ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY SPEECH OF HIS EXCELLENCY, PRINCE DAPO ABIODUN, MFR.
THE EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR OF OGUN STATE.
Fellow Citizens of Ogun State
Exactly this day a year ago, I took the Oath of Office as Governor of our great State. For me, the oath was much more than a requirement for assumption of office. It was a tripartite covenant between God and I, on one part, and the people of Ogun State, on the other. On a personal note, I have always seen the providential twist in all I do. This also played out in the coincidence of my assumption of office as Governor of this great State and my day of birth. This to me is not a mere coincidence. It is a day to count my blessings from the past. Also, it gives me a new veritable platform to begin higher service to humanity. This is what this office means to me, and it will continue to fuel my unwavering commitment to serve God and the good people of Ogun State, who are the true essence and owners of government.
2. In the last one year, therefore, we have committed ourselves to rekindling the hope and re-igniting the faith of the people in their own government. The overarching objective is encapsulated in the our Building Our Future Together Agenda. The kernel of the Agenda is our vision “to give Ogun State a focused and qualitative governance whilst creating the enabling environment for a public private sector partnership, which is fundamental to the economic growth of the state and individual prosperity of the people of Ogun”. Furthermore, we promised good governance defined as being transparent, accountable, open, just, equitable, fair, inclusive, and obeying the rule of law.
3. The last one year has been very eventful. There is no gainsaying that our Administration has continued to deliver on its electoral promises and mandate. Indeed, our “Building our Future Together” Agenda is firmly rooted with a solid foundation. On this, I must thank our dear people of Ogun State for standing by us through the journey to the office; the deluge of unnecessary litigations since assumption of office; and, through some of the teething challenges that are not unusual in the life of a new Administration. We thank our dear people most sincerely for their support, understanding, cooperation and prayers.
4. Ordinarily, we would have loved to roll-out drums to celebrate our joint walk with the people of Ogun State for the past one year with pomp and pageantry that is befitting of the milestone and the achievements recorded. But, the sudden emergence of the novel Corona Virus (COVID-19) pandemic has prevented that. I must say that while COVID-19 may appear to dampen the celebration, it has not in any way hindered us from staying focused and committed towards building the future of our dear State.
5. Let me say that the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic has tested our effectiveness as an Administration. However, because we are a Government that has been focused, deliberate, methodical, driven by an unwavering commitment to serve and one that enjoys tremendous goodwill of our people, we confronted the pandemic headlong. Whilst our dear State has an the unenviable record as the location for the very first Corona virus case in Sub-Sahara Africa on 27th February, 2020, we thank God that over the period, we have been able to maintain focus.
6. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges we have had to confront, we have been able to record notable achievements in all sectors of our dear State in the last one year of our Administration in office.
7. We appreciate that security is very central to any development effort and successful implementation of our programmes and policies, especially when we want to build a future. Indeed, security of life and property is the primary responsibility of government. Therefore, it was and remains a top priority because a secure environment is also required to attract and retain investments.
8. Although, security agencies are on the Exclusive List of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, we have continued to support all the security agencies in our State. We launched our STF (Security Trust Fund), purchased and distributed 100 security vehicles and 200 motorcycles vans fitted with state-of-the-art gadgets. Today, our State is one of the safest States in Nigeria. This is affirmed by the Inspector-General of Police, Muhammed Adamu, on his visit on 6th September, 2019 to our State. In addition to conventional security, we have also collaborated with other South West States to establish a community-based security outfit called Amotekun, that came into existence through a law passed by the State House of Assembly.
9. In line with our Public Private Partnership approach and recognition that government alone cannot fund security, we amended the law establishing the Ogun State Security Trust Fund, including the composition of the Fund to make it private sector led. This has reinforced the confidence of the private sector in the management of the fund and engendered support.
10. Beyond physical and formal security initiatives, we also recognise the nexus between security and other social conditions such as illiteracy, unemployment and poverty. We embarked on a number of initiatives to address these situations, as both an end in themselves and as means to achieve an end – security. These initiatives are highlighted in the course of this address.
