Ensuring New Economic, Infrastructure Devt in Kwara
Hammed Shittu writes on the Kwara State Government's efforts to provide and ensure new economic and infrastructure development, in a move spearheaded by Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed and his officials
Delivering good governance to the doorsteps of rural populace remains a hallmark of any elected leader, so as to transform the society into world class economic and infrastructural development. To achieve this stride, the electorate in Kwara state, the State of Harmony renewed their alliance with the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) during the last general elections by coming out enmasse to vote for the second term in office of the incumbent governor of the state, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, in a bid to continue to add more values to the socio economic and infrastructure development of the state.
The electorate defied all the antics of opposition parties in the state by heeding to the campaigns of the APC leaders in the state, led by incumbent senate president, Senator Bukola Saraki, urging the people on the need for incumbent governor Ahmed to win a second term so as to continue with all his laudable projects and also initiate new ones for the overall growth of the state.
However, the current financial predicament hindering the elected representatives across the 36 states of the federation is also not sparing the present administration in the state in the day-to-day delivery of good governance to the people of the state. The administration however has put all strategies on ground towards revitalising the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) drive in efforts to ensure all its laudable projects are implemented for the socio wellbeing of the populace. This effort has commenced in earnest in the state with the current enlightenment programmes on state radio and television even in private radio station in the state so as to let the people of the state realise the need to support this IGR drive in the state.
Speaking during the recent inauguration of his second term and Democracy Day celebration on May 29 in Ilorin, Governor Ahmed reminded the people of the state about the financial challenges which the state, like most others, are facing. "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. I, Abdulfatah Ahmed, will not rest until the prosperity that our state once enjoyed is restored", the governor pledged.
He promised that his administration's priority remains the people's welfare, saying that he was committed to begin the job of building a new Kwara State, "one that our people desire, and one that we all deserve." To take the state to another level of development, Ahmed said his administration would build more schools, roads, hospitals, power projects and structures that are needed to get more of the youths in the state working, businesses growing, food on more tables and greater prosperity for everyone who calls Kwara State home.
Since the administration is committing to the socio-economic and infrastructural development of the state, it decided to take the bull by the horn without minding the present financial predicament of the state, by unveiling a platform to achieve the desires of the people, through the initiating of various developmental projects that would add values to the socio wellbeing of the rural populace.
One of such giant strides of the present administration in the state is to open up all towns and villages in the state so as to boost the transportation system across the three senatorial districts of the state; knowing well that it is a platform to create investment and employment opportunities for all the teeming unemployed youths in the state. Opening up all towns and villages is not new in the democratic governance of the state, as the administration upon assumption of office during its first tenure between 2011 and 2015 had embarked on various roads projects across all wards of the state in order to expand market frontiers for the economic prosperity of the state.
The administration in its first term had reportedly constructed over 400km of roads that cut across both the rural and urban cities of the state and this had changed the economic life of the people of the state for better, because it had afforded the people of rural areas to transport their goods and services to the nearby market and thus improve the income per capital of the residents of the state. Apart from this, urban cities also felt the art of good governance as transportation system within various towns had improved considerably as trucks and heavy duty machines were moved without any hindrance to the various sites of manufacturing companies located in Ilorin, Offa, Omu-Aran, Kaima, Lafiaji among major towns in the state, which boosted the economic prosperity of the affected companies.
The current administration has also moved to improve on the transport sector in its second term in office in order to bring desired socio-economic and infrastructure development to the doorsteps of the people of the state. Already, the state government has prepared to open some outlets across the state capital, Ilorin so as to ease movement of all the residents in the state. In this quest, the government has planned to open an outlet from Ilorin International Airport through Geri-Alimi to Asa dam area, to reduce the traffic hold-up along airport road- Geri-Alimi axis of the state capital. It has also concluded arrangement to construct an overhead bridge along Geri-Alimi roundabout, Ilorin in order to reduce the traffic logjam that always marked the area.
Apart from this, in the bid to reduce traffic hold-up around Tanke area especially along University of Ilorin road, the state government intends to construct another overhead bridge along Tanke area and also complete the road leading to University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital Complex, so as to bring new lease of life to the people plying all these affected areas during the period. Other infrastructures meant to be implemented by the administration include the construction of over 2,000 schools across the state so as to move education forward in the state.
Collaborating governor's Ahmed's programmes for the people of the state, his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communications, Dr. Muideen Akorede said when the funds are generated, government plans to construct two flyovers in two major parts of the Ilorin metropolis, the Tanke roundabout and Geri-Alimi roundabout.
The senior aide who said the idea was to decongest traffic snag in the selected areas, added that the two places had attracted high population of staff and students of University of Ilorin, among other residents of the town, including heavy flow of vehicular movement causing traffic congestion, and loss of man hours among other inconveniences. Akorede also said the government will overhaul an initial 120 secondary schools across the state by building 1,274 new classrooms and rehabilitating 2,000 existing ones.
He noted that the carpenters, bricklayers and other artisans that would be engaged would be economically empowered to take care of their family when contractors start implementing construction of more classrooms in identified schools in the state, and added that the second term administration of Governor Ahmed promised better dividends for residents of the state. "This administration will upscale development and boost entrepreneurship to get a greater number of our youths working. It has commenced the work of transforming our state to the North-central's economic hub. To begin with, education is the pivot of development and the most tested route to economic empowerment", he said.
The International Vocational Centre, Ajase-Ipo, which construction was started by Ahmed's administration is still ongoing. The senior aide said the centre would be fully equipped and operational this year; in line with the determination to provide youths with critical vocational skills for entrepreneurship. In keeping with the determination to bring potable water within the reach of all residents, he said the present administration plans to 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.
Recognising that health is a key requisite for human capital development, Akorede said the administration will expand the health system through establishment of two primary health care centres, four comprehensive health centres, and remodeling of an extra five general hospitals across the three senatorial districts. "Urban electrification not only enriches the aesthetics of our cities, it also enhances the security in our neighbourhoods. 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", Akorede added.
By and large, if all these infrastructures programmes are implemented by the present administration, there is no doubt that the economic prosperity of the state would be enhanced and there will also be greater infrastructural development, which would go a long way in accelerating the socio-economic development of Kwarans.
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