Wise Quote

"The neighbours we are competing with are several steps ahead of us, we must run while they walk and, we must stay awake while they sleep" (Youth Position paper, The Knell Tolls for Dark).

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

GOVERNOR YAHAYA BELLO EULOGISES LATE DR ADINOYI OJO ONUKABA


His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, the Executive Governor of Kogi State, on behalf of the entire government and citizens of Kogi State solemnly commiserates with the family of late Literary icon, formidable playwright, distinguished citizen, illustrious Kogi son and former governorship aspirant in Kogi, Dr. Adinoyi Ojo Onukaba, on his painful departure from this world. 

This is especially sad and painful coming on the first anniversary of the death of another illustrious Kogi son and legal luminary, Barrister James Ocholi, SAN, the erstwhile Minister of State for Labour, who died in active service. He prayed that a permanent stop will come to the loss of prominent citizens of the State in their prime, and the loss of tapping from their well of wisdom. 

The Governor remembers the departed for his good character, intellectual sagacity, embedded candour, manifest brilliance, literary fecundity and unflinching love for the progress and development of our dear State that made him aspire to the highest political office in the land.

He will be remembered for charging the people of the state to pull behind Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello to ensure a total redemption and progress for the State on all frontiers.

The Governor submits to God's inherent capacity to give and to take, to make alive and to take away breath. He is thus consoled by the fact that Dr. Onukaba lived a fulfilled life of grace, integrity, selflessness and dutiful service to mankind. He charges his family, friends and admirers to take solace in the fact that he has lived well and left indelible marks in the sands of time.

Indeed, death can kill good people, but it cannot kill their good name. He stated that the blissful memories, great works and humane deeds of the sound egghead will continually remain with us.

In his words, "Dr. Onukaba was a rare gem, a sound mind and a technocrat per excellence. He will be sorely missed for his kind heartedness. He has done things definitely worth writing about and written things worth reading, and as such can never be forgotten in the coming generation."

He prayed that the Almighty Allah comforts his family and grant repose to his amiable soul.

Signed:
Petra Akinti Onyegbule,
Chief Press Secretary to the Kogi State Governor.

Tribute to Late Dr. Onukaba Adinoyi Ojo

Adinoyi Ojo Onukaba was born on March 9, 1960 in Oboroke-Ihima, Okehi LGA of Kogi State to the family of Mallam Shuaibu Onukaba and Hajia Aisha Onukaba. He obtained his first degree in 1982 in Theatre Arts from University of Ibadan. He served his national service at Radio Nigeria, Ikoyi –Lagos in 1982/83.

He joined The Guardian newspaper as one of its pioneer reporters in 1983. He rose to the position of News Editor before travelling out in 1989 for graduate studies. He bagged Master of Arts degree in Journalism from New York University, New York, USA. He worked as a Research Officer at the African Leadership Forum, New York. Onukaba also served as the Information officer, Division of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM) between 1994 and 1995. He obtained his Doctor of Philosophy degree in 1996 from New York University.

Dr. Onukaba became Adjunct Professor of Mass Communication at the School of New Resources. College of New Rochelle, New York in 1997. Between 1997 and 1998, he worked as Press Officer, Department of Public Information, United Nations (New York). In June 1998, he was sent to Iraq as an Information Officer, United Nations Office of the Humanitarian Coordinator. Upon his return to Nigeria in 1999 to participate in the present democratic dispensation, his sterling qualities and ability to succeed caught the attention of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who appointed him as Special Assistant on Media Relations. He had known and related closely with both Atiku and Olusegun Obasanjo since 1984.

Onukaba got to the peak of his journalistic career in August 1999 when he was appointed Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the then ailing Daily Times of Nigeria PLC. He worked tirelessly to reposition the Daily Times and made it attractive to investors. The company was privatized in 2004. Onukaba returned to the presidency as Senior Special Assistant to the former Vice president Atiku Abubakar on Public Communications between July 2003 and April 2005. Beyond Onukaba’s humble exterior lies impenetrable armour of principle and dedication to duty. In December 2005, the Okun Youth Solidarity Forum (OYSF) led by Hon. Adeniyi Sunday Bello, honoured him with the “Pillar of Youth Award” in recognitioin of his services to the State. Earlier in 2001, the then Governor Abubakar Audu of Kogi State honoured him as one of the distinguished citizens of the state.

Onukaba has received numerous other awards for his decency, integrity, creativity and kindness.

Adinoyi Ojo Onukaba, a seasoned journalist, playwright and publisher of high repute, has published so many books and journals including: “In the Eye of Time”- a biography of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. “Atiku Abubakar”- a biography of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar. “Born to Run” – a biography of Late Dele Giwa, co-authored by him and Dele Olojede. Some of his plays include, Her Majesty’s Visit, A Resting Place, Tower of Burden, The Virginity Flee, The Lone Ranger, Bargain Hunting, and Soommalliyya. His play, “The Killing Swamp” was one of the three finalists for the 2010 NLNG Literature Award. 

