The Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, says the state government is set to address about N255bn infrastructure gap and environment needs of the state.
He stated that in spite of the current economic recession, his administration was desirous of ensuring rapid infrastructure growth and better environment for the residents.
He spoke with journalists in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, on the sidelines of the inauguration of the Kwara State Infrastructure Development Fund, reiterating commitment to addressing the housing needs of the state.
He stated that under the IF-K, funds would be disbursed on a quarterly basis, and would grow by N6bn at the end of 2016.
He added that in order to ensure accountability, and insulate the fund from political control, the IF-K would be managed by a reputable investment company, Investment One, which he said had been appointed by law as trustee for the scheme.
The governor said the purpose of the IF-K was to pool funds for infrastructure projects, optimally leverage private sector resources for infrastructure development and channel state internal revenue to directly impact economic diversification and growth strategies.
He added that the IF-K was designed to ensure maximum quality assurance for asset and services procured by government and encourage broader and deeper interactions with the state government from private and non-private partners.
Ahmed said, “The fund will be financed through a N5bn seed fund and aN500m monthly contribution from the state’s IGR through an Irrevocable Standing Payment Order.
“This implies that the money will be taken at source from the state’sIGR and provides an additional layer of assurance to project partners.
“Additional non-IGR funds, such as those from the Federal Government and global development partners, will be added to the IF-K as they become available.”
The governor said the state government would continue to fund smallerprojects through other platforms as only projects worth N300m and above would be included on the IF-K payment grid.
He added, “Following the inauguration of the fund, the payment grid will commence in December, 2016 with all ongoing and new projects targeted for completion by December, 2018. Furthermore, the total value of ongoing project debts to be addressed through the IF-K is estimated at about N11.1bn.
“As a demonstration of faith and a token of our commitment to pay all outstanding contractor debts, we have disbursed N1.7bn to significantly reduce current debt to contractors. The balance to be paid from the IF-K is estimated at N9.4bn.”