11.Let me now highlight some of the achievements in some of the key sectors in the last one year as reflected in our ISEYA acronym, that is:
S – Social Welfare and Wellbeing
E – Education
Y – Youth Development, and
A – Agriculture and Food Security
12. A measure of and requirement for development of any society is the availability of quality infrastructure. Our approach has been to develop the infrastructure that meets the immediate needs of our people and provides a solid foundation for continued and sustainable development, not just Infrastructure to suit the fancy of the political office holders. To that extent, we started with our inclusive approach, by asking our community leaders, interest groups and other stakeholders across our 20 Local Government Areas (LGAs) to submit a coordinated list of infrastructural needs, in order of preference, in their areas that are key to the successful implementation of the “Building our Future Together” Agenda. The list include roads, schools as well as Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs). This exercise has been very rewarding, allowing us to strategically allocate resources. I will now proceed to mention some of the achievements in the Infrastructure focal areas such as roads, transportation, energy, and, Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
13. A number of factors informed our choice of new roads for construction or roads for rehabilitation / reconstruction. These include expressed preference by the community and linkage to strategic locations such as industrial areas, farms / agro-allied enterprises, educational institutions, hospitals and roads linking our border communities, particularly to Lagos.Total length new roads construction is 87km out of which 20.35km have been completed by this weekend. Total length of rehabilitation carried is out is 68km . Some of the roads include:
• Obantoko Road (FAJOL-American Junction-Unity Estate-Gbonagun) Phases I-III, Abeokuta;
• Idi Aba- Elite-Oke Lantoro, Abeokuta;
• Abeokuta-Sagamu Interchange;
• Ikola/Navy-Osi Ota Road;
• Raypower Road, Ota;
• State Hospital, Ilaro Internal Road Network;
• Ota Owode-Idiroko;
• Molipa-Fusigboye-Ojofa Street, Ijebu-Ode;
• Asafa Oke-Asafa Isale-Ayegun- Ojofa Street, Ijebu-Ode;
• Bright Fashion Baruwa Street, Sagamu;
• Hospital Road, Sagamu;
• Oba Erinwole Dual Carriageway;
• Adigbe Bridge;
• Ikoritameje-Adenrele/Olose Titun-Vespa, Ifo;
• Iberekodo General Hospital Internal Road, Abeokuta
• Iperu Ilishan
• Sagamu Iperu Ode
• Siun Ogere
• Ijebu -Ode – Epe Road, a major link between our State and Lagos and an alternative to the busy Lagos -Ibadan expressway.
14. But for COVID-19 pandemic and the requirement for physical distancing, we would be formally commissioning some of these roads as part of the activities marking the first-year anniversary. Nonetheless, I am happy to report that the activation of some the completed projects is on-going for immediate use and benefit of the good people of Ogun State. Thus, bringing relief to the large population of our people who commute on these roads on daily basis, either to go to work or to journey to neighbouring States.
15. In order to enhance the capacity and speed of execution, particularly rehabilitation of township roads, we set up a new Agency, Ogun State Public Works Agency (OGPWA), which offers many advantages, in addition to provision of quality roads. It shortens the long procurement process associated with third party contracts, adopts direct labour approach thus achieving savings on costs of the projects and provides employment and patronage to our people in the immediate communities. A number of the roads listed above were executed through the Agency. In the same vein, we have fully resuscitated a State wholly owned construction equipment rental company, Plant Gate, through repair of some of its equipment. The company is now operational and on the path to self-sustenance.
16. There is no doubt that a major national challenge to both industrial growth and domestic wellbeing is availability of regular power supply. In our usual deliberate approach, we have taken a number of strategic steps to significantly improve power supply in the State, which include:
▪ Establishment, for the first time in the State, a Power and Energy Board;
▪ Commencement of Power Audit to dimension the power requirements in the state with a view to determining the needs and improved provision of power supply in phases.
▪ The output from the Power Audit will serve as input into the Light Up Ogun Project, aimed at improving power supply to critical locations and sectors in the State;
▪ Procurement and Installation of Transformers to some communities across the State through the Local Government Transition Committees
17. We recognise transport as a critical sector and an enabler of economic activities and well-being of our people. We also appreciate the need to strategically manage the sector beyond the almost exclusive focus on and unstructured management of transport unions. In this regard, we have upgraded the hitherto Bureau of Transport to a full-fledged Ministry of Transport. The Ministry will, among other mandate areas, coordinate and streamline activities in the transport sector, evolve a system that will help to strategically determine and prioritise new roads to be constructed or existing roads that should be rehabilitated by the relevant agencies. It will also manage the transport unions in a structured way, including maintaining a database of the operators for safety and security as well as revenue generation. The new Ministry is further charged with the responsibility to explore other modes of transport in the State, especially the Railway.
