Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun in a New Year broadcast mentioned landmark feats achieved by the state government in seven months of the present administration.
The governor while assuring the people of the state that his government will work meticulously to ensure the state is repositioned in its rightful place in the comity of states highlighted key sectors that have been touched following mass rehabilitation of basic infrastructures and needs of the people in the state.
Read full text of the governor’s New Year state-wide broadcast below
YEAR BROADCAST DELIVERED BY THE GOVERNOR OF OGUN STATE, HIS EXCELLENCY, PRINCE
DAPO ABIODUN MFR,
ON WEDNESDAY, 1ST JANUARY, 2020.
Fellow citizens of Ogun State, on behalf of your Government, l thank the almighty God for the grace that helped us wade through Year 2019. As the new year births, it is my prayer that Year 2020 brings us better tidings, more prosperity and fulfilment in our individual and collective endeavours.
I am convinced that this is a Year of hope; a year when Ogun State will take its rightful place in the comity of States. I have no doubt that, as a government we are headed in a positive direction- towards improved conditions of living for each of us and further development for our dear State.
2. 2019 was an extraordinary year for our dear State. We celebrated the people’s choice at the polls and congratulated ourselves on the legal victories. As we put behind us these events, today is an opportunity for us to reflect, and remind ourselves of our responsibilities to each other – as government to people; as citizens to government; and, as individuals to one another.
3. You may recall that just two days ago, I signed into Law the first full Appropriation Bill of our Administration, titled Budget of Building our Future Together. I must thank the Honourable members of the State House of Assembly for working assiduously to ensure the prompt passage of this Appropriation Bill. This bill is significant, not just because it is the first full year Budget of our Administration, but more importantly, because it captures the aspirations, yearnings, needs, wishes and desires of our people. For the very first time, the Budget was prepared with the people, for the people, through inclusive Town Hall Meetings in three Senatorial Districts. This Budget will deliver on its promise. It is not just about the size of the Budget; it is all about our commitment to ensuring its faithful implementation. Towards ensuring this, we have put in place a number of initiatives including the establishment of Government Delivery Units (GDUs) that will ensure that government projects and programmes are not only delivered but would be measurable and constantly evaluated. I want to assure you that you will begin to see practical manifestations of the Budgetary provisions in the weeks ahead in your immediate communities. Let me assure you that this Budget was not just well prepared, it will also be efficiently and effectively implemented to create a better ambience for further development of our dear State and create more prosperity for our people. My Fellow citizens of Ogun State, we are thankful that the Year 2020 Budget will take effect from January, which means that the Annual Budget has come back to the normal cycle of January to December. That, in itself, underscores the uniqueness of 2020.
4. I am also delighted that the Ogun State House of Assembly has cleared all our Commissioner-designates, and, in the New Year, they will all be assigned their portfolios. In addition to this, we just appointed eight new Permanent Secretaries to head our different Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). While some others were reposted, some were retained to ensure alignment of skills and experience in key strategic areas. This strengthens the bureaucracy to effectively and efficiently perform its function as the engine room of government. This means that right from the beginning of the New Year, we now have a full team with a greater momentum that will operate at optimum speed to implement faithfully, the Budget and deliver on democratic dividends to the people.
5. In the last seven months, we have been able to restructure the education sector to a functional level. Critical issues relating to Moshood Abiola University of Science and Technology (MAUSTECH); Moshood Abiola Polytechnic (MAPOLY); Tai Solarin College of Education (TASCE), Omu-Ijebu have all been resolved. We have also embarked on the rehabilitation of our Public Primary School facilities across all the 236 wards in the State. We recently promoted over 10,000 teaching and non-teaching Staff for the year 2016 and 2017, and restored the payment of running cost in our schools. For these, I thank all stakeholders in the Education Sector for holding the light and joining hands with us to bring back the glory of education.
