In this piece, BAYO AGBOOLA takes a look at Oyo state government’s effort towards accelerated development in the last three years.
From all indications, the Oyo state governor Engineer Seyi Makinde would not leave any stone unturned towards changing the fortunes of ‘The Pacesetter State’ within his first term in office. This is coming ahead the forthcoming general elections in 2023.
No wonder the governor, in one of his official state functions stated that, “When you gave us the mandate to serve you, we made a promise that we would engineer a modern Oyo state by building on four pillars: education, economy, health and security.”
It is therefore not a hidden fact that since his assumption in office on May 29, 2019, Makinde has been doing his best to change the face of Oyo for good in terms of modern-day technological innovations and development with a view to blend with what is in vogue in other parts of the world.
The strategy adopted
In achieving this feet, Governor Makinde considered several options in making his vision of making Oyo great with a view to returning the state to its position among other states in the country.
One of this was the commencement of sets of training workshops to equip farmers and youths in agriculture and entrepreneurial skills in order to operate business ventures and make profit from such. By it, youths and farmers from six local government areas of the state were trained on Rural Finance Institution-Building (RUFIN) Programme at Ikoyi-Ile in Oriire local government area of the state.
The training programme tagged ‘Business/Entrepreneur Development’, according to the state government, was a deliberate effort to attend to the need of people below the ladder as the business and entrepreneur development training would equip them to manage their business ventures profitably either as individual business or group venture.
It is as well aimed at ensuring the preservation of village savings and credit groups, understanding the concept of savings, savings accumulation and saving culture, instilling good credit management, appreciating the essence of financial planning and budgeting, among others.
We would leave no stone unturned – state gov’t.
The state commissioner for agriculture and rural development, Ojemuyiwa Ojekunle, while speaking through the permanent secretary of the ministry said, “It is pertinent to state here that the state government under the leadership of Governor Seyi Makinde would leave no stone unturned to reach out to the youths in the rural communities as well as rural farmers for them to benefit from the agribusiness programmes of the state government.
He said OYSADA has been charged with the responsibility of developing two modern and standard farm estates at Akufo (Ido LG) and Eruwa (Ibarapa-east LG) and the establishment of Agricultural Training Centre Awe and re-launch of Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project to provide 1,600kms of rural roads that would open up the rural areas and prepare dwellers for business opportunities in the sector.”
Makinde also speaks
Governor Makinde on his part minced no words in affirming his administration’s efforts in moving the state from its old ranking to a modern Oyo. He said the economic policies of his government in the past years have been yielding positive results in education, road infrastructure and agribusiness and other vital sectors with newly rebuild/ reconstructed roads impacting positively on the economy of the state through the creation of a thriving environment for private sector players in agribusiness. This he said had enabled the state to attract N23 billion in agribusiness as well as another 125 million dollars in development partners-blended finance for rural roads, agro logistics, market and industrial hubs.
The roads he said included the 65km Moniya-Ijaiye-Iseyin road, the 76.7km Ogbomoso-Fapote-Iseyin road, the 34.85km Oyo-Iseyin road and the proposed reconstruction of the 48 km Ido-Eruwa road, construction of 56 model schools and completion of the renovation of 200 Primary Healthcare Centres (PHC) in its drive to ensure the existence of, at least, one functional PHC in each of the 351 Electoral Wards of the state.
He listed notable impact of his administration in recent time towards building a modern Oyo state to include among others the completion of the first phase of remodelling Lekan Salami Sports Complex, Adamasingba, the Ojoo and Challenge Bus Terminals already handling up to 10,000 passengers daily off peak and 56 model schools. He noted that over one million, two hundred thousand residents of the state have benefitted from the free health missions in the state since it commenced in 2020 while over 280 kilometres of public lighting have been provided through the ‘Light up Oyo’ project.
“Not only that, we have provided lighting in off-grid areas. Communities such as Otefon in Atiba local government area had electricity supply for the first time since their existence over 100 years ago. While work is ongoing to provide off grid electricity at Agbararu community in Iwajowa local government area, Ajia community in Ona Ara local government area and Arowomole community in Ogbomoso South local government area.”
In the area of security, among severe criticism from across the state especially from the opposition camp, the governor scored his administration high, saying his government has been able to bring crime rates down by equipping security agencies, particularly the handing over of 100 operational vehicles to Oyo Amotekun recently and the on going recruitment of 500 additional personnel.
At a recent security meeting with stakeholders in the state, the governor said, “Security is everyone’s business and if we all play our parts well, we would have a safer and more secure environment; although security of lives and property is the paramount responsibility of government, but government cannot do it alone except with the cooperation of the entire citizenry and as we can see from the report gotten all over the country. Oyo state is relatively peaceful; this was not achieved by the effort of government alone but with the efforts of all stakeholders, most especially the security commanders.”
According to Governor Makinde, the meeting was aimed at getting the situation report from various quarters on security as well as to dialogue on what to do as stakeholders and fine-tune necessary steps. This would help government to put necessary machinery in place for people in the state to sleep with their two eyes closed. And as the operation of the Amotekun corps is concerned, we have perfected the process of employing 500 more hands to enhance their performance and further deepen the security architecture of our state.
“Only a few days ago, the governor in his pursuit of more development for the state was in Israel to meet investors and institutions that have shown interest in the state’s agribusiness policies during which I signed an agreement of cooperation with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem to develop an agribusiness knowledge economy with the partnership including scholarship offers, knowledge transfer and exchange programmes between the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Oyo state-owned Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH),” Gov Makinde stressed.
“We met with Oyo state students at the university. During the course of our stay in Israel, we visited two kibbutzes (farm settlements) – a dairy farm and another farm which produces lettuce and fish, to see agritech deployment in modern agribusinesses,” he noted.
Presently in Oyo state, whether second term or not, what seems glaring is that Engr Makinde is determined to have his name written down as the number one citizen in the history of the state in building and making of a modern Oyo.