As Yobe civil servants celebrate new office complex
Despite the problem of insecurity bedevilling Yobe State, there was a celebration of the completion of an office complex by the state government much to the delight of civil servants in the state. James Bwala writes on the events which led to the eventual completion of the office project, while capturing the mood of the people in the state.
It is quite obvious that Yobe State is currently undergoing serious security challenges. These, for some time now, have affected economic activities and as well threatened to thwart the ongoing developmental efforts in the state. However, the state government, led by Governor Ibrahim Geidam, has remained undaunted. In its concerted attempt at initiating uninterrupted progress in the state, the government has concentrated its efforts on building its workforce.
As one of the troubled states in the North, there is no gainsaying that infrastructural decay, poverty, unemployment and insecurity of lives and property have characterised Yobe. But the incumbent government, in coming to terms with these problems, came up with plans to raise the status quo by improving on the living standard of the people, in line with its electoral promises. The state government had equally promised to establish a leasing company in partnership with reputable commercial banks, stating that entrepreneurs, co-operative societies and corporate organisations would be given loans to acquire vehicles for their inter and intra-state mass transit as a way of reducing over dependant on government in the fight against poverty in the state.
In addition, to ensure a good relationship with workers, the Geidam-led government said it would continue to work towards repositioning the civil service for more effective and efficient service. This would be achieved by way of regular and intensive capacity building programmes, institutional reform for instilling transparency, accountability and Due Process, in line with modern practices. The government also remains bent on ensuring appropriate measure on discipline, punctuality, motivation and enhancement of the welfare of workers.
The recent completion of a modern office complex, with more than 94 government offices for senior civil servant as well as supporting staff under the payroll of the government of Yobe, has been rated as one of the best in the entire North-East region of the country. Speaking on government-workers relationship in the state, a senior civil servant, Mallam Isa Adamu, told Gamji that the workers have continually expressed gratitude to the state governor in particular, who, he said, has been exclusively focused on the welfare of the people. He emphasised that this recent gesture is a proof that the welfare of the people remains paramount in the agenda of the state government towards reviving the crisis-stricken state.
Mallam Adamu said although work on the building took too long before completion, the end actually justified the means, saying that the good thing about civil service is to have a befitting office environment for effective performance. He emphasised that the Geidam-led administration has, indeed, achieved a long-term dream, a reason the civil servants in the state would remain ever grateful to it. He also disclosed that the lapses in the execution of the project had prompted the government to terminate the contract from an indigenous contractor who could not handle the contract as desired.
“There is a problem with our indigenous contractors. So, when government terminated the contract for the building of this office complex, there were a lot of criticisms against the governor, particularly on why the contract was taken from an indigene of Yobe State who was handling the project and given to another person who is not an indigene. But if the contract was not terminated while the governor listened to criticisms, perhaps, we would not have commissioned the project today,” he said.
Speaking on the project, Alhaji Ago Dala, the commissioner in charge of the Ministry of Housing in the state, indicated in his speech that the contract was awarded to Yusufana Nigeria Limited at the initial contract sum of N539, 534,650:00, out of which the sum of N471, 678,401.53 was paid, leaving the balance of N67, 856,248.47. The contract was mutually terminated, following lapses in the execution of the project.
In his comment, the Head of Service, Alhaji Dauda Yahaya, who described the office complex as a testimony of Governor Geidam’s taste of excellence and quality, alleged that since the creation of Yobe State in 1991, the Governor’s Office, comprising the office of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) and Head of Service have been occupying the defunct secretariat in Damaturu Local Government Area. He said with the provision of a conducive working environment now, the entire service would continue to work with renewed commitment and dedication with the view to moving the state forward.
Speaking on the new office complex, the number one man in the state said the completion of the office complex was one of the projects he earlier indicated would be executed by his office through the 2012 appropriation and finance bills. The governor stated that his administration was aware of the overriding importance of creating a conducive working environment for effective functioning of civil service and as such, since assumption of office, his government has been making concerted efforts towards improving the working environment for workers in the state, in spite of the challenges witnessed in the state.
According to Governor Geidam, the new office complex should be seen as partial fulfilment of the resolve by his government towards providing for the public and political office holders as well as civil servants the necessary working environment for progress and development of the state. While speaking on the activities of the Ministry of Housing towards the supervision of the project, the governor acknowledged the contributions of the ministry as partners in the development. “Let me therefore commend the effort of the Ministry of Housing for effective supervision of this impressive and befitting office complex,” he said.
The governor also used the occasion to launch the distribution of 85 buses for local governments mass transit initiative, procured at the sum of over N697 million and 58 utility vehicles to educational institutions at the cost of about N500 million. He said the measure was intended to address the inadequacy of good and reliable transport system which has created a lot of hardships and socio-economic setbacks in the state.
“The idea behind the purchase of the mass transit buses for the 17 local government areas in the state is to address the difficulties being encountered by commuters; to provide mobility support for the road network we are constructing in all parts of the state, as well as to serve as a source of revenue to the local governments,” he explained.
Feelers gathered on these recent government activities suggest that the people are already warming up to the Geidam-led administration of the state. It remains to be seen whether the state government would continue with the development schemes it had tabled out for the benefit of the citizens of the state.Share