Dr. Bukola Saraki - Arguably The Best Governor in Nigeria

Many people do a straight comparison between political office holders without taking into consideration the context within which each one operates. When Dr. Bukola Saraki became the governor of Kwara State, the civil service accounted for 75% of those in formal employment. Given the situation in Kwara State and the resources available to him, Dr. Bukola Saraki decided to hinge his administration on
- diversification of the economy, with commercial agriculture as the cornerstone
- creating a competitive business environment
- transparency and accountability in governance
Majority of Dr. Bukola Saraki's policies have been directed towards this end, in the belief that the long term interests of Kwara State are best served in this way.

Truly, if one assesses Kwara State today, it has a more competitive business environment than when Dr. Bukola Saraki came in. It is much more investor friendly, and the commercial agriculture project, which he made the flagship of the state has generated more than 25,000 jobs to date. His period in governance has seen the siting of two major industries - Tuyil Pharmaceuticals and Dangote. There has also been the selective revitalization of moribund state-owned industries - Kwara Furniture, Bacita Sugar Company, and Jebba Paper mill with the charge that they need to be self-sustaining and not a drain on the resources of the state.

A lot of Dr. Bukola Saraki's effort has gone into creating support infrastructure for business particularly in upgrading the Ilorin International Airport, and by personally ensuring that there are regular commercial flights to Ilorin firstly by Overland, Capital Airlines, and now Arik. His administration has seen the influx of key institutions, banks, telecommunication companies, NDIC, NSE.

Going by his stated intent to diversify the Kwara State economy, and create an investor-friendly climate, Dr. Bukola Saraki scores very high marks indeed considering that he more or less started from scratch.

Views: 758

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

How did he started from scratch considering his family ruled before him? It is not democarcy as practised by civilised nations.This is more a kingdom. The problem with Nigerians are they are starved of credible people, hence once a Politician distributed few water tankers it is deemed successful. Look at the resource available for these thieves. Are there roads,Hospital,Electricity,Water,Drainage,Security etc. If none of these then the Saraki kingdom cannot be classified as successful. Success is what is going on in Lagos not Kwara. Despite the fact there are nonentities trying hard to derail Fashola he is fully focused and executing his planned agenda. That is what can be classed in Nigeria term as success. In a civilised world that is standard. People expect their politicians to perform. The money spent to develop the nation does not come from their pocket. It belongs to the State.
Thanks for your response Mr. Shehu Balogun. I like going to a debate armed with facts, and I see no hard facts in your reply. When you say "look at the resources available to those thieves", you do not specify exactly how much. How can you call someone a thief, when you cannot even say how much he has access to. Secondly, you imply that there are no roads, hospitals, electricity, water etc in Kwara State. Well, I live in Kwara State, and I know that there are roads, electricity and other social ammenities as any visitor to Kwara State will attest. Case in point, Ilesha Baruba - Kosubosu Chikanda road Section II and III were completed in 2009. KWARMA rehabilitated 60 roads across the state in 2009. A flyover has been constructed at the Post Office axis of Ilorin to ease traffic congestion. The Ganmo stepdown substation was commissioned in 2009 with a subsequent improvement in electricity within and beyond Ilorin metropolis. There is a strong rural electrification effort that is visible for all to see.

