Kefas Swears in 21 Commissioners

Emmanuel Awari-Jalingo

Governor Kefas Agbu has sworn-in 21 Commissioners earlier confirmed by the Taraba State House of Assembly finally forming the State Executive Council.

The swearing-in was performed by the State Chief Judge Justice Joel Filibus Agya at the Gym Hall, Jolly Nyameh Stadium Jalingo.

The Commissioners, Local government and their portfolios are, Engineer Noami Tanko Agbu (Wukari), Ministry of Energy and Economics, Dr.Sarah Enoch Adi (Wukari), Finance, Budget and Economic Planning and Yakubu Maikasuwa SAN (Wukari), Justice, Dr. Augustina Godwin (Jalingo), Education, Mrs. Zainab Usman (Jalingo), Information and Re-orientation, Professor Nicholas Oliver Namessan (Karim Lamido), Agriculture and Food Security, Mrs. Mary Sinjen (Karim Lamido),Women Affairs and Child Development, Mr. Peter George (Sardauna),Commerce and Industries, Mr. Gideon Nonso (Sardauna),Digital Economy and Inovation, Mr. Joseph Joshua (Takum), Youths and Sports Development and Yakubu S Yakubu (Takum) Transport Development.

Others are Mrs. Aishat Abdul’aziz Barde (Zing), Enviroment and Climate Change, Hon. Titus Joseph Dagombe (Gashaka),Heritage and Eco-Tourism, Dr. Bodiya Bansheya (Donga), Health, Mr. Habu James Philips(Bali), Cooperative and Poverty Alleviation,
Julius Peter Vau (Lau), Rural Development, Mr. Usman Muslimu Abdullahi (Gassol), Science and Technology, Hon. Saviour Bazolig Noku (Ardo-Kola), Speacial Duties and Social Development, Philister Ibrahim Musa (Ussa), Social Justice and Re’orientation, Daniel Ishaya (Ibi),Water Management and Aquatic Affairs and Comrade Noseh Luka (Kurmi), Works and Infrastructure Development.

Speaking at the occasion, Governor Dr. Agbu Kefas congrdulated the the new Commissioners and urged them to collaborate with one another to provide a vibrant administration.

Governor Kefas maintained that their appointments were not merely symbolic but a call to duty entrusted with the responsibility of uplifting the standard of living of the people noting that their success lies in the ability of their collective leadership and mutual respect.

The Governor said there is no doubt that they will face daunting challenges but believed with a good mindset they will succeed.

He said he believes in all inclusive leadership that is why he appointed qualified and accomplished youths and wonen in their chosen fields and expressed optimism that they will deliver and bring development for the progress of Taraba State.

The Governor commended stakeholders of the various Local Governments in the State for good the selection of the Commissioners and the Taraba State House of Assembly for their prompt screening and confirmation saying that the swearing-in of the Commissioners was the right step towards building a prosperous Taraba State.

Recall that the Taraba State House of Assembly screen 21 commissioner-nominees sent to the house by the Governor comprising of 6 females, the highest in the history of the state.

The Chairman, House Committee on Information Honourable Nelson Len who addressed the Press after the session said that all the nominees sent to the House by the State Governor Dr Kefas Agbu were screened and cleared.

“The House is impressed with the calibre of nominees who have shown that they are suitable for the various offices they are designated. This is the first time Nominees are sent to the House with their portfolio attached to direct the screening process.

“Of course, we took our time on each nominee and end up spending two days for the exercise.

“This is to ensure that we don’t make mistakes. Taraba is at a critical stage where we really need total rebirth. Consequently, we have to ensure that the right persons are put in the right places.

During the screening, some of the nominees spoke on their intentions if giving the chance to serve the state,

Professor Nicholas Namessan said,

“I will ensure that Taraba College of Agriculture brings back all Internally generated revenue IGR activities. I will ensure that students are taught on how to farm for profit making and be self reliance. I will ensure that Tractors aquire by government are property put into use and well maintained. I will come up with a program tagged: Women and Youths in Agriculture.

Dr. Augustina Godwin said,

“I see this as an opportunity to render my service to the state and the Nation. The problem at the Taraba State University is lack of leadership, I will set a committee with terms of reference to look into the problem. Teachers are critical in the society, I am to make the Educational system functional. As a Teacher, I will seat Teachers and profer solutions. Our Teachers have to know that they are important. I will ensure that there is massive renumeration to Teachers. I am happy that Governor Kefas Agbu declared state of emergency in the Educational sector and also promise to renovate schools in the state. If we improve renumeration to teachers, there will be no need for people to taking their children out of government schools to private. There is Educational Standard set, but implementation is the problem, so we will ensure that they are implementated. On strikes, good staff renumeration will take care of that issue. If giving high attention to staff renumeration, strikes will be thing of the past.

Naomi Tanko Agbo said,

“A state like Taraba, can easily make use of small dams to get electricity in the state for the population is not much compare to Lagos and other states. Mambilla Hydro Power Dam worth $3 Billion is enomouse, we can start in phases by partnering with developers and if completed, it will be the 2nd in Africa after Ethiopia.

“Power is expensive and not cheap in Nigeria. In Nigeria use our Power for consumption such as TV amongst others, but in developing countries, Power is use for Production, we should move from consumption to production.

Commenting on the screening, a legal practioner, Barrister P.D. Pius, Esq. said,

“Taraba State Governor’s nomination of Commissioners is unconstitutional: a bad first step. On the 6th July 2023 the Secretary of Government of Taraba State issued a statement that the Governor Dr. Agbu Kefas has approved the restructuring of the Ministries from 25 down to 21. Consequently, only 21 Commissioners will be nominated and appointed as provided by the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria with at least one from each Local Government of the State. See section 14(4) and 192 of CFRN 1999.

Surprisingly, the Governor has now purportedly nominated 21 people for confirmation by the State House of Assembly without nominating anyone from Yorro Local Government. This is purely unconstitutional, ill advised and not in line with law.

Funny enough some Local Governments had more than one nominee. For instance, Wukari have 3 nominees, Sardauna 2, Jalingo 2, Takum 2, Karim 2. Yorro is completely excluded with Zero. The screening exercise currently going on at State House of Assembly is unconstitutional, illegal and futile exercise unless a Yorro nominee is included. The Government is now left with two choice:

  1. To recant and deny the purported restructuring of the Ministries by creating another Ministry to accommodate a new nominee from Yorro Local Government or
  2. Break the heart of one of the nominees by removing his name citing error and replace him with a nominee from Yorro. Which ever, the Government chooses, it was a bad first step that should be avoided in the future. First impressions are important – he said.
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