SHOCKING: 52 years after Creation of Kwara State, Civil Servants Still Use Rented Offices
Ilorin, Kwara State, in North central part of Nigeria is no doubt a purely civil servant’s state with little or no Internally Generated Revenue to help several administrations meet the high expectations of the residents, at least to a reasonable extent.
The situations had been such that after payment of workers salaries and pensioners little is left for developments.
Governor Abdulrazaq Abdulrahman is obviously abreast of these developments hence his strong decision to cut cost at all cost and make the big difference since he’s already aware that the electorates won’t take excuse for non performance from him.
So, penultimate Wednesday, under the scorching afternoon sun at the Ilorin international airport, he was on his way to Abuja in one of his routine functions and he indeed led by example.
The governor was caught with his travelling bag strapped to his back, on the queue with others to board the commercial flight while receiving calls, and the development didn’t amaze a few, particularly when the picture went viral on the social media.
Arguably, the first Nigerian governor after Peter Obi of Anambra to demystify the arts of governance in this manner, it’s not news again that the governor of kwara state does not also wait for his protocols to go out on a good day.
He goes out in Ilorin in a Hilux vehicle with two back up cars without siren. Several times his protocols and the relevant government officials struggled to catch up with him in his ongoing unscheduled facility tours across the state, to personally ascertain situation of things by himself.
Credible sources confirmed to Saturday Vanguard that Governor Abdulrazaq is also currently using his personal vehicles and also fueling them by himself to do the government business.
The source also claimed that the governor hasn’t collected a dime from the government treasury so far, and no one knows when he would started collecting his pay.
Because of the simplicity that he has brought into office and how he has demystified governance, many don’t quickly notice him on the streets, while on duty.
The governor had indeed sent this signal on his first day in office when he was to be officially inaugurated as the governor of kwara state as he personally drove himself in the same Hilux vehicle.
This approach to governance and his visit to sensitive and strategic places in the state in his designed surprise manner, surely gives a clear indication that he had long prepared for the prestigious office having been contesting since about sixteen years ago. Above all, he knows his state and its problems.
The era of chartered flights used by past administrations in the state is gone and hopefully gone. So also were previous flamboyant lifestyles known with previous governments in the state.
Saturday Vanguard further gathered that these were deliberate decisions to cut down cost of governance drastically.
The high point of cutting cost this week was when he deployed his business acumen while discussing the completion of the ongoing new secretariat complex along Ahmadu Bello way Ilorin with the contractors.
At the end of the interactive session, the governor reportedly secured N50m discount from contractors handling the project even as he mobilised them with N350m to get the job done by the end of August according to the statement by his media aide Rafiu Ajakaiye.
He said that the governor approved the fund after securing the discount from the contractors who claimed they were being owed N515m out of the N1.38bn total contract sums.
The contract of four blocks with 76 office spaces was awarded by the administration of former Governor Abdulfatai Ahmed.
According to the statement of his media aide,”Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq felt a need to urgently complete the project for the use of civil servants even as he pushed for heavy discount from the contractors,”
“As a result, the Governor has approved the release of N350m with which the contractors will finish the work. They will receive N81m after the work is satisfactorily done. That would leave them with the (third payment) retention fee of N34m after six months.” it added.
The statement also said that the governor is alarmed that some of the state’s civil servants are still in rented accommodation, 52 years after Kwara was created. That might be his next focus.
Meantime, Architect Makanjuola Kayode, the lead consultant for the project, assured the governor that the four-block secretariat complex will be ready by August 30 even as he thanked the governor for approving payment for the prompt completion of the project.
Other major steps Governor Abdulrazaq has taken lately to bring the much needed lease of life to the residents of Kwara state include the N450m paid to normalise Kwara’s relationship with UBEC; N20m paid to fix some roads within the metropolis; N232m to access various funds that would ease people’s access to basic health care, anti-malaria treatment and nutrition.
Others include N350m paid the striking workers of Colleges of Education he inherited and FADAMA counterpart fund; N20.6m to rehabilitate the Fire Service operational office; and another N200m to access World Bank-sponsored RAAMP III which would lead to rehabilitation of some 600kilometers of rural roads in the state, among others.
The governor had also opened the week with good news when he had a telephone conversation with the 34-year-old Muyiwa Tola Atoyebi who was recently elevated to the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), the youngest so far in Nigeria’s history and above all a kwaran.
“The Governor congratulated the learned silk for making Kwara proud. He prayed that God will continue to guide him,” according to a statement by Ajakaye.
“The Governor believes Mr. Atoyebi is a good example of what young people should aspire to be. He urges the youth to emulate him and be the best at whatever they do.”
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