But over and beyond this, you cannot judge Dr. Bukola Saraki on the basis of the amenities which are being provided in Lagos state, since the need of Lagos and Kwara State are different. If Fashola was in Kwara State his priorities in governance would be different. Bear in mind that Kwara State had a budget of 72 billion in 2009 while Lagos state had a budget of 405 billion to list just one area of difference. Dr. Bukola Saraki decided to make the focus of his administration economic prosperity and progress centered around diversification of the economy and creating a business friendly environment, because he believed it to be in the best interest of the state. Thus he has had to prioritize spending, delaying instant gratification for long term benefits. If we are to debate, would you say that he should have allocated the resources of the state to creating social amenities that the economy of the state cannot support on the long run, or he should have curbed spending on social infrastructure to invest for the future. As an aside, I have not seen a long list of abandoned projects under Dr. Bukola Saraki's administration. I have rarely seen a project that was started by his administration and abandoned halfway. He always insists on starting projects which are sustainable and which will be completed.
Thanks for the insight into the administration of Dr Saraki. You are right I don't live in Nigeria let alone Kwara. What I try to do is come to visit yearly. Every time I visit, I try to travel across the nation to see for myself, if there are any visible developments. Using an example of Manchester in the UK, if you came to Manchester last year and come here today, you will see visual development changes without anyone telling you the listings of what the council have done. Using your data provided everything seems to happen in year 2009. 2 questions.

1.How long has this guy been ruling Kwara?
2.How long has his family been ruling Kwara?

Based on your answers I can deduce what development is expected in that duration.

Also you mentioned the allocation for Lagos is far more than Kwara. What you have to remember is, Lagos is bigger, plus it has more people. Lagos is a metropolis and the development that Fashola did in 3 years is far greater than any other Politician did in the history of Nigeria, with the exception of maybe Gowon. I went to Kwara and cannot see anything that the Oligarchy’s of Kwara did considering the funds allocated to Kwara for decades.

What you have to understand is it is not a kingdom. Are you telling me that there are no credible people that can do better in Kwara, besides the Saraki Oligarchy’s. These are rulers not servants. Nigeria needs servants. I am sorry for my comment; I just say it as I see it. I have travelled to so many countries both in the West and East and I can assess what development is. Like I said in my previous comment Nigeria people accept mediocrity. A politician will send water tanker to a village and they will be singing his or her name as great service.


Parakoyi said:
Thanks for your response Mr. Shehu Balogun. I like going to a debate armed with facts, and I see no hard facts in your reply. When you say "look at the resources available to those thieves", you do not specify exactly how much. How can you call someone a thief, when you cannot even say how much he has access to. Secondly, you imply that there are no roads, hospitals, electricity, water etc in Kwara State. Well, I live in Kwara State, and I know that there are roads, electricity and other social ammenities as any visitor to Kwara State will attest. Case in point, Ilesha Baruba - Kosubosu Chikanda road Section II and III were completed in 2009. KWARMA rehabilitated 60 roads across the state in 2009. A flyover has been constructed at the Post Office axis of Ilorin to ease traffic congestion. The Ganmo stepdown substation was commissioned in 2009 with a subsequent improvement in electricity within and beyond Ilorin metropolis. There is a strong rural electrification effort that is visible for all to see.

But over and beyond this, you cannot judge Dr. Bukola Saraki on the basis of the amenities which are being provided in Lagos state, since the need of Lagos and Kwara State are different. If Fashola was in Kwara State his priorities in governance would be different. Bear in mind that Kwara State had a budget of 72 billion in 2009 while Lagos state had a budget of 405 billion to list just one area of difference. Dr. Bukola Saraki decided to make the focus of his administration economic prosperity and progress centered around diversification of the economy and creating a business friendly environment, because he believed it to be in the best interest of the state. Thus he has had to prioritize spending, delaying instant gratification for long term benefits. If we are to debate, would you say that he should have allocated the resources of the state to creating social amenities that the economy of the state cannot support on the long run, or he should have curbed spending on social infrastructure to invest for the future. As an aside, I have not seen a long list of abandoned projects under Dr. Bukola Saraki's administration. I have rarely seen a project that was started by his administration and abandoned halfway. He always insists on starting projects which are sustainable and which will be completed.
@Bridget: In saying that Dr. Bukola Saraki is the best governor in Nigeria, I am not only taking into consideration his achievements, but also the resources at his disposal. In 8 years of his administration he has succeeded in putting together an impressive portfolio of economic assets for Kwara State, which have set it irreversibly on the path to economic growth. Bear in mind that when Dr. Bukola Saraki assumed office, Kwara State was heavily indebted, and almost entirely dependent on federal government allocations. In fact, Kwara State was spending 65% of its financial resources on recurrent expenditure. You are comparing Lagos with Kwara, but bear in mind that in 2010, Lagos State has a budget of 429.56 billion, while Kwara State has a budget of 69.4 billion. Very few men could have recorded the achievement of Dr. Bukola Saraki on such slim financial resources. This is the reason I consider him to be the best governor in Nigeria.
Thanks again but you deviated from answering my 2 key questions. Multiply 8 by the yearly budget allocation, plus decades before him since he inherited the kingdom from his family and evaluate the development on ground if that meets the total outlay.

