The much awaited 2023 general elections are around the corner with gladiators already angling to occupy elective positions at all levels of government across the 36 states of the Federation with the exception of the off-season elections.
Interestingly, in Adamawa State, the 2023 governorship election promises to be a battle royale as political gladiators warm up to slug it out with the incumbent Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri.
Among those who vowed to oust Fintiri from the Government House in Yola, the Adamawa State capital, on May 29, 2023, is a business tycoon who has vast knowledge in procurement, mining and gas with international connections with foreign investors, Alhaji Mustapha Umar Madawaki.
In a statement in Yola recently, the governorship hopeful on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) declared his interest to wrestle power from Fintiri come 2023 governorship election in Adamawa State. To make good his threat, Madawaki addressed the people of Adamawa State in a world press conference, where he made the following key agenda,setting the will to make his government people-oriented and inclined to solving the multifaceted problems of the state.
Top on the priority of his government in view, Umar Madawaki on infrastructure said, inter-state road network from Cham, our border with Gombe State, through Lamurde, Numan, Demsa (dual carriage), then from Ngurore (four lanes) through Jimeta, Girei, Jabbi Lamba (revert to dual carriage) through Song, Gombi, Hong, Mararaba, Mubi (then single lane) on the one hand through Mararaba, Uba, Michika, Madagali, to the border with Borno State. On the other through Maiha Belel to the border with Cameroon and Mubi Sahuda and Cameroon’s border.
He said toll gates are likely at Cham, Numan, Vinikiang, Gombi Mararaba and Sahuda Belel. This road will also be diverted from Jimeta to Fufore, Gurin, and border with Cameroon with toll gate at Gurin. The road will again be diverted from Ngurore through Mayobelwa, Jada, Ganye, to Tongo with possible toll gates at Mayo Belwa and the border after Toungo. It will be a six-inch road expected to last at least 70 years. The investors will fully manage the road and control all revenue points with a sharing formula of 70/30 for at least 30 to 40 years as the case may be.
Other local government areas not initially connected to this road will be linked after the first tenure of Madawaki. They are Guyuk, and Shelleng. He promised that “during this period, we shall equally embark on intra-local government areas road network, which is expected to be done by the state government directly.”
The governorship hopeful assured that on the construction of modern markets in Jimeta, Yola and Mubi. In all these locations, the markets may take over many privately owned houses and shops in order to give it the much-needed space to accommodate about 4,000 shops as in the case of Yola. Jimeta and Mubi markets will have about 15,000 shops each. All the markets will be fire-proof and marble finished.
“The investors will only construct based on our engineering design and specifications. Shops will be allocated by the state government with a deposit to be agreed upon by both sides, including the various market unions. State government will also work out the possibility of soft but long term loans to business owners within the market to enable them to build their capital base. The repayment terms should be on monthly basis and over a period of not less than 30 to 40 years with lower interest rates.
“The amount of loans shall not exceed the value of the beneficiaries’ shop except if further collateral shall be made available to cover the outstanding facility. It is expected that the markets, especially the ones in Jimeta and Mubi, will be the best ever in Africa, with modern aesthetics and likely to be between 5-8 storey fully covered with 4×1500 kva Caterpillar generators.
“Its underground will totally be parking lots to be shared between all shop owners and mobile customers. Fees will be charged for both beneficiaries while customers will pay as they park. Shop owners will have their bills added to all taxes and levies to be paid on monthly basis. These markets are equally to be managed by the investors and revenue also controlled by them. The state will ensure no cash payments are made directly except through the banks for proper accountability. Coins will be used as financial instruments for all payments. The sharing formula for the expected revenue will still remain 70/30 for Investors and the state government, respectively”, he said.
International IT centre:
Madawaki said this will be built within the old Jimeta market premises. Once the new market is in place, all the three markets will be merged to create room for the IT centre. This will revitalise the wards around the market, which include Rumde, Yelwa, Gwadabawa and Ajiya.
These wards have lost their business dominance with the construction and transfer of the central shopping market and the Jimeta new market. The entire area, which hitherto was the business hub of Jimeta, is now a shadow of its former self. With an International IT Centre, these places will witness a new boom as a direct result of heavy influx of young men and women wishing to be IT-literate and specialists. This venture is expected to be funded as a private investment, generating revenue for both investors and the state government. The sharing formula shall still remain 70-30, respectively.
