BY Beatrice Gondyi, Bauchi
Bauchi State government is set to sign a partnership agreement worth $27.5 billion investment in solid minerals to explore selected minerals and establish a Pithead power plant project that will contribute 3,500 megawatts of electricity to the national grid in partnership with a Chinese consortium of investors.
This was contained in a press statement issued by the press secretary to Bauchi State governor, Malam Abubakar Al-Sadique.
According to the statement, the governor stated this while presenting his mid term scorecard of his administration.
Governor Abubakar said his administration has delivered given the paucity of resources, unrealistic monthly wage bill of over 5 billion naira and corruption in the system.
He also revealed that the projects when completed will generate 10,000 direct and indirect employments to unemployed youth in the state.
He said that in addition to generating over $250 million annually from the project, the consortium will construct a 2,500 bed General Hospital with matching facilities worth $30 million to the host communities as its corporate social responsibility which will benefit the people of the state and entire Northeast region.
Governor Abubakar said a special purpose vehicle, the Bauchi Mining synergy and exploration limited, has been established to serve as framework for Public-Private-Partnership to acquire mining rights of virgin minerals terrain and take over all viable titles that failed to meet the mineral and mining act of 2007 requirement.
Governor Abubakar commended the federal government for the “intervention in similar projects such as the recently flagged off road projects by Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara traversing Dass-Wandi to end at Bundot”, promising to push for the funding of the road linking Futuk to Mansur in Alkaleri local government area by the federal government.
He further stated that a memorandum of understanding has been signed with the World Bank that will allow the state to access $50 million grant for rural roads construction, pointing out that all these are in tandem with the mission and vision of the administration are anchored on the policy thrust of the APC’s change mantra that mainly focuses on the “provision of security, healthcare delivery, education, tackling unemployment through youth and women empowerment, infrastructural development, and human capital development”.
He stressed that the “influx of Internally Displaced Persons into the state as well as beehive of activities of government and non-governmental organisations in the state is a testimony of the peaceful disposition of the state, which was achieved through synergy and effective liaison with security agencies as well as non-conventional security outfits, traditional, religious and community leaders”.
Governor Abubakar noted that in an effort to maintain security in the state, Bauchi State government in the last two years provided 624 hectres of land and paid compensation worth over 400 million naira for the establishment of the Nigerian Air Force Base in the state which provided employment opportunities to the people of the state.
The governor observed that no meaningful development could be achieved without adequate security, which he said informs his administration’s decision to provide 25 Hilux pickup vehicles equipped with modern communication gadgets to security agencies and distributed 30 motor cycles to the Nigerian Army to assist in them in reaching out to places where motor vehicles cannot access due to bad terrain.
“ In spite of the huge monthly salary bill of over 5 billion naira for an over-bloated workforce on the payroll of the state, the government is up-to date in paying workers’ salaries, efforts are being made to reduce government’s over-reliance on allocations from the federation accounts by diversifying the state sources of revenue.”