For the Records: Gov Abdulfatah Ahmed's 2nd Term Inauguration Speech

Date: 2015-05-30

INAUGURAL SPEECH BY THE KWARA STATE GOVERNOR, HIS EXCELLENCY, ALHAJI ABDULFATAH AHMED DURING HIS SWEARING-IN CEREMONY AND DEMOCRACY DAY CELEBRATION AT METROPOLITAN SQUARE, ILORIN ON MAY 29, 2015.

I begin with gratitude to Almighty God, the author of life, the one from whom all power radiates, the architect of the victory we celebrate today.

I address you today humbled by your confidence in me, aware of the tasks that confront us and grateful for your trust.

On this Democracy Day, we remember the sacrifice of those who fought for our right to express our will, those who sacrificed so we can have a better tomorrow, those who laid the foundation of the democracy that we currently enjoy.

For me, this day has added significance. On this Democracy day, we welcome a new dawn. Today, we are witnesses to a shift in the national mood from despair to hope. From seeming helplessness to cautious optimism. On this day, we begin the job of building a new Kwara State, one that our people desire, and one that we all deserve.

To my beloved wife and my rock, Mrs. Omolewa Ahmed, thank you for standing with me and by me. Without your faith in me, I will not have come this far.

I salute my dependable partner on this journey, a reliable man, and trusted ally, the Deputy Governor of Kwara State, Elder Peter Sara Kisira. I am also grateful to our Leader, distinguished Senator Bukola Saraki, (CON) party stakeholders, members and supporters for finding me worthy to serve as your governor for a second term.

However, the real victors are the people who voted us with a conviction that we will do a much better job of making their lives better and more prosperous. And to them, I say a big thank you. By the grace of God, I will not let you down.

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 fulfill our obligations. These challenges are enormous but we refuse to give in to despair

I believe that this will be a defining moment in our history.  Certainly, 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.

To begin with, education is the pivot of development and the most tested route to economic empowerment.

In line with this, we intend to enhance functional education and expand access to formal education. We will overhaul an initial 120 secondary schools across the state by building 1,274 new classrooms and rehabilitating 2,000 existing classrooms. 

Additionally, we will open new campuses for the Kwara State University, KWASU in Ilesha-Baruba with the establishment of the College of Agricultural Science and another one in Osi where we will locate the new College of Architectural and Environmental Studies.

Furthermore, the International Vocational Center, Ajase-Ipo will be fully equipped and operational this year in line with our determination to provide our youths with critical vocational skills for entrepreneurship.

In keeping with our determination to bring portable water within the reach of all residents, we will expand the Malete and Okuta Waterworks and begin work on Oyun Water Works to meet the needs of an estimated 180, 470 people in seven communities.

Also, the final phase of the Ilorin Metropolis Water Reticulation and Distribution Network will be completed to bring piped-water to every connected home in Ilorin and environs.

Recognizing that health is a key requisite for human capital development, this administration will expand our health system with the establishment of two primary health care centers, four comprehensive health centers, and remodeling of an extra five general hospitals across the three senatorial districts.

As you are aware, urban electrification not only enriches the aesthetics of our cities, it also enhances the security in our neighborhoods. We will therefore upscale the existing urban electrification programme with solar streetlights along major access roads in Offa, Omu-Aran, Lafiagi, Patigi, Kaiama, and Share-Tsaragi and restore existing public-powered streetlights across the Ilorin Metropolis. Still in the power sector, we shall complement existing investment strategies with the establishment of a 100-megawatt Independent Power Plant in Kwara North.

Apart from industrial clusters, the 100 megawatts will also power essential services such as hospitals, government offices, and educational institutions.

Our planned infrastructure development will also cover sports sector where we will renovate and equip the Kwara State Indoor Sports Complex in line with global standards in sports infrastructure.

In working towards these targets, I will build a team of experienced men and women who share our vision and are prepared to put in the hard work necessary for the task ahead.

Many of you must wonder how we intend to fund these projects and programmes in view of the sustained reduction in allocation to states. The answer is simple.  In the coming months, we will begin the process of decoupling our economy from a reliance on the unstable global oil market and the associated fluctuations in federal allocation.

We will achieve this admittedly challenging task by significantly improving internally generated revenue. We will also plug leakages and reduce the cost of governance to boost our capacity to achieve these objectives.

We must all be prepared to tighten our belts, to make sacrifices, and moderate our expectations of government.

Let no one harbor any doubt, however. We will achieve the vision of a more prosperous Kwara State that I have outlined. That journey starts today. Let us begin.

Thank you all. God Bless Kwara State. God Bless our Country, Nigeria.

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