*describes APC guber candidate as an ingrate
By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) State Chairman in Bauchi, Hamza Koshe Akuyam has said that in Bauchi, the Kaura Economic Empowerment Programme (KEEP) spent about two billion Naira in empowering less-privileged and party faithful in the state, since the commencement of the programme sometime early last year.
Speaking at the round-up ceremony of KEEP summing up the 20 local government areas at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium (ATBS) in Bauchi at the weekend, the party chairman said that Governor Bala Mohammed has not forwarded the name of any person as beneficiary of the programme, thus describing it as a sign of good leadership.
Koshe noted that KEEP has benefitted a vast number of people in the state, some of whom he said, are now self-reliance, stressing that the programme is the first of its kind in the state, and urged beneficiaries to judiciously utilized it in such a way that they would stand on their feet.
The PDP state chairman lambasted the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial candidate, Ambassador Sadique Baba Abubakar whom, he described, as ungrateful to the people of Bauchi Local Government Area who nurtured him to become what he is today only to turn back and claim Giade in the state as his domicile LGA for the purpose of contesting the 2023 gubernatorial election.
Speaking at the programme round-up with Bauchi as the 20th LGA, Governor Bala Mohammed said that in each of the remaining 19 LGAs where it was already launched, none of them had less than 500 beneficiaries and the least amount was either N75 million or N100 million respectively.
He revealed however, that in Bauchi LGA being the biggest not only in the state but the country as a whole, the total number of beneficiaries were 2, 000 persons and the sum of over N200 million has been freely distributed as economic empowerment to alleviate people from poverty or economically empower them for self-reliance.
The governor said, “Out of the 2, 000 beneficiaries, 1,850 would be given cash to improve their businesses, while the remaining 150 persons would be given various items which include buses, motor-cycles, sewing machines, grinding machines and many other items as economic empowerment”.
He explained that it would not be an over statement to say that generality of the people of Bauchi State are feeling the positive impact of the programme, as can be attested by the various economic activities that stands across the nooks and crannies of the state, adding, “As an economic intervention immediately, KEEP has saves the lives of its beneficiaries for the better”.
“In our efforts to boost economic activities and further improve and empower the people of Bauchi state, we are also embarking on the construction of modern markets in Bauchi and Azare town, and given the opportunity for a second term in office, I want take the expansion of market to go beyond Bauchi and Azare to include the emirates of Dass, Ningi, Jama’are and Misau”.
Mohammed recalled that the grand breaking ceremony for the construction of Azare modern market was performed last month of September, as the state government has also approved N500 million for market traders, with the first instalment of N300 million already given to them.
The Governor reiterated that his administration has given the agricultural sector the attention it deserves as his administration is providing herbicides, pesticides and fertilizer as when expected, while new roads have been constructed all over the state, and others.
“We have constructed over 4, 000 class rooms in the state, and others have been rehabilitated to reduce the problem of out-of-school children. And you can see our classrooms are unique bearing not only the colour of PDP, but also the Nigerian flag. We have built so many clinics and hospitals, and where there is none we built new ones’.
He further explained that the state government ensures that every of the 323 ward has a functional healthcare centre with a Drug Revolving Fund that would provide succor to the majority of our people who are living in the rural areas.
According to him, Bauchi is enjoying the status of one of the most secured states in the federation, and assured that the government would work hard to sustain it, as it is attracting so much investments in solid minerals, in education and health sectors, and in all other sectors of the economy.
The Governor expressed delight that some public spirited individuals and philanthropists in the state have also given the empowerment the required derives it deserved, as well as legislators representing their various constituencies, party stalwarts, and chairman of stakeholders in the state, the Jarman Bauchi, Alhaji Garba Noma.
Mohammed reassured the people of the state that his administration would continue to do everything humanly possible within its available resources to uplift their socio-economic well-beings, and ensure that majority of people benefit from the poverty alleviation programme of the government.
“We have salvaged our pledge that labour would have integrity that we pay salaries and wages before the 30th of every month, as we are being adjudged by those looking at us from other angles. If there are problems of gratuities payment, we are doing much to make sure that the backlogs left by previous administrations are settled by the grace of God by the time we start implementing Contributory Pension Scheme”, he concluded.