May his gentle soul forever Rest in peace,
Amen.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

A NOTE FROM OGO'OGU MD TO HON KABIR AJANNAH, MEMBER, HOUSE OF REPRENTATIVE ADAVI/OKEHI CONSTITUENCY

Ladies and gentlemen of kogi state, I salute you all. We are in a season where we must not sleep with our two eyes closed. "the moment we the citizen fold our arms and zip our mouth, the abuse of government begins"

As we know good governance is not just the responsibility of the elected even the electorates have enormous role to play to make this a reality.

In today politics,  the greatest factor that choke good governance is the electorate factor. We have in various forms contributed to the abuse of power in our dear state. Many of us who are wailing and complaining of hardship in the state today have forgotten so soon how they sold their votes during election for a morsel of porridge. This might not mean anything to you but I tell you the truth, that is where abuse of power began.

But my assignment today is not to speak to KOGITES in general but to contribute my quota to the development and progress of my constituency, Okehi/Adavi, Federal Constituency under the representation of Hon. Kabir Ajannah.

Honorable sir, I want to use this medium to appreciate your effort for influencing projects to your constituency, Okehi/Adavi. It is really commendable because it's one of it's kind in the history of Adavi/Okehi constituency. There was none before you but I pray there will be more after you.

Below are the projects Hon. Kabir have successfully sponsored and completed:

1. Settling of medical bills for people with different health problems.

2 He is one of the few patriotic citizens whose financial contribution brought to live TAO FM Radio station in Adavi LGA.

3  Erection of  Electricity Poles to the following Affected Areas: Ozege Road, Utobobo-Oboroke, Ihima, Okehi LGA and Omavi Community in Uboro/Omavi/Ohuepe Ward in Okehi LGA. 

4 Motorization and Construction Work at Osisi Community Natural Spring water in Adavi LGA. 

5  Borehole at Uhuodo Community in Obangede/Uhuodo Ward in Okehi LGA. 

6  An ongoing Borehole Project at Oziokutu Community in Ogaminana Central ward in Adavi LGA. 

7 Reconnecting the moribund Water Scheme in Obangede to National Grid. 

8 The Facilitation of ICT Centre at Obangede Community Secondary School,Obangede in Okehi LGA. 

9 Wheel Chairs were also Donated to some physically Challenged Persons in Ogaminana Central ward in Adavi LGA and Uboro/Omavi/Ohuepe ward in Okehi LGA). 

10 Sponsorship of Student’s Fees in various Tertiary Institutions across the Country.

11.  Distributions of Computers to some Schools.

12. The on going construction of Utobobo Canal that almost divided Obeiba and Oboroke by Lower Niger River Basin Commission...to mention but few.

I consider this young and vibrant man as the best that has ever happened to Okehi/Adavi constituency.

He deserve our support and encouragement. May your effort for a better life for your people be remembered after in the future.

Ladies and gentlemen, honorable member, house of representative Okehi/Adavi constituency, the above elucidating record is worth commendation but without any iota of bias and hatred I will say, hard work does not and will not guarantee success or good governance as smart work does.

If we must move forward as a people we must be willing to let go of certain things. We must know political position is not given for the benefit of a few neither is it given for the advantage of family friends but for the benefit of all. 

It is also given not only to tackle the immediate needs of the people only but to also to solve their long term needs ahead and create an environment where individual businesses can strive. 

I am giving this detailed article because I want you to succeed in this course and the only way you can is to stop lavishing our hard earned resources on projects that benefit only a selected few and look deep to the important needs of the community. 

It is good to give a selected few "bread" to eat but it is more honorable to teach them how to bake the bread so that they can help you pass the knowledge to the next generation.

Representatives should know their constituency well - know what keep the constituents awake at night, what services are needed and how to help residents thrive. You are the voice of  our constituency; you are the eyes and ears, always looking for ways to help the constituency succeed.

An undesirable representative is one who is absent and out of touch, meets only the needs of a small fraction of the populace and he is generally unknown to the public. 

The responsibility of serving through representation should not be taken lightly; our state representatives should be industrious, visible, engaged and accessible. After all, our representatives are our resource persons for getting our voice heard in the National Assemblies.

Dear Hon, Okehi/Adavi constituency demand more than the above listed sponsored project.  We need projects that will benefit the masses. We need projects that will add value to the life of our teeming youths.

Democracy is said to be the vehicle that ushers in good governance, but it has always been the other way round in our state and in Nigeria as a whole. Democracy is used to describe a system of governance in which ultimate power (or sovereignty) rests with the people. To quote Nkom directly, "the concept of governance refers to the use of political power to manage a nation's public affairs and to shape it's economic interest and social progress" (Nkom, 2000:75).

