ZULUM: 238 Projects in 365 Days; Another Year of Remarkable Progress in Borno's Project Landscape


By Abdul Kareem 

There is no doubt that Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno state has set a new standard for leadership and progress in Nigeria. In just the past year, Governor Zulum has overseen a remarkable transformation in Borno, personally spearheading 238 projects across 13 sectors. These projects have left a lasting impact on the state, demonstrating a vision of lasting, sustainable, and community-focused development.

Building upon the success of 957 projects completed during his first term in office, Zulum, a Professor of Irrigation Engineering, has been able to lay a solid foundation for the fast and remarkable progress being witnessed in his second term. 

From enhancing security measures to revolutionizing the education sector, Governor Zulum's commitment to service delivery and good governance shines through in every initiative undertaken even as he continues to raise the bar of good governance in Nigeria. 

Governor Zulum's unwavering dedication to restoring normalcy in Borno State after years of insurgency has been commendable. Through strategic partnerships with security outfits and the provision of essential resources such as patrol vehicles and motorcycles, the administration has boosted the morale of troops and taken significant strides towards ending the insurgency that has plagued the state.

It is worth noting that under Governor Zulum's leadership in the last one year, the Borno State Government has acquired an additional 94 new Hilux Patrol Vehicles and 62 Toyota Land Cruiser Samsara, supplementing the existing fleet of 1400 Patrol Vehicles earlier procured for the security in the state. This strategic procurement aims to bolster surveillance efforts and address the security challenges effectively. Additionally, the administration has also purchased 300 new motorcycles to support security patrol operations, particularly in hard-to-reach terrains.

In the education sector, Governor Zulum's administration has embarked on a comprehensive revival plan, focusing on reconstructing schools destroyed by terrorists, establishing new mega-size schools, and recruiting thousands of teachers to ensure quality education for all. By introducing incentives to attract school-age enrolment and reducing the number of out-of-school children, Governor Zulum is paving the way for a brighter future for the youth of Borno State. 

According to the commissioner of education, Abba Wakilbe, “Under the visionary leadership of Professor Babagana Zulum, the government has revolutionized the education sector by constructing 30 state-of-the-art mega schools with 60, 40, 30, and 20 classrooms each, equipped with laboratories, staff rooms, ICT centers, water and sports facilities, and solar power supply. Additionally, 16 new senior secondary schools have been established in Bulumkutu, 777, 1000 Housing Estates, Goidamgari, Soye in Bama, Gasi in Shani, Ngoshe in Gwoza, Malakaleri in Mafa, and Kwayabura in Hawul local government areas. Furthermore, five High Islamic colleges are under construction in Gajiram, Gajiganna, Baga, Gubio, and Damasak, while new junior and secondary schools have been founded in Malamkureri in MMC, Dikwa Gubio, Yerimari in Jere, and Girjan in Damboa. The establishment of two-story mega schools in Dala Lawanti, Bulakutiki, Dusuman Kaleri, Miringa, Uba, and Asking signifies a remarkable transformation in our education landscape.”

The education commissioner also added that "During the first year of Governor Zulum's second term, 88 science laboratories were constructed and equipped in 22 secondary schools, and 4,000 additional teachers were hired for public secondary and primary schools across the state. In addition, the Zulum-led government in Borno State recruited education secretaries for the 27 local government education authorities (LGEAs), provided 13 Toyota vehicles and golf wagons to each education secretary for monitoring and supervision, increased salaries, and allocated monthly running costs.

To address the impact of the long-standing Boko Haram insurgency on school enrollment, the Borno State government implemented various incentives to attract displaced school-age children, including free uniforms, instructional materials, bicycles, and a daily meal. This initiative significantly reduced the number of out-of-school children from over 2 million to less than 700,000, with ongoing efforts to further decrease this number.

Zarah Mohammed, a young caregiver who coordinates out of school IDP children in Bama for evening lessons for basic alphabetical and numeric knowledge, hails Governor Zulum's free education initiative. 

