Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara state has said that he is prepared to go into big time farming to contribute to economic growth of rural areas of the state and ensure food security.
Speaking during an interactive session with civil servants on levels 16 and 17 as well as permanent secretaries in Ilorin at the weekend, emphasised the need for economic diversification of the state to mitigate the current national economic challenge and guarantee future economic stability.
The governor noted that the slide in earnings from federation account from about N3.8 billion at the inception of his administration to a little over N1 billion monthly, called for cutting of costs in other to sustain governance and development of infrastructure.
Governor Ahmed who assured the civil servants that despite the prevailing economic challenges in the country, their welfare and regular payment of salaries and enrolments remain his top priorities, charged management staff of MDAs, as top echelons of the civil service, to put in place aggressive and progressive modalities of ensuring that the fortunes of the state improve through enhanced internally generated revenue.
The governor said the projection of his administration is to hit N3 billion mark by the end of 2016, away from the present N1.2 billion monthly which was an impressive achievement from the monthly N500 million IGR at the inception of his administration.
“We will continue to ensure that our civil servants, are happy, efficient and productive; but to whom much is given much is expected,” he said.
According to him, although, a critical factor is the personnel cost, his administration would not reduce the work force which would add to the army of unemployed but would ensure prudence in the management of available resources.
The governor asserted that civil servants’ salaries in the State are paid to date, except those who have challenges with their Biometric Verification Numbers (BVN) stressing that once the issues are resolved they would be paid.
He warned civil servants who perpetrate acts inimical to the integrity of the service such as age falsification, collection of multiple salaries and fake certificates that such acts would be identified, culprits made to refund illegally earned salaries and prosecuted.