Jimeta main modern park:
The intent shall be that the entire land from under the main Jimeta bridge covering the Jimeta byepass market to Lake Gerio will be taken over. A South Korean investor company will be invited to design and build the park as a tourist destination with all that is required to give it what it takes to generate revenue for both investors and the state. The sharing formula shall still be 70-30, respectively.
Agriculture and Animal husbandry:
As for agriculture, mechanised farming shall be encouraged and supported by the state government through the provision of training, ensuring adequate and timely supply of fertelizers, herbicides, pesticides, improved seeds, especially for rice, millets, wheat and yellow maize. Tractors, combined harvesters, and storage facilities will be made available. Soft and subsidised loans will be negotiated for farmers by the state. In the case of animal husbandry, “our main concentration will be the breeding and fattening of cows, rams and goats while ranching will be an option, individuals wishing to engage in fastening will be supported and encouraged. The expectation is that we shall negotiate with southern Nigeria to close down all their cattle markets and abbatoirs and be supplied with healthy meat, sausages and packed meat-based products from our central slaughter house and factories to be established in Jimeta.
“An Egyptian company has already shown interest. Moreso, the entire Middle East and Arabia are desperately in need of meat supply because of the constant influx of people in especially Dubai, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Saudi Arabia etc. These countries are currently forced to import fresh meat from Brazil in South America. We can effectively do same with an advantage, that ours is organic and therefore, healthier and sweeter.
This market will allow the state to earn money in foreign exchange. We currently have eight cattle markets in the state with a weekly influx of not less than 5,000 herds of cattle per market. This is an indication that we have the capacity to slaughter 15,000 cows per day for both local and 15,000 for international supplies. It is an important source of revenue for the state. Sheep and goats will equally receive a boost in order to ensure a steady supply for both markets.”
In order to support herders and those interested in cattle rearing, fattening, and supplies to the factory/slaughter house, government will ensure steady supply of the much-needed vaccines at subsidised rates, importation of improved weeds for growth by cattle rearers, especially those who may key into the new dream of a stable and functional settlements for herders in the form of grazing reserves etc. Earth dams will be constructed to ensure steady supply of water for their animals, the study of and the supply of veterinary doctors will be encouraged through special salaries and scholarships, respectively.
These measures in addition to others will help stabilise the potential markets for the supply of these cows, sheep and goats. Research centers for the improvement of these animals in line with modernity will receive a boost. Our cattle markets will be improved into semi-automated markets with all attendant facilities to ensure a direct buyer sellers transactions by eliminating middle men often refered to as “yan mi nangi,” whose contribution to any transaction is simply detrimental, ultimately denying government it’s much needed taxes. We must modernise these markets and attract supply all through the country and our neighbouring nation states like Cameroon, Chad, and Niger.
The beauty of cooperating with Southern Nigeria to stop the influx of cows directly, will give Adamawa the monopoly of process and supply, thereby stabilising the market. Trucks in the form of cold rooms will on daily basis supply these certified fresh meat to the entire country predicated on an open but certified split letter of credit in favour of the supplier by all potential buyers. We shall first start with Lagos State because arrangements are already on gear and they seem to love the idea.
Once the local market is getting rooted, the need for a Cargo airport for the lifting of all international supplies will be the next project. Hopefully, we shall witness the springing of Industries to process hide and skin for export, crush, blend and package bones into powder for export, put up factories for the production of sausages and other meat based products, the processing of cow dung into manure for onward sales locally etc. The concentration of these industries will spring up a major Industrial base for the state. However, all these must be private sector driven to ensure success and stability. We also have to exploit the possiblity of generating electricity through wind, thermal and solar to support this Industry.
Some of our communities, especially those living along the banks of the River Benue are fishermen from time immemorial. These include the Bachama, Bata, and Mbula predominantly. The absence of modern fish production facilities and techniques have almost bastardised the Industry. In addition, the uncontrolled fishing in our waters has depleted, if not totally wipe out the fish industry, making us simply reliant on those supplied from the Cameron and Chad for the supply of both fresh and dried fish. This issue can be addressed in the following ways: We shall acquire one thousand hectares of land from the communities of Numan, Demsa, Borong and Lamurde each.
The land will be sub- divided into single hectares to support each young man and woman wishing to undergo this training. After which, they will be supported with fingerlings, feeds and some cash to support their daily works on their projects. This circle will help revitalise the industry and provide job opportunities for our teaming youth.
