Zamfara bankrupt when I took over – Gov Lawal


Gov. Dauda Lawal of Zamfara State has said that the state he inherited was bankrupt when he took over power.

Lawal, who stated this on Wednesday evening at an interactive session with Zamfara professionals in Abuja, said that the state was in a bad state when he assumed office.

“I believe in the history of our state, this is the first time where professionals and people of Zamfara State are here to interact.

“I am delighted to hear some of the comments made. It is indeed incredible.

“The Zamfara State we inherited is in a bad state. At the time we took over, Zamfara was bankrupt with nothing left.

“It is a state where we inherited so many bad things,” he said while responding to questions and comments from professionals from the state.

The governor, however, gave assurance that things were going to change for the better.

Lawal, who said that he inherited a three-month salary backlog with no single money to take care of the civil servants, said when he took over, the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) exam was already over and the children were unable to sit for it.

“Fortunately for us, NECO (National Examinations Council) is about to start and if we do not do anything, the children may not write the exam,” he said.

He said that though the state was owing WAEC about N1.6 billion and NECO about N1.4 billion which had made the students unable to sit for the exams in the past, his government had recently paid off NECO’s debt.

“This is something that is verifiable. Outside security, education is key because without education, we are going nowhere,” he said.

He said his government had commenced reconstruction of primary schools and building the capacity of the teachers to boost their productivity.

He said when he came in, Zamfara had 28 ministries which had now been reduced to 16 ministries.

The governor, who lamented the condition of the hospitals in the state, said he was committed to changing all the narratives.

He, therefore, solicited for the professionals’ support in order to build the state in the interest of the people.

Lawal said as part of the efforts to tackle the security challenge in the state, he met with the chief of defence staff, the chief of army staff and the national security adviser on different occasions yesterday.

He said he also met with officials of the European Union and the World Bank on issues of insecurity, education, health and infrastructural development, and that they were ever ready to provide support.

“I appeal to you to be our ambassador, that in everything you do, Zamfara comes first.

“We can’t do it alone. We need the support of all to change the fortune of Zamfara State.

“I want to appeal to all to keep praying for peace and prosperity for our dear state.

“I am open for discussion, I am open for advice and collectively, we shall build a better Zamfara,” he said.

Alhaji Aliyu Shinkafi, Permanent Secretary, Special Duties, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, congratulated the governor on his election victory.

According to him, we on this side are ready to assist our state in whatever capacity we have found ourselves.

Shinkafi said cooperation is in two ways: “when we call on you, try and listen to us.”

He gave assurance that the federal civil servants from the state would remain apolitical.

The Grand Khadi of FCT, Alhaji Ibrahim Rufai-Imam, urged the people of Zamfara to be lovers of one another irrespective of local government of origin.

“Let us unite and see how we can move the state forward.

“We need to continue praying for the state to come out of the present predicament,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports that some of the professionals offered advice on issues of insecurity, youth empowerment, education, agriculture, among others

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