KWARA STATEPost Comment KWARA STATE Nigeria
Historical Development: Kwara State was created on the 27th May, 1967 as one of the twelve states that replaced the former
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four regional structure the Northern, Western, Mid western and Eastern regions in the country.
At the time of its creation, the state comprised the old llorin and Kabba Provinces of the then Northern Region of Nigeria and was originally known as the West Central State for some time, only to be renamed Kwara State shortly afterwards, to reflect the local name of its major river, the Niger in the Lokoja area.
When it was created in 1967, the land area of Kwara State extended from Borgu area in the north west to the eastern limit of the present Kogi State in the east. However, further states creation and boundary readjustment exercises in the country by successive military administrations since 1967 have led to considerable losses in the land area as well as human and material resources of Kwara State, and these in turn have had their toll on the development potentialities of the state.
First, on 3rd February, 1976, the Igalaspeaking area of the then eastern part of Kwara State was carved out and merged with part of the former Benue State. Then, on 27th August, 1991, the Borgu Local Government Area was transferred to Niger State, while five other local government areas, i.e. Oyi, Yagba, Okene, Okehi and Kogi (which belonged to the pre1967 Kabba Province) were merged with the Igala speak ing part of the former Benue State to form Kogi State.
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Indeed, the consequences of the above changes on both land areas, as well as human and material resources of Kwara State have really been far reaching. For example, Kwara State's land area of about 60,388 sq. km with a population of over 4.0million (up to 26 August, 1991) suddenly came down to about 32,500 sq. km and 1.55 million people respectively, giving the state a population density of fortyeight persons per sq. km.
Similarly, the Kainji Dam and Games Reserves were lost to Niger State, while minerals, including iron ore, limestone and marble as well as industries such as the Ajaokuta integrated steel works, the Itakpe ore mines and the Jakura marble were lost to Kogi comprises sixteen local government areas Asa, Baruten, Edu, Ekiti, lfelodun, llorin East, llorin West, s Irepodun, Kaiama, Moro, Offa, Oyun, llorin South, Isin, OkeEro and Patigi. It also comprises 46 districts as shown again in
Administrative Structure: Like other states in the country, Kwara State is now governed by a n democratically elected administration (as from 29 May, 1999) At the apex of the state administration Is the executive civilian Governor and members of his executive council, comprising the Deputy Governor, the Secretary to the Government, the Head of Service, the State Commissioners and ,Special Advisers to the Governor.
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The Legislative arm of government in the state is headed by the Speaker of the House of Assembly, and supported by the Deputy Speaker, the Majority Leader, the Minority Leader, the Chief Whip of each political party represented in the House, the Clerk of the House and other honourable members of the House. There is also the State Judiciary, headed by the State Chief Judge while the Sharia Court of Appeal is headed by the State Grand Khadi.
The dispensation of justice is the prime goal of both bodies. At the local government level, for each of the sixteen LGAs in Kwara State, there is a Chairman who is the head of the LGA's executive council. Others include the ViceChairman, Supervisory Councillors and Secretary to the local government