Gov. Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State on Friday swore in six newly-appointed commissioners and five special advisers.
Speaking during the swearing-in, Mohammed said three of the commissioners were among the six who had previously resigned their appointments to contest for various elective offices in the 2023 general elections.
The governor explained that the three of the former commissioners emerged victorious in their various primaries while the other three could not make it.
He added that with the exit of those six commissioners, a vacuum was created in the State Executive Council, hence, the need to fill the space to have a full complement of the state Executive Council.
“The commissioners that have just been sworn in today have been screened and approved by the State House of Assembly.
“The decision to reappoint those who had earlier resigned their appointments to contest in the party primaries was informed by their commendable record of performance while they served at their various ministries.
“They worked relentlessly towards implementing government policies and programmes and related to their performance is the need for continuity,” the governor said.
He commended their resolve to remain in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) after losing in their primaries.
Mohammed also said that the remaining new three commissioners were appointed based on their antecedents and track records.
He, however, urged them to acquaint themselves with the policy thrust of the government for efficient and effective discharge of their duties as members of the State Executive Council.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the commissioners and their portfolios included Mr Abdulkadir Ibrahim, Works and Transportation; Ahmed Jalam, Water Resources.
Others were Maryam Bagel Power, Science and Technology; Hajiya Zainab Takko, Commerce and Industry; Adamu Gabarin, Information and Communication and Sabiu Gwalabe, Health.
The Special Advisers are Bala Kasko, Musa Mohammed, Abubakar Nawaila, Gashon Danna, and Sabo Khalifa.
Gov. Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State has commended the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) for launching a book on community relations strategy.
Mohammed made the commendation at the unveiling of the book on Thursday in Bauchi.
The book entitled, “Community Relations Strategy’, a premier for public relations players of corporate organisation in developing nations, was being sponsored by the Bauchi State Chapter of the Institute.
He described the publication as well conceived and timely, adding the book would address practical and intellectual needs of public relations students and practitioners.
The governor said it would also strengthen the public affairs department of corporate organisations in developing nations.
“The production of the book is therefore, a step in the right direction and I commend the NIPR for this laudable initiative.
“I wish to inform this august gathering that the publication is in tandem with my administration’s desire to promote scholarship through the repositioning of the education sector,” he said.
He, however, tasked public relations practitioners as image makers to demonstrate high sense of professionalism and patriotism in the discharge of their duties.
The governor further urged them to eschew acts capable of causing disaffection among the people in the course of serving their clients and principals.
Earlier, Alhaji Kabir Kobi, Chairman of the institute in the state, said the publication was done in accordance with international standards.
He said it was the compilation of contributions from members of the chapter and beyond put together by its Publication Committee under the leadership of Mr Hamid Muhammad, Editor of the book.
Muhammad, who is also a staff of the Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi, said the book had been subjected to rigorous review by many scholars.
He said the book also proffer solutions to problems that may arise between corporate organisations, members of staff and the host communities.
“As NNPC has sited oil exploration in Alkaleri Local Government Area of the state, we felt that the issues of oil exploration and the problem of community issues that NNPC faced in the Niger Delta region shouldn’t replicate itself here.
“This is one of the key issues that pushed us to focus on this area of community relations,” he said.
Gov. Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State, on Saturday said journalists and other media practitioners were the most dehumanised people in Nigeria.
Mohammed stated this in Bauchi while presenting two new Toyota Hiece buses to the Government House Press Crew and the Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the state.
According to him, media practitioners are always suffering from the rigour, challenges of news gathering and sometimes, they don’t even have salaries and wages.
He added that the media people had been suffering in silence even though they put up a mirror for the society to see itself.
Mohammed, who said that he was giving out the vehicles to show that journalism and media men have dignity, added that they must be respected and encouraged to work in a manner to create an environment conducive for them.
He said to be above board, media men must be given respect in terms of their contribution to society.
“This is an opportunity for me to say thank you to my creator for uplifting me to the position of a governor as a journalist and as a media man, I cannot do better than to identify with my first constituency.
“I’m using this opportunity to call on the media owners to please look at the problems and challenges of media practitioners.
He said this would make the profession to be noble so that journalists could have salaries, wages, allowances, transportation and other welfare package.
“I’m also calling on our colleagues, the governors, the presidency and the rest to respect these people who are always there in the rain, in the sun, asking questions and trying to make the society better by exposing bad governance, and some of our limitations and inadequacies.
“I’m not flattering the media but they are doing so much, they have remained one of the best professionals in terms of what they are doing and they are at par with their global counterparts,” Mohammed said.
