How Kwara Reaps from Performance Contracting
The current rave at the federal level, Performance Contracting was introduced in Kwara in January 2012, seven months before its introduction at the centre. Since then, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed directed his commissioners, permanent secretaries and heads of other government agencies to draw up quarterly work plans including timelines, resource requirements and critical success factors which were then approved in council and shared with the general public.
The work plans are based on the Medium Term Sector Strategy (MTSS), a four year plan drawn up at a policy retreat convoked by Ahmed within a month of becoming governor, which outlines policy thrusts, strategies, key performance indicators and performance timelines for all Ministries Departments and Agencies in the state, based on fund availability.
Although the strategy has been in place for less than a year, Ahmed is keen to ensure that his administration's development plans, as enshrined in MTSS and compressed into the program of Shared Prosperity, achieve the anticipated positive impact on the people.
Last August, a committee to review the performance of Ministries, Departments and Agencies in line with the state Medium Term Sectoral Strategy (MTSS) was empanelled by the state government. Inaugurating the committee in Ilorin, the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Isiaka Gold, who is also the chairman, said as the current administration has passed its first year in office, it was necessary to review the activities of its key bodies in order to enhance continued performance towards meeting government's stated objectives.
Outlining the committee's terms of reference, Alhaji Gold said it is to assess the performance of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the state based on their compliance with the MTSS. The committee is also to identify an implementation road map for MDAs for the next year based on current realities and needs of the people of Kwara State. The MTSS, he said, is the current administration's four year rolling plan which outlines the policies, programmes and key performance indicators for implementation by relevant bodies.
Alhaji Gold charged members to see their assignment as a call to duty and approach their deliberations with upmost diligence, objectivity and fairness bearing in mind that Governor Ahmed was focussed on delivering shared prosperity to the people on a timely and efficient basis.
Although the committee is yet to submit its report to the governor early results indicate that the key ministries critical to the Shared Prosperity such as Works and Transport, Education, Energy, Water Resources and Agriculture have made considerable progress towards the set objectives.
For example, the Works and Transport Ministry has rehabilitated 900 kilometres of urban and rural roads including those inherited from the previous administration as well as those started by the current administration which are at various stages of completion. The government has also intervened on Federal Roads in the state including the 14 kilometre Kulende-UITH Hospital Road, while works on Fate Road, Ilorin and Ajase-Ipo Offa Road are currently on-going.
In addition, the state government is set to rehabilitate the Kishi-Kaiama Road at N6b following the Federal Ministry of Work's approval. In addition, under the government's preventive maintenance policy, its Operation No Pothole is getting rid of gullies on Ilorin roads as well as interventions on deteriorating urban roads through a monthly N30 million allocation to the Kwara State Road Maintenance Agency.
In the water sector, the government has moved closer to its target of 500 metre access to portable water with the provision of 180 boreholes across the state, rehabilitation of Pepele Waterworks which serves ten communities in Ilorin East LG, expansion of semi-urban/urban waterworks and the on-going second phase multi-billion naira Ilorin Water Reticulation Project, which is intended to achieve total water coverage at the state capital, Ilorin.
In the education sector, the ministry has so far rehabilitated 200 blocks of secondary school classrooms, overhauled the Kwara State School for Special Needs, Ilorin and rehabilitated the ultra-modern Educational Resource Centre while Governor Ahmed has laid the foundation for the N1.4 billion International Vocational Centre, Ajase Ipo.
In the health sector where Ahmed administration also has a target of 500-meter access to quality health care, the committee heard that the rehabilitation of Ilorin, Offa, Omu-Aran, Share and Kaiama General Hospitals is almost complete. While modern hospital equipment have been supplied to 13 general hospitals and 33 Primary Health Centres, plans are on to construct 3 new general hospitals by 2015.
Furthermore, it was revealed that another 5 General Hospitals are pencilled for rehabilitation when the current ones are fully completed.
Perhaps realising the importance to the people and to economic growth of regular electricity, the state government has also prioritised the energy sector. As of this month, the committee was informed, the Ministry of Energy is at 90 per cent implementation of budgeted capital expenditure. This translates into 115 electricity projects comprising rural electrification and urban electrification, supply of transformers and provision of street lights in Ilorin metropolis.
Ahmed's objectives for introducing Performance Contracting are clear: "In an era of finite fiscal resources, we have to ensure optimal allocation of resources as well as timely delivery of development programes to the people based on published timelines. Besides, the people need to know what we are doing, when and with what resources.
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