FG Hails Kwara Gov Over Social Investment Programme

Federal Government has commended Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq over the state’s social investment programme, hailing him for pushing through the safety net with appreciable improvements on the model that was understudied from the presidency.

Uzoma Nwagba, chief operating officer of the Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme (GEEP), said in a commendation letter to the Governor that he was glad that AbdulRazaq followed through on the programme — barely one year after he visited the headquarters of GEEP in Abuja.

GEEP, which comprises MarketMoni, TraderMoni, FarmerMoni, is a component of President Muhammadu Buhari’s National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) that seeks to empower small businesses and lift as many people as possible out of poverty line.

Nwagba said Kwara’s version of the programme has also turned out to be a huge success with at least 21,623 petty traders getting interest-free loan to upscale their businesses and thousands more to benefit from its Owo Arugbo — a part of the social programme that targets vulnerable, old people. 

He specifically commended “the excellent work you are doing with your own programme (Owo Isowo, Owo Arugbo, etc)

“I am really excited to see that you carried on that vision, and it is working in Kwara. You even made improvements (e.g. mandatory BVN, etc) over and above ours.

“The commencement of the programme made me very happy, Your Excellency, especially the replication of the clear process and transparency (of the scheme).

“Because Kwara has built a ready platform and project infrastructure locally, you are ready for the World Bank CARES project.”

*Rafiu Ajakaye

_Chief Press Secretary to the Governor_ 

_September 14th, 2020._

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3,195 Enrolled As Kwara’s Digital Training Programme Begins

At least 3,195 young people have been enrolled in the first phase of Kwara’s virtual digital training class which began on Thursday — 1,195 more than the initial figure (2000) intended for the exercise when it was announced.

The 3,195, who responded to the pre-training survey, were shortlisted from a total of 6,766 who originally applied for the virtual training.

The training, a component of the Kwara State Social Investment Programme, is being conducted in partnership with Grow with Google and Wootlab Foundation and is free for the enrollees and the state government.

“Of the 3,195, 1,763 have been inducted into the first cohort and the class began on Thursday and would run for the next two weeks. The second cohort comprises 1,432 whose class begins on May 18,” according to a statement by Chief Press Secretary to the Governor Rafiu Ajakaye.

“Each cohort runs for two weeks. The programme covers the following courses: Fundamentals of Digital Marketing (Accredited certification by Grow with Google), Applied Digital tools and G Suites (certified by Grow with Google), Social Media Marketing, Graphic Design, Business Branding and Presentation to Impress.”

The plan was to train 2,000, but the organisers had to increase capacity and resources due to overwhelming interest from the youth, the statement added.

Ogunniyi Tomilola Oyebola, a baker who is attending the class, said she applied for the programme to “acquire digital skills that will help me to be relevant in this 21st century and prepare for employment and entrepreneurial opportunities in my baking business.”

Kasali Olawale Taofiq, another successful applicant who is into security engineering, said he applied to “upscale my knowledge in digital literacy so as to apply it in my line of business.”

Fadiji Aminat Wuraola, a teacher, said she opted in to up her digital skills.

Chioma Okoro, Chief Operating Officer at Wootlab, said the response to the programme underlined young people’s thirst for digital knowledge.

“We were overwhelmed at the number of applications that came in, especially on the 1st and 2nd day. However, we expected a 50% response rate to the pre-programme survey that was sent to the applicants,” she said.

“We wanted participants that are willing to learn and improve themselves and the survey proved just that. We expect the participants to be better versions of themselves at the end of the programme.”

Muhammad Brimah, Anchor of KWASSIP, said the response of the applicants was impressive and encouraging.

He added: “It was quite impressive when we realised the massive response of applicants accross the State. There has always been a thirst for knowledge in Kwara and it has been proven yet again. All our youths need is the opportunity. There is no better time than now, considering what the world will be post-COVID-19. Remote workers would be in high demand and it is good we are getting our youths prepared for the coming opportunities.”

