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Stop Crediting FG for State Projects, Governor Warns Minister

Source: huhuonline.com
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An angry Yobe State Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam has fired at Minister of State for Finance, Dr. Yerima Ngama for giving the glory to the Federal Government for projects embarked upon and completed by the state government.

The governor warned Ngama, an indigene of the state, to desist from continued propaganda, as the Federal Government has no presence in the state.

In a statement by his Special Adviser on Press Affairs and Information, Alhaji Abdullahi Bego, Governor Gaidam said he did not blame the minister as he was doing his boss' bidding to seem relevant in politics.

The statement described as 'a stunningly false claim' by the Minister of State for Finance that the Federal Government is the entity currently building the 31-kilometre Gashu'a-Yusufari Road. 

'The Minister of State made the claim during broadcast on the 9-10pm segment of the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) network news on Thursday, 2nd January 2014', read a part of the statement.

'Coming from a politician desperate to explain away the troubling lack of federal presence in Yobe State and much of the northeast, the minister's claim, though unbelievable, is understandable. This is not the first time that he would try to show that the PDP-led federal government is doing more than enough for the people of the region at a time that all the evidence points to the contrary.

'In wrongly claiming credit for the Gashu'a-Yusufari road, however, the minister is clearly exercising selective amnesia. It is either he's chosen to forget the historical background of the road or he has not consulted with the relevant officials at the Federal Ministry of Works before making his claim.

'For the avoidance of doubt, the Gashu'a-Yusufari road currently under construction is being built by the Gaidam-led Yobe State Government. The road was first awarded for construction by the federal government in 2000. Four years later, by 2004, only a few culverts and first-coat surface dressing of just three kilometres was done'.

Continuing, the statement read: 'After a series of communications - and frustration with the dismal pace of work by the contractor on the part of the people of the state - the federal government terminated the contract and handed over the road to the state government.

'Although hugely important and strategic not just to linking northern Yobe with the rest of the state but also as one of the gateways to the Republic of Niger, the state government would only turn its attention to the Gashu'a-Yusufari road in December 2011.

'Back in the hustings for the 2011 general elections eight months earlier, the people of Yusufari Local Government Area had particularly appealed to Governor Gaidam to help them build the road, and the governor promised action soon after the election.

'Through a resolution of the State Executive Council, the Yobe State Government awarded contract for the complete construction of the road with stone-base and asphalt overlay at the cost of N3.86 billion to EEC Nig. Ltd. Work is now at 65 percent stage of progress.

'This is not the only federal road that the Yobe State Government has either built or is rebuilding. The Gaidam administration has since rebuilt the 109-kilometre Kaliyari-Bayamari-Gaidam road. The Gaidam administration is only a few kilometres away from completing the reconstruction of the 155-kilometre Potiskum-Jakusko-Garin Alkali road. And the Gaidam administration has just awarded contract for the construction of the 77-kilometre Damaturu-Gujba-Buni-Yadi-Magza road."

It added that since all these roads are vital to the economic wellbeing of the people of Yobe State, Governor Gaidam is strongly interested in the idea that rebuilding them with the resources of the state, since the Federal Government would not or might not salvage them on its own, is an investment worth making.