This alone suggest that power belong to the people of Okehi/Adavi constituency and we must not settle for less while ensuring better ways of utilizing and redistributing our collective resources are put in place.

We are struggling with political and economic problems that the cruel, self centered and sick political class have given the state and the nation at large. 

We should not only lampoon our president, and governors for bad governance, and over look our representatives at the National Assembly, Local Government Chairmen or CTC and Counsellors as if they are saints. Let's collectively  engage them with creative thinking and invite them to a theater of ideas.

A whole lot of money was spent is purchasing motorcycles (okada) for selected youths which to some extent is excellent and it has earned Hon Ajannah a level of respect. Well,  I think that money should have been used or channelled towards establishing a company in Okehi/Adavi constituency which will not only meet our short term needs as a community but our long term needs too. 

If after you've left office there is no production company or factory that will engage our unemployed youths, you will have not only failed as a leader but have also become part of the problems we are confronting. 

Hon.  Ajannah, Trust me, OGO'OGU wants you to succeed, but not in flattering  you with words even when the reality can be seen with a naked eyes. You have succeeded in meeting individual needs let now focus on community projects that will leave your legacies legible in the sands of time. 

It is not late to start now, we can begin to look at what our allocation as a constituency can provide for us couple with your influence in the government. 

HERE ARE MY SUGGESTIONS 

1. Establishment of a polythene factory named Okehi/Adavi Polythene Factory OAPF

2. Okehi/Adavi Pure Water Factory.

3. Fashion training centre can also be established and named Okehi/Adavi Fashion training center. 

Okehi/Adavi constituents are still suffering from water scarcity and nobody is talking of how to proffer a lasting solution to this. I trust God to give  the Kogi State Commissioner for water resources Hon, Barr Abudulsalami Ozigi Deedat, wisdom and skills by whatever means to ensure he make us proud of his office. 

4. A Mechanic village can also be introduced through which jobs can be created for our teeming youths who are gifted in this area.

5. A plastic manufacturing company can also be introduced.

These people oriented Projects are more beneficial than expending constituency project money on purchasing Okada, organizing soccer competition, and other frivolities. 

Just to mention few, you must leave a landmark that will speak of you even after your tenure as member, house of representatives.

In conclusion, good governance depend on the extent which a government is perceived and accepted as legitimately committed to improving the public welfare and responsive to the needs of its citizens,  competent to assure law and order and deliver public services,  able to create an enabling environment for productive activities and equitable in it conducts. Landell and Serageldin (1992:310).

Ladies and gentlemen, Hon. Ajannah Kabir, member, House of Representatives, Okehi/Adavi Constituency, you are one who listens to differing opinions, you believe in team work and I have come with my quota of ideas. As you read and Change your leadership style to one that will benefit the community at large and generations yet unborn, may heaven back you up.

You can't do it alone, because you don't have monopoly of ideas or knowledge, so I pitch my tent with you as you work smart this time to change the history of Okehi/Adavi constituency.

God Bless you

God bless Okehi/Adavi Constituency

God bless Kogi State.

Our Constituency Will Work In My Life Time

Amen.

OGO'OGU Mark Dauda. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

ADDRESSING SECURITY CHALLENGES IN KOGI STATE


By: Dr. Musa Abdulrahman Adeiza
President-General of Ebira Peoples Association (EPA)

Ladies and Gentlemen
Gentlemen of the Press

It is with sadness and a sense of foreboding that we address you today regarding the alarming rate of insecurity and criminality in Kogi State, especially in Kogi Central Senatorial Zone.

Members of the Ebira Peoples Association (EPA), the umbrella body of all Ebira people at home and in the Diaspora, are seriously concerned about the rampant cases of mindless killings, kidnappings, robberies and other violent crimes that have come to define every day life in our state.

Despite the efforts of governments at all levels, criminals seem to operate freely and unhindered by the presence of a combined forces of police, soldiers and para-military agents. In the last one year, no week has passed without incidents of kidnapping, abduction and even murder in the state.

Kogi state is geographically at the heart of this country as the only state that has land borders with as many as eleven states and the Federal Capital Territory (virtually a third of the country). If we dare to look the other way while criminal elements carve out a place for themselves as a forwarding operational base, the consequences may be too much for the entire country if another insurgency steadily brews in this area without check. This problem is not ours alone. The entire country must wake up to this danger, and help eradicate this virus from the very heart of this Nation.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we are under siege in Kogi Central.. The situation is so bad that nearly every one in Kogi Central in particular, now lives in absolute fear.  Sons and daughters of Kogi Central who live outside the state are now scared of coming home.  For many other Nigerians, traveling through the state has become a fearful experience as security is not always guaranteed.

The situation has also taken a heavy toll on businesses in an area generally regarded as the economic nerve-centre of the state.

