Kwara Moves To Comply With Executive Order On State Judiciary, Assembly
In words signifying a commitment to the new law backing state judiciary and state assemblies as far as their agitation for financial autonomy, the Kwara State governor, Abdulrahaman Abdulrazak, has commended President Mohammadu Buhari's recent executive order backing the new financial autonomy law.
This is as the state governor and the state leading opposition party, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) traded words over the governor’s acclaimed achievements in office in the last one year.
In media parley on his one year in office on Friday, the governor praised President Muhammadu Buhari for granting the state legislature and judiciary autonomy, saying that the development would relieve states of a huge burden.
The statements make Abdulrazak the first governor to give an open kudos to the new policy direction on separation of powers at the state level.
But stirring the honest nest of opposition in the state, the governor said that his administration will not be in the business of sharing money as was the practice in the past.
Instead, the governor said his administration would spread development to all the nooks and crannies of the state.
AbdulRazaq noted that it was the past administration's penchant for sharing money that put them into trouble and their consequent failure in the last year's general elections.
As parts of measures to ensure the spread of development to every parts of the state, AbdulRazaq said that his administration would soon roll out new state master plans in economy, energy and agricultural sectors.
AbdulRazaq assured the workers in the state of his commitment to implementing the N30,000 minimum wage, adding that " my concern, however, is how the local governments would be able to implement the new wage for their workers."
On his achievements in the past one year, AbdulRahman said 35 roads across the state were under reconstruction while five waterworks had been rehabilitated and are now supplying residents with water.
He added that his administration has also restored the lost glory of the education sector through the payment of necessary counter funds to the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) saying " we have paid N8 billion counter funds and with this, we will be able to access N16 billion from UBEC."
He also disclosed that arrangements were on top gear to revamp the three state-owned media outfits – The Herald, Kwara State Broadcasting Corporation ( Radio Kwara) and Kwara State Television Service (KWTV).
The governor also hinted on the plan for downward review of the 2020 budget from N160 billion to N120 billion, due to plummeting prices of crude oil in the global market which has led to a shortfall in the federation allocations to states.
AbdulRazaq who thanked the people of the state for their support thus far assured them that his administration would not renege on its promise to make Kwara work again and leave it better that it met it.
But reacting, the PDP attacked the governor's claims, insisting that it was all farragoes of lies and deceit. In a press release signed by the party’s state chairman, Kola Shittu, the governor has not displayed transparency in the handling of the state finances
"During his inauguration as Governor of the State, Abdulrazaq pledged to uphold discipline, transparency and accountability but the reverse has been the case. Government's spendings are shrouded in secrecy while contracts are only awarded to cronies of the government.
"The government also does not communicate to Kwarans the monthly revenues including federal allocation and IGR of the State, which was one of the hallmark of the last PDP administration.
"It was this feat among other commitments that earned Kwara a slot among the states that benefited from the N43.42b performance-based grant component of the World Bank-assisted States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) programme in 2018. Kwara's share of the funds was recently released to the Abdulrazaq's administration.
"We expect that Governor Abdulrazaq's administration that is a beneficiary of this fund and IGR reforms carried out by the immediate past PDP administration that led to a significant increase in the State’s IGR, would acknowledge these efforts of the past government, work on further improving the State’s IGR and also ensure prudence, transparency and accountability in the management of the State's resources.
"Under Abdulrqzaq's first year in office, we have witnessed all sort of impunity and infractions such as the unlawful suspension of elected local government chairmen and dissolution of duly constituted statutory commissions, flagrant disobedience to valid court orders, victimisation of civil servants, the illegal sacking of permanent secretaries, among other illegalities, which have raised concern about this administration's attitude to and respect for the rule of law and due process," Shittu said.