Kwara Set To Commission Secretariat Complex, Others

Date: 2019-03-31

The Kwara State governor, Alh Abdulfatah Ahmed says all ongoing projects in the state will be completed and commissioned before May 29,2019. Oladipo Magaji reports.

The Kwara state governor, Alh Abdulfatah Ahmed will in the next couple of weeks begin the commissioning of ongoing projects across the state.

Ahmed dropped this hint during inspection visits to all ongoing projects within Ilorin, the state capital.

The projects according to the governor include Land Administration Secretariat behind the Kwara State Shariah Court of Appeal, State Secretariat Phase two, Kwara State University's School of Business and Governance, Ajase-ipo road, Ilirin and Garin- Alimi Diamond Split Underpass also in Ilorin.

The governor explained that the Land Administration Secretariat already completed would be the first project to be commissioned and followed by the State Secretariat and Garin-Alimi Diamond Split Underpass.

He said the Secretariat would soon be allocated to the Ministry of Commerce and Cooperatives, Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Planning and Economic Development and Ministry of Water Resources.

Ahmed assured the people of the state that all the projects would be fully completed and commissioned before he leaves office.

At the State Secretariat, the Project Consultant, Architect Kayode Makanjuola promised that the project would be completed within the next three weeks while the Consultant in-charge of KWASU School of Business and Governance, Architect Jamiu Faworaja who spoke through Architect Oluwaseun Ojo said the project is at 92 per cent completion and remains only the outer work.

The ruling Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) in the state had during the week, assured the people of the state that Governor Ahmed will complete all the ongoing projects before he leaves office on May 29, this year.

The party in a statement issued after its state executive council meeting and signed by its state chairman, Engr Kola Shittu urged Governor Ahmed to ensure the completion of all ongoing projects across the state.

In a related development, the state government has said that the state's current debt portfolio stands at N30,203,632,608.29 with a monthly repayment of N496,367,109.08.

According to the state commissioner for Finance, Engr Demola Banu, the debt stood at N31,481,082,712.95 in 2017 and N30,751,665,421.83 at the end of 2018, contrary to social media speculation of N50.2b.

Giving a breakdown of the current indebtedness, Banu explained that the N30.2b includes N15,325,541,483.03 as the balance of the Federal Government restructured loan, N4,002,948,667.07 as salary bail out, excess crude account loan outstanding of N9,324,613,607.52 and vehicle loan balance of N128,916,612.87.

Others are the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS) and Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) Agriculture Scheme with respective balances of N646,213,285.03 and N679,233,857.13 as well as International Aviation College loan balance of N96,165,095.64.

While clarifying that the repayment of N496,367,109.08 is deducted from the state's monthly federal allocation, Banu added that the figure includes a monthly deduction of N39,632,016.56 as repayment for foreign loans obtained by the government in the 1970s.

Giving a further breakdown,Banu explained that the federal government restructured the state government's short- and long-term bank loans to reduce monthly repayment, while the state also benefitted from a N5b salary bailout loan in 2015.

The commissioner explained that the excess crude account loans were federal government-backed bank facilities which served as seed money for the Kwara State Infrastructure Development Fund (IF-K) and payment for ongoing projects in the state while CACS and ABP are state-government guaranteed, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) loans to farmers in the state.

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