The current administration in Kwara State has refused to break-off from the past governmet in the state and so continues to pride itself as ‘a government of continuity.’ The Governor of the state, Mallam Abdulfatah Ahmed, who was former Commissioner of Finance and actively involved in the formulation of policies and executions of projects of the past administration of Bukola Saraki, believes strongly in his slogan of ‘legacy continues.’
Governor Ahmed does not only continue the policies and programmes of the past administration but also refuses to abandon any past projects.
One interesting development observed by the Economic Confidential was the fact that developmental projects are spread to all nooks and crannies of the state including intervention in programmes of the Federal Government such as road networks and provisions of facilities to security agencies..
The administration has constructed over 600 kilometers of roads across the three senatorial districts and350 kilometres of feeder and access roads in the state in a deliberate effort to open up the state for agricultural and economic development.
The Kwara State Traffic Management Agency had been provided with equipment and other facilities for effective monitoring of traffic while six fire service trucks of the state fire services were renovated for effective service delivery and for rapid response to disasters.
It is noteworthy to note that water works have been renovated and rehabilitated to ensure adequate provision of potable water as the Economic Confidential observes that motorised boreholes were provided in most of communities visited on inspection. It is estimated that 38 water works were connected to the National Grid while the state government purchased water chemicals worth N200million for the treatment of water in the state. About one billion naira has been earmarked for a water reticulation project which is at 85 per cent completion stage.
In the area of education in the last one year, the state has spent N16.5 million on exchange students, N131 million on bursaries on students from the state in tertiary institutions and over N23 million on NECO fees for qualified candidates. The government has also enforced information technology compliance among students in its tertiary institutions notwithstanding the course of study. In the area of educational infrastructure, more than 200 classrooms were renovated in public primary and secondary schools.
The government also obtained N750 million loan from the Bank of Industry (BoI) to promote and encourage small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) in the state. The governor had released N250 million for disbursement to 147 co-operative societies as revolving loans which are facilitated through 10 micro-finance banks accredited for the loan disbursement to ensure probity and transparency.
On job creation, the state government has employed 2, 000 youths under its bridge empowerment scheme (KWABES) while 1, 000 of the youths have been given full employment. So far over 40, 000 youths have registered with the scheme. The state has also entered into partnership with some foreign expatriates to further boost commercial agriculture and provide job opportunities for the people of the state. He announced plans by the government to develop six grazing reserves in all the three senatorial zones of the state to minimize the incessant clashes between the herdsmen and farmers in the state.
Governor Abdulfatah is working towards the establishment of a free trade zone for clusters of agro-allied enterprises and manufacturers which when completed would provide jobs for about 22,000 Kwarans. This is in addition to the building of standard and well-organised ultra-modern markets for the people of the state.
The state government under its Shared Prosperity programme has also strengthened its healthcare delivery system with the supply of modern equipment to 13 General Hospitals and 32 Cottage Hospitals to ensure that the citizens have access to healthcare within 500 metres.
In May 2012 alone 15 primary healthcare centres have been overhauled while 5 General Hospitals in Ilorin, Omu-Aran, Offa, Share and Kaiama are being rehabilitated.
The government is also in partnership with Stylotec Concrete Industries, Netherlands, for the construction of ten thousand affordable housing units within a 4-year period. At the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the company, Governor Abdulfatah said that the housing scheme, with a capital outlay of $450million in housing delivery and $15million in infrastructure development, has the capacity to deliver 15 housing units per day. He explained that the projection was achievable due to the new technology to be employed for the scheme.
To most of the people of Kwara State, the first year of Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed is eventful and worthy of commendation has proved that the administration is not a stooge but a committed, focused and result-oriented government who believes strongly in the slogan of continuity of service for the benefit of generality of the populace.