Zulum tops list of 10 best serving Governors in Nigeria

May 12, 2022

19.3 min readCategories: News

Starnews Nigeria brings to your reach one of the most sought Power Rankings of the top best serving governors in Nigeria.

It is expedient to note that this Power Ranking is devoid of Political Sentiment and Ethnic Nepotism.

1. Babagana Umara Zulum (born August 25, 1969) is a Nigerian professor and politician. He is the serving Governor of Borno State in the 2019 Governorship election under the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC).


Governor Zulum for you! A man popularly dubbed “Governor Workaholic” in his first year in office had undergone 375 projects. This means in 365 days, he did an average of a project per day.

Governor Babagana Umara Zulum was lauded by The Shehu of Borno State, members of the State and National Assembly and security heads for undertaking 556 projects in two years – an achievement no governor has ever recorded since the return of democracy in 1999. 556 projects in two years are not only laudable but unprecedented.

In Rural/ Urban Development, His Excellency, Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum, clearly showed his committed resolve to build Borno State of our dream, as he yet embarked on massive construction of over 6000 housing units, installed litany of electrification and transformers on notably rural communities across the LGAs.

Governor Zulum established the Agency for Sustainable Development and Humanitarian Response with the mandate of coordinating activities of non-governmental organisations, among many other interventions rendered in the area of humanitarian support and social protection.

Vanguard Newspaper reports that in education, within one year in office, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum undertook 76 capital projects. He created and built 21 primaries, and secondary and sub-tertiary schools in 13 local government areas. These include a new 60-classroom mega primary school at Njimtilo; 30-classroom mega school at Ajilari Cross, another at Abuja-Sheraton community; yet another in Askira.

In his first year, Professor Babagana Zulum accorded greater priority to primary healthcare at the grassroots level. In that sector, Zulum undertook 46 projects, from which 37 new primary healthcare centres, PHCs, were established in 17 local government areas. Zulum reconstructed two primary healthcare centres in Tungushe and Walama and rehabilitated the state’s Psychiatric and Skin Disease hospitals. Zulum rehabilitated two hospitals in Rann and Lassa; and upgraded Biu General Hospital to a specialist level. The Umaru Shehu Specialist Hospital was also remodelled. Zulum also established and funded a Contributory Healthcare Scheme to increase access to quality and affordable healthcare services by the people of Borno State.

In one year, the administration of Zulum drilled no fewer than 213 new boreholes alongside distribution lines in 17 local government areas and also rehabilitated 122 dysfunctional boreholes in Jere, Konduga and MMC. He also approved the maintenance of 204 existing boreholes within Maiduguri and Jere. This brings to 539 boreholes in 26 LGAs, all of which were collapsed under 25 projects. At different times, Zulum undertook 13 other projects maintaining underground reservoirs, low-cost estate, Alau Raw Water Facility and above all, the Maiduguri Water Treatment Plant, for the benefit of Borno’s multi-ethnic residents.

Zulum increased the monthly allowances of volunteers in the civilian JTF, hunters and vigilantes were increased while over 700 vehicles and other logistics were needed to enhance their operational roles of complementing armed forces in fighting Boko Haram. Zulum is on the list of the first Governor in Nigeria that implemented the new N30,000 minimum wage and also the first Governor in Nigeria to release N12b to be paid for the retired civil servants in Borno who were dying in excruciating poverty over unpaid retirement benefits.

2. Benedict Bengioushuye Ayade (born 2 March 1968) is a Nigerian politician and the current governor of Cross River State from 2015 to date. He ran successfully for the office of governor in April 2015 on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Before that, he was a member of the 7th Senate of Nigeria. He was re-elected as the governor of Cross River State in the 2019 gubernatorial elections. Ayade, on Thursday, May 20, 2021, announced his defection to All Progressives Congress (APC) in Calabar, the capital of the State, and was received by Yobe State Governor and APC caretaker Committee Chair, Mai Mala Buni.


