Makinde’s Workers Day pact and new Oyo state

In this report, BAYO AGBOOLA chronicles how the 2023 workers day was celebrated with fulfilled promises and new ones made.

With few weeks to the commencement of his second term in office on May 29 this year, Governor Seyi Makinde is leaving no one in doubt about his commitment to building a more solid Oyo state in his next four years as governor in the Pace Setters state.

Towards this, the governor at the 2023 Workers’ Day celebration held at the Lekan Salami Sports Complex, Adamasingba, Ibadan on Monday, May 1 said there would be no going back on his administration’s move towards aggressive and energetic global investment drive in agribusiness, renewable energy and solid minerals to boost the economy of the state under Omituntun 2.0. In achieving this, there is the need for investors to come and invest in agribusiness, renewable energy, solid minerals in the state as the state is open for business to be able to, among others, tackle unemployment by creating more jobs and taking more people into the employment pool in the state.

Recalling past promises

Gov Makinde while recalling events in the almost ending first tenure in office said, “Our Internally Generated Revenue increased massively by over 90%. Great workers of Oyo state, well done! Eku ise! Of course, we are not saying that the past 47 months have been rosy. No, not at all. We are saying that despite all the challenges of these past years, you remained strong and resilient. For example, we powered through the COVID-19 pandemic. We
decided not to enforce a total lockdown because of the nature of our economy. But if you, the workers, did not cooperate with this decision, this story would have ended differently. So, wherever you are in this stadium, if you are a worker in Oyo state, I want you to give yourself a round of applause for all you have done. It doesn’t matter whether you are a civil servant, public servant, artisan, trader, farmer.”

Workers welfare a priority

The governor minced no words in saying that his administration has given adequate priority to the welfare of workers, stating that it paid the increment from the backlog of promotions and consequential adjustment, as well as 100 per cent subventions to state-owned tertiary institutions and that his administration would continue to prioritise the welfare of civil servants and public servants in the state by ensuring that backlog of promotions and leave bonuses are cleared.

“Welcome to the Workers’ Day Celebration 2023. Everyone here is playing an important role in keeping the economic wheels of Oyo state on the right track and for this, I say thank you. It is because of your labour that Oyo state is now one of the top five economies in Nigeria. And with your help, I know that we would keep growing and getting better. Our first four years of serving you, the good people of Oyo state, is gradually coming to a close. In just 27 days, we would crossover to Omituntun 2.0. For the civil servants here, in 24 days, we would be celebrating a full 48 months of a promise kept.
“When we came into office, we pledged never to pay Oyo state workers with ‘bear with us’ at the end of any month. You all are witnesses to the fact that the GSM day, the 25th of every month, remained sacrosanct this past 47 months. Not only that, we started paying the minimum wage from January 2020 till date. We also paid the increments from the backlogs of promotions and consequential adjustments as well as paying 100 per cent subvention to state-owned tertiary institutions. Even though this increased our wage bill from N4.7 billion to N7.2 billion monthly, we have met our obligations promptly each month. Because of our consistent paying these salaries, the economic wheels of the state remained oiled. Traders were assured that people would buy from them because they had money in their pockets. Banks could offer credit because they knew that the people had regular, consistent income. “Investors could come to the state because they knew that a vibrant economy meant the people had more spending power.”

Showcasing his administration impacts in the area of building infrastructure, the governor said, “The more roads we built; the more development followed. Our Internally Generated Revenue increased massively by over 90 per cent and that things can only get better for the state under Omituntun. 2.0, with the proper groundwork of his administration aimed at making the sustainable development vision possible within the next four years hence the need for the entire workforce in the state and the people of the state to continue to support his administration and to continue to be diligent in whatever roles they play.

“Great workers of Oyo state! Omituntun 1.0 was good. Omituntun 2.0 will be better.Having laid the proper groundwork by following the Oyo State Roadmap for Accelerated Development 2019-2023, it is now time to move to sustainable development. He said although the unemployment rate in Oyo state is lower than the national average, he said they know unemployment is a problem that must be tackled.

“We need more jobs. We must create more jobs. So, under Omituntun 2.0, we will embark on an aggressive global investment drive.

“Our message to the world is simple, come and invest in Oyo state in agribusiness, renewable energy, solid minerals, and tourism. Oyo state is open for business. We will also look inwards and tackle those issues that will make our local entrepreneurs evolve and expand their operations. At the same time, we ask that you, the good people of Oyo state support us on this drive. Continue to be diligent in whatever role you play in the private or public sector, and make Oyo state a welcoming place for investors and visitors. We restate that by the grace of God, we would continue to maintain the GSM date for paying civil servants’ salaries under Omituntun 2.0. And for our entrepreneurs and investors, we will continue to play our part to make the Oyo state economic environment a place where the private sector will thrive. Great workers of Oyo state!”

Keeping the pact on roads

Aside the May Day pact, Governor Makinde has left no one in doubt of his mission towards building a more solid Oyo state when he assured the people of Ibarapaland among others that the Ido-Eruwa road, linking the area to Ibadan, the state capital will be completed before the end of the year
He said, ” I want to assure you that this project (Ido-Eruwa road) will also be like that of Ogbomoso-Iseyin road. I know some of you have used it in recent times and have seen how beautiful and quality it is. From Ido, it should not take us more than 25 minutes to get to Eruwa. Under Omituntun 2.0, I want to assure you that people will be living in Eruwa and be working at Secretariat in Ibadan. Within the next three weeks, work will begin on the road again. During the campaign period, I promised that the road will be commissioned before the end of this year and I want to confirm it will be so.”

Gov Makinde also recently hinted at the commissioning of Olorunda-Abaa Divisional Police Station that his administration will award the project for the construction of the 8.3 kilometres Ojurin- Olorunda-Abaa Road in Lagelu local government area of Ibadan before the expiration of the first term of his administration and that the project will be awarded and the contractor will be mobilised to site in a few weeks.

“On my way here, I observed the bad situation of the road. We have done the construction from Idi-Ape to Akobo Ojurin and the next phase is the 8.3km, which will cover from Ojurin to here in Olorunda-Abaa. The first term is yet to be over, as we will continue to work for our people for the remaining time left. We will award and mobilise the contractor for this project within the two months left and the project will also be lit up.”

Going by the recent events in Oyo state especially on major roads and areas in Ibadan at getting a more beautiful environment, there are hopes that better days are ahead of the state and its people courtesy of the Omituntun 2.0 agenda.