Rafiu Ajakaye
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor
May 1, 2020.

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Group Congratulates Mohammed Brimah On Kwara Appointment

A social political group, The Progressive League (TPL) has congratulated the newly appointed Consultant for Kwara State Social Investment Programme KWASSIP, Mr Mohammed Brimah. This is contained in a statement signed by the Convener of the group, Mr Ileowo Kikiowo.

According to the group, Mohammed Brimah remains one of the brain box behind the success of National Social Investment Programme of President Muhammadu Buhari and his wealth of experience will surely help the KWASSIP.

The group also commends the Kwara state governor for his eyes to discover the best among the emerging leaders to pursue his agenda for a better Kwara State.

“We have no doubt Mohammed Brimah will make serious impact and leave long lasting legacy of service in Kwara. More so, Governor AbdulRahman eyes for emerging leaders to lead critical development agenda in the state is highly commendable,” Ileowo stated.

The group also pledge to support the newly appointed KWASSIP consultant and the government of Kwara state in making life better for Kwarans.

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Kwara N-Power Stands As A Good Example For Other States – Brimah

The Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation and Youth Employment, Mr. Mohammed Brimah, on 28th of August, 2019 attended the formal launching of the 40 hectares farm of the Kwara N-Power Agro at the University of Ilorin, Kwara State.

Brimah, who represented the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation and Youth Employment, Mr Afolabi Emakhuade, while delivering his speech at the event noted that “When the administration of President Muhammudu Buhari came on board in 2015, unemployment was at an all-time high, recession had crept into our economy. Many graduates were roaming the streets with no job nor any means of survival. However, the Buhari administration, in keeping to its campaign promises, designed some Social Investment Programmes to help improve the living condition of our teeming youth.”

The Presidential Assistant also expressed happiness with the progress the N-power program has recorded in Kwara State. “Today, I am happy to hear that NPOWER Kwara and the University of Ilorin have signed an MOU for a ten year lease on 40 hectares of land for large scale farming. Also, you have acquired 7 hectares of land at Oke-Oyi, the Ilorin East Local Government, through the Kwara State Ministry of Agriculture. I have also been informed that you have planted several crops including soya beans, maize, millets and Egusi.. etc,” he said.

While reiterating the process for enlisting in the Npower program, Brimah emphasized that the “N-POWER programme is the employability and enhancement programme of the Federal Government of Nigeria aimed at imbibing the learn-work-entrepreneurship culture in youth between 18 and 35. Applications are done online to create a level playing ground for everyone, with the information supplied during the application stage serving as basis for an objective selection and direct payment process through the bank accounts and BVN submitted by the applicants. The State engages in the physical verification and deployment of the successful candidates to their places of assignment after they have been selected, while direct payment of N30,000 to their accounts commences after State validation.”

The Deputy Governor of Kwara State, Dr Kayode Alabi commended the N-Power Agro Volunteers for their proactiveness and their contributions to the development of the state.

He said: “I will like to appreciate the Federal Government for the initiative that provides job opportunities for so many Nigerians and Kwarans in particular. The contributions of the N-Power Agro Volunteers goes a long way in adding value to the socio-economic activities of the state”

He furthered by advising the youths in Kwara State to see agriculture as a diversify way of making a living as all souls depends on food. He urged them to shun all acts of immoralities and restlessness to make quick money.

Other personalities who graced the outing were all impressed and overwhelmed as they were being taken round the farmlands. They all appreciated the economy diversification plan of the president into agriculture and reiterates how the N-Power program have impacted positively into the economy of the state and how it has helped reduce unemployment.

The State Focal Person, Dr. (Mrs.) Katibi, the former Senator representing the Federal Capital Territory, Alh. Khairat Gwadabe were represented at the event. Also present at the formal presentation are the Permanent Secretary of the Kwara State Ministry of Agriculture, Alh. Katsina; the Director of the National Orientation Agency and the President of the Cashew Farmers Association of Nigeria, Kwara State Chapter.

