DEVELOPMENT CONCEPTS AND MISGUIDED PERCETS ON NEW ZAMFARA BLUEPRINT

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Development is basically an act or process of growing or causing something to grow or become larger or more advanced; the act or process of creating something over a period of time or the state of being created or made more advanced.

Hence, we have economic development, social development, educational development, agricultural development, sports development and even down to personality where we have mental development, physical development, and work culture development.

A Government is an institution beyond personal or group business. It is a dynamic and gigantic activity aimed at addressing the needs of a vast, heteregenious population with divergent, uncommon demands and even wide range of peculiarities. What one think is an aberration is at the same time what another is yearning for. Amidst all these, the Government has the duty to protect the interest of each and all.

Hence, the Zamfara State Government under the current leadership of His Excellency, Dr Bello Mohammed (Matawallen Maradun) came up with a new blueprint of modern development. And in its first ever fiscal document a wholistic approach to addressing the gamut of demands where all aspects of socio-economic demands can be tackled within the short and limited resources of the Government available.

The budget incorporates the Many aspects of our social life most of which were neglected in the past. Pertinently, it addresses the demands in Agriculture where the state Government resuscitated the Fertiliser blending plant and plans to make it available to all farmers for a bumper harvest. The Government will also address the problems of cotton production, commercial crops farming and the resuscitation of Ginners and textile industries.

Similarly, apart from unprecedented allocation of 19% of the total budget to Education, the budget addresses the problem of acute dearth of teachers in school, poor and inadequate classrooms and school working materials. Already, the Government is spending N8. 5 billion on the rehabilitation of schools and building of classrooms across the state.

The same budget is addressing the deteriorating health sector in the state. The Governor has earlier supplied 17 brand new ambulances to the hospitals and has incorporated in the budget the construction of Hospitals in each of the 14 Local Government Areas and a clinic in all the 147 wards in the state, the first time ever initiative by any Governor, not only in Zamfara State, but in the entire region.

Human empowerment has not seen more of support in the past as in the present budget of Governor Bello Mohamned. Already, 50,000 Youth and Women are benefitting from this programmes which is being carefully managed by the newly established Social Investment Programme Agency in the state.

Roads construction and rehabilitation is another priority of the administration this year. Already, survey has been concluded for roads expansion to accommodate dual carriage ways in major cities, the opening up of hitherto, unaccessible areas and the construction of rural roads to open up the economy for rural dwellers across the state.

It is therefore very unfair and, indeed, mischievous to single out some aspects of the budgetary provisions for castigation. Yes, the budget also included the construction of a new Government House, a new Airport, a new three-star hotel and an Olympic size stadium. It is not a surprise, however, that shortsighted armchair critics with short and narrow percept of development do not see the advantages in these initiatives.

Zamfara state needs a new Government House for several reasons. No state Government in Nigeria has a worse Government House than ZAMFARA State. Due to its lack of presentability, it cannot host the Governor, nor his Deputy; not host any visiting Governor much less to mention many Governors, Ministers or the President because it simply does not have the accommodation facility to do so. This is why no Governors’ meeting can ever hold in the state, nor the meetings of any importance can ever be slated for ZAMFARA state. However, the proposed Government House will have adequate office and residential accommodations for the Governor and his deputy as well as enough chalets for visiting Governors, Ministers and even the President.

The Hotel is another point of contention. No society can take the path of developnent without exploiting its tourism and hospitality industry. It is a shame that even Gusau, the state capital, cannot boast of befitting accommodation for important visitors who may want to come for business or industrial exploitation. The three-star Hotel will address the embarrassing state of poor hospitality value imposed on the state over a long period of time.

Armchair critics have also criticised the intention of the state Government to build an Airport in the state. Let us ask a simple question. Is there a state in Nigeria today that has no airport of its own? How is developmental status of such a state compared to those with an Airport? Needless to say that Airports, especially cargo, facilitate development in transport, tourism and commerce. It also facilitates the appreciation of land and property in the state. Hence, for those who view it as luxury, they must be enlightened that air transport is not a luxury today but a necessary tool to development in modern times.

The latest to get the uninformed bashing is the decision of the Government to build an Olympic size stadium in the state. It is sad to realise that some unaccoplished pundits do not see any vision beyond their physical noses. Sports facilties, especially football in Nigeria, are no longer for recreation alone. They are a vibrant economic activity. Many Eurpean countries’ economies will go down today if their Premier leagues are stopped. We cannot afford to neglect this booming industry especially in Nigeria where its league is by the day, getting mass admiration and support from football lovers. Building a standard stadium will not only provide our Youth to discover their talents in football for national and international escapades, but will also attract international focus on Zamfara to its glory and image as well as economic boost which sports is attested to bring worldwide. If not for anything, the mere fact that the Government now has the liverage and luxury to think this far attests to the total peace not attained in the state.

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