Development partners on Monday commended the many strides of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq in the health sector, saying the achievements point at the governor’s firm commitment to public good.
Fidel Info reports that the commendation was made in Ilorin, the capital city, where the state officially flagged off an investment fund to deepen access to primary healthcare services in Kwara State through IMPACT project.
IMPACT, an acronym for Immunization Plus and Malaria Process by Accelerating and Transparency, is funded by the World Bank after the state paid $100,000 counterpart funds. Each benefiting PHC is getting N4.6m to upgrade primary healthcare infrastructure.
Representative of the World Health Organization Dr Walter Kazadi Mulombo commended the administration for its strategic partnerships and investment in primary healthcare programmes to deliver quality healthcare services to the citizens.
Dr. Mulombo, who spoke through the North Central Coordinator for WHO, Dr. Asma’l Zeenat Kabir, said Kwara was able to have the programme in place because of the leadership commitment of the Governor.
“I want to, on behalf of the representative of WHO, commend and congratulate the Kwara State Government for establishing the IMPACT project to improve access to universal health coverage,” she said.
She lauded AbdulRazaq for providing the enabling grounds for the WHO to deliver on its 2023 goals, which she said was meant to cover at least 3 billion people worldwide.
“WHO’s 2023 goal is a global goal that has the 3 billion live goal. The first is that WHO intends to reach 1 billion people to have access to universal health coverage. Of course, this is part of the way for which the WHO appreciated Kwara State,” she said.
“Another 1 billion people are going to become healthier. And 1 billion more people will get protected from health emergencies. This is in direct alignment with what the Kwara State Government has been doing.”
She called on the implementing agency to ensure that the project is effectively handled to achieve the set objectives.
The event was well attended by the Governor; Deputy Governor Kayode Alabi; Senator Umar Sadiq (Kwara North); cabinet members including Commissioner for Health, Dr. Raji Razaq; Executive Secretary Kwara State Primary Healthcare Development Agency Dr. Nusirat Elelu; State Coordinator of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) Pharmacist Hanifa Hamza; and State Team Lead Africa Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET) Dr. Tinuke Ahmed.
Others were the representative of the Emir of Ilorin and Balogun Alanamu of Ilorin Dr. Abubakar Usman Jos; the Olupako of Share Oba Haruna Olawale Sulaiman; and other traditional rulers and chiefs; and representatives of the primary healthcare centers across the 193 geopolitical wards of the state; among others.
Dr. Raji, in his remarks, said that the health sector under the present administration has been transformed to meet the needs of the populace, commending AbdulRazaq for his leadership qualities.
Dr. Elelu, for her part, said the administration has repositioned the health sector through prompt payments of counterpart funds, adequate investments in basic infrastructure, prompt payment of salaries of health workers, and their promotion, among other incentives that enable the state to stand shoulder high on health issues in the comity of states.
She said the agency will do everything within its power to ensure that the resources entrusted into its care are utilized for the common man and in line with the necessary guidelines.
Pharm. Hanifa Hamza, from NPHCDA, urged the state to ensure diligence and accountability, saying the two qualities will actually pay back.
AFENET’s representative, Dr. Tinuke Ahmed, for her part, said the IMPACT project indicates that the government means well for its people and promised to work closely with the administration in the implementation stage to enable it reap the full benefits of such investments.
Governor AbdulRazaq, for his part, said the programme again underscores his administration’s focus to ensure universal health coverage for an average Kwaran.
“I welcome you all to this important occasion which signals another milestone in the life of our administration. One of the cardinal goals of our administration is to ensure universal health coverage for all Kwarans, irrespective of their location. This has guided all the strategic interventions we have made in the health sector, “he said.
“One of the early commitments our administration made is the Expression of Interest in the IMPACT Project by meeting all the necessary requirements, including the payment of $100,000 counterpart fund.
“The idea is to enable our Primary Health Care Centres to have some level of financial autonomy and the capacity to optimally deliver basic health care services to the people.
“This (programme) is a continuation of the legacies of our administration. We have consistently been investing in the health sector, including the primary health care system through renovation or construction of health facilities in several locations in the state, recruitment of all cadres of health workers. We have equipped many of our health facilities with equipment this state never had before. We will not relent, especially now that the results have been quite impressive.”
