Kwara State Government has said the budget for 2020 reflected the aspirations of the people of the state, especially in its intention to stimulate the economy, cater for the poor, invest in basic education, healthcare, and physical infrastructure.
“This administration believes that whatever empowerment to be done or investments to be made should address the needs of our people, and that is why His Excellency deemed it fit for the first time in the recent history of the state to hold citizens’ engagement session (in November) where people came around to speak to the budget,” Rafiu Ajakaye, Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the Governor, said when a delegation of the Kwara Must Change (KMC) women wing visited him in his office in Ilorin, the state capital.
“And if you look at the budget today you will see that there are several provisions that address the needs of our people from agriculture, small scale businesses, skill acquisition, road projects, education, health and to many other things.”
Ajakaye said the proposed garment factories, intervention funds for youths, and provisions for mechanised farming were some of the takeaways from the pre-budget engagements which were factored into the financial document.
He said the 2020 financial proposal is a viable attempt at gradually industrialising the state, promote enterprise, productively engage the people, and erase the reference to Kwara as a civil service state.
Ajakaye said the government’s resolve to rehabilitate 31 schools across the three senatorial districts of the state is premised on its mission to develop the sector and provide conducive learning environment.
Commending the roles of civic groups, especially the KMC, in strengthening good governance and accountability, Ajakaye said the Governor’s appointment of 56.25 percent of women into his cabinet was borne out of his belief and commitment to participatory governance where everyone is given credible voice.
Mrs. Mopelola Abdulmalik, the state coordinator (women) of the group, said the group represents good governance and is ready to partner with the AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq administration for the growth of Kwara State.
Commending the efforts of the administration to reposition education in the state, she expressed regret that the state had hitherto witnessed a total collapse in the sector, a development she said was partly responsible for the high rate of examination malpractice and how it has led to sanctions from the examination body.
“We are a pro-democracy group that is interested in seeking fairness and quality representation of people’s interests. We have come for partnership with your office on how to further keep the people informed about government’s activities and to get the right information,” Mrs Abdulmalik said.
She had earlier advised that government’s programmes and empowerment should reflect the realities of the state, commending the Governor for his efforts so far.
The activist advised the government to always consider merit in future recruitment of teachers, and called for training and retraining them to be able to meet up with global standard.
Mrs. Mopelola also informed the CPS of the body’s upcoming Women Summit in Ilorin, urging the Government to support the initiative to empower women.