…says administration completed 307 projects in education sector, another 236 ongoing
*State, building strong security architecture
*How we’re leveraging COVID-19 setback to improve health care systemGovernor of Oyo State, Engineer Seyi Makinde, said, on Friday, that his administration has completed 307 projects in the education sector, while 236 others are on-going, within its first year in office.
The governor, in a state-wide address aired on the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State (BCoS), also expressed the confidence that, going by the performance of his administration in its first year in office, the future is, indeed, bright for the state.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted Engineer Makinde as also appreciating residents of the state for the trust they have reposed in his administration.
He equally urged the people to keep supporting the administration, with view to making the best decisions for their overall good.
He noted that in one year, he has remained focused on the goal of developing the state.
The statement also quoted the governor as saying that in line with his promise to build on the programmes of past administrations that were structured properly, his administration has, so far, completed 239 projects awarded by the previous administration in the education sector as well as 68 others awarded by his government.
Governor Makinde, who maintained that despite the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic, the administration has remained focused and that it has leveraged the setback to improve the health care system, implored residents of the state to keep following the directives of the Oyo State COVID-19 Task Force on social distancing, wearing of face masks and proper hygiene practices.
He said: “It has been one year since we took over office as administrators of the Oyo State Government. And like every administrator knows, there is a time for acting, and a time for accounting. Ultimately, we will be rendering a full account of our stewardship by 2023. But before then, it is only fair and just to mark where we are coming from, so we can determine how far we have gone. As our elders say, when a person embarks on a journey, he should stop from time to time, to ensure he has not strayed from the path.
“But, before I share with you some of our accomplishments in the past year, let me take a moment to thank you. Yes, I especially thank every one of you good citizens of Oyo State for your trust and support in the past year. I felt your love when I came down with COVID-19. Your private and public messages and prayers were well received. Again, I thank you.
“I have always said that our COVID-19 response in Oyo State will be backed by data, science and logic. So far, these parameters have not failed us. Indeed, despite the international, national and local setback of this pandemic, we remain focused.
“In fact, instead of seeing COVID-19 as a setback, we chose to leverage it to improve our healthcare system. Oyo State collaborated with the Virology Department of the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, to set up a Diagnostic Centre which was approved by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control to test for COVID-19.
“We also upgraded one of our facilities at Olodo to an Infectious Disease Research and Treatment Centre. Instead of spending money on temporary isolation centres that will serve little or no purpose outside this pandemic, we chose to do something permanent.
“We have renovated and equipped General Hospitals and Primary Healthcare facilities. We also implemented a new funding structure for our Primary Healthcare system. The benefits of this new system will be evident in the coming months. Furthermore, we bought and kitted ambulances to improve our emergency operations.
“We have kept our promise to finish what previous administrations left undone instead of selfishly starting new ones. We looked at the books and found projects from as far back as 2011.
“So far, in the education sector, we have completed two hundred and thirty-nine projects awarded by the previous administration and sixty-eight awarded by our own administration. This year, we started two hundred and thirty-six projects which are currently ongoing. These projects include construction of schools and classrooms, construction of Early Child Development centres, renovation of schools, installation of boreholes, supply of furniture and sports equipment and other procurements.”
On the economy, Governor Makinde maintained that there had been incremental changes in the state’s Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, following the introduction of a new IGR framework in November 2019, noting that between December 2019 and February 2020, the state’s IGR figures had been between 2.43 Billion Naira and 2.7 Billion Naira.
He said: “We have started the Park Management System to bring sanity and order to the transportation sector. It also generates funds for the government. We are working towards ensuring that the process runs seamlessly.
“We have renovated and rehabilitated roads and started a Zero Pothole Policy for our roads, first in Ibadan, and this will be expanded to other towns.
“We paid counterpart funding of 350 Million Naira so that we can benefit from the Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project (RAAMP). This will enable us to rehabilitate 1,000 kilometres of rural roads.
“In Land and Housing, we built a digitised platform with georeferencing for electronic Certificate of Occupancy. You can now get your C of O within 60 days of payment.
“We have improved in the area of ease of doing business and set up the Oyo State Agribusiness Development Agency to harness our competitive advantage in agriculture.”
In the area of security, the governor said that the administration is building a security architecture that the people of Oyo State would be proud of, explaining that aside working with federal security agencies by providing equipment and vehicles, the signing of the Oyo State Security Network Agency (Amotekun) Bill 2019 into law to complement the efforts of the federal security agencies was part of the administration’s innovations to ensure adequate security in Oyo State.
