The Governor of Zamfara State, Dauda Lawal, has said that he inherited bankruptcy when he took over power.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, Lawan made this known at an interactive session with Zamfara professionals in Abuja on Wednesday evening.
He said, “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.”
The governor, however, gave assurance that things were going to change for the better.
Lawal said that he inherited a three-month salary backlog with no money for civil servants, and that as at the time he took over, the West African Examination Council 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 did 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 over 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 on Wednesday.
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.
Aliyu Shinkafi, Permanent Secretary, Special Duties, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, congratulated the governor on his election.
According to him, we on this side are ready to assist our state in whatever capacity we have found ourselves.
Shinkafi said cooperation was in two ways, adding “when we call on you, try and listen to us,” and assured the governor that the federal civil servants from the state would remain apolitical.
The Grand Khadi of FCT, 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.
Some of the professionals offered advice on issues of insecurity, youth empowerment, education, agriculture, among others.