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Focus On Four Emerging Issues In Kwara State- By Araakunrin Bolakale

Araakunrin Bolakale


Focus On Four Emerging Issues In Kwara State- By Araakunrin Bolakale

Between July and December, Kwara State has received an FAAC revenue exceeding 65 billion Naira

Between July and December 2023, Kwara State witnessed a surge in FAAC revenue exceeding 65 billion Naira. The substantial increase in the federation account, attributed to subsidy removal and exchange rate fluctuations, has notably doubled monthly federal allocations to states, contributing to a new revenue wave.

Kwara State, formerly receiving 4.5 billion to 5.5 billion monthly, now receives between 9 billion and 13 billion per month.

Detailed figures from July to December 2023, available on the official websites of the Office of the Account General of the Federation, highlight the state government receiving amounts such as 6.257 billion in July, 6.887 billion in August, 5.284 billion in September, and 7.732 billion in January. In total, the state received 65.746 billion as the Net Federal Allocation during this period.

President Bola Tinubu’s recent meeting with Governors emphasized responsible spending of funds, leading to the directive for monthly publication of allocated amounts. The pertinent question now arises: How has Kwara State utilized the 65.746 billion Naira it received?

Assessing Economic Ventures: Unfinished Projects and Economic Implications in Kwara State

During the first term of this administration, numerous projects boasting significant economic potential were initiated. Regrettably, the majority of these ventures have failed to meet their completion deadlines. Despite the substantial investments – amounting to billions of naira – in projects such as the Garment Factory, Innovation Hubs, Virtual Arts Centers, Sugar Film Factory, and the General Tunde Idiagbon Bridge, none of them is currently operational.

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The sluggish and inconsistent progress of the government appears both peculiar and economically unsound. Not only are the billions invested losing value daily, but the government’s actions have also deprived the state of numerous economic opportunities that these projects could have generated.

The opportunity cost of these funds extends beyond monetary value, impacting the social and economic growth of the state. It is my hope that Mall. Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq recognizes the adverse effects of this unconventional approach on the state’s social and economic development. Particularly in this critical period, one would anticipate the Governor’s focus on completing and operationalizing these projects.

Navigating the 2027 Political Landscape: Kwara North Agenda and the Imperative of Strategic Choices

As the 2027 general elections approach, the Kwara North Agenda is strategically positioning itself, sparking various political considerations and discussions. Although no law mandates the transfer of power to the region, the prevailing sentiment regarding power rotation has not only implicated the region but has also raised questions about potential aspirants.

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Having been involved in similar advocacy in 2011, where I led voices for power rotation and campaigned against its retention in Kwara Central, the focus was not tied to supporting any particular aspirant. It was a genuine effort, reaching out to aspirants from Kwara North and South across political divides. Despite supporting Senator Ajadi, who did not secure the party ticket, the power rotation initiative ultimately failed.

Recognizing genuine advocates in the Kwara North Agenda, such as Comrade Musa Buko, I would advise the region to diligently assess potential aspirants. They should identify someone with a clear understanding of their challenges and the capacity to govern effectively. Relying on an imposed candidate could lead to outcomes similar to the Abdulfatai Ahmed era, where loyalty overshadowed the state’s social and economic agenda.

It’s crucial for the region not to blindly trust external support, as individuals from other regions may align for personal interests rather than genuine causes. Advocates like Buko should define the course of their struggle, understanding the democratic nature that allows Kwara Central and South to field candidates. It’s also worth noting that the author may potentially become a candidate in the upcoming elections.

Union Commendation and Concerns: A Critical Evaluation of Governor’s Support and Challenges in Kwara State

Recently, the leadership of the workers’ unions, NLC and TUC, in Kwara State commended the Governor, hailing him as a supporter of workers. The commendation aimed to highlight the Governor’s dedication to addressing workers’ concerns, with the NLC Chairman noting that the Governor had fulfilled 11 out of their 21 requests. Following the meeting and negotiation, the immediate release of 10,000 bags of 10kg rice was approved for the union leaders to distribute among their members.

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While I have no qualms with the commendation, I would have anticipated the union leadership to extend their inquiries to why the state government has not conducted Local Government elections, thereby safeguarding democracy. However, addressing the modest nature of the 10,000 Naira wage award, especially compared to counterparts’ higher amounts, could have been expected.

Although the provision of palliative rice is a positive development, I’ve received complaints from over five union members regarding the quality and quantity of the rice. Reports suggest that the rice is of poor quality and unsuitable for consumption.

Araakunrin Bolakale (CB) writes from Ilorin

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