Since the independence of Nigeria in the 1960 till date, what can you say has changed?
Dr. Ikrama: I think everything has changed in Nigeria from 1960 till date. In 1960 Nigeria’s population was about 45 million and now we have about 200 million or so. If you look at all facets of life , there has been remarkable improvement. In the education sector, when we got independence, Nigeria had only one university but now every state in the country has at least one federal university, state university and other tertiary institutions.
Look at roads, communication and every sector, you will say Nigeria has improved. I think we have a lot of things that we have achieved. There are things we would like to achieve which we have not achieved but there is room for improvement.
Let’s talk about the present government, What would you say the government is doing?
Dr. Ikrama: I think the present administration is doing well. The government came when Nigeria was already in a recession. So, the plan at that time the government needed to bring us out of the ditch and it has done that. This administration has tried indeed.
In terms of the economy, you don’t do magic with national economy but I will give the government a passed mark at least.
Nasarawa is now 24, from creation till now, what has changed?
Dr. Ikrama: Before we became a state, there was what we call rural towns even Lafia. Before 1996 if you wanted to go to school you had to go to Unijos and others but now we have 2 universities and every local government has a general hospital and some have even two.
The present government in the state has an operation platform, what can you say about the state development so far?
Dr. Ikrama: I think the government has started on a solid footing. This government has an economic blueprint of NEDS that is well spelt out. Secondly, is the issue of continuity which is not the case in other places. This government is on the right track and it’s ensuring that it maintains frugality. The governor has lieutenants that are willing to work with him.
Let’s look at COVID-19 pandemic, how do you see the situation in dealing with it?
With regards to COVID-19, Nasarawa State is one of the most active States in dealing with COVID-19. When COVID-19 came a lot of training were done and our staff too trained other health workers across general hospitals in the state.
The government brought state-of-the-art medical facilities and isolation centres for COVID-19 fully functional with adequate manpower to manage the scourge.
I think the government has supported us and we can just say thank you to Nasarawa State Government.
In few words, what do you think is the future of Nigeria and Nasarawa State?
Dr. Ikrama: I am very optimistic that the future of the country is bright with the current crop of leadership. Specifically, let me speak about Nasarawa State, our governor, to me he will be more comfortable not being a governor but because he wants to give back to the society, he had to come back from the U.S. to man big organizations and was able to make it out. So, with this commitment from the crop of leadership, the future will be bright.