By Babs-Oluribigbe Adeoye
November 27, 2018 was a symbolic day in the life of the people of State of Osun, a south-west State in Nigeria. On that day, His Excellency, Governor Isiaka Gboyega Oyetola was sworn in as the new helmsman of the state, taken over from his immediate predecessor, Ogbeeni Rauf Aregbesola, who gracefully bowed out, after spending a worthy eight years in office.
The coming of Mr. Oyetola, a year ago brought succor to the people who were expecting before September governorship election, that good works started by the All Progressives Congress led government since 2010 would not suffer abandonment.
Oyetola’s government of continuity and sustainability was assured when he received the mandate of the people of Osun in September 22, 2018, later revalidated by the judgement delivered by the Appeal Court and Supreme Court in his favour.
The Oyetola’s administration since inception has been very revealing and all encompassing, his actions for the past one year are driven by passion for growth and development. In addition, efforts have been geared towards achieving his vision to turn the state around for better and bringing about good governance in the state.
Many people have noted that the administration came at the appropriate time and his stint in office so far, has never been disappointing, considering the fact that the State has been turned into an important corner among the States in the South-West. Indeed, the governor has raised the bar of governance through the provision of quality service across all sectors.
It is very instructive to also not that since his inception, Mr. Oyetola has been committed to separation of power. This has really enhancing the performance of the three tiers of government in the state. The executive has never been accused of any interference with the works of the judiciary and the legislature.
Building his administration’s pillars on economic and human capital development, security, infrastructure and environmental sustainability, Oyetola has in the last 365 days, succeeded to mapping out new structures such that will place the state among the comity of economically viable states as well as rediscovery of business potential of the state.
In this first year of his administration, Oyetola has a good story to tell, and that is bequeathing a new Osun State to his people at the expiration of his term in office. His actions in engineering an economically viable new state has not been limited to capital projects and reformations, he is engeadering policies that are already changing the face of governance and putting smiles on the faces of the people of the state.
Having acknowledged the enormous task ahead of him, Oyetola since inception, has taken a bold step to partnering the private sector, in order to achieve his well laid down vision for the state. His government has embraced the Public Private Partnership to execute the agenda for developing a new Osun State.
The Economic and Investment submit held between November 19 and 21 in Osogbo, the state capital, was used to align the administration’s development agenda with private sector needs. With the successful conclusion of the summit, Osun will soon witness the participation of investors in critical growth sectors, thus leading to economic prosperity and growth in the state.
However, it is important to stress that the allocation from the federation account would not suffice to implement many laudable programmes the governor had plan to execute. This is why the government needs to do more by exerting more efforts towards increasing its revenue generation.
It is a major concern that in the last fiscal year, the IGR drive has not encouraging. Thank God, the governor himself realised this, when he mentioned during the presentation of 2020 bugged estimates, the need to redouble efforts to garner more IGR for the state
Key area where this administration is making notable impact is the prompt payment of salaries to civil servants. Despite shortfall in revenue generation, the administration still realise that the civil servants, as the engine room of any administration, should be courted. As a workers’ friendly administration, the current government, in fulfilment of Oyetola’s promise during his inauguration has succeeded in prioritising the welfare of workers and pensioners in the state.
Other areas are in health, urbanisation and infrastructural development of the state, education, agriculture, to mention a few.
At the inception of his administration, the governor, through his focused leadership has been committed and explored all avenues to improve the delivery of quality healthcare and make it affordable and accessible to all.
The common adage that says health is wealth is no doubt a cornerstone of this administration in health sector. As a result of this, and coupled with government’s commitment to give the health sector a deserved priority, hospitals in the urban and rural areas received same attention and speed for renovation, rehabilitation and reconstruction.
In fulfillment of his campaign promise, Oyetola administration has shown a strong commitment towards rapid improvement of Primary Health Care Service delivery in the state. The construction, renovation and revitalisation of 332 PHCs in one-per-ward across the state, are targeted by the administration.
Barely a year into the tenure of this administration, over 100 newly-renovated PHCs have been inaugurated, while others are at varying advanced stages of completion. This has largely led to building a peaceful and prosperous state.
The governor had remarked that renovation of the PHCs was a holistic programme which covers provision of modern equipment, supply of drugs, training and retraining of staff as well as employment of technology to power healthcare delivery for optimum results.
