Heavy-duty machines and construction sites can be seen at different locations executing different projects, including road construction, drainages, schools, water projects, etc, depicting an apparent testimony of benefiting from the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
During a visit to the town, our correspondent discovered that there is hardly any federal ministry that is not executing a project in the town. Power, Housing, Works, Transport, Health, Education and other ministries have projects that are classified as Special Projects Unit (SPU) as displayed in various locations in the town.
Aside the federal projects massively being carried out across the town and neighbouring villages, friends and associates of the president have undertaken some projects that are adding value to the people’s lives.
Some key projects
There is an ongoing massive construction of township roads and drainages totaling about 40km across the city. Four contractors are executing the projects. A ring road of 80-90km is about to commence. During the first tenure of the Buhari administration, 21km of drainages and waterways were constructed.
The building of schools for people with special needs has begun at the cost of N500m. The Federal Polytechnic, Daura is expected to take off in January 2020 at its temporary site. 100 hectares of land has been provided for the permanent site.
The proposed Federal University of Transportation has been alloted 6,000 hectares and the project is to commence any moment from now.
Already completed and being put to use is the multi-million naira Nigerian Air Force referral hospital equipped with state-of-the-art equipment. The Air Force has set up a response air wing just as the Nigerian Army has established a base in the town.
Others are the upgrade and expansion of the town’s mini stadium at the cost of N259m and the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) N84m centre that just graduated its first set of 100 students trained in various trades and skills.
There is also a skills acquisition centre that has been completed but is yet to be commissioned under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) programme along Zango road.
The first lady, Aisha Buhari, is also supporting her husband’s town to develop. She has built a 50-bed maternity center at the town’s general hospital, besides setting up empowerment programs for women and the less privileged.
A helipad was constructed in the town, just as the 27-year-old once abandoned Sabke Dam has been completed and is presently supplying 1m litres of water to Daura and neighbouring communities. Many SDG 2018 school projects have been completed and already put to use.
A 73km 132 KVA line was constructed from Katsina to Daura, in addition to the commissioning of two 30 and 40 MVA transformers to boost power supply in the town.
Projects in the pipeline include the railway line and the dualisation of the 72km Daura-Katsina road.
The state government is also supporting the town’s infrastructure transformation. To boost tourism and support the massive influx of guests to the town, the state government-owned Daura Motel was upgraded and expanded at the cost of about N450m. Roads already constructed include the 92km Fago-Katsayal-Kwarasawa-Jirdere-Koza to Kawanar Sabke road, and the Sandamu-Baure road.
Private interventions in the town include the e-library built by Chief Emeka Offor, while the Jack-Rich Tein Foundation in a joint venture with the NNPC and Belema Oil constructed a 400,000 litres capacity solar-powered water system in the town. Aliko Dangote is also spending N100m on the town’s mosque.
We want more – residents
Even with the massive transformation, Daura still has challenges such as the large number of unemployed youths and inadequate power supply. The recent closure of land borders has compounded its woes as hundreds of youths who were ferrying smuggled items across the border are now idle and posing security threats to the community.
Power supply has always been a source of concern to residents, though several power projects are currently going on with some already completed.
Only recently, the residents complained to the president during his sallah visit that they get 24-hour electricity only when he is around, which they said was crippling economic activities.
A cross-section of residents spoken to believe that in as much as they appreciate the ongoing developments in the town, there are still areas that when addressed Daura could be better off, especially the establishment of industries and companies that can engage the teeming unemployed youths.
Bashar Hassan said: “If you look at the whole town, hardly can you see any industry or a large company operating, we have vast agricultural lands that such companies can use to further boost our strength.”
The chairman of Daura Emirate Development Association, Aliyu Daura, said: “As far as we are concerned, we are grateful with all these developments coming our way, but people’s belief that they must get cash is uncalled for, it’s development we want and we want these things to spread to Katsina as well, it’s an opportunity we have.”
On the town’s needs, Aliyu said: “We want a dual carriage way from Daura to Kongolom, it’s a chance before us, if Buhari leaves, no one will do it for us, we should do away with our personal interests and seek development.
“The border closure is of two things, people that are smugglers within us will not be happy with it, but in a situation that some of us that have travelled wide observed that no country allows food into it. Let’s bear the consequences which is just for a while, there is wisdom in the closure.”
On power, Aliyu said: “I was among those that went to TCN in Abuja, where we met Dr. Guru and expressed our grievances and concerns, he told us that they were having issues in Kano. This problem of power is not only in Daura, even Katsina, Sokoto, it’s a national issue.”
Another resident, Buhari Mohammed said: “The poverty level among residents is alarming and must be looked at holistically. Yes, we have got hospitals and other things coming up like schools but people should understand that it is not meant only for Daura people, especially appointments into them.
“We may get an upper hand when lower cadre jobs are open for grabs but the few that will get the jobs cannot remove the town from the depth of poverty.”
Another resident, Abdullahi Abdulkadir, said, “My worst fear is the rate of crime that may engulf our town after the youths are out of the smuggling business. They will end up attacking us with crimes, my take is for government to please as a matter of urgency get them something else to engage them before they fall on us.”