Bolaji Ogundele, Abuja
The Kwara State Government has lamented the situation where about 75% of its income is used to offset civil servants’ salaries.
The Kwara State governor, Alhaji Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, who spoke of the difficulties being faced by his administration, said his administration had resorted to finding alternative means of meeting the huge financial responsibilities facing the state as its government is faced with huge debt burdens.
The governor spoke to State House Correspondents on Monday after having a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari. He said he
He said further that the educational sector had almost gone moribund as there had been virtually no investment into the sector all along.
He also said besides the fact that his administration came in to be paying backlog of money owed teachers, the University Basic Education Commission (UBEC) had blacklisted Kwara State since 2013.
The governor also alleged that the administration of his predecessor sold about 110 properties of government, including the Deputy Governor’s official residence, adding that his deputy governor currently lives in a rented apartment.
He, however said he was at the Presidential Villa to wish President Buhari a happy New Year and to disclose to him the huge development and economic crisis his state had been plunged into.
“I have explained all these to Mr. President and I have told him that we want to concentrate on agriculture because money coming from Abuja for our local governments goes in paying 100 percent of salaries, money coming from Abuja to the State government, 75 percent of it goes into paying salaries.
“It’s so painful, we have to develop alternative means of generating revenue and that is why we have to be enterprising in the way we do our things
“I came to see the President to wish him good tiding for the new year and also with a shopping list because our state is in dire streaks. When we got in, there was total collapse in the state start from education. Our four colleges of education were on strike for a year.
“The government was owing teachers about N750 million. Thank God we have been able to clear that. UBEC had blacklisted Kwara State since 2013.so it shows you that there had not been any investment in the education sector.
“But we have been able to clear the liabilities. We paid UBEC N450 million which was misappropriated by the previous administration. We are good to go with UBEC.
“We need federal intervention, we need federal help. UNICEF has left Kwara, we are lagging behind in everything. We have to pay close to a billion in counterpart funding which the previous administration had not paid. Funding for polio, roll back malaria,
“When we got in there was no running water at all in any city in Kwara state, today, Ilorin the state capital within two months we have water running in the taps and some of the major towns too, it’s an ongoing process but the basic thing like water is something that is very important and dear to our programmes.
“Our civil service we have been clearing backlog of debts and 2013 they have been paying half salaries 60 percent, we have been able to clear all that and also try to show that there should be no malice government is a continuity.
“We have not removed anybody from work, the Head of Service we inherited is still there, the Permanent Secretary Finance is still there even the cooks in government house are still there we have not changed anything.
“On house, what we met was that, they have sold virtually about 110 government properties including the Deputy Governor’s residence, our Deputy Governor is staying in rented accommodation, they just shared everything.”