Like I said I do not live in Nigeria, but I come on holiday every year and capable of evaluating success visually, without anyone quoting what someone achieved for me.

I’ll let you on a secret I am a Project Manager with background in Finance by profession and with my experience across Blue chip companies in Europe, I can evaluate what is deemed as success. Lagos development in 3 years reminded me of the speed of development that Manchester saw before and after the 2002 commonwealth games. In the developed world you do not stand still. Change is continuous. If you quote to me that a family achievements over decades of squandering tax payers’ money by completing few roads here and there without adequate maintenance or by bringing farmers from Zimbabwe is deemed as success you have a long way to go. The problem with Nigeria is the people accept mediocrity.

It is my job to look at budget against execution. I see a lot of positives with the administration of Lagos state, considering Lagos is only 3 years old as far as progression is concerned. It is more difficult to manage lagos than Kwara. The governor before Fashola what did he achieve in 8 years? Nothing. I keep hearing lots of nonsense that he carried on the plan of his predessesor. What a load of crap. Are you saying it takes 8 years to plan. Intelligent people plan before going into government. Using Obama as an example he knew he had to hit the ground running. Same as Cameon in the UK. Civilised nations do not have decades to plan. Yes you have short and long term plan .Allocation of colossal budget has been going to Lagos same as other states in the country for decades but distributed by the few thieves’ across the nation. All Nigeria needs are credible institutions that will facilitate credible people into government. Most people in government in Nigeria are crooks. It is the only one of few nations where you have to be a good thief to be a politician. When you are caught you use the same stolen money to bribe few people. I am so passionate about Nigeria and I want progress. What I cannot accept is insulting the common intelligence of a nation just because they are afraid.


Akeredun said:
@Bridget: In saying that Dr. Bukola Saraki is the best governor in Nigeria, I am not only taking into consideration his achievements, but also the resources at his disposal. In 8 years of his administration he has succeeded in putting together an impressive portfolio of economic assets for Kwara State, which have set it irreversibly on the path to economic growth. Bear in mind that when Dr. Bukola Saraki assumed office, Kwara State was heavily indebted, and almost entirely dependent on federal government allocations. In fact, Kwara State was spending 65% of its financial resources on recurrent expenditure. You are comparing Lagos with Kwara, but bear in mind that in 2010, Lagos State has a budget of 429.56 billion, while Kwara State has a budget of 69.4 billion. Very few men could have recorded the achievement of Dr. Bukola Saraki on such slim financial resources. This is the reason I consider him to be the best governor in Nigeria.
but to say the fact you can not compare Fashola with Saraki, its like heaven to earth. But Mr shehu balogun I enjoy your defence for Fashola and when I was in Lagos I can see it and feel it. so please next time you are rating the governor take Fashola at side he is more than Governor is Nigeria is a prime minister category or president. because the population of Lagos is more than Cote or Ghana or Benin so when you are rate Fashola you compare him with president Kufor in Ghana who did a good job for the people of Ghana, not chop I chop governors we have in Nigeria, runner way governors

Next time Mr Parakoyi and Akeredun you can compare saraki and Akala and other governors but not our Fashola EKO O NI BAJE
This is a very interesting discussion, please allow me to contribute my bit. In my opinion, I think Dr. Bukola Saraki is a first rate governor. Certainly, his contemporaries are not the likes of Akala. I think that Dr. Bukola Saraki has been done a disservice by a lack of persistent and overwhelming presentation of his ideas and accomplishments in the mass media. I believe that this partly accounts for the fact that he does not get the credit that is his due, though he has been honored severally by credible organizations which have taken the time to examine his accomplishments objectively and critically.

