In a bid to ensure continued good governance and development in Kwara State, the current administration under Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed has made continuity agenda and completion of legacy projects top priorities. Hammed Shittu writes
Various talk-shops and development analysts have stressed the need for every level of government; be it local, state and federal, to continue to evolve a strategy that would enhance the socio-economic wellbeing of the governed at the rural and urban communities across the world.
In doing this, the affected stakeholders in the development strategy agreed that the completion of any ongoing developmental project being embarked on by any of these levels of government should be completed before starting any other projects for the governed. This, they believe, would reengineer the social well-being of the populace and this would bring good governance to the society.
This policy of ‘projects continuity’ if well articulated and implemented by any successive government as canvassed by these stakeholders in the development strategy, then the idea of abandoning laudable and developmental projects would be a thing of the past and this would accelerate the socio wellbeing of the society, and also avoid wastes in public finance.
It is on this premise that the current administration in Kwara state, the State of Harmony, upon assumption of office in 2011 after the successive completion of the eight years of two terms of immediate past administration of former governor Bukola Saraki (now Senate President) put all machineries on ground to ensure the full completion of various developmental projects embarked on by the Saraki administration and which have now been successfully completed by the present administration under the leadership of governor Abdulfatah Ahmed.
The various projects left behind by the Saraki administration and successfully completed by the present administration cut across roads, schools, water, health institutions, Ilorin Metropolitan square, Ilorin International Aviation College, and rural electrification.
The commitment to ensure the completion of these legacy projects by the present administration, according to political pundits in the state, was that governor Ahmed was an integral part of the immediate past administration of former governor Bukola Saraki for almost eight years, during which time he held strategic positions throughout the period of the administration.
He was a former commissioner for Finance for almost seven and half years before he was moved to the ministry of Economic development where various policies and programmes of the immediate past administration were designed for socio-economic benefits of the populace during the former administration.
These two important offices during the period had afforded Governor Ahmed to have serious inputs and exposures in the art of governance which hitherto had prepared him for the huge task to work for the developmental progress of the state.
In view of this, he was instrumental to all the programmes left behind by his predecessor in office, and this made him to ensure that all the uncompleted projects left behind by the immediate past administration of former governor Saraki are made to see the light of the day for the good people of the state.
Governor Ahmed’s works in the first term in office between 2011 and 2015 were mainly on the completion of all uncompleted projects left behind by former governor Saraki while new ones were also embarked upon in the determination to ensure that the dividends of democracy get to the doorsteps of the rural populace across the 16 local government councils of the state.
Among such uncompleted legacies projects that were completed during the period cut across roads, education, health, such as Ajase-Ipo international vocational centre, completion of Ilorin Metropolitan Square located along Asa dam road, completion of Ibrahim Sulu Gambari-Post Office road, Offa garage- Micheal Imoudu dual road, and the Ilorin water reticulation project, among others.
Also, the completion of these projects by the incumbent administration was based on the campaign platform upon which the administration came into office through the slogan of ‘Legacy Continues’. The platform which was coined by the former administration has allowed the incoming administration then to see that all the ongoing projects are completed before new ones are initiated so as to add value to the socio wellbeing of the populace.
The policy has also allowed the administration to bring government closer to the people of the grassroots as all the roads completed have improved the agricultural development of the rural populace as foods are now being transported to the hinterland for selling without any hindrance and thereby improving economic base of the populace.
The administration of Governor Ahmed during his first term in office also awarded the renovation of five General hospitals located in Ilorin, Share, Offa, Omu-Aran and Kaima. The affected hospitals were equipped with modern day health facilities and with competent medical personnel so as to reduce infant mortality in the state.
It should be added that, the administration also embarked on the construction of new roads across the three senatorial district of the state. In the education sector, Governor Ahmed constructed modern day school buildings while teachers’ welfare received major attention.
The administration also lived up to expectation in the area of ensuring the protection of lives and property by purchasing security vehicles to the state police command, while transport owners like the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and the Road Transport Employers Association (RTEAN) also received the support of the administration by making available buses at low interest rate to them.
Women and youths empowerment issues were not left out as the various beneficiaries were given soft loans to start businesses and this has reduced social vices among the people of the state.
