Kwara governor inaugurates gender-balanced exco with record number of female commissioners
Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Monday inaugurated members of the state executive council — along with five new permanent secretaries and a member of the Civil Service Commission.
The cabinet contains some 50 percent of each gender, boasting, as of today, the highest number of female commissioners in the country.
The inauguration came with another first for the Governor as he swore in two Persons Living With Disabilities (PLWDs) as Permanent Secretaries — yet another marked show of his inclusive policy that is meant to mobilise every segment of the society for collective growth.
The inauguration came a few minutes after the Governor announced Abdulkadir Mahe Aliyu, a prince of Ilorin Emirate and former permanent secretary, as the new Secretary to the State Government (SSG). Mahe, as is popularly known, was sworn in along with the Commissioners.
The Governor, similarly, swore in Jamila Bake, a former commissioner, as a permanent member of the Kwara State Civil Service Commission. She represents Kwara North at the statutory body.
Mahe, from Ilorin South, holds a Master of Business Administration, a postgraduate diploma in Business Administration, Higher National Diploma in Marketing, and Ordinary National Diploma.
He was variously educated at LGEA Bode Sa’adu Primary School in Bode Sa’adu; Government High School Ilorin; Kaduna Polytechnic; Kwara State Polytechnic; and University of Calabar.
He is an accomplished bureaucrat who retired as a permanent secretary. He was a Clerk of the Kwara State House of Assembly and a part-time lecturer at Federal Training Centre Ilorin.
Mahe is a member of several professional bodies, including the Nigerian Institute of Management, Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria, British Institute of Sales and Marketing Management, and a Fellow of the Nigeria Institute of Business Managers and Administrators.
The Governor, who later had a brief inaugural meeting with the new SSG and commissioners, charged them to work as a team and be responsive and mindful of public good in their duties.
At the brief meeting, he asked cabinet members to pore over the different projects and assignments in their ministries and advise the government on areas that need improvement, adding specifically that government will change how road projects are designed in the state for better quality.
“We have to review our rates to reflect the current realities, attract Grade-A contractors, and greatly improve the quality of project delivery and value for money. For example, we have to start designing and building road with stone base to allow for better durability. This will of course affect the cost of our road projects, going forward,” he said.
Earlier at the inauguration, the Governor said: “The last four years have seen us stabilising and repositioning different sectors of our society. Our achievements are boldly written in education, urban renewal projects, rural development, healthcare delivery, provision of potable water, gender mainstreaming and youth empowerment, and general welfare of the people especially through the safety net programmes and other interventions. The Kwara socio economic climate has proven resilient against all odds.”
AbdulRazaq said their choice as cabinet members and public servants is a product of wide consultations, merit, and careful consideration for public good.
He congratulated them for being part of his new team who are entrusted to work for the public good.
“With prudence and blockage of wastes, we have grown internally generated revenue to a height never seen before. Similarly, several projects of huge socioeconomic impacts have been initiated to bridge existing infrastructural gaps and make Kwara the go-to place in Nigeria amid improved access to basic amenities and better welfare for the public workforce,” he said.
“But we are now faced with a new set of challenges. With fuel subsidies gone and the government mobilising resources to stabilise the system amid rising cost of living, we are committed to helping the people cope through empathy and creative solutions.
“As cabinet members and senior bureaucrats, you are to join the government to make life a lot better for the people through the design and implementation of various policies and programmes and exemplary conduct in public leadership. Neither waste, abuse, sabotage, nor intentional disregard for public good will be tolerated. Our appetite and public appearance must also reflect the current realities of our country.
“I therefore congratulate all of you for being part of this important team. Endeavour to be good team players who would collectively and individually earn the trust and respect of the public with exemplary conduct and commitment to the larger interest of our state and country.”
The ceremony was attended by the Speaker Kwara House of Assembly Rt Hon. Yakubu Salihu Danladi; State Chief Judge Justice Abiodun Adebara; representative of the Grand Kadi Justice Sharafdeen Anafy; Chairman Kwara State Civil Service Commission Hajia Habeebat Anike Yusuf; Permanent Secretaries; State APC Chairman Prince Sunday Fagbemi and party leaders; Chairman KAM Wire Holdings Dr. Kamaru Yusuf; and some family members of the commissioners.
Permanent Secretary, Establishment and Training in the office of SSG, Alhaji Ibrahim Muhammed, in his introductory remarks, said the new commissioners had, upon their appointment, gone through necessary training on good governance.
He thanked the Governor for equipping the team with adequate expertise and expressed confidence that the administration and the state will be better for it.
Portfolios of the new commissioners are as follows: Abdulganiy Abdulazeez Kola (Energy); Aliyu Kora Sabi (Planning and Economic Development); Shehu Ndanusa Usman (Environment); Afolashade Opeyemi Kemi (Social Development); Dr. Segun Ogunsola (Housing and Urban Development); Abdulquawiy Olododo (Solid Minerals); Senior Ibrahim Suleiman (Justice); Hauwa Nuru (Finance); Damilola Yusuf (Business, Innovation and Technology); Oloruntoyosi Adebayo Thomas (Agriculture and Rural Development); and Bola Olukoju (Communications).
Others are Abubakar Abdullahi Bata (Local Government, Chieftaincy Affairs and Community Developments); Bello John Olarewaju (Special Duties); Dr. Amina Ahmed el-Imam (Health); Dr. Mary Arinde (Tertiary Education); Olaitan Buraimoh (Women Affairs); and Usman Yunusa (Water Resources).
Get the latest news delivered straight to your inbox every day of the week. Stay informed with the Guardian’s leading coverage of Nigerian and world news, business, technology and sports.