Posted by News Express | 18 December 2019 | 138 times
Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, on Tuesday, extended the suspension of 16 local government chairmen and their legislative committees, a decision premised on the ongoing investigation of the affected officials by the anti-graft body and a subsisting resolution of the House of Assembly.
Accused of alleged misappropriation of public funds, the officials were initially suspended for six months following a June 18 resolution of the Kwara State House of Assembly authorising the Governor to do so.
“In furtherance of the powers conferred on me by the said resolution of the Kwara State House of Assembly of 18th June 2019, I, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, the Governor of Kwara State, hereby extend the suspension of the executive and legislative committees of all the 16 local government areas for another six months with effect from 18th December, 2019, pending the outcome of the investigation of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC),” according to a legal instrument signed by the Governor.
The Governor noted that all the officials were indicted in the probe by the House of Assembly.
“The report of the State House of Assembly indicting the executive and legislative committees of the local government areas for misappropriation of public funds has been sent to the EFCC for necessary action and possible prosecution,” the instrument added.
“The members of the executive and legislative committees of the 16 local government areas are currently under investigations by the EFCC.”
Meanwile, the Kwara State Government has established an e-Government Delivery Team to drive its efforts to deploy modern technology for government operations and make Kwara one of the easiest states to do business in Nigeria.
That comes a few weeks after Governor AbdulRazaq said that Kwara would turn the page on the recent 2018 poor ranking of the state in the national ease of doing business index released by the World Bank.
“The economic challenges that we face demand that we invest in and adopt technology to deliver services to citizens, businesses, and become efficient in public administration,” AbdulRazaq said late Monday at the official introduction of the e-Government team to the newly sworn in cabinet and top echelons of the civil service.
“For these reasons, we have set up the e-Government Delivery Team which must think anew by assessing some of our current processes and procedures, and devise ways to build a smarter government that works to meet the expectations of our people and the demands of the 21st century.
“As we take steps to grow our economy, we must embrace innovative means of fostering government interagency collaborations. This would make it easy for existing enterprises to thrive as well as attract domestic and foreign investors to do business in our sectors of competitive advantage, thereby creating jobs and economic opportunities for our people.
Represented by Deputy Governor Kayode Alabi, AbdulRazaq said the team is tasked with assessing, streamlining and automating the state's investment processes which he said may entail registering a business, acquiring land, registering property, obtaining permits, and licenses via the state’s Investment Promotion Enabling System (IPES) platform.
“I believe this will help fast-track government transactions, strengthen efficiency and transparency, improve our rankings in key areas, place Kwara amongst the easiest States to do business in Nigeria, and make Kwara a modern state as well as grow our economic and revenue base,” the Governor said.
The delivery team is led by e-Government expert Feyiseye Ogundoro, and is supported by a motley of technocrats from the state's civil service.
The team took the cabinet through the e-Government take off template, saying the agenda is to develop technology systems and build the capacity of the state’s civil service to enable the government undertake and efficiently execute its functions.
The e-Government delivery team promised to deliver “integration of Kwara State Government MDAs, job creation through an enabling and sustainable business environment, improved policy-making and security through citizens engagement, and the development of digital platforms to drive revenue growth as well as improve government service delivery".
The project would promote awareness of opportunities in Kwara and make the state a top destination for investors, among other benefits, according to the team.
“In order to build the e-Government capacity of the civil service and realistically adapt to reforms, this process of digitisation would be a gradual and carefully phased-out one”, the team added.
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