The 40 hectares farm with Beans, Egusi and Corn was visited before proceeding to Oke-Oyi where the N-Power Agro Volunteers present hundreds of Cashew seed to the Kwara State Association of Cashew Farmers.

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Facts Don’t Lie – Edupapa Should Stop Misleading Us On Kwara Minsterial – Group

We have noted a press statement attributed to the EDU/Patigi Progressive Association (EDUPAPA) calling for the review of the ministerial nomination of Alhaji Lai Muhammed and Senator Gbemisola Saraki. The press statement by EDUPAPA is totally false and a dangerous manipulation of public discourse.

Ordinarily, this would not have elicited any response from us as President Muhammadu Buhari has the sole right to nominate anyone from Kwara State for a position to his Executive Council. We are obligated to respond to avoid public misunderstanding of the mischief that the so called EDUPAPA are trying to create. EDUPAPA is disingenuous and mischievous.

This statement would have been unnecessary if EDUPAPA confined themselves to facts. The EDUPAPA allowed themselves to be blinded by divisive tribalism and sentiments to the extent that they murder facts in order to exaggerate and mislead Kwarans about political distribution of power in Kwara. We are saddened by this and have taken it upon us to emphasize and establish certain facts that our EDUPAPA brothers are shielding from the public.

The group’s main claim that Edu/Patigi Local Governments have been excluded from Federal appointments. Nothing is further from the truth.

(1) Of all the federal appointments given to Kwarans by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, the very same Edu Local Government that is complaining has one of its sons as the Federal Commissioner representing Kwara State on the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) as recently appointed as after the general elections of 2019.
(2) The same goes for the second Local Government complaining, Patigi Local Government, who has one of its sons as the Nigerian Ambassador to Japan.
(3) In total, Kwara North has the highest number of Federal appointments, with both Ambassadors coming from that senatorial district , the second one being the Ambassador to Malaysia who is from Kaiama Local Government, Kwara North.
(4) Neither the other two zones – Kwara South or Kwara Central played to the public gallery to complain about the two Ambassadors coming from the same Kwara North zone. Why? Because we were happy that the State as a whole were given two Ambassadorial slots, and we respected the prerogative of Mr. President to choose those he deemed fit to serve in whatever position he so decides.

The Governor and the Deputy Governor must surely come from somewhere, and as Kwara North occupied the deputy Governorship seat for eight years, we wonder why EDUPAPA will bring that up again, if not only to manipulate the truth to suit their own narrative of personal agenda. The Number 3 seat, the Speaker of the State Assembly is occupied by a Kwara Northerner as well as is the position of SSG of the state. We, the South and Central, have able men and women who could have occupied these positions and even desired to, but we accepted that it should be the right of the Governor to pick his own SSG based on criteria that he sets for himself.

We surely hope the EDU/Patigi Progressive Association (EDUPAPA) will no try to undermine the unity of the All Progressive Congress in Kwara State. We expect them to appreciate President Buhari for considering two hardworking and deserving Kwarans for ministerial positions. We worked too hard for victory in 2019 to allow mischievous and disingenuous political intentions to create acrimony within our political family.

It is on record that Alhaji Lai Muhammed and Senator Gbemi Saraki sacrificed a lot for the peace, unity, progress and victory of the All Progressive Congress in Kwara and nationally; We won’t forget so easily, how these two leaders and their followers worked tirelessly for all candidates of the APC and our dear President.

The people of Kwara North are usually peaceful and loyal people; our bond and relationship are historic. However, we have noticed that of late, a few ambitious and overzealous politicians driven by nothing but personal interest, have tried to create a divide-and-rule atmosphere, that can only destroy the APC in the state. Is this their ulterior intention?

