A random musing within memories and thoughts of Suraj’deen Lawal, Don Koga.
I have the unusual opportunity to know many bankers from my early days because my father was a business man who kept the counsel of brilliant minds a lot.
Bankers and lawyers share the top lists formed anytime he needs to consult, never understood why these people collect money for “mere advising” until I grew up and know these sets of professionals are worth having if you must succeed administratively.
A man who I can always say commands respect specially in the late ’90s was a banker who lived in an area called Naibawa in Kano, he worked in a bank my late father doesn’t even have an account with but was respected by an uncle as being quite brilliant, so he visited the banker at night mostly, to seek his counsel, ditto I was taken along occasionally when I holidayed in the North then.
Years later I was to hear of a campaign for Baba Saraki’s son being taken up and down the nation and a certain banker was entrusted with the campaign money, ala sourcing, mobilising and disbursements of the so raised funds.
All that went down the drain of history and the new Turaki of Ilorin became the governor, who handled the finance of the state? Especially at a time people of the state didn’t know that ramshackle developments are different from deep rooted, people oriented and long foresighted projects.
The afore described BANKER’s name came up again and this time history was made, Alhaji AbdulFatah Ahmed, a non-home based politician became the Finance commissioner and later the Economic Planning and Development portfolios handler.
What many may not know about this frank and astute gentleman is that he’s quite a quiet quick thinker and goal oriented being.
I know this because I later got to know him up and close enough to know he is a workaholic, resumes office before 8am and won’t close until 6pm.
If only critics will be more open minded to the spate of financial management ala purposeful strides in the progressive developments of the state.
The records of his governance can be traced to his sagacity which can be proven with the rate at which he has kept up the pace of Progressive projects and programmes across the state since assumption of office.
I will only touch on a few;
The General hospitals’ renovation across the state, The IVTEC in Ajase ipo, The asphalt plant (the foresight in owning the plant shall be known years later), The interventionist programme tagged “Quickwin”, The revolutionary revenue generation tagged KWIRS, the KWASU 800 million naira Engineering College, road construction across in all the 16 LGAs of the state, the ongoing Geri Alimi Diamond Split, Light Up Kwara (LUK) projects, about-to-commence Soludero transport service with modern bus stops in various parts of Ilorin metropolis, Asadam Water expansion project, distribution of more than three hundred (300) electric transformers and other electric distribution appliances, renovation of more than one hundred (100) primary healthcare centres, lunching of Operation Harmony with about one hundred security vans to beef up the security of the state and many other monumental achievements.
Well, I’m not surprised that his administration is not making noise, since the government under His Excellency Alhaji Dr AbdulFatah Ahmed is busy Creating works for the teeming youths and enabling environment for the elders of the state. *This is a man who brought his financial wherewithal to bear by disallowing Kwaran workers to be owed salaries during the era of Goodluck Jonathan even when others states where owing. Yet, he ensured the states civil servants are promptly paid while he assures the local government workers of the payment of their backlogs as soon as the federal allocation increases. The discerning Kwarans are not unaware of the fact that even the oil producing states and states with higher slice of federal allocation owe both the state and local government workers.*
He is busy creating a continuing legacy of progressive development.
If you are reading this, open your mind to the newer Kwara and imagine the next few years too.
While I shall hasten to say that as a lot has been done, so a lot could be done still.
An open submission herein thus:
Has it occurred to anyone that Kwara State is between the states producing and the states buying Agric products?
Well, since we have Oko Olowo on one axis and Ganmo Amoyo on the the other axis of Ilorin, let us create a hub of Agric products where goods being transferred to and beyond Lagos can have a proper *”marketing stop over”* and if KWIRS can really tap into this, it can both be an Agricultural and financial hub of blessing to us in Kwara.
To be continued…