He reiterated his pledge to renovate the Nigeria Union of Journalists’ Secretariat in the state before the expiration of his tenure.
Gov. Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State on Friday presented 32 new Suzuki Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) to 22 Permanent Secretaries in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that other beneficiaries of the cars were the judicial officers with six cars as well as the Bauchi State Chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) which received four of the vehicles.
Speaking during the presentation, the governor said that the vehicles were meant to assist the beneficiaries in the discharge of their official responsibilities and also to serve as a catalyst for improved productivity for the benefits of the citizens of the state.
Mohammed, who lauded the judiciary for effective service delivery, also applauded the organised labour for its cordial relationship with the state government as well as making sure that neither the government nor the labour force was shortchanged.
He added that the civil service had come to a level where the state government was including it in whatever it was doing.
“A strong civil service is required for the implementation of the policies and programmes of government for the social economic development of the state.
“It is for this reason that government used merit in the appointment of permanent secretaries.
“This initiative has brought about remarkable improvement in the service delivery in the state,” he said.
Mohammed urged the permanent secretaries to continue to do their best in the discharge of their responsibilities by being upright and dedicated to duties.
“So far, I want to confess that I have seen improved productivity in the service because of the calibre of the permanent secretaries we have,” Mohammed said.
In his vote of thanks, Alhaji Yahuza Haruna, the state Head of Civil Service, appreciated the state governor for the ‘kind gesture’ and bringing the much-needed intervention into the civil service.
He assured that the civil service would put in its best to help the administration achieve more in the state.
He however, reminded all the beneficiaries of the vehicles that to whom much is given, much is expected.
A group, Bauchi Lawyers of Conscience (BOBALAC) has reaffirmed support to Gov. Bala Mohammed re-lection bid in the 2023 general elections.
The group also refuted social reports alledging that some of its members had defected from the legal team of the governor.
This is contained in a statement jointly signed by the Chief Convener and Secretary of the group, Mr Abdullatif Isa and Abbakar Idris, in Bauchi on Wednesday.
It said that none of its members defected to the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) ahead of the general elections.
The group said it remained supportive of the Mohammed-led administration in the state, stressing that it would continue to discharge the role of learned wise men as the times and circumstances demand.
“We hereby categorically state that none of the members of this esteemed group at any level defected from His Excellency’s side to any other camp,” it said.
The group further urged the governor and the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to continue to deepen engagement, alliances and confidence building across all strata and stakeholders to resolve differences for the greater interest of the state.
The Bauchi State Government says its decision to privatise six state-owned moribund industries will be in the best interest of the people.
Mr Ibrahim Kashim, Secretary to the State Government (SSG), stated this at a news conference in Bauchi on Saturday.
Kashim was reacting to criticism by the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC), asking the state government to shelve the proposed leasing of the companies or face legal action.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the state government on Tuesday announced the leasing of Zaranda Hotel and Wikki Hotel at the sum of N1.2 billion and N200 million respectively for a period of 25 years.
In the same vein, the state government planned to lease Bauchi Fertiliser and Blending Plant at N400 million, Bauchi Meat Factory N301 million, Bauchi Furniture Company N150 million and Galambi Cattle Ranch N150 million, respectively.
However, Chairman of the APC in the state, Alhaji Babayo Aliyu said the party kicked against the move by Gov. Bala Mohammed’s administration to lease the state-owned entities.
The APC, therefore, issued a two-week ultimatum requesting the state government to rescind its decision or face legal action.
In a swift reaction, Ibrahim said the leasing of the companies was part of pragmatic approach by the Mohammed’s administration to resuscitate the moribund companies to resume operations.
He said the state government planned to privatise more of such ailing industries, noting that, “Yankari Game Reserve is one of those industries.
“Yankari is definitely one of the areas of concern.
We are keen about Yankari because Bauchi State is supposed to be a Pearl of Tourism, and we want to maximise our capacity”.
The Local and General Agricultural Development Foundation (LOGADEF) says arrangements have reached advanced stage for the 12 Edition of the Local Agricultural Products Fair in the state.
Mr Ibrahim Anas, the Executive Director and Convener of the fair disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Bauchi on Monday.
Anas said that the fair was billed to take place between Sept. 29 and Oct. 7. He said that the event was being organised by the foundation, in conjunction with the State Government.
He said that representatives of the 774 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the country would converge on Bauchi for the fair.
Anas said that the event would provide the platform for the cross-fertilisation of ideas to grow the nation’s agricultural sector and ensure food security.
