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AbdulRazaq And The New Face Of Public Schools In Kwara By Fafoluyi Olayinka



A flashback to the 16 years of decadence of the past administration in Kwara State is a sad chapter in the history of the state that the people will not forget in a hurry. It was an unmitigated disaster. Education was comatose while corruption oozed to high heavens. Kwara State laid prostate, holding thinly onto life on oxygen, having been sucked and sapped of all nourishment for growth and prosperity.

While education and other sectors were crying for attention during their reigns, the failed political dynasty of the horrible 16 years were busy celebrating and doling out money at ‘Ile Arugbo’ to miscreants and political touts, celebrating inanities, under the guise of charity to the needy. They behaved like Nero who slept while Rome burnt.

Each time we make attempt to revisit the PDP sordid years, there is always the desperate attempt to stop us from revealing the horrendous times, but shamefully they would be quick to always blame the AbdulRazaq administration for not doing enough. What we need ask ourselves is that, is four years enough to correct the devastating 16 years of the erstwhile administration in Kwara?

By the time Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq took over leadership in May 2019, our education sector was in such a terrible state that it was like starting afresh — rebuilding the broken down infrastructure and lifting — the morale of teachers.


In one of his tours across schools in the state, Governor AbdulRazaq in the early days of his administration visited a dilapidated school, KLGEA primary School, Venra in Kaiama LGA. The state of the primary school was a reflection of our education system in Kwara in 2019. AbdulRazaq was aghast and wondering about the deficits, decay and deprivations that Kwarans have endured for the past years. He was highly miffed and dejected by what he saw. Not only were the buildings dilapidated, they lacked chairs, books for libraries, sporting facilities and just about anything. The situation had deteriorated to an embarrassing level that pupils and students in some public schools sat on the floor.

But how did Kwara get there? A context is necessary. As a state, we used to be one of the leaders as far as public education is concerned, especially in Northern Nigeria. The 16 years old political dynasty however stole the future of our public education and our children with various diversions and mismanagement of funds, to utterly abandoning investment in the education system. The morale of teachers was at an all-time low, with the default in their payment. A major mess during their era was an infamous diversion of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) fund which saw Kwara blacklisted in the league of states for seven years.

What that meant was that the state could not access the UBEC grant which was in billions to develop and redevelop basic education because of the greed and indiscretion of some leaders. The quality of education in the state began to sink. School structures were decaying and could not be fixed. Teaching materials could not be supplied. Teachers were being owed salaries for months. The result was the system we inherited where pupils sat on bare floor to learn and the eyesore dilapidated school structures scattered around.

Today, three years after, the situation has changed. Several public schools have undergone comprehensive remodeling across the state. Examples of which are the LGEA schools at Pakata, Wara, Ogidi, Mount Camel Oloje and several public schools in the state. The administration also engaged in massive construction of blocks of classrooms across the state. Several public schools that benefitted include JSS Sheikh Alimi, JSS Obanisuwa, LGEA Shuuban, several public schools across the state. Many schools also had their blown roofs reconstructed, while many VIP toilets were constructed in many of our public schools.

From complete rehabilitation of Government High School, Ilorin, rehabilitation of blocks of classrooms at Community Secondary School, Baboko, rehabilitation of a block of classrooms at Government Day Secondary School in Ilorin; to comprehensive rehabilitation of Oro Grammar School, Oro, rehabilitation of a block of classrooms at Ansarul Islam Secondary School, Ikotun, rehabilitation of a block of classrooms at Ijara Isin, complete rehabilitation of Government Secondary School, Share, all in Kwara south; it is a harvest of solid successes.

The comprehensive rehabilitation of Government (Unity) Secondary School, Kaiama, Government Secondary School, Lafiagi and Patigi Secondary School, Patigi, all in Kwara North, among so many other public primary and secondary schools undergoing renovation in the state, is a revolution in the education system.