Information and Communication Technology
18. The multi-dimensional roles of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as a most potent economic sector on its own, enabler of other sectors and strategic tool for operational efficiency of public sector administration are globally recognised. Furthermore, ICT offers tremendous opportunities for employment generation and wealth creation for our teeming youth as well as their global competitiveness.
Towards these ends, our Administration established Ogun TechHub as a centre for incubation and innovation for tech start-ups, skills acquisition, and provide a platform for engagement between venture capital providers and technology talents that abound in our State.
19. I am delighted that the Tech Hub is fast living up to its billing as the source of local solutions as evidenced with the outcome of the first edition of Governor’s Challenge. The competition threw up a number of innovative solutions that immediately received support for further refinement and commercial development.
20. The development and deployment of the Ogun State Job Portal is yet another demonstration of our commitment to leveraging on the potentials of the ICT for socio-economic transformation. Our ultimate goal is to ease availability of broadband Internet connectivity across the State and access by educational institutions, health facilities, government offices, and industry, among others. The many ICT initiatives of this Administration have received both local and national accolades, with two awards by the Federal Ministry of Digital Economy and Communication – Best State in ICT Penetration and 2nd position in ICT Human Capital Development.
SOCIAL WELFARE AND WELL-BEING
21. We are quite aware that towards the successful implementation of our “Building our Future Together” Agenda, there is a need to provide avenues to ease access to healthcare; empower our people economically; provide affordable shelter in a well-planned environment; and, protect the vulnerable groups, especially the aged, women and the girl-child. I will now focus on some of the components in our Social Welfare and Wellbeing package.
22. In the area of health, we have recorded the underlisted achievements
i. Rehabilitation of two General Hospitals one in Ijaye, Abeokuta; and the other in Ilaro;
ii. On-going rehabilitation of 236 Primary Healthcare Centres;
iii. Recruitment of medical officers – resident doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals in various cadres into the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital (OOUTH), Sagamu. To date, 82 health workers have been recruited in the Hospital, while 56 others have been recruited across the other State Health facilities;
iv.Immunisation of almost 1.3 million children against polio, an approximately 33% increase from the total recorded number in the previous year;
v. Regular medical Outreach offering free medical examination including free eye glasses, immunisation, blood pressure and sugar level checks, Hepatitis counselling and vaccination.
vi. Provision of life-saving intervention to 8,000 women during the Maternal and Child Health Week;
vii. Upgrade of selected State Hospitals to provide Prevention of HIV from Mother to Child (PMTCT) and Anti-retroviral Therapy (ART) services. This has impacted a significant reduction in the number of infants exposed to HIV;
viii. Purchase of new collection of Medical Equipment which includes a Dialysis Machine; Mobile Digital X-ray machine; High Resolution Ultrasound Machine; new intensive care beds; twelve new ventilators; eight CPAP machines; 10 new Ambulances and a logistics truck just to mention a few.
23. And, as part of our approaches in the fight against COVID-19, we responded swiftly by converting some existing underutilized or moribund facilities to health facilities. These have expanded the available health facilities in the State and improved the standard. Amongst such are:
i. Establishment of 5 Treatment and Isolation Centres for COVID-19 patients at Ikenne, Sagamu, Abeokuta, with the total bed capacity of over 300. Some of these Isolation Centres will also be valuable in the treatment of other infectious diseases;
ii. Establishment of a Molecular Laboratory at Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, (OOUTH) Sagamu, which is the first Molecular Laboratory solely funded by a State in Nigeria, with capacity for 150 tests a day;
iii. The first COVID-19 Mobile Laboratory in Nigeria with the capacity to run 450 tests a day is now located at the intended 250-bed hospital at Abeokuta. With the Molecular Laboratory, the State has a combined daily testing capacity of about 600;
iv. Provision of COVID-19 Drive-Through and Walk-In Testing Centres which is equipped with a specially designed protective glass enclosure that prevents the medical personnel collecting samples from getting infected.
