Prince Abubakar University Teaching Hospital Anyigba currently under construction by the administration of His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State. *** Governor Yahaya Bello at work on the age-old erosion ravaged section of the road from Anyigba to the headquarters of Dekina LG and to the neighboring Bassa LG.*** Ultra-modern General Hospital, Under Construction At Isanlu-Yagba East LGA-Kogi State. Similar projects ongoing simultaneously in two (2) other locations in the state, ie, Gegu in Kogi LGA and Eganyi in Ajaokuta LGA*** The World Bank commended Governor Yahaya Bello for refunding $4.63 million surplus funds under the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP)***  This app, is an Audio/visual excursion into the stewardship of His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello*** 

KOGI STATE AND THE NEW DIRECTION

Success in any endeavor is not by accident. It is derived from a deliberate and sustained course of action over a typically prolonged duration. Not everyone succeeds, because it takes a mix of attributes – inherent and developed, to leave unique footprints in whatever endeavor one finds himself. Such attributes include but are not limited to: the ability to make both long-term and short-term plans, the ability to come up with strategies to effectively carry out said plans, and the tenacity and resolve to stick to the plan.

Since his swearing in as the fourth (4th) Democratically Elected Executive Governor of Kogi State on January 27th, 2016, His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello, took on the daunting task of effectively transforming the State. He did this with the same zeal and eventual results as seen throughout his life, promising to continue to do his best “…to ensure that across the Party lane, his Administration would continue to unite Kogi State and the People will continually benefit and feel the dividends of Democracy irrespective of the religion, culture or senatorial district they come from.”

The victory birthed the New Direction Administration which under the leadership of Governor Yahaya Bello, conceived a Socio-economic Blueprint that rapidly developed the State and radically empowered the People. His execution of these policies, programmes and projects were carried in outstanding fashion, implemented with due regard for the rule of law and his accomplishments transparently documented for easy access by the citizens of the State.

GYB POLICIES AND ITS IMPLEMENTATION

The Administration gathered teams of various knowledgeable and passionate individuals to develop a policy document addressing five (5) thematic areas: Education, Health, Job Creation and Youth Engagement, Infrastructure and Utilities, and Productive Public Service and Pension Reforms, associated with the Sustainable Development Goals to deliver positive change.

Accordingly, on Education the Administration has improved the quality of education at all levels to citizens, and skilled manpower necessary for economic transformation of the State.

Equal access to healthcare facilities has increased efficiency of the healthcare delivery system in the State.

The policy on infrastructure has had it focus on improving the road network in the State through continued construction of new roads, bridges and rehabilitation of existing ones.

The administration has also ensured food security for the people of Kogi state, creating employment, youth engagement and providing an enabling environment to generate a high proportion of the GDP of the State from agriculture.

Security measures have been enhanced to guarantee safety of lives and Properties in the State.

The Kogi State Civil Service has undergone reforms that have repositioned it for effective and efficient performance.

The New Direction Blueprint is a policy document of Projects, Programs, Missions, Visions, Policy strategies, Targets and Outcomes which will together define the New Direction Administration to accelerated development in Kogi State. While the Blueprint contains ‘Action Plans’ for developing each Ministry, Department and Agency, the Compendium contains the New Direction achievements towards Social, Economic and Infrastructural development, among other accomplishments in line with the Blueprint.

The Administration’s policy thrust on Governance has provided an enabling environment to facilitate economic and social development in the State as well as introduce and implement reform measures to strengthen governance institutions. This includes the civil service, the pension administration and the state health insurance scheme, among others.

Aforementioned, the New Direction Administration under the Leadership of His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello, has taken giants strides towards transforming the Blueprint into a living reality.

STRIDES ON RULE OF LAW

A system which does not adhere to the paramount principles of the rule of law, where the law is not supreme over the acts of the government and the people, is one that neglects accountability, transparency and fairness, and sponsors discrimination in the dispensation of Justice.

