Kazeem Awojoodu, Ibadan.
Governor ‘Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has recalled how his administration has been doing what he promised we would do.
Makinde, made this known on Saturday in his two years in office broadcast on the State Broadcasting Corporation (BCOS), noting that over 300 projects in the education sector were completed.
Makinde said “I can report to you that we have been doing what we promised we would do. We have been making doing business in Oyo State easier for our local and foreign investors. As a result, we have been able to reverse the former trend of companies shutting down and moving out of Oyo State. We now have more businesses making Oyo State the destination of choice for setting up their operations.”
My administration has been able to return 54,000 out-of-school children to classrooms in the state, as he marked two years in office.
The governor said he also completed the recruitment of 5,000 teachers into secondary schools, in order to ensur that the out-of-school children enjoy qualitative education by employing teachers for them.
He said: “These include construction of 26 model schools, construction of classroom blocks, renovation of buildings in over 70 secondary schools across the state and installation of boreholes.”
“We have provided a more conducive learning environment for the students and teachers by distributing desks and chairs and improved the curriculum content with the distribution of science equipment in all public secondary schools in Oyo State.”
“In education, we have maintained our free access to secondary education for all, reducing out-of-school children by an additional 10%. As of the last count, our administration has returned over 54,000 out-of-school children into the classrooms. We have accomplished this by tackling the root causes of their being out of school.”
“I must mention the work we have done in the Start Them Early Programme (STEP), which we are currently funding in six schools in Oyo State, that is; Bishop Phillips Academy, Ibadan; Methodist High School, Ibadan; Christ High School, Oleyo; Adegun Asake Grammar School, Igangan; Iresaadu High School, Iresaadu and UMCA Secondary Grammar School, Igbeti.”
“With this programme, we are creating agribusiness enthusiasts and entrepreneurs in our secondary schools. The results we have seen so far are a testament to the fact that all our children really need is access to quality education to enable them to thrive. We plan to expand this programme to six more secondary schools in the coming year.”
“In healthcare, we continue to prioritise the needs of the vulnerable among us. We are proud to say that our policies and programmes ensure that the good people of Oyo State are cared for from cradle to old age. We have sponsored an Executive Bill that protects our senior citizens in Oyo State, and have followed this up with establishing the Geriatric Centre at the former Jericho Specialist Hospital building at Jericho, Ibadan.”
“We are improving on and equipping our Secondary Healthcare facilities. Adeoyo Maternity Hospital is gradually returning to its former glory with the procurement of state-of-the-art equipment including High Dependency Units, Xray machines and CT scan equipment. We have completed the High Dependency wing of the LAUTECH Teaching Hospital. It is now fully equipped and functional.”
“We are keeping our promise of ensuring that each of our 351 wards in Oyo State has a functioning Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) before the end of our subsisting mandate. So far, we have awarded the contract for the upgrade and rehabilitation of 299 PHCs in the state and work is ongoing. We will work with the newly elected local government officials to ensure that this promise is kept.
Let me also mention the Free Health Missions. In the last year, we met the medical and surgical needs of about 250,000 residents of Oyo State through this mission. We are resolved to now make it a quarterly activity across all the zones in Oyo State.”
“In the security sector, we met the growing challenges by continuing to collaborate with the federal security agencies, and making adequate provisions for them in terms of providing support infrastructure. In the last year, we provided operational vehicles, walkie talkies, steel helmets, bullet proof jackets, combat boots and other security equipment.”
“A major win for our people in the security sector is operationalising the Western Security Network code-named Amotekun in Oyo State. We recruited 1,500 members of the corps and are continually training them to ensure that their operations follow international standards and best practices.
“We also put in place policies that made you, the good people of Oyo State, see yourselves as major stakeholders in the security of our state. We launched the State Security Task Force and involved non-state actors in our intelligence-gathering process. As we always say, if you see something, say something, and then the authorities will surely do something.”
“We have taken steps to secure the entry points into Oyo State. We recently set up a Joint Security Post at Mamu village, the border community between Ibadan and Ijebu Ode. This post is connected to our expanded Security Control Room and City Watch facilities at the Oyo State Security Trust Fund Headquarters, Onireke, Jericho, Ibadan. We have also identified schools in vulnerable areas and connected them to this security architecture. This is part of our crime prevention protocol.”
While projecting to the coming year, Makinde restated that several projects initiated by his administration would be completed next year.
“In the coming year, we look forward to more targeted and inclusive growth. Several projects that we started in the last year will be completed in the next year.”
“For example, the four bus terminals at Iwo Road, New Ife Road, Ojoo, and Challenge. The Agribusiness Industrial Hubs at Fasola, Akufo and Eruwa will be prioritised. We will construct the Oyo-Iseyin Road, the Saki-Ogboro-Ighoho Road and the Isaba-Ogundoyin Road in Ibarapa. We aim to complete over 200 kms of roads under the Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project (RAAMP).”
“Our critics have said that we are taking on too much at a time. We respond that we will do whatever it takes to engineer a modern Oyo State.”
“It is now two years since we took over the administration of Oyo State. During this time, we have maintained our focus on people-centred policies that will move the people of Oyo State from Poverty to Prosperity. As I promised during my inaugural address, our policies and projects will be geared towards good governance. We promised to do more than confront poverty. Our pledge was to usher in an era of progress and prosperity.”
“We have cut the running cost of government by 50% and also reduced government overhead cost by 12.3%. This saving in overhead cost has been ploughed back into capital projects which will yield significant economic benefits in the future.”
“Our tax system has become more efficient. We kept true to our promise of not increasing taxes. Instead, we simplified the tax payment system and broadened the tax base to capture the informal sector. I am happy to report that the ‘One Stop Shop’ concept put in place by our administration has been able to ease the stress of doing business and eradicate double taxation.”
“We also cut down on our external debt by 24 million dollars. We have been deliberate about borrowing and ensuring that we do not accumulate any debts without concrete repayment plans.”
“Despite this, we invested massively in infrastructure. We have delivered on the 65km Moniya-Ijaiye-Iseyin road reducing travel time between the capital and Oke-Ogun, the food basket of Oyo State, by more than 50%. We have completed the Junction Improvement at Orita-Challenge.”
“We have started several road projects which will lead to more economic prosperity for the people of Oyo State. The 21km Airport-Ajia-New Ife Express Road with a spur to Amuloko is at 58% completion.
We have concessioned the moribund Agbowo Shopping Complex and it is now being remodelled and converted into premium commercial real estate and a 4-star hotel. The Pacesetter Quarry and Asphalt Plant, Ijaiye, which we concessioned in May 2020, has since commenced operations and is supplying asphalt for road construction in the state.”
“Indeed, for the past two years, we have continued to work with our Roadmap to Accelerated Development in Oyo State, 2019-2023. We have made significant gains on all four pillars of this roadmap. As a result, the standard of living for the people of Oyo State is improving,” the governor said.
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