Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has said his first priority is to get things back to normal and restore confidence in the state, such as fixing bad roads, getting water running and getting moribund institutions back to work.
AbdulRazaq said this Monday night when he visited the Kwara State College of Education (Technical) Lafiagi where he assured workers who have long been on strike that they would be paid as soon as possible.
He had earlier visited Bacita, a town in Kwara North that once housed Nigeria’s biggest sugar factory, where he said that discussions are ongoing with investors to revive the industry with domino effects on employment and wealth creation.
The governor also visited the Lafiagi General Hospital where he bemoaned the lack of basic amenities like water supply, electricity and refrigeration for medical supplies like anti-snake bite serum.
He, however, commended the Federal Ministry of Health for its interventionist programmes such as free malaria drugs.
On Tuesday, AbdulRazaq visited the Duku Lade Irrigation Scheme in Patigi local government area of the state as part of efforts to ensure all-year farming.
The governor has since embarked on extensive tours of facilities across the state, especially water works, hospitals, schools and the comatose media houses that have stopped working.
The tours have led to release of funds for quick measures that have seen water running in some parts of the state, road rehabilitation and ongoing efforts to bring Radio Kwara back on air after many months of inactivity.
“Things are not just bad here. I have seen your hospital and your water works. They are in a bad state. But that is the way things are all over the state. What we are trying to do is to get things gradually working the way they used to be,” AbdulRazaq told workers of the College of Education.
“Now, how does that affect you here? We will get you back to work. We will clear whatever have to be cleared. But as I said, it is a difficult task. I will give you an example. There’s no money but we will manage our resources. For May, we received N3.2bn and salary alone gulped N2.2bn. So only one billion is left to run institutions like this and fix hospitals and water works. We just have to manage our resources…and put the little resources in the right place.”
He said the administration would later embark on capital projects that would transform the state.
“We have big developmental projects to do. But our priority right now is to stabilize things and bring things back to normal. We get everyone back to work first. Then after that, we will now look at major projects, getting you the necessary tools and restore the glory of this place and our state,” according to him.
“This place is going to be the centre of Sugar production. We will make sure you get your tools….This will not happen overnight like that but things will definitely start working gradually.”