His Excellency, the Healer, Gift-Bearer…Gov. Abdulrazaq Nurses Kwara Back to Health
*As Kwara metro, suburbs regain spunk through the granite bone of infrastructure
*Over 143 road networks refurbished to date
*Thousands benefit from his health, economic interventions.
In Kwara, beauty stirs on the tarred roads, and the rural routes assume a sheen more primal than the beauty of the lush. Great thanks to Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq; since he resumed as the state governor, Kwara’s road infrastructure has enjoyed a revitalisation of sort.
The grim, indiscriminate gloom that pervaded the state has yielded to the supple nudge of growth, like a maiden’s blush.
On Abdulrazaq’s watch, Kwara’s cratered routes realign into smooth thoroughfares, and even the famished roads of the backwoods unfurl as ornate boulevards.
Sharp gorges peel to the granite bone of development and Kwara, fondly called the “State of Harmony,” attain unprecedented revitalisation along its major highways and bypasses, link routes and metro areas.
All these were achievable by Governor Abdulrazaq’s relentless drive to give Kwara a facelift; to this end, some have called him a dream of a man. Many more see him as Kwara’s leading light. But he is actually worth more in scope. Abdulrazaq is finer than fiction; he is real to the bones. His politics is cozy on the psyche and alleviating to the hitherto troubled electorate; Kwara legend parade him as the existent force gratifying the citizenry’s heartfelt dreams.
In truth, Governor Abdulrazaq is that rare performer, who brings scarce intensity, intelligence and precision to his work unlike his predecessors in the State House, thus providing endless depth to governance and unprecedented vigour to public service.
Amid the storms of factional politics stirred by his political detractors, operating from within and outside his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abdulrazaq conducts himself with unprecedented decorum, integrity and resolve. Rather than engage in unnecessary mud fights with factional members of the APC, or with ex-senate president cum disgraced former governor of the state, Bukola Saraki, Abdulrazaq retreats into character.
He chooses, instead, to foster peace and build a vibrant world for Kwara’s teeming citizenry to prosper, thus making it impossible to imagine life without his leadership.
Few governors craft their stewardship so meticulously—or steal our attention so quickly and convincingly like Governor Abdulrazaq. As evidenced by his performance in Kwara, he is a singular talent whose prospects are limitless and humane aspects are exhilarating. Today, he is Kwara’s most performing governor. By tomorrow, he could grow bigger than anyone could imagine perhaps.
Since Abdulrazaq assumed office, the state’s urban and rural road infrastructure has been a major focus of his administration. He embarked upon the largest road reconstruction and rehabilitation projects across the nooks and cranny of the state through his rural-urban renewal initiative project, with a view to bridging the wide infrastructure gaps in rural communities across the state and boost economic growth and development.
The administration has fixed over 100 rural and urban roads, culverts and bridges. Many hitherto neglected agrarian communities are now getting standard roads, while those hitherto cut off from civilisation are being linked. About 500 rural roads are to be fixed under the World Bank-enabled Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project (RAAMP) arrangement for which the administration had earlier paid counterpart funds. These road projects are spread across the senatorial districts, deliberately linking agrarian areas to the urban centres.
The state commissioner for works and transport, Engineer Rotimi Iliyasu, said that the government has executed a total over 143 road projects since inception of the present administration of Governor Abdulrazaq three years ago. According to him, the administration had also done maintenance works on over 200 roads in the three senatorial districts in the state within the period.
He said that the 143 roads included majorly rural roads, asphalt overpay, interlock road construction and reconstruction, as well as rehabilitation.
Some of these road projects have either been completed or nearing completion as at today. The projects include: the Construction and repair of box culvert at Pampo Town, Asa Local Government Area; construction of 1.1km Market Junction, Emir’s Palace Road, Gwanara; construction of 33km Ilesha Baruba, Gwanara Road, Baruten (ongoing), construction of 87km Kaiama Kosubosu Rural Road Reconstruction, Baruten/Kaiama (ongoing); construction of 1.5km Secretariat Road, Lafiagi, Edu; Construction of 1.5km Tsaragi Market -Batakpan Box Culvert, Edu.