It may be news to you, but I know for a fact that Kwara has the third smallest federal allocation in the country. The economy of Lagos State is in fact the biggest in the country, with well established private sector participation. When Dr. Bukola Saraki took office, Kwara State was almost entirely dependent on federal allocation. Certainly one would expect a good leader to focus on growing the economy of such a financially weak state. The focus of Lagos state has been the mega-city project. Dr. Bukola Saraki had to set different priorities for Kwara state, which was nowhere near Lagos in terms of economic development. He inevitably had to start his administration by creating conducive conditions for private investment as well as diversifying the economic base. With very good reason he chose agriculture as the cornerstone of his strategy. Please see his excellent paper "BEYOND NATURAL RESOURCES" - http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=192819640507 for his rationalization of this decision. Out of deference to space, let me pose this last question - is the worth of a man determined by the circumstances, which it is not his good fortune to enjoy, or what he has been able to make of the circumstances in which he finds himself. Any fair minded person will judge any other person based on what he or she has been able to do with the circumstances in which he or she finds himself. That said, judged on his own merit, I concur with the assertion that Dr. Bukola Saraki is a first rate governor, and arguably the best governor in Nigeria. Thank you.
Thanks for the response. If according to your comments Saraki has reinvented the agricultural development in Kwara state about time too. Saraki’s family owns kwara and they appoint who rule kwara. The family have been ruling kwara for decades.

I am a realist and do not judge a book by its cover. I have not seen any evidence of decades of allocations on the ground regardless of how small it is.

Size is not always the issue. I live in a small area in the North West of England and the parish council spend wisely based on their tax allocation. I know exactly what the revenue is and how they have spent it yearly. Every household have access to this information. My area does not have the same allocation as say Manchester or London but we do not lack anything.

Remember the governor’s forum. What is the purpose of this illegal organisation?
I have no problem if governors use this forum to share ideas how to improve their states instead of interfering with the federal government.

If what you class as success for 8 years rule is running few farms, you need to come to Cheshire and see how farms are managed. Goverment create the environment for business to thrive. Government do not run farms.Using the revenue from these farms are there any other achievements such as Electricity, Education, Running water, Drainage, Well maintained roads Security, Housing etc? Saraki has never and never will be the best governor in Nigeria.

It is more difficult to serve Lagos. Taking into account the length of service the only honourable governor is Fashola. Despite many thieves trying so hard to distract him he is fully focus on delivering his agenda. I hope one day he will be the President of Nigeria.

Nigeria needs people like this guy. He is the Obama of Africa. I hope all the thieves do not assassinate him. I hope God will save him and he probably needs proper security apparatus around him. I do not trust that Security Service as they may be compromised. There are evil demonic people who want the status quo maintained. As previously stated I will be travelling to Nigeria soon to see with my own eyes as I do not need the media to tell me how well someone is performing.

Of course you need the media to let you know as one might not be able to see every good service.


Kola Yusuf said:
This is a very interesting discussion, please allow me to contribute my bit. In my opinion, I think Dr. Bukola Saraki is a first rate governor. Certainly, his contemporaries are not the likes of Akala. I think that Dr. Bukola Saraki has been done a disservice by a lack of persistent and overwhelming presentation of his ideas and accomplishments in the mass media. I believe that this partly accounts for the fact that he does not get the credit that is his due, though he has been honored severally by credible organizations which have taken the time to examine his accomplishments objectively and critically.