He also said that it would help to promote rural agriculture and enhance quality service delivery in farming for national economic growth.
He said that the objective of the fair was to diversify the revenue base of the states and LGAs by strengthening all the indicators of development, including improved agricultural practices.
“It will also serve to improve rural infrastructure, enhance income generation and improve the people’s standard of living,” he said.
Anas further said that the exhibition was aimed at diversifying the nation’s economy via agriculture in order to reduce dependency on oil, especially with the current economic downturn.
He commended Gov. Bala Mohammed for providing LOGADEF with the necessary support and opportunity to host the fair in the state.
According to him, the State Government has approved Babangida Square, office accommodations and other necessary logistics for LOGADEF to ensure the success of the fair.
Anas, therefore, urged the public and local farmers to actively participate in the fair for knowledge sharing to improve skills and development.
He said that certificates would be issued at the end of the fair to the LGAs came top in the exhibition of agricultural products.
Some farmers in the North-East have expressed concern over the difficulties experienced in accessing fertiliser due to unavailability and hike in price of the commodity.
The farmers, who spoke in Bauchi, Damaturu, Gombe, Maiduguri and Yola, said the situation would result to low yields at harvest.
The decade-long Boko Haram insurgency and other forms of insecurity have adversely affected crop production as many farmers had abandoned their farms in parts of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe. Farmers in areas prone to insecurity now rely on close-by, often overstressed lands to farm in resettled communities, thus, making significant surge in the demand for fertiliser to boost soil fertility for bountiful output.
The farmers’ concerned stem from their inability to access fertilisers such as Urea, and the Nitrogen, Potassium and Phosphorous (NPK) due to exorbitsnd prices.
The situation was further compounded by the ban imposed on circulation of granular fertiliser in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe. The ban was to prevent Boko Haram insurgents from accessing granular fertiliser to make Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).
A NAN check in markets across the region showed that prices of the commodity had shot up by over 100 per cent in the last one year.
A 50 kilogram bag of fertiliser was being sold between N25,000 and N35,000 as against its previous prices of N15,000 during the last cropping season.
Mr Sabo Bappa, a smallholder farmer in Askira-Uba, Borno, attributed the scarcity of fertiliser to drastic drop in the supply of the commodity.
He said the decrease in the supply coupled with the ban on circulation of the commodity resulted to price hike in the region.
The farmer urged government at all levels to adopt practical measures towards enhancing access to fertiliser.
Hajiya Fatima Misau, Treasurer, Small Scale Women Farmers Organisation of Nigeria (SWOFON) in Bauchi State, said prices of fertiliser had shown spiralling increase amid growing demand since the commencement of the rainy season.
She noted that farmers could not reap much without applying fertiliser, especially on impoverished lands across the region.
Similarly; Samuel Luka, a maize grower in Bauchi, said many farmers now rely on cow dung and chicKen droppings to nourish their farms as they could not afford exorbitant fertiliser prices.
“Many farmers are forced to abandon their farmlands which will result to poor harvest,” he said.
To address the problem, state governments in the region embarked on distribution of granular and liquid fertilisers to farmers at subsidised rate.
Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno, said the state government could not distribute subsidised granular fertiliser to farmers due the banned imposed on the commodity.
He, however, said that his administration accorded pririoty towards enhancing farmer access to liquid fertiliser and other input to encourage productivity.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports also that the Borno Fertiliser Blending plant has been closed due to Boko Haram insurgency in the past 13 years.
Liquid FertiliserIn Adamawa; the Commissioner for Agriculture, Umaru Daware said the state government had procured 54,000 litres of organic liquid fertiliser for 2022 wet season activities.
He listed the products to include NPK, Urea brand of fertiliser and Folier rice, adding that it would be sold to farmers across the 226 wards at subsidised price of N4,000 per bottle.
According to him, the product costs N6,000 per bottle at open market.
He warned against diversion of the products, stressing that government would not condone erring officials.
Also; Malam Adamu Muazu, Programme Manager, Adamawa Agricultural Development Programme, said experts had certified liquid fertiliser to be safe and environmental friendly capable of increasing farm yields.
Shehu Jabdo and Usman Michika, both farmers in Adamawa commended the state government for introduction of liquid fertiliser in the state.
They said the initiative would end scarcity, encourage agricultural productivity and deal clashes in the state.
In Bauchi State, the state government has commenced distribution of fertiliser to farmers at subsidised rate.
