OP-ED Opinions 

Oh My Niger State! By Mathias Baba Tsado

In a few hours from now Niger state workers would down their tools because of the governor’s inability to live up to his constitutional responsibilities, the workers were paid 70% of their salaries in June 2020 the labour union in the state have been in negotiations with the state government since then to refund the 30% cut from their June salaries but to show them how the governors despises them, he paid 50% of November salaries on the 27th of this month citing low FAAC allocation to the state.

Many of the helpless workers I spoke to are lamenting the untold hardship they have to endure under this insensitive government of Gov. Sani Bello, some have resorted to corporate begin to survive, this is callous and barbaric for lack of more accurate words to describe the governor’s actions.

The state governor through the commissioner of information mentioned that the security of the state is more important than the workers salaries, I often wonder how these guys think, they cannot in their wisdom find the nexus between economic stability and security of the state, it is unbelievable that the government would take such dangerous position, perhaps because no one can really hold them accountable for security expenditure, they can hide under this guise to appropriate monies for themselves and their cronies and go Scot-free.

This is very sad and unacceptable, the people deserve their salaries, it is not a privilege but their right, the government has none excuse whatsoever to tamper with the rewards of the people’s sweat, “the worker is worthy of his wages” anyone that wishes to go against this provision would face the wrath of both man and God.

While I call on the state governor to look for the money to pay the people their full salaries for the month of November and the areas of 30% for the month of June, I admonish the the good people of the state to learn the lessons from this current hardship occasioned by the mismanagement and incompetence of this government and try as much as possible to avoid  giving power to  people without proper interrogation.

The current state of roads in Niger state cannot be ignored, Minna to Bida is nothing but a deathtrap, people now have to pass through Wushishi to connect to Bida, this is very unfortunate, this is the same road that the state government collected a loan of $180m sometime in 2019, that is over N65b, its frustrating to hear that the condition of the road rather than improve has gone worse than it was before.

The condition of the road is a reflection of every other infrastructure in the state  from government schools, to hospitals to even state offices, it is beyond imagination that the same government would even dare to think of not paying full salaries for the people.

The people of the state have been through tough times, they have endured government recklessness and mismanagement, the same people who voted the government are now forced to regret their decisions, simply because the government lacks the capacity to be creative and innovative.

Niger state is blessed with tremendous natural resources and a vast land for agricultural services, but aside from that niger state proximity to Abuja should have been a good incentive to drive development in places like Suleija, the potentials of suleija has remained untapped because of our dependence on federal allocations, this is indeed too pathetic.
Suleija is blessed with good topography that can be developed into a major modern city with all sorts of facilities to serve as an alternative to Abuja and attract some major organisations to the state, the value of such is unimaginable, but our government officials cannot even dare to think within the box not to talk of outside it.

This is just one opportunity, there are several others for niger state that would dwarfed other states FDI and IGR but these many opportunities remained unutilized, from fishing to animal farming to tourism the opportunities abound, the state should actually be the food basket of Nigeria, but sadly even the rice mill that should put us at pal with Kebbi state is a shadow of itself, sugarcane used to be everywhere in kutigi down to Jebba to Mokwa, sadly all of these opportunities are not being used to attract sugar factories that would create thousands of jobs for our youths despite signing MoU with Dangote in 2017.

If we can have an active governor in niger state, our people will enjoy the good of the land, a governor that will come with a comprehensive plan on how to turn the potentials of the state into considerable development, create millions of jobs for young people by attracting good businesses to the state, how long do we have to continue with these clueless bunch of opportunists whose only credentials are their fathers names?
Let us wake up as a state and demand for a better dividends of democracy because we deserve better.

The total amount of civil servants salaries in niger state is about N2.5b per month, this should never be a problem for a thinking governor in niger state even without a drop of allocation from the federal government.

2023 is already here, the politicians are everywhere jostling for power, let’s not allow ourselves to fall into another wrong hands, let us interrogate their plans for the state and make our choice devoid of religion and tribal sentiments, let us elect competent leaders across the state, this is my candid advice to all Nigerlites.

God bless our State and our dear Nation.

Mathias Baba Tsado

Sourced From Sahara Reporters

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