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FG approves Kishi-Kaiama Road at N27bn



Kwara State Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq

Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara says the Federal Government has approved the construction of Kishi-Kaiama Road at the sum of N27 billion.

AbdulRazaq said the breakthrough with Abuja explained why the state government has now stopped its ongoing work on the road.

The state had taken over the construction of the road in phases to ease transportation challenges along the busy corridor.

This is contained in a statement issued in Ilorin on Monday by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr Rafiu Ajakaye.

“The Federal Ministry of Works has informed us that we should stop work on that road because they have got new approval from the Federal Government and the contract for the road has been reissued at N27 billion,” it stated.

It was reported that AbdulRazaq announced this in Ilorin at the first Kwara North Economic and Development Summit organised by Kwara North Development Council (KWANDCO).

“There is huge infrastructural deficit in the whole of Nigeria, in Kwara State, and especially in Kwara North. Now, what are we doing about it as a government?

“The Kishi-Kaiama Road is very important for the whole of the country because of the volume of trade in farm produce,” he said.

According to the statement, the contract was first awarded over 10 years ago and it is a federal road.

The governor said his administration had already started work on the road before the federal ministry of works asked it to discontinue the project.

The ministry said the former administration in the state gave the contract to a company that did not meet BPE requirements.

“Our latest communication with them was that they want to re-award the contract and that our own contractor should vacate the site. That is why you will see that work has stopped on Kishi-Kaiama Road,” said AbdulRazaq.

The governor promised that work would begin on Bode-Saadu-Kaiama-Kosubosu road next year, saying the project will be financed through a portion of BUA Group tax.

“AbdulRazaq said the state government will construct Bode-Saadu-Kaiama-Kosubosu road using the road tax infrastructure scheme with BUA Group.”

He said work woukd begin on that road by the first quarter of 2023, using revenue proceeds from the BUA Group.

“We have been on that discussion with BUA to open up Bode-Saadu-Kaiama-Kosubosu road. Most of our major roads are federal roads and they are in deplorable conditions.

“You can see Share-Patigi road in deplorable condition. That road was awarded a few years ago but was not done.

“It is not just in Kwara North. Ilorin-Kabba Road is a federal project, and we are not happy about the situation of that road at all. We wrote the Federal Ministry of Works few days ago to quickly fix some roads in the state,” the governor said.

AbdulRazaq assured the people of the state that his administration would henceforth improve on the specifications of the state roads to make them last longer.

He added: “From the next budget, we will have a new focus on the way we construct our roads. Right now, all we do is compacted latrite and asphalt.

“Such roads, truly, will not last long. The specifications of our roads will change with compacted latrite, stone base and asphalt on it.

“Gradually, we are building one-two kilometres roads in our cities so as to see that infrastructure get to every part of the state and reduce travel time.

“As part of our infrastructural development to evacuate farm produce, Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project (RAAMP) will begin next year to ease movement of farm produce from rural areas to urban centres. We have made all the payments.”

He commended KWANDCO for organising the summit, saying the discussions around infrastructure, agriculture, healthcare and human capital development would help in bringing the needed development to Kwara North and the state as a whole.

Sen. Sadiq Umar (APC-Kwara North) commended AbdulRazaq’s administration for its inclusiveness, equity and justice in decentralising resources to get to the smallest areas for even development.

“In Kwara North, we have extensive arable land and water bodies from Baruten, Kaiama, Moro, Edu and Patigi, good climate condition for agriculture, which means we are so blessed and can be very rich if only the right things can be done.

“Over 80% of arable land is either uncultivated or under cultivated because we need technology and knowledge to be able to do that.

“It is interesting to note that we are lucky that after the Otoge in 2019, the administration of Malam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq realises the need for inclusiveness, equity and justice.

“That is why there’s a deliberate effort to decentralise resources to get to the smallest areas. Your Excellency, we are very happy that you get that right and I believe we will be able to catch up as we go in this journey,” said Umar.

The senator also called for a deliberate funds for agriculture and collaboration between the state and federal governments in attracting support to agricultural sector.

The Emir of Ilesha Baruba, Prof. Halidu Abubakar, who spoke on “Embracing knowledge economy for sustainable economic development in Kwara North: The Urgency of now”, identified agricultural sector as the “low hanging fruit” available in Kwara North to adopt knowledge economic model.

“If knowledge economy will succeed, it will rely on the collaborative effort of government, civil society, politicians and non-governmental bodies.

“The proposed model offers a lot of promise like it is inherently bedevilled by a variety of key challenges, the majority of which can impact negatively on the implementation of a knowledge economy, if not properly addressed at the preliminary stages,” he said.

The Emir of Lafiagi, Alhaji Muhammad Kudu Kawu, on his part, advocated the creation of an interface between government, private sector and Kwara North communities for massive injection of investments through what he called Public Private Communal Partnership (PPCPs) to kick start economic growth in Kwara North.

He said it was impossible for government to undertake all the infrastructural projects, hence a need for collaboration and sincerity on the part of the citizens too.

Emir of Shonga, Dr. Haliru Yahaya, called for enhanced focus on information and communications technology to leapfrog development in the health sector.

He also encouraged parents and guardians to get their children immunised appropriately.

The Chairman of KWANDCO, Mr Kolo Jerry, said the summit would come up with actionable blueprint to chart the developmental course of Kwara North and change the existing narrative.

Toba Ajayi

NEWSVERGE, published by The Verge Communications is an online community of international news portal and social advocates dedicated to bringing you commentaries, features, news reports from a Nigerian-African perspective. A unique organization, founded in the spirit of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, comprising of ordinary people with an overriding commitment to seeking the truth and publishing it without fear or favour. The Verge Communications is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a corporate organization.



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