Abdulfatah Ahmed has said that recession should not be seen as a challenge but an opportunity to thrive
The governor made the assertion in Ilorin during the inauguration of Kwara Infrastructure Development Fund, I-FK a body saddled with the responsibility of coordinating infrastructural developments in the State.
According to the governor, where others see economic challenges, we see opportunity to innovate and thrive.
Ahmed said that the sum of N5.8 billion, which would be injected into I-FK, would not be sourced from the federal allocations to the state, but through carefully generated internal revenues.
He said the state had earmarked savings of N500million every month into the fund to be provided by the Kwara Internal Revenue Service (KWIRS).
Ahmed said I-FK will function by partnering with banks, contractors, engineers, consultants and other important stakeholders in the state.
He expressed optimism that the injection of N500 million monthly into the fund will keep project partners in business and have a positive spiral effect on employment generation.
Ahmed also said that the N5.3 billion to be injected into the fund would boost the state’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), for about 18 months while sustaining the multiplier impacts on job creation.
“As a demonstration of this determination, all ongoing and new projects will be funded to completion under the IFK before the end of my tenure.
“Once the rains are over, we will commence major projects in the road, education, energy and health sectors across the state in a manner that accelerates development and ensure its even distribution.
“We will start with the launching of the construction of a Diamond Underpass at Geri Alimi, Ilorin and the inauguration of our newly-acquired Asphalt plant,” he added.
The governor said IF-K was the second phase of his government’s long term strategy to diversify the state’s economy, stimulate economic growth via private sector participation in infrastructure development and create opportunities for collective prosperity.
“The purpose of the IF-K, therefore, is to pool funds for infrastructure projects, optimally leverage private sector resources for infrastructure development and channel State Internal Revenue to directly impact economic diversification and growth strategies.
“IF-K is also designed to ensure maximum quality assurance for asset and services procured by government and encourage broader and deeper interactions with Kwara government from private and non-private partners.
“The fund will be financed through a N5 billion seed fund and a N500 million monthly contribution from the state’s Internally Generated Revenue through an Irrevocable Standing Payment Order (ISPO).
“Under IFK, funds will be disbursed on a quarterly basis, and are projected to grow by N6 billion by the end of the year.
“In order to ensure accountability, and insulate the funds from political control, the IF-K will be managed by a reputable investment company, Investment One, which has been appointed by law as trustee for the scheme.
“In my second inaugural speech, I made a commitment to transform Kwara State into the North Central’s new frontier of prosperity through major infrastructure development and better opportunities for our people.
“By the grace of God, I will deliver on that commitment because where others see economic challenges, we see opportunity to innovate and thrive,” Ahmed added.
The governor said that the government would continue to fund smaller projects through other platforms as only projects worth N300 million and above will be included on the IF-K payment grid.
According to him, payment grid will commence in December with all ongoing and new projects targeted for completion by December, 2018.
He put the estimated value of ongoing project debts to be addressed through IF-K at about N11.1 billion.
“As a demonstration of faith and a token of our commitment to pay all outstanding contractor debts, we have disbursed N1.7 billion to significantly reduce current debt to contractors.
“The balance to be paid from IF-K is estimated at N9.4b.
“This amount will be reduced on a quarterly basis until all debts are finally liquidated before the end of the administration”, the governor said.