Governor AbdulFatah Ahmed of Kwara State is on the verge of turning things around in the state. The Governor, who got to office in 2011, is seen by many as an achiever, who has moved the state to the next level within three years having taken over from another performer, Senator Bukola Saraki, who was Governor for eight solid years.
His 2015 Appropriation Bill, which is themed Budget of Introspection and Job Creation, is one that would further improve the fortunes of the people of the state and revives its key sectors in the next 12 calendar months.
“This theme underlines our resolve to be more self-reliant in revenue generation while simultaneously upscaling our job creation efforts by promoting entrepreneurship and boosting the private sector. While we intend to make revenue collection web more effective and block all identified revenue loopholes, let me make it clear that we have no intention of imposing taxes on our people who are already burdened by the harsh national economy,” the Governor stated.
He made it clear that the overall objective of 2015 budget is to consolidate existing gains and channel available top priority areas than can unlock more growth and create new jobs.
Specifically, the objectives of the budget include:
1. Enhancement of revenue collection machinery to reduce reliance on federation and fund sustained growth.
2. Rationalization of recurrent expenditure to eliminate waste free up more funds for capital expenditure.
3. Stimulate investment in the productive sectors of the economy with the aim of increasing output, promoting enterprise boosting job creation.
4. Prudent management of all human, material and financial resources for consolidated and sustained economic development.
In order to attain these laudable objectives, the following policies will be pursued:
1. An aggressive policy of internal revenue generation through strengthening and repositioning of Board of Internal Revenue as well as harnessing other revenue sources in the state.
2. Reduction in recurrent expenditure
3. Maintenance of an efficient and cost-effective machinery of Government for improved service delivery.
4. Completion of capital projects in Agriculture, Water Supply, Health, Roads and Rural Electrification.
“Consequently, we are proposing a budget size of One hundred and Nineteen Billion, Eight hundred and fifty million, Eight hundred and ninety-two thousand, seven hundred and forty-seven naira for the 2015 financial year.
“This shows an increase of Four billion, two hundred and forty-nine million, six hundred and twenty thousand, four hundred and seventy-three naira over the 2014 revised appropriation which represents 3.7%. Our determination to complete on-going projects and improve the quality of life of the people of Kwara State informed the increase.
“The budget is made up of Recurrent Expenditure of Forty-six billion, Four hundred and sixty-million, nine hundred and thirty-seven thousand, One hundred and eighty-seven naira which represents 39% of the total budget size.
“The Public Debt Servicing is Eleven billion, two hundred and fifty-two million, two hundred and thirty-two thousand, seven hundred and ninety-four naira which represents 9% of the total budget size.
“The Capital Expenditure is Sixty-two billion, one hundred and thirty-seven million, seven hundred and twenty-two thousand, seven hundred and sixty-six naira which represents 52% of the total budget size,” he said.
Succour as Ahmed Flags off Kaiama/Kishi, Arobadi/Megida Roads:
The people of Kaiama in Kaiama local government area of the Kwara State as well as the people of Arobadi-Megida communities in Moro local government area of the state heaved sigh of relief recently when Governor AbdulFatah Ahmed flagged off the construction of Kaiama-Kishi and Arobadi-Megida roads.
The Kaiama-Kishi road will gulp the sum of N7.9 billion while Arobadi-Megida will gulp N911 million.
The 64 Kilometre Kaiama-Kishi road, a federal government owned road, linking the Kaiama township to all parts of the neighbouring towns and cities had been a source of hardship for ages without any attention from the concerned authorities.
For a journey that should not take more than 40 minutes, commuters are made to suffer agony and pain for more than three hours due to extremely bad nature of the road, dust envelope the people during dry season, while it is usually a herculean task passing on the road during raining season.
Speaking at the flagging off of Kaiama-Kishi road, the state governor, Alh AbdulFatah Ahmed said although Kaiama-Kishi road is a federal government road, his administration was driven by the need to promote the wellbeing and boost commerce as its rehabilitation would reduce hardship being experienced by the commuters on the road.
“The 64-kilometre Kaiama–Kishi Road is being reconstructed for a contract sum of N7.9 billion. It is important to emphasize as we flag off this road that the Federal Government is yet to refund the N4 billion outstanding balance for the rehabilitation of Ilesha Baruba-Chikanda Road more than five years after the road was completed.
“I once again call on the Federal Government to pay all monies owed the state as a result of our intervention on key roads in the state. Despite these setbacks, our administration will continue to intervene on federal and indeed other road projects in the state to reduce discomfort caused by compromised roads.
“We also remain committed to ensuring that every community in our state, no matter how remote, will be connected to the national electricity grid through transformer installation”, he said.
In his welcome address, the chairman of Kaiama local government, Alh Alhassan Yahaya Bagudu said that the story of Kaiama-Kishi road had been a sad one since 1980, adding that contract for the rehabilitation was given to many contractors before, but they all abandoned the project.
Bagudu described the flag-off event as heartwarming, saying the government of Governor Ahmed has taken the bull by the horn.
“We have no doubt that, just like Senator Bukola Saraki’s government did on Baruten roads, you will insha Allah, commence and complete this project. We sincerely believe in your track record of achievements in the last three years which has convinced all doubting Thomases on your strong will and ability to accomplish your promises,” he said.
In his remarks, the representative of Kaiama/Baruten federal constituency in the National Assembly, Hon Zakari Mohammed, lamented the attitude of the federal government towards deplorable condition of the road.
“I know that the state government will do it, but the federal government we have today will definitely not do a refund for so many obvious reasons. But we thank the governor for his foresight and commitment to this project and we thank our leader too, for facilitating this.
“For us in Baruten/Kaiama federal constituency, we are very grateful for this development as it would enhance economic development in this area,” he said.
At the flagging off of the 17 kilometre Arobadi- Megida road, Governor Ahmed said the project would gulp N911 million.
He said that road construction and rehabilitation were key components of his administration’s strategic infrastructure development programme under the Shared Prosperity Initiative.
The governor noted that despite the challenging economic times in the country, his administration’s development initiatives would not be halted, adding that road projects such as Oke- Oyi- Lanwa, Alapa – Malete, Shao- Jebba and Oloru township roads in the Moro local government area would be constructed in due course.
The governor, during a town hall meeting assured the people of Moro local government area, that apart from six communities that benefitted from allocation of transformers and 15 communities where boreholes were to be sunk, more would benefit from such facilities in the days ahead.
The Chairman of Moro local government area, Abdulganiyu Mohammed underscored the significance of the construction of the Arobadi-Megida road to the local government, stressing that only Ipaye district that the road falls has no tarred roads in all the five districts in the local government area.
Kwara Completes Over 900km Road Projects In 3 Years:
The Kwara State government has in the past three and half years completed over 900 kilometers of road. The state commissioner for Works and Transport, Dr Abubakar Amuda Kannike disclosed this to newsmen recently during an interview in Ilorin. Kannike said the government considered road construction as a platform for viable economic activities and was determined to ensure that all roads are motorable across the state. He also stated that the government would not renege on its assurances to zero tolerance for potholes on the roads.
The commissioner said the present administration was not oblivious of paucity of funds confronting it but took bold step to initiate new road projects for the benefit of the masses. “We were supposed to do 800 kilometers of rural roads and 400 kilometers of state roads. As of the last count when we did a proper analysis, we had gone beyond the 800 mark of the 1, 200 total kilometers. And right now, the full intervention in rural and state roads has probably progressed beyond 900. So in any situation, that is over 75 per cent of our Medium Term Sectoral Strategy,” he said.
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