Kwara state Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Tuesday said his administration inherited a decrepit Government House.
He added that that is reflective of the general breakdown of infrastructure in the state, saying 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.
AbdulRazaq 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.
Represented by his Deputy Kayode Alabi, the governor said this when the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, paid the traditional Bareke visit to the Government House.
“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.
“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 N350 million 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 added.
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 had 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 N100 million 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.
He said “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.
“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.
Dignitaries at the Bareke included the Deputy Speaker of the Kwara State House of Assembly, Rapheal Olarewaju Adetiba; Chief of Staff, Government House, Adisa Logun; the Head of Service, Susan Modupe Oluwole; Permanent Secretaries; former Grand Kadhi of Kwara State, Justice Solihu Olountoyin Muhammad; ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) State Chairman, Bashir Omolaja Bolarinwa; State Secretary of the party, Mustapha Isowo; and top APC chieftains, Akogun Iyiola Oyedepo and Kunle Suleiman.