Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, born on 29 December 1963, the 6th Executive Governor of Kwara State, brings to the position composite experience in the academia, banking and the public sector. Given this rich experience and high-caliber training, Governor Ahmed’s focus on high-performance since assuming office is inevitable. Indeed, Alhaji Ahmed’s track record of achievements has established him as an expert in strategic planning and resource optimization.
Governor Ahmed’s stint in governance started in 2003 when, on the back of a highly-successful banking career, he was appointed pioneer Commissioner for Finance in the Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki administration. During a six-year period, Governor Ahmed ensured computerization of the Treasury to reduce incidences of expenditure leakage. He ensured prudent management of state resources which twice earned the State Government excellent rating by the Fitch Rating International (An International Rating Agency) – the very first by any State Government in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Following six years of high-performance as Commissioner for Finance, Alhaji Ahmed was in 2009 moved to the newly- created Ministry of Planning and Economic Development as Commissioner. This position would prove pivotal to his current flair for empirical and strategic planning. As Commissioner for Planning and Economic Development, he introduced e-budgeting system for efficient and effective preparation process, thus improving fiscal discipline and signaling his competence in development planning with the production of the first ever Medium Term Sector Strategies (MTSS) as a foundation for future sound economic development.
Yet the foundation for this track-record of performance was modest. Born in Kaduna in the fifties, Alhaji Ahmed, who hails from Share in Ifelodun Local Government Area of Kwara State, had his secondary education at the Government College, Funtua, Katsina State (1973-1978) and then proceeded to the School of Basic Studies of Kwara State College of Technology (now Kwara State Polytechnic), Ilorin (1978-1980) for his ‘A’ Levels. He later accepted an offer of admission by the University of llorin where he earned a B.Sc. in Chemistry in 1986, returning to the same institution for a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree in 1992.
Alhaji Ahmed also attended several other courses on-the-job, among which are: Corporate Governance course at the Manchester School of Business, Manchester City, United Kingdom (2006), Capital Budget Strategies and Techniques, organized by ELC Training, London (2004), Public Finance Management Course at J.F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Massachusetts, USA (2004). He was also a lecturer in Organic Chemistry and later Acting Head of Department at Federal College of Arts and Science, Sokoto, in Sokoto State between 1986 and 1990.
Alhaji Ahmed thereafter moved to the corporate sector as an Assistant Manager at District Savings and Loans, Lagos, between 1991 and 1993. In 1993, he moved to Guaranty Trust Bank Plc. (Now GTBank Plc.) where he served in the Credit and Marketing Unit. In 1998, he moved to Societe Generale Bank Nig. Ltd as a Senior Manager/Group Head, Consumer Banking and later Public Sector Group for the North West region. Alhaji Ahmed later returned to GTBank as Head of Institutional Banking Group for the Northern region. In this position, he was accountable for soliciting community business accounts and developing strategic alliances with the clientele, a position he held until his appointment as Commissioner in 2003.
Achievements As Governor
And since the inception of Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed’s administration in 2011, Kwara State has experienced growth and development across all sectors. From roads, water, to agriculture, health, housing and education, the Abdulfatah Ahmed-led administration has recorded great achievements and giant strides in Kwara state.
Under Shared Prosperity, Governor Ahmed has implemented several life-transforming programmes including the implementation of the innovative Kwara Bridge Empowerment Scheme (KWABES) in 2012, under which over 5000 youths were employed, including 2,000 civil servants. Also, the expanded empowerment scheme, known as QuickWin, provided a channel of employment to the people of the state, with the engagement of over 10,000 youths.
Also in 2012, the Kwara Micro Credit Intervention Scheme was established to encourage and assist small and medium scale enterprises in the State with an initial N250m. It has since grown to a cumulative N1.9b with more than 50,000 beneficiaries
In education, several milestones have been recorded as the administration has constructed and rehabilitated over 400 classrooms at primary and secondary school levels, and introduced free education at senior secondary school levels. Free notebooks were also distributed to secondary school students.
