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The Many Achievements of the DDI Administration – Commissioner

TEXT OF MONTHLY/PERIODIC BRIEFING DELIVERED BY HON. BARR. DANJUMA A. ADAMU, TARABA STATE COMMISSIONER OF INFORMATION AND RE-ORIENTATION ON THE UPDATE OF ACHIEVEMENTS OF HIS EXCELLENCY, THE EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR OF TARABA STATE, ARC. DARIUS DICKSON ISHAKU ON 8th SEPTEMBER, 2020.

The journey so far…

It will be recalled on the inauguration of Governor Darius Ishaku on 29th May, 2015, he spelt out the cardinal areas his government will be anchored on. These are:Peace, Security, Unity and Transformation of Taraba State, tagged: THE RESCUE AGENDA PROJECT.

By the end of that first tenure, some substantial achievements had been recorded in those sectors, despite serious challenges, notably financial constraints. My predecessors had touched on these achievements during their tenure in office.

However, building on all those successes, Governor Darius Ishaku started his second term in office with greater vigour, commitment and clarity of purpose in fulfilment of his pledge to meet the everyday needs of the people of the State and transform Taraba into a viable State.

The resounding and overwhelming victory in the 2019 governorship election, gave him further impetus to do more for the people of Taraba State.

Changing the landscape of Jalingo:

Among some of these achievements include the on-going dualisation of the Kpanti Napu city gate to the Jauro Yinu city gate with bridges, a flyover at the Roadblock area, and other pedestrian bridges in Jalingo, the State capital, being carried out by the Ministry of Works. The construction work, which is being executed by a reputable firm is expected to be completed within 24 months. This project will go a long way to give Jalingo a face lift and transform it into a model city, befitting its status as a State capital. There are also on-going road projects which were started in the first tenure of the Governor across the three Senatorial zones of the State. They include: Mararraba Lacheke – Pantisawa road and Wukari – Tsokundi road.

Governor Darius Ishaku’s name in gold.

Another significant and historical undertaken by the Rescue Captain during this period under review is Mararraba – Baissa – Abong road in Kurmi Local Government Area of the State. Though attempts were made in the past by previous administrations to construct the road, the project however, suffered several administrative bottlenecks, leading to its eventual abandonment. It is worthy to note that before the bold step taken by the Governor to address this important project, which was also part of his campaign promise to the people of the area, the road was a death trap, causing nightmares to travellers plying it.

The Kurmi axis is endowed with enormous and untapped agricultural and other natural resources, but the deplorable nature of the road has hampered the economic development of the area. When the road is eventually completed, Governor Darius Ishaku would have his name written in gold for this bold intervention in the socio-economic development of the area. Work has since been started on the road project and it is hopefully expected to be completed within the short period of time.

Boosting Agricultural Output:

Taraba is an agrarian State endowed with tremendous natural resources. Its arable land is suitable for cultivation of varieties of agricultural products such as rice, maize, millet, yam, beans, soybeans, cassava, fruits among others. The climate is also ideal for all-season farming.

To this end, Governor Darius Ishaku has given top priority to agriculture to boost agricultural output so as to ensure food security and increase income for farmers. He has also encouraged mechanised farming through the provision of tractors to farmers at subsidized rates. Similarly, the administration had provided the needed farm inputs like seedlings and fertilizers on regular and at appropriate time to farmers, also all being subsidized by the State government.

Furthermore, animal husbandry is not left out. Taraba climate provides favourable condition for animal breeding. To avoid the perennial farmers and herders clashes, the Government in collaboration with the Federal government will establish a Model Ranch and Livestock Training Centre in line with the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranch Establishment Law for the benefit of this group of agriculturists.

Controlling Covid – 19:

In the health sector, which is also one of the major priorities of The Rescue Agenda Two Project, the Governor has never relented to promote the health needs of the citizens. For example, adequate funds have been budgeted and spent on the purchase of drugs and medical equipment for state hospitals and health care centres in the 16 local government areas.