The interesting thing is that all the schools come with a standard specification. All the schools either renovated or reconstructed have the symbolic red, blue or green roof which makes them distinct from other structures around. It is a revolution in the education sector because today, every local government area has been touched and the process of renovation is still on. The interest of parents in our public schools has been aroused, as they have started to enrol their children. Governor AbdulRazaq is restoring the public confidence the schools used to have in the past.

One of the first tasks pursued by the Governor was to renew the relationship of the state with UBEC. He had to pay what is left of what the previous administration diverted, and then commit another N7billion matching grant to attract UBEC fund. Kwara is now investing about N14 billion to revive the paralyzed education system. We’re getting results already with the ongoing massive renovation of schooling facilities. Of the estimated 2,000 plus dilapidated basic school structures inherited by the current administration, over 600 have been fixed in the last three years. Teachers now have their welfare given keen attention. Since the government started, no teacher or worker has been owed salaries. This is to build a motivated workforce that would give our children the right education.

And then, the AbdulRazaq administration also did something totally different from what obtained in the past on the recruitment of teachers. Unlike in the past where teaching slots were shared at party meetings, Governor AbdulRazaq stood firm that the recruitment process must be objective, thorough and qualitative. This bold step has a long lasting effect on the future of our children because they would learn from competent hands. Add this to the fact that the government has also introduced KwaraLEARN to ensure our education system meets the modern trend of digital economy. Teachers are being trained and retrained and various Digital Literacy Centres are being built across the north, south and central parts of the state.

The dramatic infrastructural turnaround of schools across the state will contribute significantly to the learning ability, interest and experience of the students. It will have a salutary effect on not just the learning environment but more significantly on students’ performance in national examinations so that we would not have to travel the sordid past of having to pay fines for involvement in examination malpractices again. It would be recalled that this administration paid N30.5m fines to prevent many public schools involved in malpractices in 2019 SSCE examinations from being blacklisted by WAEC.

With Governor AbdulRazaq’s administration, successes have been recorded. In December 2021, the state SUBEB contingent came first in the National President’s Cup in the debate competition. A paradigm shift from exam practices to academic recognition.

According to Governor AbdulRazaq, the brilliance, eloquence and composure of the students are a bold statement about the current state of public education in Kwara State, and “we invite members of the public and relevant stakeholders to support our ongoing efforts in the sector,” he stated while receiving the team which is expected to represent the country in the world debate competition this year.

The House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on Basic Education and Services just recently lauded the investment Kwara State has put to basic education under Governor AbdulRazaq during a working visit to the state.

“What we have seen so far in Kwara is of high quality and satisfactory. There is evidence of focus and commitment, and a clear interest in promoting basic education and empowering our children to survive in an increasingly complex technology driven global system,” chairman of the committee Prof. Julius Ihonvbere said.

At a meeting with the Governor, school heads and teachers from across the three senatorial districts had also commended him for taking their welfare as a priority and for the infrastructural revolution ongoing in their various schools. They clearly understand the difference between the past where they were owed several months of salaries to the present where their salaries are paid as and when due, even in the face of economic meltdown.

Moving forward, AbdulRazaq’s goal is to ensure that no child is left behind or denied every right and privilege to compete with their peers. This has provoked the administration to invest in the future by investing heavily in education so that the children of the poor will not feel inferior as a result of the school they attend. The structures of our public schools are now competing fairly with those of the private schools in terms of aesthetics.

There is also increase in attendance and enrollment in the public school system in Kwara state. This evidently paints the picture that the face of our public schools is changing. But Governor AbdulRazaq is not yet done, because for him, investment in basic education remains a cardinal focus of his administration. There is an inherent need to give him 4 more years to consolidate on his feats and achievements.

Fafoluyi Is SA, New Media to the Governor of Kwara State.

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Return Nigeria to republican constitution, NADECO writes Tinubu



The National Democratic Coalition has written a letter to President Bola Tinubu, seeking Nigeria’s return to the republican constitution.

In the letter signed by its spokesperson, Ayo Opadokun, the pro-democracy group noted that the 1963 republican constitution ensures true federalism and guarantees peaceful co-existence among regions and tiers of government in the country.

