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Ahmed enlivens the state with financial innovation

L-R: Commissioner for Tertiary Education, Dr. Aminat Ahmed, Former HOS, Mrs. Zahra Omar, Kwara State Governor, Dr. Abdulfatah Ahmed, Vice Chancellor, KWASU, Prof. AbdulRasheed Na'Allah and Consultant Engineer, Arc. Jamiu Faworaja during the commissioning of Faculty of Engineering Complex building at Malete Campus.
The Kwara State Governor, Dr. Abdulfatah Ahmed is no doubt a financial genius considering the financial escapades for the state during this economic recession. Of particular interest is the financial window created by his administration called Infrastructural Fund Kwara (IF-K).

It is a funding window that addresses financial shortfall from the monthly federation allocation that is barely sufficient to pay salaries, pension and gratuities of the state workforce talkless of capital projects. The establishment of the IFK was meant to pool funding for high value infrastructure projects in the state especially under the prevailing economic circumstances the country found itself.

 It was through the introduction of the fund that the dynamic governor overcame the challenges of reduced federal allocation to the state and ensured prompt and adequate funding for completed, ongoing and new projects. This is because IFK is funded through a monthly contribution from Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). This provides strong evidence of how tax money funds infrastructure and augments the meagre federation allocation for payment of salaries in the State.

As of now, IFK funded projects in the state include the Geri-Alimi Split Diamond Interchange, which is the first project to be funded under the Infrastructural Development Fund. Other ongoing projects positioned towards the infrastructural development of Kwara State under the able and foresighted leadership of Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed popularly called “Maigida” are: Share-Oke Ode road, Anilelerin road Offa and the dualisation of Kulende-UITH-Oke Ose road, Ilorin.

This fund is also used to fund Kwara State University campuses in Ekiti and Ilesha Baruba, Kwara State University Post Graduate School, Ilorin, the Light Up Kwara Project (LUK) and the new state secretariat for civil servants. Inaddition, the scheme is funding projects such as Offa-Irra road, Ilala bridge, Erin-Ile Ilemona road, Oko Idofin-Odo Ase road and Oke Opin township road.

The state government is also intervening on some federal road projects like dualisation of Offa Garage-Dangote road, Ilorin, Patigi-Kpada-Rogun road and Kaiama-Kishi road.
The administration is not limited to the aforementioned infrastructural projects but as more projects are completed and removed from the IFK scheme, the administration begin construction of new ones across the entire senatorial districts of the state.
The Commissioned Faculty of engineering, KWASU, Malete, by Kwara State Governor, Dr. Abdulfatah Ahmed.
The new ones include Omu-Aran Township road amongst other roads of significant social and economic importance to the people of Kwara State. The governor has re-assured the people of the state that the distribution of development projects across the state will continue to be based on equity and need saying no part of the state will be left disadvantaged in terms of infrastructure allocation. It may interest the public to note that the overall objective of Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed’s administration is to enhance the welfare and boost private enterprise in the State of Harmony.

During the presentation of the 2018 appropriate bill to the State House of Assembly on Thursday, 23rd November, 2017 the Governor promised to pay greater attention to the implementation of policies and programmes that will ensure prosperity to the people of the state by enhancing infrastructure, stimulating the socio-economic environment, boosting the informal sector and expanding job creation.
Kwara State Governor, Dr. Abdulfatah Ahmed (middle) and others during inspection of one of the road projects in the State.
According to him, “the main policy thrust of 2018 budget will be to strengthen our Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) mechanism for increased revenue collection. Our focus on revenue collection is premised on the need to ensure the completion of all ongoing infrastructure development projects and the funding of new ones”. In this year’s budget, the Governor placed emphasis on completion of on-going projects while new road projects that have been approved will commence. He said a total of eighteen road works which cuts across all the three senatorial areas of the state have been proposed for construction.

The Governor stated further that his administration intends to key into the Federal Government’s intervention initiative of opening up rural roads through the Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project (RAAMP). The Government said it has provided Two Hundred Million Naira as counterpart fund in the 2018 budget to access One billion, eight hundred and thirty million naira from the World Bank. This will enable the state government to construct 381.7km rural roads. Invariably, the governor has been able to manage the resources of the state such that infrastructural development is going on with or without adequate federation allocation. All Civil Servants in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) collects their salary as at when due.

The Governor’s efforts permeate other economic sub-sectors in the State. He has taken pragmatic step towards strengthening the informal sector and creating stronger platforms for economic empowerment of the people. The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) in the state was basically aimed at promoting entrepreneurship in the State, especially amongst the unemployed youths.

It synergises with federal government to promote entrepreneurship and businesses by providing financial and business support services to enterprises in the State. The Governor said in his 2018 budget speech that the state will be supported with the provision of Micro Credit intervention scheme of five hundred million naira. He was quoted to have said that “as a proactive government, we have put in place various strategies to ensure entrepreneurs in the state thrive such as the micro credit support scheme which has grown to accumulative N2.5billion”. The establishment of the International Vocational Technical and Entrepreneurship College (IVTEC) Ajasse-Ipo is another strong commitment of the administration to growing entrepreneurship in the country.

The Government have truly significantly moved forward in terms of Human Capital Development especially functional education of the youth. It is the intention of the present administration to engage many youths as possible in the state in the economic empowerment programmes. The IVTEC was designed to equip youths with relevant vital skills to make them self-reliant and job creators thereby indirectly solving the problem of teeming youth unemployment through variety of skills.

Another vital area the government is using to revitalize the state economy is the agriculture subsector through provision of agricultural inputs, credit facilities, fertilizers, seedlings and land for farming. The manager of human resources of the state was earlier on said to have embarked on massive infrastructure development of the state through the ingenious IFK to enable the transportation of human and agricultural produce to urban possible. The introduction of the Off-Taker Demand Driven Agricultural (ODDA) programme has been able to engage the youths in commercial agriculture through credit support to genuine and registered farmers. Whereas, over five billion naira has been set aside by the administration in the 2018 for the capital projects in agriculture while the Agro Mall is expected to continue with its various activities to farmers in the provision of farm inputs, improved seeds, extension services among others.

As a proactive governor, he promised to continue to enhance the provision of potable water in the state in order to ensure realization of the 500 metres’ access goal of the administration saying his administration is committed to completing the multi-billion Ilorin metropolis water supply project and rehabilitate several water works across the State. Similarly, in the health sector, the State still maintain its guiding principle of a qualitative, affordable and accessible healthcare delivery system. Health sector is a complete package of discussion for another day. The achievements in this sector is huge, gigantic and an all-encompassing in nature in view of the comprehensive Health Insurance policy recently put in place for the people of the State by this administration.

It has therefore become obvious that the administration of Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed is prudent in the application of the limited resources available to the coffers of the state and was able to fashion the way forward to cushion the effects of the prevailing economic hardship. The innovation of the financial window called IF-K and rearrangement of collectable taxes in the state has kept the state on a forward march that beats the imagination of everyone including the cynics.

With the singular efforts of an energetic governor, the state has appreciated significantly in it economic activities, social and political interaction that enliven the state to be truly a state of harmony as well kept pace with infrastructure development across the State.

By Usman Abdullateef
Deputy Chief Press Secretary
to the Kwara State Governor
Ahmed enlivens the state with financial innovation Reviewed by Unknown on February 03, 2018 Rating: 5

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