‘SURE-P Implementation Is 90% Successful In Taraba LGAs’ | Independent Newspapers Limited
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‘SURE-P Implementation Is 90% Successful In Taraba LGAs’

Posted: Jun 11, 2015 at 5:11 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Alhaji Bello Yero was once the Sole Administrator of Ibi Local Government Council of Taraba State. He is now the Permanent Secretary, Bureau for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs (and is nick named a press friendly perm sec). Yero recently briefed journalists on the activities of the bureau. Janet Audu was there.  Excerpts:

It is over 15 years now, the chieftaincy stool of Takum has been vacant and we are  hearing nothing about it? Secondly what has been happening to the resources meant for that chiefdom all this while?

We are working towards that since I came on board; we will look into that by setting up a committee that will determine the bureau’s situation. I assure you something will be done; that has been giving us sleepless nights.

Concerning your second question as to what has been happening to the resources meant for that chiefdom since that period, I am not competent to comment on that issue because I just came on board. If I should tell you this or that, I am just lying; so to be honest with you, I can’t explain.

Is there any mechanism put in place to checkmate local government chairmen who refused to pay staff salary?

Thank you for that question. Some time back when we get cases like this, we draw the attention of that local government chairman to know the reason why he refused to pay his staff. Of recent, we learnt of Zing Local Government, we called him and had a word with him and he has promised to go and pay; even the state House of Assembly are playing their part to see that local government salaries are paid and promptly also. We in the Bureau are not taking that laying low, if we can release their allocations to them immediately after (JAC), I see no reason of not paying staff or delay payment.

In fact it is against this background that the said chairman just came and told me that he has paid. So you see our eyebrows are already raised over the issue of local government staff salaries.

In your speech, you did mention that you went out with your team to inspect the implementation of Sure-P in the local governments. Can you tell us your own assessment, whether the implementation was a success or failure in those areas you have visited?

Well, the essence of Sure-P programme is to create an entrepreneurship to our youths, most especially the vulnerable in the society as part of the subsidy programme that Taraba benefited from. Funds were released to local government in two batches – Phase I and Phase II.

Before the release of these funds, trainings were conducted for the 16 local government chairmen here in Jalingo, the zonal level trainings too were conducted so as to kick start the Sure-P programme in the state. When funds were released to them each local government, based on the guideline, as in what type of programme would you go for; is it farming, hair dressing, poultry or welding? Because local government ‘A’s’ choice differs from local government ‘B’s’ choice we formed a team in the Bureau here to visit all the 16 LGAs in the state. So far we have visited Zing, Yorro, Lau, Jalingo and Ardo Kola local governments; we hope to also do the same in the Central and Southern zones.

Just to assess the implementation of Sure-P based on our assessment in these local governments visited already, we are satisfied with the implementation of the Sure-P at local government level; even though there are some challenges, we will write our recommendation to the state government so that they will use it in the next distribution of funds in the Phase III. Implementation of Sure-P in the local government areas is 80 per cent to 90 per cent success, because the main beneficiaries have benefited, women and youths are the sole beneficiaries; it is meant for them and they are being carried along, the programme is not hijacked by politicians as being insinuated.

I could remember last week that the Lau Local Government Chairman, Barrister Anthony Damburam, was quoted as saying that through the Sure-P programme, he was able to address youth restiveness in his area. So our position as the (Bureau for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs) and therefore rate the programme at local government level 90 per cent.

MDGs has put a gigantic health care structure in all the 16 local governments in the state but you find out that they are not put to use; no drugs, no staff to render health care services to the people and the structures get decay as time goes on. What is the reason behind this attitude?

MDGs’ projects are projects that are being handled by a special unit in Taraba State, that is the extension of the office of the Special Adviser to the President on MDGs. It may interest you to know that in the whole of North East states, it is only Taraba that doesn’t have primary development agency but, to God be the Glory, the state House of Assembly is working toward establishing the law that will empower us to have that agency in Taraba, the MDGs projects that were constructed were already handed over to the local governments, drugs were purchased and distributed through the Bureau for Local Government to all the local governments.

It is the responsibility of these chairmen to ensure that all these clinics are staffed toward health care service delivery to the people, we came to realise that Taraba State has low number of trained health personnel. But, that is not the question, we have what is called poor utilisation of the existing staff in the local government because lack of proper postings and transfer affect the health facilities. Because of political interference, some staff prefer to remain in urban health facilities, but I want to assure you that already we are tackling that now. We are doing a thorough job to put these health care centres constructed by MDGs to utiliation.