08 Aug 2020 Remarks at the Flag-Off of the Renovation and Expansion of OYSADA Facilities at Saki , Oke-Ogun
I am delighted to be here today especially because we are about to start a new journey in the fulfilment of my campaign promise to expand the economy through agriculture. We have mapped out our strategies, and now it is time for implementation.
Today, I will be flagging off the renovation and expansion of these facilities which used to belong to OYSADEP. This facility had been left moribund for years. In fact, the previous administration simply moved activities from here to Ibadan for what they called “administrative convenience.”
So, back in November 2019, during my budget presentation, I talked about giving the directive that the OYSADEP offices be once again relocated to Saki. That decision to move it back to Saki is strategic. Oke-Ogun is the food basket of Oyo State, and so it is only commonsensical that any activities that have to do with oversight of agriculture should be domiciled here.
After that directive was given, there have been some new developments in the Oyo State agricultural space. For example, in April 2020, we signed the Oyo State Agribusiness Development Agency (OYSADA) Bill into law. This agency effectively replaces the Oyo State Agricultural Development Programme (OYSADEP) of 1989. You will agree that agriculture has come a long way since the 1980s. We are now talking about agriculture as a business and not just as a developmental tool.
And so, with the headquarters located here, all the economic benefits of having the headquarters will accrue to the people of Oke-Ogun. For example, it took us about three hours to travel from Ibadan down here. This is because the roads are not in the best condition. We therefore, had to do something urgent and drastic about the road, if people are to come here to do business from the capital. That is why we are making the Moniya-Iseyin road project a priority. We have made a formal request to the Federal Government to allow Oyo State rehabilitate the Oyo-Iseyin road, even though it is a federal road.
Also, some former staff of OYSADEP will be resuming for work daily here while the remaining former staff will resume at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Some of them will have to find accommodation nearby, thereby injecting money into real estate. Some might even decide to buy land and build here. There will be more business and further expansion of the local economy.
And so, in flagging off the upgrade of this headquarters through renovation and expansion of existing facilities, we are taking the first step in establishing that Oke-Ogun will be known not just as the food basket of Oyo State but as the seat of agribusiness in Oyo State.
This facility will be completed in about six months, and as usual, we will be making use of local artisans to get the work done. As I mentioned before, we will be expanding the facilities. We plan to include a Governor’s Lodge and more offices. We are preempting that there will be developments that will require the presence of the governor here and so we are adding a facility that will make that possible. I am really looking forward to working out of these offices and showing the people of Oyo State that farming is serious business in which the government are strong stakeholders.
I thank you all, the good people of Oke-Ogun for your warm reception and I hope that this will be the beginning of making Oke-Ogun an even stronger economic giant in Oyo State.
Governor Seyi Makinde, June 20, 2020