Kwara Exco okays N239bn 2023 revised budget
Kwara State Executive Council has approved for Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq to present to the State House of Assembly, a draft revised 2023 budget of N239,084,199,757.00, with capital expenditure taking some 50.2% of the chunk while recurrent tanked to 49.8%.
The revised budget is 27% larger (N50,238,596,196.00) than the approved 2023 budget earlier approved by the House.
The approval followed a submission from the Commissioner for Planning and Economic Development, Hon. Lafia Aliyu Kora Sabi who said that a service-wide and bottom-up process for the revised budget started since June 2023 — followed by thorough deliberations and reviews of submissions from the Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Government (MDAs) by the Central Budget Committee (CBC).
“The pertinent factor governing the selection of projects for execution in the remaining part of the year is the emphasis placed on capital projects that are critical to stimulate the economic activities in the state for inclusive growth and development,” Sabi told the council, adding that special considerations have been made to boost economic activities and improve the living standard of the people.
The cabinet, among other government processes, also approved for Star Sewing Machine Limited, an International firm, to manage the State’s Garment Factory following a long-drawn bidding process involving open tendering in line with relevant laws.
Held on Friday evening, the council meeting was chaired by the Governor, Mal. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq attended by Deputy Governor Kayode Alabi, Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji AbdulKadir Mahe; and all the Commissioners.
Mrs Bola Olukoju
Honourable Commissioner for Communications
Full text: President Tinubu’s 63rd independence anniversary speech
“It is my unique honour to address you on this day, the 63rd anniversary of our nation’s independence, both as the President of our dear country and, simply, as a fellow Nigerian.
“On this solemn yet hopeful day, let us commend our founding fathers and mothers. Without them, there would be no modern Nigeria. From the fading embers of colonialism, their activism, dedication and leadership gave life to the belief in Nigeria as a sovereign and independent nation.
“Let us, at this very moment, affirm that, as Nigerians, we are all endowed with the sacred rights and individual gifts that God has bestowed on us as a nation and as human beings. No one is greater or lesser than the other. The triumphs that Nigeria has achieved shall define us.
The travails we have endured shall strengthen us. And no other nation or power on this earth shall keep us from our rightful place and destiny. This nation belongs to you, dear people. Love and cherish it as your very own.
“Nigeria is remarkable in its formation and essential character. We are a broad and dynamic blend of ethnic groups, religions, traditions and cultures. Yet, our bonds are intangible yet strong, invisible yet universal.
“We are joined by a common thirst for peace and progress, by the common dream of prosperity and harmony and by the unifying ideals of tolerance and justice.
“Forging a nation based on the fair application of these noble principles to a diverse population has been a task of significant blessing but also a serial challenge.
“Some people have said an independent Nigeria should never have come into existence. Some have said that our country would be torn apart. They are forever mistaken. Here, our nation stands, and here we shall remain.
“This year, we passed a significant milestone in our journey to a better Nigeria. By democratically electing a 7th consecutive civilian government, Nigeria has proven that commitment to democracy and the rule of law remains our guiding light.
“At my inauguration, I made important promises about how I would govern this great nation. Among those promises were pledges to reshape and modernize our economy and to secure the lives, liberty and property of the people.
“I said that bold reforms were necessary to place our nation on the path of prosperity and growth. On that occasion, I announced the end of the fuel subsidy. I am attuned to the hardships that have come. I have a heart that feels and eyes that see. I wish to explain to you why we must endure this trying moment.
“Those who sought to perpetuate the fuel subsidy and broken foreign exchange policies are people who would build their family mansion in the middle of a swamp.
“I am different. I am not a man to erect our national home on a foundation of mud. To endure, our home must be constructed on safe and pleasant ground.
“Reform may be painful, but it is what greatness and the future require. We now carry the costs of reaching a future in Nigeria where the abundance and fruits of the nation are fairly shared among all, not hoarded by a select and greedy few. A Nigeria where hunger, poverty and hardship are pushed into the shadows of an ever-fading past.
“There is no joy in seeing the people of this nation shoulder burdens that should have been shed years ago. I wish today’s difficulties did not exist. But we must endure if we are to reach the good side of our future.
“My government is doing all that it can to ease the load. I will now outline the path we are taking to relieve the stress on our families and households.
