Adamawa State under Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri is changing the state’s poor development narratives, writes Daji Sani
Adamawa State Governor, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri before and after taking over the affairs of the state has promised to give the people of the state a breath of fresh air and make the state work again in line with his 11-point agenda.
The governor swung into actions to fulfill his promises of changing the narratives of poor development in the state by awarding some roads projects across the state including two flyovers at the cost of N18 billion.
These projects include the Zumo street of about 0.75 km, Mafia road with two span bridges (1.2km), Mbamba street (1.0km), doctors quarters road (1.0 km), Nyibango-yolde Pate road with two span bridges (3.185 km) weekly scope road (2.1 km) all in Jimeta and Yola.
Others are Izala-Gwede, Malam-Malam, Rafa-Wayam road (3.5km) in Numan Local government, construction of European quarter road in Hong local government (3.2 km), construction of Gulak township road in Madagali local government (6.6km), construction of Jada township road (3.8km), Jada-Mbulo road (0.4 km) all in Jada Local Government as well as Michika township road (5.1km).
He has also connected Michika and Madagali LGAs to the National Grid after experiencing perpetual darkness for more than 8 years since the Boko Haram activities reigned in the areas.
Barely two weeks after this approval, Fintiri led officials of his government to Michika town and Gulak the headquarters of Madagali Local Government to kick-off the road projects awarded in the two local governments at the cost of over 2bn, which marked the beginning of massive roads projects across the state.
Speaking separately in Michika and Gulak, Fintiri reiterated his administration’s commitments to fulfill all his promises to the people of the state in line with his 11-point agenda and bring equal development to all parts of the state in line with the principle of fairness, equity and justice.
He further explained that his administration would bring succour to the people of the areas ravaged by the effect of the Boko Haram to enable them catch up with other parts of the state, adding that, he was also committed to rebuilding the infrastructure destroyed in the state.
According to him, in the last one year, his administration has executed so many projects across the state especially, in the areas of road constructions, renovations of schools, hospitals among others and would continued to do so until Adamawa sheds its toga of a pariah state.
As he enumerated some of the projects executed in both local governments by his administration, he stressed that he has also secured an intervention from the multi crisis recovery project (MCRP) for the construction of 32km bazza-mubi road and Michika general hospital.
Earlier, commissioner for works and energy development, Alhaji Adamu Atiku, lauded Fintiri for approving the projects despite the lean resources, stressing that the project was long over due taking into consideration the twin effect of insurgency and environmental degradation suffered by the people of the areas.
He said the projects in both local governments, which is 11.7 km was awarded to Triacta Nigeria limited at over 2bn is to be completed in 14 and 8 months respectively as he assured the people of strict supervision in conformity with the contract agreements.
Managing Director of Triacta Nigeria limited, Elie Abu Faharat thanked the state government for the confidence reposed in them and assured them of quality work and completion within the time frame.
This was immediately followed by another kick-off of two flyovers with interchange and underpass seen as the first ever in the history of the North East as well as weekly scope and other roads awarded by the administration within the state capital.
Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony of the flyovers, Fintiri justified his administration’s decision to embark on the projects.
“This event marks a major milestone in the fresh air administration’s commitments to actualising our key campaign promise of vigorously undertaking an urban renewal that would make Jimeta Yola and other towns in the state, befitting models to showcase in addition to the constructions of these flyovers and underpass, which are the flagship of our urban renewal/development agenda work and will continue on weekly scope road among other townships roads already earmarked for constructions.
“The constructions of the flyovers and grade interchange in the heart of Jimeta are in anticipation of the capital’s ever expanding population and the attendant explosion in urban traffic. To those who have been counselling that we are biting more than we can chew with these projects, government assures them of total commitment to delivering these projects and will not concede any inch to failure,” he said.
He called for the understanding among residents of the state capital, who will have to bear with the discomfort and disruption of traffic flow while construction is going on as the renewal agenda.
Giving more details on the contract awards, commissioner for works and energy development said the two flyovers were awarded at the cost of 5.8bn and 3.4bn respectively to Triacta Nigeria limited to be completed in 12 calendar months.