Most abductions in Nigeria are done for ransom and the victims are usually freed upon payment of ransom or some form of extended negotiation.  The situation in Kogi State has gotten so bad that even where the kidnappers have been paid or offered ransom, the victims are either killed or kept in the custody of their abductors with no further communication with relatives thus foreclosing chances of them reuniting with their families. Let it be on record that no abducted person has ever been successfully rescued, as those that have so far gained their freedom have done so after paying ransom.

EPA has followed with keen interest efforts made by the Kogi State Government and the Local Government Authorities of Kogi Central Senatorial Zone in combating the menace of kidnapping. But in the light of the worsening situation, there is an urgent need for a change of strategy.

While commending the security agencies and assuring them that EPA will continue to avail them of useful information that will assist them in wiping out criminal elements in our midst, we cannot also fail to observe that these security agents appear overwhelmed at present, largely due to logistical and manpower inadequacies. Intelligence gathering has also become ever so difficult as many residents fear to complain to the increasingly complacent security agents.  Such level of distrust has further worsened an already bad situation. There cannot be effective policing when persons to be secured don't feel safe enough to share credible intelligence with the agencies.

The majority of our people are peace-loving and law-abiding. We have resolved, therefore, not to fold our hands and allow a small band of evil people to turn our homeland into a fiefdom of criminals. We urge our people to be vigilant and to report suspicious persons within the community to the appropriate authorities.

We must also remain our brothers' keepers by sustaining the goodwill, love for one another and good neighbourliness which we are well known for.

Let me also use this opportunity to commend the youths of Kogi Central particularly, members of the Ebira Youth Congress for their steadfastness and vigilance. I want to urge our people to remain steadfast and be ready to defend their communities at all times.

Members of EPA have agreed to continue to interface with the government at all levels and to support the security agencies with all resources at their disposal in addressing the security challenges in the area.

In the coming days, we shall deepen our partnership with the mass media, especially the local media organisations to raise the level of awareness and security consciousness among our people while also supporting other communal efforts to arrest these unfortunate incidents of kidnapping in our land.

We would like to specifically make the following suggestions to governments at all levels. Our suggestions consist of Short, Medium and Long Term measures, policies and strategies which we hope would be urgently considered and approved:

1. All police, soldiers and state security officers as well as para-military agents currently serving in Kogi Central should be redeployed immediately and be replaced with new ones. As a matter of fact, no security agent should spend more than six months in the area to avoid being thoroughly compromised as it is being largely suspected now. The total number of personnel in the state in general needs to be increased to effectively cope with the geographical peculiarity of the State.

2. Both Federal & State Governments should make concerted efforts to reinforce and review  security measures in terms of material, personnel and modus operandi in order to safeguard lives and properties in Kogi Central.

3.  Security should be intelligence driven by interfacing with community leaders, Ward Heads, local vigilante groups, Hunters, farmers.

4. There should be a coordinated tactical operation to smoke out criminal elements from their hideouts in homes, bushes, caves, hills, etc.

5. Security surveillance should be on 24-hour duty across the land, instead of the present situation whereby most hotspots are left unmanned through most hours of the day.

6. Operational strategy to security matters should be proactive in approach rather than reactive, while adopting a more effective method to unravel all already perpetrated damages.

7. Governments should as a matter of urgency explore and support the possibility of integrating "CIVILIAN JTF " into the security system of the land to complement conventional security agencies.

8. Governments should provide toll free security numbers to report cases of security infractions.

9. Kogi State government should mobilise hunters into vigilante groups at various community levels

10. The state government should constitute a body of community based Organization heads to proffer solutions to various security threats and to enhance intelligence gathering.

11. The Federal Government should urgently complete the moribund Ajaokuta Steel Company to reduce youth unemployment, which is partly responsible for the rising crimes.

12. The state government should construct police posts at various dark spots in the District so that criminals will no longer hide there.

13. All issues of State Civil Service screening exercise should be concluded within the shortest possible time to reduce the frustration arising thereof and the insecurity that non payment of salaries portends.
    
I thank you.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Meritorious Service: THE AMERICAN JOE BIDEN EXAMPLE

For all her Foreign Policy misadventures the US has raised the bar of governance and responsible leadership that the world and those who seek to truly serve the people must learn from. Joe Biden had been in public office for 43 years. He was elected into the Senate at 29. Served in the Senate for 35years and 8years as Vice President yet he couldn't afford to pay for the expensive cancer treatment of his son who was the Attorney General of his State of Delaware. The son was a Iraq war veteran who served in the Army before he became Attorney General. Biden had to offer his house for sale to be able to pay for the medical care of his son, of course the son must have spent himself out before Biden, the father could come in to help pay the bill. Obama had to stop him from selling his house and offered to pay for the medical care from his own personal money. Unfortunately the son died but not after the father had given all his best. Delaware is very close to Washington and he had come to Washington by train from Delaware everyday for work at the Capitol Hill and back home as a Senator. He will join the train back home on January 20th when he ends his tour of duty as the Vice President of United States. Delaware loves Biden for his years of service to the State and the people of United State. They call him the great son of Delaware. The point here is a man served for 35years as a Senator and 8years as Vice President and no tonnes of money buried inside his compound and bank accounts. How and where do politicians in US get their contentment that our own here can't go and find same. Leadership is about service. It is not a place to become billionaires and millionaires. For Biden, nothing but my admiration and respect."
Ajayi Temitope.

