08 Aug 2020 One Year in Office Broadcast by His Excellency, Seyi Makinde, the Executive Governor of Oyo State, May 29, 2020
My Dear Good People of Oyo State,
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.
In my inaugural address, one year ago, I promised not to dwell on the past but look to the future. In the past 365 days, I have not allowed myself to be distracted from the goal. I have remained focused on the urgency and the magnitude of the task ahead. I also recall saying in that address that we will build on the programmes of past administrations that were structured properly. That we will put aside partisan politics for the good of our state. I am happy to report to you that we have not strayed from that 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.
We all look forward to a time in the near future when we can rightly say the pandemic is over. But for now, we have to learn to live with the situation. I implore you, to keep following the directives of the Oyo State COVID-19 Task Force on social distancing, wearing of face masks and proper hygiene practices. I am confident that if we do what we should, when we should, we will beat this virus.
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 on 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 into 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.
Speaking to the Economy, we introduced a new Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) framework in November, 2019. Since then, there has been incremental changes in our IGR: • 2.43 Billion Naira in December 2019 • 2.51 Billion Naira in January 2020 and • 2.7 Billion Naira in February 2020.
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 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.
On Security, we are surely building an architecture that the people of Oyo State will be proud of. I have signed the Oyo State Security Network Agency (Amotekun) Bill 2019 into law. The Amotekun Corps will complement the efforts of our federal security agencies. Aside from that, we are also working with the federal security agencies 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.
In all this, we have kept up prompt payment of salaries and pensions for civil and public servants on the 25th of every month, sometimes earlier. We have also paid more outstanding gratuities for retired civil servants in the past one year than the previous administration paid in eight years. And from January 2020, we started paying the new minimum wage. This has ensured that funds are constantly being injected into the state’s economy thus benefiting both the formal and informal sectors.
All of these have been possible because of prudent management of our resources.
But, for more capital projects to be realised, we need to spend more.
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 will be used to further upgrade healthcare infrastructure and facilitate our COVID-19 response. While 20 billion 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 we initiated and signed that bill into law.
Every loan we have taken has been strategically thought-out and is for a capital project. We are not borrowing money that our children will pay or just because we can. We are borrowing money for priority projects that will help boost the economy. And we are doing this at aggressively negotiated terms and conditions. We are also borrowing in Naira. This means that our loan repayments will not be subject to the fluctuations of foreign exchange.
I cannot end this broadcast without talking about one of the promises I made to you which I am sadly, unable to keep. The Ikere Gorge Dam has become a subject for many writings. We had high hopes for that dam especially as a boost to the fishery sector. As it is, the dam has been given to private concessionaires by the Federal Government. However, we are in discussions with the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) to ensure that Oyo State’s interest is factored into the arrangement. We are hopeful of a speedy resolution.
Once again, I thank you for the trust you have reposed on this administration and I urge you to keep supporting us to make the best decisions for your overall good. Let me also use this opportunity to thank you all who have contributed to the COVID-19 Endowment Fund.
It is morning yet, but if we are to judge the rest of the day by how the morning has begun, then you can rest assured that it will be a bright day.
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Long live Oyo State.