“May God bless our Governor, Professor Zulum, for taking the burden off my neck - now all my little boys and girls, about 32 of them, are now enrolled in conventional schools and they are doing well, ” she said with excitement. “Their poor parent never worry about the cost of their education because it is free. I am going to sustain advocacy in supply of the government to ensure that parents enroll their kids in schools.”

““Furthermore, the Borno State government awarded scholarships totaling 5,580,441,012 naira to 29,325 undergraduate and postgraduate students from Borno State studying both locally and abroad. Additionally, the government covered tuition fees and provided monthly allowances amounting to 1,561,527,600 naira to 997 students at the College of Nursing and Midwifery, Dr Wakilbe said.”

The health sector has also seen significant improvements under Governor Zulum's leadership, with the construction of primary healthcare centers, procurement of medical equipment, and provision of essential drugs across the state. The administration's commitment to providing accessible and affordable healthcare services underscores its dedication to the well-being of all citizens.

"In Mafa, 20 primary health centers have been equipped with solar power systems to ensure uninterrupted healthcare services with a steady supply of drugs and consumables,” the Commissioner for Health, Professor Baba M Ghana. 

“The Brigadier Abba Kyari Hospital in Ngaranam is currently undergoing renovations to enhance healthcare services. The government has procured medical equipment worth billions of naira and distributed them to health facilities across the state. Solar power systems have been installed in primary health centers in Ngurosoye, Andari, and Gwoza as part of the administration's commitment to fulfilling campaign promises.

“The government is constructing a College of Nursing in Gwoza and Monguno, along with Eye and Dental Hospitals in Monguno and Biu. General Hospital Biu is being upgraded to a specialist hospital, while General Hospitals in Damboa and Gajiram are undergoing complete reconstruction. The administration aims to establish at least one primary health center in each of the 312 electoral wards in Borno State as part of its post-insurgency recovery agenda,” the commissioner added

Governor Zulum's visionary approach extends beyond infrastructure development to include initiatives aimed at fostering entrepreneurship, creating job opportunities, and building resilience within the community. Through the establishment of vocational and entrepreneurial institutes and ICT centers, the administration is equipping young people with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in a rapidly evolving world.

Four vocational entrepreneurial institutes have been established with the aim of training youth in entrepreneurship and apprenticeship. The goal is to equip them with skills and trades that will improve their socio-economic well-being, make them productive in the future, and steer them away from political unrest and other forms of idleness. These institutes offer training in 14 different trades and apprenticeships, including welding, carpentry, solar light fabrication, cosmetology, tailoring, knitting, computer application and repairs, and automobile maintenance, among others.

Additionally, the Zulum-led government has constructed, equipped, furnished, and commissioned four new ICT centers in Gubio Town, each with 100 computer units. These centers aim to train youth in literacy and numeracy as part of the government's digital initiative. Furthermore, four other ICT centers located in Mafa, Damboa, and Bayo I have been completed and are awaiting commissioning.

During the first year of governance in the second term, the Vocational Enterprise Institute in Muna graduated 832 orphans. The institute provided them with starter packs and cash to help them start a new self-reliant life. Moreover, 64 of the best graduates were offered automatic employment.

Governor Zulum's achievements over the last year are not just a collection of projects and programs; they are a testament to his unwavering dedication to the people of Borno State and a shining example of what can be accomplished through visionary leadership and relentless determination. In the face of adversity, Governor Zulum continues to inspire and uplift, leading the way towards a future of prosperity and opportunity for all in Borno State. 

To end this article, one must acknowledge that Governor Zulum's standout quality, evident in his first four years and continuing into his second term, is his exceptional loyalty, dedication to vision, focus, and goals. Over the past five years, he has completed a total of 1195 projects, averaging 239 projects per year. Remarkably, in his fifth year, he precisely delivered 238 projects, showcasing his deliberate and strategic planning skills. This consistent achievement is a signature of Governor Zulum's intentional and effective governance approach.

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