The Kwara State Government is to strengthen security across the state by setting up special security committee comprising security agencies and the Fulani community to check kidnapping, cattle rustling and other criminal activities among cattle breeders in the state.
The State Governor, Dr Abdulfatah Ahmed stated this while receiving members of the Myetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, led by its State Chairman, Alhaji Usman Adamu at the Government House, Ilorin.
Dr Ahmed expressed concern over Farmers/Fulani clashes in the state, saying that the government was working round the clock to curtail the problem through the establishment of grazing reserves and stock routes across the state.
The governor who promised to provide them with necessary social amenities to make life more meaningful, cautioned the farmers and the herdsmen against any clash with host communities, adding that they should respect their hosts' traditions and culture for peaceful co-existence.
Earlier, the State Chairman of the Myetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Usman Adamu praised the governor for carrying them along in his administration.
Alhaji Adamu sought for the government's assistance to enable them overcome the problem of kidnapping of their kinsmen and the menace of cattle rustlers among others.
The chairman who lamented cattle breeders' clashes with farmers in some parts of the state, appealed to the government to include them in its soft loan designed for Small and Medium Enterprises across the state with a view to giving them a sense of belonging.
Oil crash is an opportunity to diversify economy - Gov. Ahmed
According to Ahmed, Nigeria is passing through the danger of dependence on mono-culture economy and that the survival of its economy lies in diversification.
Gov. Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara says Nigeria should use the opportunity of slide in crude oil price to develop its non-oil sectors to finance infrastructure development. Ahmed made the suggestion when a team of Course 38 of Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, Kaduna State, paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House, Ilorin on Tuesday. He said the slide in crude oil price could be a blessing in disguise and could translate into good tidings if the country used the opportunity well. Ahmed said a shift in focus on a single product economy to agriculture and other natural resources would cushion the prevailing harsh economic realities in the country.
According to Ahmed, Nigeria is passing through the danger of dependence on mono-culture economy and that the survival of its economy lies in diversification. "Most developed countries had been challenged as their ingenuity was brought to the fore. People who live in harsh environment have no option but to be innovative. "We should stand up, take advantage of agriculture and use it to drive an economy that will employ and also feed Nigerians. This is the time for us to take that advantage”, he said. Ahmed said it was worrisome that Nigeria was a major importer of rice despite its potentials of being the food basket of the West African Sub-region.
He added that a proper synergy between the federal and the state governments must evolve on how to properly explore and exploit vast solid minerals in the country for economic growth. The governor called for extensive sensitisation of the citizenry that the national wealth must come from a regenerative process through the local development of primary products. "We must take advantage of the land, the surface water, the sunshine and most importantly the population to transform this country into an economic hub”, Ahmed added.
He commended the armed forces for protecting the territorial integrity of the country and called for their greater involvement in the nation building under a democratic dispensation. Leader of the team, Brig. Gen. Moshood Jimoh said the team was in Kwara for a strategic study of the non-oil sectors’ potentials of the state. Jimoh said "the theme of the course is Repositioning Nigeria’s Non-oil Sector as a Major Source of Revenue.” He held that Nigeria could no longer depend on oil for its survival, adding that government at all levels should explore potentials in the non-oil sector to drive the economy.
Opinion: What the future holds for education in Kwara state
While hopes have been somewhat rekindled on the wheels of the CHANGE that took over governance in Nigeria with modified focus and awakened consciousness both on the side of the government and that of the governed, democracy in Nigeria has turned out more promising than ever before. This is not limited to the federal level; the state governments have also set on the mark of renewed era.
Although the government, at all levels, is still faced with daunting challenges, it’s been argued however, that encounters have the potency of bringing out the greatness in the dared and making them rise above the circumstances, most particularly when addressed with undaunted determination.
Let me say, without fear or favour, that it’s interesting to come across Kwara on the list of states taking actionable steps to rehabilitate its economy. However, the latest measures by the state government bordering on socio-economic and infrastructural development wouldn’t have sounded meaningful to me if education had been exempted.
I believe, and I so strongly do, that nothing good can come out of a state that’s not building its future on the foundation of quality education for the future owners. In the words of Mandela, education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. It’s self-connoting therefore that without education, there can be no substantive change.
Forthrightly, there are lot of deficiencies in our education sector. While most are generic, some others are peculiar to us, as a state. It’s nonetheless unspeakable that Kwara hasn’t bridged the wide gap previously lingering on its educational domain, with applaudable developments witnessed in the recent time.
To charter the cause of how Kwara would not be an exception in the new drive of governance for renewed development (through education), it would be pertinent to underscore the 2016 appropriation bill presented by Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed to the State Assembly and make evaluations of what the future holds for the coming generation.
In a report, “The Kwara State government has allocated N30.4billion to the Education sector in its 2016 budget, which represents 26.2 per cent of the total budget size, signifying the governments’ commitment to improve the quality of education in the State.
“With this allocation to Education, Kwara has been able to meet the 26 percent UNESCO recommendation for developing countries, which analysts and educationists have always advocated.”
Ranging from infrastructural development to quality of service and welfare of the service providers, government proposes the following:
Renovation, equipping, furnishing and fittings for thirty (30) existing secondary schools across the 3 senatorial districts of the state. Education sector-wide portal development and deployment to track the physical infrastructure, teachers’ quality and students’ progress. In addition to, and expansion of current educational structures, the under-listed are also part of the proposal.
1- Equipping the International Vocational Technical and Entrepreneurship College (IVTEC) Ajasse-Ipo. 4.2- Construction, equipping and fitting of new KWASU College of Agricultural Science in Ilesha-Baruba, Phase I funding.
5.3- Construction, equipping and fitting of new KWASU College of Architectural and Environmental Studies in Osi, Phase I finding.
4- Construction, equipping and fitting of new KWASU School of Business and Governance in Malete. A total sum of sixteen billion, twenty-four million, seven hundred and sixty-five thousand, five hundred and forty-nine naira only. Obviously from the above, the target is concise but it is indisputably immense. Kwara would take a giant leap towards a prosperous future if these could be achieved, unabatedly. Beyond teaching and learning, the aforementioned projects have the potency to build a new state with optimum development. It has the capacity to boost entrepreneurship, agricultural and socio-economic prowess needed for an ideal and viable society.