By Dipo Olowookere
Kwara State government says its forthcoming Solar-powered street lights project, Light Up Kwara (LUK) will be funded over 10-year period under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) and through the Kwara State Infrastructure Development Fund (IFK).
The state government made this disclosure through a statement issued on Monday by Dr Muideen Akorede, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communications to Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed.
The state government said under the PPP arrangement, the contractors will finance, build, operate and maintain the 3000 streetlights before handing them over to the state government which will have ten years to pay for the LUK project.
It therefore explained that the PPP arrangement and the deferred payment is the only way government can afford a project of the magnitude of LUK under prevailing circumstances.
The government further clarified that the ten-year payment for the LUK street lights will not commence until government is satisfied with the quality and maintenance of the project which scheduled for completion within a year.
Accordingly, the government said an affordable payment plan is in place to ensure there is no pressure on the state’s finances under LUK or any other IFK project.
The government assured that it will continue to meet its obligations for other infrastructure projects, people-oriented programs and prompt payment of salaries and pensions before, during and after the LUK project.
Pointing out the innovativeness of the LUK project, the statement noted that the streetlights will be powered through solar power tunnels at specific locations as part of government’s efforts at promoting a green economy.
The statement added that the project consultants will source materials locally, and will also engage workers within the State, to boost local economy and create employment.
Highlighting other benefits of the project, the government explained that the streetlights will enhance security, boost the night economy, and improve aesthetics.
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