Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Tuesday directed top civil servants to meet him at the state’s school of special needs for their budget review meeting.
In what was a first in the state’s history, AbdulRazaq said he purposely scheduled the meeting for the school to let the top bureaucrats and government functionaries appreciate the need to allocate resources in manners that directly benefit the downtrodden in the society.
The governor had earlier visited the school a few weeks ago to listen to the teachers and inspect the facilities there, apologising to the children and promising to quickly attend to their needs.
“Work has started, in line with our Iseya mantra. I’m sorry to drag you here; it is symbolic. This is necessary for you to understand that there are other people who have needs that we should meet. I want the budget to be more inclusive going forward,” he told the civil servants at the mid-year budget review session in Apata Yakuba suburb of Ilorin, the state capital.
The meeting was attended by the Head of Service, Mrs Susan Modupe Oluwole; Chairman of the Kwara State Internal Revenue Service (KW-IRS); permanent secretaries; directors and heads of various government departments and parastatals.
AbdulRazaq told the bureaucrats that bringing them to the school was to ensure that budgets are made to reflect the condition of the people, and not a show of executive powers.
“I’ve been here before and I know they have needs. The pupils here don’t have access to very basic needs. They don’t have light. They can’t read. This is a trend across the state. Our schools are in bad states. This is why we emphasise the need to get basic things running first,” he said.
“The budget should be realistic. We should bring things back to standard. So, bringing you here is to encourage you to feel the situation here. It is not impunity. It is for us to understand the terrible state of things. It is to make you appreciate the situation here. I want you to appreciate the environment in which you work.
“We want to put basic things in place first before we move into big budget (projects). We will eventually embark on those (big) things but we want to put basic things in place first.”
He urged the top civil servants and wealthy members of the society to help the needy such as the special needs children and other disadvantaged members of the society.
The meeting was the second time the governor would pull top civil servants to the hinterland to have a feel of the condition of the people.
In June, the governor summoned permanent secretaries and other officials to Patigi, in Kwara North, following his visit to some schools and hospitals whose conditions he said were unacceptable to him.