Former Governor Yahaya Bello.
— He was a model in good governance, fiscal accountability and transparency.
By Otori Ozigi.
The 8 years tenure of former governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello recorded a significant socio-economic trajectory that had become the focal point of his administration, till date.
And this had successfully launched the state on the path of economic prosperity and all-round greater heights, in the chequered history of the state.
Recall that the former governor inherited in 2016,an economy that was in shambles and bleeding from a fiscal policy and an appropriated 2015 budget of N110.2b that was not performing.
There was also an inherited billions of foreign and local loans that his administration had to deal with in order to forge ahead in the task of governance.
To worsen the already precarious situation, the prevailing socio-economic upheaval and unhealthy political climate in 2016 was a great and daunting challenge for the then administration of Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello.
It was against this background, that his administration quickly assembled an economic team made up of vibrant and seasoned accountants and financial experts that was saddled with the responsibility to prepare a blueprint to drive the economy of the state on the path of fiscal accountability and transparency.
This new thinking must have informed the first budget of his administration in 2016 put in the region of N 99.9b christained ‘budget of reality’, which was in tandem with his New direction vision mantra.
There is no gainsaying that throughout the 8 years tenure of Governor Yahaya Adoza Bello, conscious and deliberate efforts were made to achieve a robust and performing economy for the state.
It has been established that the budget performance of his administration throughout his 8 years tenure in office was put at well over 95 per cent.
And these achievements had won for the state several accolades and awards from many local and international organizations, including the World Bank,which specifically praised the governor on two separate occasions,for coming top in fiscal accountability and transparency,in a survey conducted across the states in North Central, Nigeria.
There is no denying the fact that the administration of Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello gave birth to hundreds of iconic and legacy projects that gulped billions of naira to bring them to fruition.
Some of these projects include two brand new functional Universities,namely Confluence University of Science and Technology, located in Osara and Kogi State University, Kabba and the proper funding of the Prince Abubakar Audu University,Anyigba.
In the same vein,all other state owned higher institutions,including the School of Nursing and Midwifery located in Obangede,Kogi central,also received the desired attention and proper funding from his administration.
There are other infrastructural projects like the construction of the first flyover in the state capital, Lokoja, the Reference hospital, Okene and other projects in the health and rural sectors, that were executed and evenly distributed across the three senatorial districts of the state.
In the area of security,,there is no gainsaying that the former governor must have committed billions of naira to actualize the success story in the fight against insecurity in the state,throughout his tenure in office.
The security of Kogi State throughout his tenure in office was topnotch and water tight,a situation that kept criminal elements away from the the state.
This singular achievement in the area of security had won him several awards from notable individuals and organizations, including the award from the then Inspector General of Police,who poured encomiums on Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello,as the best governor on security.
The government of Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello also committed millions of naira to give Kogi State a new befitting environment, particularly in Lokoja, the state capital.
Before his assumption of office in 2016, Lokoja was ranked as one of the dirtiest state capitals in the country.
But as at today, that narrative have changed as the state capital is now leading in the category of the cleanest state capitals in the country.
On the whole,it is evidently clear that the administration of Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello was a model in good governance, fiscal accountability and transparency.
He was a hallmark in purposeful and visionary leadership who had placed the state among the commity of developing and progressive states in the country today.
He is indeed, the architect and father of modern Kogi state.
Prosperity will be kind to him.
Otori Ozigi, a veteran journalist and PR Consultant, writes from Okene, Kogi State.