By – Ibraheem Abdullateef
Kwara Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq is writing a story. It is a page-turner, an interestingly rich story of impacts unfolding in colourful scenes. The intrigues have been building up for a while. But the plots come into play faster and livelier in the past two weeks.
On Tuesday 25th of August 2020, Kwara Government upped its commitment to securing lives and properties of its citizens by inaugurating the Community Policing Advisory Committee (CPAC) as a groundwork to the commencement of the initiative. It assembled and empowered the star-studded State Advisory Committee majorly comprising Head of the State Traditional Council (Chairman); the police commissioner (Co-chairman); heads of the various security agencies in the states among other stakeholders from the three senatorial districts to protect the state from the rampaging security issues in some part of the country.
The sweat had barely dried before he mounted the car to the State’s COVID- 19 isolation centre to motivate and encourage the frontline health workers driving the efforts to stamp out the pandemic. Due to a good working environment and allowances to the health workers championed by his able leadership, Kwara has one of the best teams in Nigeria in the management of the troubling virus. Fact speaks for itself.
The second day came with another lift. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC) which has been integral to the anti-corruption fight of the Governor announced another tranche of the looted funds was ready for a pick. This time N131m. Such an event over time reminds everyone of the reasons the men of yesterday were sent packing, especially as the new helmsman keeps proving himself as a man of integrity.
To add to its flying start in Sports, Kwara made history yet again by commissioning the first football house in Nigeria. The football house, the first and only standing one in Nigeria, was constructed by the Kwara State Football Association under the AbdulRazaq administration in partnership with Barrister A.U Mustapha SAN, an Ilorin-born football enthusiast who is a member of the NFF and the Confederation of African Football (CAF). It is hard to forget that this administration earlier revived the state’s sports festival fifteen years after abandonment. Temperate football analysts have since begun commending the resolve of Governor AbdulRazaq to restoring glory in sports and recreational activities to the State of Harmony.
Enters the full implementation of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS), and the approval for the development of the software. IPSAS is one of the 22-point preconditions to entrenching fiscal sustainability plan framework Kwara State has not complied with over the years. Once the three-pronged process of full implementation of the IPSAS is completed, it’d improve the budget planning and monitoring process, aiding transparency and accountability. It should be ready in nine months’ time.
Everyone knows what hazard the pandemic has wrought on the economy. But not everybody is aware of what efforts Kwara make to stay above the board and keep at fulfilling its promises to the electorate. One of such steps is the recent review of the 2020 budget to suit the realities. Since AbdulRazaq came on board in 2019, he has largely prioritised inputs of the citizens on governance, starting with opening room for citizens’ engagement on an annual budget. This year isn’t an exception, but with an improvement, as all the three districts would have their yearnings captured in 2021 budget. That really gives room for optimism that AbdulRazaq could surpass his record of 52% implementation of the capital expenditure and a record 98% implementation of the recurrent expenditure components of the 2019 budget.
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And KWASSIP made a fantastic return, right in the nick of time to give over twenty- one thousand traders a lift, and cushion the harsh effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. With all the side talks on social media on the practicality of the sum of N10,000 for a person, the beneficiaries disagree. With joy on their faces and prayers on their lips, you could see that the government’s intention to encourage trading and drive commerce is not lost on them. I was the more assured when I heard at some point during the disbursement some of them chorusing a song in Governor’s praise:
“Ramoni ti e le oo mon re o
Ti e le oo mon
Ni arin odun kan pere
Ti e le oo mon
O se gbogbo ona gere
Tie le oo mon…”
The women sang on. They can feel the rhythm. The 10,000 youths to register for the Digital Kwara 2.0 and upscale their digital skills may also not do otherwise with an increasing demand for ICT- relevant knowledge in the labour force. You don’t begrudge a government taking you through at no cost the roads to self- sufficiency. Ditto, the judiciary. During a meeting with the NBA Kwara branch on Wednesday, AbdulRazaq harped on plans to build a befitting courtroom for the Ministry of Justice. It is no vain promise. Early into the tenure, he renovated the area court at Centre Igboro. These impacts are merry, merrily going round.
He continued his march to history on health by breathing life into the Health insurance scheme, which could have remained a mere paperwork, with an initial number of 10,000 registered indigents. NHIS strengthens his commitment to providing cheap access to basic healthcare and improving the overall wellbeing of the people. The health insurance scheme is expected to boost life expectancy, deplete mortality rate, and aid the economy.
It is great enough some of the past leaders stole that much funds, but one is resilient in working with the anti- grant agency to recover them. As the state gets yet another refund, N148m, it is most fair that these monies will be used to finance social investment programmes for the poor.
The summation of this trail of actions in the past two weeks is a vision of growth and development clearly anchored on prudence, integrity, and accountability. This, if I may echo those singing women, is the unfolding turn-around in their living as seen on roads, schools, water, health and social investment.
Those who don’t know Governor AbdulRazaq may not look further for him. They should sit and reflect on the choreography of events in the last fourteen days for a glimpse. He is writing a story and the impacts are on the streets.
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