In continuation of the vision of the previous government, Oyetola’s administration has been noted for prioritising education in the state, by deploying appropriate resources from the state’s purse in this respect. Right from outset, seeing its potentials, as the bedrock of any meaningful development, functional education has been entrenched in the state.
The setting up of ‘Edu-Marshal’ programme has ensured discipline and school attendance in schools. Aside this, the administration has embarked on capacity-building and provision of infrastructure in public schools with a view to providing best possible environment for learning. Apart from free education policy, the government has upgrading five Technical Colleges in Iwo, Osu, Inisa, Otan Aiyegbaju and Ara.
Recently, the Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, has rated Osun high in projects implementation, commending the outstanding performance of the state in the execution of projects. According to the leadership of the commission, the exceptional performance of the state in the education sector, most importantly in the area of basic education, has been very commendable.
UBEC, while commending the administration of Oyetola, unequivocally stated that Osun is one of the states where education has been given topmost priority, and where education infrastructure receives optimum attention.
Oyetola in response said “I am glad that you are here not only to see our little efforts in the education sector but to also assess the commitment that we have attached to the provision of quality education.
“We have been able to achieve all we have achieved because we place much premium on education, which is why we have been prompt and consistent in the payment of our counterpart funds.
The government through various innovative in the sector, has continuing making education attractive, affordable and accessible to all
For easy linkage between communities and facilitating easy movement of people from one point to the other, the administration of Gboyega Oyetola has embarked on rehabilitation, reconstruction and construction of roads in the last one year.
As a government, that has set out to attracting investors to develop the state’s economy, Oyetola’s administration has been committed to providing good road networks. In the last one year, rehabilitation, constructions, reconstruction of many road networks are taking place across the states.
To build on the legacy of the immediate previous administration, which he was part and parcel, Oyetola has continue giving proper attention to dualisation of connecting roads as well as the construction of standard drainages to prevent water clogging on roads.
His commitment to bring massive rural infrastructural development to the state is never in doubt. The commissioning in September, this year of the 228.5km rural roads, rehabilitated and reconstructed under the Osun Rural Access and Mobility Project, at Akeredolu town, in Ife-South Local Government attested to this.
The need for social development has received the attention of Oyetola’s administration in the past one year. Realising the contribution of the women towards the development of the state, Oyetola’s government is placing a high premium on women welfare, by extending financial support through availing them soft loans, to float small scale businesses.
Through the effort of the Osun Women Development Association (OSUNWA), led by the wife of the governor, Mrs Kafayat Oyetola women development in the state has equally received a big boost. The association, which its membership comprise the wives of government officials, has been carrying out activities towards promoting girl-child education and women’s participation in politics, business and agriculture. Indeed, OSUNWA is partnering the state government in harnessing the overall wellbeing and prosperity of women.
The government, having realised certain gifts given to women folk by God, to assist in the development of their respective homes and societies, has shown the burning desire to empower the women of the state.
The focus of Oyetola’s government to reposition the agricultural sector was clearly stated in his inaugural speech. According to him, his government will strive to improve agricultural activities to attract new farm settlements and grow the agro-industry sector to ensure food security. It is noteworthy to state that farm settlement across the state have been revitalised
The aim of the government to reposition the agricultural sector, by shifting its focus and attention from peasant farming to full commercial agriculture is generating result. Already, government had mapped out necessary strategies to properly involve youths in agriculture and integrate them into mechanised farming.
In the last few months, Osun state government, has been injecting a new life into agriculture sector, and make it the most vibrant and profitable means of stimulating and advancing the economy of the state.
By walking its talk, the Oyetola administration has committed billions of naira towards supporting the farmers in the state. The administration has equally given commitment to partner private sector to revive the sector.
Some of the incentives given to boost agricultural production in the state included support to 220 farmer groups under the Osun Broiler Outgrower Scheme (OBOPS). Also 28 Cooperative groups have been empowered to plant 17km of maize, 500 acre vegetable Cluster, while 2000 farmers have also been supported to plant 1.3 million plantain suckers for refined plantain production. Empowerment has also been given to poultry farmers in the state, as part of the effort to sustaining school feeding programme.
In addition, a total of 10,698 acres of farmland have been cultivated with the support of the Government of the state of Osun.