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Taraba at 30: Residents Decry Slow Pace of Development

 

•We Are Making Progress- Gov. Ishaku

 

Many residents of Taraba State have decried the low pace of development witness in the state 30 years after its creation.

Many respondents across the state who spoke to Taraba Truth and Fact Newspaper on the 30th anniversary of the state lamented that there is little to celebrate about the state, arguing that Taraba is witnessing unimaginable slow pace of developments in many areas.

They averred that the state cannot stand competitively with many other states created 30 years ago.

Right activist Jacob Bam said the state has not done well in many areas particularly job creation and infrastructural developments.

"The level of unemployment is very high and  many communities lacks basics infrastructures. About 70 percent of our communities lacks access to electricity, good roads and pipe bore water, we can score the government high on health and primary education but the level of out of school children in the state is still alarming, so we have little to rejoice over when you compare to Kogi, Edo, Delta that were created at the same time."

Hosea Bala on his part lamented that religion and tribal sentiments has done more harm to the state in the last 30 years    

"We have a long way to go, we have not made much progress like other states created alongside ours, our 30 years of existence is being ruined by religion and tribal sentiments. Also we have not had much of good leadership in the state in the few years because our politics is played along religion and tribal sentiments, infact the last ten years has been our worse, our elites introduced a more bitter politics to the people and that was the years many states took its leap into development but Taraba was dragged back because of selfish politics and the people are now paying dearly for it. It's my believe that we can change the narrative with future elections."

Coordinator Taraba Concern Citizens Forum, Comrade Mansur Munkaila Jirgi noted that the essence of creating Taraba state 30 years ago has not been fully achieved.

"The people of the state have not enjoyed maximally the reasons of creating Taraba state, the state was created to harness its resources for development of the people, it was created to bring the government closer to the people and improve their wellbeing but what we have today is not a true reflection of these objectives. Taraba state needs to brace up because our people are lagging behind in all sectors, government must do more for the people in coming years."    

Expressing deep concern over lack of viable industries in the state, entrepreneur and social commentator  Hajiya Ramat Isah said the state won't make much progress if it continue to depend on government for jobs.

"Government and well to do individuals should find a way to turn around the fortune of the state by encouraging entrepreneurs and investing in industries; until the state is industrialized we won't make any progress.

"Wealthy individuals in the state must begin to look at the areas of strength in Taraba state and industrialize it; our politicians should stop building hotels and filling stations. They should invest in cottage industries that can create sustainable jobs, imagine a 30 years old state without any industry and the people really solely on government jobs, there won't be much progress. Our growth as a state has been slowed because our people are not encouraged to be enterprising; many of our young people are dying for government jobs which are not forthcoming. We must share the blame of our underdevelopment between the government and our political elites."          

 

However Governor  Darius Ishaku, noted that the quality of life has substantially improved through empowerment and poverty alleviation programmes of his administration and that of his predecessors, stressing that Taraba State has made a lot of progress since it was created 30 years ago.

 

 

 

Ishaku, in his message to mark the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the state, said the creation of the state 30 years ago was no doubt a watershed in the social and economic lives of the people.

He  called on sons and daughters of the state, irrespective of their political persuasions and religious beliefs to join hands in the task of lifting the state to its greater heights.

He stated that Taraba from 30 years ago till today has recorded remarkable progress.

 

He stated further that the state now has expansive and functional educational institutions with a highly rated state university.

 

"Our schools are among the best in the country and our WAEC performance statistics occupy the number one position in the entire Northern states.

 

"The state can also now boast of a good network of urban and rural roads and an airport, all of which have made movement of people and goods a lot easier, safer and more comfortable.

 

"Access to health facilities has been greatly enhanced and our hospitals and clinics are not only many but can now boast of modern facilities and a corps of highly trained and motivated healthcare personnel," he said.

 

He noted that the quality of life has substantially improved through empowerment and poverty alleviation programmes of his administration and that of his predecessors.

"My administration is credited with outstanding credentials in agricultural development through its farmers support programmes. Taraba under my watch has become a major producer of rice, assorted vegetables, soya beans, cassava and sesame. Tea farming and tea production has regained fresh vigour and impetus. Today, Highland tea is a global brand.

But the pivot of all these achievements is peace which my administration labored for and achieved. Our peace mantra –"Give me Peace and I will give you development" worked magic. I am happy that our people now know the importance of peace and have shown a lot more commitment and desire to live together peacefully.

"All these achievements could not have happened at the speed they did if the state was not created. That is why we remain eternally grateful to our leaders, past and present, who championed the demand for the creation of Taraba State."

 

He said the human empowerment programme of his administration and that of the Hope Afresh Foundation of his wife, Anna Darius Ishaku, have cumulatively redeemed over 12,000 women and youth from unemployment and abject poverty.

 

He said: "We also resumed fresh recruitments into the state civil service which had remained banned for over 20 years. This decision is a manifestation of the human face of my administration.

 

"This remarkable progress that Taraba state has made in 30 years is a product of their collective effort," he stated.

 

He further said mining also remain virtually untapped in the state.

"It is, however, true that despite all that has been achieved over the years, the state has not attained the level of development that we all wish for. There is yet a lot more to be achieved. In fact, the state is at this moment still work in progress. For example, we have not done much to promote tourism which is a leading economic potential in the state. Mining also remains virtually untapped in Taraba State. All these are due to the problems of insecurity. All hands must, therefore, be on deck so that we can overcome these obstacles that hinder our progress as a state. 

I wish, therefore, to use this opportunity to call on all Tarabans, irrespective of their political persuasion and religious beliefs, to join hands in the task of lifting the state to greater heights."

 

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