v. Completion of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) floor of the 250-Bed Hospital at Abeokuta, with capacity for 18 available beds, 8 of which are high dependency and 10 ICU.
vi. Renovation of 2 General Hospitals and 20 selected PHCs, to serve as first responders to cases of COVID-19 since PHCs are the closest and most easily accessible to the people;
vii. Upward review of the Hazard Allowance to health workers by 300%;
viii. Enrolment of over 8,000 Health Workers in a Life Insurance Scheme.
Social Welfare and Women Development
24. Our approach is to develop different patterns of empowerment for various social classes. For instance, there is a particular need for most of our people who are involved in micro, small and medium enterprises. We have continued to provide direct intervention funds and also partnered with the Federal Government and its agencies for intervention funds. Some of the initiatives are:
i. The “Oko’wo Dapo scheme for women which provides economic empowerment and increased productivity for collective development;
ii.Empowerment of over 1,000 widows with start-off funds to start their own businesses;
iii. The Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) is a partnership with the Federal Government. It is worthy of note that our State is just about to benefit from this scheme for the first time in the last 4 years, as a result of our Administration’s vigorous pursuit on behalf of our people;
iv.Enrolment and graduation of 300 unemployed women and youths in the State trained in 4 different vocations.
v. Release of counterpart fund for the National Food for Work Programme (NFWP) which provides support for the development of living conditions of women in Ogun State, through grants, skills training, and the overall socioeconomic uplift of women;
vi. Release of 50Million Naira counterpart fund for the World Bank-assisted Ogun State Community and Social Development project. The 1st and 2nd tranches of the grant from the World Bank has been released to 13 selected communities in 6 LGAs, including Abeokuta North, Ipokia, Yewa, Remo North, Ado-Odo/Ota and Odeda;
viii. Facilitation of the continued inclusion of the State in the Home-Grown School Feeding Program which provides that over 60,000 Primary 1-3 public school pupils will benefit across all 20 LGAs in the State.
ix. Aggressive distribution of palliatives to the poor, vulnerable and elderly on the one hand, and the youth across all 20 LGAs in the State during the COVID-19 lockdown periods. We reached about 400,000 targeted families. The relief package distribution to the poor and vulnerable youths has reached about 20,000 youths.
25. We are committed to enhancing the aesthetic quality and conduciveness of our environment for healthy living and development. Towards these ends, we have put in place the following:
i. Waterway clearing project along streams/rivers and tributaries to allow for freer flow of flood water and prevent flooding of shelters;
ii. Establishment of new parastatals to handle Waste Disposal and Management. These include the Ogun State Waste Management Agency (OGWAMA); Ogun State Public Works Agency; etc;
iii. Collaboration with reputable international organisations such as the signing of MOU on the 3-year Future Cities programme in a partnership drive with the UK, through the UK Prosperity Fund. The programme will result in multiple local and foreign investments and the urban renewal and regeneration of Abeokuta and our new towns like Mowe and IBAFON, employment generation, and reduction in poverty;
iv. Disinfection Exercise of public places such as major open markets, motor parks, and other public spaces in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Housing and Physical Planning.
26. In view of the importance of shelter as one of the basic necessities of human life, our Government is determined to address the deficit in the housing sector. The target is to build about 2,000 affordable housing units across the state, with a minimum of 500 in each of the three senatorial districts. Amongst others, we have embarked on the following initiatives:
i.Construction of Prince Court Estate at Kemta, Abeokuta, an affordable housing project with a plan for 450 units out of which 130 units of the first phase are fully completed.;
ii.Construction of King’s Court Estate Development project at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.
iii.Construction of additional 23-units of 2 and 3 bedroom affordable bungalows at Laderin Estate Civil Servants Scheme.
iv.Downward review of the selling price for the 3 bedroom flats and 2 bedroom flats at the A.A.K. Degun Estate situated in Laderin, Abeokuta.
vi.Relaxation of terms and condition of sale of the units, including the reduction of interest rate from 18% to 6%.