“NADECO is gratified that one of its most prominent leaders, who, in fact, contributed significantly to the titanic democratic struggle and campaign that the organisation had to embark upon on behalf of Nigerians to restore democracy to Nigeria, has, by divine destiny, become the elected President of the country of our birth.

“We like to remind you of the most important demand of our common and just struggle, which was centred on the imperative necessity to return Nigeria to a federal constitutional governance upon which we secured our independence.

“Nigeria remains a country, not a nation to date, because the military had without Nigerians democratic approval truncated, illegally suspended, abrogated and replaced our negotiated independent constitution and replaced it with unitary constitution to date.

“The deceptively choreographed, 1979 and 1999 constitutions which preserved all the grave damages which successive military governments have forcefully imposed upon Nigeria remain the bane of Nigeria’s backwardness, stunted growth and unacceptable level of poverty.

“NADECO is more than convinced that a return to the independence/republican constitution will restore responsive and responsible government in the minimum as we grapple with the business of reconstructing our country.’’

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Mobile subscriptions shrink by three million



Nigeria’s mobile subscriptions shrank by 3.49 million mobile subscriptions in the last three months, leaving a dent in the country’s march toward mobile inclusion for all.

Since mobile subscriptions hit an all-time high of 226.84 million in February of this year, it has been on a steady decline.

It first fell to 225.82 million in March, before slumping further to 223.34 million, according to new industry data from the Nigerian Communications Commission. This is also the first time since June 2021 that mobile subscriptions have fallen consistently.

In 2020 and 2021, a Federal Government policy to link SIMs to National Identification Numbers affected the mobile industry and caused a steep decline in mobile subscriptions. Since then, subscriptions have improved, and risen to record highs.

MTN Nigeria is the only telecommunication firm to have lost mobile subscriptions in the period under review, losing 4.03 million (from 92.71 million to 88.68 million), while retaining its spot as the largest mobile network operator in the country.

Other telcos had better fortunes, with Globacom marginally growing by 172,867 from 60.76 million to 60.93 million; Airtel added 31,705 new subscriptions and grew from 60.30 million to 60.33 million; and 9mobile witnessed the largest growth, adding 330,003 new subscriptions to hit 13.40 million from 13.07 million in the period under review.

Within the three months, teledensity (the number of active telephone connections per one hundred (100) inhabitants living within an area) fell to 117.17 per cent in April from 119.01 per cent in February.

In MTN’s first quarter report, MTN Nigeria’s Chief Executive Officer, Karl Toriola, noted that global macroeconomic factors, inflation, and cash shortages, among others, were affecting its consumers.

He said, “We continued to experience headwinds in our operating environment in the first quarter of 2023. The impacts of the ongoing global macroeconomic and geopolitical developments on energy, food, and general inflation were exacerbated locally by petrol and cash shortages experienced during the period. This placed additional pressure on economic activity, consumers, and businesses.”

Nigeria’s mobile population is the largest in Africa and the prior steady growth in the number of mobile subscriptions had been attributed to increased productivity and efficiency in other sectors

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Adeleke Promises to Upgrade OSBC Facilities, Prioritize Staff Welfare



Governor Ademola Adeleke on Thursday conducted an on-the-spot assessment of state-owned broadcasting firm, Osun State Broadcasting Corporation (OSBC).

The governor who was conducted round the facilities by the management of OSBC led by its board Chairman, Mr. Femi Adefila, expressed commitment towards revamping the station.

‘Adeleke who said the visit was an eye opener said ‘I can see urgent need for modern broadcasting equipments, action is ongoing in that line”

While tasking them to embrace private sector practices in programming and marketing, the governor promised to upgrade the infrastructures and prioritize welfare of staff and manpower development

Speaking on the 66 freelancer in the station Governor Adeleke hinted that their “day of joy is near.”

He urged the management to increase its Revenue generation drive, block loopholes in the Marketing and finance departments and restor OSBC back on its financial strength

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