Eventually, we shall take over the fishing Industry for both fresh and dried fish, at least in the North.
All necessary assistance will be provided to participants in this project. Whatever the Government is able to expend will be built as loans to be repaid gradually by the participants over a period of 5 to 8 years with a moritarium of 2 years.
The people of Hong are known for groundnut farming. It is cultural and historic. If we can have groundnut pyramids in Kano in the 50’s through 60’s, why can’t we have same in Hong. This will spring groundnut oil Industries, animal feeds etc.
All aspects of mining should be on the table, especially the Guyuk cement, Gombi POP, Potash in Zuma, Song and precious stones in their numbers spread all over the state. “Mines and money” International conferences will be patronised yearly to attract investors from especially Canada and Europe.
We shall renovate five government secondary schools in each Senatorial zone, and construct three new ones – Government Technical Colleges, Government Girls Science secondary school, and Government Boys Science Secondary Schools – in each senatorial zone. A state of emergency will be declared in education, so that almost all primary schools will receive a boost through renovation, reorientation, retraining, and retirement/employment of qualified teachers, including expatriates in key position, to institutionalise the new culture. If need be, students, espécially secondary school students, will be transfered to either private schools to complete their education or be sent to skill acquisition centres, as the case may be. Only new entrants directly from primary schools will be admitted into these newly built or renovated schools.
Emphasis will be placed on primary healthcare. Towns and Villages will be given priorities in healthcare development. Healthcare centres will be built in every district, with qualified doctors, nurses and administrators. If need be, expatriates will be employed on contract to supplement the locals. Adequate facilities will be made available such as befitting accommodation, access roads, clean water supply, transportation, and allowances. No doctors under the employment of state will be allowed to run private hospitals. State shall procure and supply its own drugs, and other medical needs. Each hospital at Local Government level will be completely renovated or a new one will be built. This will drastically reduce over-dependence on either Federal Medical centres or State General hospitals. Doctors and nurses will learn to live with the reality of serving comfortably in any part of the state. Access to medical facilities will be localised and brought close to the common man.
Human Capital Development:
Students will be supported through comprehensive scholarships to study anywhere in the world, especially the natural sciences, medicine and medical-related courses, agriculture, social and management sciences, law, etc. Those studying other courses within Nigeria will receive the same support in all ramifications. Super kids or gifted children will be chosen through a competitive examination for what I may call “Global Scholarship” to study in some selected global high-rated International universities and colleges in these chosen fields.
We shall be willing to assist our skilled entrepreneurs to establish businesses of their choice. So also for shop owners in the markets and streets to obtain soft and long term loans to improve their businesses.It will be the goal of the administration to put up skill acquisition centres in all local government areas of the state to boost entrepreneurship in the state to support our young men and women.
It will be a policy of government to recruit and train young men and women of between the ages of 18 and 25 as a special security force to complement the efforts of our security agencies. Each local government will recruit at least 500 youths per annum for a period of four years, so that they can total 2000 per LGA. These recruits will be placed in their respective LGA to operate in the environment they know better. If by chance, the National Assembly approves the establishment of State Police, then automatically they are consolidated as such.
Certain wards may have to be cleared with adequate compensation in order to give a face to both Jimeta and Yola. In Jimeta, Rumde ward may partly or completely pave the way for modern development of housing. It may be the new Commissioners’ quarters or a new spree of housing for citizens with the initial occupants having the first right of refusal. The estate will welcome those approaching Jimeta from Girei to creat a new Infrastructural impression of the state. This same policy will apply on Sanda ward of Yola. In addition to many other layouts that may spring out of the state and local governments. Housing for all categories of people will be given priority in the state.
International companies or water giants in the world such as ‘Thames water’, ‘Patterson candy,’ ‘Biwater’ etc will be invited to set up world class water treatment plants and facilities on the river Benue in Jimeta, to cover Yola, Jimeta, Girei and Fufore. Another will be Mubi North, Mubi South, Maiha on the River kilange. Numan, Lamurde, Demsa, on the River Benue, and Guyuk, Shelleng on the Kiri dam. Also, Mayobelwa, Jada, Ganye to be linked to the Jada river. Where there is no visible and adequate water supply from either streams or Rivers, Industrial boreholes will be put in place to ensure availability of water in such areas. Such projects will be linked to households and metering systems will be introduced. This way, sufficient water supply will be made to people and our underground acquifers will be preserved.
. Garba writes from Yola, Adamawa State