BY KEHINDE AKINPELU, ILORIN
Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has spelt out the priorities of his administration to include big investments in education, infrastructure, health, agriculture, enterprise, and human capital development.
In an address to wrap the three-day retreat held for his cabinet picks in Patigi, the Governor said the state is almost starting “from the scratch” across every sector, especially education and primary healthcare, and directed the appointees to be ready to spend long hours, listen more, and work as a team to rebuild the state.
“The manifesto has been dissected and as you have known, we are going to emphasise on key issues because if we try to do everything, at the end of the day, we might look back and see that we’ve probably done nothing,” AbdulRazaq said, detailing the challenges ahead and the opportunities in them for Kwara.
“We have to do big in agriculture, health care, education and enterprise – social investment scheme, job creation and infrastructure. I was (just coming from) Kpada. A journey of 30 minutes from Patigi took almost two hours. There is no road, no electricity, the health care and the school system has collapsed and so on. These are part of the challenges you will face when you assume office. It cuts across.
“We’re building from the scratch and people may not understand the enormity of the challenges you are all going to face. You will all have sleepless nights. I can’t over-emphasise the challenges ahead of us and that means we all have to work together. That is what a cabinet is all about. We are all in it together like the symbol of our political party — broom. So, we need to be strong together to move the state forward.”
He urged the appointees to ensure that they constantly relate with their communities for their input into governance, and said his administration will not abandon projects inherited from the previous administration but may always renegotiate the contracts to save public funds.
“You are the ambassadors of your community and you must be able to tell us what their priorities are. They must feel your impacts in your community. We need to know what the priority projects are in your community,” AbdulRazaq said.
The retreat, which attracted top-notch experts from various sectors of the Nigerian economy as facilitators, was held between Wednesday and Friday and featured drills on public service rules, procurement process, public relations, and practical tips on how to deliver democracy dividends to the public. Apart from all the newly appointed cabinet members, the event was also attended by top government functionaries including the Deputy Governor Kayode Alabi; Secretary to the State Government Prof Mamman Saba Jibril; Head of Service Mrs Modupe Susan; and the Chief of Staff to the Governor Aminu Adisa Logun.