By Steve Oni, Ilorin
The Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, has called on the Federal Government to create an enabling environment for prospective investors in energy sector of the economy with a view to supporting local industries.
Governor Ahmed, who also said the inability of the central government to maintain its infrastructure in the states is posing big challenges to the state government, made the call on Monday at the second lecture series of the Kwara State Golden Jubilee anniversary held at the Banquet Hall, opposite Government House, Ilorin.
The Governor, who identified energy as a key factor for industrialisation, said the government would provide cluster solar powered system in the rural communities to stimulate economy at the grassroots.
According to Ahmed, “though the 50 years’ journey might be tough, appreciable developments, especially in infrastructural development have been recorded by various administrations. In 50 years, we’ve had 19 governors with an average of two and a half years tenure. This in itself constitutes an impediment to sustainable development.”
Gov Ahmed assured the people of the state of effective and impactful education programmes to support the needed human capital needs of the state.
Commending the state civil servants for their dedication and resilience in ensuring stability in governance, the governor said “this celebration provides opportunities to re-appraise our milestones with a view to collectively and inclusively moving to the next decades with renewed vigour and commitment.”
In his lecture, the Country Director, United Nations Development Programme in South Sudan, Professor Kamil Kamaldeen called for strategic decisions in sustaining and improving the current pace of development in Kwara State.
Professor Kamaldeen challenged all stakeholders to position the state in taking decision on resource control, true federalism and fiscal federalism.
Professor Kamaldeen who spoke on the topic: “Governance and Development in Kwara State: Past, present and future,” identified unity and peace as key ingredients working for the development of the state.
Also speaking, a Discussant, Professor Hassan Saliu advocated a blueprint to guide successive governments on the developmental plan of the state.
The University Don also advised the state government to set up a think tank to monitor the thread of debate for the clamour for restructuring in Nigeria.
Speaking in the same vein, Professor Saka Mahmud of the Kwara State University, Malete called for even development of the state.
Obaseki Shuts Down Edo Line, Relocates Staff
By Ikhili Monday EBALU, Benin City
Edo State Governor; Mr. Godwin Obaseki has shut down state-owned transport outfit, Edo line, indefinitely and directed that its staff be relocated to the Edo State Ministry of Transport.
The governor gave this directive in Benin as he paid an on-the-spot assessment of Edo line to ascertain the state of the transport company, which had allegedly been systematically collapsing for several years.
During the assessment, Governor Obaseki discovered some buses in disrepair with major departments, including the mechanic unit, the courier section and the staff office, among others, quite out of shape.
The governor, accompanied by the Secretary to the State Government, Barr Osarodion Ogie, his Chief of Staff, Mr. Taiwo Akerele, and other top officials, lamented the condition of the state-owned transport company.
He said: “We will shut down this place, clean it up, and decide on how to liquidate the debt and plan how to use the premises for other ventures”.
Noting that company’s debt was about N1.5bn, he said: “This is a typical waste. Can you see how many vehicles are around? We have been paying people close up to four years without doing any work. The company has a huge amount of debt and as a government, we cannot continue in this situation. What we are doing is that we are absorbing the staff”.
The company, which last operated on May 2015, had workforce that was 186-people strong with its headquarters located at James Watt Road, Off Mission road, Benin City and other outlets in Lagos, Abuja, as well as other parts of the country.