advocate For Girl Child Education (Interview)
By Aisha Audu, Lokoja.
Kikelomo Akande is a woman of many parts. Besides being a hardworking woman of substance, she is a businesswoman and philanthropist. Armed with a degree in Anatomy, today her focus is on Girl-child education, bridging the gender gap as regards access to educational opportunities in the state.
In this interview with Aisha Audu, she gives more insight about her NGO, its challenges and her campaign to allow girl child attend school, acquire skills to enable them contribute their quota to nation building. Excerpts:
Q: Can we meet you ma?
Ans: My name is Kikelomo Akande. I am a graduate of University of Ilorin; I have BSC in Anatomy and an MBA, both from the University of Ilorin. I am married to Dr Femi Akande and we are blessed with 3 children. I am the General Manager of Treasures Bakery and confectionaries in Lokoja, Kogi State.
Q: What inspired you to venture into charity work?
Ans: I got the inspiration when I looked around me and identified several needs that I can proffer solution to. I get motivated to make a difference when I see children that can be great having no vision and direction. I get inspired when I see intelligent women with great talents wasting away.
The feeling of every action you take making a difference to another person’s life is truly incredible.
There is no other feeling like it. The memories and feelings resulting from working for charity last a life time. When you come to the realization that a little here and a little there can make a great change then you become resolute in making positive impacts in people’s life.
One can choose between paying school fees of 2,000 for a child in public school rather than spending the money on something worthless.
Like Barack Obama said change will not come if we wait for some other person or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we have been waiting for. We are the change we seek. It is wonderful to know that, nobody needs to wait for a single moment before starting to improve the world.
Q: What informed the idea of your NGO and what is it all about?
Ans: Our NGO is named ‘’SEND A CHILD TO SCHOOL’’ with great emphasis on GIRL CHILD- our vision at ‘’SACTSO’’ is to see children enroll at school and to finish, that is not to drop out of school due to lack of finance. With the help of God we have been able to make a significant difference in this area.
The NGO came about when I discovered that children drop out of school because of an amount as low as N1, 500. The school fee in most of our public school is between N 1, 000 to N2, 000 for most school and you discover that some parents can still not afford to pay, thereby making the children to drop out of school.
This is what we should not allow to be happening. This is why I always say N1, 000 can change and mould a destiny.
We not only pay school fees, we are also concerned about the emotional welfare of the child, and we also encourage children to start reading as from their young age.
This we did by buying books which includes educational, motivational and fictions for schools so as to create a mini library. We donated books to Bishop Delisle College, Muslim Community Secondary School, UBE Lokongoma. We hope to be able to do more and extend to other schools. We gave talks on drug abuse, sexual behavior and how to choose a career.
Q: What is the core vision of the NGO?
Ans: Our core vision is promoting educational opportunities for less privileged children in our community because with education we believe you can become anything you want to be. An investment in knowledge pays the best dividends the profound words of Benjamin Franklin.
We at ‘’ SEND A CHILD TO SCHOOL’’ organization strongly believe and embrace this astute ideology and we are committed to do our very best in promoting the right of every Nigerian Child to quality education, disbursing our limited resources to support the less privileged, ensuring they are not totally marginalized.
We are aware of the enormous challenges inherited in our immediate environment, but we believe in moving forward and resources as sacrificial investment into the education of the less privileged children.
Education opens up the mind to new doors and doing new things, it makes the mind becomes curious and curiosity leads us down new paths, New solutions that will drive the nation of our dreams. Ensuring our world becomes a better place by liberating the minds through access to quality education, this is our mission at ‘’SACTSO’’ and we are staunchly committed to its achievements’’.
Q: Can you shed light on some major activities you have carried out since it was founded?
Ans: We have provided uniforms, socks, school bags, books etc, because we believe in the dignity of every child, we go public schools at the beginning of every school session to pay school fees for the complete year. Over 250 pupils are beneficiaries till date.
We provide 2 sewing machines at Bishop Delishe to enhance the idea of the students getting involved in one vocational Skills or the other. We organized summer school (lesson) for students from JSS 1 to JSS3.
This was started in the years 2017 till date. We were unable to do for the years because of the covid-19. It will interest you to know that 5 of our students were given scholarship by effective group of schools due to our activities that was seen by the proprietor of the school on our face book handle. Our face book address is ‘’send a child to school organization’’. You can check some of our activities on the page.
Bishop Delishe is our Pilot project for the Skill acquisition. We hope to be able to extend ton other schools with time and make it an ‘’ after school program’’. In summary this is what we do school tour (a motivational talk series), operation say no to DRUG ABUSE, provision of uniforms, text books and school material support, school fees and examination fee payment support, free holiday coaching classes, mobile library, vocational training with emphasis on fashion designs for schools. SACTSO is not for words alone, we believe in doing the needful. We believe in taking ‘’STEPS’’.
Q: How are you coping with the challenge of funding?
Funding is a lifetime of any programme. For now a larger percentage of what we do is funded by my husband, Dr. Femi Akande Treasures Bakery and my humble self. We get support from a few individuals as well.
Q: How would you describe the condition of the Girl Child in Nigeria?
The condition of the Girl Child is pathetic. So much is expected from a girl child and it could be overwhelming sometimes. A girl is exposed to so many abuses more than a boy child, but I think it is getting better by the day due to so many organizations creating awareness about the plight of a girl and various steps being taken to bring about change.
Q: How would you want issues of rape tackled?
Ans: Issues of rape can be tackled when we as parents are deliberate about having honest conversation with our children both male and female, educating them about the consequences of their actions. Government should also prosecute rapists; this will go along to send warning to other rapists out there.
Also an idle hand is the devils workshop; our children must be kept busy positively at all times. We must engage them mentally, spiritually and physically and to teach them on how to work hard and be smart.
Q: How do you relax ma?
I read a lot. I can’t over emphasise the importance of reading. I travel when there is an opportunity for me. There is really no time to relax, I am always doing one thing or the other but in the midst of it all, I try to put my legs up once in a while and pamper myself with good food.
Q: Any last words for mothers and parents in general?
Ans: Engage your children positively. Let them learn a thing or two. It does not mean that is what they will become e.g taking bribe etc but the knowledge acquired can be useful in their chosen field later in the future. Ben Curson learnt how to play a musical instrument while in school which helped him in the mastering PRECISION which was later useful for him in neuro surgery.
Expose your children to books. It enlarges their vision. The popular saying that ‘’Readers are leaders is very true.
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