Gov. Ben Ayade invested so much in the economical aspect of the state, he built numerous factories. Namely:

1. Rice Seeds and Seedlings Factory, Calaba.
2. Cross River Garment Factory, Calabar.
3. Instant Noodles Factory, Calabar.
4. Feed Mill, Calabar.
5. 24000 per day Frozen Chicken Factory, Calaba.
6. Toothpick Factory, Ekori, Yakurr.
7. Cocoa Processing Factory, Ikom.
8. Calabar Pharmaceutical Factory.
9. Nigeria’s first vitamins rice mill, Ogoja.
10. Piles and Pylon Factory, Akamkpa.
11. Roofing Tiles Factory, Yala.
12. Teachers Continuous Training College, Biase.
13. British-Canadian School, Obudu.
14. Bio-fertilizer Factory, Calabar.
15. Over 100km of 145km dual carriage Mfom-Okpoma-Bekwarra-Obudu-Obanliku highway completed. Remaining 23km of the Yala axis to be completed this dry season. This is the biggest single road project by any state in Nigeria.
16. Ongoing Dualisation of Calabar-Odukpani.
17. Ongoing construction of Boki East-West road.
18. Ultra-modern housing estate for Bakassi returnees.
19. Ongoing Construction of Obudu International Airport.
20. 1300 schools enjoy comprehensive rehabilitation.
21. Groundnut Oil Factory, Bekwarra (80% completed)
22. Ongoing construction of referral hospitals in Obudu and Akpabuyo.

Others include:

23. Recruitment of 2500 teachers and 2500 civil servants after lifting 30yr-old embargo on employment into civil service.

24. Increase of monthly subvention to Cross River University of Technology (CRUTECH) from N165 million to N215 million.

25. Tax exemption for low-income earners in the state.

26. 23Mega watt power plant along parliamentary road currently used for street lights while awaiting PHED’s order to evacuate power to Calabar Metropolis.

3. Aminu Bello Masari (born 29 May 1950) is a Nigerian politician and current Governor of Katsina State. He was the Commissioner for Works, housing and transport in Katsina state from 1991 to 1993. He was the speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives between 2003 and 2007. Masari hails from Masari village of Kafur local government, Katsina State.


The education sector under his administration witnessed a holistic revolution in the areas of infrastructure development, staff employment, and capacity building of teaching and non-teaching staff. In the Basic Education Sub Sector, his administration has constructed and rehabilitated over 2,294 classrooms, and 1,334 offices and stores were renovated. The government has given much attention to the payment of WAEC, NECO, NABTEB and NBAIS and Scholarship payments to its indigenes studying various accredited courses in higher institutions of learning within and outside the country.

The Masari administration has constructed 515 kilometres of roads in the three senatorial districts as well as 39 rural feeder roads with a total length of 461 kilometres across the 34 local government areas of the state, Similarly, the revolving and proactive steps being explored by Masari had drastically stemmed the effects of flooding and other environmental challenges on residents, property and businesses in the state. He constructed flood and erosion control structures in 122 sites, covering over 150 communities across the state.

These projects include 88,537m of combined reinforced concrete line, block line and masonry line drainages; 1,910m of retaining wall; 360m length of drift; 104 culverts and 1,550m of an embankment. In the state capital, 21,139m of combined concrete line, block line and masonry line drainages, as well as 24 box culverts were also provided. These interventions in the metropolis enabled residents of Kofar Kaura, Sabuwar Unguwa and Kofar Kwaya to ply their roads during the rainy season.

The present administration also embarked on several projects and programmes to revamp the healthcare system in the state. Notable among the projects are the rehabilitation, upgrading and remodelling of General Hospitals of Daura, Katsina, Funtua, Musawa, Kankia, Malumfashi, Baure and Dutsin-man and the construction of a Special Eye Centre at General Amadi Rimi Specialist Hospital.

Agriculture being the mainstay of the state economy has been adequately given the desired attention by the Masari-administration. Also, its efforts in the water sector which involves the renovation and expansion of Ajiwa Dam and numerable others across the state had drastically tackled water-borne diseases such as diarrhoea, dysentery, typhoid and polio which hitherto bedevilled citizens of the state due to negligence by successful past administrations.

4. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu (born June 25, 1965) is a Nigerian politician and the current Governor of Lagos State. He became governor under the platform of the All Progressives Congress after contesting and unexpectedly winning the gubernatorial primaries under the All Progressives Congress against incumbent Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State in October 2019. He is a graduate of the University of Lagos, as well as the London Business School, Lagos Business School and the John F. Kennedy School of Government. Before his gubernatorial ambition. He was the managing director and CEO of Lagos State Property Development Corporation (LSPDC) before he was elected the governor of Lagos State.


Under his administration, World Health Organisation (WHO) ranked Nigeria as the fourth best country in the World in terms of efforts made in curtailing and containing the harsh effects of covid 19 pandemic.
The implication of this is that since Lagos is the epicentre of the epidemic in Nigeria, the major contribution to that sterling performance by Nigeria was attributed to the contribution of the Lagos State government.

