KWARA NOW HAS A GOVERNOR THAT PRIORITIZES EDUCATION, SAYS ENetSuD
Elites Network for Sustainable Development (ENetSuD), a Kwara-based Civil Society Organization known for its #FollowKwaraMoney activities, has commended Mallam Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq-led Kwara State Government (KWSG) for its progressive and popular step towards rebuilding education sector in Kwara state. This commendation results from the Governor’s directive to renovate thirty-one (31) public schools across Kwara state, after which procurement processes have been initiated by KWSG to execute the projects (https://kwarastate.gov.ng/kwara-holds-open-bid-for-renovation-of-31-public-schools/). The call to prioritize education and rebuild school infrastructures was among the 4 demands made by ENetSuD on 23rd April, 2019 from Governor Abdulrahman through his Transition Committee.
In a statement signed on 18th December, 2019 by its Coordinator (Dr. Alagbonsi Abdullateef), ENetSuD said that “Mallam Abdulrahman’s directive to renovate 31 public schools across Kwara State at the cost of N2,004,205,641, which was provided for in the revised 2019 budget of Kwara State, is a commendable step that has received its full support and cooperation. ENetSuD noted that the step taken by Mallam Abdulrahman is the only way by which the #FundKwaraEducation advocacy project it launched in 2018 during the administration of ex-Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed has been given the required attention. ENetSuD further added that aside the previous N450 million refund of UBEC grant and the recent directive to renovate schools, the financial provision in the proposed 2020 budget presented today at the State Assembly for the rehabilitation of public schools, capacity building for teachers for efficient service delivery and payment of the accumulated UBEC contribution are additional signs that the present Governor might be interested in prioritizing funding of education to reposition the sector in Kwara state”.
“ENetSuD recalled how its #FundKwaraEducation (with its subsidiary #AccessUBECGrant) advocacy successfully got the attention of the previous government but without the desired actions, which ultimately made its advocacy an effort in futility (read: https://enetsud.org/2018/11/03/group-charges-kwara-government-on-improved-funding-for-basic-education/; also read: https://enetsud.org/2018/09/15/poor-state-of-public-schools-in-kwara-state-enetsud-tasks-state-government-on-adequate-funding-of-education-and-ensuring-its-judicious-use-by-school-managements/; then read: https://enetsud.org/2018/07/24/government-technical-college-patigi-a-shadow-of-its-old-self/; and: https://enetsud.org/2018/06/29/islamiya-college-patigi-a-school-where-students-learn-in-uncompleted-buildings-with-no-facilities/). Rather than yielding to ENetSuD’s call to rebuild the decayed public schools’ infrastructures that were/are no more conducive for teaching and learning across Kwara state, the previous administration of Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed was always telling us that dwindling Federal Government (FG) allocation to Kwara state and payment of teachers’ salaries could not allow her to do so, an excuse that we considered as a reflection of little or no priority for quality education services in the state”.
However, ENetSuD cautioned the Governor not to assume that any laudable government’s program is free of corruption. “From our 2-year experience in the area of FG’s budget tracking and projects monitoring and evaluation activities in Kwara State, we have not seen any government’s project that is not characterized by corruption. The corruption we have consistently noticed are related to inflation of contract sum, project execution that fraudulently deviates from the approved specification, over-payment to contractors, among others, all of which have been convincingly shown to result from connivance of government Ministries Department and Agencies (MDAs) with contractors. We therefore call on the Governor to accelerate the legislative processes for enacting the Freedom of Information (FOI) Law in Kwara State that will enable us to track the projects (and all other KWSG-funded projects) as we have been doing for FG’s projects in Kwara state”.
Finally, ENetSuD assures the Governor of its readiness to partner with him and render Monitoring and Evaluation service to the government on budgeted projects (if invited) so as to ensure that Kwara money works for Kwarans.