28. Ogun State is the education capital of Nigeria with the highest number of Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria. All the firsts that Ogun State and her people have scored could be attributed to our head-start in education. We are determined to deepen this legacy. In this regard, we evolved a multi-dimensional approach for further development of our educational industry. This includes development of infrastructure; capacity building for our teaching and non-teaching corps; resolution of industrial crises in that sector; appointment of digitally compliant teachers; motivation of our existing corps of teachers with timely promotions and introduction of ICT into the teaching-learning process.
29. Beside the declaration of a state of emergency in that sector when I was sworn in , due to the poor state of infrastructure in our schools and politically inspired disorderliness, We set up Administrative and Visitation Panels to make reformatory recommendations on the situation of some of our tertiary institutions. The Prof. Segun Awonusi-led panel resolved the lopsidedness concerning the status of Moshood Abiola Polytechnic. and the intended Moshood Abiola University of Technology,. Prof Kamal Balogun investigated the perennial crisis at the Tai Solarin College of Education, Omu-Ijebu. To the glory of God, in November, 2019, I inaugurated a 12-member Governing Council chaired by PRINCE Yemi Adefulu, and today, I am happy to report that TASCE has returned to its old glory, and held its first combined convocation ceremony in December – something that was impossible for 11 years!
30. Similarly, Moshood Abiola Polytechnic (MAPOLY), Ojere-Abeokuta, which was an established tertiary institution, but for political expediency was supplanted and meant for conversion to a university of science and technology – a move that would have cost all academic and non-academic staff of the institution to lose either their jobs or some years of service, has been brought back from comaTOSE. It is back on her feet, with a good number of employed staff, matriculated students, robust IGR, conducive ecosystem of CATERERS traders, artisans and community working in harmony to give everybody a cause to smile.
31. At the primary and secondary school levels, we placed A premium on provision of conducive environment for our children and wards. As I speak we have NOT only renovated, but we have also reconstructed 95 public schools fitted with modern corrugated roofs, furniture, halls and modern toilet facilities across the three Senatorial Districts of our dear State. We are committed to providing similar structures and facilities for at least one school in each of our 236 wards. Beyond the structures, we have also set up a Government Delivery Unit for Education. Specifically on 6th September, 2019, we approved the backlog of 10,000 teaching non teaching staff promotion exercise for 2016/2017, and letters were immediately issued to that effect by the Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM) and the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB).
Our other interventions include:
▪ Foreign capacity building for school administrators;
▪ Technological based human development for our teachers;
▪ Induction of a total of 132 Principals, 122 Vice Principals and 4 Zonal Secretaries to fill the deficit the administration met across secondary schools in the State
▪ Payment of running cost to the schools, etc.
32. As the world battles the COVID-19 pandemic, all schools remain shut.This is to curb the community spread of the virus amongst pupils and students. Like the pioneers that we are, Ogun State, rose up to the occasion to commence Nigeria’s first online teaching and learning at the Primary and Secondary School levels- The Ogun DIGICLASS .This is to ensure continuous learning even in the period of COVID-19 and thin out the tendency of our children derailing academically due to the distruption in the school calendar Many thanks to the Management of OGTV / OGBC and our staff at the TechHub for giving Ogun DigiClass, the reach and mileage to access the target audience, our children.
33. One of the major concerns for the people of the State is the high rate of youth unemployment. In order to properly dimension the problem and create a database, we launched the Ogun Job Portal in August, 2019. Within a few weeks, over 120,000 unemployed and underemployed youths had registered on the portal. Potential employers are able to post their vacancies on the portal and it acts as a first point of call for employers looking for qualified people to hire. The setting up of an online platform where unemployed persons or business owners, seeking career advancement, register their profiles is fast yielding the desired result. To date, about 300 firms, both within and outside Ogun State have filed their vacancies and requested to tap into the great potentials of the job portal. For instance, The Federal Capital Development Agency (FCDA) recently just hired 9 engineers through our portal.
34. Our Government has also advertised its available vacancies on the portal In February, 2020, Ogun State recruited 1,000 people from across all 20 LGAs into the Ogun State Environmental Protection Agency (OGEPA). In the same month, 400 youth artisans were recruited across crafts (plumbing, electrical and building) as Direct Labour initiative into the State Ministry of Housing’s Building Programme.We recruited 1,500 teachers to the public schools across the 20 LGAs in the State through the same platform.
