Honourable Sunday Daniel Yisa-Bologi is the Chairman of Edati Local Government Council in Niger State. In this interview with SAMUEL ODAUDU, he spoke about the impact of his government performance which has been uplifting the lives of the people of the area. Excerpts:
As the chairman of Edati Local Government Area, what have you been doing in respect of development?
It has been tasking. Of course, we execute projects within the availability of resources and contending needs. So far, we have been able to put our feet on the ground to show our capacity. A visit to our local government council will convince you. It has been wonderful since we came in.
Can you specifically mention the project you have executed?
Youth empowerment is one of the areas of priorities and we have been making serious efforts on it. We flagged off rural road reconstruction which is still ongoing. My government has also been engaged in rehabilitation of boreholes, renovation of primary healthcare centres. We have provided solar-powered street light. We have renovated the Council Secretariat, which hitherto before our arrival was not habitable. We have furnished the legislative chambers, made some efforts in addressing the decay and giving a facelift to the environment. The governor’s lodge where I currently stay in the local government was also renovated. In some communities across the local government area, we have intervened in flood disasters that engulfed the local government at one point and so many other areas of intervention. I cannot mention all the projects we have done at the moment, but so far, so good. There have been commendations from the people, in the state and outside the state. That has equally brought us to the limelight.
The country’s economy is struggling with high inflation, a tense security situation, fuel subsidy removal effects and so on. Did your local government benefit from the palliative?
I can forward you all the reports since the advent of this administration and the government of Niger State the concerted efforts we have made to confront the economic downturn of the people. The governor has graciously availed the local government huge support. This will be the third time that the palliatives have been distributed in our area. We did that the first time that the federal government allocated about five billion Naira to each state to cushion the effect of the excruciating pains of hardship. We have 119 units in my local government and I ensured that every polling unit, political unit, and the palliative reached the last person. Our model was actually novel in the state because up to now, nobody has beaten that record. We shared it clearly before the press. Everybody witnessed what we did. Again, about two months later, the governor equally supported the local government with about 600 bags of maize, which we equally distributed across the polling units. As if that was not all, in December, specifically during Christmas, the governor and the local government partnering together provided about 600 bags of rice and the local government did about 200 bags. So, about 800 bags of rice were shared across the Christian communities and the units using that same model that we used during the general distribution of palliative and people were happy. Furthermore, we support and empower our people through scholarship, medicals and general welfare.
What are you doing to enhance the revenue viability of the local government?
I think in Niger State, I am the first local government chairman that has set up a harmonized revenue committee with the state so that revenue can be in one purse. I am talking about maintenance of our heavy duty equipment that is generating income for us. We have two which I have fixed to generate. We have two Hummer buses which I am fixing right now in order to generate income for us. Again, we are farmers. What you hear about Kebbi Rice, where it is produced, is my local government. There is a particular portion where the man stood, raised his hand and said ‘Kebbi Rice’ in the promotion, that portion is in my local government. Right now, as I speak with you, my revenue officer is taking census of people that come for dry season farming and when they come, they bring so much money so we are working very hard on how to generate revenues from many sources.