At the tertiary level, an N800m Engineering complex for the Kwara State University has been constructed. And to expand access to tertiary education in the state, Governor Ahmed approved the reduction of the tuition fees of Kwara State University (KWASU), by 30 per cent. Additionally, 16 Hilux vehicles were distributed to secretaries of the Local Government Education Authorities for monitoring.
Also, the International Vocational Technical and Entrepreneurship Centre, has been established at Ajase Ipo in Irepodun Local Government Council Area of the state. The innovative center is aimed at creating a generation of highly employable artisans and prosperous youth entrepreneurs through the provision of market relevant skills.
In the health sector, a state-wide immunization exercise carried out at the inception of Governor Ahmed’s administration, saw over 900,000 children immunized against measles. General Hospitals in Share, Omu-Aran, Offa and Kaiama, were renovated and equipped with state-of-the-art-facilities.
Currently, over 120,000 rural dwellers have enrolled into the state’s award-winning Community Health Insurance Scheme (CHIS) which has been adjudged as one of the most successful by the United Nations.
In terms of Energy, Governor Ahmed’s rural and urban electrification project has seen 400 communities connected to the national grid and 136 transformers were installed to serve 189 communities. Transformers were also procured and installed across all the local government areas in the state.
In the road sector, majority of inherited roads have been completed while many road projects started by the administration are at various levels of completion. Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed also officially launched the Kwara State Infrastructure Development Fund (IFK) on September 2016 with an assurance that all ongoing and new capital projects will be funded to completion. In addition to a N5billion seed fund, the sum of N500million is drawn every month from the State’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) into the IFK, mainly to finance capital projects.
The state government has also taken steps to improve transportation in the state through the Harmony Holdings Limited, which procured 42 new buses for the Kwara State Transport Corporation to improve its operational efficiency. Also, the state government in July 2016, acquired a new asphalt plant to rehabilitate and reconstruct damaged roads across the State.
To reduce the housing deficit gap in the state, Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed in March, 2016, flagged off the construction of 1,000 housing units at Budo-Osho area, Tanke Ilorin comprising of 700 three-bedroom flats and 300 two-bedroom flats. The construction is aimed at providing quality and affordable shelters for low and middle class workers.
A landmark ultramodern shopping and office complex, named the Hub is also under construction and is expected to transform the landscape of Ilorin, create employment opportunities, stimulate commerce, facilitate and attract new investments.
To achieve its target of ensuring access to clean water within 500-meter radius, the state government has rehabilitated 17 waterworks across the state, sunk hundreds of boreholes in the motorized and hand pump category equitably distributed across the three senatorial districts. The State government also embarked on the completion of the final phase of the Ilorin water reticulation project to address recurring scarcity of pipe borne water in the state.
In the face of the dwindling allocations from the Federal Government, occasioned by the persistent drop in oil prices at the international market, Governor Ahmed in June, 2015 signed into law the bill establishing the Kwara State Internal Revenue Service (KWIRS).
Consequently, the revenue service has been making an appreciable progress in revenue generation since it commenced operations in January, 2016.
For these laudable policies and programmes, Governor Ahmed has won recognition from several quarters. These include:
- Global Excellence Award for Best Governor in Northern Nigeria (2011),
- City People’s Best Governor,
- North Central 2011,
- African Leadership Magazine’s Outstanding Agricultural Development Icon of the Year 2011,
- BusinessDay Best Governor in Agriculture 2013,
- City People Best Governor in Youth Empowerment 2013,
- NUT Best Governor in Education 2013,
- HOG Governor of the Year 2013 and BusinessDay Best Governor in Youth Development and Sports
Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed has also been honored with several chieftaincy titles including:
- Otunba of Igbaja,
- Seriki Adinni of Share,
- Otunba of Ira,
- Agba-Akin of Oreke Land,
- Otunba Atunluse of Oreke-Igbo Land
He is married to Mrs. Omolewa Ahmed, and they are blessed with children.
- Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed Biography and Profile (Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed)