By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
Speaking to State House correspondents after meeting behind closed doors with President Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara State said he had narrated his ordeal to President Muhammadu Buhari.
The governor, who was said to have been summoned by President Buhari over the political crisis in the state, refused to respond to questions.
Abdulrazaq alleged that the immediate past administration in the state sold off about 110 properties including the Deputy Governor’s House.
Abdulrazaq also lamented that about 75 per cent of the state allocation from the federation account is used for payment of salaries, thereby leaving the administration with little money to attend to other expenditure.
According to him, “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 per cent of salaries, money coming from Abuja to the State government, 75 per cent 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 a total collapse in the state starting 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 a backlog of debts and 2013 they have been paying half salaries 60 per cent, 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 the 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.”