Niger State Governor, Hon. Mohammed Umaru Bago, has said N20 billion will be included in the 2024 budget for the take-off of the Niger State University of Education.
The governor stated this at Government House, Minna, after he inaugurated the implementation committee earlier set up by the government for the take-off of the university.
Governor Bago urged the committee to shun too much bureaucracy and stressed his administration's plans to make the state a hub of education.
He disclosed that proposals were also on the ground for the establishment of the University of Agriculture Mokwa, the University of Energy and Renewable Energy to be located in Shiroro, as well as the University of Medicine, Suleja.
The governor also explained that the takeover of the university of education will not prevent the College of Education (COE) from running its programmes, explaining that the COE will be operating under the university.
Also, the committee was mandated to articulate project development implementations that will require community and private sector participation and to determine new prospects for manpower requirements.
Chairman of the implementation committee and former secretary to the state government (SSG), Prof. Mohammed Kuta Yahaya, who spoke on behalf of other committee members, appreciated the governor for finding them worthy to serve and promised to work diligently to ensure that the university becomes one of the best in the country.
The Niger State SSG, Alh. Abubakar Usman, is the co-chairman of the committee, while the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Lands and Survey, Dr. Abdul Hussaini, and Murtala Baba Gana are to serve as secretary and assistant secretary, respectively.
The terms of reference of the committee include developing a transition programme for the full take-off of the university and determining the financial and infrastructural requirements under the existing rules of university laws and those of the National University Commission (NUC).
Highlights of the events included the presentation of the academic brief and the university law books presented to the chairman of the committee, Professor Mohammed Kuta Yahaya.
As part of efforts to improve the business environment in the state, Niger State Governor, Hon. Mohammed Umaru Bago, has approved the constitution of two council committees to provide a conducive environment for business and investment to thrive in the state.
The Niger State Commissioner for Industry, Trade, Investment, and Private Sector Development, Hon. Suleiman Takuma, disclosed this yesterday during the post-state executive council meeting press briefing held at the Press Gallery, Government House, Minna.
The committees referred to as councils were the State Ease of Doing Business Environment Council and the State Action for Business Enabling Reform Council.
The Commissioner explained that the constitution of the councils was part of the implementation framework for the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC).
He disclosed that, with the approval of the governor, the Deputy Governor, Comrade Yakubu Garba, will chair the state Ease of Doing Business Environment Council while the Commissioner for Investments will serve as the Deputy Chairman of the council.
Other members of the committee he revealed were the Commissioners for Agriculture, Finance, Planning, Lands, Environment, Justice, Works, and MSME.
Hon. Takuma added that in the membership of the committee, there were agencies such as the Chairman of the State Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the General Managers of the Urban Development Board and NIGIS, the Executive Secretary of the State Investment Promotion Agency, and the president of the Niger Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture (NCCIMA), while the secretary of the committee is the Permanent Secretary of the State Ministry of Investments.
He disclosed that there is also a technical committee that will work closely with this steering committee at the apex to do all the groundwork, which, according to him, will be chaired by the state commissioner of finance, Hon. Lawal Adamu Maikano, and co-chaired by him.
Hon. Takuma said members of the technical committee include the permanent secretaries of the ministries of finance, planning, land and survey, ICT, justice, investment, environment, and agencies like the IRS, NIGIS, office of the accountant general, office of the auditor general, state investment promotion agency, and the open government platform domiciled at the office of the state commissioner for finance.
He said these two committees will allow for support from internal interventions from the likes of World Bank, adding that there is a sitting 750 million dollars that wss meant for supporting states in Nigeria and one of the criteria for accessing this intervention was the constitution of these committees.
The Commissioner added that the committees await approval of the date for inauguration from the Governor, adding that they will hit the ground running when inaugurated.
He also recalled the first green economy summit in the country convened by the state government, saying everything will go green, which will result in less waste, less carbon emissions, and a lot of recycling activities, as his ministry is already talking to some investors about investing in the green space in the state.
Also, the state commissioner for lands and survey, Barr. Maurice Bello Magaji, said his ministry had been doing a lot in the sector, adding that they were currently reviewing issues of certificates of occupancy applied for during the bonanza period initiated by the immediate past administration.
Similarly, the state commissioner for tertiary education, Hon. Abdullahi Adamu Mamagi, informed members of the press that with the approval of the state university of education, the state now has 10 tertiary institutions owned by the state government.
He also noted with concern the proliferation of private tertiary institutions in the state, particularly health institutions, and that the ministry has a taskforce committee in place as they will soon go all out to clamp down on illegal tertiary institutions in the state, disclosing that only about 34 of such private institutions passed all the registration processes.
Earlier, the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Hon. Binta Mamman, said the present administration, under the leadership of Governor Umaru Bago, was committed to serving the people of the state with dedication, integrity, and a relentless commitment to improving the living conditions of the people, hence the weekly post-state executive council meeting press briefing to keep the people abreast of the activities of the government.