Layi Olanrewaju, Ilorin
Kwara State Assembly, yesterday, confirmed all the 16 commissioner nominees forwarded to it by Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq.
That came three days after the lawmakers commenced the screening of the cabinet picks in what has been described as about the most thorough yet friendly confirmatory sessions in the state.
Speaker Salihu Yakubu Danladi said the nominees were confirmed following a three-day screening that saw the House asking them questions related to their backgrounds, expertise and track records as Kwarans.
“The nominees are hereby confirmed as commissioners (for Kwara State). We so resolve. I now direct the Clerk of the House to communicate this decision to the Governor,” Danladi said at the plenary after the House had earlier dissolved into a Committee of Whole.
The confirmation was preceded by screening of four nominees who were the last batch of the 16 appointees.
The nominees were Oyedun Julianna Funke (Isin); Agbaje Wahab Femi (Offa); Joanna Nnazua Kolo (Edu); and Arinola Fatimah Lawal (Ilorin East).
A seasoned educationist and women-rights advocate, Funke said the best strategy for Kwara to keep teachers in the hinterlands would be to pay rural teachers’ allowance to personnel who agree to serve in the villages.
She also called for free accommodation for such teachers and concerted efforts by the host communities to accommodate them in manners that make them comfortable to work and live there.
“If I find myself in the education ministry, I will ensure that we liaise with the communities to embrace the teachers and offer them the necessary support. We will also reintroduce or strengthen School Based Management Committees (SBMCs) to help in this regard,” she added.
“The idea of political officials influencing transfer of teachers should stop. Our children are the ones suffering. Once we give them these incentives and take away undue political influence, the teachers will stay.”
Femi, an administrator and grassroots politician, said Nigeria must never prioritise stomach infrastructure at the expense of physical infrastructural development.
“I believe there are other ways of compensating those who have done one thing or the other. But we definitely can’t play with physical infrastructure. Several Countries have left us behind because of our attitude to governance.