35. We are leveraging on ICT to provide a database to allocate our people to the appropriate sectors where they will be most productive for themselves and the State. I am elated that our people keyed into it. It is important to note that the database provided on this job portal has been very helpful in facilitating all our employment generation programmes. With the beneficiaries such as 5000 farmers in CBN Anchor Borrowers’ Scheme; 200 unemployed graduates and women through FADAMA GUYS; and, 302 girls learning different trades at the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, amongst others. Through these programmes and others, over 10,000 direct and indirect job have been generated through the database on the job portal.
36. When on Monday, 4th May, 2020, I officially flagged up the 2020 planting season, I was pleased with what we had have achieved in the last 12 months in the Agricultural sector. This is because we have deliberately chosen Agric as a major pillar of this Government. The unique position of Agriculture in the economy of Ogun State and indeed the glory of the old Western Region cannot be overemphasized as it has always been the mainstay of our economy. God has endowed us with a landmass spanning 16,000 square kilometres. 12,000sq km of this is very fertile for food and cash crop production with high value that can raise farm incomes. In our employment generation agenda, we keyed into the CBN Anchor Borrowers’ Programme on Agriculture, which was flagged-off on Friday, 6th September and the FADAMA Graduate Unemployment Youth Scheme, (GUYS) launched on Thursday, 29th August, 2019, which is specifically directed at the two vulnerable groups of our population – the women and the youth became run-away successes.
37. They have been followed by other initiatives that bolster my confidence that our youths and the private sector that are investing in Agriculture will find it a win-win affair. We shall continue to invest in it so as to tap into its enormous potentials: raw materials for our industry, employment generation, food security, poverty alleviation and wealth creation, among others. The target of our Administration is to produce enough food to attain nutritional self-sufficiency in the short term, and over long term produce enough food for other States in the country and for export.
38.Permit me to recall a few of our efforts that I speak so glowingly about:
i. Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP): We have facilitated the crediting by the CBN of 3,500 farmers drawn across all 20 LGAs with over N700Million. The ABP involves 7 commodities, including cassava, maize and rice. Our Government, with our with world- class agric extension workers are providing technical expertise and assistance to the farmers, handling training and consultancy.
ii. Ogun Broiler Project: An anchor provides day old chicks, feeds, inputs and training to young farmers and buys buy the chickens after 6 weeks. To date about 9,000 youths have benefitted and they make a profit of about N130,000 in each 6-week cycle.
iv. The Joint Ogun State and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Value Chain Project is already ongoing across 8 LGAs of the State, including Obafemi-Owode, Yewa North & South, Ijebu North & East, Ifo, Odeda and Odogbolu.
v. Agro-Industrial Processing Zone: After competitive bidding with other southwest states, Ogun State was on 8th April, 2020 shortlisted by the African Development Bank (AfDB) as a major hub for Industrial Cassava, Poultry, Agro-Forestry and Fishery.
vi. Fish Farming: In the year under review, the Ogun State Government has constructed and maintained 385 new fish ponds/tanks and 300 Fish Farmers across the State. In addition 2,815 farmers were assisted in stocking 2,815,000 Clarias Fingerlings.
vii. FADAMA. Graduate Unemployed Youths Scheme (GUYS), was flagged off and we credited 200 beneficiaries with a total grant of over 74Million Naira with varying individual amounts depending on the chosen agricultural enterprise. The enterprises include cultivation of Cassava, Maize, Rice, Yam and Vegetables as well as rearing of Poultry, Fisheries, Piggery, Snailry, Large Ruminants and Agro-Processing, among others.
viii. Plant Sucker Distribution: The State Government in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology also distributed improved varieties of plantain, banana, and pineapple to 100 farmers as a way to promote increased productivity of farmers.
39. On the part of the State Government, we are providing technical and logistic backstopping, such as:
i. Training, and Advisory Services: I approved the recruitment of an additional Agricultural Extension Agents. They have jointly conducted 153,600 technical advisory field visits to service 360,000 farm families through contact Farmers’ Groups across the State;
ii) Potable Water for Farmers: In the year under review, the State Government has constructed 4 solar-powered boreholes, to make a total of 11 of the type, resulting in 2,500 beneficiaries of the Ogun State Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) having access to safe drinking water.
