Since the conclusion of the general elections in March and the inauguration of the elected officials weeks after, the expectations of Nigerians have heightened as it relates to development in all aspects of national life – from security to economy and other key areas like health, infrastructure, education and youth empowerment.
While things are still sloth-paced at the federal level especially with a cabinet yet to be inaugurated, governance at the sub-national level is showing appreciable development in ways that it can be translated to people-oriented politics, and sitting at a pivotal link in the scheme of things are the heads of the executive in Nigeria’s 36 states, many of whom were rewarded with another mandate in office for a fresh 4-year term.
For every Governor that gets sound policymaking and execution right, the impact on national development cannot be over-emphasized. It is against this background that we rank for the month of August, the governors bringing prosperity and progress to their constituents and those who have under-performed in the same regard.
1. Seyi Makinde (Oyo)
Since winning the March 9 Guber election in Oyo, Engineer Seyi Makinde proved political doubters wrong as he hit the ground running. which in turn has tangibly lifted the state from the doldrums and reign of impunity unleashed on the state in the past years of administration.
This, he has done, in the last three months:
Handling the perennial NURTW crisis with so much grit, making a bold statement on transparency by publicly declaring his assets, fulfilling his campaign promises of paying workers’ salaries before the 25th of each month, allocating the sum of N280 million for the payment of the the pension of 2012 retirees, visiting the state-owned hospital which has been left in ruins as well as private farms and Agric value chain companies in some agrarian communities within the state, in a bid to open the doors of partnerships and collaborations.
The Governor has also embarked on what some have described as a revolution of the state’s educational sector with the abolition of fees at the secondary and elementary level as well as his recent approval of N500,000 each to indigent students at the Nigerian Law School amongst others.
As it is, Seyi Makinde’s administration is alignment with this campaign promises, and it can only get better.
2. Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna)
This month, Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna performed the groundbreaking ceremony of a new shopping mall being constructed at the cost of N3.9 billion in Kaduna.
It’s been reported that the Amsalco Galaxy Mall is being constructed at the Murtala Muhammed Square in the heart of Kaduna city, through a public-private partnership.
For many governors pushing the urban renewal program in their respective states, El-Rufai is clearly among those dominating.
The recent inauguration of a judicial panel to investigate, ascertain and identify the immediate and remote causes of all instances of disturbances from 2017 to date in Kajuru, Kachia, Chikun LGAs and surrounding communities, as well as recommend appropriate legal and other actions to be taken against those responsible for the disturbances is also laudable.
The Kaduna Governor also inaugurated his 11-man cabinet which has four women in the list (27.5% gender representation), less than 7 weeks after taking his oath of office and he ensured that commissioners and management of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) are subjected to strict quarterly reviews, adding that anyone that missed two quarters would be fired.
3. Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom)
Udom Emmanuel re-election as Governor of Akwa Ibom meant one thing – he had to consolidate on his past achievements wherein his politics was skewed to the creation of jobs. This is evident in the establishment of a toothpick and pencil factory.
Emmanuel has been all for diversification in a state predominantly known as “oil-state,” infrastructural consolidation and expansion. Most exemplary is his administration’s investment in the production of flour – Kings Flour Mill, Onna.
4. Bello Mattawale (Zamfara)
The state of Zamfara has been a hot bed for insecurity, wrecking havoc and leading to massive destruction and loss of lives in rural communities.
Amongst the state’s brimming slate of issues, armed banditry has been a major cause for worry. Recently, Governor Bello Mattawale approved the removal of the Emir of Maru, Abubakar Cika, and the District head of Kanoma, Lawal Ahmed for allegedly giving support to bandits responsible for deaths and violence in the state.
In Mattawale’s score card, this is a major point.
5. Nyesom Wike (Rivers)
Like armed banditry ravaging Northern Nigeria, cultism has been an ugly distress for Rivers State for a long time. But Governor Nyesom Wike has renewed efforts in tackling the menace even in his second tenure.
Recently, the governor sent names of the lecturers allegedly aiding cultism in Rivers State University to the Department of State Security (DSS) stressing that the lecturers will be sacked if found guilty. This for us is a major point added to the numerous infrastructural projects his administration is working upon. Furthermore, Wike declared that the state government is fully prepared to tackle insecurity and would do everything required to protect lives and property, declaring that the state government had proscribed all youth groups operating in the state because they had been hijacked by cultists. This led to the bounty put on notorious criminal Bobrisky.
6. Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta)
Ifeanyi Okowa is one of the governors who won second-tenure bids and for Delta state, the Asaba mechanic village is part of the urban renewal agenda of the Okowa administration.
The project is in line with the agenda encapsulated in the acronym SMART which means – Strategic Wealth creation projects and provision of jobs for all Deltans; Meaningful peace-building platforms aimed at political and social harmony; Agricultural reforms and accelerated industrialization; Relevant Health and Education policies; Transformed environment through urban renewal.
Furthermore, and in this month, he assured the people of the state of more drainage projects which he has commenced.
7. Willie Obiano (Anambra)
In the past two years, Anambra has become a hub of the industrial revolution and an engineering site with copious direct foreign and local investments swarming the state. Willie Obiano second tenure is indeed showing promise.
8. Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia)
Back in May, the Nigerian Medical Association (N.M.A) lamented the horrible working conditions of Abia State health workers and doctors who last received salaries 13 months ago.
Recently, the Abia State government took a swipe at the State chairman of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Uchenna Obigwe, over his continued claims against the government regarding the salaries of civil servants in the state parastatals.
These are just a few of the complains about the state, revolving around unpaid workers’ salaries and routine deflection by the Okezie Ikpeazu-led administration in Abia.
9. Darius Ishaku
Rural communities in Northern Nigeria face endless violence by banditry, and states like Taraba is one of those volatile regions. Under Darius Ishaku’s watch, banditry attacks have seemingly escalated leading to loss of lives and properties.
Just this week, a civil society organisation under the aegis of Guardians of Democracy and Development on Wednesday staged a protest in Abuja to condemn communal violence and killings in Taraba. Furthermore, the group called for the investigation and prosecution of the State governor, Darius Ishaku, and Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma for allegedly fuelling the crisis in the state.
10. Babagana Zulum (Borno)
Borno Governor, Babagana Zulum hits rock bottom in this ranking for allotting erstwhile Boko Haram hideout Sambisa forest for the Rural Grazing Area Programme (RUGA).
Sambisa forest, while it’s reportedly been abandoned by Boko Haram, still bears the vestiges of terrorism and deploying the zone for cattle grazing could be a recipe for disaster.