President Muhammadu Buhari has officially opened the Federal Secretariat in Lafia, Nasarawa State, naming the building after Justice Sidi Bage, a retired justice of the Supreme Court and the emir of Lafia. The Federal Secretariat is located on 10.9 hectares of land.
According to the NAN, the late Maimuna Katai, another distinguished state citizen, was honoured by having the Conference Room at the Secretariat given her name.
The two natives of Nasarawa State, Bage and Katai, were honoured for their outstanding contributions to the advancement of the country.
The president opened the Agricultural Machinery and Equipment Development Institute of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure before addressing the APC presidential campaign rally in Lafia Square (NASENI).
Before honouring the Emir of Lafia, he also opened the Sadami Street road, which was built by the Nasarawa State Government.
Buhari praised the distinguished traditional leader for always making him feel welcome in his palace and said he had lost count of the number of such cordial visits over the previous eight years.
Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the party's nominee for president, Sen. Kashim Shettima, Senate President Ahmed Lawan, APC National Chairman Abdullahi Adamu, APC Governors, and other party heavyweights were present when Buhari took office.
‘‘Thank you very much Your Highness for the affection Lafia and the entire people of Nasarawa State have shown to me always.
‘‘I congratulate you on the rapid transformation of the city. Once more, I wish to express my gratitude and appreciation for the hospitality I have always enjoyed during my visits,’’ the president wrote in the visitors’ book.
The NASENI Institute would revolutionise agricultural output in the nation, according to Nasarawa State Governor Abdullahi Sule, who praised the president for launching the programmes at the federal and state levels.
He also praised the president's support for improved security, access to healthcare, and education in the state, noting that the other four students who had been recently abducted in the Doma Local Government Area's Alwaza hamlet had been freed.
"We didn’t pay any ransom for their safe return,’’ the governor said.
Sule stated that the President would publicly launch the 2.2 kilometre Loko-Oweto Bridge and link highways between the states of Benue and Nasarawa in March.
The governor praised the Federal Government's dedication to infrastructure improvement and hailed the Oweto and 2nd Nigeria bridges as landmark projects that would support Nigeria's economic growth.
The president was congratulated by the emir of Lafia for designating the Federal Secretariat in his honour and for his unwavering commitment to the advancement of the State.
The retired Supreme Court Justice has this to say about Tinubu:
"I have known him for many years since my days in Lagos State at the Court of Appeal, we saw what he did, his transformational agenda in the State.
"We are waiting for that for our nation. We know you can do it, you have the capacity to transform this nation."
The president was informed that the building was constructed in six months earlier at the Agricultural Institute by Prof. Mohammed Sani, Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive of NASENI.
He went on a tour of the Lafia Institute, which has state-of-the-art labs and equipment for mechanised farming and agricultural development.
One for each of the nation's six geopolitical zones, the president had given his approval for the creation of the Agricultural Machinery and Equipment Development Institutes.
Babatunde Fashola, the Minister of Works and Housing, thanked the National Assembly, the State Government, and the President for their assistance in making the project a reality at the Federal Secretariat.
According to verified data from the Ministry of Works and Housing, M/S Falpins Nigeria Limited was given the project contract on December 9, 2011, for the initial price of N2.3 billion.
The price was changed to N3.1 billion in August 2020, and on September 8, 2022, it was "practically completed" and turned over to the Ministry.
When it opens, the Secretariat will have room for more than 2000 employees from a number of Ministries, Departments, and Agencies who have already expressed interest in relocating there.
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