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Landmines facing Ihedioha, other first-time governors

By News Express on 31/03/2019

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• Imo governor-elect, Emeka Ihedioha
• Imo governor-elect, Emeka Ihedioha

 After taking oath of office on May 29, Nigeria’s newly elected governors, coming into office for the first time, will be confronted by an array of challenges, some of them big enough to make their seats too hot. Daily Trust identifies issues that will soon become headache for the new governors.

Imo

As the new Imo governor-elect, Emeka Ihedioha, mounts the throne in two months time, his new administration will have economic, political and social problems to contend with.

Ihedioha will first of all contend with the problem of ensuring a harmonious relationship with the state House of Assembly, given that his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), does not have a majority in the Assembly. Candidates for the leadership of the state legislature, as speaker and majority leader, are members of the opposition.

Ihedioha is also inheriting comatose local governments. For the past seven years, local government administration in the state has been run on ad hoc basis, with the outgoing governor appointing headship of local governments at his whims. The elected local government councils were dissolved by the outgoing governor few months after assumption of office.

The new governor will be inheriting a disoriented and disenchanted civil service. He will be inheriting huge salary arrears of workers and pensioners. While workers, for about five years, are getting only 70 per cent of their salaries, pensioners in the state groan daily over non-payment of their monthly pension and gratuities.

The incoming administration will have to contend with dilapidated infrastructures and numerous abandoned projects strewn across the 27 local government areas of the state. Worthy of note are the abandoned hospital and market development projects. Also, roads in the state are poorly executed, with the results that they cave in at the slightest showers.

Kwara

There are indications that the incoming administration of Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq in Kwara will be faced with a lot of challenges, as well as expectations from the people of the state.

The economy of the state is the first challenge the incoming administration will face, as extra work would be needed to attract more investors to change the economic fortune of the state.

Payments of salary arrears and pensions will also top the list of the first challenges the incoming government may need to tackle to continue to enjoy the support of the people because non-payment of salary arrears and pensions, especially at the local government level, is one major problem the state has been grappling with for many years now.

Schools in Kwara State are in comatose; hence the governor-elect said during one of his visits to some schools in the state: “There is no gainsaying that we will repair our schools in Kwara; rather, we will build new schools.”

Ilorin, the state capital, still has challenges of bad roads. There is no part of the capital that one can drive for five minutes without entering a pothole. This is the same in other parts of the state.

He will also face the challenge of providing safe drinking water, upgrading and equipping hospitals, among others. The expectations in Kwara are quite high.

Oyo

The governor-elect in Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, an engineer, will face a tough time as soon as he assumes office on May 29.

The first sensitive battle he will face is the leadership tussle between factional leadership of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW).

The Olubadan chieftaincy review conundrum is also a challenge Makinde will be expected to resolve. Those who think Ajimobi was wrong to have undertaken the review will expect him to reverse it, while those who support it or think that tampering with it would cause more trouble will expect the new governor to look away.

Another challenge Makinde would face is the inability of the Ajimobi-led administration to pay salaries and pensions regularly, especially in the state-owned tertiary institutions. The expectation of voters is that Makinde will address it.

There is also the need to rebuild infrastructure, fund education, health care and develop agriculture. Makinde will face the huge challenge of diversifying the economy of the state and not relying on federal allocation.

The incoming governor would need to take his time to study the idea behind the establishment of the First Technical University, Ibadan, which people considered to be meant for the children of the rich.

Borno

Babagana Umara Zulum, an engineer, is set to take over the reins of power in the most troubled state in the federation. Borno State has been ravaged by the activities of Boko Haram insurgents for many years; hence he is expected to bring peace to the area. He is expected to address the root cause of Boko Haram insurgency.

Also before the governor-elect is the challenge of reconstruction, rehabilitation and resettlement of Boko Haram-ravaged communities to facilitate the return of internally displaced persons to their home communities.

Yobe

As Mai Mala Buni, the governor-elect of Yobe State, prepares to take over the mantle of leadership on May 29, there are challenges that are likely to define his tenure.

Although he has promised to consolidate on the achievements of his predecessor, Senator Ibrahim Gaidam, he is expected to invest more in security. The security challenges in the state are enormous, considering that some areas like Gujba, Gaidam and Yunusari local government areas are still not accessible due to the activities of Boko Haram insurgents.

