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On Kwara bond and other issues – Rafiu Ajakaye

The administration of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has recorded great feats never seen in Kwara since its creation, a couple of which had been documented in previous communications on the achievements of the government. There is no local government without a clear presence of the new administration. In a matter of months, the new Ilorin master plan will be ready — the second since 1970s.

A 10-year development blueprint will be launched soon. Today, Kwara has the largest automated safety net programme for the vulnerable. Under it, vulnerable senior citizens get stipends of N6,000 every two months. Similarly, no fewer than 40,000 indigents have been enrolled in the state’s health insurance. 
 
Until the coming of the administration, workers were owed across MDAs. Teachers were last promoted in 2017. That has been fixed by the administration, apart from defraying backlogs of salary arrears and contractual obligations, some dated back to 2010.

The administration has brought dignity back to the civil service with a large pool of new buses and Hilux vehicles for their movement. They no longer visit private business centres to print government memos.  This is not an article to break down what the Governor has done, but a subtle reminder of where we are coming from. 
 
The administration makes no pretences about the porous system it inherited and the need to plug the leakages and give a new orientation to its workers in the most gradual, humane way. The figures Thomas bandied about public works and with which he tried so hard to sully the image of the government surfaced through the Governor’s social audit initiative which empowered civic groups to track public funded projects to cut waste. It has also put in place the Kwara State Public Procurement Agency to guide against sharp practices. Governments not committed to transparency and probity will not do that. 
 
The administration is adjudged to have blazed the trail in addressing the basic needs of the people, even as it invests in their future. When completed, the innovation hub and the visual arts centre will be the best and biggest in West Africa.

This is strategic positioning of Kwara for growth. With the new ICU facility, which is the largest in central Nigeria, the big investments in eye and dental care, the N2.5bn oncology centre, and new equipments here and there, the Ilorin General Hospital will soon be the go-to place in the country. These, ladies and gentlemen, are a few of the feats of an administration that Thomas said has not done anything.

If anyone doubts that the administration has done things differently from the past, let them ask the 4,701 newly recruited teachers, the oldies and the vulnerable already enrolled into various safety nets, the market people who have benefited from Owo Isowo (trader moni), and the 170 young people who recently got the government’s interest-free loans to support their business initiatives. They were neither asked for their voters’ cards nor did they need to hold an allegiance to any demigod like in the past. Methinks that is the Otoge that the people voted for in 2019, irrespective of what any La Pasionaria conceive of it. 
 
• Rafiu Ajakaye is the CPS to the Governor of Kwara State

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