Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed.
The eight- year reign of Dr. Abdulfatah Ahmed as Governor of Kwara State, North- central Nigeria, which is billed for expiration by 2019 has, without an atom of doubt, delivered good tidings to the people, although just like any other mortal that has an insatiable apetite for innovative development, the State’s Chief Security Officer still believes he should do more before the final handover date.
A recent handful stride he is pulling is the sourcing of a 60million dollar World Bank facility, nearly free of interest, which is planned to have a 10- year moratorium and a 40- year repayment period.
Ahmed, by this, intends that the loan which is meant for rural development, would be carefully and conscientiously utilised by successive administrations for a continuum of development such that its repayment would not strangulate the state’s economy like such other loans which are usually taken as short term loans to fund long term projects, hence the arrival at the 40-year repayment period.
Although a number of denominative critics have claimed that the move was just one of the ways of plunging an impoverished state into everlasting debts, the intention of the erstwhile finance manager is to ensure that for several years to come and until the national economy which has been bad to provide enough for the states becomes good, the state would not be choked by utilising funds from the federal centre for payment of salaries, pensions and maintaining recurrent, as well as engaging in large scale development projects.
And who says this is unwise?
And it should also be noted that despite the fact that Kwara does not belong to the league of oil producing states, meaning that its take home from the federal centre is low, the state is one of the very few that have cleared the arrears of payments to its workers, authenticated by a recent survey carried out by the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN).
And Ahmed keeps moving on- in six years of leadership, IVTEC Ajasse-Ipo; KWASU Engineering complex; five remodelled hospitals; several urban and rural road projects; N2.2billion for SMEs; expanded community health insurance, (all delivered), and more………