President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday inaugurated a world class Reference Hospital and other legacy projects in Okene in Kogi constructed by Gov. Yahaya Bello’s administration.
Other projects inaugurated included ”Agassa -Upogoro- Benin road and the newly built Palace of Ohinoyi of Ebiraland.
Speaking at Ohinoyi’s palace in Okene, Buhari said the commissioning of the projects was in realization of the campaign promises to the people of Kogi
”I have been briefed by Gov. Yahaya Bello for the numerous projects he has executed for the people.
”The Confluence University of Science and Technology at Asara, Rice mill in Ejiba, hospitals in Idah, Kabba and Okene, construction of roads in the three senatorial districts, GYB Model Secondary Schools among others.
”In Lokoja, there is a flyover project the first of it kind in Kogi state,” Buhari said.
The President noted that Kogi played host to AKK Gas Pipeline projects that would be completed in 2023, saying, it will boost the economic activities of the country and a multiplying effect to the people of the state.
”Our administration is working to reposition Kogi State as an investment hub through the activation of solid minerals in the state.
”No project that is dare in our heart like the Ajaokuta Steel Company located in Kogi, which we inherited in moribund condition from previous administrations.
”The steel company has dispute both locally and internationally. I am glad to say that through our concerted effort we are able to settle the dispute by paying some money and the company is now ready for concesioning to competent private investors that will operationalize it for the people of Kogi State and Nigerians at large.
”We are in talk with a reputable company in United State and by God’s grace Ajaokuta very soon will come back to serve the people of Nigeria,” he said.
According to Buhari, the significant of making Ajaokuta steel working again is enormous as it will generate over 500, 000 jobs for Nigerian youths and also generate high revenue for the state and the country in the tune of over 1.6 billion dollar annually .
He assured Nigerians that his administration would pursue the issue of Ajaokuta Steel Company to logical conclusion before he would leave office as president of Nigeria.
He commended the governor for his impressive performance, saying, he had done very well in the area of security and projects execution in Kogi.
”We are proud of him and we urged him to do more for the people.
”I am appealing to you to support the governor so that he can achieve and deliver more dividend of democracy and achieve peace and development of the state,” Buhari said.
Earlier, the governor described the day as a historic moment in the lives of Kogi people and indeed in the lives of entire Ebira people and other tribes in central senatorial district of the state.
”We are happy the very day you granted approval to come to Kogi State for the commissioning of few out of many projects this administration has executed for the people of Kogi state.
”When I was sworn on the 27th of January, 2016, we were determined to serve our people and we quickly commissioned multidimensional sector to form what we call New Direction Blueprint.
”From that period till date , this particular document has served as a guide for accelerated development in Kogi State.
”We took our time to move round the state to determine what the people are lacking and what they really want that could improve the standard of living.
”Every year we zero down such need to our budgetary provision and we ensured that we follow it to the latter, ” Bello said
Bello stressed that his administration had fulfilled all its promises within the available resources and today those projects would be commissioned as well as others that may not be reached in other parts of the state.
”We ensure that the entire people of Kogi State benefit from our projects executed from internally general revenue, national resources and every other resources God gave to us in Kogi state.
”Mr President, we hit the ground running and you told me to be courageous in Leadership and how to bring out my best and today the projects is an attestation of our best to the people of Kogi State.
”I followed your footsteps in ensuring that projects and infrastructures that has direct impact on the people,” he said.
He appreciated the President for all his support to Kogi State, and appealed for the completion of Ajaokuta steel company, saying, ”no nation can achieve industrialization without iron and steel.
”We are still confident that your effort toward revitalization of the steel company will still be achieved before the expiration of the your tenure,” Bello said.
In his remarks, the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, Dr Ado Ibrahim, commended President Buhari for his enormous support for the governor as well as the developmental projects executed in the state.
Ohinoyi, who was represented by the Ohi of Okengwe, Alhaji Mohammed Anaje, appealed to Mr President for the revitalization of Ajaokuta Steel Company.
”We the traditional rulers in Kogi State highly appreciate all the support you gave to Kogi State and the dividend of democracy that we are enjoying in the state.
”We are glad because this is the first time a seating president come to Kogi Central Senatorial district to commission projects executed by the state government aimed at improving the living standard of the people,” the royal father said.
The President after inaugurating the Okene projects, flew to Lokoja for onward commissioning of other legacy projects in the state capital, the confluence city.