By Mumini Abdulkareem
Kwara State Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq has restated his resolve to prioritise the development of the state over his personal comfort.
The Governor said this on Friday in Ilorin during a live broadcast and media chat to commemorate the first year of his administration.
According to him, his administration was not in a rush to purchase official vehicles or make the Government House cozy when the state is need of befitting infrastructure to improve the socioeconomic development of the state.
AbdulRazaq who noted that his conducts, prudent handling of public funds, and prioritisation of people’s welfare were in agreement with the spirit of the APC campaign slogan O to ge said what Kwarans voted for was change and a new beginning to chart a new course in the state.
He said the state has been able to fund numerous projects because of the prudency in the management of public resources.
“I thank members of the state House of Assembly who are all entitled to a vehicle each but have so far sacrificed that which possibly runs to over a billion naira. Our commissioners are also entitled to vehicles. That also runs to over a billion. The Governor and the deputy Governor and their aides are also entitled to vehicles which also run to over a billion. We all have sacrificed such in order to invest in critical infrastructure for the state, he noted.
Abdulrazaq said his emergence at the poll was not to lavish public funds on acolytes or entrenched interests and said his priority has been to “share projects” across the state to deepen development in the grassroots.
“We abandon the renovation of Government House which is also over N100m. That’s not important to us now. We need to focus on the essential things. We believe that there should be a change in the way things are done.
“Let us make sure that we start delivering now with the right trajectory because our people voted for change and change has come to stay. People will continue to see the change. Yes, some (persons) will complain that we’re not sharing money. We’re not doing this, we’re not doing that. We are not here to share money; we are here to share projects and infrastructure. We expect people to stay with us and stay focused.
He thanked the people of the state for their support over the last one year, calling on them to remain steadfast as the administration commits public funds to serve them.
“We are doing a lot of jobs. This morning I looked at the social media and I saw that Kwara is trending number one because we are doing the right things; we are taking the right steps, and taking the right decisions. The resources are scarce but the little we have we are spending prudently and judiciously,” the Governor added.
Commenting on the plummeting oil prices and the COVID-19 pandemic that have slowed down global economy, AbdulRazaq said the government would slash the (N162bn) 2020 budget by roughly N40bn with huge emphasis placed on cutting cost of governance and some infrastructural projects that do not immediately impact on the lives of the people.
He said more money would now go into social investments to shore up the purchasing power of the masses amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
AbdulRazaq said the state government had nearly finalised debates on the national minimum wage until the pandemic struck, adding however that the recent presidential order granting autonomy to local governments has justified his position that the third tier of government must be allowed to manage its own resources and take its own decisions.
He commended the workers in the state, including the leadership of the unions, for their understanding while the debate lasted, saying the government remains committed to the welfare of the workers, a statement from the Chief Press Secretary, Rafiu Ajakaye stated.
By Mumini Abdulkareem