More than 51 major infrastructural projects such as the Pent Cinema flyover, ramp and road networks, Lagos-Ogun Boundary roads Phase II, Lekki Oniru Traffic Circulation Projects, a network of roads in Ojokoro, Somolu and Ikoyi, among others. His administration also constructed and rehabilitated 301 inner roads in the 20 Local Government Areas and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs).

It also commissioned the Oshodi-Abule Egba BRT lane. The Eleko junction to Epe concrete pavement road construction is ongoing. These road projects were executed to bring comfort and succour to the people of Lagos.

Gov. Babajide has seen to the training of over 12,000 women, and thousands of youths in the State have been empowered across the several value chains.

In addition to this, the State witnessed 127% growth in Q1 2021 in revenue inflow. The Lagos State Government has also continued to ensure the training and facilitation of more women, youths and the employed to become employers of Labour and to become self-dependent.

Gov. Babajide recruited 1,017 LASTMA officers to ease traffic flow. The State Government availed itself of the three modes of transportation of roads, rail and waterways to boost public transportation in Lagos State.

Even in sports, Governor Sanwo-Olu still have the positive disposition to consider Chioma Ajunwa by fulfilling the commitment by donating a three-bedroom apartment to her in Lagos as a fulfilment of the House Reward promised her for winning the Long Jump event at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

5. Ezenwo Nyesom Wike CON (born December 13, 1963). Wike is a Nigerian politician and lawyer and the current Governor of Rivers State. He is from Rumuepirikom in Obio-Akpor, Rivers State. He is a member of the Peoples Democratic Party. Wike had his tertiary education at Rivers State University of Science and Technology. He was christened with the sobriquet “Mr Projects” by no other person than the Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo having been overwhelmed with his performance in less than two years of his administration. In the last seven years, Wike has not only shamed his critics, but he has also silenced the opposition and transformed the landscape of Rivers State.


Wike boosted agricultural productivity with a state Cassava Processing Company with 3,000 up-takers. He is also supporting three new campuses for the State University with N9billion takeoff grant. Gov Wike established a Medical School for the state university and gave scholarships to Rivers indigenes studying Medicine at Pamo University.

In addition, 5,000 youths are now being recruited into the Rivers state civil service towards reducing youth unemployment. In sports, the Real Madrid Football Academy has been established to combine education and football towards addressing youth development and grooming future stars.

In the health sector, there is now a Mother and Child Hospital to address antenatal and paediatric health issues while a Cancer/Cardiovascular Disease Centre is about to be established in Rivers State.

The judiciary has been fully restored in Rivers State, a task which Governor Wike has devoted exemplary commitment to accomplishing from the first day he assumed office seven years ago. The Courts are fully functional now, befitting Judiciary buildings have been erected, and serving and retired Judges in Rivers State and of Rivers origin, some of which were endangered species not too long ago, have now been fully restored to their pride of place.

The Wike administration has also performed exceptionally well in the promotion of security and protection of lives and property in the state. The Rivers State Government has relaunched the security outfit codenamed C4I, to compliment the “Operation Sting” security platform and Governor Wike has regularly upgraded and supported all the security outfits, with necessary equipment and incentives, as a further step in the robust, pragmatic strategy and holistic approach of the administration to strengthen the security architecture of the State.

Governor Nyesom Wike has equally enjoyed a robust relationship with the Labour Unions in the last seven years, building a Labour House for the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC and inaugurating the Trade Union Congress (TUC) Secretariat Building, which was built by the Rivers State Government. It is also on record that despite the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rivers State is one of the few states paying salaries fully and promptly and very soon, according to the governor, Rivers Youths will be engaged in the 5,000 jobs promised by his administration.

Other projects include but are not limited to the following, National Industrial Court; Judges Quarters; Rivers State University(RSU) Senate Building; Isaiah Odolu Street, GRA; Herbert Macaulay/Nzimiro Streets; Rumuigbo Street; William Jumbo/Ernest Ikoli/Eleme Streets, Old GRA; Community Secondary Schools at Obiagu, Oyigbo and Eteo, Eleme; National Union of Rivers State Students Secretariat and Pabod Breweries/Oginiba Roads which are also billed for commissioning.

6. Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki (born 1 July 1957) is a Nigerian politician and businessman who is currently the Governor of Edo State. He was first sworn in as governor on 12 November 2016. Before becoming governor, he had served as the chairman of the Edo State Economic and Strategy Team inaugurated by former Governor Adams Oshiomole in March 2009.


