By Mumini AbdulKareem
The Kwara State House of Assembly, yesterday, finally stepped down the request of Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed seeking to access another N1 billion agriculture loan from Sterling Bank for disbursement to poultry and fish farmers in the state.
The lawmakers further set aside the Governor’s request to access another N400million loan to settle the subventions of the state-owned tertiary institutions.
The House which had earlier took the decision in its resolution after deliberating on the governor’s request submitted on Tuesday, further adopted the decision Wednesday after claiming it failed to get satisfactory answers from the executive.
In unanimous decision, the House had on Tuesday asked the executive to provide information on how the N1billion agriculture loan it approved in 2017 was disbursed and the list of beneficiaries across the local governments in the state.
Reading the lawmakers resolution, the Speaker, Dr Ali Ahmad also directed the Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources to liaise with the executive to ascertain the real identity of the beneficiaries of the new loan request.
The legislature while setting aside the N400million loan request for state tertiary institutions, queried the rationale for the loan since the allocation from the Federal Government and the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) had improved since the beginning of the year.
The two requests that were stepped down by the House were part of the three letters from the governor considered at the emergency session held Tuesday after calling off its Easter recess.
The House however, approved the request of the governor to obtain a N4billion loan to offset the backlog of salaries owed staff and pensioners in the 16 councils of the state.
Local government workers and pensioners are currently owed N7.7billion in accumulated salary arrears and pensions, prompting the state government to opt for the loan in conjunction with the councils.
…summons HoS, Perm Secs over ministries relocation funding
By Mumini AbdulKareem
The Kwara State House of Assembly, yesterday, summoned the state Head of Service, Mrs Susan Oluwole and Permanent Secretaries in the ministries of Housing, Finance and Planning over funding for the relocation of Ministry of Housing and Bureau of Lands.
The House issued the summon in its resolution after considering a motion on the need to halt movement of the state Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and Bureau of Lands to the premises of the state College of Midwifery, Ilorin
The motion which was moved by AbdulRahman AbdulRafiu (Ilorin North/West) enjoyed the support of all members who contributed during the debate on the motion.
The prime mover while leading the debate urged the House not to allow any state ministry or agency relocated to the premises of the state College of Midwifery in view of its importance to the well-being of residents of the state.
He said the College of Midwifery which was established in 1933 was one of the six leading Colleges for the training of midwives in Nigeria and a health legacy of the state government which has enjoyed transformation over the year.
Some of the members who contributed during the debate include, the House Leader, Hon Hassan Oyeleke. The latter kicked against the decision of the state government adding that it is absurd and faulty ab initio to have accepted to relocate anything that would hamper the smooth running of any institution of learning.
The Speaker, Dr Ali Ahmad while reading the resolution of the House directed the state Head of Service, Mrs Susan Oluwole and Permanent Secretaries in the ministries of Finance, Housing and Planning to appear before the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation to explain the source of fund for the relocation of the ministry and agency which he said was not appropriated in the 2018 budget of the state.
The lawmakers urged the state government to halt the relocation forthwith in the interest of the School of Midwifery and to halt potential loss of vital land documents in the process of relocation.
Also during Wednesday’s plenary, the House called on the state government to assist the victims of March 28 petrol tanker fire incident in Jebba, Moro Local Government Area of the state.
The plea followed a matter of urgent public importance on the plight of the victims raised by the Deputy Speaker, Hon Mathew Okedare (Lanwa/Ejidongari Constituency).
Okedare, had told the House that property and other valuables worth over N100 million were lost in the incident that also claimed five lives.