Ending the Era of Wastage in Niger state.
By Abdullberqy U Ebbo
That an error has lasted for almost ten, twenty years does not mean the error must be accommodated as normal, and that wrongs consequent upon such error must not or cannot be corrected. Error remains error, however long it has lived.
This is the situation in Niger state today where the error of building new bridges when old bridges could be repaired, erecting new hospital and school structures when old structures are still good and strong enough to welcome renovation and can, in consequence still serve same purpose years to come.
We are speaking in defence of the move by governor Abubakar Sanni Bello who has been criticised for making a tradition of renovating existing structures rather than building new ones!
The governor, in his often logical and rational wisdom, has ceaselessly maintained the needlessness of building new structures when old ones can simply be rehabilitated, painted and furnished to serve same purpose!
This is the case with several school buildings, buildings of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), hospitals and others which, upon being assessed by experts as strong enough to welcome renovation, were subsequently renovated. These are currently serving purposes across various parts of the state.
But this is not saying the governor does not ever see the need to erect new structures when such a move is obviously justifiable and critically necessary. Like the construction of the ongoing school of nursing Kontagora, the soon to be started ICT park in Minna and the ongoing construction of industrial park in Kainji.
Financial impropriety and incontinence which typified past administrations are part of what has brought us collectively into the current quagmire.
The ongoing 274 Primary Health Care Centres, being built by Governor Abubakar has given the lie to the allegation he does not ever build new structures. The 274 buildings are under construction whole sale by the governor to bring immediate succour in terms of access to quality healthcare by thousands of our rural dwellers.
If health is wealth, then it must be available to play that role. The PHCs spread across entire 25 councils of the state is evidence not only that the governor builds new structures, but these must be structures must meet genuine needs and demands of the people.
The PHCs also is evidence that projects are relevant only to the extent that they matter to the people. You cannot give bridges to a community that is yearning for water, just as it will be wrong to erect school buildings for those crying for a link bridges.
Giving communities ‘A’ when they ask for ‘B’ is thinking for people. Governor Bello does not think for the people. He thinks with them; he does not govern for the people, he governs with them.
The only way he feels justified spending upon any project is for the project to proceed from and be consequent upon actual and verifiable needs of the people. He would always argue that it is not the size of a project that must be factored in assessing its importance, but the needs the project would meet. Governments must learn to stop spending for the sake of spending!