Gov. Bala Mohammed who inaugurated the exercise, said NPK fertiliser would be sold at N15,000 and Urea N20,000 per 50kg bag.
The gesture, he said would make the commodity available to the farmers in the state.
Granular fertiliserMoreso, the Gombe State Government had so far distributed 72,000 bags of assorted fertilisers to assist farmers for 2022 wet season activities.
Alhaji Alhassan Fawu, Chairman, Fertiliser Distribution Committee, said the move was to reduce the effect of the high prices of the commodity on farmers and boost food security.
The Chairman who attributed fertiliser scarcity to the Russo-Ukraine war, said the state government had adopted proactive measures towards enhancing farmer access to the commodity.
He said that NPK brand of the commodity would be sold at subsidised rate of N19,000 per bag.
To further improve supply of the commodity, the Yobe government announced that the rehabilitation of its moribund fertiliser blending plant had reached 95 per cent completion stage.
The Commissioner for Commerce and Tourism, Barma Shettima said the plant designed with 18 tonnes production capacity per hour would soon begin operation.
“Yobe State Fertiliser Blending Company Limited, located at about 28km along Damaturu – Gujba road had reached 95 per cent completion.
“The company have the production capacity of 18 tonnes per hour if completed.
“Fertiliser scarcity would be a history among farmers in Yobe,” he said.
Farmers applying fertiliser in rice fields For his part; Alhaji Ibrahim Gare, Chairman, All Farmers Association Nigeria (AFAN) in the state, described farmers lack of access to fertiliser as a major bane towards sustainable agricultural development in the country.
While commending Yobe government for the distribution of fertiliser to farmers, Gare called for resuscitation of the fertiliser blending plant in the state.
Bauchi govt The Bauchi state government said it had distributed economic strengthening items worth N1.35billion to 9,000 youths and women in 18 out of the 20 Local Government Areas of the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the state government had previously distributed the economic strengthening items worth N75 million to 500 beneficiaries in each of the same LGAs. Inaugurating the distribution of the items in Alkaleri on Saturday, Gov. Bala Mohammed said that the kits and vehicles were provided through the Kaura Economic and Empowerment Programme (KEEP), initiated by his administration.
According to him, the programme had covered 90 per cent of the state having reached 18 of the 20 LGAs of the state.
He said the programme had been designed to boost economic activities in order to address problems of unemployment and poverty alleviation among the people especially, the vibrant youths and women.
“An average of N75 million in both cash and kind had been distributed to selected beneficiaries in each of the local governments where the programme had so far been launched.
“The same gesture is being replicated here today in Kirfi and Alkaleri LGAs,” Mohammed said.
Mohammed also reiterated government’s commitment to infrastructure development in education, healthcare, roads and security.
He added, “we are not only building schools and the rest, we must fight poverty.
” The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the remaining two local government areas yet to benefit from the gesture are Bauchi and Katagum.
NAN also reports that some of the items distributed included motorcycles, grinding machines, sewing machines.
Others were galaxy Sharon buses, groundnut processing equipment, goats to encourage animal husbandry and cash gifts, among others.
Bauchi State government distributed economic empowerment equipment worth N150 million to 1,000 youth and women in Warji and Ningi Local Government Areas of the state on Saturday.
Gov. Bala Mohammed kicked off the distribution in Warji Local Government Area. He said the empowerment kits were provided through the Kaura Economic and Empowerment Programme of his administration.
He added that the programme had covered 80 per cent of the state having reached 14 of its 20 local government areas.
Mohammed said the programme was designed to boost economic activities to address unemployment and to alleviate poverty among the people, especially the vibrant youth and women.
“An average of N75 million in cash and kind had been distributed to selected beneficiaries in each of the local governments where the programme has so far been launched.
“The same gesture will be replicated here today in Warji and Ningi Local Government Areas,’’ Mohammed said.
He said that 500 beneficiaries would receive N50,000 each to enable them to set up businesses while youth and women leaders in each of the wards would get N100 000 and buses among others.
The governor reiterated government’s commitment to infrastructural development in education, healthcare, roads and security.
“We are building schools; we are providing other infrastructure, but we must fight poverty,’’ he said.
Earlier, Hajiya Sa’adatu Kirfi, Commissioner for Cooperatives, Small and Medium Enterprises, urged the beneficiaries to put the items given to them into judicious use with a high level of determination and dedication.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that items distributed in the two local government areas were 105 motorcycles, 41 grinding machines and 149 sewing machines.
Others were six buses, groundnut processing equipment, goats to encourage animal husbandry and cash gifts, among others.