Samuel Luka, Bauchi
Bauchi state Governor, Bala Mohammed said on Monday that the rising population of people occasioned by the influx of internally Displaced Persons from neighbouring states is overstretching government services and infrastructure in the state.
The Governor while speaking at the government house when he received members of the National Institute for Security Studies (NISS), noted that the population of Bauchi state has risen from the official record of 6.5 to about 10 million.
“We have the highest number of out-of-school children, and therefore there is unemployment and youth restiveness”, the Governor added.
Governor Bala who noted that there are existing gaps in infrastructure and services, in health, education, and even transportation among others, said his administration is doing everything possible to close the gaps.
According to him, “we have created a government that is looking comprehensively at all the MDAs to identify where and which gaps existed in education and in health”.
The Governor further said, “we have discovered that we have not been able to access monies from government institutions and agencies that are giving counterpart funding to us especially UBEC and SUBEB, and we have accessed over N19 billion during the period that we are here because we provided the counterpart funding”.
Bala Mohammed said his administration has been able to build over 600 blocks of primary schools times two or times three, adding that, it is huge in terms of reduction of student and teacher cluster to classrooms as well as student to toilet cluster.
Governor Bala said in addition, the state government has in collaboration with the world bank through the N-SHIP program, UNICEF, and WHO, built over 300 primary health centers that are fully equipped with the required facilities.
“We have paid our counterpart funding and were able to build over 300 primary health centers that are equipped with all the needed facilities”, Bala said.
He said, “with the establishment of a drug revolving fund, if you go to local governments you will see well-established clinics and health facilities that are at per with the those at the city center”.