.....and below is the video clip of how this selfless public servant was praised by his Principal, Barack Obama

https://youtu.be/N77AXnJ8Bsw

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Kogi Government To Procure Additional Fire Engines

The Kogi State governor said his administration has concluded plans to procure additional two fire engines for the effective operations of the Fire Service in the state.

Governor Yahaya Bello stated this on Thursday in Lokoja when the Comptroller General of the Federal Fire Service, Engr. Joseph Aniebe paid him a courtesy call.

The governor said that the service had suffered neglect in the state over the years in terms of equipment procurement but his administration took the bull by the horn to make sure fire engines are procured.

“When I assumed office as governor, the state had no working fire fighting truck, but the State executive council under my leadership has approved for the procurement of two fire fighting trucks", he added.

The governor further made a commitment to ensure Kogi State has the best fire fighting service in the federation.

The Comptroller General, in his remark, said that the visit was aimed at advocating support for the Federal Fire Service operation in Kogi State especially in terms of equipment to ensure preparedness to fight fire outbreak in the state.

He commended Governor Yahaya Bello for the approval of funds for the service to procure equipment.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

MEMBERS OF EPA NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE (2016 - 2020)

Names and contact of the newly elected executives of Ebira People's Association  (EPA)

S/N
NAME
1.
Dr. Musa AbdulRahman Adeiza
President-General
08034239202
ovavu64@gmail.com

2.
Alh. Musa Aliyu
Deputy President –General
08037116209

3.
Dr. Adinoyi Ojo Onukaba
Secretary General
08036424117
onukaba@hotmail.com

4.
Alh. (Daudu) AbdulKarim Adavi Bello
VP North Central Zone
08036234117

5.
Alh. Isa Aliyu
VP North West Zone
08033377066

6.
Alh. Mohammed Saliu Omadivi
VP South South Zone
08033927961

7.
Prof. M. E. Ibrahim
VP North East Zone
08023047897

8.
Alh. Abubakar AbdulSalam
Deputy Secretary -General
08035887077

9.
Alh. Sadiq Adaviriku Ibrahim
Asst Secretary General
08031853195

10.
Mall. Isa Abdullahi
Treasurer
08036143836

11.
Mr. Barnabas Ojiah
Member, Finance Directorate
08033141925
ojiah@yahoo.com

12.
Engr. Abdullawal Zubair
Member, Finance Directorate
08036323038
abdullawal2001@gmail.com

13.
Hajiya Rekiya Yusuf
Member, Finance Directorate
08062432114
opemiaug@yahoo.com

14.
Hajiya Mariam Shehu
Member, Finance Directorate
07064060802

15.
Hon. Mohammed Omuya
Member, Mobilization Directorate
08037876402

17.
Comrade Austyn Ochu
Member, Mobilization Directorate

18.
Mr. Joseph Anivasa
Member, Mobilization Directorate (DIASPORA)
08035884113

19.
Pst (Dr.) Halimat Saliu
Member, Media & Publicity Directorate
08035874481

20.
Franca Aiyetan
Member, Media & Publicity Directorate
08033058274

21.
Hajiya Zainab Okino
Member, Media & Publicity Directorate
08033209791

22.
Mall. Musa Jimoh
Member, Media & Publicity Directorate
08023099818
musaitopa@yahoo.com

23.
Alh. S. S. Salami
Member, Education / Culture / Artisans Directorate
08082028666

24.
Alh. Abubakar A. Garba
Member, Education / Culture / Artisans Directorate
08035967703

25.
Mall. Siyaka  Anda Sadiq
Member, Education / Culture / Artisans Directorate

26.
Mall. Iliasu O. Malik
Member, Education / Culture / Artisans Directorate

27.
Ismaila AbdulRahman Obansa
Member, Education / Culture / Artisans Directorate
08036188045

28.
Alh. Yahaya Yusuf
Member, Strategic Planning and Research Directorate
08065312698

29.
Dr. Sabita AbdulRahim
Member, Strategic Planning and Research Directorate
08070360161

30.
Alh. Hamza Usman
Member, Strategic Planning and Research Directorate
08033849720
hamzausman001@gmail.com

31.
Alh. Mohammed B. Attah
Member, Linkages Directorate
08034537392
attahmb@yahoo.com

32.
Hajiya Mariam Saliu Ibrahim
Member, Women Affairs Directorate
08033061852

33.
Alh. Mohammed Bello
Coordinator, FCT
08036011439

Gov Yahaya Bello's Speech as He Presents 2017 Budget of New of Direction

BUDGET OF NEW DIRECTION

TEXT OF A SPEECH BY THE EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR OF KOGI STATE, HIS EXCELLENCY, YAHAYA BELLO, AT THE PRESENTATION OF THE KOGI STATE YEAR 2017 BUDGET PROPOSAL TO THE KOGI STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY ON THURSDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2016.

