Today, marks the first year that Hon. Dr. Josephat Emeka was sworn in as the Executive Chairman of Bekwarra Local Government Area. It has been a story of joy, tears, victory, losses and also a tale of guts, trials and glory. In the course of service so far, the Council Boss have experienced loyalty, betrayal and even seen deaths.
When he took the Oath of Office on the 2nd of June 2020, he stated that he has come with the right vision to turn around things in Bekwarra Council by adopting strategic methods; including public private partnership initiatives to attract investment, generate employment and create wealth in Bekwarra. All he ever wanted for Bekwarra was to see it among the greatest areas in the entire 774 LGAs in the country.
For effective leadership, dedication to duties and performance, upon resumption of office, the Chairman, immediately undertook an on the spot assessment tour of the ten Wards in Bekwarra. lndeed, these land mark tour did not only depict the essence of the local government administration, but it brought excitement to the heart of the people because of the remarkable effect it had on them.
The Council Boss repaired to full working condition, abandoned two Council Toyota Hilux to ease the movement of council officials.
As It is often said that "Health is wealth", the administration invested in Primary Health Care to cater for health related needs and enhance socio-economic lives of the people. In line with the above, the council has revamped, renovated and Commissioned Two Health Posts at Anyikang-Iye and Beten. The one at Anyikang-Iye has been fully upgraded to a Health Center; providing primary health care services to the people.
The administration built and commissioned two functional bore-holes to provide clean and portable drinking water to the populace. This was done in collaboration with the Community Service Development Project (CSDP).
Under his able leadership, there's massive improvement in healthcare services and Bekwarra is now ranked first in terms of quality primary health care service delivery in Cross River State and an Award presented to the Director of Primary Health Care Bekwarra Local Government Council to that effect.
The Council Boss also repaired to full working condition the abandoned Primary Health Care Ambulance vehicle and it is now in use.
In collaboration with his team, The Chairman have been able to get 85% of staff to be punctual and at their various duty post till the close of work. This wasn't so before his resumption of office were you could find only about 3% of the staff present.
Through the intervention of the Council Boss and in collaboration with BorderCom, Bekwarra LGA has been captured into the survey plan of the state government for border communities. Considerable success has been recorded as he also supported the communities with funds to enable them benefit from the state government blue print for border communities in the state. This is for the purpose of boundaries and community development, through assessment and intervention.
The Council Boss successfully hosted a consultative assembly of Bekwarra Traditional Rulers, where topical traditional issues concerning Bekwarra were effectively discussed for the growth and development of the local government.
The 2020 Bekwarra New Yam Festival and cultural celebration was a milestone as the Council Boss demonstrated unequalled love and care by providing Ten Cows to the ten council wards for the occasion. This was followed with cash donations to enable the Bekwarra people celebrate with ease.
The Council Gaffer restored normalcy along Bekwarra- katsina -Ala highway. The blockade of the highway by "Illegal Produce Operators" causing untold hardship to commuters and road users plying the highway is now a thing of the past. Road blocks, indiscriminate and unlawful collection of funds by toll collectors also has been called to order.
Promotion of sports development, unity and cohesion amongst the Bekwarra people. This was evident during the Chairman's Cup as cash prizes and trophies were presented to participating teams in the competition in the 2020 Chairman's New Yam football competition across the ten council wards of Bekwarra LGA. The Chairman equally revived Bekwarra United Football Club and sponsored their participation in the 2020 Governor's Cup.
He facilitated Covid-19 sensitization and awareness campaign across the LGA and distribution of nose masks and hand sanitizers to residents of the LGA.
Currently, the Council Boss has initiated a deal with the Bank of Industries (BOI) for loans for Bekwarra Sons and Daughters who have one skill or the other. The idea according to him is also aimed at human capital development, self empowerment, growth and economic sustainability.
The Council Boss empowered some Bekwarra people with capital of N50, 000 each to start and improve on any mini business of their choice.
Planting and beautification of the council was undertaken by the Council Boss. Construction of a drainage system and trees blocking the main entrance of the political block at the council Secretariat has been uprooted to pave way for easy access to the Block
Construction of entrance gate for the council at the Administrative and Political block which is now giving the coucil a more deserving look.
Renovation of dilapidated office toilets and construction of new ones within the Council Secretariat that were left in shambles.
Revalidation of authorized council number plates which has been in the possession of unauthorized persons has also been enforced at the instance of the Council Boss.
The administration's efforts have also yielded fruit as efforts geared towards the establishment of Bekwarra Innovative and Technology Academy (BITA). It is a Public Private Partnership (PPP) with ongoing discussion with NBTE. When fully operational, the Academy will produce time tested graduates in Information and Communications Technology for the emerging market.
The Chairman have also embarked on the renovation and replacement of office doors and windows in both the Legislative and Political block, acquisition of more office tables and chairs to enbale staff discharge their duties efficiently.
The Chairman sponsored the construction of two boreholes at the Administrative and Political block respectively. This is to provide water for staff members and the council community
He facilitated in partnership with the National Agency for the Control of Aids (NACA) for a robust and all involving health awareness campaign and sensitization of communities on HIV/AIDs and other communicable diseases.