Rule of law refers to the principle that all citizens are subject to the judicial decision in their states and that such decisions are the result of constitutional principles. The rule of law implies that government authority may only be exercised in accordance with written laws, which were adopted through an established procedure.

Recognizing that the rule of law is key to effective and transparent governance, the Governor Yahaya Bello-led Administration has continuously worked hand in hand with the Judicial Arm of Government and the Legislature to deliver the best governance possible to Kogi State.

Section 1(1) of the 1999 Constitution clearly states inter alia, that “all people and institutions are subject to and accountable to the law.

The Government has been led by both legislations and binding judicial decisions in developing robust Financial Transparency laws and regulations over the last six years.

The New Direction Administration, as the Executive, in partnership with the Legislature and Judiciary, placed the virtues of Respect for the Principle of Separation of Powers and the Autonomy of all three Arms of Government as well as the two Levels of Government in the State, at the fore of its activities.

These foundational principles, along with mutual respect for one another and adherence to the Rule of Law explained above, have resulted in the remarkable harmony enjoyed in the Kogi State Government and throughout the State.

It can be seen that the New Direction Administration under the leadership of Governor Yahaya Bello has made significant progress in Robust Laws and Policy Implementation and maintaining the supremacy of the Rule of Law.

ICONIC TRANSPARENCY

Since the inception of the Administration, transparency and accountability have been the bulwark of its bond of trust with the good people of Kogi State. Government came public on her achievements, bank accounts and records of income and expenditure, not out of compulsion but because of her belief in doing what is right.

World Bank defines Good Governance as the one epitomized by predictable, open and enlightened policy making, directed towards capacity and efficiency in public sector management, accountability, legal framework for development, information dissemination and transparency.

In this light, the Administration put in place mechanisms for stringent financial and information management to make her citizens the biggest beneficiaries of government policies. To stimulate due diligence practices in the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), the Bureau of Public Procurement was established to ensure compliance with the Public Procurement Act, Kogipedia.net was created, VIGISCOPE and KOGAS to mention but a few. This has led to quality delivery of services as well as keeping tabs on achievements of this administration.

To reinforce its commitment to accountability, the New Direction Administration operated an open Governance system through transparent policies and up-to-date information. The Administration employed technology and a multi-layered system of checks and balances to block all leakages in its processes and improve the wealth creation and retention capacities of the State. Furthermore, Governor Yahaya Bello has consistently ensured the Publication of State’s Yearly financial statements. This act qualified the state to participate in the World Bank’s State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability Programme (SFTAS 2019) where it came out first position among other States.

The Ministry of Information and Communications under the leadership of His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello, deployed the Kogi State Open Governance and Accountability System (KOGAS) for live feedback to and from the public. The digital system was specifically designed to strengthen interactions and relationships between the government and the citizens. This enlisted the Public more intimately in the policing of the government and her accoutrement. In essence, Kogi indigenes have the tools they need to play active oversight function over Ministry, Departments and Agencies. Through KOGIPEDIA, the clear and obvious achievements of Governor Yahaya Bello are compiled in order to appraise and showcase the activities of the administration over the years; and VIGISCOPE which is an innovation developed for tracking and analyzing data to collect evidence of any breach in security of lives and properties in a bid to combat crime in the State.

Hence, the New Direction Administration has employed technology in data collation and information access, and has had positive results in strengthening its democracy, curbing corruption and promoting development of the State.

Ensuring that misrepresentation is minimized, the views of the public are taken into account and the voices of the vulnerable in the society are heard in decision-making. Kogi State citizenry see their democracy dividends translating to impactful policies, programmes and projects even as they have access to real-time information, monitoring and evaluation.

It is evident that the New Direction Administration under the leadership of Governor Yahaya Bello has recorded successes in many facets of Government and that Kogi State has and still reaping the benefit of Good Governance.

A responsive and responsible leader like Yahaya Bello is a recipe for accelerated socio-economic development and sustainability.

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