*We Don’t Believe In Money Sharing But Development Of Kwara-AbdulRasaq*
By Dada Ahmed
Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Friday said the administration did not believe in sharing money to the people to the detriment of developing the state.
The goveenor also said he “is not in a rush to purchase official vehicles or make the Government House overtly cozy when the state is littered with unbefitting infrastructure that has kept it down the ladder of socioeconomic development over the years.”
In a live broadcast and media chat to commemorate the first year of his administration, AbdulRazaq said his conducts, prudent handling of public funds and prioritisation of people’s welfare were in agreement with the spirit of Otoge.
Duaglobalnews reports that Otoge was the campaign slogan of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state when Abdulrazaq was seeking election to be the governor a year ago.
He said: “What Kwarans voted for was change. They were tired of how things were being done before. They needed a new beginning to chart a new course.
“That’s the task we are charged with. The question they are asking us is how we are funding our (numerous) projects? The answer is because we are prudent in the management of public resources.
“I thank members of the state house of assembly. All the lawmakers are entitled to a vehicle each. So far, they have sacrificed that. That possibly runs to over a billion.
“Our commissioners are also entitled to vehicles. That also runs to over a billion. The Governor and the deputy Governor and their aides are also entitled to vehicles which also run to over a billion.
” We all have sacrificed such in order to invest in critical infrastructure for the state.”
AbdulRazaq said the people not voted him to lavish public funds on acolytes or entrenched interests, stressing that his priority had been to share projects across the state, to deepen development at the grassroots.
“We abandon the renovation of the Government House which is also over N100m. That’s not important to us now. We need to focus on the essential things. We believe that there should be a change in the way things are done”.
“Let us make sure that we start delivering now with the right trajectory because our people voted for change and change has come to stay. People will continue to see the change. Yes, some (persons) will complain that we’re not sharing money.
” We’re not doing this, we’re not doing that. We are not here to share money; we are here to share projects and infrastructure. We expect people to stay with us and stay focused,”he further told the people.
He commended the people of the state for their support over the last one year and callef on them to remain steadfast assuring them that his administration would commit more public funds to serve them much better.
Citing social media trends, the expressed that Kwara state was trending number one and attributed the cheering news to the fact that “we are doing the right things, we are taking the right steps, and taking the right decisions.
He said though “the resources are scarce, but the little we have we are spending prudently and judiciously.”
Commenting on the plummeting oil prices and the COVID-19 pandemic that has slowed down global economy, AbdulRazaq said government would slash the (N162bn) 2020 budget by roughly N40 billion.
The governor said huge emphasis would be placed on cutting cost of governance and some infrastructural projects that do not immediately impact on the lives of the people.
He said more money would now go into social investments to shore up the purchasing power of the masses amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
AbdulRazaq said the state government had nearly finalised debates on the national minimum wage when the Coronavirus pandemic struck.
He, however noted that the recent presidential order granting autonomy to local governments had justified his position that, the third tier of government must be allowed to manage its own resources and take its own decisions.
He commended the workers in the state, including the leadership of the unions, for their understanding while the debate lasted, saying that the stategovernment remained committed to the welfare of the workers.