6. We recognize that health is wealth, and, that only a healthy citizenry can contribute to development and enjoy the dividends of democracy. We have continued to address infrastructural and staff deficits in the health institutions, rehabilitated our primary health centres across State and approved the immediate recruitment of medical doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other medical personnel for the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital (OOUTH), Sagamu and our other medical facilities. The State Hospital, Ilaro has experienced an uncommon turnaround. Our attention is also on procurement of medical equipment in the other State hospitals. Recently, we introduced medical outreaches to sensitize our people on how to live a healthy life.
7. Empowerment of the youths through sports, creative arts, cultural activities, tourism and entertainment continues to provide the impetus in moulding these leaders of tomorrow for the task of nation building. We have signed the Sports Commission Bill into Law, and the Ogun Job Portal, jobs.ogunstate.gov.ng ensures that our graduates and those with vocational skills across the State will give their information while we will endeavour to match them with potential employers, training opportunities, not only within the Public Service but also with the Private Sector as our partners.
8. As part of our initiative to address the deficit in the housing sector, we have commenced two housing schemes in Abeokuta- at Kemta/Idi-Aba; also at Sagamu, and Ota. These housing units will be sold particularly to the low and middle-income earners. The Ibara GRA regeneration scheme is also a key initiative of this administration. We have almost completed the development of Ogun State Masterplan and designation of the Industrial Hubs just as we are providing power, leveraging on the gas pipelines that run through the State.
9. In Agriculture, our Administration has continued to intensify efforts to partner with the African Development Bank (AfDB) for the berthing of the largest Agro-Processing Zone in Ogun State. In the same vein, we inaugurated, in partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Anchor Borrowers Scheme on Agriculture. Under this scheme, our youth have been turned to Agropreneurs and were provided with land, which has been cleared for them; also with improved seedlings and other extension services. In addition, off takers or Anchors, were sourced for their produce at prices that are known to all at the time of planting- thus guaranteeing price stability and adequate reward for effort. We also have the FADAMA Graduate Unemployed Youths and Women Scheme (FADAMA GUYS) which is particularly unique because it is targeted at the youth and women. At the micro economic level, these programmes give job opportunities to our youth and women thereby providing income and food for themselves and their families. On the macro-economic level, this initiative will be a boost to Nigeria’s food self-sufficiency agenda.
10. To complement the efforts of the Federal Government, we are supporting all the security agencies in our dear State by amending the law establishing the Ogun State Security Trust Fund, reinvigorating the Fund and making it private sector driven. This will provide the needed finances, ensure accountability and good corporate governance. Also in this regard, we have deployed over 100 patrol vans, 200 motorcycles and other security gadgets to strengthen the security apparatus in our dear State and to provide a conducive atmosphere for nurturing the individual potentials of our people and for businesses to thrive.
11. We have established the Ogun Tech Hub in Abeokuta to leverage on ICT for this knowledge age economy. The initiative of Tech Hubs provides our people with an avenue for pre-incubation and cross-fertilisation of ideas for technologists, social entrepreneurs, tech companies, impact investors, and governments in and around Ogun State to create new solutions to the many social challenges of humanity.
12. To ensure a continued improvement in our ease-of-doing-business rating, we have also established the Ogun State Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency and the Ogun State Enterprise Development Agency.
13. Spread across the three Senatorial Districts of our dear State are infrastructural projects. We have continued the rehabilitation of rural and township roads across the State. The establishment of the Ogun State Public Works Agency (OGPWA) has proven to be an efficient, responsive and cost-effective strategy of rehabilitating existing roads, enhancing job creation, poverty alleviation and food security. It will also open up the locked areas to development, and generally ease commuting and movement of goods and materials; thereby ensuring the continued growth of our State’s economy.