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has ravaged many countries around the world, the Governor took several proactive measures to ensure its containment and check its spread to the barest minimum. For a start, the Governor constituted a 24-member Covid-19 Technical Committee to coordinate all the activities relating to the control and the spread of the disease in Taraba State. In addition, the Committee was tasked with the goal of ensuring adequate publicity and sensitization on various media platforms, and in churches and mosques on the dangers of the disease.

In same vein, the government in collaboration with Access Bank Plc, provided a 100-bed capacity isolation centre for the treatment of Covid-19 patients in the State. This is, apart from the two Covid-19 isolation centres set up at the Federal Medical Centre and the State Specialist Hospital, both in Jalingo. Aside, the provision of face masks, hand gloves, hand sanitizers and other medical kits to the frontline workers and some institutions, the government also ordered the lockdown of the State and the closure of its borders with neighbouring States and the Republic of Cameroun.

As a result of the focused and proactive measures taken by the Darius Ishaku led-government, Taraba today is one of the least affected States in the country by this dreaded Covid-19 pandemic.

As a matter of fact, the State has not suffered a single death from the disease. This is a remarkable feat, when compared with the staggering number of deaths recorded worldwide.

In the same vein, plans are afoot to purchase some mobile testing equipment to enhance the capacity of the State government to test people with suspected cases of the disease, as well as carry out general tests on members of the public.

Checking Youth Restiveness:

In the area of employment, Governor Ishaku granted approval to the Taraba State Civil Service Commission to recruit new staff, absorb some of the casual staff working in different government ministries, departments and agencies, fill some of the vacancies created in the State civil service as a result of retirements, deaths and transfers among others. This commendable move has helped greatly in reducing the high level of unemployment in the State, thereby checking youth restiveness and social vices.

Protecting Lives and Properties:

As regards security in the State, the administration has been active in ensuring adequate protection of lives and property. This it does by liaising and synergizing with all the security agencies in the State, and giving the adequate support for the realisation of this goal. On the few instances, where there had been breaches of security the government had always responded promptly to contain such crises and provide succour to those affected.

Water is Life:

Another important sector that has received a major boost is the Ministry of Water Resources. The Governor is passionate in making portable drinking water available to the citizens of the State, especially the rural areas where a majority of the people live. One of such commitments is the multi-billion naira Greater Jalingo Water Project, which also involves extending pipelines to the suburbs of the State capital.

Only recently, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the United States Agency for International Development, USAID, which formalized the partnership on the management of water and sanitation referred to as EWASH. This no doubt, will help reduce incidence of water borne diseases.

Also worthy of mention are the 255 boreholes provided in the rural areas of the State to reduce water scarcity being encountered by people in such localities.

Lighting up Taraba:

On power supply to boost economic activities and foster infrastructural development around, the State Rescue Team under its Captain, Arc. Darius Ishaku took an important step by connecting Mutum Biyu, the headquarters of Gassol Local Government Area to the national grid. This development has led to significant increase in business activities in the town and its environs.

Also work is in progress to link Gassol town, Garba-Chede, Bali town and other settlements in the area to the national grid.

Knowledge is Power:

As somebody who values education highly, Governor Darius Ishaku since coming on board in 2015, has paid close attention to the education sector. For example, budgetary allocation to this sector has increased, thus helping to boost performance at various levels of the sector. It is important to note that prior to assuming the leadership of the State, students of Taraba State had consistently performed poorly in WAEC. Today, because of the active intervention of the Governor, Taraba State has been doing far better than in the past. For example, in the 2019 academic year the students from the State scored an impressive 84.74 per cent in the WAEC. This is a great achievement recorded in such a short period of time, and the credit rightly goes to the Governor for these sound educational policies and programmes.

New Lease of Life for a Neglected Community:

Also a giant stride worthy of mention is the creation of Ngada Special Development Area out of Kurmi, Donga, Sardauna, Bali and Gashaka Local Government Areas with its headquarters in Sunkuru. This initiative is specifically aimed at bringing development to these hitherto neglected communities. Today the people of this area are enjoying a new lease of life with the provision of such facilities as secretariat, police post, primary health care centre, primary and secondary schools, rural roads and the empowerment of the youth through skills acquisition programmes. This is a clear demonstration of the Governor’s concern for citizens of the State, especially those living in the rural areas.

