Life

The man with deep vision and passion for his people

The first thing on my mind while approaching Ilorin, the Kwara State Capital was ‘’what can a poor state like Kwara do?’’. However, spending a week going round the state and talking to people and top government officials resolved the doubt that sometimes, vision and passion can achieve much more than expected. Talking about vision and passion, one thing you can’t take away is the visionary leadership of the governor who has literally squeezed water from stone to achieve great milestones for a modest Emirate state of Kwara, created 50 years ago and ranking 28 in terms of GDP in the ranking of states in Nigeria.

The first thing on my mind while approaching Ilorin, the Kwara State Capital was ‘’what can a poor state like Kwara do?’’. However, spending a week going round the state and talking to people and top government officials resolved the doubt that sometimes, vision and passion can achieve much more than expected. Talking about vision and passion, one thing you can’t take away is the visionary leadership of the governor who has literally squeezed water from stone to achieve great milestones for a modest Emirate state of Kwara, created 50 years ago and ranking 28 in terms of GDP in the ranking of states in Nigeria.

The first magical achievement you can’t take away from His Excellency, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed is the reform and gigantic milestone achieved in the state’s Internally Generated Revenue(IGR). Speaking with Mrs Adenike Babajamu, who is the Director Admin and Corporate Affairs in the Kwara State Revenue Services, ‘Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed is one of the very few proactive Governors in Nigeria who took the bull by the horn and took steps to diversify its economy through revenue generation.

Mrs Babajamu revealed that the vision of the governor is to develop the IGR of the State such that there is zero dependence on Federal allocation in the nearest future. The fall out of these visionary thinking saw the state in the first year of this revenue reforms rake in over 17 billion from a paltry N500M average revenue by the former Board of Internal Revenue. The most outstanding thing about this revenue reforms is the positive mass advocacy involved and the general willingness of the people of the state to comply without the state government using draconian means as it happens in several other states.

One of the approaches which NAIJ.com found amusing was giving of customized school backpacks to pupils with a message “play your part and pay your tax’’. With such simple approach, many parents on their own go to tax offices to pay their tax. There were several of such subtle persuasive approaches. 2017 is the 2nd year of implementing the Revenue reforms and the 1st quarter reports alone showed about N7B already generated.

The fall out of the additional revenue generated in the health sector saw the refurbishment of all the health facilities. One notable thing, when NAIJ.com visited the hospital, was the clean nature of the hospital environment and the wards. It was not hard to notice that the ambience reminds you of expensive private hospitals and the atmosphere was devoid of any form of stench or odour noticeable in many government health institutions.

The man with deep vision and passion for his people
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