Governor Ahmed’s Growth Agenda for Kwara State: A Rejoinder, By Muideen Akorede
Reading an article on Abusidiqu.com by Musa S. Hassan, titled Of Governor Ahmed And His Agenda For Kwara State, I was left with two possible conclusions: the author is either completely out of touch with developments in Kwara or has chosen to ignore them for reasons best known to him. That conclusion is inevitable when we put Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed’s achievements against the subjective conclusions contained in the said article.
The author claims that the only development in the health sector is the on-going remodelling rehabilitation of the Ilorin, Offa, Share, Omu-Aran and Kaiama general Hospitals. While these hospital projects are major given the scale and potential number of communities that will benefit, they are by no means the only achievements in the sector.
Within the last two years, 14 Primary Health Centres across the state have been rehabilitated by the Ahmed administration. Also, Hassan claims that these health centres are bedevilled by lack of equipment and drugs. Is he aware that within 100 days of the administration, modern equipment were supplied to all General Hospitals and Primary Health Centres across the state? Where was Hassan when Governor Ahmed distributed ambulances to 13 General Hospitals as well as drugs and equipment to 43 primary health centres across the state? To educate him, the Governor’s Ahmed’s pledge to ensure to ensure accessibility to healthcare within 500 meters radius is a policy thrust that he aims to achieve within four years. We are getting closer to that target with the rehabilitation of the five general hospitals, the imminent rehabilitation of another five and construction of new ones based on need, rehabilitation of the 14 PHC and supply of drugs and equipment to the hospitals as highlighted earlier.
Furthermore, there is a patent lack of depth in the article as evidenced by Hassan’s frequent use of ‘throw away’ unsubstantiated claims. An example is his claim that most primary and secondary schools in the state are not conducive to learning. Yet it is on record and is widely-known that the Ahmed administration rehabilitated 400 classrooms at the basic and senior secondary school levels in the last two years under the Schol Development Program. Additionally, science and laboratory equipment were supplied to secondary schools across the state besides the modernisation of the Educational Resource Centre, Ilorin to enhance the capacity of teachers to provide quality tuition to the pupils and students..
In the area of rural electrification, Hassan must be the only Kwara resident who is unaware of the massive procurement and installation of transformers under the state government’s Urban and Rural Electrification Program. So far 189 Communities have been connected to the national grid under the scheme. More are expected to benefit under the continuing rural and electrification program.
The author also makes the claim that infrastructure development is concentrated in Ilorin, the state capital. More than any other criticism in the article, none demonstrates the fallacy and patent lack of depth in Hassan’s writing than this. For example, of the five General Hospitals under rehabilitation, only one is in Ilorin. The others are in Offa, Share, Omu-Aran and Kaiama. Besides, the 41 rural roads constructed or rehabilitated by the Ahmed administration are obviously not in Ilorin. Neither are the 400 schools and the 189 communities that have benefitted from the urban and rural electrification program. What about the 330 boreholes sunk by the administration and 17 rehabilitated water works across the three senatorial districts? Clearly, the claim that infrastructural development is limited to Ilorin, the state capital, holds no water.
Whether Hassan admits it or not, the innovative Kwara Bridge Employment Scheme (KWABES) has empowered thousands of youths across the state. For the record, and to correct the author, 4000 youths have been provided permanent civil service employment within the last two years. An additional 150 youths were trained by the Kwara State University under the Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme. During the last Democracy Day celebration, another 1000 youths were offered immediate employment under KWABES.
Furthermore, there no truth to the claim that these jobs have been distributed through cronyism. Beneficiaries were selected based on skill sets, level of education and locality to ensure even spread across the three senatorial districts. The claim that crime has risen in Kwara State because these jobs have been distributed to politicians is ridiculous and unfounded. More, he fails to admit that the 2000 youths mentioned in his article are either Kwarans or residents who satisfied set down criteria.
The forward looking Ahmed administration is committed to rapidly developing Kwara State. In the coming months, government will unveil new landmark socio-economic projects designed to trigger rapid industrialisation, stimulate economic growth and massive youth jobs. The upcoming projects include a 100MW Independent Power Project in Kwara North, four mega secondary schools across the state, new general hospitals, rehabilitation and modernisation of Ilorin Stadium Indoor Sports Hall, massive road rehabilitation etc.
When the Ahmed administration starts implementing these and other life-transforming programs, I hope Hassan and his ilk will be honest enough to commend these and the other initiatives outlined earlier.
Kwara State: Its Good Here
Muideen Akorede, PhD,
Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communication to Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed
Muideen Akorede, PhD
Senior Special Assistant to the Governor,
(Media and Communication),
I invite you to follow me on twitter @phemmmy. Also follow @Governor_Ahmed
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