Infrastructure/social development: Oyo state in 3 years




Three years after, Oyo state government says it has impacted the state in infrastructure and other social services. BAYO AGBOOLA reports.

The over-three years of Engr Seyi Makinde’s administration in Oyo state is without doubt a subject of mixed feelings since it came into power on May 29, 2019. To some people, the administration is the best thing to happen to the state while others view it as disaster considering the falling security situation.

In justification

Governor Makinde on his part minced no words when he publicly declared that the economic policies of his government in the last three years have been yielding positive results and that his government would continue to consolidate on the gains already recorded in education, road infrastructure and agribusiness, among others.

As far as Makinde is concerned, the last three years has been a great blessing to the state going by what he described as the massive infrastructural development under him with the full support of the people.

Buttressing this, Makinde listed several roads that have impacted positively on the economy of the state through the creation of a thriving environment for private sector players in agribusiness which enabled the state to attract N23billion in agribusiness as well as another 125 million dollars in development partners-blended finance for rural roads, agro logistics, market and industrial hubs.

Specifics

According to the governor, all these have contributed in providing direct and indirect jobs and that the state had also trained close to 4,050 youths in agribusiness, 98 of whom have started their businesses, while the state is set to support the others in diverse agribusiness enterprises. He stressed that the government would now move on to fix inner and feeder roads so that inner-city travels could become stress-free for residents, having been executing road projects that improved access and connectivity between the zones in the state.

He listed some of the road projects as 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 Health Care Centres in its drive to ensure the existence of at least one functional PHC in each of the 351 Electoral Wards of the state.

“When you gave us the mandate to serve, we made a promise to you that we would engineer a modern Oyo state by building on four pillars: education, economy, health and security. As we mark our third year in office, we have another opportunity to share our scorecards with you so that you can judge how well we have kept that promise. As we review the past year, we are thankful that our administration’s economic policies in the past three years are yielding the desired results. We have always said we believe in data, science and logic.

“The data we had showed that our resources as a nation were dwindling. Oil prices had dropped and there was a need to focus on raising our Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). Back then, Oyo state was generating less than 1.7 billion naira a month.

“Our plan based on this data was to focus on projects that would yield the revenue needed to reduce our infrastructure deficit.

“At that time, the system was in decay. Our public schools had multiple cases of dilapidated buildings unfit for our children to learn. Our healthcare system was in shambles with primary and secondary healthcare facilities becoming mere consulting rooms.

“Security was a big campaign issue. We promised reforms. Little did we know that about eight months later, the world would be dealing with a pandemic that would further exacerbate the economic downturn and throw off our timetable for economic stability. Yet, we were determined to keep all our promises. Expectations were delayed but never denied. Looking back now to all we have been able to accomplish despite the huge challenges we faced, I can only say thanks to you, the good people of Oyo state for your patience and understanding all through this time. Thank you for trusting us to deliver on our promises.

“We do know there is a lot more to be done. Worldwide, economies are struggling. Inflation rates in Nigeria remain on the rise and the spending power of Nigerians continues to fall. As a government, our role is to keep executing policies that would reduce the burden on our people. This is why in the past year, we have remained focused on building an efficient road networks, ensuring interlinking of all zones to further enhance trade and commerce.

“Where roads go, development follows. We are already seeing the results. A recent mini survey on agribusiness in Oyo state since 2019 shows that by creating an enabling environment for the private sector to do business, we have attracted over 23 billion naira in agribusiness investments.

“Additionally, we have secured 125 million dollars in development partners-blended finance for rural roads, agro logistics, market and industrial hubs. All of these contribute to providing direct and indirect jobs for our teeming population. We are proud of projects such as the Fasola Agribusiness Industrial Hub which is about 80 percent complete and would be ready for commissioning by the end of the year. Investors in production, processing and livestock sub-sectors are already operating from the hub.”

Other infrastructure/services

He maintained that his administration has completed the first phase of remodelling Lekan Salami Sports Complex, Adamasingba and that the income generated by the facility has doubled while it is projected to attract a 300 per cent increase in revenue when completed.

He stressed that the commissioning of Ojoo and Challenge Bus Terminals already handling up to 10,000 passengers daily off peak is another achievement of the administration.

“The result of all these revenue generating activities is that we have been able to continue funding projects that the good people of Oyo state can benefit from.

“In the past year, we completed the construction of eight model schools bringing the total number of model schools completed by our administration to 56 since we assumed office three years ago. We have expanded the Start Them Early Programme (STEP) to now include an additional six schools. We are seeing the results of 1,276 students being exposed to modern agricultural practices and choosing agribusiness right from secondary school.

“We continued with our free health mission to the indigent and underserved. In the past year, we reached over half a million residents with medical and surgical interventions. In total, over one million, two hundred thousand residents of Oyo state have benefitted from the free health missions since it commenced in 2020. We have provided over 280 kilometres of public lighting through the ‘Light up Oyo’ project. This has not only enhanced economic activities as markets remain open for longer, but it has also improved the security in the state.

“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.”

On security sector, Gov Makinde said 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.

While promising to consolidate on the gains of the last three years, he said, our plan is to consolidate on “We would continue to work with the private sector, especially those involved in agribusiness to expand our economy.

With the flag-off of the Eruwa Agribusiness Industrial Hub next month, there will be even more opportunities to do agribusiness in Oyo state. We will also be supporting our smallholder farmers. The rollout of another phase of the Oyo-CARES project would provide our farmers with inputs such as fertilisers, herbicides and seeds and assets such as water pumps and sprayers.

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