Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has held a virtual town hall meeting with Igbomina think tank to lay bare his administration’s proposals for an industrial hub located on the Amoyo-Jimba Oja-Idofian corridor, master plan, and sustainable action on the IV-TEC.
Fidel Info reports that the talk was preceded by a verifiable catalog of the administration’s multi-sectorial achievements in the region and across the state, including road projects, bridges and culverts, water, education, health facilities, social investment, workers’ welfare, and appointments into key positions in government.
In an interaction that lasted about four hours on Wednesday night, the Governor sought their buy-ins for an industrial hub to be sited at the Amoyo-Idofian axis because of its proximity to electricity source from Osogbo.
He said the hub — comprising agro-processing and service centers — would be included in the 2023 budget but will take a few years to be completed because of its large scope.
The town hall meeting was attended by senior citizens and elite of Igbomina extraction at home and in the diaspora, including the Olupo of Ajase-Ipo Oba Ismail Yahaya Alebiosu; President of Omo Ibile Igbomina Elder G Y Jimoh; Vice President Chief Sunday Ibitoye; Alhaji Raheem Adedoyin; Alhaji Sikiru Aliu; Alhaji Kayode Olaoye; Dr. Sunday Popoola; Elder Lateef Amolegbe; Dr. Lateef Olaniyan; Engr. Ibrahim Aroworowon; among others.
AbdulRazaq said the proposal to site an industrial park in Jimba Oja axis was mainly an economic decision to make sure those companies that are located there would have access to energy directly from the national grid — a position many participants agreed with.
He said the park offers investment opportunities for the people of the state, especially Igbomina people, adding that such facilities will hasten development in the axis.
He attributed the collapse of many industries in the state to the high cost of or the lack of sustainable energy sources.
“If you look at the industries in Offa, the Okin biscuit, the Erinle paper converter, they have all collapsed and it is majorly because of the cost of energy or the lack of it. It is a major reason they all went down, basically because of the cost of diesel. Diesel, today, is over N800 per litre — industries can’t sustain this. Essentially, the most important source of energy with the 33KV passing through Ganmo going to Jebba and Kanji, going down to Osogbo, that is the best location, so it is not a political decision to locate it there, it is mainly an economic decision to make sure those companies that are located there have access to energy directly from the national grid,” AbdulRazaq explained.
“Without shaving your head behind your back, one needs to engage and see what superior arguments are out there in terms of location. What are the issues that affect the sensibilities of the communities there? So, that is why I said this is what we want to do, but if there are better ideas let’s discuss because it is something we want to put in the 2023 budget so that we can start the processes. These industrial parks cost a lot of money.”
He said the park will be a state-led initiative to drive growth, adding: “Already, there is an agro-processing zone being funded through the African Development Bank. It is one of the six nations, and Kwara has got one to be situated in Kwara North. This is being located in Kwara North mainly because of its comparative advantage.”
Asserting that the state can no longer afford unplanned growth that had led to flooding and poor access to basic amenities, the Governor also explained that the Ilorin Master Plan, the first phase of a comprehensive Kwara Master Plan, will be followed by other master plans for the other parts of the state.
He said Amoyo was removed from the Ilorin Master Plan following his consultations with the Igbomina leaders, adding however that the original inclusion of Amoyo within the 25 kilometers radius of Ilorin City was to maximize public resources, and not on account of any political motives.
He said the first and the last master plan for Ilorin capital city expired over two decades ago, leading to unplanned growth and its consequences on sustainable human living and infrastructural development.
The government is similarly concerned about the sustainability of the International Vocational Technical and Entrepreneurship College (IVTEC) Ajase-Ipo and it may require some upgrades to issue diplomas or degrees for wider acceptance, the Governor told the think tank, adding that such upgrades will not necessarily affect its primary focus on vocational training.
“We acknowledge the concerns on IVTEC. At the same time, we need to think about sustainability. Is it sustainable as it is? When we came on board, it was practically down. No one was enrolling there because they complained that the certificate is not widely recognized. We reduced the tuition to make it affordable while bearing the other costs but the situation remains the same. As I speak to you, only students that are 100% funded by the government are enrolled at the school. This is not sustainable, hence the plan to probably make it a campus of KWASU, while its vocational and other technical training programs are still being offered but with more acceptable certificates,” he said.