F4om there, the governor moved to commission the road leading to Weekly Scope Newspaper and subsequently stormed Yola North for five different roads totaling 3.185km awarded at the cost of 3.185bn, where he emphasised that, his urban renewal programme could not be complete without giving considerable attention to the blueprint and original plans of the state capital.
Returning to the state from the North East governors forum recently, Fintiri headed straight to Numan to commission the Numan township road totaling 3.5 km awarded to Messrs Rocad and Co Construction Nigeria limited at the cost of 1.3bn.
Fintiri described Numan as the stronghold of his air administration, saying the area, among other parts of the state, would continue to receive the attention of his administration especially, in the area of infrastructure development, adding that he would soon award contract for complete overhaul of Numan general hospital and Villanova Government College, Numan.
The governor also commissioned roads projects in Hong, and Jada mostly recently. So far, the numerous constructions have created employment for the youths, boosted economic activities and reduced the rate of crimes as well ass turned the state into a viable one.
The constructions going on in the state right now are causing serious traffic congestion especially within the state capital. Residents have to spend several hours before getting to their place of work and other destinations. But this development has since sealed the mouths of his detractors.
Critics, however, tagged the road projects as white elephant especially, the flyovers projects saying Adamawa state residents did not need flyovers at this moment but that the government should address the flooding challenges bedeviling the state yearly by building culverts and more water channels to contain the challenges, rather than build flyovers with no relative value to the people at the moment.
Doubting if the governor could complete these projects before his tenure elapses, given the current financial challenges and huge debt load on the state with low Internally Generated Revenue, not completing them would also discredit the governor’s profile ahead the 2023 polls.
Suffice it to say in the last one year, Fintiri’s administration has improved the security situation in the state and eliminated all forms of criminalities, revamped the educational sector, which saw to the implementation of free education from primary to secondary schools, introduced school feeding programmes and the payment of UBEC counterpart funds that led to massive renovations of schools.
Other initiatives include the payment of scholarship to Adamawa students in various tertiary institutions across the country, completion of abandoned road projects awarded by the Bindow administration, renovations of hospitals and granting financial autonomy to local governments in the state among others.
But despite these achievements, the governor has continued to come under attacks from the opposition especially, the All Progressives Congress (APC) which consistently rubbishes his administration and achievements, describing him as a failure and disappointment to the people of Adamawa state.
At a press briefing in Yola by the APC to assess the administration, the party rated Fintiri low in terms of performance, which it put at between 25% to 35%.
Shedding more light on this, APC state secretary Hon. Wafarnihi Therman said, “This is a temporary government in Adamawa State and they will soon be shown the way out in 2023 due to disappointing performance. The people of Adamawa State voted for this government hoping that the government will performed better than Bindow, but they did not only disappoint the people, ended up as the worst government ever in the history of the state and seems to lack direction and coordination.”
Also, APC state publicity secretary, Mohammed Abdullahi, said Adamawa under Bindow has witnessed massive infrastructural drive through viable, justifiable and visible projects that could be clearly seen, torched and felt within just one year in office unlike Fintiri’s administration, which collected twice of what Bindows collected in his one year but yet without a single project on ground to show for in one year.
However, dismissing APC’s claims, PDP state organising secretary Hon. Hamza Bello Madagali described APC dream of returning to power in 2023 as laughable and wishful thinking.
“It is laughable and wishful thinking for them to say they will come back to power in 2023. The people of Adamawa State, who voted them out and have now seen the good work of Fintiri, will still vote them out again in 2023, because most of the mess the governor is cleaning today was created by them, in fact, they have taken the state back to the dark age, to the extent that our children were sitting under trees to learn without a common chalk.
“The massive defection from the APC and other opposition parties to the PDP as a result of Fintiri’s performance in the last year is a pointer to this fact that the governor has buried the opposition parties in the state with his performance. Thank God that the APC themselves, despite their attacks, have applauded the governor in the area of security which vindicated us.”
The governor has said in line with his administration’s dream to make Adamawa a model state, he decided to formally launch his urban renewal programme, leading to approval of over 18bn by the State Executive Council during one of its weekly meetings.
However, political experts hold the view that only time would tell, where and how history would situate Fintiri, adding that it might be too early to assess his administration due to the state things were before he assumed office.