Gov. Ishaku takes stock for more services
Hon Irimiya Ibrahim Hammanjulde is the Taraba State Commissioner of Works and Transport. He is also the chairman of the Stock Taking Committee, recently constituted by Gov. Darius Ishaku. In this interview with Worldview in Jalingo, He revealed the mandate of the committee. He also spoke on the administration’s achievement in the ministry.
Recently you were sworn in as chairman of the stock taking committee under the transition committee, what’s the mandate of the committee?
You know Darius Ishaku is coming in for the second tenure and there is need for him to plan on what to do and that was why he setup a stock taking committee and the essence of the committee is to determine both human and material resources of the state so that when he is sworn in, he will use that template to determine what he will do for Taraba state. Moreover, stock taking is to enlist the assets and liabilities of the state and by so doing, the Governor will know what he has and what he has not. So in summary, the purpose of this committee is to give the governor insight of what Taraba state has in stock.
This administration has initiated a lot of road projects, some have been completed, and some are ongoing while others are at the planning stage. Could you give us a brief on the number of roads and their cost implication?
The present administration under Darius Ishaku has embarked on so many projects in the first tenure which are intended to benefit the people of Taraba state. Particularly, under the Ministry of Works and Transport, there are road projects found across the three senatorial zones of the state. Some have been completed, some are ongoing and some are yet to commence. Some of these roads are: Lancheke -Pantisawa road in Yorro LGA which is ongoing. We have Wukari-Tsokundi road which is also in progress and the work has reached advanced stage. We have Garba Chede-Gashaka-Gembu rehabilitation and construction which has reached advanced stage. We have Magami road which has been completed. We have Jalingo-Kona road which has been completed. We have Chanchanji road in Takum which has been completed. We have other roads that contracts have been awarded, work has not yet commenced in Jauro Yinu-Pantinapu-dualization. The contract has been awarded. Very soon, work will commence. The Governor has awarded contract for Baissa road which work is yet to commence and very soon it will commence if funds are made available. These roads were awarded during the governor’s first tenure which may go into his second tenure before they are completed.
That takes us to the Mararaba –Baissa road which cost about N19 Billion considering the limited funds the state gets from federal allocation and also the low internally generated revenue base of the state, do you think it is feasible to complete the road?
First of all, the contract sum is not up to N19 Billion and the governor is somebody who is a man of his words and I am sure that road is feasible. Although, the state is a civil service state but yet the meager allocation he gets from the Federal Allocation might be complemented by the internally generated revenue. Apart from that, it’s also lawful for any state governor to take loan, either internally or externally for the purpose of providing social amenities to the people of the state. So if resources are being put together, the construction of that road will become a reality.
The federal government owes the state some money which was drawn from construction of federal roads in the state. How much is the money and has the state been able to recover the sum?
So far, what the state government has spent on federal roads amount to over N30 Billion and out of that, the state government forwarded a request to the federal government through the federal ministry of works, power and housing for the refunds of the money. That was in June 2018 and in October 2018, the state government received notice from the Federal Ministry of Works and Power approving N21 Billion, that was the amount certified by the Minister that the remaining balance of N13 Billion, the state should work out and provide the document available so that the Federal Ministry of Works and Power will scrutinize the document with the aim of certifying those document and when they are satisfied, they will also make recommendation in that aspect. So we are optimistic that all the monies expended by the state government on federal roads will be refunded.
There is this apprehension by the Tarabans that the government might not be able to execute projects without borrowing. How true is that?
It’s not true; the state is capable of running itself through the dynamic leadership of Arc. Darius Ishaku using the meager resources he is getting from the Federal Allocation and the IGR; and even the refunds from the Paris Club as well as taking of soft loans, both internally and externally. These put together will enable the governor to do some developmental projects WV