Kwara State government has debunked the claim by a group, "Organising Kwara Political Action Group," that it collected over one trillion naira in federal allocations between the administration of Dr. Bukola Saraki and the current administration of Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed.
In a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Ahmed on Media and Communications, Dr. Muideen Akorede, the state government described the allegations as ill-informed and driven by deliberate falsehood. The statement said the state has witnessed unprecedented development from 2003 till date, saying that the Saraki administration implemented various road, electricity and water projects across Kwara including construction of township roads within Ilorin.
It listed other projects executed by Saraki to include the Kwara State University (KWASU), Ilorin, Airport and the International Aviation College, Harmony Advanced Diagnostic Centre, upgrading of Asa Dam waterworks and phase one of Ilorin Water reticulation reticulation, and urban and rural electrification program.
According to the statement, Governor Ahmed consolidated on the achievements recorded by his predecessor by completing most inherited projects and implementing new ones across all sectors, which have contributed to the state’s development. These include the innovative City and Guilds of London-backed International Vocational Centre in Ajase-Ipo, KWASU's ultra-modern Engineering Complex and renovation and equipping five general hospitals in Ilorin, Shaare, Omu-aran, Offa and Kaiama with state-of-the-art facilities.
The statement noted that the present administration also executed different rural and urban road projects across Kwara as well as people-oriented programmes such as youth empowerment scheme and micro-credit intervention scheme under which a cumulative N1.9b has been disbursed to over 50, 000 small business owners in the state.
In the housing sector, the statement disclosed that Governor Ahmed in March flagged off the construction of 1, 000 housing units at Budo-Osho area of Tanke, Ilorin as part of the efforts to reduce the state's housing deficit. The statement added that the state government has commenced the implementation of critical grass-roots developmental projects in 192 wards across the state under its N850m World Bank supported community development programme.
It noted that it is completely untrue that workers in the state have not been receiving regular payments for the past three years, stressing that Kwara is one of the few states that have continued to pay salaries regularly despite the current economic downturn that has affected the capacity of most state governments to pay workers' salaries.
On infrastructure, the statement stressed that the fact that the government had conducted a study on infrastructural needs of the state and has identified a N225 billion gap shows how visionary and serious the government is. It added that the Kwara government has outlined a plan to bridge the infrastructural deficit gap with the establishment of the Kwara Infrastructure Development Fund, (IFK). Under the IFK, the state government intends to inject over N11.1b to fund infrastructural projects including the construction of Geri-Alimi Diamond Underpass flagged off last week.
As regards the issue of water reticulation project, the statement explained that the project was broken into phases, noting that the first phase was executed by the administration of Dr. Saraki, while the second phase was implemented by Governor Ahmed during his first tenure.
According to the statement, the final phase, which will ensure adequate water supply to most neighbourhoods across Ilorin metropolis, is currently being implemented. The statement also maintained that the Kwara State government has consistently demonstrated accountability and transparency to the people as evidenced by its monthly publication of federal allocation and JAAC figures.