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Wither the interim common services agency? – Part 2


Yakubu Gowon during his leadership. Photo: Naij

Continued from yesterday

I do not know when last the Governors of Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Bayelsa, Imo, Ebonyi, Enugu, Abia, Cross River and Anambra states met to discuss on ESIALA. I do not know what happened to those properties and assets seized by General Gowon in 1967 on behalf of the Federal Government.

The governors should meet to discuss this issue for they are part of the legacy of the old eastern region. Some of these properties are still standing in London till today. The Premiers of the Old Eastern Nigeria, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe (16 November 1904 – 11 May 1996), GCFR and Dr. Michael Okpara and their political party, NCNC, laboured so hard to establish the properties and institutions listed above. Something needs to be done on ESIALA today. Apart from political party affiliation, the PDP, I do not think there is a platform that unites the old Eastern Nigeria together again. That should not be so. The spirit of the old Eastern Region should not be allowed to die. The old Eastern Region was the envy of the rest of the country years ago.


The Interim Common Services Agency (ICSA) was established when six new states in the old Northern Region, were created by decree No 9 of May 27, 1967 by General Yakubu Gowon. It was through that decree that he created twelve states in the country out of the four regions in Nigeria. Specifically he created six states out of Northern Region namely North Western state made up of Niger and Sokoto, North Eastern state made up of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno and Sardauna, North Central state made up of Katsina, Zaria and Kaduna. Kwara state made up of Ilorin and Kabba, Kano state made up of Kano Emirates, Benue/Plateau state made up of Benue and Plateau areas.

In setting up the Agency, General Gowon appointed General Hassan Usman Katsina (31 March 1933-July 24, 1996) as the Chairman. General Katsina was the son of the Emir of Katsina, Alhaji Usman Nagogo.

General Katsina had earlier served as the Military Governor of the Northern Region. General Gowon then appointed the following as Military Governors. Kwara state-Colonel Femi David Lasisi Bamigboye (1940-2018), Kano state-Police Commissioner Audu Bako (1924-1980), North Eastern state, Brigadier Musa Usman (1940-1991), North Central state- Brigadier Abba Kyari (1930-2018), Benue-Plateau state-Police Commissioner Joseph Dechi Gomwalk (1935-1976) and North Western, Assistant Police Commissioner Usman Farouk (86). General Gowon ruled that “this decree may be cited as the Interim Common Services Agency Decree 1968 and shall continue in force for a period of two years and unless sooner extended by the Head of the Federal Military Government (by order) if he thinks fit for a period not exceeding at any one time, one year, it shall then expire”. Section 1 of the States (Creation and Transitional Provisions) (Amendment) (No. 2) Decree 1967 shall, be construed as if in respect of the former territory of Northern Nigeria, the references to vesting of property to that former territory were references to vesting of property in the states under the Interim Common Services Agency Decree 1968 and references to a council in the Decree of 1967 aforesaid in respect of that former territory were references to the agency under the Decree of 1968 aforesaid.


The following amendments consequential on this Decree shall have effect, that is to say,- (a) references in the Interim Administrative Councils Decree 1967 shall however worded be construed in respect of the states under this Decree (but not otherwise) as references to “the agency under this Decree; (b) for all words in section 1 (1) (a) of the Decree aforesaid after the words “Northern Region” up to the end of the paragraph, there shall be substituted the words “an agency, the members of which shall be appointed under the Interim Common Services Agency Decree 1968”; (c) section 1 (2) to (6) of the Decree aforesaid shall cease to apply in respect of the states under this Decree (8) The Interim Administrative Councils (Amendment) (No. 2) Decree 1967 is hereby repealed.

General Gowon then listed the properties owned by the Interim Agency. They are Advanced Teachers Training College, Kano and Zaria, Agricultural Field Surveys, Development of Agricultural Mechanical Technique Unit, Forestry School, Jos, Government Press, Kaduna, High Courts, Industrial Development Centre, Samaru, Land Use Surveys, Leprosy School, Zaria, Mechanical Workshops, Kaduna and Jos, Native Authority Wing of Northern Police College, Office of Adviser on Community Development, Office of Legal Draftsman, Overseas commitments outstanding in respect of in-service training, Road Surveys, Savannah Area Surveys, Scholarship outstanding, Sharia Court of Appeal, Small Industries Credit Organisation, Smallpox and Measles Campaign, Study Group set up in respect of Native Authorities Loans Authority and Native Authorities’ Pension Fund, Survey Services and records, Valuation Unit and Water Supplies Depot, Kaduna, Agricultural Extension Research Liaison Service, Samaturu, Community Nurses Training School, Kaduna, Dispensaries, Kaduna, Samaru and Zaria.


General Kaduna, General Hospital, Malumfashi, General Zaria, Hospital Training Schools for Midwives, Kaduna,  Hospital Training for Nurses Kaduna and Zaria, Livestock Services Training Centre, Kaduna, Medical Auxiliaries Training School, Kaduna; Nurses Training Schools, Kaduna md Kano, Nursing Home, Kaduna, Orthopedic Hospital, Kano, Pathological Laboratory, Kaduna, School of Hygiene, Kano, School of Pharmacy, Zaria, School of Agriculture, Kabba and Samaru, Community Development Institute, Co-operative Training Centre, Zaria, Irrigation School Sokoto, Local Government Training Centre Zaria, Polytechnic Kaduna, Social Welfare Training Centre, Zaria, Staff Development Centre, Kaduna,  Ahmadu Bello University, livestock and Meat Authority, Native Authorities Loans Authority, Northern Nigeria Housing Corporation, Northern Nigeria Marketing Board, Northern Nigeria Radio Corporation, Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Hides, Skins and Leather Project, Laboratory Investigation Service, Locust Control, Meat Inspection (other than the inspection of meat for consumption in Nigeria), Motor Licensing (other than in respect of Benue/Plateau State), Quelas Birds Control, Schools Broadcasting, Trypanosomiasis and Sleeping Sickness Control, Soil Conversation projects other than local soil conservation schemes, Vehicle Inspection (other than in respect of Benue/Plateau State), Bank of the North and the New Nigeria Development Company Limited (NNDC).

To be continued tomorrow.


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