By James Aboki.
There is currently a totally new and pragmatic attitude to the very important issue of development of Taraba State under the leadership of Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku. That attitude is anchored on the need to ignite local and foreign investment interests in the state by encouraging people from all parts of the world to come and see the abundance of agricultural, mineral and tourism potentials of the state.
It is part of the larger idea of developing a partnership with people with the resources and technical competence that can help in the implementation of the state government’s blueprint for socio-economic transformation.
But this highly optimistic concept of development comes with a huge burden.
The state must itself be adequately prepared for the expected influx of visitors and increased tempo of economic activities. That means that the various means of transportation to and from the state must improve to make traveling easy and attractive to all visitors. This got Governor Ishaku working and doing so very hard.
The first thing he did was the renovation of the Jalingo Airport which had been abandoned for many years. The airport is now open to flights. There are now three direct flights into Jalingo, the capital city of Taraba State weekly. Ishaku is still discussing with more airline operators to start similar direct flights to Jalingo and the idea has been very well received.
But the greater aspect of the job of smoothening the way for visitors to the state lies in improving the roads in and around the state. And Governor Ishaku is already doing a good job in that direction. Virtually every local government council area in the state has benefitted from the road construction and reconstruction programme of the administration.
The administration has been more generous with Jalingo in this respect. One of the major road project executed in Jalingo is the Jolly Nyame Road. There is also the Jalingo – Kona – Lau road that was for many years a nightmare to motorists. It has been tarred and this gesture of the administration is being deeply appreciated and applauded by those using the road regularly. Also expanded and tarred is Hammanruwa, a major road in the commercial part of the town.