“Just two days ago, I commissioned a new mobile police force squadron, Mopol 72 at Ago-Are in Oke Ogun zone. We have provided vehicles and state-of-the-art communication equipment to facilitate their response to crime. We have also operationalised the Emergency Contact Number, 615,” the governor said.
According to the governor, the administration has, in one year, kept up with the promise of prompt payment of salaries and pensions for civil and public servants on the 25th of every month and sometimes, earlier, as well as ensuring the payment of more outstanding gratuities for retired civil servants in the past one year than the previous administration paid in eight years.
He noted that all these were being done to ensure that funds are constantly being injected into the state’s economy, thus benefiting both the formal and informal sectors.
Governor Makinde, however, said that upon the realization that for more capital projects to be realised, the state would need to spend more, it had to take loans, which were strategically thought-out and targeted at capital projects.
He explained that the state only borrowed money for priority projects that would boost the economy, adding that the loans were being taken with “aggressively negotiated terms and conditions” and that the state had only borrowed in Naira, which “means that our loan repayments will not be subject to the fluctuations of foreign exchange.”
He said: “Earlier in our administration, we took a loan of 10 Billion Naira. This was an infrastructure loan facility and it is being used to facilitate the building of the very strategic Moniya-Iseyin Road. On the 7.6 Billion Naira loan taken by the previous administration for the purchase of agriculture equipment, we approached the CBN to repurpose that loan for upgrading the Akufo and Eruwa farm settlements into farm estates.
“More recently, the legislature gave us their approval to take a 22.5 Billion Naira infrastructural loan. 2.5 Billion Naira will be used to further upgrade healthcare infrastructure and facilitate our COVID-19 response. While 20 Billion Naira is going to be spent on various infrastructural projects including the Light Up Oyo State Phase II, building of bus terminals, security architecture, junction improvements, road projects and more.
“With the Oyo State Financial Crimes Commission Act 2019 in place, you can be assured of transparency and accountability in all our transactions. You will recall that we initiated and signed that bill into law.”
The governor also took time to explain why the administration has been unable to meet its promise on Ikere Gorge Dam, saying that though the administration had high hopes to boost fishery, the dam has been given to private concessionaires by the Federal Government.
He assured that the state was already in discussions with the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) to ensure that Oyo State’s interest is factored into the arrangement.
Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde
May 29, 2020.
Inclusive Foundation Mourns Veteran Actress, Rachael Oniga
Inclusive Social Welfare and Empowerment Foundation, a non-governmental organisation has expressed its heartfelt sympathy to family, friends and the entire movie industry over the loss of the veteran actress, Rachael Oniga who died at age 64.
The CEO of the foundation, Chief (Mrs.) Pat Eleto, in a condolence visit to the family, on Saturday, July 31st, said the news came as a rude shock to many, but she believes that the late actress has created a great impact with her career, and her legacy should never be forgotten.
In her statement, Chief (Mrs.)Eleto said:
“It is with a heavy heart that I grief with the family of a sister, friend and adviser of Inclusive Social Welfare and Empowerment Foundation.
“Mrs. Oniga, is one of our great ambassadors, and we were actually working on a project that is meant for the later part of this year when the sad news of her demise came.
“Death is inevitable, we pray for the repose of her soul, and may God comfort all the people she left behind. We also hope and pray that all her good legacies, be sustained because, she was indeed a pillar of support to our foundation, and also one of veterans that contributed immensely to the growth of Nollywood,” the statement reads.
A native of Delta State, Oniga was one of the ambassadors of Inclusive Social Welfare and Empowerment Foundation.
Alaafin Shuns Ooni-Backed Group Over Alleged Anti-Buhari Posture
The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, on Friday, at the last minute, allegedly cancelled an appointment he gave to a Yoruba group, Ooni’s Caucus, on the alleged complaint that members of the group are “notorious critics” of the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
The Ooni’s Caucus, which was inaugurated at the palace of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, on July 20, 2021, is made of many influential Yoruba persons and is being coordinated by a former Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria, Mr Akin Osuntokun.
PUNCH learnt that Osuntokun led about 14 members of the group to Alaafin’s palace for the alleged 11am appointment on Friday, but after waiting for about two and a half hours, the influential monarch sent words to them that he would not be seeing them.
According to a source, who spoke to PUNCH on condition of anonymity, some of the group’s members who went to Alaafin’s palace with Osuntokun were a monarch, the Olugbon of Orile-Igbon, Oba Francis Alao; a former presidential spokesman, Dr Doyin Okupe; a former commissioner in Osun State, Muyiwa Ige; a former Minister of Defence, Mrs Dupe Adelaja; a retired Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Taiwo Lakanu, Oye Oyewumi, Sola Lawal, among others.