Protocols

1. I am grateful to the Almighty God for this opportunity to present the Kogi State Budget proposal for the year 2017 to this Honourable House today. This is a historic occasion because it is the first budget proposal I am presenting to you since I assumed office on 27th January, 2016.

2. I recall again the divine interventions which made possible my mandate as the 4th Executive Governor of Kogi State, and I am, as usual, deeply humbled before God. Along with this humility comes a burning sense of responsibility and an unwavering commitment to  accomplish everything that God intended for Kogi State when He called me into leadership.

3. May I use this opportunity to thank this Honourable House and all the good people of Kogi State for the  support we have received since we assumed office. Even today, Honourable Members had to specially convene for the purpose of accommodating us for this critical event. This support ensures that whatever achievements we have recorded is a Joint Venture between the 3 Arms of this Government, and the people themselves.

4. Mr. Speaker and Honourable Members of the Kogi State House of Assembly, you will recall that on January 27, 2016 at my swearing-in as the Governor of our dear state, I clearly identified the driving passion of this government in my Inaugural Address thus: “My administration shall exist for the sole purpose of serving the superseding interests of the people of Kogi State to the very best of its capabilities”.

5. This brief sentence encapsulates our creed and stated objective in this Administration. It is the core philosophy of our New Direction Agenda, and it influences our every action. Shortly after we assumed Office, and in order to further sharpen our focus, the Administration engaged consultants to fashion our campaign promises into actionable work-plans for reinventing the fortunes of Kogi State and her people.

6. This multi-disciplinary team of consultants came to be known as The New Direction Blueprint Team as they traversed the 21 Local Government Areas of the state meeting the people at the very grassroots. They developed a New Direction Blueprint for us which is a direct prescription by the people detailing exactly what they want from from Government.

7. The New Direction Blueprint is a definitive roadmap for accelerated socio-economic development of our state in all its constituencies. The New Direction Agenda is the Specific Purpose Vehicle for its actualisation. Both reflect our collective aspirations for the building of a new Kogi State.  Honourable members, this budget proposal before you today has been carefully prepared to meet this aspiration.

8. Dave Ramsey, the successful American investor once said, 'A budget is telling your money where to go, instead of wondering where it went.' Thus, we were careful to place great premium on the need for prudent management of available resources, in full consideration of the present economic realities in the state, and the nation.

9. On a more technical level, we made sure to prepare this budget in conformity with the terms of Multi-Year Budget Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP). We have made a realistic and reasonable projection of our revenue and expenditure to avoid bogus and unattainable budgetary figures. Our aim is to match our expenditure commitments with available financial resources.

10. Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, bearing in mind the atrocious leadership which has bedeviled Kogi State in the past, the parlous state in which we met our people and state upon assumption of Office, the urgent need to turn around the fortunes of Kogi State as well as the applicable budgeting factors and perspectives mentioned above, we are pleased to announce that our proposed Budget for 2017 is dubbed the BUDGET OF NEW DIRECTION.

11. It is my fervent belief that the proposed BUDGET OF NEW DIRECTION is clearly indicative of our fair, sincere and frank assessment of the amount the State can generate on her own as Internally Generated Revenue in addition to what she can most likely obtain from the Federation Account and sundry other sources.

12. Given the earlier indices espoused, the proposed 2017 Budget is significantly higher  than that of 2016 on account of the frantic effort by my Administration towards increase IGR, and enshrine Transparency, Accountability, Fairness  and Discipline in the fiscal processes of the state.

13. Furthermore, all Ministries, Extra-Ministerial Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the State are henceforth expected to cite IPSAS codes on the vote of charge in all requests for release of fund.

14. Honourable Members, this 2017 Budget Proposal was designed to make for better policy formulation, fiscal planning, budget analysis, accountability, routine financial management and international comparisons. In fact, so confident are we of its indices that it will be available on the internet for easy access and scrutiny from anywhere in the world.

15. Our aim in publicizing this 2017 Budget Proposal as stated is not so we can show off, but to alert the world that we are serious about our fiscal management processes in Kogi State and verifiably compliant with international best practices in budgeting. This presupposes that we have made it both realistic and scientifically populated. It also satisfies a condition precedent for attracting foreign investors to the State.

