Governor Mohammed Umaru Bago of Niger State has said that his administration has declared free education for every child at the basic level and will ensure that the standard of education at public schools in the state competes with elite private schools anywhere in Nigeria.
The governor, who stated this at the graduation ceremony of El-Amin International School, Abuja, where his son, Marwan Umaru Bago, was graduating, challenged public schools in the state to step up to standard.
He said his administration will support every child in the state to achieve their lofty dreams, stressing that the son of nobody can become somebody with the right investment in education.
The governor disclosed that his government will invest in school infrastructure, learning equipment, and the recruitment of good teachers so that "in the future, just like us, the son of nobody can become somebody", he said.
Hon. Mohammed Umar Bago said it was the dream of every child to aspire to become what they want to be in life and further pledged that his administration will support such lofty dreams irrespective of one's social and economic background.
He expressed admiration for the kind of quality education being offered at the El Amin International School while commending the management and staff for sacrificing everything to raise others to become worthy citizens of Nigeria.
He said he was happy that his son and others were graduating and stepping into another level of education, advising the pupils to work hard and keep their hopes in Nigeria alive, expressing confidence that the country will overcome its challenges.
Marwan Umar Bago, who spoke on behalf of others, thanked their parents for the support and encouragement.
He also expressed the gratitude of the students to the principal of the school, teachers, and management for imparting the necessary knowledge on them.
Niger State Deputy Governor, Comrade Yakubu Garba, has given a matching order to the State Urban Development Board (NSUDB) and other relevant agencies to clear all structures on waterways to mitigate the effects of flooding in Minna and its environs.
The Deputy Governor gave the order while addressing members of the press shortly after inspecting some areas affected by the heavy downpour that occurred last night.
He said the era of giving verbal directives without action was over, calling on those who have structures on waterways to remove them with immediate effect as no warning notice will be given to anyone anymore.
The deputy governor, who is equally the Chairman of the State Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA), said a technical team comprising members of NSEMA, the Niger State Urban Development Board (NSUDB), and the Niger State Environmental Protection Agency (NISEPA), with the backing of security agencies, will go round to take stock of the structures on waterways, which he said must give way for the free flow of water.
He disclosed that the state government, through its relevant agencies, will ensure that all debris in waterways is cleared to allow for the free flow of water, calling on residents to desist from the act of dumping refuse on waterways, as according to him, anyone caught in the act will be made to face the law.
Comrade Yakubu Garba observed that the government has the primary responsibility of protecting the lives and properties of its citizens, and the present administration, under the leadership of Gov. Mohammed Umaru Bago, was determined to carry out the responsibility.
While commiserating with those affected by the heavy downpour, the deputy governor warned people against acquiring land on waterways and appreciated God for not recording any casualties as a result of the flood.
The Acting General Manager of the Urban Development Board, Architect Mohammed Bako Isma'il, said they will swing into action immediately, adding that all the identified structures were illegal structures erected without a building permit from the board.
He disclosed that the structures had since been marked by the board, some of them since 2021 but without action, but that with the present executive order given to the board, they have no time to waste in executing the order.
On the issue of compensation, the acting general manager said the identified structures have no permit and, as such, are not qualified for any compensation, urging the public to always obtain a permit before erecting any structure.
Some of the areas visited include New Market, Tungan Maje, Chanchaga, Brighter Area, and Gbeganu within Minna and environs.