The Olupo of Ajase-Ipo Oba Ismail Alebiosu, who confirmed the development as narrated by the Governor with firsthand information within his domain, said the government and the people will be better served if the IVTEC issues a more acceptable certificate, even if it retains technical training. He said the current trend in the school is not sustainable.
President of Omo Ibile Igbomina Elder Jimoh, for his part, commended AbdulRazaq for his plans to open up Kwara South for economic activities and development.
“On behalf of the Igbomina people both at home and abroad, I want to thank His Excellency for all that you have listed. Most especially, I am thanking him for granting our request for the exclusion of Igbomina land from the 25 kilometers radius new Ilorin City plan. We are very grateful for the prompt response to our request,” Elder Jimoh said.
Engr Nurudeen Adeyemi commended the AbdulRazaq’s administration for ensuring even development of the state and for prioritizing people’s agenda.
“Thank you, Your Excellency, for always prioritizing what we call the people’s agenda. At no time have we spoken to you about the concerns of our people that you have not risen to the occasion,” he said.
“Most importantly, you understand the imbalances that our people have felt in the past and I know that Your Excellency continuously and cautiously tries to take a balanced approach to make sure that development and all other intangibles, whether it is in the hiring of teachers, is on level playing ground and equally balance across the three senatorial districts. That is leadership. Therefore, we are very fortunate to have you amongst us today here and most importantly to thank you for the excellent leadership you have provided our great state at these very difficult times.”
Mr. Raphael Olanrewaju, another member of the think tank, said eyewitness accounts of the government’s strides have been commendable, urging him to also help with the Arandun road in Irepodun local government.
Participants took turns to commend the Governor for his clear-headed ideas about socioeconomic development, his modest approach to public life, and for helping to drive a new political narrative that de-emphasizes extreme conduct or political violence in the state.
Gov AbdulRazaq Rewards Best Kwara civil Servants With New Car, Other Prizes
Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq at the weekend presented a car key to the star winner of the State’s Civil Service Award programme, Dr. Kazeem Lakadir, in appreciation of his outstanding performance and character in the service.
Fidel Info reports that the Governor, while congratulating the star winner and other awardees, promised to sustain his administration’s motivational programmes for the workforce in the state.
“We have come to the end of the civil service week, which is a well organized event. It is nice to see smiles on your faces,” the Governor said in Ilorin at the Kwara State Civil Service Dinner and Award Night on Friday.
Dr. Lakadir, a staff of the Ministry of Health, won the star prize following a painstaking screening and recommendation of the Award Presentation Committee.
“Let me congratulate the awardees of this event. It is truly well deserved. It was only yesterday I was mentioning what the Ministry of Health did during the Covid19 pandemic and their outstanding performances. This award has come to show that I was not misplacing my praise for them,” he said.
AbdulRazaq commended the State Head of Service Mrs Suzan Modupe Oluwole for the initiative, which, according to him, was designed to make the workers happy.
“I congratulate the Head of Service for putting this event together. It is a good thing to make sure that the workforce is happy, to rally them together and make sure the right things are done for the State,” he said.
“On our part as a State we will make sure we always do the most responsible and sustainable things for you to make sure you have a conducive environment to work, and make sure your salaries are paid as and when due.
“We will do the needful to make you happy. Once you are happy you will deliver the service to the State.”
Other prizes doled out to the runners up and other categories of awardees included Plasma TV, Refrigerators, Power Generating set, and Fans.
“By the special grace of God this event will be bigger next year. As you know our government takes your welfare very seriously and we will always do that,” he added.
The event was also attended by the Deputy Governor Kayode Alabi; cabinet members and other government officials; serving and retired permanent secretaries; labour leaders; and other top civil servants in the state.
Mrs. Oluwole, for her part, thanked AbdulRazaq for prioritising workers’ welfare and for approving funds for the colourful event.
Civil servants who spoke at the event took turns to appreciate the Governor for being labour friendly.
Kwara Govt Begins E-Payment Of Bursary To Students
Sequel to the 100 percent Bursary increment of kwara State Students of Tertiary institutions accross the Country, the State Government has Commenced disbursement of Bursary through the Online platform that has been made available to the Students of Tertiary institutions.
