Gombe Governor Claims Huge Investment in Education, Healthcare, Water Supply — How True?

The reelected governor of Gombe State, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, yesterday made questionable claims in education, healthcare and water supply. WikkiTimes analysed the claims and here is our verdict.

Inuwa was sworn-in yesterday at the Pantami township stadium in Gombe to mark the commencement of his second term in office.

The three sectors the governor claimed he had made huge investments still suffer neglect, WikkiTimes can report.

In his inaugural speech, Inuwa noted his administration’s effort in improving water supply in Gombe. According to him, over 600 boreholes have been built across the state.

“The ongoing rehabilitation, upgrade and expansion of the Gombe Regional Water Supply Scheme has reached an advanced stage,” he had said. “We have also built and rehabilitated over 600 boreholes across the state through various initiatives like RUWASSA and SURWASH.”

Similarly, he claimed that over 1,140 classrooms have been renovated across the state while reducing the rate of out-of-school children.

“In the education sector, we constructed and renovated over 1440 classrooms across the State; and mopped up over 350,000 out-of-school children. We also upgraded 5 secondary schools to mega-school standards and constructed 4 special schools (to take care of special needs).We recruited 1,000 teachers, and strengthened vocational and technical education through various partnerships like the IDEAS (Innovation in Development and Effectiveness in Acquisition of Skills), which is a World Bank-assisted project,” he added.

On healthcare, the governor claimed his administration has upgraded various health centers

“On healthcare, we ensured the provision of a fully functional primary healthcare center in each of our 114 political wards; upgraded the State Specialist Hospital in Gombe; while currently upgrading the General Hospitals in Bajoga and Kaltungo. In addition, a 200-bed general hospital in Kumo is being constructed. We are also building a brand-new 600-student capacity school of nursing technology.”

N15 BILLION ALMAJIRI SCHOOL INITIATIVE

Despite the claims of reducing the number of out-of-school children, the 9-year-old Almajiri School Initiative is still suffering to address the menace.

An investigative report by DailyNigerian reveals that the N15 billion Almajiri Integrated Schools project initiated by former President Goodluck Jonathan has not achieved its objective as majority of the students in schools are yet to graduate nine years after establishment.

According to the National Bureau Of Statistics, in 2021, there was a huge disparity in school attendance in the north and the south, adding that enrolment rates in Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, and Sokoto were as high as 48-60 percent with early childhood rates 3-7 percent.

Last year, WikkiTimes visited Tukulma Community in Akko Local Government Area of Gombe State, where schooling ends at junior secondary level except for children with parents who can afford to send them outside the town to continue their education. Else, many children turn ‘dropouts.’

The community of over 20,000 residents have many out-of-school children because the government has failed to establish a senior secondary school in the axis.

WATER SCARCITY STILL LINGERS

Some areas in the state still suffer water scarcity especially, rural areas.

A WikkiTimes report last year, shows that Shongo Sarkin Yaki, a community in the city’s outskirts, has been suffering water scarcity for 25 years.

This is happening despite a government project allocation of N50m in 2021 to provide water for the community but the contractor has abandoned the project for over six months, leaving residents to continue suffering from the lack of clean water.

Shongo Sarkin Yaki houses more than 3,000 residents and they feed on contaminated water from streams to survive.

Last year, it was reported that the Gombe State Executive Council approved N250 million as a counterpart fund for the Partnership for Expanded Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (PEWASH) for Funakaye, Dukku, Kwami and Balanga local councils. Yet, water scarcity prevails in these places.

THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM

The poor state of healthcare facilities in some parts of the state is a sad reality that has not ceased to exist.

The ICIR in a report carried out in 2022, revealed that despite the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) in Gombe State, the healthcare system suffers staff shortages, inadequate facilities among other challenges.

DailyTrust further reports Primary Health Cares in five local government areas lack qualified medical doctors and auxiliary healthcare workers to provide healthcare services.


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