KWARA State governor, Dr Abdulfatah Ahmed, has called for the removal of primary school teachers’ salaries from local government allocations in order to ease funding challenges at the local council level in the country.
Ahmed says there is an urgent need to review national laws which inhibit state governments from being major players in telecommunications, energy, aviation, and exploitation of mineral resources so that states could be more economically viable and financially self-sustaining.
The governor made the calls during an interface with Muslim scholars during a newly introduced ‘State of the State’ meeting, a platform for interface between the state government and groups such as faith leaders, women and youth groups.
According to Governor Ahmed, primary education is too important to be left at the mercy of local government areas that are becoming increasingly incapacitated to meet the challenges of modern governance.
“Most of them lack the financial requirements of primary education, especially primary school teachers,” he said.
Ahmed noted that there is a need to expand sources of internally generated revenue of states by removing telecommunications, energy, aviation, exploitation of mineral resources from the exclusive control of the federal government which already has a wide financial base.
On infrastructure development of Kwara State, the governor said the Kwara State Infrastructure Development Fund ( InfraFund Kwara) has been increased from N300 million monthly to N500 million.
“With the increase of the funds, the state government is now better placed to jumpstart vital projects such as the Garin Alimi underpass, extension of the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital Road, two additional campuses of Kwara State University in Ilesha-Baruba and Osi, Kwara North and Kwara South senatorial districts respectively,” he said.
He added that with the procurement of two asphalt plants by the state government, road maintenance across the state will now be cheaper and executed with vigour.
Responding, one of the ulamas (Islamic scholars), Dr Abubakar Aliagan, urged the state government to urgently stem the activities of misguided Muslim fundamentalists in the state to prevent an emergence of terrorism.
“These are people wanted outside the country. Why should we allow them operate freely in our state? Another scholar queried.
The forum provided the Muslim scholars opportunity to share their views on the state of the state with the governor.