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Op-Ed : How Senator Saliu Mustapha is Doing it Differently

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By Nasif Sholagberu

In June 2023, a new era began for Kwara Central as Senator Saliu Mustapha was sworn into office. This moment marked not just the start of a new term but the arrival of a transformative leader in the Senate.

Senator Mustapha’s focus on human capital development, infrastructure improvements, and empowering women and youth has become the cornerstone of his agenda. His efforts to tackle poverty through these initiatives stand out.

One of the senator’s primary initiatives is his sponsorship of eight impactful bills aimed at addressing key issues affecting both his constituency and the nation at large.

These bills include:

– Electronic Transaction Bill, 2023 (SB 94)
– National Food Reserve Agency (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (SB 139)
– Donkey Slaughter Regulation & Export Certificate Bill, 2023 (SB 209)
– National Agricultural Land Development Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (SB 225)
– Cassava Flour (Mandatory Inclusion into Flour Production) Bill, 2023 (SB 254)
– Integrated Rural Development Agency (Establishment) Bill, 2024 (SB 342)
– Nigerian Economic Diversification Bill, 2024 (SB 371)
– Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria Act (Amendment) Bill, 2024 (SB 464)

The last bill on the amendment of the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (Act) lays the foundation for establishing the Federal College of Agriculture, Oke-Oyi. It was a bill that his predecessor, Distinguished Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe, presented earlier but could not conclude before the 9th National Assembly adjourned sine die.

In addition to his legislative duties, Senator Mustapha facilitated employment opportunities for numerous indigenes of his Senatorial District into Federal Government Agencies, Departments and Parastatals, military, and Para-Military Agencies.

Apart from these federal government employment opportunities, Mustapha also facilitated employment for several indigenes of his Senatorial District as Senior Legislative Aides and Aides to Principal Officers in the National Assembly, in addition to those he appointed as his Legislative Aides.

Senator Mustapha is committed to sustainable development through various projects. He facilitated the reconstruction of a one-kilometer asphaltic road at Al-Hikmah University leading to Oke-Foma link road in Ilorin West Local Government Area.

He also installed solar-powered motorized boreholes and street lights across the four local government areas of the senatorial district to complement the state government’s effort in ensuring that the people of the state have access to safe water.

These solar-powered motorized boreholes were provided at:
– Ile Onifitila, Kankatu, Okelele Road, Ilorin East LGA
– Jato Community Ifesowapo, behind Taoheed Central Mosque in Ilorin South LGA
– Itamerin Junction, Opposite Alhaja Oil in Ilorin West LGA
– Aloba Close, Oke Ikoyi, Oke Oyi in Ilorin East LGA
– Agbeyangi town in Ilorin East LGA

Solar-powered street lights were installed at:
– Computer Village Challenge Area, Ilorin
– Muslim Cemetery, Oko-Olowo, among other areas

He also facilitated the construction and furnishing of a block of two classrooms with an office and store as well as solar-powered street lights at Government Day Junior Secondary School, Karuma, Ilorin East LGA, and Fate/Basin Junior Secondary School, Ilorin South LGA.

As Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agricultural Production Services and Rural Development, Senator Mustapha provided 3,500 tons of fertilizer and 1,000 pumping machines to smallholder farmers across the four local government areas of Kwara Central Senatorial District.

This commendable initiative empowers the farmers within Kwara Central Senatorial District to minimize challenges in food production and improve the quantity and quality of farm produce for the people of his Senatorial District and beyond.

Empowering the youth is a key part of Senator Mustapha’s vision. He recently organized a two-day training workshop to equip young people with valuable skills and knowledge, preparing them for future leadership. Additionally, he sponsored 2,000 applicants for the 2024 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), 250 applicants for the 2024 National Examination Council (NECO), and 250 applicants for the West African Examination Council (WAEC). This reduces the financial burden on families and encourages education.

Continuing his noble gesture, Senator Mustapha has launched a program to support beneficiaries of these exams by providing sponsorship for their university education at selected institutions in Kwara state. This ensures that bright but financially disadvantaged students have the chance to pursue higher education.

As he marks one year in office as Kwara Central’s representative, Senator Saliu Mustapha is not resting on his laurels in providing quality representation and facilitating more developmental projects that will benefit the good people of Kwara Central.

Nasif Sholagberu is the Media Assistant to Senator Saliu Mustapha.

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