Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State has approved a phased program of palliatives designed to cushion the impact of the increase in the pump price of petroleum on the people of the state starting with the education sector. The approval comes as government finalises details of welfare packages in other sectors.
Making the announcement in Ilorin, Governor Ahmed said he has directed the immediate abolishment of all fees and levies at senior secondary schools across the state to ease the burden of fee payment on parents and guardians.
In addition, senior secondary school students are to receive ten free notebooks per session courtesy of the state government. It would be recalled that education is already free at the basic level which comprises primary and junior secondary schools in the state. With this development, primary and post-primary education is now free in Kwara State, according to a statement issued by Dr. Muyideen Akorede, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communications to the Governor.
At the tertiary education level, Governor Ahmed approved a N50, 500 reduction in fees for indigenes at the state-owned Kwara State University (KWASU) with effect from next session. Qualifying students would now pay N99, 500. KWASU students are also to benefit from a new mass transit system under which government will allocate two new buses each on routes to the university as well to University Of Ilorin and the Kwara State Polytechnic.
Governor Ahmed said the first set of palliatives is targeted at youths due to the fact that they constitute the largest segment of the state population and based on his administration’s emphasis on youth empowerment. He said additional measures targeted at the larger population will be rolled out once the modalities were concluded. The governor restated his determination to consistently implement proactive and timely welfare programs to improve the well-being of the people of Kwara.
It will be recalled that Governor Ahmed intervened and prevailed on transport unions in the state to reduce fares following the astronomical increase in charges as a result of the earlier removal of the fuel subsidy by the Federal Government.