AbdulRazaq restates commitment to people’s welfare as cabinet okays completion of Igbaja, Offa, Ora, Banni, Lafiagi township roads, others

• Says cash award gulps nearly N1bn monthly as wage bill rises

• cabinet okays upgrade of indoor sports complex since 1991

• ⁠Govt to extend food support to public amid new initiatives

• ⁠N5.7bn spent to support 124,170 households since subsidy removal: Gov

• Kwapreneur supported 368 SMEs during period

• State Govt begins fresh distribution of N2bn worth of rice today

Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq at the weekend said public welfare in form of continuous cash award to workers and other palliatives and support for different segments of the state remains a top priority for the government, acknowledging the impact of inflation on the living standard of the people and provision of public services.

The Governor said the administration has consistently supported and will continue to support the people as inflation erodes purchasing power across the world.

Outside of the standard wage commitment before the subsidy removal last year, the government now commits nearly N1bn extra every month to pay cash award to different categories of workers and pensioners across the state — aside from the payment of 100% CONHESS, COMES and COMESC, which has raised monthly commitment of the government by 54.01% in the health subsector alone, the Governor added.

AbdulRazaq was speaking during a cabinet meeting on Friday evening during which the state executive council approved inflation-induced upward reviews of contract sums for some road projects across the state, including the Banni township road (Kaiama); Ora township road (Ifelodun); Saint Claire’s Junction-Ikotun Road, Offa; Secretariat Road-New Market Road Lafiagi; and Igbaja Town Hall Road.

That comes as the state government again begins (from today) fresh distribution of rice worth N2bn to the people through different clerics (Muslims and Christians), community based groups, and other stakeholders across the state — while different agricultural initiatives are at work to achieve sustainable food security.

“The government will continue to support the people at this time and always, as we have been doing. More initiatives are also in the work, including food support. It is true that allocation rose following subsidy removal. But so has our wage bill and commitments. We have recorded a rise in monthly allocation (FAAC), which is an average of N1.5bn. But it may interest you that, as a state, we spend a little below N1bn on the wage award alone every month. What about the implementation of 100% CONHESS and others, apart from other interventions and support for the people? Our wage bill has risen. A lot more is being planned, including at the federal level. We definitely do not deny the impact of inflation, which also affects even the cost of providing public services to the people. Together, we will get over this time,” the Governor said.

He said the administration on its own — at different times — has spent a lot of money to procure and distribute rice to the public in a show of support for the masses.

Between May 2023 and now, the government has implemented different layers of social safety programmes which benefitted at least 124,170 people, 368 SMEs that got support through Kwapreneur, and 20 groups that were supported through the state-funded empowerment initiatives, according to the Governor.

Amounts totalling N5,740,600,000 were spent to support the households, while Kwapreneur beneficiaries got between 250,000 and N3m to support their businesses.

In different memoranda to the council, Ag. Commissioner for Works and Transport requested and secured council’s approval for variations in the cost of contract sums for the affected road projects, which had been stalled as a result of inflationary pressures. He said the reviews would allow for immediate completion of the projects for the benefits of the people.

The cabinet, meanwhile, has approved the award of rehabilitation and upgrade of the long dilapidated indoor sports complex at the Kwara State Stadium Complex at N2,069,425,371.55k to Messr Disscom Ltd. 3

In a memorandum to the cabinet, executive chairman of the Sports Commission Mallam Bolakale Mogaji said the procurement process has received a letter of no-objection from the Kwara State Procurement Agency, adding that the project will attract a lot of opportunities to the state, including national and international tournaments, sports conferences, festivals and youth games.

The Governor commended the former military administrator George Innih for the historic investments that made the facility one of the best in Nigeria at the time.

He regretted that the outcry over the N35m cost of the project in 1977 stampeded the contract, denying the state the opportunity of having its full benefits.

“Today, what could have been completed with N35m in those years cannot be done with N100bn now,” he added, commending the former Governor for his foresight, which some persons protested against.

The indoor sports hall complex was last renovated in 1991 during the World Military Games held in Kwara State, according to information on the facility.

The complex houses indoor sports like table tennis, indoor tennis (formerly lawn tennis), volleyball, basketball, handball, five-aside football, boxing, judo, karate, wrestling, and badminton.

Mrs. Bola Olukoju
Honourable Commissioner for Communications

February 18, 2024

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