Findings from the Nigerian Guild of Investigative Journalists (NGIJ) Good Governance Index Report has revealed that the current Kogi State government of Yahaya Bello recorded notable improvements in some critical sectors, particularly healthcare, rural electrification, road construction and security.
Agriculture, education, job creation and improved Internal generated revenue were also amongst other improved sectors in the last three years.
However, the Index report scored the Bello administration low on financial prudence, workers welfare, youth and sports development as well as public communication.
The GA Report, a product of a month-long survey of the various initiatives and projects of the three years administration of the current Kogi State government, which was unveiled at a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday, quoted inferences from about 10,000 questionnaires applied on residents across the three Senatorial Districts and 21 local government of the APC governed Confluence State.
The NGIJ Assessment Parameters had pillars and sub-pillars around infrastructure, health, education, security, sports development and human capital.
During the unveil, NGIJ President, Wale Abideen said, “The responses were diverse and very instructive as it reveals the pulse of the people on the stewardship of the present government of Kogi State. ”
According to the report ” the government in Kogi State has tackled insecurity, revamped agriculture sector, improved on healthcare services delivery, provide infrastructure in schools and increased the internal generated revenue.
Many residents have also benefited from projects such as water, rural electrification, road construction, agriculture and healthcare benefits.”
Analysing some of the responses, Segun Abifarin, NGIJ BOT Chairman, stated: “Based on the ratings of the respondents, the governor scored an aggregate of 74%, 58% and 85% in healthcare, rural electrification and road construction as well as security respectively.” The administration also scored 65% in both agriculture and education, and 71% in job creation.
“On a disappointing note, the administration on financial prudence, sports and workers welfare attracted 47%, 27% and 29% respectively. Poor communication of government policies also contributes to factors that marred the otherwise impressive performances, he added.”
At the onset of the administration in January 2016, the government had announced what it termed the Marshall Plan for rebuilding Kogi State on every index of Development. This was hinged on health, education, job creation, infrastructure, public sector and pension reforms.
While probing these key sectors as indicators for performance, the report captured some of the remarkable completed projects of the administration as including the over #4billion worth Omi Rice Processing Mill with a current capacity for 360,000 tons of rice or 720,000 units of 50kg bags annually culminating in the launch of its remarkable Confluence Rice project in 2017; #400m worth Green house farm in Osara, Solar powered streetlights, Abejukulo electrification project, Kogi revenue house, construction of new classrooms in over 270 schools, ICT centre in secondary schools amongst others.
These projects, according to findings, “have far reaching impacts on the people through generation of employment, provision of infrastructure and strengthening the economy.”
Key ongoing projects include Confluence World Diagnosis centre and imagine centre, Ankpa township road, Anyigba- Idah highway road, Ivana junction Ette/Ogugu road and remodeling of Kogi Hotels.
Security, for instance, which in 2016 was” a huge concern particularly the dastardly and twins scourge of armed robbery and kidnapping” in the state. As at date, the state is currently second safest state in Nigeria according to the Bereau of National Statistics report owing to urgent actionable interventions of the administration.
These, according to the report amongst justify the ratings accordingly as well as the endorsement from 58 per cent of respondents for government continuity.
Abifarin concluded that the GA report is neither an endorsement nor indictment of the government as the report was inexhaustive but a strategic effort towards engendering public accountability and encouraging good governance.
The Nigerian Guild of Investigative Journalists NGIJ is an association of journalists driven by the thirst for professionalism and agenda setting role of the media to make government more accountable to the governed. Its objectives include stimulating the culture of investigation and deep research in journalism to help democratic process and political choice.
The NGIJ will progressively beam its touch on other states with upcoming elections to feel the pulse of the people.
The NGIJ is a registered entity under the relevant laws of the Corporate Affairs Commission in Nigeria.