Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Monday said over 1000 public schools need reconstruction and equipment with modern teaching facilities across the 16 local government areas of the state.
He commended the people of the region for their self-help approach to development but said the administration would not fail in its duty to build infrastructure and rejuvenate the economy.
The government is aware of challenges in Kwara South particularly in the area of access roads for farm produce and trade, and would soon commence phased construction of at least 600 kilometres of roads under the Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project (RAAMP) before the end of the year, he said.
“The World Bank assisted programme (RAAMP) is going on. That should cover about 600km roads which should begin by the fourth quarter of this year. Many roads have been captured under the programme, including in Kwara South,” AbdulRazaq said.
He said the administration has been constructing some roads and rehabilitating health centres in the region, as in elsewhere across the state, and called for more engagement with and support for the government.
“This meeting is to engage you, to know your pains, where you want us to improve in terms of infrastructure: roads, water, healthcare, schools, job creation, and indeed all facets of human endeavours. So, we are here to listen to you. Tell us what you want and how you want it done,” he added.
AbdulRazaq said the government has also set up a committee on job creation headed by Deputy Governor Kayode Alabi with a mandate to explore more areas the administration can get people engaged in productive activities.
The engagement session was attended by the Deputy Governor; members of the Kwara State House of Assembly led by Speaker Rt Hon. Yakubu Danladi; cabinet members; traditional rulers; and various youths and community-based associations across the Kwara South.
The Ajase-Ipo (Kwara South) event drew the curtain on the three-legged citizens’ engagement on 2021 budget which began in Ilorin (Kwara Central) on September 1 and berthed in Bode Saadu (Kwara North) last Thursday.
The first-ever citizen engagement session on a budget in Kwara State was held last year December to harvest public views to the state’s fiscal plan for the new year. Finance and Planning Commissioner Olasumbo Florence Oyeyemi said the engagement was to deepen participatory democracy and encourage transparency.
The initiative has attracted commendations from the House of Assembly and members of the public, including the civil society groups, which described it as innovative and a show of good faith by the administration.