Kwara state Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq at the weekend said Ilorin is clearly the fastest growing state capital in the central region, a feat he linked to the peaceful atmosphere in the town.
The Governor said the capital city now records no less than eight flights on a daily basis as the state’s economic base grows at a fast pace.
He was speaking at the 56th Annual National Conference of Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union (IEDPU), Fundraising for the completion of its Skills Acquisition Hub and Launching of the 2022 Calendar.
“This (gathering) is another opportunity for _Dahiri_ Ilorin to strengthen goodwill, exchange ideas, and review the journey so far. Alihamdulillaah!” he said.
“As an administration, we have continued to partner with the IEDPU to ensure that the capital city Iives up to the billing. Today, Ilorin is clearly the fastest growing economic centre in the north central region (after Abuja) with more than eight daily flights in and out of it. This attests to the increasing viability of the town and the level of peace and harmony it enjoys. I thank the security agencies, the Emir and the entire traditional council for their support.
“We are putting many things in place to secure the place of Ilorin as a major hub in Nigeria. The Ilorin international conference centre, the oncology centre, the eight-wing squash court, the garment factory, the Ilorin innovation hub, and the visual arts centre are all major signature projects that will drive huge economic traffic to Ilorin and Kwara State as a whole.
“As Ilorin grows in population and economic size, we are confronted with a challenge of managing the environment. This is why we have awarded the design of another master plan for Ilorin. In the next few days, we are bringing in new waste management firms to improve timely evacuation of increasing human waste within the metropolis.”
He said the government’s commitment to human capital development is evident, recalling how not less than 1,668 competent indigenes of Ilorin Emirate were recently recruited for teaching through a process he described as the most transparent in the recent history of the state.
“In January 2022, we are deploying the latest technology to support our teachers, ensure a regime of accountability in public schools, and improve learning outcomes for our children,” he added.
“To make the learning environment conducive, we have embarked on massive school renewal projects of various types across the state. We have 41 of such in Asa, 58 in Ilorin East, 89 in Ilorin West, 50 in Moro, and 38 in Ilorin South. In these, no less than 13,238 pieces of furniture are being provided to basic schools in the Emirate alone.
“We have so far constructed 24 intra-city and township roads across the Emirate, and 35 interlock access roads within the Ilorin metropolis. We have also just awarded the dualisation of the Yebumot-Al-Hikmah-Adeta Roundabout-Oloje road to shorten travel time along that axis.
“Similarly, we have more than 42 public health projects that have either been completed or are ongoing in the emirate alone. The icing on the cake is that we are soon approving the location of the Medical College of the Kwara State University in Ilorin. The location will take full advantage of the investments we have made in the Ilorin General Hospital over the past two years. What we do in the capital city is being replicated in other parts of the state. This is to ensure fairness and open up the entire state for investments and other strategic partnerships.”
The Governor, whose arrival to the ceremony drew wide applause from the audience, commended the exceptional leadership of the Emir of Ilorin Dr. Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari and the IEDPU in fostering peace and development in the community.
He commended the union’s ongoing construction of Skill Acquisition centre, pledging to support the initiative as he has always done.
“As a son of Ilorin, I am immensely grateful for your support to this administration. I do not take it for granted. I also urge you to continue to support us,” he added.
Chaired by the Senator representing Kwara Central Ibrahim Yahaya Oloriegbe, the annual event attracted prominent sons and daughters of the Emirate from across the country.
The Emir of Ilorin and Chairman State Traditional Council Dr. Ibrahim Zulu-Gambari (CFR) said
AbduRazaq’s performance is impressive, and prayed God to strengthen him more to continue to deliver on his good missions for the people of the state.
He charged all indigenes of the Emirate to not deviate from promotion of peace, unity and development of the locality.
Senator Oloriegbe, in his remarks, said the rising case of the Emirate’s youth indulging in drug abuse is worrisome, and requested all parents and community leaders to help check the menace and prepare their children against various challenges of the 21st century.
He acknowledged the efforts of the state government in building the capacity of youth in ICT and providing an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.
Oloriegbe, who recalled his 35-year membership and active participation in the activities of the socio-cultural organisation, called on residents of the state to develop more interest in entrepreneurship.
Chief Missioner of Ansaru-l-Islam Society of Nigeria Sheikh Abdulmumin Ayara said the city is gifted with great personalities who stood out for their sacrifices, patriotism, and dedication to the Islamic heritage of the Emirate.
The Islamic Scholar, who spoke on the topic “Ilorin: the Past, Present and Future,” charged all the descendants to continue to exist in unity and partake in what will promote peace, traditions and the efforts to enhance the economic fortune of the city.
He hailed the government’s strides in infrastructure and human capital developments, and how AbdulRazaq is striving to turn Kwara to an investment base.
He also called on the government to ensure that lands within Ilorin are not allocated for frivolous purposes.
IEDPU President Alhaji Aliyu Otta, for his part, said the annual conference is a platform that brings together all sons and daughters of the Emirate to exchange ideas about issues that affect them collectively.
He extolled Governor AbdulRazaq for his achievements in key sectors of the economy and the leading role his administration played in the successful renovation and delivery of Police Secondary School in Ballah, Asa local government of the state.
Otta drew attention of the government to the need to improve on waste management system, and the opening up of more feeder roads in a bid to ease traffic situation in the metropolis.
On the Ilorin Master Plan 2022-2042 recently launched by the state government, the IEDPU President described it as a welcome development, saying it will hasten physical and economic growth of Ilorin.
“We commend the government for the Ilorin Master Plan (2022-2042). This is a giant stride and a positive development because of its great impacts for the socioeconomic and physical development of Ilorin,” he said.