As US diplomats visit Bauchi

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Tuesday the 27th of November 2012 will remain evergreen in the chequered history of Bauchi State not because it was the date the state was created but because on the said date something unique happened and it has gone a long way to change the status of the state and confirmed the repeated declaration of the Governor of the state, Isa Yuguda that, “we may have our security challenges but I stand to be corrected that Bauchi State remains one of the safest states in this country because in Bauchi, you can still see people moving about as late as 2am while security operatives are busy keeping the peace and securing lives and properties”.
Before now the media had described Bauchi State as crisis prone thereby scaring away visitors who wanted to come for one thing or the other particularly investors but on Tuesday, November 27th 2012 all that changed with the visiting of the American Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Terrence P. McCulley who led other top functionaries of the American Embassy in Nigeria particularly head of the USAID funded programs in Nigeria.
Their mission was to commend the Isa Yuguda led administration for doing wonderfully well in the governance of the state particularly in the areas of water and sanitation which has tanked the state the best in the country a development that attracted the attention of USAID to do more to support the administration to enable it do more for the good of the people of the state.
The visit was unique because the US delegation did not just visit and leave but spent the night in Bauchi to taste the hospitality of the government and people of the state having arrived on Monday 26th to be able to catch up with the appointment and at the end of it the Ambassador could not but agree that Bauchi state indeed remains one of the safest states in the country as against what has been said in the media.
Just as the American Ambassador and his team were praising the developmental efforts of the Isa Yuguda led administration another important thing was taking place as the Presidential Committee on Flood Victim Resettlement and Rehabilitation led by Professor Dora Akunyili went round the state unhindered to meet some of the victims of the flood disaster, the team went to the hinterland to see the real people who are suffering the effects of the disaster accompanied by press men.
Ambassador Terrence P. McCulley declared that he was delighted about the  progresses made in Bauchi with regards to all USAID flagship programmes and that the agency will soon replicate some of the successes recorded in Bauchi to other Nigerian states and said that Bauchi is one of the USAID  focus states because of the quality of governance in the state pointing out that in less than one year, the milestone successes in the water reform agenda is already having a positive impact pointing out that  USAID is particularly happy that the Bauchi State Water and Sanitation (WASH) Policy has been approved by the Executive council.
The US Envoy  further said already  the kind of leadership exhibited  by Governor Isa Yuguda is creating a powerful synergy between the Bauchi state government and  support of Europe reform Agenda and  commended the state government for its developmtal efforts which he said that has already  rejuvenated commitment of Governor Yuguda towards reform has made the Bauchi state very attractive to donor partners.
He also commended the Bauchi State Government for its efforts at making water available to its people as well as promoting sanitation and healthy living which he said are qualities of a good government and declared that the state was chosen based on the success recorded in the water sector pointing out that the state is the best in the country in that sector.
The Envoy further commended the Isa Yuguda led administration for been able to provide dividends of democracy to its people in the face of the security challenges facing the North East geopolitical zone opining that what he saw within his short stay was unprecedented.
He then assured that the US government through SAID is ever ready to partner with the state government in its effort to develop the state adding that the MoU will cover area of improved water to the people of the state as well as sanitation because according to him with the availability of safe water there will be improved life expectancy.
He also said that he noticed that Bauchi was peaceful and conducive for any investment assuring that more US interventions will come to the state in other to promote good governance just as he commended that government for promptly paying its counterpart fund for the RUWASA project calling on others to emulate Bauchi state.
In his response at the occasion, Bauchi State Governor, Mallam Isa Yuguda said the state is, more than ever before, determine to bring dividend of democracy to its citizen pointing out that the administration has created enabling environment for development partners intervention in the state pointing out that Bauchi state is always on the lookout for avenues on how to impact positively to the people of the state.
An elated Isa Yuguda also said that the need for clean water in any society cannot be over emphasized considering that is life adding that the coming of the USAID delegation under the US ambassador  to sign the MoU in very timely because of the important role water is playing in the lives human beings pointing out that Bauchi state is ever ready to partner with development partners in order to bring good quality service delivery to the people of Bauchi state.
Isa Yuguda further told the US Ambassador that his administration has made p4vision of good water to the people it’s topmost priority poin4ing out that since 2007 when it came on board over N4billion have b3n spent on various water and sanitation intervention adding that the Gubi dam was rehabilitated with the p4ovisojn of 2 stand by 500 KVA generators in order to ensure that there was electricity supply in the dam 24 hours just as all the old pipes were repalced there by improving water supply to the metropolis.
He also disclosed that over 400 towns and villages have been provided with various seizes of water schemes just as all s2secondary schools and general hospitals were p4oviedo with sources of god water and sanitation which he said has improved health among the people.
The Governor also used the occasion to further confirm that Bauchi state is not as bad as was portrayed in the media agreeing though that the state has its own share of the security challenges experienced in the country particularly in the Northern part of the county declaring that, “with this your coming to Bauchi and even spending a night here, you have proved to the entire world that indeed Bauchi is safe, next time you come on a social visit we will take you to Yankari to feel nature at it best
The American Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Terrence McCully was in bauchi for the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on urban water sector reform, under the Sustainable Water and Sanitation in Africa (SUWASA) program  between Bauchi State government and the United states Agency for International Development Agency (USAID).
ADEYEMI is Chief Press Secretary to Bauchi State Governor.

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