By Senator Rafiu Adebayo Ibrahim PhD, FCIB
Few days ago, the embattled Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC in Kwara State, Hon. Bashir Omolaja Bolarinwa, appeared on a local radio programme, where he spoke on various issues including matters relating to the affairs of his party.
When asked to comment on the achievements of Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq in the last 365 days in office, the chairman, surprisingly said he wasn’t in the best position to do that, asking the interviewer to call on the governor’s spokesperson to do so. BOB however, later conceded that the kind of projects being paraded as achievements of Governor Abdulrazaq within his one year in office by his media team, do not qualify to be regarded as achievements, especially not of a government that promised change.
He said rehabilitation of past projects can’t be branded as laudable achievements of any serious government. He noted that previous administrations also carried out those projects. BOB stressed that Kwaran’s expectations of the APC government are very high and that the Abdulrazaq’s government needed to ‘think outside the box’ to fulfil its magical campaign promises to Kwarans.
The Kwara APC Chairman’s comment and assessment of the Abdulrazaq’s administration was a confirmation that the APC-led government is yet to fulfil its numerous campaign promises to Kwarans and has failed to live up to the expectations of Kwarans. BOB was not only right in his assessment of the present administration but also echoed the thoughts of majority of Kwarans about the performance of the present government in the State.
To meet the yearnings and expectations of Kwarans and for history to be kind to Governor Abdulrazaq and his party, the APC, he needs to think outside the box as suggested by his party chairman. No serious government in this present era will be making noise and parading construction of culverts, interlocking, fixing of potholes and renovation of existing schools as laudable achievements.
In thinking out of the box, Governor Abdulrazaq should take a cue from the immediate past administration of Abdulfatah Ahmed. Being creative and innovative is one of the hallmarks of effective and purposeful leadership.
In the face of dwindling revenues from the federal government purse, Maigida thought out of the box and initiated an IGR reform which saw a change in the people, process and technology in revenue collection and management in the State. This led to a substantial increment in the internal revenues of the State, which lessen the state’s over-reliance on federal allocation. For instance, within the first year of the carrying out the IGR reform, the state’s IGR jumped from N7b in 2015 to N17b in 2016.
To sustain meaningful infrastructural development projects across the State, without placing undue burden on the finances of the State by raising its debt profile through mindless borrowings, former Governor Ahmed launched the Kwara Infrastructure Development Fund (IF-K), which enabled the government sustainably implement infrastructural projects without reliance on federal allocation and without reckless borrowings, which could have had serious negative impacts on the financial status of the State by now, as it is the case with some states of the federation.
Without doubt, KWIRS and IFK are products of innovation, foresight and vision. They are among the enduring legacies of the PDP/Ahmed administration, which have had positive impacts on the development of the State.
Senator Rafiu Adebayo Ibrahim PhD, FCIB
Banking, Finance and Governance Advisor