It may be news to you, but I know for a fact that Kwara has the third smallest federal allocation in the country. The economy of Lagos State is in fact the biggest in the country, with well established private sector participation. When Dr. Bukola Saraki took office, Kwara State was almost entirely dependent on federal allocation. Certainly one would expect a good leader to focus on growing the economy of such a financially weak state. The focus of Lagos state has been the mega-city project. Dr. Bukola Saraki had to set different priorities for Kwara state, which was nowhere near Lagos in terms of economic development. He inevitably had to start his administration by creating conducive conditions for private investment as well as diversifying the economic base. With very good reason he chose agriculture as the cornerstone of his strategy. Please see his excellent paper "BEYOND NATURAL RESOURCES" - http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=192819640507 for his rationalization of this decision. Out of deference to space, let me pose this last question - is the worth of a man determined by the circumstances, which it is not his good fortune to enjoy, or what he has been able to make of the circumstances in which he finds himself. Any fair minded person will judge any other person based on what he or she has been able to do with the circumstances in which he or she finds himself. That said, judged on his own merit, I concur with the assertion that Dr. Bukola Saraki is a first rate governor, and arguably the best governor in Nigeria. Thank you.
I think I have to join this discussion. It is unfortunate that some of our commentators did not even know what governance is all about. Talking about what Fashola is getting as income in his state compared with that of Kwara state, really it is different, but if all that have been said is what was a governor in Nigeria could achieve for SEVEN YEARS of ruling, then the country at large is doom. I have not been to Lagos for some time now, but I am so accustomed with newspapers from Nigeria. The testimony shows that Fashola has done well. Kwara governor have his own class, viz; the oyinlola's who go about commissioning bore h*** and tractors, the akala's and host of others.
Please don't compare death and sickness again. They are two different things.
Thank you Mr. Balogun for the depth of learning you bring to this discussion. The issue of "budget against execution" is a very valid point, not only in this instance, but in measuring the performance of anyone in public office. However, I would like to bring some other pertinent facts to the table. I did some research, and I discovered that Lagos State has an area of about 3,475 km2 and a GDP(2007) of $33.68billion, on the other hand Kwara State has the third lowest federal allocation in the country, an area of 36,285 km2, and a GDP of $3.84billion. In short Kwara State has more than ten times the land mass of Lagos state, and Lagos has more than 10 times the GDP. Imagine the visual impact if all the projects undertaken by Dr. Bukola Saraki were concentrated into an area as small as Lagos state. Manchester, which you use as an example is only 115km2. It is unlikely that in your visits home you got to Chikanda, Tsonga, Afon, Kosubosu, Omu-Aran, and many other areas in rural Kwara experiencing the impact of rural electrification, road maintenance and construction, water provision, health insurance. As a project manager, I believe that there is room for factoring in the two parameters I mentioned (land mass, GDP) in evaluating performance. Inasmuch as I do not have the figures for a budget/execution analysis I still salute the difficult juggling act that Dr. Bukola Saraki has had to manage - continued provision of basic infrastructure, meeting recurrent expenses, while broadening the economic base of the state, with massive capital projects. I will still address the issues you raised, but I had to raise these additional issues. I await any insight you may provide based on your background as a project manager.
Thanks for more insight into Kwara State administration. I am happy if Dr Saraki has done a bit for Kwara. My main issue is, had his predecessors done a bit instead of looting the little funds available, Kwara or any other state in the country will not be an eyesore. I heard that the godfather of Kwara anoint who rules Kwara, that is where I have issue with Kwara. It is a democracy and no one have monopoly over who govern. One man one vote.. I hope the tide is turning in Nigeria where looting will be a thing of the past. The laws and the institutions in the country at large are too weak. A treasury person resigned in the UK just because he claimed an expenses he was not entitled to.

