DEVAGOM: Gombe Unveils 10- Year Development Plan

…UN Deputy Secretary General, Ministers, Others Hail Governor Yahaya’s Quest to Create Better Future for Gombe

Segun Babatunde in Gombe

Gombe State Governor, Alhaji Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya has said that the Development Agenda for Gombe State (DEVAGOM) is an attempt by his administration to harness the state’s immense potentials by taking advantage of emerging opportunities and tackling challenges to attain development objectives, stressing that “It is the road map for the transformation of Gombe State that is aligned with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as set by the United Nations”.

The Governor made the statement on Tuesday during the official unveiling of Gombe State 10- Year Development Plan (2021- 2030) at the Government House.

Governor Inuwa Yahaya said his administration is committed to planning and implementing people-oriented policies and programmes, obtained through a bottom-up stakeholder consultation process from the unit, ward, local government to State level, thereby developing a people oriented plan.

He added that “DEVAGOM projects Gombe to be a terminus that encapsulates growth, development, peace, and shared prosperity for all. Considering our comparative advantage in agriculture, commerce and trade, our tremendous human and natural resources, and our strategic position at the centre of the Northeast subregion, I have the conviction that our vision is both realistic and achievable.

The Gombe State Governor restated his administration’s commitments to prioritizing human capital development through infrastructure, agriculture and health resuscitation, improved education and rural development.

Governor Yahaya said “So far, our administration has placed high priority on human capital development as the catalyst of growth with special focus on education, health and youth development. Our agricultural transformation drive is aimed at harnessing our vast irrigation potentials along our major dams; rural infrastructure projects that connect and open up our rural communities; social and environmental policies that create jobs, protect our environment and promote peaceful coexistence amongst our people”.

Governor Inuwa Yahaya who quoted Benjamin Franklin’s saying ‘if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail,’ also added that the wheels of the unveiling of the State 10 year development plan was set in motion as far back as April 2019 when he was elected as Governor of the State.

He said he had to commission a ‘Needs Assessment’ team to tour round the nooks and crannies of the state covering over 420 communities across all the 114 wards in order to principally ascertain the developmental needs and priorities of the people.

This, the Governor added, was borne out of his administration’s commitment to plan and implement people-oriented policies and programmes.

He said the assessment was the beginning of a bottom-up stakeholder consultation process from the unit, ward, local government to State level, thus giving his administration the opportunity to define Gombe State’s vision through the eyes of its people.

“That’s why DEVAGOM is an agenda of the people, by the people and for the people.”

He said in order to create a better future for the people of the State, his administration is making relentless efforts to stimulate and sustain economic growth and human capital development.

“However, for us to ensure that the choices we make, the steps we take, and the outcomes we envisage are technically desirable and consistent with our goals, it is necessary to have a robust plan for building durable institutions, mobilising resources and capabilities, as well as managing risks and shocks from unforeseen domestic and global events”.

Governor Inuwa Yahaya said in line with international best practices, development planning in the 21st century requires collaboration between various stakeholders at subnational, national and international levels.

“In this regards, DEVAGOM is a product of synergy and collaboration with local and international development partners most of whom are here today to celebrate this historic achievement with us”.

He said in order to ensure the success of DEVAGOM, his administration has put in place the necessary structures and institutional reforms that will drive its effective implementation.

“Since coming to office about 20 months ago, our administration has focused on improving internal revenue generation, ease of doing business, infrastructural development and civil service reforms amongst other initiatives. These efforts will soon be complemented by a legislative bill to further strengthen DEVAGOM’s institutional legitimacy and guarantee its long-term success and sustainability”.

The Governor said so far, his administration has placed high priority on human capital development as the catalyst of growth with special focus on education, health and youth development.

He said his administration’s agricultural transformation drive is aimed at harnessing the vast irrigation potentials along our major dams; rural infrastructure projects that connect and open up rural communities; social and environmental policies that create jobs, protect the environment and promote peaceful coexistence amongst our people.

Governor Inuwa Yahaya said to put this effort into better perspectives, his administration has mopped up over 300,000 out-of-school children through the World Bank-supported Better Education and Service Delivery for All (BESDA) project.

“We equally embarked on network 11-100 which aims to provide 100km of roads in each of our 11 LGAs, we also embarked on the revitalization of the health system by providing a functional health centre in each of the 114 wards of the state with the necessary basic equipment and manpower to provide 24-hour service to the people”.

He said his government has also upgraded and equipped the state specialist hospital and established the hospitals management board and the state contributory healthcare scheme to provide universal access to quality healthcare to the people at an affordable cost.

The Governor revealed that his administration is also building the skills of idle youth and ramping up support to farmers in the State.

“With the ongoing work on Wawa-Zange Grazing Reserve and the planned take-off of Dadin Kowa industrial park, Gombe State is on course to cement its status as the centre of agriculture, commerce and industry in the Northeast sub-region”.

He said implementing the Gombe 10 year development plan will require the mobilization of domestic and external resources and their effective utilization.

To accomplish this, the Governor said, his administration has embedded in the plan policies and strategies to enhance efficiency, build transparency and entrench accountability at all levels of government.

“It is our vision to guarantee better value for money in order to apply our scare resources so as to foster rapid development of our dear State”.

The Governor commend both the steering and technical committees for doing a wonderful job by ensuring a fully participatory and all-inclusive consultative process.

He equally, acknowledged the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (OSSAP-SDGs) and the United Nations Development Programmes (UNDP) as well as other UN Agencies for supporting the preparation of this Plan.

The United Nations Deputy Secretary General, Hajiya Amina Mohammed, described Governor Inuwa Yahaya as a visionary leader who shows the way, saying the unveiling of the Gombe State 10 year development plan is a clear indication of that.

She said, “a plan remains a plan if it is not implemented”, expressing optimism in the determination of the present administration in Gombe State to yield to implementing the development plan which is the most critical aspect of the quest to take the State to a prefered destination of endless possibilities.

She said DEVAGOM marks a significant milestone in the quest for the advancement of the State and humanity in general.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami, assured of his ministry’s support to all ICT related components of the agenda.

He said it is the responsibility of the executive arm of Government to provide an enabling environment for business to thrive, describing efforts by the administration of Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya in coming up with the plan as fundamental to making the State a destination for would be investors.

Earlier speaking, the chairman of the Steering committee for the the preparation of the Gombe State 10 year development plan, Dr. Manasseh Daniel Jatau and the chairman technical committee of the plan Dr. Ishaku Mohammed, both agreed that the plan becomes necessary in view of the burning desire of Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya to reposition the State into an economic powerhouse.

The UN Resident Coordinator, Mr. Edward Kallon and heads of other UN agencies, including UNDP and UNFPA, who spoke in solidarity with the Gombe 10-year development plan, promised to support the quantum leap of the administration of Governor Inuwa Yahaya.

The unveiling ceremony equally had the Minister of Environment, Dr. Mahmood Mohammed, Sarkin Fulanin Gombe, Alhaji Umaru Kwairanga and others delivering their goodwill messages virtually. END

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