…explains why he’s yet to pick commissioners
…promises to fix Sagamu-Ikorodu road, Ijebu Ode-Epe road, tackle rot in education
…vows to pursue good governance, security, agriculture, others.
Bankole Taiwo, Abeokuta
After 45 days in office, the executive governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun has opened up saying he had in the last six weeks being settling down in office, getting a good grasp of the tasks at hand and preparing solid foundation for the greatness of the state.
Prince Dapo Abiodun said he might have fairly succeed as a private business person but that governance is a different ball game and that having not been to a school of how to be governor, he needed to be a bit cautious and meticulous to run the best government ever in the history of the state.
The governor explained that the delay in forming his cabinet was not unconnected with his desire to appoint from the abundant best brains of Ogun state extraction who have more than what it takes to join him in attending to the pains of residents of the state.
Prince Abiodun said “ people should know that good governance is not what you rush over, it is a marathon. We feel the pains of our people and we want to appoint people who can work for our economic prosperity. Convincing these highly successful professionals to leave their plum jobs and come and serve the state for peanuts may not be that easy but are we are getting positive responses”.
The governor who begged to disagree with those who thought his government has not done much since assumption of office said “I am undoubtedly on track. We know what we are doing as a government. We will be transparent, accountable, just and be fair to all. We are putting in place mechanism for best government ever in the state”.
Prince Dapo Abiodun made this disclosure during an interactive session held with journalists in the state at the conference room of the Governor’s Office, Oke Mosan, Abeokuta.
In attendance at the media parley were the Deputy governor, Engr. Noimot Salako-Oyedele, Secretary to the state government Otunba Tokunbo Talabi, Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr Kunle Somorin, Mrs Modele Sarafa-Yusuf, Special Adviser to the governor on information, S F Emmanuel Ojo, Senior Special Assistant to the governor on New Media, Chief Economic Adviser to the governor, Mr Dapo Okubadejo, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information, Mr Abiodun Awere among others.
The governor said he remained committed to running an inclusive government giving the opposition members opportunity to also join him in building together a glorious future for the state.
He explained that though, this decision was not good news to many members of the ruling party as typically expected of an average Nigerian politician but he remained stuck to it as it would help to tap into varieties of brilliant ideas to develop the state.
The governor said bad roads across the state remained one of the biggest challenges confronting the state explaining that plans are underway to embark on construction of three roads per local government as identified and submitted by the people to the government.
He revealed that these roads projects would be handled by the public works department of the state government otherwise called Direct Labour Arrangement while some would be awarded to contractors.
The governor stated that the 14 kilometres Ijebu Ode-Epe road would soon be awarded to contractors as this would not only help to open up this part of the state but also help to decongest the Lagos-Sagamu-Benin expressway.
Abiodun said he had also discussed with President Buhari his intention to take over Sagamu-Ikorodu road project awarded last year by the federal government explaining that the project might for years remained uncompleted because of the little budgetary provision appropriated for the project.
The governor also promised to declare state of emergency on the education sector, saying he was so embarrassed to hear that there were schools in the state where the pupils sat on the floor vowing to convene education summit soon to proffer way forward.
He revealed that arrangements were already ongoing to rehabilitate one primary school per ward while the health centres would also be touched to improve access to health care services at the rural areas
Aside making deliberate efforts to attract investors for the prosperity of the state, Prince Abiodun also hinted at his administration’s huge investment in agriculture explaining that plans were underway to provide hectares of land for 10,000 youths interested in agric business.
He said plans of his government was to make the state the basket food of the country through massive investment in agriculture. The governor disclosed that he had already met with the Central Bank Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele on how the state could enjoy some of federal government floated funds earmarked for agricultural development such as the anchor borrowers scheme.
As a reflection of his committed interest in the excellent healthcare delivery, Prince Abiodun said a visitation panel would soon be constituted for Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital (OOUTH) Sagamu . He said the panel among others would draw out plans to address the embarrassing decay the hospital had been subjected to in the last eight years and make it centre of excellence in health care delivery.
As an administration that places so much premium on bringing in foreign investors into the state to enhance economic prosperity, Abiodun said his government would soon relaunch the state security fund and ensure the funds were judiciously used to strengthen the security architecture of the state.
The governor said he had been inundated with several calls since the news broke that the state would be supporting ranching.
He however used the medium to clear air on the controversy surrounding the statement credited to him saying “ the position of Southwest on the suspended RUGA, but ranching is not RUGA. The ranching I am talking about is in partnership with multinational companies which revolves around complete value chain in livestocks like meat processing, production of milk among others”.
Abiodun revealed that the model schools built by immediate past government but never took off, would be converted to vocational training and tech hub centres saying digitisation of government and schools would be relentlessly pursued by his government.
The governor said the engineers were already working to resolve the hitches around the job portal opened to create database for the unemployed in the state promising to ensure that the database was use to fight unemployment in the state.
Prince Abiodun said though, the challenges were far bigger than he envisaged due to the intolerance and uncooperative attitude of the immediate past government, he was rearing to offer most conscientiously, selfless service to the people of the state and not engage in needless blame games.
The governor has therefore requested the journalists in the state to support him with quality projections of the affairs of the state as he settled down to lift the state to the next level.