Look at the paedophile that is sitting as a member of Senate. In any other civilised nation he would be in Jail let alone walking the street as a representative of a region. A minor is a minor regardless of where you come from. Why do the Saudis that own the religion not marry babies? Why is religion in Nigeria practised diffrently to the owners? I know I am digressing it is this sort of nonsense that makes me angry about Nigeria.

With your point regarding land mass it is people that matters not land. I live in a village in Cheshire.

Cheshire has a bigger land mass than Manchester. I will use a simple example: Manchester has more people than Cheshire same as Lagos has more people than Kwara. The point is there would be more pressure on the local government in Manchester to provide transportation, water, Electricity, drainage, Housing etc compared to Cheshire, same as Lagos will need more funding due to the population.

Had the previous governor before Fashola not looted the public funds available the task would have been easier? The poor governor has to start from scratch. Do you think only Saraki’s family have the right to rule Kwara? What is your take on that?

What I would like is for Dr Saraki to publish what he achieved in the last 7-8 years of ruling Kwara ,same as Honourable Fashola publish his achievements every 100 days.

I live far away and would like to see good people prevail in Nigeria. I hate thieves as I have been brought up to have good morals. Integrity is fundamental to me as an individual. The funds looted by thieves in government in Nigeria are colossal.

All it needs is to use a fraction of those looted funds and you will see the difference in infrastructure. Nigeria has been blessed with human and natural resources, yet its people are some of the poorest on planet earth. God loves that country as it never has any natural disasters. Look at how much efforts are put to erect a structure in Japan which is notorious for earth movement. Nigeria has all the natural beauty to have a thriving tourism industry but looting is the order of the day.

Regardless of how much you are allocated if you invest it wisely and not loot it, people will see the difference. If you are sure that this guy has not looted allocated funds bravo. I have seen lots of people singing and praising someone for commissioning a borehole. Maybe my expectation is high due to my job. I hate mediocrity. In my line of work I cross swords all the time with auditors, hence it baffles me when trllions disappear in Nigeria without trace.


Akeredun said:
Thank you Mr. Balogun for the depth of learning you bring to this discussion. The issue of "budget against execution" is a very valid point, not only in this instance, but in measuring the performance of anyone in public office. However, I would like to bring some other pertinent facts to the table. I did some research, and I discovered that Lagos State has an area of about 3,475 km2 and a GDP(2007) of $33.68billion, on the other hand Kwara State has the third lowest federal allocation in the country, an area of 36,285 km2, and a GDP of $3.84billion. In short Kwara State has more than ten times the land mass of Lagos state, and Lagos has more than 10 times the GDP. Imagine the visual impact if all the projects undertaken by Dr. Bukola Saraki were concentrated into an area as small as Lagos state. Manchester, which you use as an example is only 115km2. It is unlikely that in your visits home you got to Chikanda, Tsonga, Afon, Kosubosu, Omu-Aran, and many other areas in rural Kwara experiencing the impact of rural electrification, road maintenance and construction, water provision, health insurance. As a project manager, I believe that there is room for factoring in the two parameters I mentioned (land mass, GDP) in evaluating performance. Inasmuch as I do not have the figures for a budget/execution analysis I still salute the difficult juggling act that Dr. Bukola Saraki has had to manage - continued provision of basic infrastructure, meeting recurrent expenses, while broadening the economic base of the state, with massive capital projects. I will still address the issues you raised, but I had to raise these additional issues. I await any insight you may provide based on your background as a project manager.
I am from Offa, in Kwara State, although I now live in Lagos. Quite honestly, Dr. Bukola Saraki is a good governor. If he is not the best governor in the country, he is certainly one of the best. When I last visited Kwara, I was amazed by the transformation that had taken place in Ilorin the state capital - very clean, vibrant, more cosmopolitan. If the improvement in Ilorin is anything to go by, then Dr. Bukola Saraki is certainly doing a lot right.

RSS

Forum Categories

© 2020   Created by Vanguard Media Ltd.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service