INVESTMENT AND BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT
40. In accordance with the vision of our Administration, creation of an enabling environment for business through public private partnership (PPP) is of utmost importance. These have necessitated implementation of key fiscal and institutional reforms aimed at driving efficiency and promoting transparency and accountability as follows:
41. Fiscal & Institutional Public Financial Management Reforms
▪ Implementation of Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) for annual budget preparation based on broad-based stakeholder engagement and grassroots involvement for the development of 3-year budgeting framework
▪ Establishment of Fiscal Responsibility Commission for prudent financial management and efficient allocation of Government resources while promoting long-term stability of the economy
▪ Implementation of Treasury management solution (TSA) to drive efficiency, transparency and accountability in treasury management and payment processing
▪ Implementation of the Central Billing Management solution to centralize the billing and assessment of revenue lines across key MDAs for planning and monitoring purposes
▪ Establishment of the Bureau of Statistics and the appointment of the first Statistician General of the state given the importance of data and analytics for planning and decision making
42. Investment & Business Environment Reforms & Initiatives
▪ Enactment of the Investment Promotion Agency law in Dec 2019 and the establishment of OgunInvest, the Agency responsible for the promotion of Ogun State as a preferred investment destination as well as a one-stop shop for investors
▪ Enactment of the Public Private Partnership (PPP) law in Dec 2019 and the establishment of the PPP office which provided the regulatory framework for investment engagement with private sector investors
▪ Establishment of the Business Advisory Council and the Enterprise Development Agency to create an environment for dialogue with the business community and provide capacity to support MSMEs
▪ Processing the final approval for the $250m World Bank facility to improve ease of doing business, promote agricultural value chain, develop capacity and transform public sector institutions
▪ Commencement of the restructuring and transformation of key revenue generating agencies such the Ogun State Internal Revenue Service (OGIRS), Ogun State Signage and Advert Agency (OGSAA), Ogun State Property Investment Corporation (OPIC) in order to improve efficiency and revenue generation
▪ Revenue Harmonization: establishment of the Revenue Harmonization Committee and the preparation of Revenue Harmonization Bill across MDAs in the State and local governments so as to ensure consistent, efficient and seamless revenue generation
OGUN STATE PUBLIC SERVICE
43. Let me observe that in the successful implementation of the “Building our Future Together” Agenda, our Administration has made it a matter of policy to reposition all areas and sectors of Ogun State’s economy, for the continued development of our dear State. As the core engine room of Government, our Administration has continued to re-engineer the Ogun State Public Service and motivate our Public/Civil servants to ensure continuous and smooth operations of the Government.
44. As part of our deliberate strategy in this direction, in the last one year, we have opened more rooms for our career public/civil servants to get to the peak of their careers. And, because Ogun State has a proud legacy of excellence to protect in the Public Service, as bequeathed to us by our forebears such as Chief A.A.K Degun, Chief Simeon Adebo and a host of others, we have resolved certain inherited burning issues. As a result, despite some flaws, we have upheld all the appointments of Permanent Secretaries made in the twilight of the last Administration. The appointment of other new Permanent Secretaries further strengthens the bureaucracy and the capacity to deliver on our promises. In the same vein, we have regularized the employment of those newly employed between the same period.
45. To affirm our commitment to the welfare of our workers, we are one of the few States that concluded the negotiation of the new minimum wage without any rancour. Indeed, we could have commenced payment by February, 2020, if not for the unforeseen circumstance as created by COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless this has not deterred us in putting in place other welfare programmes and projects to continue in motivating our Public Servants. For example, we are delivering on our promise to provide affordable housing by creating the A.A.K. Degun Workers Housing Estate Phase II at Laderin, Abeokuta and the on-going Prince Court Workers Estate at Kemta-Idiaba, Abeokuta. I use this opportunity to reassure all the great workers of Ogun State that ours is not an administration that reneges on its promises. We will fulfil all the promises we made, and we will honour all agreements we have with our workers.