Governor Ishaku’s Pact with Tarabans is on Track:

Without doubt, Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku’s second tenure has been eventful, packed with many laudable programmes and projects, which will greatly impact positively on the lives of the people of the State. His pact with Tarabans is on track, and if the first tenure is any guide, then this second tenure surely will be a pointer to greater things to come for the people of the State.

Thank you.

Barrister Hon. Danjuma A. Adamu
Commissioner of Information and Re-orientation.

TSIEC Boss Should Be Sacked? Getting the Facts Straight…

TSIEC Boss Should Be Sacked? Getting the Facts Straight…

Does TSIEC have the sole responsibility to put an election date before they communicate to political parties?

Answer: Yes, TSIEC went further to involve all political parties and agreed upon the date with attestations of 16 political parties gearing up for election.

Do you cancel an election because of one political party?

Answer: No.

Is the TSIEC Chairman, Dr Phillip Duwe competent enough to chair the state’s election umpire?

Answer: Yes. He has the experience and mental capacity having served twice as Commissioner and reached the peak of his Civil Service career, as Permanent Secretary for 10 years. Aside this, he was trained in election management by the European Union.

Why is the APC Taraba accusing TSIEC and its Chairman of bias?

Answer: APC Taraba is only economical with the truth. If TSIEC was bias in information dissemination, then who involved the 16 political parties that signed their attestations in readiness to the election?

How true are allegations by APC that they won In Ibi, Karim and Zing in the last LG election but TSIEC upturned its victory?

Answer: APC didn’t win election in the previous LG election. There was no election in Ibi and the materials are still in TSIEC till today.

There was only cancellation of PUs where there were reports of snatching of ballots and violence related issues orchestrated by the APC which disrupted people from exercising their franchise. Because that is what the law says about it.

Now you know the truth. Disregard fake news organizations like Taraba Truths and Facts who do smear campaigns and go behind to ask for huge sums of money to clean up the mess.

Taraba to Benefit from N13 Billion Pest Control Fund

Taraba to Benefit from N13 Billion Pest Control Fund

The Federal Government has approved N13 billion as intervention fund for pest control in 12 northern states to reduce the effects of COVID-19 on the nation’s food sector.

The 12 frontline states to benefit from the fund are Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, Katsina, Kano, Jigawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa, Taraba, Yobe and Borno States.

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development made the disclosure in a statement issued on Saturday.

The Minister, Muhammad Nanono, said the intervention fund was to ensure uninterrupted agricultural activities during the 2020 farming season in the states.

He explained that the fund would also be used to control trans-boundary pests and minimise the impact of COVID-19 as well as guarantee nutritional and national food security.

5 Years Of Ishaku: Taraba Oil Mill Comes Alive

5 Years Of Ishaku: Taraba Oil Mill Comes Alive

BY HASSAN MIJINYAWA.

The Taraba Oil Mills Limited is another success story of the administration of Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba State. After lying waste for a very long time, the company is now operational with new milling and processing machines.

The mill’s main plantation and factory, located in Kurmi local government area, has now become the hub of palm oil production in the state. The hitherto moribund factory has been rebuilt and refurbished with bigger workshops for it to handle all the palm fruits that the other government plantations and out-growers can deliver to it for production.

According to the managing director/CEO of Taraba Investment and Properties Limited, Mr. Iliya Ezekiel, the transformed oil mill will be producing about 100 million litres of palm oil a weektranslating into 520 million litres per annum when in full swing.

Government’s plan for Kurmi is to produce enough palm oil for local and international consumption. One of the targets of the state government is to make Taraba oil a household name in Nigeria because of its distinct quality.

