The new All Progressives Congress (APC) government was inaugurated in Kwara State yesterday. So, as Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq begins his administration, stakeholders in the state members who spoke to DENIS MATTHEW, AHMED AJIKOBI, KAYODE ADEOTI and MIKE ADEYEMI, identified policies his government must pursue to fast-track economic growth and prosperity in the next four years.
Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Ilorin branch, Idowu Muhammed Akande: Rehabilitation of courtrooms, better salary for judicial workers
The main agenda we have for the new government is the rehabilitation of courtrooms and construction of more. As lawyers, we are worried because, today in Kwara State, we have six magistrates, sharing one courtroom and bulk of administration of criminal justice even some civil cases are being handled at the magistrate level. This has extended to the High Court where judges share a single court. The SUPEB and other government agencies are sharing premises with the magistrate blocks that is opposite the High Court, this is unfortunate. Courtrooms are supposed to be excluded from other agencies. Courtrooms where we have litigants, criminals should be well fenced. The new government needs to either demarcate or give the entire compound to the judiciary. There is need for crossing lines on our roads, particularly, the one in front of the high court, this is to protect the pedestrian. As a Bar, we have our prayers before the government, though our secretariat was built with our money, we need a more befitting secretariat outside the court premises, we want a chalet within the Government Reserved Area and our present complex can be converted to another public use. The remuneration of our judicial officers and the magistrates, is worrisome. A court prosecutor earns better than the magistrate. Also at the official Bar; Ministry of Justice, the take home has to be increased. What they earn now is very low compared to that of their contemporaries in other states.
Prioritise workers’ welfare – Chairperson, Federation of Women Lawyers, Kwara State chapter, Hajia Salmat Iyabode Muhammod
We want the present government to be focused and have plans for the civil servants. In the area of infrastructure, the new government must work hard because Kwara is lagging behind. Of course, we have the Geri Alimi Underpass, the new insurance centre and the about to be commissioned secretariat. The state government should be ready to listen to yearnings of people at the grassroots. The government should operate open door policy. We believe the new governor will take us to the Promised Land. Something must be done about our salary. We cannot force government to do anything for FIDA because it’s a non-governmental organisation but the First Lady, is automatically out matron.
Clear backlog of salaries – Vice Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Kwara State chapter, Comrade Muritala Saheed Olayinka
Governor of Kwara State, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq should reintroduce training and retraining programme for civil servants in the state for them to be abreast of contemporary technology-know-how and all the monetary allowances attached to this training should be paid immediately. The welfare of workers must be given ultimate priority. The government should clear salary arrears of state parastatals, pensioners, local government workers. The new administration should also ensure the implementation of the CONHESS at the Local Government level so they enjoy same package like their counterparts in the state health sector.
Pay attention to agriculture, human capital development – Executive Director, Nigeria Workforce Enlightenment and Strategy Centre (NIWOSEC), David Kayode Ehindero
I wish to strongly advise that the new government adhere to the promise of total departure from the past. Attention should be given to Kwara’s area of competence which is Agriculture and human capital. Hitherto, agriculture development has been more of lip service than action. I call on the new government to maximise the massive arable land and water resources to make Kwara the true hub of domestic and industrial agriculture in Nigeria. Indigenous Kwara farmers must be empowered to practice in Kwara. The Ministry of Agriculture and the Kwara Agric Development Project (KWADP) should be restructured for effective impact.
Kwara is also blessed with Human Resources, there is no reason why jobs that can be done by Kwara workers should be given to so called consultants thereby making workers redundant. Human capital development must be a core programme of the administration. Kwara workers should be trained and retrained for better service. The intellectual endowment of youths in the state should be harnessed, so that they would not engage in nefarious activities.
All hope for a brand new Kwara depends on the focused performance of the new government, it is my hope that they will justify their overwhelming election.
Recruitment of more nurses, midwives and welfare should be prioritise – Chairman of National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Comrade Joshua Adekanye is Kwara state
The new administration should focus on recruitment of more nurses and midwives to fill the vacuum already created in the various general hospitals in the state. The number of nurses and midwives is nothing to write home about in Kwara State. In some instances you will see one nurse attending to 20 patients and shifting of duties within a day making them to collapse while on duty. Some Local Government Areas have only five nurses. And these are the most important workers in every unit of the hospital because without them the health facility will collapse. Apart from recruitment, the new government should consider specialty among nurses like psychiatrist nurses, orthopaedic nurses, accident and emergency etcetera. The government should ensure that there are medical equipment in the hospitals to treat patients. They should provide stable electricity and water supply in the hospitals. Most of the hospitals are empty without working equipment and laboratory tools for test. Most importantly, the new government should ensure the implementation of the 60percent Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) at the Local Government councils which their counterparts are benefiting at the state level. Welfare of nurses and midwives should be accorded priority.
Empowerment of artisans, President, Association of Motorcyclist, Alhaji Fatai Oladimeji
We want the new Governor to consider us for empowerment. We also want the state government to subsidise cost of motorcycle for us. This is because a motorcycle that costs N200,000 is given to us at the rate of between N350,000 and N400,000. We want to advise the governor to operate open door system so that people can have access to him. We want a Special Assistant who will be sensitive to our plight. The state government should prioritize youth employment. We have members who have first degree.
Support security agencies – Assistant Commander General,VGN Abuja Zone, Saka Ibrahim
We want the new government to support security agencies in the state by giving them necessary support to fight crime in the state. There is presence of Vigilante Group of Nigeria (VGN) in all the 16 Local Government Areas of Kwara State and we are working tirelessly to combat crime in collaboration with the police. We need logistic support from the government such as patrol vehicles to fight crime effectively. We are ready to work with the new governor.
Strengthen Vigilante group of Nigeria – Alhaji Abdulraheem Seriki Ndaji
We want him to give financial support to Vigilante Group of Nigeria (VGN) operating in the state towards crime fighting. They depend on donations from good spirited people. But, if government can recognise them, they will work better. We want government to create employment for the youth to prevent hooliganism and social vices among youths in the state. We want the new government to rehabilitate the Ita-Amo bridge for economic development of the area.
Operate open door policy – Iyaloja General of Kwara State, Hajia Adenike Lambe
We want our governor to be transparent and give member of the public access to him. He should organise periodic town hall meetings. He should be a listening governor. He should work with everybody irrespective of party affiliation in his quest to develop the state. We want him to empower all the traders in the state to boost their businesses. Also government should help us with good road network for easy business network.
Focus on job creation – Babaloja of Kwara State, Alhaji Tunde Jimoh
We want our Governor to focus on educational development, reduce unemployment rate and ensure infrastructural development of the state. We also want him to focus on agriculture and subsidize food items for the people of the state.
Ensure grassroots sports development – The Director of Sports, Kwara State Football Council, Coach Tunde Kazeem
The leadership of Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq should make development of sports one of its priorities owing to the benefits. If this is done, it will not only arrest restiveness among youths, but it will also be source of employment generation. The governor should come up with policy on sports development and encourage grassroots participation in sports.
Set good direction for sports – Chairman, Gidado Football Academy, Alhaju Salihu Afase
There is need for good sports direction from the new administration. Kwara State has a lot of talents that have not been fully tapped. The new governor should formulate holistic sports policy that will usher in a new era in the sports industry.