We must all be mindful that politics of self-interest destroys all that is good in a people and in a community. We appeal to our good brothers and sisters from Kwara North, especially Edu and Patigi Local Governments, to shun these handful of people trying to make a mountain out of a molehill. We know and will never allow the activities of a few mischief makers to be taken as the position of the whole region, and thereby affect our peaceful relationship. Kwara APC is one united front that is dedicated to supporting the next level agenda of our dear President.

We advise the EDUPAPA to be circumspect in their use of language. Kwarans are grateful to President Muhammadu Buhari for the nomination of Alhaji Lai Muhammed and Sen. Gbemi Saraki. We are grateful to the two nominees for standing for us in our struggle for a better Kwara, and for working with other stakeholders to achieve the Kwara of our dream.

Join us to support our illustrious son and daughter who are great examples of great Kwarans.

Coordinator, Solidarity for United Kwara (Kwara Central)

Coordinator, Solidarity for United Kwara (Kwara North)

Coordinator, Solidarity for United Kwara (Kwara South)

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Kwara APYF Appreciates Individuals, Groups For Gracing Events

The Kwara State chapter of All Progressive Youth Forum ((APYF) expresses its profound gratitude to individuals and groups who made the two day events (entrepreneurship workshop and Public Lecture/ Award ceremony/launching of magazine) a success.

Kwara APYF, uses this medium to thank the State Governor; His Excellency, Alhaji Abdulrazak Abdulrahman for attending the event through his representative, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works and Transport, Alhaji Yusuf Garba Manjo.

In addition, Kwara APYF also appreciates the State Chairman of All Progressive Congress(APC); Alhaji Bashir Omolaja Bolarinwa, Federal and State legislaturer who have attended and in one way or the other contributed to the success of the event.

Kwara APYF appreciation stands incomplete if it fails to recognise the unquantifiable contributions of the guest lecturers and facilitators of the Entrepreneurship Workshop; the Parmenent Secretary, Kwara State Ministry of Commerce and Cooperative, the Chairman, Chatered Institute of Taxation Ilorin Disrict, Ayodimeji Olalekan Fatai, Jibril Habiba Lami, Nasiru Arisekola Suleiman(Esq) and Bello Abdulwahid Onikanhun who have all greatly imparted and expanded the entrepreneurial knowledge base of the trainees.

Kwara APYF also wish to extend, it appreciation to the leaders of some pro APC groups; Asiwaju Grassroots Foundation, Kwarans Act Now, Kwara North APC Yout Movement, Kwara Youth Stakeholders Forum, Kwara APC Youth Advocate and other independent groups, individuals and government officials who graced the event. We also say thank you to the awardees who despite the short notice have also find time to honour the invitation.

Finally, Kwara APYF expresses it immense gratitude to Braimah Mohammed and all APYF family across the country; the National Leaders, the Zonal Coordinators, the State Coordinators, Kwara state Executives of APYF, the Local Government and the Ward Coordinators of Kwara state APYF for travelling far and near to grace the events.

Tunde Salau
Kwara APYF Coordinator

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Ministerial Screening: Patriotic Kwara APC Appreciates Buhari Over Gbemi Saraki’s Nomination

The Jugunnu Network, led by Abiola Ibrahim and the good people of Kwara state appreciates President Muhammadu Buhari for nominating one of the most outstanding female politicians in the country, Senator Gbemisola Saraki as a minister of our dear country, Nigeria.

Gbemisola who on July 1, 2019 congratulated over 2,000 Kwarans that benefitted from her vocations and trades empowerment program, and specifically the sixty young men and women who had received their letters of acceptance from the three senatorial districts, are in turn giving thanks to president Buhari for rewarding the state of harmony through a leader who is of great virtue, diligent and steadfast in the contribution she has made in supporting the kwarans.

Amongst the kwarans who appreciates President Buhari, AbdulGaniyu Ayinde who benefitted from the scholarship that Senator Gbemisola Saraki recently announced on her personal facebook page.