About 50 years ago, Malaysia came to Nigeria to take palm tree seedlings. Today, they are the undisputed leader in palm oil production globally while Nigeria’s production capacity continues to decline. Governor Darius Ishaku wants to change that, saying he intends to cover Kurmi, other plantations and parts of Taraba with palm trees so that with time Nigeria can take its rightful place as far as palm oil production is concerned.

The Taraba State government has four otherplantations in Serti, Yaboro, Bisaula and Dakka. They will all serve the Kurmi Oil Mill. For now, about 4,000 palm trees grow in the Baisa plantation. Across the state though, over one million palm trees are in full blossom. In addition, nurseries have been established to serve as feeder for farmers especially the out- growers in Kurmi and other areas. Taraba Oil Mills Limited will begin collaboration with the Nigerian Institute of Oil Palm Research (NIFOR) in Benin City, Edo State in the production of enhanced palm seedlings to give farmers.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently advised the state government to provide more land for the oil company in order to access N1billion credit facility to expand production. This of course, is in line with the drive of the state government to buy most advanced milling machinesfrom Europe to boost production capacity.

The mill will, no doubt, produce enough palm oil to meet local consumption. With one million palm trees from government plantations and out-growers supplying the fruits needed, meeting installed capacity will be easy. Government is encouraging people to plant palm trees in their homes and vacant land as a means of getting a steady supply of palm fruits. The mill will also provide raw materials for other secondary products like palm cake, baskets, brooms and local soap made from palm tree.

Government’s plan to localise oil production at Kurmi is strategic. Aside the convenient weather, the land there is fertile and grows other cash crops like cocoa, coffee, wheat and tea. Government has over 10,000 hectares of land in Kurmi and is planning to do low land teaand coffee production in the near future. It is also planning to establish a cocoa nursery and will start a pilot scheme for wheat production. But for now palm oil is the focus.

Certainly, there is an upsurge in economic activities in Kurmi local government area because of the revival of the Taraba Oil Mills Ltd. Once the mill comes into full production, employment opportunities will increase especially for women who will get about 60 per cent of the jobs available at the mill. The mill in Kurmi is a good example of what can be achieved if political will meets commitment to service, especially with the determination of the current general manager, Mr. Steven Johnson.

– Mijinyawa is the Chief Press Secretary to Taraba State Governor

Five Years of Gov. Ishaku in Taraba State (1) – Hassan Mijinyawa

Five Years of Gov. Ishaku in Taraba State (1) – Hassan Mijinyawa

Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku is exactly five years today on the saddle of leadership in Taraba State. What then are his achievements so far? They are indeed numerous and can only be digested separately for the purpose of clarity.

Some of these numerous achievements include the resuscitation of the state’s moribund companies, roads construction, especially the ongoing dualization of the road linking the two city gates in Jalingo with a fly-over at the ever busy road-block area of the state capital, the Marraba-Baissa-Abong-Kan Iyaka road; the commissioned Magami road network in Jalingo, Takum township roads, Takum-Katsina Ala road as well as the ongoing Yorro-Kpantisawa road, Wukari-Tsokundi road, among many others; provision of pipe born water to over 300 communities, construction of the Taraba Vegetable Company (Green House) which has considerably increased the internally generated revenue of the state as well as host of other projects.

The administration also renovated and upgraded three general hospitals in the state, employed over 3000 teachers which impacted positively on the the state’s WAEC performance giving the state 85.74% success in 2019, renovated existing classroom blocks and constructed new ones across the state with new sets of furniture and other instructional materials. These five years also witnessed the digitization of the state television, provided job opportunities for teeming youths through  empowerment programmes where they were trained and provided starter packs. Others were trained at the prestigious Peter Akinola Foundation and the pet project of the governor’s wife, Hope Afresh Foundation. Many rural communities in the state today enjoy electricity courtesy of injection substations contructed by Ishaku with quite a number  connected to the national grid.

This piece, however, dwells only on one of the resuscitated state owned companies, the Mambila Beverages Nigeria Limited, makers of Highland tea.

