It has been a norm for some visionless leaders when they assume the mantle of leadership to embark on globetrotting, navigating and gallivanting the world without bringing any good fortunes to their people but putting the huge bills and financial burden on the state treasury. Yet, there are few leaders that are focus and full of zeal who walks around the world in search for better and exploitable opportunities for their people and Governor Muhammed Abdullahi Abubakar of Bauchi State is one of such leaders.
It's evident that, ever since he assumed the mantle of state power on May 29th 2015, Governor Abubakar has never wavered in his commitment in providing state of the art modern facilities and services to the Bauchi State people in contrast to the previous administration which failed woefully in delivering essential services to the electorate while leaving a depleted account and shamble governmental structures cum services.
As a prudent manager of resources and conscious with the prevailing economic challenges bedeviling the nation, Gov. Abubakar was recently at the Kingdom of Morocco with a few entourage to cut financial expenses while achieving some desired results as envisaged in the visit. Interestingly, unlike what was obtainable in the previous regimes where such visits have no better fortunes to the state, M. A's visit has many benefits and various leg up to the good people of Bauchi State and the generation not yet born.
His Excellency, Makama Babba's first point of call was Casablanca where he attended a programme with OCP-Africa in fulfilment of the bilateral agreement between the Bauchi State government and the Kingdom of Morocco on boosting agricultural development and shoving fertilizer production in the state with a capacity of feeding the whole northern states.
In a meeting with Moroccan company, Office Che'rifiens des Phosphate (OCP-Group) which is the largest exporter of Phosphate in the World headed by the Chief Executive Officer of the group, Mr. Karim Lotfi Senhadji, OCP Group gas agreed to collaborate with the state in numerous areas of modern agricultural development; building a brand new world-class standard fertilizer company which will pamper and purvey fertilizer needs of the entire region, upgrading the existing state-owned fertilizer company, approved the OCP School Lab Project while include, establishment of mobile schools to train farmers in the remote communities, mobile laboratory to analyze soil samples called Precision Agriculture and targeted 10,000 farmers to be commenced later in April, approval of the agricultural booster project where another 10,000 will be benefited with direct funding where maize production was prioritized by His Excellency.
Governor Abubakar and his team has also visited the 504.00HA Jorf Lasfar Chemical Complex which is the largest in the world and produces 13 million tonnes of Phosphate daily and 6 million kilo-tonnes annually. Khouribga mining site was also visited.
Education has also received a booster pills when Governor Abubakar and his entourage visited the famous King Mohammed VI Polytechnic University at Ben Guerir where the Bauchi State and the University Management had agreed to offer a full scholarship to the Bauchi State indigenes for undergraduate studies, full scholarship for the staffs of the State Ministry of Agricultural, Bauchi State Agricultural Development Project (BSADP), and Bauchi State Agricultural Supply Company (BASAC) at Masters level. Equally, partnership agreement has been signed in collaboration between the University and Bauchi State Collage of Agriculture, Bauchi State University's newly established faculty of Agriculture in the areas of research and technology transfer and staff training, the university is also owned by the OCP-Group.
Lastly, in view of the inherited deplorable healthcare facilities in the state, acquisition of foreign medical, financial and technical expertise and muscle is sorely needed to assist the Bauchi State government in assembling and establishing much needed health infrastructure towards meeting the goals and objectives of the state government. In furtherance of these laudable aims, Gov. Abubakar together with top officials in the health sector including the Commissioner of Health, the Chief Medical Director of the Bauchi Specialist Hospital, the personal physician to the Chairman House Committee on Health and Dr Ibrahim of the Specialist Hospital has paid a visit to the prestigious King Mohammed VI University Teaching Hospital where they signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the management of the hospital to establish an efficient and credible healthcare sector and to sustain the same through effective training of the required medical personnel throughout the state.
The terms of the MOU that was signed includes the establishment of a Cardiac Centre in Bauchi State, assistance in the establishment of a Centre for Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Emergency Medical Training in the state, establishment of Ear, Nose and Throat Centre (ENT) in the state, assistance in the development and organization of an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) establishment of a Neurosurgical Unit and a Cancer Management Centre and training and re-training of personnel from Bauchi State in the specialized areas required to sustain the health sector in line with the set objectives.
Also, the hospital shall encourage and support research in the areas of public health and organize periodic medical missions for the purpose of providing a credible health care delivery system in the state.
Most appealing and alluring moment is that, rather than wasting money flying citizens and government functionaries abroad for prognosis and treatment, the M.A. Abubakar administration has in one stroke of a historic MOU laid the grounds for the facilities to be available in Nigeria which when fully functional will also earn added revenue for the Bauchi State government as foreign and local customers troop for medical checkup and treatment. Equally, apart from the provision of top of the line medical equipment, the MOU also envisions the training of specialists like doctors, nurses, laboratory technicians, biomedical engineering technicians for the indispensable to the holistic provision of healthcare delivery services.
It is to the credit of Governor Abubakar that the lip service often paid to the vexed issue of training of medical personnel has now been perfected without undue hype or rigmarole. Also, the Bauchi State government will undertake to provide the necessary infrastructure that would enable the smooth and seamless take off of the CSC, ICU, ENT, CPR, and the Special Baby Care Centre (SPCC) and given the dynamic approach which the M.A. Abubakar administration is known for, that requirement would be taken care of without delay.
Apart from provision of infrastructure facilities, the MOU also requires the Bauchi State government to identify the training and retraining needs of human resources for health especially in the area of Biomedical Engineering and other specialized cadres, create enabling environment to support research in the area of public health, mobilize funds required for the attainment of the goals and objectives set out in the MOU, provide the required and needed leadership co-ordination and governance of the programme through the agency responsible for the health sector namely the Bauchi State Ministry of Health and the institutions established to enhance health care delivery in the state.
This is a crucial provision of the MOU given the fact that, funding for the programme has been placed squarely on the shoulders of the Bauchi state government as well as the leadership co-ordination and governance which are sine qua non for the concrete realization of the aims and objectives of the MOU.
Without adequate and consistent funding, the programme would be as good as dead and consistent and visionary leadership is also critical if the programme does not lose policy direction and focus. Also providing 'leadership co-ordination and governance' is part of the policy desiderata of the M.A. Abubakar administrative paradigm which has so far ensured the unprecedented delivery of crucial dividends of democracy to the people of Bauchi State.
In this regard, the health sector has been rejuvenated and revitalized by the inking of this landmark MOU and it must be pointed out that other sectors of the state's economy be it education, health and Bauchi State stands to benefited by the Makama Babba visits to Morocco.
Lukman is the S.A Communication to the Governor.