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Governor Inuwa Meets U.S Ambassador To Nigeria, Seeks Improved Partnership To Boost Human Capital, Address Environmental Challenges

By Abdulwahab Muhammad, Bauchi 

...Says Gombe Eager To Explore Opportunities In Climate Finance, Others To Explore Its Immense Potentials 

Gombe State Governor, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, CON has told the acting United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. David Green that his State is eager to explore opportunities in various sectors such as education, health, Agriculture and environment among others for sustainable human capital development. 

Governor Inuwa Yahaya gave this indication when he granted audience to the U.S Envoy at the Governor's lodge in Abuja. 

Specifically,  issues around climate and environmental projects and Gombe's innovative drive for alternate ways of raising finance and investment for new and existing projects with environmental benefits took the centre stage. 

"Seeing you here today, I am filled with optimism and excitement about the possibilities that can emerge from our discussion. I firmly believe that by joining forces we can create lasting impact that will benefit the people of Gombe State and strengthen the bond of friendship between our nations".

A joint effort to raise the first green bond at the sub-national level which aims to generate funds specifically for sustainable and environmentally friendly projects within Gombe state was discussed extensively.

By partnering with the US embassy, Gombe state aims to leverage expertise and resources to facilitate the successful issuance of this forest bond.

Governor Inuwa Yahaya explained that with a population of over  3.8 million people and immense potential for growth and development, Gombe is desirous of more partnership and collaboration across different sectors in  the quest to meet the yearnings and aspirations of the citizens. 

The rehabilitation of the Balanga dam also came to the fore. The partnership will focus on revitalizing the dam's infrastructure and enhancing its operational efficiency. 

The Governor also indicated that Gombe state, in conjunction with Outsource Global, is working towards fostering skill acquisition and capacity building programmes targeting youth displaced from conflict states within the North East.  

Additionally, the Governor of Gombe state is keen on fostering collaboration with other Northern Governors by initiating discussions at a regional level to address common challenges and identify collective solutions. This collaborative approach aims to ensure that the states within the region can pool resources, share best practices, and tackle shared issues more effectively.

Governor Inuwa Yahaya also brought the US Ambassador ad interim up to speed with development in other sectors of the economy and sought for improved partnership. 

He  said his government will need more collaboration to ramp up its tree planting campaign, and also in addressing over 200 monstrous gullies in the State. 

" Our administration launched the Gombe Goes Green (3G) initiative aimed at planting 4 million trees to combat desertification and deforestation, indicating that his government is working on issuing a green bond in order to raise financing for climate friendly projects". 

He said in the area of education, more needs to be done, especially with the number of out-of-school children, to invest in skills acquisition through vocational schools, more funding to target under-served communities to sustain the gains recorded in the sector.  

"We have  succeeded in mopping up thousands of out-of-school children through BESDA, built 4 mega-schools and 5 special schools,  constructed over 1440 classrooms across the state, supported and integrated almajiri and girl-child education, and achieved improvement in students' performance in WASSCE.

He also sought for improved partnership with US organizations to equip the healthcare facilities and improve human resources through capacity building and training to sustain the gains so far recorded in the sector.  

Governor Inuwa disclosed that his administration has constructed 4 mega  schools in addition to 5 special institutions of learning as well as the construction of 1440 classrooms across the State among other laudable initiatives. 

On health, the Gombe State Governor intimated the U.S Ambassador that his administration constructed one functional primary health care centre in each of the 114 political ward of the state and built brand new General Hospital in Kumo and remodel the state Specialist hospital as well as the general hospitals in Bajoga and Kaltungo. 

He said to address the manpower needs in the health sector, his administration is putting up a brand new College of Nursing and Midwifery while in the area of access to affordable healthcare services the state Government established the GoHealth programme. 

The Governor also explained that his administration is harnessing Gombe’s agri-business potential, leveraging its three large dams that offer huge irrigation potential and working on creating a Special Agro-Processing Zone.

 " We are working on reviving the Wawa-Zange Grazing Reserve which will boost cattle production and address perennial farmer-herder conflicts. We will however need partnership on a number of areas, especially in facilitating the set-up of agro-processing industries, promoting export and value-chain enhancement".

"Our pro-business policies earned us the number one spot on PEBEC ease of doing business ranking in Nigeria in 2021 and 2022. We hosted the first-ever Gombe State investment summit. Work is ongoing at the 1000-hectare Muhammadu Buhari Industrial Park, where we are offering prospective investors incentives to invest in Gombe State".
In the are of job creation and economic empowerment, the Governor said his administration is working with private sector partners to create jobs, upskill the youths, and provide enabling environment for business growth.

He however emphasised the need to partner with the USG partners to develop and implement programmes that can create jobs and equip the  youths with the skills and expertise to succeed in a 21st century world.

 The Governor expressed the hope that the fallout from the meeting will foster meaningful collaboration and partnership between the Gombe State Government and the United United States of America. 

On his part,  the US Ambassador ad Interim,  lauded the Governor for exhibiting visionary disposition, assuring of his country's readiness to work with Gombe State in areas of mutual interest and benefit. 

He also assured that they would be interested in having collaborative discussion with the Northern Governors' Forum chaired by Governor Inuwa Yahaya as soon as the embassy settles its internal change. 

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