The executive members and elders of the Kwara South Consultative Forum have kicked against the establishment of cattle colonies which is being suggested or planned by the Federal Government.
Rising from its emergency meeting in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, at the weekend, the Forum, while expressing its total opposition to the idea, opined that establishment of cattle colonies is a subtle way by the federal government of acquiring land across the country “for these set of people killing innocent people across the country,” adding that “such plan was meant to favour a set of people at the expense of original land owners.”
Addressing select journalists on the vexed issue after the Forum’s meeting, its Secretary General, Engr. Adebayo Daramola, queried : “Who knows what happens to the colonies in the next 50 years from now? And won’t the Fulani claim the land and even the state in which the colonies are located? ”
The Secretary General said the resolution at the emergency meeting was that no inch of Yoruba land in Kwara South Senatorial District and indeed Kwara state would be available for any such colonies.
He said: “This national calamity can only be solved through cattle ranching. As it is not the monopoly of any tribe to be involved in cattle rearing through ranching, the forum implored citizens of the 12 Yoruba speaking local governments to venture into cattle ranching business. A model example of such business is at the Shonga Farm as ranching alternative to the ill-advised cattle colonies.
“A recent killing in Kaiama local government is not encouraging. The forum would want the people of the affected area to speak out. ”
Daramola said the Forum lamented the barbaric behaviour of the particular people who set ablaze and destroyed the farmland of Vice Admiral S. Afolayan (Rtd), a former Chief of Naval Staff in this country and therefore advised the federal government to “address the issue of restructuring the administration of Nigeria into the old regional system in order to reduce considerably cost of governance as being experienced by the presidential system we are currently operating.”
Contrary to claims by the opposition party, the Kwara State Government says it has always made use of local contractors in the execution of road projects in the state.
The Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communication to the State Governor, Dr Muyideen Akorede said this while featuring on a radio programme, tagged ‘Ibi Abashe de on Tuesday, alongside the Publicity Secretary of the Kwara State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Alhaji Sulyman Buhari.
Dr Akorede disclosed that Offa-Ipe road, Gerewu phase 1, Sango-Oke Andi road, Babanloma township road, Oko Bridge in Oro-Ago, Tanke-Awolowo road, Oloro Palace road, among other road projects were executed by local contractors while local consultants were also engaged.
He added that these projects have empowered the beneficiaries and also created local jobs for the people.
Speaking on tax payment and collection in the state, Dr Akorede explained that the state government has not imposed any burden on individual tax payers and businesses in the State.
He re-emphasized that the government neither introduced new taxes nor increased existing ones, but only restructured the tax collection system to block leakages.
The governor’s media aide disclosed that artisans in the state pay N2500 as taxes annually, while market women pay about N5000 as annual tax depending on their income.
He also denied claims that the Federal Government has shut down the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Orientation Camp in Kwara State over alleged neglect of the camp by the state government.
He clarified that in view of the low number of the 2017 Batch “B” Stream ll corps members, the NYSC management decided that corps member deployed to Kwara, Ogun and Oyo states should have their orientation course at the Oyo NYSC camp in Iseyin.
He, therefore, noted that there was no iota of truth to the allegation that the Kwara NYSC orientation camp has been shut down by the Federal Government.
Speaking further, the governor’s media aide disclosed that the State government has set aside N1.6billion as counterpart funding to access the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) matching grant for the construction of classrooms in schools across the State. He added that the construction work will commence.
Also speaking, Alhaji Sulyman Buhari said that the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki has used his position to attract more capital projects to Kwara State.
He listed some of the projects to include dualisation of Michael-Imodu/Ganmo road, Afon/Aboto/Oyo state boundary road construction, Share/Patigi road, Ilorin-Omu Aran-Egbe road, Pategi-Kpada Road and contractor mobilisation to Ajasse Ipo-Offa Erinle Road, among others.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Kwara State, on Thursday, announced that it had registered a total of 68,079 people at the end of the third quarter of the ongoing Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) exercise which began in April 2017.
Speaking with stakeholders in Ilorin, the Administrative Secretary of the electoral body in the state, Mr Paul Atser, said only 3,069 people had collected their permanent voters cards (PVCs) since April 2017 out of 242,069 unclaimed cards after the 2015 elections.
The Kwara State governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed has directed the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) to release all outstanding promotion letters to primary and junior secondary school teachers in the state.
Governor Ahmed, who gave the directive during a meeting with officials of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) Kwara State in his office on Wednesday, said the SUBEB chairman should immediately begin the release of letters to the affected workers at the basic education level in the state, according to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communications, Dr. Muyideen Akorede
As part of efforts to resolve salary crises affecting SUBEB workers in the state, Governor Ahmed also announced his preparedness to consider a return to the tradition of making SUBEB a first line charge on local government allocation in order to prioritise teachers’ salaries.
Governor Ahmed stressed that this must however be implemented without hampering the capacity of local government councils to pay workers and pensioners.
While re-emphasising that the delayed salaries of basic education teachers and local government workers is due to the drop in federal allocation to local government councils in the state, Governor Ahmed informed the labour leaders that he is currently reviewing the cost of paying Junior Secondary school (JSS) teachers with a view to incorporating them into the State teaching service commission.
Alhaji Ahmed said whatever proportion of the JSS salary obligation is taken over by the state government will result in a reduction of the burden on local government councils and improving their capacity to pay teachers as well as local government workers and pensioners.
Governor Ahmed emphasised that the only long term solution to the issue of SUBEB teachers and local government workers’ salary arrears is an improvement in Internally Generated Revenue and the Federal Government’s take over of basic education funding.
On the issue of school infrastructure, Governor Ahmed said the state government will soon begin rehabilitation of all primary and junior secondary schools in the state as arrangements have been completed to pay the counterpart funding in order to access Universal Basic Education Commission grants for school infrastructure.
While reiterating that government is working on other strategies to address the teachers’ salary arrears, Governor Ahmed urged the teachers to shelve their proposed strike in the interest of their pupils and students.
In what could be described as a new year gift for the people of Kishi, Kaiama and environs in Kaiama Local Government area of the state, the Kwara State government has confirmed receipt of a N615m refund from the Federal Government for work done by the state government on the major federal road.
News of the receipt was released by the state commissioner for Works and Transport, Alhaji Aro Yahaya in the statement on Wednesday evening.
Alhaji Yahaya also conveyed the Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed’s approval for the reinvestment of the N615m on the ongoing construction of the 64 kilometer road.
Subsequently, he said, the project contractor, Rocad Construction Engineering Limited, has been directed by the state government to return to site and resume work on the road immediately.
While thanking the people of Kishi, Kaiama and environs for their patience, Alhaji Aro also urged them to give their upmost support to the contractor to ensure speedy completion of the road project.
He assured the people of Kaiama Local Government and other parts of the state of the Ahmed administration’s commitment to ensuring even spread of infrastructure development across the state as well as completing all ongoing projects on schedule.