According to Ibrahim Abiola, well its normal for some set of people to be mischievous and kick against her nomination perhaps, there is no other woman in the state who has delivered unlike what Gbemisola Saraki have done so far.

Gbemisola Saraki is quite different from Bukola Saraki and without been told, Gbemi has awesomely captured an asset she is to the good people of Kwara state.

With Jugunnu Network, she has helped we youths to be innovative and enterprising.

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AbdulRazaq Approves N232m For Nutrition, Primary Health Care

Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has approved immediate payment of at least N232m in counterpart funding to deepen access to primary healthcare, health insurance and nutrition for under-three children in the state, according to a statement on Tuesday.

AbdulRazaq’s Chief Press Secretary Rafiu Ajakaye said in the statement that the N232m includes N100m counterpart funds for Basic Healthcare Provision Funds (BHPV); N50m for Accelerating Nutrition Results in Nigeria (ANRIN); and another N82m to access global grants for malaria.

The statement said the release of the counterpart funds for BHPV would grant Kwara access to the World Bank/Federal Government’s grant to cater for health needs of pregnant and nursing women and children.

“Access to such funds will help combat maternal mortality rate and other basic health challenges related to women and children. Apart from this, the funds will help to fix facilities for primary health care and reduce the pressure on secondary and tertiary health institutions,” according to the statement.

The statement said the counterpart funds for ANRIN will grant Kwara access to donor funds to boost nutrition needs of children, in what is a practical step to end the menace of stunting and wasting among young children.

UNICEF has said stunted/wasted children –all of them victims of malnutrition — are at risk of early death or becoming liabilities to the society as they are unable to cope in school or contribute to economic growth.

“Experts have decried malnutrition rate among children in the North Central, where Kwara falls. Because these children are so key to the bright future that this Governor envisions for Kwara, it is important to urgently key into any initiative that would boost their nutrition and give them a brighter chance at life,” according to the statement.

“The N82m counterpart funding for malaria is to ensure that Kwara also benefits from Global Funds set aside by donor agencies to combat malaria.”

AbdulRazaq’s release of the counterpart funding for healthcare late Monday came almost simultaneously with the payment of the N450m Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) which the agency insisted was diverted by the last administration. That diversion had led to the blacklisting of the state from the funds meant to boost access to primary health care, according to UBEC officials.

Rafiu Ajakaye

Chief Press Secretary to the Governor

July 2, 2019.

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How UBEC Blacklisted Kwara Over Diversion Of N1.5bn Funds

Kwara State was black listed by the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) because the then state government mismanaged the N1.5bn grant meant to upgrade schools in Kwara in 2013.

This was revealed on Thursday during a visit of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq to the UBEC headquarters in Abuja.

Officials told the governor that the sum of N1.5bn was allotted to Kwara in 2013 with a request for the state to pay another N1.5bn as counterpart funding.

The officials said the government was later discovered to have borrowed the N1.5bn from a bank with which it immediately accessed the UBEC fund.

Upon receipt of the UBEC’s N1.5b, Kwara returned the N1.5b it had borrowed from the bank and then diverted the UBEC’s N1.5b without investing it in educational infrastructure as required by law, they said

This led to UBEC blacklisting Kwara and demanding for immediate refund of its N1.5b.

Kwara later refunded N1.050b leaving an outstanding of N450 million which the Abdulfatai Ahmed’s administration never paid to UBEC.

AbdulRazaq was told that UBEC will only do business with Kwara when the outstanding N450m is refunded to UBEC by Kwara.

The Kwara delegation led by AbdulRazaq promised to pay the N450m to enable the state to access the funds to develop its schools.

Kwara has not accessed UBEC funds since 2013.

UBEC has at least N5.6 billion available for Kwara which can only be accessed if and when the state pays the outstanding debt of N450m.

