The Niger State Government has said its three media organisations will witness an unprecedented turnaround.
The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Hajiya Binta Mamman, disclosed this during the post-State Executive Council (SEC) briefing held at the Government House, Minna.
She identified four areas that would bring about the realisation of the "New Niger" agenda of the present administration.
The commissioner said social amenities, agriculture, a sustainable economy, good governance by engaging with the citizens, and urban renewal are the priority areas of the present administration.
The media agencies owned by the state include Newsline Newspaper, Radio Niger, and Niger State Television. The iconic media organisations have been in bad shape for a long time and are not performing to their capacity.
She said the governor has instructed the ministry of information to relocate to Radio House along Shiroro Road, the ministry of water resources to move to the Water and Sewage Corporation, and the ministry of environment to re-introduce monthly sanitation in the state.
She said the Umaru Bago-led administration was determined to change the narrative in the state; hence, some measures have been adopted.
The commissioner explained that the governor has directed the commissioner for mineral resources, Alh. Garba Sabo Yahaya, to ensure immediate implementation of the ban on all illegal mining activities and also to carry out verification on licenced miners to ensure compliance with regulations.
Hajiya Binta Mamman said the state government has authorised a waiver for the employment of qualified healthcare professionals to address the shortage of health workers in the state.
The commissioner for Lands and Survey, Barr. Maurice Magaji, disclosed that the state government will take advantage of the vast land in the state and its proximity to the Federal Capital, Abuja, for revenue generation, assuring that the N120 billion annual target of the state government was achievable.
Barr. Magaji said some of the strategies to be deployed by his ministry to boost revenue generation, especially in Minna, Suleja, Bida, Kontagora, and New Bussa, were payment of ground rent, consent fees, and transfer of ownership fees, among others.
The commissioner added that henceforth land must be developed to a reasonable level before C of O will be given, especially in the major cities of the state.
The commissioner for industry, trade, and investment, Alh. Aminu Suleiman Takuma, explained that the administration of Governor Bago was in discussion with foreign and domestic direct investors towards achieving a sustainable economy, with special emphasis on an investment inflow strategy to boost revenue generation in the state.
The commissioner, who noted that the business environment in Niger State was not where it was supposed to be, said his ministry will collaborate with all the local government areas to ensure efforts are made towards creating an enabling environment for business.
He said the state government, through his ministry, will ensure wealth and jobs are created for the growing youth population in the state and that all government facilities are put to proper use to avoid wastage.
Niger State Governor, Hon. Mohammed Umaru Bago, has said the state will generate N1 trillion after the bypass linking Pago and Garatu in Minna, the state capital, is completed.
He also said the infrastructural development works in Suleja alone will fetch the state N500 billion, while those in Bida and Kontagora will generate N400 billion, respectively.
The governor stated this Thursday during the signing of a contract agreement with China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) and Arab Construction Company for the construction and rehabilitation of Minna township roads and Bida Ring roads at Government House, Minna.
The contract agreement will have the CCECC handle the roads in Minna with a completion period of 24 months, while Arab Construction Company will handle the construction of the Ring Road in Bida within 30 months, costing the state N88b.
The governor explained that the Pago to Garatu bypass in Minna will open up 100,000 hectares of land, which, when commercialised and sold, will generate the needed funds that will be plucked back for other developmental projects.
He said the same thing will be applied to Bida, Suleja, and Kontagora, where the infrastructural development will trigger massive commercial activities and investments that will fetch the state money. He said the road contracts were in line with his urban renewal programme.
The governor also announced that the Suleja and Kontagora contracts will be signed in the next 30 days under the second phase of the projects.
While assuring the contractors of security, the governor warned the contractors that he would not condone variation as funds have already been earmarked for the projects with a 25 percent advance payment guaranteed.
He also directed that contractors should work with indigenous people, especially youths, adding that a job register will be opened for those interested in being part of the projects.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Works, Hassan Baba Etsu, described the projects as unprecedented in the history of Niger State and said that the contractors were carefully selected through a transparent process.
He said the reconstruction of Minna Township roads will consist of six lanes with overhead bridges.
He said the Bida Ring roads will connect Chekungi and Mokwa roads to ease traffic congestion.
The Managing Director of CCECC, David Wang, and that of Arab Contractors, Mohammed Eledaruis, assured the government of the timely completion of the projects. They said their companies have mobilised men and materials, promising quality work.
The project consultant, Olatunji Ajayi, while commending the state government for the stride, which he said will have a multiplier effect on the economy of the state, assured that he will ensure quality projects are delivered.
The Commissioner for Works, Suleiman Umar, signed on behalf of the state government, while David Wang and Mohammed Eledaruis signed for their respective firms.
The Minna and Bida ring road contracts are expected to create direct job opportunities for 2,500 people, while 12,000 people will have indirect jobs.