Located at Kakara in Sardauna Local Government Area of Taraba state atop a plateau, the tea estate just as the area bears unique features. It stands at 1,850 meters above sea level, having amazing climate of tropical weather interspersed hugely with temperate all year round. It also experiences heavy and prolonged rains more than any part of Taraba State each year. It is presumably the hub of tourism in Nigeria.

The tea factory there is one of its kind in Nigeria. But after operating for decades, it ran into operational problems. The Taraba state government decided to take over and save it.The workers were being owed many months’ salary arrears, and everybody involved in the chain of tea production from growers to factory hands had lost hope in the organization and considered it dead, not to be resuscitated. This scenario called for investing millions of naira, which the government proceeded to do.

In his policy of carrying a surgical operation on the industrial needs and potentials of the State, Governor Darius Ishaku included the Mambila Beverages Limited, makers of Highland tea, for revamping. He considered the even spread of industries across the state to cushion the effect of acute unemployment, a situation that had torn the state apart by youth restiveness and communal clashes. Today, the revamping of that project has made life and the economy of the Mambila people and by extension, Taraba State and Nigeria at large, worthwhile. The people are truly happy, many thanks to the Ishaku administration. The new initiative is remarkable and has given the people a sense of belonging.

It therefore took the bold initiative of Governor Ishaku when he assumed office to get the situation on a sound pedestal by replacing all the antiquated equipment.  The process required pumping in huge sums of money. It was an extraordinary show of genuine interest to develop Taraba State. He considered the company as a top priority project.

An omnibus structure in place to oversee industries in the state is the Taraba Investment and Properties Company Limited (TRIP). Unfortunately, TRIP lacked both the financial muscle and the right staff with the right spirit to function effectively.  However, these seeming difficulties did not deter Governor Ishaku. Things must not remain the same, as he was keen on getting the organization on stream. TRIP, as the aegis had not only the Mambila Beverages to revive, but also other companies including the Viva Feed mill Limited, Taraba Microfinance Bank, TRIP Poly Products Limited, Taraba Savings and Loans Limited and Taraba Oil Mills Limited among others.

To ensure that it was not a pipedream, Governor Ishaku took the pains to recruit serious, intelligent and committed young men to turn around the fortunes of the companies. This necessitated the hiring of the present Managing Director, Mr. Iliya Ezekiel to steer the affairs of the investment House. Today, many of the companies under TRIP have been revived and are posting impressive results.

So the level of genuine commitment on the part of the Ishaku administration can be seen in the procurement of modern tea processing machines such as the cut, tear and curl (CTC), the fluid bed dryer, Tea wrapping machines as well as Tea bagging machines, which are critical modern tea production equipment anywhere in the world.

This dramatic turnaround was necessitated by the rumour that government could not manage the tea estate and plans were afoot to sell it to foreign investors, including a company from neighbouring Cameroun, which had also been in the bidding process. Nevertheless, the governor stood his grounds and he prevailed.

Moreover, having brought the Tunga Dam project with its attendant’s benefits to the tea factory and the neighbouring communities, Governor Ishaku is working towards constructing the Tunga II Dam project to generate more electricity and water for the tea estate and adjoining villages.

It is to the credit of Governor Ishaku that he increased the amount paid to out-growers from N24 per kg to N30 per kg. It was compelled by good conscience to do this. In addition, he extended the same gesture to the labourers plucking tea for the Mambila Beverages Nigeria Limited. For instance, they were being paid N12 per kg, but he increased it to N16 per kg.

Recently, there were talks by union bodies negotiating with management on wide ranging issues bordering on the need for price increases among other things which the government believes must be based on mutual understanding and valid agreements.

Also, the administration has given employment to the teeming unemployed youths in the area and even beyond, which efforts have also increased revenue generation for the state and have improved the living conditions of those employed in the industry as well as dwellers in the vicinity. Presently, the company has employed 3,000 direct and indirect staff.

These benefits made the communities to extend their appreciations to Governor Darius Ishaku in more varied ways. During his recent visit to the area, the people of Nguroje came out in their numbers to receive Ishaku. The governor was presented with a well-fed horse as a token of appreciation for what he has been doing to the communities.

