What N6bn can do for my state - by Hassan Gimbabe kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle
The current governor, Hon. Mai Mala Buni, has, since receiving the baton of the state’s leadership, been doing his best in the infrastructural development of the young, growing state that Yobe is. He is about commissioning thousands of houses built for the less privileged and, at least, five modern markets that would improve the state’s revenue generation capacity.
He has also resuscitated over ten dormant industries, renovated and built schools, constructed some roads linking important communities, improved the health delivery capability of the state and attracted many incentives for farmers.
For instance, in September this year, the state generated about N9.5 billion – a massive improvement – and got a value-added tax allocation of N20.5 billion. That’s spread over twelve months.
I was mulling over this when I dozed off and started having a sweet dream. I dreamt that God mercifully opened some unknown doors for me and I made some cool, lawful N6.5 billion. Even in the dream, I did not doubt because I know He is capable.
I know that N6 billion is money that Yobe State will gladly welcome. It can complete many ongoing projects, including a cargo airport in Damaturu, the state capital. That money can be used in renovating other schools and even building more. Without a doubt, a state-of-the-art renal diseases research institute and associated hospitals can be put in place with that amount. There is a part of the state that more than any other thing needs, nay, deserves it.
If the state desires to augment its revenue base by constructing revenue generators as it is doing now, then N6 billion can set up a soap and detergent producing industry because there are places in the state blessed with the basic ingredient for their production – potash.
Education, too, can benefit immensely from N6 billion thrown at it. The Federal University in Gashua still occupies the only staff quarters inherited from the secondary school it displaced. Imagine the staff quarters N6 billion can build. Now, most staff members go back to their towns on Thursdays to return on Mondays. The university is yet to have a community of its own and be a proper citadel of learning eight years after its establishment. The compensation of some fields added to it is even yet to be paid, unfortunately.
While the government has built many schools, classrooms sometimes and renovated many others, with an additional N6 billion, the remaining primary and secondary schools will get a befitting facelift. Teachers could be further trained and retrained, too.
Yobe, my state, is infested with eRats. eRats are jobless, or frustrated, youths who, for want of survival, have donned the toga of “journalists”. They survive on harassing people on behalf of political leaders who have nothing good to offer those they rule. Anyone who points out the shortcomings of such terrible leaders, or about the ills in society, is fair game to these attack dogs.
A small fraction of N6 billion can return such eRats to foundation schools. Since they may all be above 20 years old and hustling to survive, special classes can be built for them all over the state. They missed out on attending the type of primary and secondary schools the children of those they fight for went to. But if they are lucky this time around, after the foundation schools, their heroes may take them to the United Kingdom to study alongside their children. They may even get the type of jobs the children of their mentors get when they return to Nigeria. They can then rattle with knowledge, having become “informed senior rattling” eRats.
Still, education lightens the mind darkened by negativity or any other atavistic tendencies. Plato, an Athenian philosopher in Ancient Greece and founder of the Platonist school of thought and The Academy, the first institution of higher learning in the Western World, said: “If a man neglects education, he walks lame to the end of his life.”
Therefore, I will keep to myself the balance of N500 million and be kind with it.