Kwara: AbdulRazaq and the testimony from College of Education Teachers - NATIONAL TRUMPET


Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Kwara: AbdulRazaq and the testimony from College of Education Teachers

By Adisa Ismail

As the 2023 general election approaches, Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq continues to receive votes of confidence left, right and centre. The opposition parties in the state are so befuddled with these votes that they think it's best for them to resort to propaganda to shift public attention away from the laurels. 
But in torrent, the votes of confidence keep coming. One recently came from the Joint Academic Staff Union in Tertiary Institutions (JASUTI).

The State Chairman of the Union Bilikis Olasehinde led a delegation on a ‘thank you’ visit to Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on a weekend. The message from the group was loud and clear: Kwara of today is far better than yesterday. They are not disappointed to have supported Governor AbdulRazaq in 2019.

The Chairman highlighted the issue of salary arrears. Previous administration couldn't pay workers something as basic as salaries. And they say they are still coming to govern this state. These are people who do not see salaries as a big deal, but had the capacity to take care of the greed of their capo di tutti capi with fat entitlements and packages in the name of pension even when he draws humongous salaries and allowances from the Senate. This is apart from other monies that have been found to be looted from Kwara treasury through a forensic audit.

People who could not pay workers salaries have no business coming back to the helm of affairs. What's more is that it was not only the Colleges they owed. They owed the state-owned media houses, owed basic school teachers, owed Water Corporation, owed local government staff, owed development partners. Most of the workers went on strike. Laughably, it was around that period a withdrawal of N2bn not tied to any project was made as revealed by the forensic audit. The debt profile was huge. The AbdulRazaq-led government met all of them, and in the last three years has defrayed a substantial part of them.

In the Colleges and other tertiary institutions in the state, workers salaries have now been constant. No any default. No geri-gedi salaries. Workers receive their pay as and when due. What more could be a motivation for them, especially when they look back at the days of no salaries and percentage salaries which had sent some of their colleagues to early grave. The icing on the cake for the respected academics was the implementation of the Consolidated Polytechnics and Colleges of Education Academic Staff Salary Structure (CONPCASS), that had been pending for a good number of years.

Hear the State Chairman of JASUTI: “Your Excellency, you are a man of your words. We are indeed very happy for (your) approving the CONPCASS that is due for Academic Staff of the Colleges of Education Ilorin, Oro Lafiagi and College of Arabic and Islamic Legal Studies (CAILS). On behalf of the academic staff of tertiary institutions in Kwara State under my leadership, we say thank you sir.”

Governor AbdulRazaq has also returned monthly subventions to the tertiary institutions. It was long abolished by the previous administration on the claim of cash crunch. Coming from people whom forensic audit showed they looted no less than N11 billion. They served the country at a time of boom in oil sales. They got various bailout funds (Paris and others). They borrowed from commercial banks too. Yet, they couldn't pay salaries of teachers. They had no value for education which is the bedrock of humanity. These are the people who pontificate around about how they have acquired all the education in the world. No respect for education. No respect for teachers.

Governor AbdulRazaq also did one other thing that deserves mention. He cleared the issues of accreditation many of the tertiary institutions were enmeshed in. That was how he revived the tertiary education. But the Governor told the delegation he's not yet done. That's just as a matter of fact the foundation. He revealed his vision to upgrade the facilities in our institutions, expand departments and schools. The Governor just needs more years to consolidate on his achievements.

The testimony from Kwara teachers is just a microcosm of the investments Governor AbdulRazaq has made across sectors. If the media people come, they would say their own. The SUBEB people also have good stories to tell. The Water Corporation people have good tales to share. Up North, down South and in the Central, Governor AbdulRazaq is bringing development closer to the people and the impacts of good governance is being felt across board. Doing 4 more with AA is a necessity!

Ismail writes from Ilorin

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