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In three years, Makinde has turned education around in Oyo — Commissioner

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…Says govt supplied over 26,000 furniture to schools

The Oyo State Commissioner for Education, Barrister Abdulraheem Abiodun Abdulrahman, has declared that the administration of Governor ‘Seyi Makinde has turned the fortunes of the Education sector around in a little over three years.

The Commissioner, who stated this while providing updates on the scorecard of his Ministry, debunked a recent publication credited to a group known as Better Oyo Movement (BOM), which alleged the preponderance of dilapidated school buildings in the state.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the State Governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa,  quoted the Commissioner as saying that     whereas the state of infrastructure in the public schools was a shadow of its past glories as of May 2019, when the present administration came on board, the current government has turned the situation around positively.

“It is true that public schools were nothing to write home about as of 29th May, 2019 due to several years of neglect by previous administrations in the State.

“In addition, many children of school age withdrew from schools because their parents could not afford to pay their school fees, which culminated in the State having the highest number of out-of-school children in the whole of South-West,” the Commissioner said.

He, however, disclosed that to correct the ills of the past, the Governor Seyi Makinde-led administration, having realised that the provision of quality education will undoubtedly facilitate the laying of a solid foundation for socio-economic growth, immediately introduced the Free and Qualitative Education Policy in the State with the cancellation of all forms of fees and levies, on assumption office.

He said, “Consequently, many pupils/students who had hitherto withdrawn from schools because of their parents’ inability to pay their school fees returned to schools.

“This mass-oriented free education policy of the State Government in spite of dwindling economy, led to an unprecedented upsurge in school enrolment in Public Schools which astronomically rose from 371,040 in 3rd Term, 2018/2019 Academic Session to 489,112 as at the end of 3rd Term, 2021/2022 Academic Session.

“This represents about 32 per  cent increase in students’ enrolment and has brought about a drastic reduction in the number of out-of-school children (OOSC) on the streets.”

He also stated that the current administration has prioritised the provision of infrastructural facilities in schools added with qualified teaching personnel, improved curriculum content and other educational resources.

According to Abdulrahman, the State Government has constructed no fewer than 60 model classroom buildings aside the rehabilitation of  buildings in Public Primary and Junior Secondary Schools across the State.

“At least 26,500 pairs of students’ furniture for Public Secondary Schools are already supplied to schools across the State,” he stated.

“At the Millennium Secondary School, Ogbomoso, alone, a school started by the Late Otunba Christopher Alao-Akala regime and subsequently left uncompleted,  450 pairs of students’ furniture were supplied as well aside that of teachers and laboratory furniture,” the Commissioner added.

He further stated, “As a result of the positive rating secured by the Makinde-led administration in the education sector, Oyo State is the only beneficiary State of Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA) Project in the South-Western Nigeria.

“The choice of the State for the project was strictly based on the state government’s unceasing efforts at reducing the issue of Out-Of-School Children (OOSC) on our streets to the barest minimum.

“Furthermore, Oyo State is currently one of the three States in the Federation considered for the Global Partnership on Education (GPE2) Project, otherwise known as BESDA Additional Fund-Transforming Education System at State Levels (BESDAAF-TESS) by the Federal Ministry of Education (FME), in collaboration with the World Bank.

“This is as a result of successful implementation of BESDA Project and prompt submission of accurate and reliable educational data through the Annual School Census (ASC).

“It is also worthy to note that in spite of sharp rise in educational expenditures and global economic recession, Governor Seyi Makinde recently approved the rehabilitation/renovation of 66 public Senior Secondary School buildings across the State, while another 99 public Junior Secondary School buildings are being considered for urgent interventions in the area of rehabilitation/renovation by Oyo SUBEB.”

“All these are serious indications that the issue of infrastructural decay and deficit inherited by the current administration is being tackled head-on.

“It is to be noted that Oyo State at present has a total number of 649 public Secondary Schools and 2,450 public Primary Schools and that there is no magic anyone can do in three years to get all of the schools fixed in a fell swoop, going by the state of dilapidated infrastructure and state of finances of the State.