In Sports

The popular Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City has been remodelled and refitted to Olympic standard and equipped with state-of-the-art facilities.

The Olympic size Swimming pool and the famous tennis court (venue for the Ogbe Hand Court Tennis Competition), have been renovated in line with current swimming and tennis best practices.

In Education

The flagship of the government’s intervention in education is the EDOBEST initiative. The Edo-BEST initiative means Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (Edo-BEST). The programme focuses on the reformation of the education sector targeting 1,500 public primary and junior secondary schools; 15,000 government teachers and 300,000 pupils.

For Youths

In line with the best global practices, Government Science and Technical College (GSTC) has been dedicated as a special resource centre for technical skills acquisition training of Edo youth.

In Technology

Hosts training by Microsoft and Tech4Dev; LinkedIn Meet Up sessions; Curators University’s Artificial Intelligence boot camp; Hotels.NG training on coding and app development; Makers Academy on robotics; Pan Atlantic University Enterprise Development Centre; Siemens’ Impact Hub, and Microsoft’s Basic Digital Literacy for Teachers.

According to the Vanguard Newspaper report, the Obaseki administration has also conceived landmark projects to solidify the craving to make the state an industrial giant. One of the projects is the CCETC-Ossiomo 55MW Independent Power Plant (IPP) which is the product of Governor Godwin Obaseki’s resolve to fix the energy crisis in the state through the provision of an alternative source of electricity supply to support the state’s industrialisation drive and create a competitive energy market. The CCETC-Ossiomo benefits from a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) entered with the Edo State government, which paves way for the supply of stable electricity to government buildings and public utilities, such as hospitals, and offices, street lights, the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium and other such public facilities.

More than 234 schools were reconstructed and renovated by Governor Obaseki in Edo State.

Another project is the modular refinery project. The privately-owned project which came into being under the liberal investment climate championed by the Obaseki administration is expected to create thousands of jobs besides raising the state’s economic base.

Recently, Gov Obaseki’s administration approved the sum of N40,000 minimum wage for civil servants under the paid employment of Edo State.

7. Oluseyi Abiodun Makinde (born 25 December 1967) is a Nigerian businessman, politician and philanthropist who is the Governor of Oyo State From 2019 to date. He is an engineer and a subject matter expert on fluid and gas metering. He is the group managing director of Makon Group Limited; an indigenous oil and gas company in Nigeria. He established his first oil and gas private business called Makon Engineering and Technical Services, (METS) at the age of 29 in the year 1997, after earning years of work experience with international oil and gas companies.


Vehicle transition areas: Construction of four modern bus terminals strategically located at exits and entrance of Ibadan; Iwo Road, New Ife Road, Challenge and Ojoo.

2. Construction and rehabilitation of roads and bridges and junction improvement to decongest traffic within major cities;

General Gas Flyover ( Ongoing)

Challenge/Felele junction improvement (completed)
Dualisation of 9.7km Saki Township Road (Ongoing).

3. Inclusion of road furniture such as; traffic signals, lay bye, road marking and zebra crossing.

4. Construction of computerized VIS Centre at Idi-Ape.

5. Acquisition of 106 buses for mass transit scheme; this will alleviate the transportation challenges of civil servants and students.

6. Commencement of ‘Light up Oyo’ Phase 2 which covers 223.48km of roads across the state.

Governor Seyi Makinde signed the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Bill 2021 into law. Also, the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Inclusion Rapid Response Team established during the first year in office continues to tackle violence against women.

In partnership with Industrial Training Fund (ITF) and Total E&P Nigeria Limited, 125 youths were trained in entrepreneurial development.
2,246 beneficiaries were engaged in the Public Workfare (PWF) of Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO) programme. In collaboration with First Bank Plc, Bank of Industry (BOI), private sector organisations in agriculture and other sectors, trained and equipped 250 youths in Solar Installation and Sales.

Under his administration, sports landmarks like the topping of the Nigerian National League by Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) with the aim of promotion to the Nigeria Professional Football League were recorded. Crown Football Club Ogbomoso is topping its group in the Nigeria National League.

8. Adedapo Oluseun Abiodun (born 29 May 1960) is a Nigerian businessman and politician, who has been the Governor of Ogun State under the platform of the All Progressive Congress from 2019 to date. Dapo Abiodun was the board Chairman of the Corporate Affairs Commission before he assumed office. He was the managing director of Heyden Petroleum and the founder of First Power Limited before being elected the governor of Ogun State.

