Features

Saraki’s Legacies of Achievement in Kwara (II)

 

Continued from last Thursday
POWER
Kwara State under Saraki was the first state to complete the Nigeria Independent Power Project (NIPP) by Re-energizing the Ganmo Power Station in Ilorin. The power station generated only 90 MVA but after the reconstruction in collaboration with the Federal Government, the power generation capacity of the sub-station increased to an impressive 150 MVA with an installed capacity of 300 megawatts, resulting in average daily power supply of 18-22 hours per day in the areas it serviced.
The Bukola Saraki administration initiated and completed seven 15 MVA sub-stations (i.e mini-power stations) to fully utilize and maximize power supply coming from the National Grid through Ganmo.
The Saraki’s administration also oversaw the connection of 375 rural communities to the National Grid.
725 Power transformers were installed by the Saraki administration in various parts of the State. In fact, due to the various creative investments made in the area of provision of power supply to the nooks and crannies of the State, the then Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) adjudged Kwara State under Saraki as “best state in Nigeria in terms of power supply investment”.
SECURITY
To assist the Police and enhance security in Kwara State, the Saraki administration constructed 25 new police posts in Ilorin, the state capital.
The Saraki administration also provided bullet proof vests, vehicles and upgraded communication gadgets available to the police to the latest models.
The administration also erected surveillance cameras at strategic locations in and around the state capital for the use of the state Police Command.
GOVERNANCE AND ACCOUNTABILITY
The Saraki-led administration instituted a project monitoring system that made sure all government ministries and agencies has at least two evaluation processes. In collaboration with the Budget Monitoring and Price Intelligence Unit  (BMPIU) and the Project Monitoring Unit, the State recorded an unprecedented completion rate within the shortest possible time.
The administration of Dr Saraki after modernizing the economy of Kwara State also instituted a process of ensuring government benefitted  increased revenue from its socio-Economic investments. Thus, the IGR increased from N64 million per month in May 2003 to N300 million in July 2009, a rise that was projected to continue upwards since then.
Kwara State under the leadership of Bukola Saraki reconciled and paid off the debt of N 42 billion that it inherited in 2003.
As part of its drive towards transparency and effectiveness, the State government granted approval for Intercontinental Bank, FinBank and Bank PHB to support and handle e-payment for salaried pensions and other payments from the state which came into effect in April 2009.
CIVIL SERVANTS’ WELFARE
The administration raised N5billion in loans for civil servants and other public office holders in the state to purchase shares in the stock market.
The State government under Saraki also issued Civil servants with laptop and desk top computers, paid for on an installment basis, while computer training programmes and workshops were organized for political office holders such as permanent secretaries, directors, information officers, planning officers and level 14 and 15 officers.
AVIATION SECTOR DEVELOPMENT
Though Ilorin had an international airport since the 1970s, as at 2003 when the Saraki administration took off, the airport was put to little or no use at all. It was after 2004 when the Saraki administration provided the necessary leadership that opened up the airport to commercial flight operations.
The administration’s efforts led to the re-designation and equipping of the airport to provide scheduled local and international commercial flights. Equipped as a specialized cargo airport offering clients a welcome alternative to the frequently congested Lagos airport, its cargo terminal started to serve as a ‘dry port’ and a cargo hub for the northern part of the country, including the provision of around the clock operation for Customs officers.
Further to its plan to use the development of the aviation sector to further modernise and open up the economy of Kwara State, the Saraki administration established the Ilorin College of Aviation to train world class technicians with a key focus on efficiency and safety. The College is the second state owned aviation college in West Africa, after the Federal College of Aviation, Kaduna State. Along with training of commercial pilots, the College was planned to have important connections with the Kwara State University College of Aeronautical Sciences, which was planned as part of the University’s Faculty of Engineering in collaboration with Princeton University.
To be continued
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