16.  Implementation of this Budget will accelerate the rate at which we can build physical infrastructure and develop human capital in our state and deploy them. It will help us scale up our expenditures in Health, Education, Infrastructure and Utilities, Job Creation and Youth Engagement,  Public Service and Pension Reforms.

17. Other areas that this Budget is designed to stimulate with equal importance include Agriculture, Water Resources, Environment (Waste Management and Sanitation), Housing and Support for Women and Youth Empowerment, Security of lives and properties, etc.

REVIEW OF 2016 BUDGET PERFORMANCE
18. Mr Speaker Sir, Honourable Members, you will recall that the total approved Budget for year 2016 was N99,998,674,261 out of  which the Recurrent Revenue was N63,127,700,000 and capital receipts was N36,870,974,261.

19. Out of N63,127,700,000 total recurrent revenue approved for the year 2016, N54,956,909,602 was collected as at end of November 2016 representing 87.05% performance.

20. A total of N56,281,981,318 was approved for recurrent expenditure in year 2016, however N36,870,410,490 was spent as at 30th November 2016 representing 65.51% performance.

21. Out of N36,870,974,261 in total Capital Receipts  approved for the year 2016, only N10,148,024,902 was collected as at end of November 2016 representing 27.52% performance.

22. A total sum of N47,316,692,943 was approved as capital expenditure for year 2016, however the actual expenditure as at November, 2016 ending stood at N26,543,714,398 representing 56.09% performance.

23. Some of the projects/programmes carried out in the year under review include:

• Renovation of Government House Buildings and Eleven other Offices.

• Purchase of Assorted Vehicles for both security and office use.

• Provision of Assorted Security Equipment for security Agents in the State

• Provision of Health infrastructural facilities to Hospitals

• Maintenance of Existing Roads in the State through the Kogi Road Maintenance Agency (KOGROMA).

• On-going Construction of Otokiti – Ganaja by-pass multi-lane carriage way.

• On-going Construction of Ogaminana Eboga Ipaku- Kuroko junction.

• On-going Construction of Obehira-Okengwe/Ihima Road.

• On-going Construction of Agassa-Upogoro-Okene Road.

• Complete Renovation of State House of Assembly Complex.

• On-going Construction of Ganaja Fly Over Bridge.

• Provision of Agricultural inputs to Famers in the State.

• On-going Construction of Idah-Oyadega Roads.

• Construction of Kogi State Revenue House.

• Asphalt overlay of Ejuku-Ijowa-Jege-Ifeolukotun Road.

Details of other projects/programmes embarked upon during the period under review will be given by the Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Budget and Planning in due course.

REVIEW OF 2017 BUDGET OF NEW DIRECTION

24. Mr. Speaker, Distinguished Honourable Members, I hereby present the 2017 Budget, titled 'Budget of NEW DIRECTION. As already noted this budget was prepared in line with Domesticated National Chart of Account, Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF)/ Multi-Year Budget Framework (MYBF) which outlines key initiatives, assumptions and what is expected to be achieved by key spending Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the State.

25. The budget has an estimated outlay of N174,851,544,523.  The total budget outlay of N174,851,544,523 is divided into Recurrent expenditure of N58,531,404,254 representing 33.47% and capital expenditure of N116,320,140,269 resenting 66.53%. This is further shown in the table below:

Expenditure  Item Allocation %

Recurrent Expenditure N58,531,404,254 33.47%
Capital Expenditure N116,320,140,269 66.53%
Total N174,851,544,523 100%

The Recurrent and Capital Expenditure in sectorial outlay is given in the following sectors:

Code  Sectors  Allocation %
01 Administration 43,442,160,340 24.84
02 Economic 80,424,600,499 45.99
03 Law and Justice 6,886,015,914 3.94
05 Social 44,098,767,770 25.23
Total 174,851,544,523 100%

The preparation of this budget was guided by the harmonization of MDAs’ policy thrusts in line with New Direction Blueprint and actual appropriation to ensure that we have a Budget that meets the aspiration of the majority of the people in 2017.

BUDGET POLICY STATEMENT

26. The fiscal strategy of Government is anchored on the on-going Public Financial Management Reform (PFM). Over the period 2017-2019 the State Government fiscal policy will be directed at:

• improving the efficiency and effectiveness of spending;

•  achieving a better balance between capital and recurrent expenditure;

• gaining greater control of the wage bill;

• directing capital expenditure on critical infrastructure with special emphasis on the 5 thematic areas in The New Direction Blueprint, viz: Education, Health, Job Creation and Youth Engagement, Infrastructure and Utilities and Public Sector and Pension Reforms;

• boosting revenue receipts by identifying and blocking revenue leakages; and

• gradual fiscal consolidation in order to achieve a level of public spending consistent with macroeconomic stability and sustainable debt.

