BY: RAJI AYOOLA, Ibadan
Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde has declared the readiness of his administration to sustain the high tempo of development he instituted in the state since his assumption of office in May.
The Governor, who was speaking at his investiture as a Distinguished Member of the Ibadan Progressives Union (IPU) during a Special Reception held at the Government House, Agodi, Ibadan, said that his administration has so far executed some landmark projects without accessing any borrowed fund.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted the Governor as saying that the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) was set to name the state an Agro-processing zone, adding that such a development would provide employment opportunities for the teeming youths in the state.
He said: “We are also focusing on security and expansion of our economy through agriculture and Agric value chain. We know that it is through agribusiness that our teeming youths can get jobs and I am pleased to announce that African Development Bank (AfDB) has agreed to include Oyo State in the Agro-processing zone and that will get the needed support.”
Speaking on the unprecedented level of development his government has brought to bear on Oyo State in six months, Governor Makinde declared that he was not about to lift his legs off the pedal, adding that his administration would sustain the tempo of development in the state.
He said: “The civil servants are here and I make bold to tell you all that we have not accessed one Kobo of borrowed money on the things we have done in Oyo State up till this moment.
“Now, on the issue of sustainability, I am an Engineer and if you see an Engineer digging a hole in front of your house, he already knows how the structure he will build on it would look like. So, we will sustain the tempo.
“When we got into office six months ago, we outlined a few things we needed to do. One of them is to ensure that the economy of Oyo State, very month, is reflated with, at least, N8 billion. We thought of how to achieve this even when we need to pay salaries of workers every 25th. When we started, some were saying we can’t sustain that policy action but this is the sixth month we have fulfilled the obligation without borrowing a dime.
“People will always say that power gets into the head of politicians when they get into office. For example, if you want a 10 power-horse engine to tow a car, you can move from 0-100 km/hour within three to four seconds, but if you get to a point where you are supposed to apply brake and you are unable to, you will lose control.
“So, power without control is nothing. In fact, it is dysfunctional. The people of Oyo State have given me the power but I will apply all the control. Here, we are just starting; you have not seen anything yet.”
The Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, who was present at the event, also announced the conferment of a traditional title of Aare Jagunmolu of Ibadanland on the Governor.
The monarch announced that the formal installation of the Governor will take place at a later date.
Speaking further, Governor Makinde told the gathering that the Ibadan Progressive Union was the only social Club he belongs to due to the uniqueness of the association adding that his late father was a member of the association.
“To set the record straight, Ibadan Progressive Union is the only Club I belong because my father was also a member before he died.”
The Governor promised to continually contribute his own quota for development of Ibadan, adding that all well-meaning Ibadan indigenes must contribute in moving the historic city in particular and Oyo State in general forward.
“The issue is, we don’t have any other place of origin and, as far as that is the situation, we will continue to do our best for Ibadan and Oyo State,” he said.
While speaking on the cleanliness of Ibadan, the Governor stated that a refuse disposal architecture was being put in place as according to him, his administration has zero-tolerance for indiscriminate waste disposal.
“So, let me properly address the issue of environmental sanitation in Oyo State. You can all recall that a few weeks back, I personally led my team to clean up Ibadan and there has been an improvement because the emergency is still being enforced. While that is going on, a holistic solution is being worked out and, very soon, a new refuse disposal architecture will take place in Oyo State.
“Another issue we have raised here is about the pillars that this administration is resting on. It was a deliberate action when we allocated almost 25 per cent of the estimate of the budget that we took to the House of Assembly on education.”
The President of Ibadan Progressive Union, Engineer Olayinka Alli, who spoke earlier said that pioneer members of the IPU set it up as a platform to ensure qualitative education for every Ibadan indigene.
Ali said: “So, we were happy when Governor Makinde took the mantle of leadership and took education to the next level in Oyo State.
“During the time of Lam Adesina when people were complaining that Ibadan was dirty, the IPU as an association employed many sweepers to be sweeping and making the environment clean. Those were part of the legacies which IPU laid down for generations to come.
“IPU is committed to the development of Ibadan land. We have come here to celebrate one of our own. The first thing we noticed when we met him was humility. We even thought by the time he becomes the Governor when power and authority will come in touch with his wealth, he may begin to misbehave. But we thank God for his life. He has remained essentially of himself.
“The vision that formed IPU is to give Ibadan people education so that they can become liberated and we appreciate him for taking it upon him to face that huge task immediately he got into office.
“I wept when I received the news that the Governor released running cost for primary and secondary schools in Ibadan because it has never happened before. I was shocked to the bone marrow. When the race started, some of us put all we had into it and thank God that He answered our prayers. Permit me to say that God is an Ibadan man. I am saying this because I know that God grants the requests of Ibadan people. Now, everywhere you go, it is Seyi Makinde.”
Personalities at the event include the Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Adetunji; the Otun Olubadan of Ibadan land, High Chief ‘Lekan Balogun; the Iyalode of Ibadan land, High Chief Theresa Oyekanmi; Primate Ola Makinde; political office holders and many other distinguished personalities in the State.