It is very common in this part of the world to find leaders who rarely do as much as they say. They make promises and announce ambitious Change Initiatives and Programmes, amongst many others, without result, and this has become a trend that people have now endured and accepted.
However, there is always an exception to every norm, like in Niger state, where the people can confidently attest to the remarkable performance of their state Governora man known for few words but outstanding results.
Through his stellar performance, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello, or Lolo, as he is fondly called, has changed peoples perception to governance in Nigeria since his ascension to office. He has worked tirelessly to restore the lost glory of Niger state and continues to improve the quality of life of his people through pragmatic and proactive leadership.
In discharging his official duties, governor Bello has been unsparing.
Contrary to the prediction of cynics, he has fulfilled the pledges he made during his electoral campaign, and in this, one can hardly doubt his love and commitment to the people of Niger state.
Prior to his announcement to run for the Office of the Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello had a reputation for sterling execution. This, in turn, brought upon him a groundswell of admiration, making him a man of the people. It is no wonder then that during Niger state primaries, he enjoyed an overwhelming amount of support from supporters from party faithful. Even after assuming office, this reputation persisted.
In the words of the people of Niger state, Governor Bello hasnt been one to disappoint. In the health, education, and tourism sector, he proved himself capable. He has also been at the forefront of integrating urban renewal/smart city innovations across Niger state. Governor Bellos leadership has made the state habitable, peaceful and progressive. Little wonder children, traders, and farmers alike constantly chant his name like the pleasant sound of music, Governor Lolo!!! whenever he passes by.
What philosophy underpins Governor Bellos leadership, you might ask?
Well, meeting the needs and yearnings of his people is one.
He believes that good governance is not always about GDPs and initiating projects worth billions of naira for the sake of profit-making, magazine awards, or political gains. Rather, for Governor Bello, good governance means ideating, assigning and executing tangible projects that meet the needs and aspirations of the people.
So far, Governor Bello centre of focus in government has been in building good roads, hospitals, schools, and social welfare; and despite the economic downturn across the Federation, he has proven his resourcefulness, using the resources at his disposal to enhance and revitalize the states critical sectors. Through his leadership, he has ensured that there is tolerance and peaceful co-existence among various tribes and religions in Niger state.
The following are other notable achievements by Governor Bellos:
1. In the agricultural sector, the Niger state government has been visionary.
To promote lucrative farming in the state, the governor administered the early distribution of fertilizers and provided incentives to farmers. The state was successful in distributing and selling thousands of metric tons of fertilizers at subsidised rates through the federal governments directive and initiative known as The Special Fertilizer Intervention Programme.
Farmers have also been equipped with tractors, 50 units of threshers, and 5 units of power tillers. Also, in all 274 wards in the state, the Governor has ordered the refurbishment of tractors to support farmers. In another affirmative move, youths, counting to hundreds in number, have undergone training in countless agricultural enterprises.
Another major challenge faced by farmers in the past was transporting their farm produce to the market. To resolve this issue, Governor Bello took his investment initiative to the next level by constructing access roads across the state. In total, 221 kilometres of roads particularly in the rural areas were constructed, all under his astute leadership.
These interventions in the Agricultural sector can be said to have had a boost on the morale of local farmers, in turn resulting to better performance and high yields for their produce.
Governor Bellos government also created various channels for providing farmers with easy access to loans and other financial supports. His government distributed 100 motorcycles to aid agricultural extension workers access to remote areas mainly to educate farmers on newer methods employed in agriculture, under the Central Bank of Nigerias Anchor Borrowers Programme.
2. A peace promoter in Niger state
Stricken on diverse fronts, Niger state has been forced to take critical steps in ensuring that peace is a priority, and without any excuse, the Governor has stepped up to the demands, leading confidently despite the increasing number of security infractions across Nigeria.
The Governor has not wasted any time in developing strategies to put an end to insurgence in the state. Committed to maintaining peace, the Niger state government, under his leadership, has developed methods to improve its combat missions while forging collaborative relationships with security operatives and local communities.
As is clear to observers, Governor Bellos core philosophy is centred on maintaining peace and harmony throughout the state. In demonstrating his resolve to what he believes, Governor Bello has extended the efficiency of his clampdown movement by providing the states Joint Task Force, State Vigilante Group, and many other security agencies with Hilux vehicles and motorcycles to help combat the insecurity within the state.
3. Attracting foreign investors to Niger state.
Despite the numerous security challenges plaguing the country, Niger state has attracted impressive foreign investments. A recent report by the Nigerian National Bureau of Statistics described the state as the 4th largest destination of capital investment in Nigeria with up to $16.4 million in FDIs.
One of such investment includes the establishment of a new state water and sewerage corporation, an entity built to replace the existing state water Board. This corporation was endorsed by the state government to help improve services that concern urban water delivery and sanitation. This initiative was proudly supported by USAID through its Effective Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (E-WASH) activity.
It is a five-year deal that aims to restructure the water management corporation to enable urban areas of Niger state to enjoy more effective and efficient services. The E-WASH activity will help improve the water board performance of five other Nigerian states by supporting their financial and operational capabilities to promote economic growth and community resilience.
Since Abubakar Sanni Bello emerged as the Governor of Niger State, the state has evolved from being an ordinary civil service state popular for its landmass to an economic giant through one mans doggedness, commitment, and generosity. In all honesty, citizens of the state, including notable Nigerians in the diaspora, can boldly say that the most impactful transformation ever experienced in Niger state can be attributed to the outstanding performance of Governor Sanni Bello.
It is evident in the way he took the reputed bull by the horn and began a developmental agenda that continues to sweep across every sector and has birthed the new Niger State that we are all proud of today. Of course, there is a lot that still needs to be done, but with the vision and strategic plans of Governor Bello, the Power State is on its way to becoming an economic power, not only in Nigeria but also in West Africa.