Interestingly, the Mambila Beverages Nigeria Limited faces huge demands for its products within the country and across the borders. The quality of the tea and the green tea, a recent addition, testifies to its global demand, appeal and competitiveness to consumers in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas.  This is so because like the green tea, its multiple health benefits are legendary. Therefore, there is a surfeit of market for it. Daily, trucks of Highland tea head towards Chad, Niger, Libya and other African countries. This therefore attests to the fact that the plucking system being adopted by the company management is of satisfactory standard. The company is however, working assiduously towards enhancing a few logistics.

Arc. Darius Dickson Ishaku’s administration is people oriented as its Rescue mission chant is not a ruse. It is based on holistic, well-articulated development agenda for the state with the people being great beneficiaries. No state becomes great when the people are impoverished. The dividends of democracy, which the Ishaku administration has provided in terms of infrastructure, institutions and the establishment of industries have direct impact on the people. The government will not waver, but carry this policy to the end of the second term. The people of Taraba are very much aware of the performance indicators of Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku.

Mijinyawa is the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Taraba State.

27 Ways Governor Ishaku’s Led Government has Intervened in Curbing Covid-19 Spread in Taraba

27 Ways Governor Ishaku’s Led Government has Intervened in Curbing Covid-19 Spread in Taraba

1.) Setting up Committee on Covid-19 with the Commissioner of Health as Chairman.

2.) Introduction of total lockdown which compels everybody to stay home every day except on Wednesday and Saturday. Only workers on essential duties are exempted.

3. Empowerment of security agencies to enforce the lockdown and the introduction of mobile courts to prosecute offenders.

4. Setting up a bed capacity isolation center at the current NYSC camp which is at the outskirt of the town.

5. Sensitization and statewide broadcast on various media like Taraba television, Taraba radio, cable networks, state government website, social media and others.

6. Provided the following state emergency contact lines for COVID – 19 to the general public.
08065508675, 08039359368, 08037450227, 08032501165.

7.) Broadcast of Jingles daily to sensitize Tarabans.

8.) Tightening of the state borders with neighbouring states to prevent influx of people through Karim entrance, Numan Jalingo route, Sardauna Cameroon border, Wukari Benue, Adamawa Jalingo, Kurmi Cameroon border etc.

9.) Fumigated the NYSC Camp Isolation center.

10.) Distribution of food and Non food items to the 168 wards of the state, each received by its local government chairman.

11.) Supported both CAN and Muslim Council with finances to help in ensuring effective sensitization.

12. The 138 inter-state passengers who were intercepted and later quarantined were tested and confirmed cases among them admitted for treatment.

13. Conducted contact tracing of index cases with the deployment of additional resources and manpower in the state.

14. Distributed protective kits in the state against COVID-19.

15. A loan of 2.5 billion was approved by Taraba state house of Assembly for Gov. Ishaku to fight covid-19.

16. Liaising with neighbouring state governors to effectively protect porous areas of state borders.

17. Plans to bring in sophisticated Mobile testing Machine for Covid 19 to help speed up resting.

18. Made several trips to the Isolation center to ensure everything is working normal.

19. Have been receiving Organizations who visit the state to donate Palliatives like the NEDC, NYSC etc.

20. Gov. Ishaku received N100m worth of food and non-food items for 3,828 households from The Victims Support Fund of TY Danjuma foundation.

21. The Gov. Ishaku-led government is trying her best to curb further spread of the virus beyond the reported cases in the state.

22. Due to effective management, no single case of death as a result of Covid 19 has been reported so far.

23. The six people who were tested positive and reported by NCDC now test negative after treatment and have been discharged.

24. Gov. Ishaku is partnering with Access Bank to provide a-100 bed capacity isolation center.

25. Her Excellency, Barr Anna Ishaku provides food items and relief consumables to the aged and vulnerable Tarabans.

26. Introduction of school on air to teach students while at home via TTV and TSBS

27. The evacuation of Almajiris from Taraba state and receiving of same as agreed by the Northern Governors Forum.