“We want to put it on record, however,  that going by the commitment of the present administration to the betterment of our education sector, it won’t take any longer before all the schools in the state wear good looks.

“It is also necessary to inform the public that the allegation that the State Government had only released grants to schools in two terms out of ten is unfounded and mischievous as schools conduct their examinations and provide other logistics every term from funds released to them by the government.”

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South West

Osun Govt signs MoU with FOSCOOP, releases N300m loan

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By Jeleel Olawale

The Osun State Government on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Federation of Osun State Cooperatives (FOSCOOP) and released a sum of N300 million revolving loan to the cooperative societies in the state.

The state government was represented by the Commissioner for Cooperatives and Empowerment, Prince Bayo Ogungbangbe while Alhaji AbdulRasheed Diekola signed the MoU on behalf of the state government and FOSCOOP at the Ministry of Cooperatives and Empowerment.

The signing of MoU and disbursement of the fund is in fulfillment of the promise made by Governor Ademola Adeleke, during the 1st Osun State Cooperatives Summit and Awards held in January this year.

The sum of N300 million revolving loan was released as the first tranche to the Cooperatives Federation with the commitment to release subsequent tranches soon.

Speaking at the signing of the MoU, Prince Bayo Ogungbangbe said, the initiative is geared towards empowering and supporting the cooperative movement in Osun State, saying this is in line with the theme of the summit, “Co-operative, A Pathway to Economic and Social Development.”

He described this as a landmark achievement in fulfilling the promise made by the governor, adding that the second tranche would be released immediately.

He said, all cooperative societies would benefit from the state government gesture as others would be invited to come for their own.

He noted that the empowerment would also be done after all cooperative societies in the state received their funds.

“This is the first  tranche of the fund and as soon as possible other tranches would be released. We want to release the fund on a tranche basis to allow all cooperative members to benefit from it. When the Governor makes a promise, he tries to fulfill it. This is his attitude. He is a promise keeping man.”

The President of the Federation of Osun State Cooperatives (FOSCOOP), Alhaji AbdulRasheed Diekola, expressed gratitude to Governor Ademola Adeleke for fulfilling the promise made during the Summit.

He assured the state government of continued support to the government, saying the collaboration between the state government and FOSCOOP signifies a significant step towards fostering economic and social development within the state government through cooperative empowerment.

“This is a relief for all cooperators in the state. This gesture would go a long way in ameliorating poverty in the state. This would empower all members of cooperative societies in the state. This is a milestone achieved by the state government.”

Also, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Cooperatives and Empowerment, Hon. Durojaye Isaac, described the fulfillment of the promise and disbursement of the fund to the cooperative movement as one of its kind in the history of the state, noting that no government has ever promised and fulfilled such.

He said the gesture would improve the micro economy sector in the state and reduce the level of economic hardship faced by the people.

He therefore urged the citizens to continue to support the state government policies and programmes in a bid to fulfill all its 5-point agenda of Governor Ademola Adeleke.

The dignitaries at the signing of the MoU include Special Adviser to the Governor on Cooperatives and Empowerment, Hon. Isaac Durojaye; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Cooperatives and Empowerment, Mr. Sunday Gbenga Fadele; Director of Cooperatives, Mr. Babatunde Ogunjide; Director of Empowerment.

Others are Mrs. Peju Oginni; Prince. Gbadebo Adeleke; Mr. Bashir Olayemi; Mr. Babatunde Olowoyeye, Principal, Cooperatives College, Hon. Oyeniyi Rasheed, Hon. Musbau Abioye, Alhaji Tiamiyu Wasiu Adeoye FOSCOOP Executive Secretary.

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South West

Ogun CP commissions state of the art Area Command office in Sango

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By Emmanuel Atokolo

The Ogun State Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Alamutu has commissioned the rehabilitated Sango Area Command office.

The rehabilitation was facilitated by the Sango Area Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Musa Mohammed Sani alongside some partner companies costing millions of naira.

The state of the art command centre consists of a new counter and visitors room, Internet, solar power, air-conditioned offices, amongst other things.

