Kwara To Get FG's N18bn Bridge Finance To Underwrite Inherited Loans, Others

Date: 2021-11-03

Kwara State executive council has approved for the state government to key into the Federal Government's N18billion 'bridge finance' to underwrite old loans inherited from the former administration as well as execute some infrastructural projects in the state.

Speaking with journalists after the state executive council meeting in Ilorin on Tuesday evening, together with other commissioners, the state commissioner for Education and Human Capital Development Hajia Sa'adatu Modibbo-Kawu, said that the approval was like every other state in the country.

Modibo-Kawu said the bridge Finance is the initiative of the Federal Government aimed to cushion effects of loan repayment on the states, including the facilities the former administration received in September and December 2015.

The commissioner also said that the state government will on November 11 flag off the construction of the Osi-Obbo road, a strategic border motorway connecting Kwara to Ekiti State, "ending years of public agony along that corridor."

Modibbo-Kawu said the flag-off of the construction work on the 11.1km road will proceed as planned, barring any unforeseen hitches.

She said the cabinet also approved the award of a contract to execute the KwaraLearn programme which seeks to tackle absenteeism, boost school enrolment, upgrade children in public schools to digital learning, and improve education outcomes.

The cabinet news briefing was attended by Commissioners for Enterprise Hajia Fatima Arinola Lawal; Olasumbo Florence Oyeyemi (Finance); Olaitan Bosede Buraimah (Communication); Suleiman Rotimi Iliasu (Works); and Special Adviser to the Governor on Political Communications Alhaji Bashiru Adigun.

She also announced that the administration has revoked the initial Kishi-Kaiama road contract initially awarded by the former administration to Road construction Limited. She said the revocation is a result of objections by the Federal Government. She said the contract would now be awarded to CPN (Construction Product Nigeria Limited) that won the bid in line with the provisions of extant laws and the position of the Federal Government. Section 1 of the road, stretching 34.5km between Kaiama and Tesse, will gulp N3,702,874,523.94, according to the commissioner.

Modibo-Kawu said the cabinet also approved the construction of a Flyover at the Tanke Pipeline Junction in Ilorin metropolis to tackle the current and expected traffic logjam in that busy corridor.

She said the contract was awarded to a prominent local contractor JMK Construction Company Limited for N2,272,899,200.00 with a completion period of 12 months.

The full text of the news briefing reads:

• You may be aware that the Federal Government has offered some bridge finances for all the states of the federation to cushion the effects of some loan repayment dating back to 2015. To do this, there is a need for SEC and legislative approvals. This is the standard process which other states have also followed.

Consequently, Council listened to a presentation of the Hon. Commissioner for Finance and has approved a memorandum for Kwara State Government to apply for the Federal Government’s N18bn bridge finance to cushion the effect of repayment of some previous FG intervention facilities. It is recalled that the last administration had in September and December 2015 taken some FG facilities to pay salaries and meet other obligations. The repayment of these facilities has now started across the country, eating deep into governments' revenues. To cushion the effect of the repayment, the Federal Government is extending bridging financing worth N18bn each to all the 36 states of the federation. All the states of the country are taking advantage of this bridging finance. This cabinet approval will now be taken to the House for a legislative nod for the administration to also submit its expression of interest (EOI) letter to the Federal Government.

• After listening to a presentation of the Honourable Commissioner for Works, including details of the tender process, Cabinet also approved the award of contract for the construction of a Flyover Bridge at Pipeline Road Junction, Tanke Tipper Garage. The contract was awarded to a prominent local contractor JMK Construction Company Limited for N2,272,899,200.00. The completion period of the contract is 12 months. This facility, along with ancillary road projects in the area, will help to address the current and anticipated traffic bottlenecks in that strategic transit point of the metropolis. Council took notice of the huge socioeconomic benefits of the facility.

Council similarly approved a N1.7bn contract for the designing, remodelling and construction of buildings to house the Garment Factory Facility in preparation for the installation of already awarded procurement of machines and equipment for the garment factory. Council had earlier received briefings on the tender process. This contract was awarded to Building Services Design Consultants Limited. The garment factory is part of the government’s efforts to widen the economic space, create jobs, and rev up the revenue base of Kwara State.

Notwithstanding the visibly huge investments of the administration in education infrastructure across the state, the administration feels a need to deploy technology to strengthen the quality and modern teaching, curb absenteeism, and boost school enrolment and attendance. Consequently, the cabinet has approved the introduction and running of the 'KwaraLearn' programme in public schools across the state. KwaraLearn will transform the current analogue state of teaching and learning into a modern digital learning process using modern technology platforms. This will seriously improve education outcomes for our children across the state. The programme will be implemented by New Globe Consultant, a firm with a track record and achievements in similar projects. This project will cost N1,072,336,784.00 and will run between 2022 and 2025. The council observed that this project will place the educational standard of Kwara State on a better pedestal, making it envious of other states. Apart from eliminating the phenomenon of ghost teachers since there is going to be e-monitoring of teaching across the state, the programme will also expose our pupils to updated content when it comes to e-learning and upon its successful completion move public primary school pupils from analogue state of the learning process to the modern ICT Teaching and learning process. Council observed that states like Edo and Lagos have embraced similar concept with impressive result.

• Beyond council approvals, I am to also announce to you that the government will flag off construction work on the Osi-Obbo road on November 11, 2021, barring any administrative hitches. The contract is worth N1,183,960,097.25. Government assures members of the public that this strategic but long-abandoned border road will be constructed by this administration. This is the promise of His Excellency, the people's Governor. It is important to note that this road was awarded and was later abandoned before the coming of this administration. We will end the sufferings of the people of Kwara State on this road.

•Similarly, following the firm position of the Federal Government on the illegality of the contract initially awarded for Section A of the Kishi-Kaiama road by the last administration, this government has accordingly decided to revoke the contract awarded to Rocad Construction Ltd because Messers Rocad Construction Ltd was neither pre-qualified nor participated in the tendering process. It was also not part of the contractors that were sent for “No objection Certificate” at the bureau of Public procurement, hence it is not recognised as the contractor for the work since it has no record with the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing and Bureau of public procurement on that project. The project will now be reverted/awarded to the contractor CPN (Construction Product Nigeria Limited) that won the bid in line with the provisions of extant laws and the position of the Federal Government. *Section 1 of the road, stretching 34.5km between Kaiama and Tesse, will gulp N3,702,874,523.94. Further details will be given on this important road, especially the flag-off of the construction work. Also, talks are ongoing with the contractor handling Section 2 of the road between Tesse and Moshe (13.5km), which is estimated to cost N2,346,772,560.64. Section 3 of the road, valued at N1,896,588,570.00, runs between Moshe and Kishi town. The total cost of the 61.85km road is N7,946,235,663.58 and this will be executed in phases.



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