BUDGET OBJECTIVES AND TARGETS

27. The specific fiscal objective of Kogi State is effective allocation of scarce resources to identified critical programmes and projects, with the following major targets:

• To complete on-going projects and incrementally add new projects in the critical areas of need;

• To continue to expand the State’s revenue base in the area of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR);

• To enhance greater transparency and proper accountability in the State’s public expenditure management;

• To produce a conducive environment for investors and Donor Agencies to operate in the State; and

• To reduce the Domestic Debt Profile of Kogi State.

28. In our resolve to be a part of the Global Village, we cannot remain isolated from changes that are occurring in the larger system. That is why the Kogi State Government is adopting the reform process in line with Medium Term Expenditure Framework/Multi-Year Budget Framework as well as international best practices in quality information and record-keeping, and the management of modernized Government Accounts.

29. Mr Speaker and Honourable Members of the Kogi State House of Assembly, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, I now have the singular pleasure of formally presenting the Kogi State Year 2017 Draft Budget for consideration and approval.

30. The total Budget package for year 2017 is N174,851,544,523 (One Hundred and Seventy Four Billion, Eight Hundred and Fifty One Million, Five Hundred and Forty Four Thousand, Five Hundred and Twenty Three Naira) Only as against N99,998,674,261 (Ninety Nine Billion, Nine Hundred and Ninety Eight Million, Six Hundred and Seventy Four Thousand, Two Hundred and Sixty One Naira) Only approved for year 2016. This is an increase of N74,852,870,262 (Seventy Four Billion, Eight Hundred and Fifty Two Million, Two Hundred and Sixty Two Naira) or an increase of 74.85% compared with 2016 Approved Budget.

31. This Honourable House is invited to:
A. NOTE THAT:

(1)  We have budgeted a total estimated recurrent revenue of N81,666,312,024 consisting of N32,181,492,459 from internal  sources, N35,309,699,767 as State’s share from the Federation Account,  N8,085,355,569 revenue from value Added Tax (VAT), N2,209,764,229 from Exchange Differentials and N3,880,000,000 from Budget Augmentation.

(2) Fund available for recurrent expenditure in year 2017 stands at N81,666,312,024. Of the above, estimated personnel  cost for the period is N32,734,234,264 whereas N25,797,169,990 is overhead Costs thereby giving total recurrent expenditure for the year 2017 to be N58,531,404,254.

(3) From above therefore, we have a total estimated Transfer Surplus of N23,134,907,770 as Capital Development Fund.

(4) The estimated Capital Receipt is N93,185,232,499 comprising N63,185,232,499 of Capital receipt analysis by economic, N30,000,000,000 as Aids and Grants. However, if the Transfer Surplus of N23,134,907,770 is added to this amount, we shall have N116,320,140,269 as fund available for capital development projects.

(5) Total estimated capital expenditure therefore stands at N116,320,140,269.

(6) In summary, our total estimated revenue (i.e recurrent revenue and capital receipts) stands at N174,851,544,523 for the year 2017, making total estimated expenditure (i.e Recurrent and Capital) stands at N174,851,544,523 for the year 2017 thereby  making our 2017 Budget a balanced budget.

(7) Details of allocations to MDAs and highlights of Major activities relating to said allocations will be given by the Honourable Commissioner for Budget and Planning subsequently.

B:  APPROVE:

1. Total estimated revenue (Recurrent Revenue and Capital Receipts) of N174,851,544,523
2. Total estimated expenditure (Recurrent and Capital) of N174,851,544,523
3. A balanced budget of N174,851,544,523 for 2017 fiscal year.

32. Honourable Speaker and Honourable Members of this distinguished  House, Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, the foregoing and the 2017 Draft Budget for your deliberation and approval.

33. I wish everyone of you a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful, prosperous and fulfilling New Year in advance.

God bless the Kogi State House of Assembly!
God bless Kogi State!

God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!

I thank you all.

GOVERNOR YAHAYA BELLO
GOVERNMENT HOUSE
LOKOJA
KOGI STATE
22 DECEMBER, 2016.

Saratu Atta Appointed as Personal Assistant to Ghanian President-Elect

Ghanaian president-elect, Nana Akufo-Addo, on Wednesday announced 53-yr old Saratu Atta as his personal assistant. Saratu Atta the daughter of late Adamu Atta, the ex-Governor of Kwara State.

Saratu Atta – Personal Assistant To The President

Saratu Atta is a graduate of the University of Warwick, UK, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics and International Studies. She worked as a Securities Trader at First Securities Discount House in Lagos, Nigeria from 1993 -1997, and then went on to establish her own security printing company in Lagos.

She was appointed NPP Campaign Secretary in 2008, and has been Office Manager and Executive Assistant to the President-Elect since 2009.

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