The gubernatorial candidate of the Social Democratic Party, SDP in Kwara State, Alhaji Hakeem Oladimeji Lawal, with his party officials in tow, continued the interactive session with community leaders, opinion leaders and stakeholders on Saturday with a visit to Irepodun and Isin Local Government of the Kwara South Senatorial districts of the State.
During the visit which took him to many constituencies in the area, Alhaji Lawal restated his agenda to embark on massive reforms in education, agriculture and Local Government administration. Specifically, he promised to conduct election into the Local Government Council within one year of his administration.
He also promised that the Council reforms will grant some level of financial autonomy to the Local Government administrations and foster a mutually beneficial relationship between the Councils and the State government.
“The emasculation of the Local Government administration has stifled development at the grassroots. Apart from the election, we will release their money to them and equally give them some level of independence to utilize their resource for development of the people. We will also try bridge the disparity between the salary of workers on the same level in the State and the Local Government Councils,” he said.
On education and human capital development, he stated that he will provide a solution for Kwarans on the basis of education. “It means we must revive our Technical Schools and Colleges. As of today, our people can hardly compete when it comes to technical know-how. If you look at the Building Industry for instance, many of the professionals competing there are from places like Republic of Benin, Togo Ghana, etc.
According to him, “my focus is to change the policy on Education, with emphasis on Science and Technology to drive our youths to become global citizens.
On the Agriculture, Lawal maintained that the State boasts of many Agriculture Belts, adding that “for instance, we had Rice and Sugar Belts in Patigi, Cotton Belt in Baruten and Cocoa Belt in Irepodun Ekiti, Oke Ero in Kwara South. On the basis of this, we also had forestry in Jebba and Erinle. This was the reason why we had Sugar Company in Bacita, Paper Mill in Jebba and a Paper Converter Company in Erinle.”
He equally promised the sector will be modernized to maximize the full potentials of the sector for greater returns to the farmer in order to make farming attractive to both the old and the young.
The meeting saw him engage many groups like the League of Imams, the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, the Artisans Congress of Nigeria, youth groups, market women and traditional rulers.
“Our discussion today is a covenant between us. The two parties must do their part. When you vote for us, it becomes a debt for us to do our part too. I can assure you that we will deploy Kwara resources for Kwarans and strive to restore the glory of the State,” he said.