14. Only two days ago – 30th December, 2019, I inspected a number of on-going road projects in Ado-Odo/Ota, Ifo, Abeokuta South and Odeda Local Government areas. These are indicators that 2020 will bring us smiles. In a few weeks, I will be commissioning two brand new roads in Ota Town alone. These are link roads that were left unattended even as the Lagos state portion of the road had been commissioned years ago. Let me assure all our people that work will commence soon on the Ijebu-Ode/Epe Road which is already captured in the 2020 Budget. We are also creating a by-pass at Obantoko Road, Abeokuta; while we are also working on Ifo; Degun Road at Ijebu-Ode; Oba Irewole Road in Sagamu; amongst others. There are other roads selected by our people across the 236 wards. One major takeaway from our infrastructural development plan is that in the process of developing our infrastructure, our Administration will ensure that we do not make life uncomfortable for our people. Let me also say that no inherited projects for which the peoples’ common-wealth have been invested will be abandoned. If anything, it will be creatively utilized for the interest and upliftment of the people.
15. We will continue to be methodical, strategic, structured and deliberate in all that we do. And, we will continue to engage our citizens and all stakeholders in matters that affect them. We have started seeing the positive results of these. We have received recognitions and awards from local and international organisations for our modest efforts. The Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy adjudged our State as the best State in ICT Infrastructure Development and Internet Penetration in the country this year. Our state was also adjudged second in ICT Human Capital Development by the same federal Ministry. The BusinessDay Research and Intelligence Unit only last month commended us as the most Improved State on Security and for our high performance on State Competitiveness and Good Governance record. For the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), we are the Model State in Youths Employment and Agriculture Industrialisation because of our unique approach to the Anchor Borrowers’ programmes. The list seems endless.
16. As a new Administration, we cannot afford to rest on our oars. Going forward, more attention will be on Financial Transparency, Accountability, Due Process, Efficiency and Cost Management, and this has engendered the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).
17. It is also important to remember that our Public Service remains the engine room of Government. While I am proud to say that prompt payment of salaries to our ever hardworking, diligent and committed Public Servants is no longer a challenge in Ogun State, it is also imperative to state that our Government is already in the final stage of discussion with the Labour Unions for the implementation of the new minimum wage in Ogun State.
18. My fellow citizens of Ogun State, Year 2020 brings us stronger hope. We are committed to ensuring that individual prosperity of our citizens is clearly manifested and the status of our dear State is enhanced in the comity of States in the Nigeria Federation. This is Ogun State and we are renowned for being the first and the best in different fields of human endeavour. But we need more than the prayer – we need stronger discipline; more trust; harder work; increased commitment and dedication from all of us. We are determined to leave Ogun State much better than we met it, but in doing all this, we must remind ourselves that there are hard choices that we will have to make. These choices will give us the opportunity of a solid foundation today for a better tomorrow.
19. As an Administration, let me assure you that we appreciate the support we have received so far from all our people. The Political Class have demonstrated that this is the home of heroes and heroines of democracy. You have shown that you can subordinate your individual interests for the collective interest of our dear State. I also appreciate our traditional rulers; religious leaders; market women; artisans; students and the general populace. These support can only fuel our desire to do more. As an individual, I am proud and honoured to hold your mandate and I know that when people put on your shoulders a trust of this magnitude, it is more than a honour, you have a moral burden to repay. And, the only currency of that repayment is selfless service. I will remain Governor to all. This is my promise to Ogun State and her people.
20. My dear good people of Ogun State, on behalf of your Government, and with a heart full of joy, I thank God and congratulate all of us for witnessing yet another New Year. As we have now been ushered into Year 2020, it is my sincere prayer that this New Year will usher in more fulfilment for all of us, as well as bring greater development to our dear State.
21. Once again, on behalf of the Government of Ogun State, I wish all of us a happy, prosperous and fulfilling New Year.
22. I thank you all for listening and God bless.
Igbega Ipinle Ogun, Ajose gbogbo wa ni!
Prince Dapo Abiodun, MFR
Governor of Ogun State, Nigeria
Wednesday, 1st January, 2020.