Bukola Imam, Ilorin
Kwara State governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq on Thursday flagged off infrastructural projects across 600 schools in the state.
Speaking at the ceremony in Otte, Asa local government area of the state, the governor explained that the projects are a combination of the 2014 to 2019 Universal Basic Education Commission-SUBEB interventions that got stuck as a result of the previous administration not fulfilling its obligations as well as diverting the matching grants it received in 2013.
The projects include statewide wholesale remodelling of schools, construction of new classrooms, rehabilitation of existing ones, construction of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities, information and communication facilities, and training and retraining of teachers.
“Nearly one decade after meaningful investments in basic education infrastructure stopped across our state, we are this morning flagging off massive construction, rehabilitation, remodelling, and furnishing of hundreds of basic schools across Kwara State.
“This is the outcome of a strategic new beginning between our administration and the Universal Basic Education Commission. Kwara’s relationship with UBEC broke down in 2013 when the former regime diverted the matching grants for school development. This brought Kwara to rock bottom in the area of basic education infrastructure.
“We had to pay back the diverted funds. Then we saved up to access the N7bn grants that had piled up between 2014 and 2019.
“There will be construction of four new classrooms each across 61 locations, three new classrooms each in 64 locations, and two new classrooms each in 116 locations. Apart from this, some 1335 classrooms will be rehabilitated across the state. We will also dig 89 boreholes and construct 78 pour-flush toilets. Some 29005 units of student furniture and 7,474 units of teachers’ furnitures will be provided.
“Kwara is evidently poised to breed a new generation of digital natives. Therefore, we will also be constructing digital literacy centres across 40 school locations. They will be furnished with computers, solar panels, generators. They can be used for CBT centres, thereby opening up the state for unprecedented ICT growth. The intervention also covers training and retraining of our teachers,” said the Governor.