Fidel Info reports that The Commissioner for Tertiary Education Dr Alabi Afees Abolore disclosed this development during an inauguration ceremony and launching of the 5th edition of ACME magazine by the National Association of the Nigerian Students (Joint Campus Council (JCC) Kwara State Axis held during the week at the College of Nursing Ilorin Auditorium.
Dr Alabi during his keynote address reeled some of the achievements of the Kwara State Government under the administration of Mallam AbduRahman Abdulrazaq and further encouraged students not to be allowed for cheap political gains by selfish individuals or group of people. The Honourable Commissioner advised them to take their academic pursuit as top priority and that they should shun all forms of social violence amongst others.
Dr Abolore added that the Administration of Mallam Abdulraman Abdulrasaq is committed towards Students welfare and would ensure that Kwara Students welfarism are taken very seriously
Dr Abolore urged the beneficiary (Students) to put the bursary payments to good use and expressed his heartfelt appreciation to the Executive Governor of Kwara State AbdulRahman keeping to his campaign promises in all areas of sectors including Basic and Tertiary Education.
The Kwara State Students affirmed and endorsed the working Governor Mall. Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq for second term having been convinced of the developmental and prosperity agenda of His Excellency Mallam Abdulrahman AbdulRazaq for great people of Kwara. They prayed that may Almighty God make it easy for him. Amen
Niger Delta Ministry To Hand Over Skills Center To Imo
The plan by the Ministry to turn over the Skill Acquisition Center at Abaezi-Egbema, Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area, Imo state to the Imo State Government before the end of February 2023 has been made public by Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs Sharon Ikeazor.
Fidel Info reports that While visiting the Ministry’s intervention projects in the states of Imo and Abia, Ikeazor informed newsmen in Owerri of this.
She emphasized that the creation of the skills acquisition center in the area was done in order to provide specialized training in commerce for the economic advancement of the Niger Delta region’s residents.
The facility was created to offer specialized training in commerce, and according to the minister, “We are satisfied with the volume and quality of work at the facility. The facility would be commissioned and given to the Imo State Government before the end of February 2023.
“Also, the Polytechnic Nekede has written to the Ministry requesting the use of the facility as one of its campuses so we are waiting for approval from the Presidency on that but at the same time engaging the Imo State Government to see how we can put this to good use immediately.”
Also, among the projects inspected and others commissioned include the Skill Acquisition Center at Abaezi-Egbema, Ohaji/Egbema L.G.A, Civil Center at Nwaorieubi, Mbaitolu L.G.A, the Commissioning of the Rehabilitated Okuala Igurunta Road in Imo State.
“Skill Acquisition Center at Owazza, Ukwa East, Construction of Ntigha Umuopara Amuzu Akanu Ohanze Isiala Road, Umuelem -Leru -Ngada -Lokpanta Road in Umunneochi L.G.A, Erosion Site at Umuelem Umunneochi L.G.A in Abia State, which are at various levels of completion or awaiting commissioning and handing over to the communities.”
She noted the facility is handled by Messrs Thick Engineering Nig. Ltd (Lot 1), Messrs Segos Energy Services Ltd (Lot 2), Messrs Topaz Flaire Nig.. Ltd. (Lot 3) contains an Administrative block, Commerce block, ICT block, Conference hall, Warehouse, Male and Female hostels, Detached and Semi-detached duplexes with Boys quarters, Indoor sports hall among others and commended the contractors for keeping the facility safe from being vandalised after 12 years of its completion while the Skill Acquisition Center at Owazza Ukwa East is at 58 per cent completion.
Speaking at the commissioning of the Rehabilitated Okuala, Iguruta Road (Phase 1), she said: “In line with the mandate of the Ministry to promote sustainable development, peace and economic prosperity of the Niger Delta region through the development of infrastructure such as good road network, the Federal Executive Council approved the award of the 17.5km roads project (Phase 1) the road was awarded in phases due to its peculiarities while the other section of the road is being constructed by another tier of government.
She, however, commended the project contractor, Messrs Triacta/Hartland Nig. Ltd for completing the project even with the prevailing challenges.
The minister among other things said the projects were achieved because of the collaboration with the State Governments in the Niger Delta region, Critical Stakeholders, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and State Representatives ( both state and federal)
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