Achievements in Education Sector:

School construction: In what has been popularly tagged the “Yellow Roof Revolution,” the Ogun State Government within the past two years has embarked on a massive overhaul of the face of education in the State. Structures erected in different schools across the State’s 20 LGAs include classrooms, hostels, toilets, offices, stores and equipped e-libraries/computer rooms. These structures are visible and verifiable in almost all public primary and secondary schools. The reward for Outstanding Performance: On April 22, 2021, Governor Abiodun gave special recognition to Ms Faith Odunsi and Mr Oladimeji Shotunde, among others. Odunsi had topped the Global Open Mathematics Competition, as Shotunde emerged Best Graduating Student of the Lagos State University, LASU. While the State Government launched an endowment fund seeded with 5million Naira for Ms Odunsi, it awarded Mr Shotunde a 2-bedroom bungalow and a 2million Naira cash prize, as 32 other teachers and students got various other prizes.

Water Resources :

In the period under review, the Ogun State Government embarked on the rehabilitation of the Iberekodo Dam. As of May 28, 2021, remarkable progress has been made, with five new gates installed as well as gear hoists, a cofferdam demolished, and water flow restored. With water flow already restored, the Ogun State Water Corporation is now set to recommence supply.


The State Government has commissioned the 100KWp solar mini-grid Hybrid Electrification System at Olooji Community. Equally, Atapa Community in Ogun Central Senatorial District and Koto Obo in Ogun West have also been provided with complete Household Solar Lighting Systems.

Modernising Fish Processing:

The Government, through the Ministry of Rural Development, fabricated and distributed a large number of modern smoking kilns to fish processors in different LGAs including Ikenne, Sagamu, Odogbolu, Ijebo Ode, and Obafemi Owode, among others.

Township Road: The 6km Koriko Village Road that leads to the Association of Senior Civil Servant Housing Scheme was upgraded in the period under review, to ease the hardship faced by residents and other road users.

Digital Economy Infrastructure Project: On April 15, 2021, the Ogun State Government launched the Ogun State Digital Economy Infrastructure Project, OGDEIP. The project, which was approved by the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy, will provide connectivity in key institutions, MDAs, and unconnected regions of the State through improved technology to ease the conduct of work and business both for the private and public sectors.

9. Mohammed Badaru Abubakar (MON) (born in Babura on 29 September 1962) is the elected Governor of Jigawa State in Nigeria. He is the Chairman of, the Presidential Committee on Fertilizer and also the Chairman of, the Presidential Committee on Non-oil Revenue.


The state government under his administration has achieved one health facility per ward. The state government has built one health facility in each of the 287 wards in the state.”

He was fondly called the “Calculator Governor” because he said in the inaugural speech of his second term that his government had been consistent in spending five per cent of the state budgetary allocation on health having spent N11.5 billion on the sector.”

As of today, all inherited road projects spanning a distance of 716 kilometres were completed by Governor Badaru. But the incredible achievement did not stop at that. The Jigawa Governor initiated and completed important road projects covering a distance of 820 kilometres.

Many Nigerians will be surprised, if not shocked, to hear that under Governor Badaru, Jigawa State has the highest road network density In Nigeria. And if you are doubting this, simply check out the fact that the National Competitiveness Council of Nigeria, ranks Jigawa first in quality of roads, since its 2017 report.

10. Samuel Loraer Ortom (born 23 April 1961) is a Nigerian politician, businessman, administrator and philanthropist. He was a Minister of State Trade and Investments in Nigeria during the presidency of Goodluck Jonathan. Ortom was elected governor of Benue State as a member of the All Progressives Congress in 2015. He was re-elected as governor on 29 May 2019.


The governor implemented the Amnesty Programme, the enactment of the Anti-Opening Grazing Law, and the graduation of 200 medical doctors from Benue State University.

The governor had also completed 42 primary health care centres and the deputy governor’s office.

The Governor approved the establishment of the Center for Emerging Infectious and Tropical Diseases Management at the College of Health Sciences of the Benue State University, Makurdi to serve as a research institute.

During his ongoing Administration over 700 primary school blocks have been renovated or rebuilt across the state by the Ortom administration since 2015.

Governor Ortom Administration has birthed six Agro-Processing Factories built in six local government areas of the state under the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs. The state government also constructed Orange Packaging Plant in Ushongo Town in Ushongo local government area.

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