Friday, May 29, 2015 was the beginning of a new era for the people of
Kwara State as the governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, began his second term in office.
Governor Ahmed is the second governor whom the people have given the ticket to rule them for the second term since the creation of the state 48 years ago. His predecessor, Senator Bukola Saraki, was the first governor to enjoy such benevolence in the state.
Kwara was among the twelve states created by the military administration headed by General Gowon on May 27,1967.
However, the first seven days of the second term was full of promises especially the way to effectively generate revenue to run the affairs of the state and implement the programs of his administration.
Taking his oath of office at the Metropolitan square, Asa Dam road, Ilorin before Justice Sulaiman Kawu, the Chief Judge of the state, Dr
Ahmed pledged not to rest until the prosperity that the state once enjoyed is restored, assuring that his administration’s priority remains the people’s welfare.
He promised to build a new Kwara that the people desire “and which we all deserve”.
“We will build more schools, roads, hospitals, power projects and structures needed to get more of our youths working, businesses growing, foodon more tables and greater prosperity for everyone who calls Kwara State home.
“This administration will upscale development and boost entrepreneurship to get a greater number of our youths working. “Starting from today, we will begin the work of transforming our state to the North Central’s Economic hub.
“We will create a new frontier of prosperity where everyone has the
opportunity to better their lives subject only to their willingness to apply themselves,”he stated.
The governor said he would give priority attention to education sector through overhaul of an initial 120 secondary schools across the state by building 1,274new classrooms and rehabilitating 2,000 existing classrooms.
“Additionally, we will open new campuses for the Kwara State University, KWASU in Ilesha-Baruba with the establishment of the College of Agricultural Science and another one in Osi where we will locate the new College of Architectural and Environmental Studies,” he said.
He announced his resolve to complete the final phase of the Ilorin
Metropolis Water Reticulation and Distribution Network to bring pipe-borne water to every connected home in Ilorin and environs.
He, however, sought the support of the people, requesting them to make sacrifices, saying that “In the coming months, we will begin the process of decoupling oureconomy from a reliance on the unstable global oil market and the associated fluctuations in federal allocation.
“We will achieve this admittedly challenging task by significantly improving internally generated revenue. We will also plug leakages and reduce the cost of governance to boost our capacity to achieve these objectives.
“Let no one harbor any doubt, however. We will achieve the vision of a prosperous Kwara State that I have outlined. That journey starts today. Let us begin”.
However, in his first week in office, Governor Ahmed started his tenure on a promisory note telling the people that his administration would evolve a new tax regime to source more money to run thegovernment.
He emphasised that a major priority of his administration as a way of meeting the challenges of dwindling federal allocation is to make efficiency and effective the process of tax collection and administration.
Governor Ahmed who stressed the urgent need to reduce the cost of governance, block various financial leakages in the system, said he would soon sign in to law the new tax collection and administration system in the state.
According to him, “We need to generate more efficiency in tax collection, improve process of tax administration and management in order to create more funds to drive infrastructural development in the State”, the governor said.
Ahmed said that the policies and programmes of his administration would be premised on good governance, political stability and improved security.
Other programmes listed for implementation during his second term, the governor said include the strengthening of urban electrification programme with solar streetlights on major roads in major towns like, Omu-Aran, Patigi, Kaiama, Lafiagi, Offa, Share and Tsaragi.
On the security of lives and property, Governor Ahmed said his administration will sustain the strategies designed to reduce activities of hoodlums in the state through job creation and entrepreneurship development.
According to him, the International Vocational Centre, Ajasse-Ipo would be fully equipped and become operational this year to provide the youths critical vocational skills for intrepreneurship.
He added that, a 100 megawalt Independent Power Plant would be built in Kwara North senatorial district to power essential service, such as hospitals, government offices, educational institutions in order to free up more energy from small and medium scale enterprises.
The Governor who made this disclosure while interacting with some former political office holders in the state, thank Kwarans for the confidence repose in him and promised to a regular interface with the various segments of the people with a view to bridging the information gap.
“This government is about the people and we must continue to carry them along”, he emphasised.
Nevertheless the promises, the Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Media, Dr Muyideen Akorede, in a telephone conversation with WESTERN POST on Friday said that the governor had instituted a committee that is working underground on the implementation of the tax system adding that more plans to execute the various programs and plans of the governor on his second term will start unfolding in the coming weeks.