Adamawa State Governor, Senator Muhammad Umaru Jibrilla Bindow is quick to boast that he always optimizes what he has, no matter how meagre, and that is why he has been able to achieve a rare feat in urban road renewal. Indeed Mr. Bindow understands excellently, the artistry of utilization of state’s paltry resources for infrastructural development. Many Adamawa people criticize Governor Bindow’s Weltanschauung of development. In place of parallel system; the governor cherishes “series” approach when it comes to socio-economic development. In Bindow’s Adamawa state- it is all about roads, roads and more roads.
Despite having recorded pockets of success, Mr. Bindow’s approach to development has not favoured the common man; because Adamawa is a rural, poverty-ridden, and backward in education state with most of its citizen relying heavily on farming.
The smiling countenance of Mr. Bindow when he goes round Jimeta-Yola inspecting road constructions depicts that of a ‘happy-go-lucky’ man, who is totally unknowledgeable about politico-economy issues of a poor, rural and salary-dependent state in Northeast Nigeria. For instance, Mr. Bindow declared a state of emergency on education and healthcare, yet things have not even changed to an appreciable level.
The governor’s opponents believe there are personal gains he gets from road construction, hence his focus on it, though no one has been able to proof this. But, who knows!
There is no doubt Governor Bindow has achieved a feat never achieved by recent governors in Adamawa, in terms of roads construction but the state government needs to change direction and give attention to pressing issues like settling of salaries owed to local government and healthcare workers for 4/5 months. Mr. Bindow’s self acclaimed ingenuity at achieving much with little can be extended to attending to these issues.
Bi-monthly, the governor should keep aside 150-250 million naira for small contracts (drainage construction, boreholes, rehabilitation of class rooms, Jimeta-Yola green beautification, etc). Secondly, a simplex-method programming should be designed aimed at gradually settling the salary owed teachers, health and LGs workers including pension arrears
Apart from this, the Governor Bindow government should, as one of its most important strategies to tackle unemployment in the state, use the Technical and Skills Acquisition Centres in the state for agricultural entrepreneurship programmes for youths. The Government should go into partnership with private sector to establish poultry, fisheries, dairy, snaileries, farms, plantations etc in various locations in the state. This will go a long way to sustain economic growth, as well as encourage the youths. The Technical and Skills Acquisition Centres should be redesigned and retooled for jobs and wealth creation.
Furthermore, the centers should be well funded to serve as ‘Ideas Development Hubs’; ‘Ideas Development’ is an excellent way to create employment for bright youths through the well known concept of: innovate, create, invent and invest. Though experts say it is the most difficult but the most effective way to create long-term employment. Adamawa state churns out thousands of graduates yearly. The Bindow government should see the Skill Acquisition Centers as goldmine and sociopolitical weapon. The centers should be re-energized to function in such a way that it assists graduates with technical skills and entrepreneurship passion to have access to facilities and environment that support thinking for invention and innovation.
In 2019, Governor Bindow will be the man to beat, there is no doubt he deserves a second term. But the governor is extremely unpopular among local government workers, healthcare workers, pensioners and local politicians- especially APC executives from ward to state level. Politics in Adamawa state is like walking on bubbles- it may burst at any time.
Zayyad I. Muhammad Jimeta, Adamawa State, firstname.lastname@example.org 08036070980