“We have embarked on several public sector reforms to stabilize the economy, direct fiscal and monetary policy to fight inflation, encourage production, ensure the security of lives and property and lend more support to the poor and the vulnerable.
“Based on our talks with labour, business and other stakeholders, we are introducing a provisional wage increment to enhance the federal minimum wage without causing undue inflation. For the next six months, the average low-grade worker shall receive an additional Twenty-Five Thousand naira per month.
“To ensure better grassroots development, we set up an Infrastructure Support Fund for states to invest in critical areas. States have already received funds to provide relief packages against the impact of rising food and other prices.
“Making the economy more robust by lowering transport costs will be key. In this regard, we have opened a new chapter in public transportation through the deployment of cheaper, safer Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses across the nation. These buses will operate at a fraction of current fuel prices, positively affecting transport fares.
“New CNG conversion kits will start coming in very soon as all hands are on deck to fast track the usually lengthy procurement process. We are also setting up training facilities and workshops across the nation to train and provide new opportunities for transport operators and entrepreneurs.
“This is a groundbreaking moment where, as a nation, we embrace more efficient means to power our economy. In making this change, we also make history.
“I pledged a thorough housecleaning of the den of malfeasance the CBN had become. That housecleaning is well underway. A new leadership for the Central Bank has been constituted. Also, my special investigator will soon present his findings on past lapses and how to prevent similar reoccurrences. Henceforth, monetary policy shall be for the benefit of all and not the exclusive province of the powerful and wealthy.
“Wise tax policy is essential to economic fairness and development. I have inaugurated a Committee on Tax Reforms to improve the efficiency of tax administration in the country and address fiscal policies that are unfair or hinder the business environment and slow our growth.
“To boost employment and urban incomes, we are providing investment funding for enterprises with great potential. Similarly, we are increasing investment in micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.
“Commencing this month, the social safety net is being extended through the expansion of cash transfer programs to an additional 15 million vulnerable households.
“My administration shall always accord the highest priority to the safety of the people. Inter-Service collaboration and intelligence sharing have been enhanced. Our Service Chiefs have been tasked with the vital responsibility of rebuilding the capacities of our security services.
“Here, I salute and commend our gallant security forces for keeping us safe and securing our territorial integrity. Many have paid the ultimate sacrifice. We remember them today and their families. We shall equip our forces with the ways and means needed to perform their urgent task on behalf of the people,
“We shall continue to make key appointments in line with the provisions of the Constitution and with fairness toward all. Women, Youth and the physically challenged shall continue to be given due regard in these appointments.
“May I take this opportunity to congratulate the National Assembly for its role in the quick take-off of this administration through the performance of its constitutional duties of confirmation and oversight.
“I similarly congratulate the judiciary as a pillar of democracy and fairness.
“I also thank members of our dynamic civil society organizations and labour unions for their dedication to Nigerian democracy. We may not always agree but I value your advice and recommendations. You are my brothers and sisters and you have my due respect.
“Fellow compatriots, the journey ahead will not be navigated by fear or hatred. We can only achieve a better Nigeria through courage, compassion and commitment as one indivisible unit.
“I promise that I shall remain committed and serve faithfully. I also invite all to join this enterprise to remake our beloved nation into its better self. We can do it. We must do it. We shall do it.!!!
“I wish you all a happy 63rd Independence Anniversary. Thank you for listening. May God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
63rd Independence: Nigeria always emerges stronger from challenges of nation building: Kwara Gov
Kwara State Governor/Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has congratulated Nigerians on the country’s 63rd anniversary of independence.
He said the country’s march to greatness is on course, and on an even stronger footing, regardless of its own share of the challenges of nation building that every society goes through.
“What is certain is that the country has always emerged stronger from any of its challenges and the current ones, whatever their magnitude or shades, will not be an exception,” the Governor said in a statement commemorating the 63rd anniversary of the country.
“I congratulate Mr. President, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, and the rest of the country on this occasion. We thank God for His mercies on our country, and commend all the patriots who have remained true to the dream of a greater, united Nigeria at all turns of our history.
“I join Mr. President, leadership of the other arms of government, and all thought leaders to call on Nigerians to remain united and committed to collective good. Together, we’ll build in the successes of the past years and break new grounds in political maturity and inclusiveness, economic growth, and collective prosperity.”
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor
September 30, 2023
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