Niger State Governor, Hon. Mohammed Umaru Bago, has said his administration intends to invest N1 trillion in infrastructural development in the state in the next two years.
The governor disclosed this Tuesday when he declared open a startup workshop on the Minna-Bida road project co-financed by the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) at the Government House, Minna.
The governor described Niger State as a gateway, connecting the northern and southern parts of the country, and maintained that investing in the state's infrastructure will be of immense benefit to the state and the country as a whole.
He appreciated the IsDB and ADFD for agreeing to co-finance the Minna-Bida road project.
Governor Umaru Bago highlighted the huge potential in the state, ranging from its size to the presence of four hydro dams and eight national and international borders, among others, which he said were selling points that would attract investors into the state.
He, however, expressed concern that, despite all the potential, the state was bedevilled by insecurity and infrastructural deficits.
The governor therefore called on development partners to support the state in the areas of security, health, education, and agriculture so that the state can attain an enviable height of development, adding that counterpart funds were available.
He also directed his commissioner for Communication Technology and the Digital Economy, Suleiman Isah, to engage telecommunication companies in corporate social responsibility (CSR), which would improve online education in the state.
The team leader, Alagi Basiru Gaye, disclosed that 163 million U.S. dollars have been earmarked for the project, out of which the Islamic Development Bank will provide 86.64 million U.S. dollars, 44.76 million from the Abu Dhabi Development Fund, and 31.6 million from the Niger State Government.
While acknowledging the efforts of the state government towards the success of the project, Basiru Gaye explained the startup workshop was important for the effective implementation of the project and enhanced the capacities of executing agencies and project management units, among others.
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works, Hassan Baba Etsu, commended the governor for his commitment to the continuation of the Minna-Bida road project as well as the prompt payment of counterpart funds to development partners in the state.
He assured the IsDB and ADFD of an enabling environment for effective monitoring of the project and that the ministry would ensure that specifications and the terms of the contract were strictly adhered to.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been ordered to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to Hon. Joshua Audu Gana, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as the winner of the February 25, 2023 National Assembly Election.
The National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal also set aside the election of the respondent and ordered a rerun in about 23 polling units in the three federal constituencies.
It will be recalled that Joshua Gana was declared the winner of the February 25 National Assembly Election to represent Edati, Lavun, and Mokwa Federal Constituency.
The Chief of Staff to the Governor of Niger State, Usman Abdullahi Gbatamangi of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who contested along with Joshua Gana and lost in the election, had approached the tribunal, requesting that he be returned as the rightful winner of the election.
Gbatamagi claimed that the respondent lost in some of the polling units across the three LGAs of the federal constituency, as the elections in some polling units were characterised by irregularities and other electoral malpractices, and requested that the tribunal declare him the winner.
While reviewing all the submissions of both the counsel to both the petitioner and the respondent, the tribunal expunged some of the evidence and attached all the exhibits related to the conduct of the election in Edati, Lavun, and Mokwa Federal Constituency.
After reviewing all the evidence, exhibits, and witnesses that testified, Justice Mohammed Rashid submitted that the evidence tendered before the tribunal was convincing enough.
He further affirmed that the tribunal was convinced by the testimonies of the counsel to the petitioner and the exhibits, and that the evidence availed to the tribunal was proved beyond every reasonable doubt.
Justice Mohammed Rashid, in an unanimous decision, gave the order that the INEC should immediately withdraw the certificate of return issued to the respondent without further delay.
The judge also ordered the conduct of a rerun in the 23 affected polling units within the next 90 days and equally set aside the election accordingly.