AbdulRazaq’s visit to UBEC came barely 48 hours after he visited decrepit schools in the northern senatorial district of Kwara where most of the schools’ roofs had collapsed.

He had promised to look into the devastating state of the infrastructure across the state especially in schools, hospitals and road networks.

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Kwara APYF Lauds Oshiomhole’s Move To Unite Legislatures

The Kwara state chapter of All Progressive Youth Forum (APYF), has commended the National Chairman of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole on the move to unite and prepare the members of the National Assembly elected on the platform of All Progressive Congress (APC) towards having an effective and productive 9th assembly.

This was contained in a release signed by its coordinator Comrade Tunde Salau, who said the interaction of the APC National Chairman with the incoming 9th APC National Assembly members of both chambers will adequately prepare them for the tasks ahead and ensure a robust and fruitful tenure, unlike the controversial and unproductive 8th assembly brought about by the self-centered and tyrannical leadership style of Bukola Saraki.

Comrade Salau added that this will also enable them (the APC national assembly members elect) to choose their leaders in a transparent and democratically acceptable manner as against the hypocritical, cunning and backdoor method adopted by Bukola Saraki at the beginning of the 8th assembly.

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The ‘Berlin Wall’ Of Hegemony Politics Has Fallen In Kwara – Lai Mohammed

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the
‘Berlin Wall’ of hegemony politics has finally fallen in Kwara State,
following the massive victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC)
in the 2019 general elections in the state.

The Minister, who is the leader of the APC in Kwara, said the party’s
brooms have swept the state clean of all traces of hegemony politics,
after the party won all 24 House of Assembly seats, all three
senatorial seats, all six House of Representatives seats, the
governorship and the presidential elections in the state.

”The result is 35-0! Our brooms have swept the state clean,” he
said, tracing the long battle for the emancipation of Kwara to Nov.
17th 2018, when the party won the by-election for the
Ekiti/Oke-ero/Irepodun/Isin federal constituency.

Thanking the ‘long-suffering’ people of Kwara for their hard work,
sacrifices and determination that culminated in the victory, after
they rallied under the ‘O To Ge (enough is enough) movement, Alhaji
Mohammed said never again will anyone enslave Kwarans under the guise
of dynasty or hegemony politics

He said God made the massive victory possible, and thanked the
security agencies, the leaders of the party at state and national
levels as well as President Muhammadu Buhari whose leadership and
unflinching support, he said, propelled the APC to victory.

The Minister said the victory transcends Kwara State, adding: ”It is
a victory for all advocates of good governance everywhere. It is the
triumph of good over evil, no matter how long it takes…and a hard
blow to those who willfully turn the public treasury into their
personal piggy banks.”

He said, however, that with the victory, the real work has just begun,
in view of the high expectations of the people.

”We cannot afford to disappoint our people. We must ride on the wave
of their enthusiasm and determination to deliver to them the dividends
of democracy, for which they have been yearning. All our leaders, both
elected and otherwise, must come together to channel the
energy and vibrancy of our people to positive goals,” Alhaji Mohammed said.

He called on APC members and supporters in the state to be magnanimous
in victory, saying there is no room for vindictiveness or hatred in
the new Kwara.

”The massive victory in Kwara State came on a peaceful note. We must
maintain that and banish all the vestiges of violence from our
state,” the Minister said.

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Clerics Urges Kwara Governor-Elect Not To Disappoint Electorates

Muslim clerics Monday counseled the Kwara state governor-elect Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq not to disappoint the people of the state.

In a brief sermon, an Ilorin based Islamic preacher, Ustaz AbdulRasaq Ibrahim, urged the newly elected APC political leaders in the state not to disappoint the people who elected them into positions of

He warned that “people may revolt if their expectations are not met.”

He urged the new government to promote people-oriented programmes so as to improve the welfare of the residents, saying that they should not be discriminatory in spreading development, but should let it cut across all parts of the state.

Ibrahim prayed for prosperity, peace and abundance in the state.

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