The Oasis Reporters
October 17, 2018
While many state governments find it extremely difficult to off set accumulated workers salaries, it was a matter of curiosity to discover that in the north east state of Gombe, Gov. Ibrahim Dankwambo was flagging off an ambitious 51 roads construction project that has just commenced and would last till the end of the regime’s tenure on May 29, 2019. This is in keeping with his campaign promise that he did not neglect to fulfill.
The question we sought to get answers for was to know what was behind Dankwambo’s upbeat mood at a time that another counterpart of his in Osun State was looking crestfallen and downcast for before he leaves office, State government workers in Osun would still have outstanding salaries of almost one year unpaid with virtually no hope of any new project initiated .
Special Assistant to Gombe State governor, Dr. Ibrahim Dankwambo on New Media, Mr. Abu-Ubaida Ibrahim Kuna gave us one of the high points of forward-looking leadership for which Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo of Gombe state would definitely be remembered for after his tenure, “outstanding prudence is the key”, he said. He went on to add that Governor Dankwambo has shown keenness in making the state economically independent and buoyant”.
In Dr. Dankwambo’s seven years and five months in office so far, revenue generation has risen dramatically while also ensuring that the debt profile he inherited was reduced drastically to a manageable level.
An accountant by training with impressive academic laurels garnered over the years from highly reputable institutions like Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, University of Lagos, Delta State University, Abraka and Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State, his strong erudition in the various economic policies he introduced cannot be faulted as the results are self evident, “a huge leap in the internally generated revenue of the state”, according to the Special Assistant on New Media, Abu Ubaida Ibrahim Kuna in Gombe.
In 2011 when Dr. Dankwambo assumed office, internally generated revenue accruals to the state coffers of the largely rural state then was practically zero, added to the overhanging crippling debt burden. The reliance was only on federal oil revenue allocation from the center.
The governor changed all that and turned Gombe into a hub of enterprise within seven years such that “by recent ratings, Gombe’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) is at 79.24% when compared to Ogun state whose IGR growth rate is 2.54% or oil rich Rivers State’s 4.92%.
In the North, Gombe ranks among the states with the highest IGR percentage, compared to Kaduna with 55.59%, Katsina with 8.73%, Kogi with 17.51%, Kwara with 13.82%, Yobe with 11.02%, Zamfara with 26.10% and Niger with 10.82%”.
“Even Lagos, with all its industrial and cosmopolitan might has an average of 10.43%!
Despite Gombe State’s peculiarities and limitations, it’s IGR profile is almost 80%.
Again, the above statistics are impeccable because they are sourced from respected organizations like the Debt Management Office, DMO, NBS and BudgIT”, noted Abu Ubaida Ibrahim Kuna.
He went on to add that unlike a majority of the states, “Gombe State has one of the lowest external debt growth rates in the country”, and this is as a result of the financial acumen of Dr. Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo who in seven years and a five months, has turned Gombe into a land of economic promise and has revolutionized the state’s revenue generating machine to the extent of transforming a zero income profile when he came in to one that by 2017 was confirmed by reputable financial institutions, including statistics bureaus, as one having an impressive monthly IGR portfolio running into hundreds of millions turning the state into an investment viable entity despite being landlocked with no crude oil assets unlike the south south states.”
“Gombe State maintains a clean sheet of outstanding financial records and all projection points to steady economic progress in spite of the limited resources available.
This feat is not a pseudo analysis of Governor Dankwambo’s resolve to bring succor to the good people of Gombe state but one that attests to the fact that indeed, ‘When there is will, there is a way’.
Dankwambo has always exemplified his commitment to this right course at any given opportunity through fresh innovations within the ambit of the law and tenable stewardship.
In reality, it would be unfair to compare the financial base of Gombe which currently has 11 LGA and does not enjoy as much funds accruable from the nation’s oil wealth as enjoyed by oil rich states such as Bayelsa, Delta, Akwa Ibom or the kind of economic advantages enjoyed by buoyant states like highly industrialized Lagos, a former Federal Capital Territory.
Despite its economic disadvantages however, Gombe remains unbowed, creating an oasis of revenue generation” concluding the fact finding interview from Gombe State.
With the Gombe experience, it is obvious that being economically savvy rescues a state from the depths of poverty to heights of economic buoyancy, huge lessons that many states in other parts of Nigeria needs to learn from.