The operation no-pot-holes in various major roads within the state capital of Ilorin was introduced by the administration while some youths were given employment under the scheme of Kwara state bridge empowerment scheme (KWABES) and after their one year service, some of them were given permanent employment in the state ministries. These were the situation of things during the first term in office of the administration.
However, upon resumption in office for second term in office on May 29, 2015, the administration set the ball rolling with the commitment to add more values towards the socio economic growth of the state.
During the inauguration for his second term in office on May 29, 2015, Governor Ahmed said, “By now, most of you know the challenges we face. Our national economy is on its knees.
“Global oil prices, the mainstay of our economy, are dropping daily, limiting our ability to fulfil our obligations. These challenges are enormous but we refuse to give in to despair and I believe that this will be a defining moment in our history.
“I, Abdulfatah Ahmed, will not rest until the prosperity that our state once enjoyed is restored. My administration’s priority remains the people’s welfare. We will build more schools, roads, hospitals, power projects and structures needed to get more of our youths working, businesses growing, food on more tables and greater prosperity for everyone who calls Kwara State home.
“This administration will upscale development and boost entrepreneurship to get a greater number of our youths working. Starting from today, we will begin the work of transforming our state to the North Central’s economic hub. We will create a new frontier of prosperity where everyone has the opportunity to better their lives subject only to their willingness to apply themselves”.
In a twinkle of an eye, the administration put in place a well articulated internally generated revenue outfit so as to harness a revenue base for the overall growth of the state and this has completed the dwindling federal allocations being coming to the state.
In doing this, the revenue base of the state has increased and this prompted the administration to set in motion series of developmental projects that would be of immense benefits for the socio economic development of the state.
Such giant strides put forward for the benefit of the people cut across some sectors of the state’s economy such as roads construction, provision of housing and accommodation, construction of commercial hub located along Fate road, Ilorin, the continued works on Ilorin water project, provision of drugs to some hospitals and health clinics, construction of schools, among others.
Among some roads that were awarded for construction during the year include Aduralere-Isalekoko- Ojagboro-Sanu Sheu road, Henry George-Agbo-Oba road, Henry George-Unilorin mini campus road, Ita-Alamu village road, Oloro’s palace road, Share-Oke Ode (lot 1), Share-Oke Ode (lot 2), Kishi-Kaiama, and the ongoing Underpass road project along Geri-Alimi axis of the state capital, Ilorin.
Others are Egbejila road, Ilorin, Arobadi Magida road in Moro LG, Baboko market road, Ilesha Baruba-Gwanara road, Rore-Ipetu road, construction of three-span bridge in Ilala, Ifelodun LG, and Anilelerin road, Offa, and the dualisation of Kulende-Oyun-UITHC-Oke-Ose road,
Other projects embarked on are Operation light-up Kwara, construction of Osi and Ilesha-Baruba campuses of Kwara state university and completion and equipping of the Ajase-Ipo International Vocational centre. According to THISDAY findings, all the roads mentioned have been completed.
Speaking with our correspondent, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communications to Governor Ahmed, Dr. Femi Akorede said, “the Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, won election on a platform of continuity and consolidation, so politically, financially and morally, there is an imperative on him to complete all inherited projects.”
According to him, ‘Politically, because it was incumbent on him to fulfill his electoral promises; financially, to ensure that the money spent on the project doesn’t go to waste; and morally because as a former commissioner in the Dr. Saraki administration he was part of the decision to implement those projects.”
“Governor Ahmed has since completed almost all inherited projects and started new ones which are at various levels of circulation. Indeed, Governor Ahmed has set a new standard on continuity in projects and will probably go down in history as the only governor without abandoned projects”, Akorede added.
“In addition, he has ensured significant development in roads, education, health, energy, SME development, agriculture, water supply as well as creating a sustainable Kwara State through IGR reforms,” he said.
Without mincing words, the completion of legacy projects left behind by the immediate past administration has allowed the present government to bring government and governance closer to the people of the grassroots, as all the roads completed during the year under review have improved the agricultural development of the rural populace as foods are now being transported to the hinterland for selling without any hindrance.
It has also added values to the socio well being of the populace in the state and if this is copied or emulated by any successive governments in the country the idea of leaving uncompleted projects would be a thing of the past and the governed would feel the real dividends of democracy.