By Julius Toba-Jegede
Gov. Aminu Bello Masari of Kastina State has said his government constructed and rehabilitated over 1,000 kilometres of roads across the state in the last six years.
Masari told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Katsina that the road construction initiative, which covered both inter-town and community feeder roads, was executed in conjunction with local government councils.
He said about 463 kilometres were constructed while 460 kilometres were rehabilitated by the state government in addition to those done by local governments.
“If you look at the road projects we have done, we spent over seven billion naira to complete the roads that we inherited from the previous administrations.
“We have constructed 463 kilometres of roads, we have also rehabilitated 460 kilometres of well-tarred and standard roads and we have also constructed these local government feeder roads.
” If you take what we did and what the local governments have done, then we have over 1,000 kilometres of roads,” he said.
He, however, lamented that some of the projects had not been handed over to the communities because of the security situation in certain parts of the state.
On the health sector, he said most of the township and rural hospitals have been upgraded and equipped while others were newly constructed.
“We started with Daura, Kastina and Funtua General Hospitals that can now compete with any general hospital in the country.
” After that, we went to Baure, we have upgraded Baure, we have upgraded Dutsin-Ma, Malumfashi, Kankara and many others.
” We have spent billions of naira in terms of healthcare delivery services alone.
“’Also in the area of rural electrification, through what we call constituency projects within the last six years, we have spent billions of naira to provide for electricity power lines across the state.
” At any given time, we are not afraid to show what we have done with the resources we have gotten,” he said.
On ranching, the governor said the government had commenced the process of sourcing for funds for the initiative long before the Federal Government’s eventual intervention.
“’I think Nigerians should thank God for the fact that Buhari is from Katsina State, he has not done anything that is out of the constitution.
” We had started asking for money for ranching under Natural Resources Fund, we started under Stabilisation in other to provide infrastructure for the frontline local governments, we didn’t succeed and he (Buhari)didn’t say this is my state, give them.
“In 2017, we applied for Natural Resources Fund again, we applied for N12.5 billion and the Federal Government said go and source for N6.25 billion and I said where are we going to source for that amount?
” But at the end, only this year, the Federal Government gave us N6.25 billion to start a pilot scheme.
” But the governor of Benue is looking for N100 billion, is there any relationship between N6.25 billion naira and N100 billion?’’
In the area of water supply, the governor said the Ajiwa Water Project had reached 70 per cent completion stage, adding that government had also drilled about 7000 boreholes across the state in a bid to ensure adequate water supply to the people.
“We have reached about 70 per cent completion of the rehabilitation of Ajiwa Water Dam.
” We have completed that of Malumfashi and the Federal Government has completed that of Dobe.
” We also have completed our own part of Phase 1, now Phase A and B are our own and the state government is looking for money for completion.
” We have drilled over 7,000 boreholes across the state, all our local governments have semi-urban water supply,” he said.
Masari also said the Anchor Borrowers Programme of the Federal Government had been successful in Katsina State, especially for rice farmers.
“We have Anchor Borrower in the area of rice production, we were among the first set of states to participate in the programme.
” The CBN came up with this private Anchor Borrower Programme which has been so successful In Katsina, there was a display of pyramid of maize here, we have cotton Anchor Borrower this year and we are now working on cassava Anchor Borrower.
” These private anchors and cooperative societies will organise themselves and they will apply provided they have the land and they will be paid. I think that of cotton was launched by the governor of CBN and Minister of Agriculture here in Katsina,” Masari said. (NAN)