When Kwara State Governor and All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in the forthcoming general polls, AlhajiAbdulfatah Ahmed assumed the leadership position of the State of Harmony on May 29, 2011, little did the people of the state know that the administration would work harder to sustain the past legacies of the immediate past administration and also initiate more developmental projects capable of adding more values to the socio economic and political growth of the state.
The administration which came on board on the platform of legacy continue has brought a lot of impacts to the development of the state since it took over the mantle of leadership of the state. The administration had succeeded at ensuring that all the projects left behind by former governor BukolaSaraki and now senator representing Kwara central senatorial district at the national assembly were completed as part of efforts to develop the state.
The incumbent governor, Alhaji Ahmed who was also part of the immediate past administration where he served as commissioner for Finance and later Economic Development had ensured that the projects left behind seen the light of the day while new ones were put on ground so as to bring new lease of life to Kwarans.
From the area of education, health, rural integration, youths and women empowerment roads development, workers development, agriculture and to the provision of other social amenities, the Governor Ahmed's landmark achievement on these affected areas had assisted him to bring into focus on what he had been able to do for the Kwarans during his ongoing electioneering campaigns across the three senatorial districts of the state. The administration has made governance meaningful by delivering its benefits to the people.
Under Shared Prosperity, the administration has implemented several life-transforming programmes such as the innovative Kwara Bridge Empowerment Scheme (KWABES), under which the government has employed 5000 youths including 2000 civil servants. The expanded Empowerment Scheme, QuickWin, has seen the engagement of 5200 youths in the first phase with 8200 youths targeted for empowerment in 2014. So far, 10, 200 youths have been employed by the government in the last three years.
Also, Governor Ahmed’s administration has empowered 50,000 small business owners, 100 transporters and 47 artisan groups that have benefitted from the N1b in micro-credit disbursed under the Kwara Entrepreneurship Scheme since 2012. Even, the government has also empowered State Association of Marketers whose members are currently accessing another N100m in micro credit.
To underscore the importance attached by his administration to civil servants, Governor Ahmed facilitated N3b in car loans to civil servants, especially teachers. This in on top of the welfare packages such as training and retraining, and provision of affordable housing and office accommodation implemented by the state government.
In the education sector, groundbreaking educational reforms have been upscaled and infrastructure enhanced with construction and rehabilitation of 400 classrooms at primary and secondary school levels, and the introduction of free education at senior secondary school levels and supply of free notebooks to secondary school students.
The jewel in the education sector’s crown, the International Vocational Centre, Ajasse-Ipo, is affiliated with City and Guilds of London and poised to fill middle level manpower gaps while establishing Kwara State as the hub for vocational skills in the sub-region.
In the health sector, government has supplied drugs and equipment to 13 general hospitals and 43 primary health centers as well as remodeled and modernized Ilorin, Offa, Omu-Aran, Share and Kaiama General Hospitals to state-of-the-art hospitals. The Community Health Insurance Scheme, under which enrollees receive year round healthcare for N500, has been extended to 80, 000 beneficiaries and has been adjudged as one of the most successful by the United Nations.
Towards meeting its target of ensuring connecting all communities in the state to the national electricity grid, Governor Ahmed’s administration rural and urban electrification project has seen 400 communities connected to the national grid. Ilorin, the state capital, is especially more beautiful at night, thanks to urban street light project that has been extended to several major streets in the Ilorin metropolis.
In the road sector, the state government has implemented the highly applauded Operation No Potholes launched in 2011 to ensure all gullies in the state are repaired to ensure proper maintenance. Under the state’s urban and rural road project, majority of inherited roads have been completed while thirty eight road projects started by the administration are at various levels of completion.
These include 28 inherited 28 projects covering a length of 256.127kms. Eighty per cent of these, covering 204.8 kilometers have been complete. The remaining 17 are on-going across the state. Eight new asphalted roads completed while 30 are on-going, half of which will be completed soon. Forty one rural/feeder roads with a total length of 287km have been completed while 81km are on-going.
To achieve its target of ensuring access to clean water within 500-meter radius, the state government has rehabilitated 17 waterworks across the state, sunk about 400 boreholes, and is at the verge of completing the Ilorin Water Reticulation Project, which will pipe water to all homes in the metropolis.
However, it will be noted here that, this giant strides in the delivery of dividends of democracy to the doorsteps of the people of the state in the last three and half years have endeared him to all the places visited during the various rallies embarked upon by the leadership of the APC in the state led by Senator BukolaSaraki and supported by the Director General of the Mandate 2015 campaign organisation and Speaker, Kwara State House of Assembly, Hon. RazakAtunwa.
Others are the state chairman of the party, AlhajiIsolaBalogun Fulani, AlhajiAbubakarKawuBaraje, Senator ShaabaLafiaji, all the nine members of the national assembly and other notable chieftains of APC in the state to woo voters for the party during the forthcoming polls in the state.
Since the leadership of the party have been moving from one place to another, they had reiterated their commitment to continue to add more values to the socio well-being of the populace if elected in view of the past achievements so far recorded in office by Governor Ahmed since he came on board into the leadership of the state.
In a chat with our correspondent in Ilorin on the performances of the present administration in the state, the Director of Media of Mandate 2015, Hon. AbdulwahabKayodeOmotose said that, there was no doubt that the present government led by Governor Ahmed had excelled very well in the day to day running affairs of the state since he took over the mantle of leadership of the state on May 29, 2011.
According to him,’ the present administration had touched the lives of the people of the state and this had continued to be a great tonic to the expectation of electoral victory of APC during the forthcoming general elections.”
He said, “I want to tell you that, all the places visited during the rallies of the Mandate 2015 campaign organisation, the people trooped out in large numbers to show appreciation to the Governor Ahmed and leadership of APC in view of the successes recorded by the administration.
“The people assured that, come March 28 general elections, they will come out to vote for APC so as to assist the party to continue with laudable achievement in the state”.
Hon. Omotose, a former staff of THISDAY Newspapers and a former Majority Leader of the state house of assembly added that, “The APC government in Kwara had lived up to the expectations of the populace and by the grace of God, the party will win the forthcoming elections based on Governor Ahmed’s superlative achievements in office.”
He therefore urged the eligible voters in the state to come out en masse to collect their permanent voters’ cards so as to assist them cast their votes for the APC during the elections.
A civil servant who sought for anonymity said that, the administration of Governor Ahmed had performed creditably and deserved second term in office in view of the successes so far recorded since he came into office in the state.
She said that, the administration had brought a new lease of life to the populace in view of the perfect delivery of dividends of democracy to the doorsteps of the rural populace.
She added that, the administration legacy in the completion of inherited projects was also highly commendable because the major way to ensure good governance at the grassroots is to inculcate the habit of continuity in governance so that the abandoned projects will not be littered every places of the nation.
By and large, if impact is the measurement of good governance in the last three and half years of Governor Ahmed’s administration in office, then, the APC will coast to victory during the forthcoming elections so as to continue with the delivery of dividends of democracy to the doorsteps of the rural populace of Kwara State.