Also, the incoming administration will be faced with the challenge of maintaining the huge investments made by the outgoing governor in primary and secondary health care facilities across the state. Many hospitals were built, renovated and equipped with state-of-the-art equipment that require a huge amount of money to maintain.

The newly elected governor of Adamawa State, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, will inherit a huge liability in form of bank loans, unpaid workers’ salaries and allowances, pension and gratuities of retirees and political office holders when he takes over the mantle of leadership on May 29.

The chairman, Adamawa State chapter of the National Association of Pensioners, Samson Almuru, said the state government was owing retirees a total of N25 billion. He added that more than 2,000 civil servants who retired in the last six years were yet to enjoy pension and gratuity.

Several civil servants who spoke to Daily Trust said that the last time they received leave grant was in 2012 during the administration of Admiral Murtala Nyako (retired). The present government also had the challenge of paying workers’ salaries despite bailout and Paris Club funds received from the Federal Government.

These are some of the challenges the new governor will face.

Zamfara 

In Zamfara State, the newly elected governor, Alhaji Mukhtar Shehu Idris, will face enormous challenges when Governor AbdulAziz Yari hands over to him on May 29.

The first major challenge the incoming governor will face is armed banditry and cattle rustling. Insecurity in the state has reached an alarming proportion as kidnapping for ransom has become the order of the day.

Another problem before the governor-elect is youth unemployment. Many believe that since Governor Yari came on board, he did little or nothing to provide jobs for the teeming unemployed youths in the state.

Again, Zamfara is one of the states with poor internally generated revenue. The generation stood at N4.6billion in 2018 and over N3billion in 2017.

Another challenge is poor salary for workers. Workers in the state have been embarking on a series of industrial actions over poor salary structure. Workers in local governments are collecting as low as N7,000 as salary. However, the payment of the salaries has been prompt.

Alhaji Mukhtar Shehu Idris will also prepare to face the issue of nonpayment of scholarship to students of tertiary institutions.

 Ogun

As he prepares to take over the mantle of leadership in Ogun State, the governor-elect, Dapo Abiodun, has some hurdles to cross if he must deliver on his campaign promises.

the new governor will inherit some liabilities, including incomplete projects. Some of the projects are the ongoing multi-billion naira model schools across the 20 local government areas, international airport at Wasinmi in Ewekoro Local Government Area and a number of flyover bridges within and outside Abeokuta metropolis.

On road infrastructure, Abiodun would be inheriting a deplorable Agbara-Igbesa-Lusada road, where there is a large concentration of companies. The state government draws a large percentage of its monthly revenue from the area, yet, the road is in a bad shape.

Another challenge the incoming governor may face would be 104 months of unpaid salary deductions and gratuity. Worst hit by salary arrears are workers of the Tai Solarin College of Education, Omu-Ijebu, who are said to be owed N4billion. Abiodun would be expected to cement the renewed relationship between labour leaders and the state government following the reinstatement of the state chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Akeem Ambali, after 28 months of dismissal.

In the education sector, Abiodun is expected to resolve the crisis rocking the Mashood Abiola Polytechnic (MAPOLY), Abeokuta, over its upgrading to Mashood Abiola University of Science and Technology (MAUSTECH) by the Amosun-led government.

Bauchi

Like other governors in Bauchi State, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, Kauran Bauchi, as he is popularly called, will face daunting challenges in the next four years. For example, the people of the state will expect him to solve the problem of pension and gratuity.

Another issue is workers’ leave grant, which has not been paid for a long time.

Also, the new governor is expected to organise local government election, which has not been held for a long time. The last time local government election was held in Bauchi State was during the administration of Ahmed Adamu Mu’azu.

He is also expected to complete projects that may be left behind by his predecessor.

Furthermore, Mohammed is expected to boost the internally generated revenue of the state and attend to other financial commitments.

Lagos

Like his colleagues in other states, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Lagos State governor-elect, will face daunting challenges when he takes over power on May 29.

Among other challenges, the new governor is expected to effectively tackle the problem of indiscriminate spread of waste in different parts of the metropolis.

Lagos residents are also demanding attention on the traffic situation in the state.

Another major worry for residents is the continuity of a number of prominent projects across the state. They are afraid that the incoming governor may abandon some of the projects. It is, therefore a challenge before Sanwo-Olu.

Excerpted from a Daily Trust report

Source News Express

Posted 31/03/2019 10:41:05 AM

 

 

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