Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has said his administration would complete abandoned or ongoing projects in the state because ignoring them would amount to wasting public funds already sunk into them.
AbdulRazaq, who was speaking through his deputy, Mr. Kayode Alabi, also said he inherited a decrepit Government House which he said reflected the general breakdown of infrastructure in the state, adding however that he has chosen to prioritise things that directly affect people’s welfare instead of embarking on rehabilitation of his own office when he assumed office on May 29.
“As your Royal Highness may have noticed, the Government House we inherited needs urgent rehabilitation as many parts of it are just not fit for habitation. This is reflective of the general decay in public infrastructure statewide,” he said on Tuesday when the Emir of Ilorin, Dr Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, paid the traditional Bareke visit to the Government House.
“In the circumstances we cannot in good conscience prioritise rehabilitation of my office to the neglect of urgent matters like lack of potable water, bad roads, unpaid gratuities, abandoned projects, comatose state media, especially Radio Kwara, resurgence of polio, stagnant education sector and striking workers, appalling healthcare system, and many more.
“I’m glad to inform Your Royal Highness that all of these issues have received our attention since we came on board. We have also resolved not to allow Kwara become a mortuary for abandoned projects. This explains why we recently paid N350m to the contractors for the completion of the new State Secretariat Complex. We have also given similar assurances to contractors handling all road projects, most of which had been abandoned before we came on board.”
The Governor said his administration has started fixing three major water works across the three senatorial districts, namely the Asa Dam, Lafiagi Waterworks, and Igbaja waterworks, to make water available to the people of the state.
He listed other steps he has taken to include the resuscitation of Radio Kwara, the commencement of fresh round of polio vaccination, resolution of the crises at and re-accreditation of the Colleges of Education, ending Kwara’s pariah status at the Universal Basic Education Commission with the payment of its N450m debt, payment of various counterparts funds in health sector and road construction, payment of N100m gratuities to pensioners, payment of running costs to government ministries after many years, and ongoing talks with federal and development agencies to develop the state.
“Let me reassure Your Royal Highness that this administration has tremendous respect for our traditional institutions. We see these institutions as partners in our effort to relaunch Kwara into national reckoning,” AbdulRazaq added.
“To that extent, we will continue to support the institutions to deliver on their mandate as the custodians of our diverse cultures. In return, we urge the traditional institutions to support our programmes in the overall interest of our people and our effort to continue to keep Kwara safe for investments and socioeconomic stability.”
The Emir, for his part, said this year’s Bareke was the first since the Governor was inaugurated and commended the administration for its strides.
Sulu-Gambari called for tolerance, understanding and peaceful co-existence among residents of the state
He prayed to the Almighty God to continue to strengthen the good bond between the Governor and his deputy, saying this would go a long way to promote unity and peace in the state.
ALSO READ: Probe Melaye now…HEDA urges CBN
Dignitaries at the Bareke included the Deputy Speaker of the Kwar…
President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to stop providing foreign exchange for importation of food into the country, with the steady improvement in agricultural production, and attainment of full food security.
He gave the directive while hosting All Progressives Congress (APC) governors to Eid-el-Kabir lunch on Tuesday in Daura, Katsina State.
He said the foreign reserve will be conserved and utilised strictly for diversification of the economy, and not for encouraging more dependence on foreign food import bills.
“Don’t give a cent to anybody to import food into the country,’’ a statement signed by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity) quoted him as saying.
President noted that some states like Kebbi, Ogun, Lagos, Jigawa, Ebonyi and Kano had already taken advantage of the Federal Government’s policy on agriculture with huge returns in rice farming, urging more states to plug into the ongoing revolution to feed the nation.
“We have achieved food security, and for physical security, we are not doing badly,’’ he said.
Buhari said he was particularly delighted that young Nigerians, including graduates, had started exploring Agric-business and entrepreneurship, with many posting testimonies of good returns on their investments.
Buhari said the incoming ministers will be “taught’’ and thoroughly guided to ensure they meet the targets of the APC-led government for the people, with regular monitoring of their performances and scaling up of targets by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF).
The President assured that he will attend the Presidential Policy Retreat organised for the ministers by the OSFG, and insisted on compliance with laid down targets on key sectors of the economy that will directly impact on the livelihood of Nigerians.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr John Kayode Fayemi, said the President’s sense of justice, fairness and forthrightness had turned a major inspiration to governors on the way forward for the country.
He said the challenges faced by states “were enormous,’’ but the governors had remained undaunted, assuring the President of strong support and “the very best effort’’ to overcome all the obstacles.
The Chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum and Governor of Kebbi State, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu, appreciated the President for the unique leadership style of maintaining a healthy relationship with governors on an individual and collective basis, pointing out that they had been “energised’’ to do more in their states.
The governor commended the President for making bold and courageous efforts to reposition the economy for majority Nigerians through inclusive policies.
“The country is more secure than in 2015, and the country is more prosperous than in 2015 because you are working for the majority of the people,’’ he added.
The governor said the party had been repositioned, after the 2019 elections, to work for the benefit of the majority of Nigerians, noting that “there will two elections this year and we need to work towards winning the two states.’’