In collaboration with the leadership of Christian Association of Nigeria ( CAN) Bekwarra Chapter, the Chairman has ensured relative improvement in the Christian lives and ethics of staff through periodic solemn assembly and the formation of a standard fellowship for all staff, holding every Wednesday from 8-9am.
The Chairman within the year under review ensured equitable distribution of palliatives to Bekwarra people, including the Hausa/Fulani and Igbo communities. This according to him was aimed at cushioning and alleviating the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on the people.
The Chairman also donated a brand new power generating set to Abuochiche community to enable them access portable and regular water supply.
The Chairman also during his one year in office, embarked on a routine visitation to Primary Schools across the 10 wards in Bekwarra where he gave scholarships to some pupils, distributed writing materials (books, pen and pencils), sandals, chairs etc. St. Christopher's Primary School Abuochiche, St. Edward Primary School Nyanya Ulim, Community Primary School Otukpuru Afaa, St. Sylvester's Primary School Ububa Iye, St. David's Primary School Ochagbe and St. Ignatius Primary School Afrike Okpeche are amongs schools visited so far.
In a quest to identify the plights of the people and alleviate them by bringing succor to those who needs it most. The Chairman, through the Firstlady, distributed gifts items such as rice, salts, clothing materials amongst several others to women across the ten political wards in Bekwarra and the Igbo community as well.
The Chairman through the Firstlady, successfully organized a maiden and premier edition of Christmas party for Children, orphans, less privileged and special people in Bekwarra.
During the 2020 yuletide season, the Council Boss embarked on a visit to Orphanage homes and Hospitals, and provided welfare for the less privileged, paid hospital bills in part and in full for some recovered patients who could not afford to pall their bills within the local government and beyond.
Celebrates 2021 Armed Forces Remeberance Day on January 15, in Bekwarra where he used the opportunity to commend all the ex-service men in Bekwarra of their high sense of discipline in their various communities despite the monumental challenges facing them.
Granting scholarships to some Bekwarra students in various tertiary institutions across the Country.
Donation of wheelchairs and sewing machines to some vunerable and special people within the local government.
Recipient of the Youth Leadership Forum Exemplary Family Award which was in recognition of his Outstanding Performance and Contribution towards Youth Development and Capacity Building in Cross River State
Sponsoring the celebration of the 2021 International Day of People with Disabilities. A gesture that is unprecedented in Bekwarra Local Government Area.
Construction of a new Notice Board at the political block there by pitting an end to the defacing of the block with notices and press releases.
Empowered Youths and Special People on Skills Acquisition and Vocational Training Programs. The Council Boss while inaugurating the 2nd Batch of beneficiaries reiterated that the best thing that can happen to anyone in need of jobs and source of livelihood is to acquire skills that will bring succor and hope of sustainable engagement for regular income.
As Napoleon will have it that: “Give me good mothers and I will give you a good nation" The administration did not leave the women behind as both the International Women's Day and Easter were celebrated with them and women included in all policies, programs and interventions of the administration.
Also the administration within the year under review, resucitated the Women Development and Skills Acquisition Centre in the local government that has been shutdown and abandoned for ages back to full functionality.
In collaboration with relevant authorities, the Council Boss ensured the reopening of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) enrollment office in the Secretariat. This was to ease the plight of the Bekwarra people that have been encountering several challenges in accessing enrollment centres with the neighboring Council Areas
Recepient of the prestigious and meritorious Rootswatch National Award as one of the best performing Chairmen on the Distinguished Local Government Chairmen & Nigerian Democratic Piller which was in recognition of his sterling and quality performance on human capacity building, manpower efficiency and infrastructural development, accountability, welfare of the aged and women, health services, youth empowerment, education and for been able to steadily turnaround the fortunes of Bekwarra Local Government Council and beyond.
The Council Boss was also honoured with an Award of Excellence from the Nigerian Association of Agricultural Students (NAAS), University of Abuja Chapter in recognition of his outstanding contributions towards the growth of students in Bekwarra Local Government Area.
Inspite of limited resources, the Council Boss went extra mile to ensure Bekwarra Youths celebrates the 2021 Children's Day. Writing materials, souvenir bags, and water bottles were distributed to schools accross the repectives wards in the local government.
The Council Boss sponsored the celebration of the 28th World Menstrual Hygiene Day, the first of its kind in Bekwarra. The day is set aside as an advocacy platform aimed at breaking the silence, raises awareness and changes negative social norms and stigma around Menstrual Health and Hygiene. As part of the event, sanitary materials and souvenirs were distributed to girls across selected Secondary Schools in Bekwarra.
However, although some may have their reservation, huge successes have been recorded in all ramifications in just one year, the promise remained sure. The Chairman on his part, have proven that he will not falter or stand down but continue on the progressive path to liberate the people of Bekwarra (both indigenes and residents) from the shackles of illiteracy, backwardness and poverty.
We shall continually operate an open and transparent administration accountable to the people we serve.
Bekwarra shall be great again and we shall succeed.
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