Others are: Construction of 3.5km Osi Township road (3.5km), Ekiti; construction of 2.3km Oro Ago – Oyate Road, Ifelodun; rehabilitation of 1.7k.CAC,Ogere, Babanloma road, Ifelodun; construction of Oriza bridge – Oro-Ago, Ifelodun; rehabilitation of 1.2km Zango Akerebiata Road, Ilorin East; construction of 2km Sobi Specialist Hospital Road, Gaa Osibi – Medina (2km), Ilorin East; construction of 1.3km Awolowo- Danialu Road, Ilorin South, among several other ongoing projects.
He has completed construction of interlock access roads at Oke-Ebo Primary School, Ilorin, Omoda-Ile Baba Kini – Alikangu – Ile Oginni – Ode Alausa, Ilorin. He has also successfully completed the construction of interlock, drainages and cross culvert at Ita Kudimoh/Ode-Ishawo, Ilorin, and interlock access roads at Abegunde – Lanrokun linking Amule School, Okele, Ilorin, Eruda linking Baboko, Ilorin, Masankore-Gambari – Akalanbi, Ilorin, Idigba-Aibinu-Apaokagi, Ita-Ogunbo – Idilamosowo, Ilorin and Okekura (Munabau Mosque) to Agbarere, Ilorin, to mention a few.
Aside from his remarkable efforts to revitalise Kwara’s road networks, Governor Abdulrazaq has also been pulling all the stops to revivify the state’s health sector by improving infrastructure and service delivery.
At the moment, he has undertaken massive rehabilitation and equipment of some major general hospitals in the state with modern gadgets. Dozens of primary health care facilities have been earmarked for an upgrade and equipment – in addition to those already undergoing similar facelift.
The upgrade will include an electronic medical record system for the state, in order to significantly boost the quality of healthcare delivery in the state. Kwara holds the unattractive trophy as the state with the highest prevalence of open defecation. A massive anti-open defecation campaign, or Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), worth N500 million would be funded with the bond to complement some existing initiatives that recently won Kwara State a pledge of 1000 pour-flush toilets from the private sector stakeholders.
Also, worth mentioning is the Kwara State Social Investment Programme (KWASSIP), a multi-faceted and non partisan response to the question of extreme poverty and government’s poor attention to the vulnerable. The programme is modelled after the Federal Government’s Social Investment Programme.
Under the scheme, at least 21,623 petty traders have accessed soft loans, while over 10,000 transporters who could not work during the COVID-19 lockdown were supported. In addition, 10,000 vulnerable and poor senior citizens, from age 60, are now getting monthly stipends under what would be the state’s first ever institutionalised social protection scheme.
The scheme is also offering free digital training to young people to help them cope in the new economy. Over 3,000 persons received training in July last year while 10,000 more are undergoing a richer version of the course in the second phase of the programme in conjunction with Wootlabs Innovation and Grow With Google. A total of 30,000 young people are billed to benefit from the training within three years.
The Kwara State version of TraderMoni (Owo Isowo) has been commended by the Federal Government for its innovative features, such as the inclusion of BVN of the beneficiaries. This is just a few of the many interventions Governor Abdulrazaq has made to lift his people out of poverty. As far as the governor is concerned, governance transcends party loyalty, hence his increased popularity with the masses.
In addition,the Abdulrazaq administration has positively changed the narrative of staff welfare in the state civil service. There is now regular payment of salary. No more percentage payment and promotion of staff has resumed while arrears of salaries and allowances dating back to as far back as 2012 are now being paid. Besides, pensioners now enjoy regular payment of pensions. A sustainable arrangement for payment of gratuities on a monthly basis has now been put in place.
The state government has concluded plans to establish a fully-integrated Kwara Garment Village and an industrial park is estimated to gulp N5 billion. The expansive facility will be equipped with fully automated equipment and uninterrupted power supply, generating at least 3,000 direct jobs, affordable quality wear, technology transfer, and revving up revenues. The facility is planned to come with backward integration that would lead to large-scale cotton cultivation involving 2,000 farmers. The industrial park, for its part, will lead to improved infrastructure for development of free trade zones, agro-processing facilities, reduced transaction costs, and better the living conditions of the people.