The N-Cares Facilitators and Desk Officers of the National Fadama Development Project, an International Development Association (IDA) credit facility-assisted projects sponsored by the World Bank, with confirming sources from the federal, state, and local communities, have called on the Niger State Governor, Hon. Mohammed Umaru Bago, to prevail on the State Coordinator, Hassan Garba, to pay them their allowances.
This was contained in a communiqué jointly signed by the Chairman of the Facilitator Forum, Aliyu Bawa, and the Secretary of the Forum, Abdullahi Mohammed, and made available to Newsline in Minna.
According to the communiqué, the Fadama project, in collaboration with the Nigerian government, started its project in 2021, adding that since the beginning of the project, 25 facilitators and 25 desk officers have been engaged along with the Project Implementation Unit (PIU) and other office staff.
It further stated that in the Generic Operation Manual (GOM), the roles and duties of the facilitators and desk officers were spelled out, as were their allowances, where facilitators and desk officers were to receive the sum of One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (N150,000) each per month.
"Since the inception of the programme, we have not been paid a dime, and last Thursday, September 21, the Fadama staff in the state office had been paid one-year allowances, while we, the facilitators and desk officers, were denied," the communiqué stated.
It is against this backdrop that they are demanding the payment of their one-year allowances, amounting to N1.8 million each, and they are calling on governor Mohammed Umar Bago to prevail on the state coordinator to pay them their allowances.
"All efforts to demand our rights have been turned down; we therefore call on Mr. Governor to note that our participation in Fadama N-Cares brought enormous results that brought about a bumper harvest between 2021 and 2022.
"Sir, for you to achieve your target in food security in Niger State, please come to our rescue.
"Your Excellency, sir, your immediate intervention is highly needed to save us and the entire farmers in Niger State", the communiqué added.
However, in an interview with Newsline, the state chairman of the Fadama N-Cares Facilitators Forum, Aliyu Bawa, disclosed that several efforts to reach out to the state coordinator, Dr. Hassan Garba, have not yielded any positive response.
"We have tried as much as possible to meet with him to demand our allowances from him, but he has not given us the forum to meet him.
"In fact, last Thursday, on the 21st of September 2023, we went to see him, and he refused to see us, which informed our decision to convey an emergency meeting, and the outcome of the meeting brought about this communiqué we jointly signed, calling on the governor to talk to him to pay us our allowances," he told Newsline.
Speaker of the Niger State House of Assembly, Barr. Abdulmalik Sarkin Daji, has promised to synergize with the Pharmacy Council of Nigeria, Niger State chapter, in the acceleration and passage of motions and bills that have to do with the good health of the citizenry.
The speaker made the promise at the pharmaceutical unit of Minna General Hospital after a 4.6-kilometre road walk organised to mark the World Pharmaceutical Day celebration with the theme "Pharmacists Strengthening the Health Systems", that started from the state assembly complex and concluded at Minna General Hospital.
The speaker, while commending the state chapter for organising the walk to improve fitness for the lawmakers and other participants, assured the gathering of the assembly's determination to make more punitive laws on hard drugs.
He therefore assured that they would, as legislators, not relent in their responsibilities to also ensure the active participation of other lawmakers in future exercise.
Earlier in his remarks, the state chapter chairman, Pharmacist Yakubu Maji Isah, expressed profound gratitude to the state Governor, Mohammed Umaru Bago, for his tremendous support of the chapter in making the annual day celebration a huge success.
He described the support expressed by the state governor when the chapter paid him a courtesy visit as a significant achievement.
Pharm Maji Isah therefore urged all professional practitioners in the state to continue to put in their best effort in providing adequate services to citizens, particularly those residing in the rural and urban areas of the state, and to always ask for professional guidance on the use of drugs.
He also appealed to the citizenry to avoid patronising quacks, especially those hawking drugs in the nooks and crannies of the state.
He then advised them to make sure that they sanitised their environment and ensured that they used their mosquito nets during sleep.
In his own remarks, the state director of pharmaceutical services, Abdullahi K. Yahaya, thanked the speaker and other members of the state assembly for their support and cooperation.