Lafia — No fewer than a hundred staffs at the Nasarawa State ministry of Lands, Survey and Town Planning smiled to the bank in the last week of 2012 after they received checks following the introduction of End of Year The staffs, from management to lower cadre, received the total sum of N4 million which was distributed as incentives to them.
Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura approved the bonus pay to the staffs following the ministry's ground breaking performance in the implementation of the 2012 budget, according to the commissioner, Sonny Agassi, who explained to Daily Trust that the ministry recorded over and above the budgetary estimates for revenue accruals on ground rents last year.
Numbers at the ministry show that the state raked in N360 million in 2012, showing a leap over and above the receipts of 2011 which was only N34 million.
This record, which is also the biggest leap ever recorded by the ministry since the creation of Nasarawa, 16 years ago, has also far surpassed the total revenue anticipation of the year ended December 31, 2012, which was N111 million from ground rents. The records showed that in the last six months of 2011, when Al-Makura took over as state governor, ground rents stood at the average of N1.5 million, with the current receipts showing over 1000 percent leap.
Agassi said reforms introduced by Al-Makura in the administration and management of lands, as well as the commitment to duty by both management and staffs of the ministry, accounted for what he called "the bomb in the revenue generation from my ministry."
"The credit goes to my boss, the governor, who strengthened my ministry's performance with the reform programme; and to both management and staffs of my ministry. My staffs are wonderful; they have shown good determination, commitment and courage to duty. Their performance, I must say, added impetus to me. I wish all Nigerian workers are as good as my staffs; trust me, the sky will be the limit for this country", Agassi, a Canadian Nigerian serving in the cabinet of Al-Makura, said.
Agassi has severally expressed optimism that his ministry's implementation of the reform, as well as good commitment to duty by staffs, and the elimination of sharp practices can fetch between N2 to N5 billion, monthly, from the land size of 27,000 square kilometres - over three times the size of Abuja, which receipts stands about N1.5 billion from a land size of 8,000 square kilometers.
Mohammed S. Ahmed, a junior staff at the ministry hailed the initiative, as he said "it is the first time we are receiving performance bonus. It has never happened before. The commissioner just announced to us that the governor approved the bonus to show appreciation for our commitment to duty. We are happy."