Gov. Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara, on Tuesday held mid-year budget review meeting with top civil servants in the state at the “School of Special Needs’’ in Ilorin.
Abdulrazaq, while addressing the gathering said he purposely scheduled the meeting to hold in the school to let the top bureaucrats and other government functionaries appreciate the need to allocate resources that would directly improve lives of the downtrodden in the society.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the governor had visited the school a few weeks before convening the meeting to listen to the teachers as well as inspect facilities.
The governor also apologised to the pupils for the poor condition of the school and promised to as a matter of urgency attend to their needs.
“Work has started, I am sorry to drag you here. It is symbolic.
“This is necessary for you to understand that there are other people who have needs that we should meet. I want the budget to be more inclusive going forward,’’ he told the civil servants.
Abdulrazaq told the bureaucrats that bringing them to the school was to ensure that funds were appropriated in the budget to reflect the condition of the pupils and not just as a show of executive powers.
“I have been here before and I know they have needs. The pupils here don’t have access to very basic needs. They don’t have light. They can’t read.
“This is a trend across the state. Our schools are in bad state. This is why we emphasise the need to get basic things running first.
“The budget should be realistic. We should bring things back to standard. So, bringing you here is to encourage you to feel the situation here.
“It is not impunity. It is for us to understand the terrible state of things. It is to make you appreciate the situation here. I want you to appreciate the environment in which you work.
“We want to put basic things in place first before we move into big budget (projects). We will eventually embark on those (big) things but we want to put basic things in place first,’’ he said.
The governor urged the top civil servants and wealthy members of the society to help the needy such as the special needs children and other disadvantaged members of the society.
NAN reports that the meeting was the second time the governor would pull top civil servants to the hinterland of the state to have a feel of the harsh condition being faced by people of the state.
In June, the governor summoned permanent secretaries and other officials to Patigi, in Kwara North, following his visit to some schools and hospitals, adding that their poor condition was unacceptable to him.
The meeting was attended by the Head of Service (HoS), Mrs Susan Oluwole, the chairman, Kwara State Internal Revenue Service (KWIRS), Prof. Muritala Awodu, permanent secretaries, directors and heads of various government departments and agencies. (NAN)