2018: Kwara’s Season of New Infrastructure and Enhanced Welfare
Written by Uthy on February 9, 2018
By Eyitayo Oyelowo
While signing the Kwara State 2018 appropriation bill into law last December, Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed assured the people of improved welfare and infrastructure this year, pledging a focus on completing all ongoing and new projects across the State.
Determined to achieve this target, Governor Ahmed on Wednesday, 7 February inspected some ongoing projects in Ilorin metropolis to ascertain the level and quality of work done. Some of the projects inspected by the governor are Geri-Alimi Diamond underpass, ultramodern new secretariat for civil servants and Airport-Egbejila road.
Speaking with newsmen after the inspection, Governor Ahmed restated his administration’s commitment to complete all ongoing projects in the State and also assured that projects highlighted in the state’s 2018 budget are given utmost priorities.
A look at the 2018 demonstrates this resolve. The 2018 Kwara State budget christened ““Budget of Sustained Growth and Prosperity” has a total estimate of N190.9billion. A breakdown of the budget shows that the sum of N74,702,375,870 (42%) is earmarked for recurrent expenditure, while N110,689,173,434 (58%) is allocated for capital expenditure.
In Kwara State, as in other parts of the country, there has been a strong case for increased infrastructure spending, given the substantial infrastructure deficit. Indeed, infrastructure development is critical for economic growth, diversification and public welfare.
It is, therefore, pleasing to note that the State government has allocated a larger chunk of its 2018 budget to capital expenditure.
Various capital projects across the road, health, education, energy and water sectors, are pencilled for implementation in the current fiscal year. Some of the projects include the Kwara State University campuses in Ilesha Baruba and Ekiti, as well as the Postgraduate School situated in Ilorin; Dualisation of UITH-Oyun-Sango Road; construction of Geri Alimi Diamond Split underpass; building of new ultramodern state secretariat etc.
Construction of several access roads across the three senatorial districts of the state were also captured in the budget. Some of the roads include Oke-Onigbin-Isanlu-Isin Road (Isin LGA), Osi-Obbo Ayegunle Road (Ekiti LGA), Over comer Estate Reservoir–Tanke Pipeline Road (Ilorin South LGA), Omu-Aran township Roads:- (a) Taiwo Road (b) Oke-Apa-Odo-Ade-Palace Secretariat (Irepodun LGA), Kuchika Water Works Road, Lafiagi (Edu LGA), Muu-Esuwoye Mufuti-Isale Ago Road (Offa LGA), Station Road, Erin-Ile (Oyun LGA) and Abayan-Patako-Ita Olowo-Ora Road (Ifelodun LGA).
In the Education Sector, the state government has concluded arrangement to access the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) grant to rehabilitate classrooms in schools across the state. For the health sector, provision has been made for qualitative, affordable and accessible healthcare delivery system in the State. A comprehensive rehabilitation of some public health facilities will be carried out in 2018 financial year including two General Hospitals, two Specialist Hospitals, three Cottage Hospitals, six Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and Civil Service Hospital, Ilorin.
In the water sector, the State government has already commenced the testing of the Ilorin Metropolis waterworks following the completion of the reticulation project. The testing is expected to last for three months after which water supply will reach previously served areas as well as a significant part of the metropolis.
To enhance the provision of potable water in other parts of the state, the government will this year give priority to the rehabilitation of several waterworks across the state. In addition, a total of 320 Boreholes will be provided in wards across the state.
One can say that this increased spending and well-developed strategy for infrastructure renewal and development will benefit Kwara state greatly as it will not only create jobs and boost economic activities, it will also enable the State to attract investment, develop tourism, increase the ease of doing business, and strengthen the State’s human capital.
In this wise, it is fair say that 2018, in Kwara, will be a year of project unveiling and enhanced welfare.