Considering the current economic situation in the country, and the recent attempt of the state governors to take a loan of N17 Trillion from the pension fund, some people were against the move of the state governors. They were of the opinion that the state governors should cut down the cost of governance to accommodate some expenses in the state. Some people even believed that if the cost of governance is cut, they can afford to pay the 30,000 minimum wage bill.
Looking critically at the situation in the state, I discovered that Kwara State government under the leadership of His Excellency, governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq had taken the lead in cutting down the cost of governance in the state and it’s to the advantage of the people of the state. Let’s look at some of the various ways in which the governor had cut down cost even at his own detriment.
From inception of the administration, the governor refused to give his account details for his monthly salaries and allowances till date. Infact, the saved salaries was handy during the pandemic when the saved salaries were donated to the state.
Also, till date the governor had not bought any official vehicle for himself or any political office holders in the state rather, he purchased number of vehicles into the pool of the state government for effective discharge of the civil servants duties.
Another notable action of His Excellency that worth commendation in the area of saving cost of governance is that he chose to operate his office from the Presidential Lodge and his deputy from the Chalet just to save the cost of renovating the two offices which would have cost the state about N500 million rather he opted for the completion of the uncompleted new secretariat building inherited from his predecessor. He did not just do this but also renegotiated downward the sum of the contract by N50million. The secretariat have since been completed and put to use. The same way he renegotiated the construction of Ilesha Baruba to Gwanara Road which was awarded for over N2billion for only surface dressing by the last administration but succeeded in adding only about N200 million to include Asphalt layer of the 33 kilometer road. The governor choose not to terminate the contract for that would have led legal battle between the state government and the contractor and the cost of awarding to a new contractor would have been higher. The road now has reached an advance stage of completion.
It is also a thing of note that the governor has not been approving bogus allowances, bonuses or any form of entitlements for himself or any political office holders since inception. This was done to make them know that occupying political position is a call to serve the people and sacrifices need to be made in serving our people. The people comes first. He opted to be given the Pension Boards (State and Local Govt) the sum of N100 million each monthly to clear out the gratuities of retirees which had been outstanding since the year 2009. The gratuities have since been cleared uptil 2016 now.
The governor equally chooses to give scholarship board money to pay over 8,000 students their bursary stipend and over 120 Law School Students the sum of N100 thousand each. He equally chooses to give over 23,000 aged and vulnerable people and over 10,000 petty traders across the 16 Local Government in the state the sum of N3,000 each and minimum of N10,000 respectively in its KWSIP Owo Arugbo and Owo Isowo to support their businesses. These and some other actions of the governor too numerous to mention here have been benefitting the state hugely.
This action of His Excellency has yielded so much for his administration. One begins to wonder how he is getting things done with the monthly allocation of about N3.4 billion from the federation account and so much he has achieved in the average of one and half years in charge of affairs in the state. Considering the state of comatose the state was when he came inn in May 2019 and the huge debt he inherited, the fact that he had not borrow a dime since he came on board is an indication that cutting down the cost of governance is really paying off for the state.
This bold step speaks volume of the kind of ability he possessed and dexterity he applies in managing the meagre resources accruable to the state to achieved maximum results shows that he is a great manager of human and capital resources. No wonder he is a very successful businessman who had proven his mettle in the economic history of our country now he is taking managerial skill to the administration of a state. So far, it’s working positively for us in Kwara State.
I will therefore implore other state governors in the country to emulate our dear governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq on how to cut down cost of governance as exemplify by him.
Written by Hadji Yusuf Femi
Ilorin, Kwara State