A former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, is also said to be a member of Ooni’s Caucus, but he was not on the delegation to Alaafin’s palace on Friday.
The source, who is a member of the group, claimed that the group had through the Olugbon secured an appointment with Alaafin since Monday, and the same appointment was confirmed on Thursday, only for them to get to the palace and the Alaafin refused to see them on the claim that they were anti-Buhari and were also loyalists of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
The source explained that the main purpose of the meeting was for the newly-inaugurated group to get Alaafin’s blessings and to possibly discuss the issue of the embattled Yoruba Nation agitator, Chief Sunday Adeyemo, alias Sunday Igboho, who is currently being held and tried in Cotonou, Benin Republic.
The source said, “The Olugbon, a member of the caucus, was the one who booked the appointment, but he said the Alaafin said he didn’t want to see us because we’re notorious critics of the Buhari government.
“He (Alaafin) confirmed the appointment yesterday (Thursday). But when we got there today, he kept us waiting; after a while, he asked to see the Olugbon. He (Alaafin) didn’t come to see us; we were told he said he wouldn’t see us because we are notorious critics of Buhari’s government and that some of us are close to Obasanjo, who is also critical of the government.
“We were made to wait for about two and a half hours; he gave us an appointment for 11am; we got there at 11am and at about 1.30pm, that was when it was obvious to us that he wasn’t coming (to see us). But he initially asked to see the Olugbon, who went to see him for about an hour. When the Olugbon eventually came back, he said Alaafin would not see us, saying we are a group that is critical of the Buhari government and some of us are loyalists of Obasanjo.”
On whether the group’s mission to Alaafin’s palace was to discuss Sunday Igboho’s matter, the source said, “Of course, the issue (of Igboho) would come up but that was not the purpose of the visit. The issue of Igboho concerns all the Yoruba people but that was not our reason for going to him.”
On whether the group would try and book another appointment, the source said, “I don’t know; we were all surprised that a Yoruba oba can refuse to see his children on account of not wanting to be on the bad side of Buhari’s government. I would have thought that an oba is supposed to take everybody as his children, whether they are supporters of Buhari the All progressives Congress or the Peoples Democratic Party or whatever party.”
But when contacted by PUNCH, the Media Director to the Alaafin, Bode Durojaye, said the reason his principal did not see the group was because they did not have any prior appointment with him.
Durojaye said the Alaafin would be willing to entertain the group if they booked an appointment.
He said, “Those who came are men of honour and kabiyesi did not say he did not want to see them. He did not say he would not see them because they are critical of President Buhari or they are former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s men. Obasanjo himself is a friend of Kabiyesi, so you can see that what you were told was not what happened.
“Kabiyesi said he could not see them because they did not give him prior notice that they were coming. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to see them again. They can notify him and he will give them an appointment. You cannot just come and say you want to see him, there are protocols to follow and due process is always adhered to at Alaafin’s Palace.
“There was no rancour, no ill-feeling even when they were going; I was there and I saw them off to their vehicles. If anybody told you that kabiyesi said he didn’t want to see them because they are critical of government or they are Obasanjo’s men, that is a lie.”
NMA Reacts As Bandits Break Into, Pick Nurse At Zamfara General Hospital
Suspected bandits invaded General Hospital, Dansadau, Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State on Friday, resulting in the abduction of a nurse and caregiver.
Residents said that immediately the men stormed the medical facility, the armed men headed to the outpatient ward in search of a doctor or nurse.
“When they couldn’t find anybody there, they started going from one ward to another. A nurse and a caregiver were abducted. They then moved to staff quarters looking for doctors and nurses but could not find any.”
“The armed criminals had earlier attempted to attack Maigoge, a community located six kilometres north of Dansadau town.
“But when they laid siege to the community, the vigilantes otherwise known as Yan Sakai firmly defended the village. The vigilante killed some of the bandits and injured several others.
“They then invaded the hospital to kidnap nurse and doctors that will treat their injured brothers in the forest.”
Maigoge is one of the few communities in Dansadau Emirate known to be firmly defending themselves against bandits.
“The staff of the facility are not carrying out night duties now. They only attend to patients at day time. They then move inside the town to spend night usually at undisclosed locations,” he added.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association in Zamfara state, Dr Mannir Bature, who confirmed the attack said the association is worried by the unfortunate incident.
He said they would hold an emergency state officers council meeting on Saturday.
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