By Abiodun Esan
Ilorin – Gov. AbulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara has declared that he busied himself with fixing of decayed infrastructure in the state during the first 100 days of his administration.
AbdulRazaq made this known on Thursday in Ilorin while addressing newsmen on the occasion of his 100 days in office.
He listed his major achievements to include fixing the perennial water crisis within the Ilorin metropolis and taking Kwara out of its earlier status as the least performing state in the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) ranking.
AbdulRazaq said that he had spent the last 100 days in putting in place the basic infrastructural needs of the people which, he said, ought to have been done in the past.
He cited lack of water, access to basic healthcare and dilapidated schools as examples of the rots he inherited and which he had been acting upon with prompt release of funds.
The governor also said that he was able to get contractors back to work to complete some of the abandoned or uncompleted projects and paid counterpart funds, both of which, he said, had changed story of the state in health and education sectors.
“I was able to pay years of arrears owed the state-owned colleges of education and secured re-accreditation of some courses in the state’s tertiary institutions,” he said.
The governor said that the focus of his administration centered on human capital and infrastructural development which would attract investments, combat poverty and take the state to the top of the table of revenue generation and competitiveness.
“We have prioritised and will always prioritise water, education, health, road and general infrastructure.
“Agriculture is also a priority and we are also looking at ensuring that a lot is done in the area of agro-processing because of our comparative advantage.
“We want to completely change the story of this state and our plans revolve around just that, beginning from the budget review,” he said.
The governor said that he was able to fix the infrastructure without the N4.8 billion it inherited from the previous government.
“The N4.8 billion is reserved to kick-start the state’s social security programme and putting basic infrastructure in place.
“Under the Kwara State Social Investment Programme, for instance, we plan to spend N1 billion to help traders and artisans with soft loans.
“We are looking at roughly 1, 000 beneficiaries for soft loans. We cannot watch while our people are suffering. We have to do something in that regard,” he added.
AbdulRazaq said that Kwara would also access N7 billion from the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) to fix the infrastructure deficits in the primary education once it paid its own counterpart fund of N7 billion.
According to him, such funds would go a long way in turning around the fortunes of primary schools in the state.
The governor, who said that he would soon constitute his cabinet, attributed the delay to wide consultations with stakeholders within the ruling party, even as he dismissed claims of rancour within its ranks.
AbdulRazaq, however, lamented that the major challenge he inherited was sales of public property by the officials of the last administration to themselves at ridiculous prices.
He expressed his administration’s disappointment at what he called mindless mismanagement of public resources and promised that steps would be taken to redress the excesses of the former officials.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the media parley was attended by the Deputy Govenor, Kayode Alabi, Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Mamman Jibril and the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Aminu Logun.
Also in attendance were the state Head of Service, Mrs Susan Oluwole, the state Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bashiru Bolarinwa and other party leaders in the state.