46. What we have done in the past one year is to inculcate a more businesslike approach to governance. We have taken governance above mere public relations gimmicks to the level of actual delivery that affects people’s lives. We have also been participatory and inclusive, right from when we pulled eminent citizens and professionals from opposition parties to serve in the Committee that designed the Roadmap of this Government after our election in April, 2019.
47. Let me state that the conviction that we all have something to offer informed our decision to bring on board men and women of timber and calibre who ordinarily WOULD NOT touch politics with a ten foot pole ,help us interrogate issues that could otherwise have been misconstrued as politics. This is giving our people the opportunity to contribute their quotas to the development of our dear State. These amongst others include the Chieftancy review committee ,the committee of the review of contractS awarded between 2008 and 2015 and the panel that reviewed the operations and needs of OOUTH. Their reports contained improved and more pragmatic recommendations that will put the State forward. The manifestations of these recommendations are already evident in different aspects of our economy. Let me use this opportunity to commend and appreciate the chairmen and members OF the various committees and panels for their commitment and dedication.
48. We also thank the members of the other political parties that have cast off politics and politicking to support us and offer useful advice and healthy criticism when necessary, together, we hope to build the future of Ogun State. To members of my team: my Deputy Governor, civil servants, my appointees and our local government transition committees, I appreciate your support, solidarity and forbearance. I often pride myself as one Governor with the most star-studded cabinet in the country. In terms of experience, expertise and conscientiousness, you can hardly beat this team at Oke Mosan. Even as they are individual stars, they are delightfully WORKING AND SHINING together as a team. My Elders Advisory Council member have been superlative. May the good Lord compensate your goodwill and indefatigable spirit with longer live and good health in the service of our fatherland.
49. I am proud of your selflessness and make bold to say that those we have called upon are fit, right and proper to serve in these capacities.
I want to appeal to our people for patience and understanding. We cannot rush into all projects and related activities. We inherited some uncompleted projects scattered across the State. It is uneconomical, unreasonable not to know what level these projects have reached and now that we know, we will give them the priority they deserve we are already making sure that some of those projects are creatively put into good uses like we did with what has become the Tech Hub in Abeokuta and the isolation center in ikenne .
50. My dear good people of Ogun State, we are building a tenable foundation. It could be seen that each of these programmes is tied to one another. For instance, agriculture provides employment and youth development programs also keys into Agriculture. We recognise the importance of education to prepare our youth for global competitiveness. Youth empowerment and agriculture are intertwined because agriculture is a veritable source of employment generation. And, our infrastructure is definitely tied, not only to meet the needs of the people, but we focus on roads that lead to where schools and hospitals and agric-settlements are located, for instance and particularly to boost industrialisation where there will be need to take produce to market. All this is an embodied result of deliberate, methodical and focused approach in planning.
53. Our citizens of the gateway state this has been the journey so far in the last one year. This is the foundation of our building our future together agenda, Let me assure you that the next one year and beyond will witness the building on these well laid foundation and a more bountiful yield for us as a State and people. We have come this far together and we have seen what we can achieve by walking together. And, we can even achieve more by coming together. This is Ogun State. This is our common patrimony. This is our heritage. On behalf of your Government, I want to assure all the people of Ogun State that we will continue to be committed to a providing a free, fair, just and equitable society that ensures justice for all and equal opportunities for personal development and contribution to the development of our dear State. Today, as we celebrate and appraise the success of the last one year, we cannot afford to take our eyes off the bigger goals of the coming years for the good of our people and for the continued development of our dear State.
54. In ending, I thank all the people of Ogun State, members of our great party APC individuals and organisations, the Gentlemen of the Press, press crew, security agencies, members of the opposition who have always kept us on our toes. I cannot forget the Public Service of Ogun State. Our Public Servants have continued to demonstrate unrivalled professionalism and dedication which have been impetus to the successful implementation of our “Building our Future Together” Agenda. Particular mention must be made of all our health professionals and all essential workers who continue to put their own lives at stake to protect the rest of us. We say a big thank you to you all. Hand-in-hand, we will walk this journey and build a solid future for our dear State.
55. I thank you all for listening and God bless.
Igbega Ipinle Ogun, ajose gbogbo wa ni o!
Prince Dapo Abiodun, MFR
Governor of Ogun State, Nigeria
Friday, 29th May, 2020