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.