Niger State Governor, Hon. Mohammed Umaru Bago, has called on the people to go back to farming, saying he would like to make history with the opportunity given him as governor of the state.
He then reiterated his government's commitment to boost the agricultural potential of the state.
The governor stated this today at Hawan Bariki, a traditional sallah celebration at the Etsu Nupe Palace in Bida, Bida Local Government Area of the state.
Hon. Umar Bago, who returned from Saudi Arabia after performing the Hajj, said he was delighted to witness this year's traditional Sallah celebration in his home town of Bida.
He said his government will positively promote culture and tourism, which will elevate the state to global prominence.
He said, "And I wish our people the best. However, we are egalitarian. We must go back to farming. My first message to Nigerlites and to all of you in Nupe Kingdom is that please let us embrace agriculture".
The governor also revealed that, in his resolve to change the narratives and give meaning to the lives of the people, some of his policies and actions will be painful, but urged them to accept them as necessary sacrifices and contributions to the growth of their communities.
He added that "some of our policies and decisions at the beginning will be painful. For those who are affected, please take it as a necessary contribution to your fatherland and your motherland."
Hon. Umar Bago said his urban renewal programme will transform Bida because he wishes to make history with the opportunity given to him. He thanked the Bida Emirate Council for the reception and prayed for the prosperity of the kingdom.
The Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, appreciated the presence of the governor and his entourage, despite just returning from Hajj.
He described the emergence of Hon. Mohammed Umar Bago as the wish of the people, saying it was something that had been ordained by God, and urged Nigerlites to pray for the success of the administration.
The Etsu Nupe, who expressed happiness that a son of Bida emirate is now the governor of the state, also prayed to God to grant him wisdom, good health, and direction to pilot the affairs of the state, urging Nigerlites to support him and give useful advice that will bring peace and development to the state.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Niger State Ministry of Local Government, Community Development, and Chieftaincy Affairs, Abubakar Aliyu Mila, appreciated the monarch for sustaining the Bariki celebration and urged people to support the administration to deliver the dividend of democracy to the people.
He also promised that the ministry would support the traditional institutions in their role of complementing the government in the development of the state.
The Secretary to the Government of Niger State (SSG), Alh. Abubakar Usman, has said information dissemination will be a key sector to be addressed by the administration of Governor Mohammed Umaru Bago in Niger State.
He stated this when the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Strategy, Mrs. Hadiza Mohammed Shiru, led a delegation of Heads of Parastatals and Agencies under her ministry for a courtesy visit at the SSG's office recently.
Alh. Abubakar Usman said that since Governor Umaru Bago is somebody who is publicity conscious, there was a need to equip all the state media outfits to enhance productivity in terms of information dissemination.
He pointed out that "we cannot do without carrying the public along; therefore, we need to revitalise our media outlets properly".
He assured the delegation that things will definitely change in a positive manner, noting that the Jama'a Forum, which used to be an interactive session in the past, would be re-introduced by the present administration to hear from the people's mouths about their problems.
He also said that the executive order by the state government will be considered so that Niger State media outfits will gain patronage from government agencies for revenue generation.
He therefore advised newsmen to be alert for better information dissemination.
In her remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Strategy, Mrs. Hadiza Shiru, lamented the poor state of all the media outfits in the state, including Newsline Newspapers, Radio Niger, NSTV, the Library Board, and the Book Agency.
She expressed concern over the current state of the obsolete facilities, dilapidated structures, and lack of funds, which were detrimental to the effectiveness and productivity of the media houses.
Also speaking, the Director of Information, Ministry of Information and Strategy, Mrs. Hassana Joan Kpetu, appealed to the SSG to use his good office and implement the Hazard Allowance for media workers working for the state-owned media outfits as a result of the job risks they encountered on a daily basis.
The delegation included the Acting Managing Director of Newsline Newspaper, Mrs. Aisha Abubakar, and the General Manager of Radio Niger, Comrade Kabir Ibrahim, among others.