CP Alamutu, in his address, recalled that the three-day visit of the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Kayode Adeolu Egbetokun in April was climaxed by the commissioning of the new police command headquarters at Eleweran, Police Complaint Response Unit and an event centre belonging to the police.

“Here I am again today in Sango-Otta for the commissioning of this Area Command headquarters building. The impression I had was to commission a renovation but what I see on ground is beyond renovation,” the CP said.

While commending ACP Mohammed for his giant strides, Alamutu said, “Sincerely, I truly want to extend my appreciation to the Area Commander for his vision, commitment and passion because, by this act, he has left his footprint in the sands of time, and will remain indelible as long as this Area Command exists.

“I personally believe that the police are misrepresented. The mistake some of us in service make is taking the public for granted. This achievement couldn’t have been possible without a cordial relationship between the Area Command and members of the public. Without this cordiality, this project wouldn’t have been possible. The only way to earn the trust of the public is to remain upright,” the state Police Commissioner stated.

Alamutu expressed his appreciation to members of the community and sister security agencies for their support to the police, while craving for their continued support, so as to be able to stem the wave of criminality.

He, however, appealed to officers and men of Ota Area Command to sustain the cordiality, saying, “even though there may be disagreement sometimes, the Area Command is there to listen to you. What cannot be handled at the divisional level can go to the Area Command and can come to me.”

Delivering his goodwill message on behalf of the Olota of Ota, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Abdulkabir Adeyemi Obalanlege, the Seriki of Ota, High Chief Olanrewaju Balogun said, “First, I want to apologise for our inability to be here in full force as planned. Something came up beyond our control that affected the whole traditional system. Most of our scheduled functions were cancelled but because the achievement of our Area Commander is not something we can push aside.”

“I would like to thank the CP, our own Egbon, Alamutu. We really appreciate you. We can say we are very lucky in Ota Area Command right from the present CP of Lagos, CP Adegoke Fayoade, when he was here to the time of Monday Agbonika, now to the time of ACP Mohammed Sani.

“When ACP Sani was coming, we said we do not want any Hausa man, we want a Yoruba. And ACP Agbonika said you will really, really enjoy him. We said No. He came to me and said ‘Seriki, please convince Kabiyesi; this is a very good officer they are bringing to Ota.’ Now everything is there for all to see. I have never seen a finer police officer in the whole of when I have been in Ota. I am not saying this because of the structure but for his professionalism and his style of community policing.

“He has opened up all his lines to us and very accessible. He works in conjunction with sister agencies, including the Navy. We have recorded almost zero crimes. I know promotion is the next expectation, but this may be the time we will have an area command headed by a DCP, because we would not allow him to go. This is a structure that will outlive you. You do not look or act as if you are not from this area,” the Seriki of Ota said.

Speaking with NewsDirect when the Publisher/Executive Director, Mr Mathew Ibiyemi alongside members of the management team paid the Area Commander a visit during the rehabilitation recently, ACP Mohammed disclosed that he embarked on the project in line with the agenda of IGP Egbetokun to reform the force and provide better working conditions for the officers in the force.

ACP Mohammed noted that the new facility will better equip command to maintain the peace in the environment and effectively combat crimes.

He also seized the opportunity to encourage companies and individuals to shun crime and partner with the Police in unraveling perpetrators of criminal acts.

The Publisher/Executive Director of Nigerian NewsDirect, Mr Mathew Ibiyemi commended the Area Commander.

He also assured the Area Commander of the continued support of the media house in covering the activities of the command and providing resourceful information to tackle crime.

Earlier, in his welcome address, ACP Mohammed Musa expressed gratitude to the state Commissioner of Police for physically making himself available for the commissioning of “one of the best area command offices in Nigeria.”

He recounted his achievements to include crime control strategy, police/community relations, intelligence-led community policing strategy, improved security ethics/security operatives code of conduct, public trust and “to crown it all, the best befitting area command office of the Assistant Commissioner of Police in Nigeria.”

The Area Commander was also awarded the “Quintessential Ambassador of the Nigeria Police Force,” presented on behalf of the Crime Puzzle Magazine to the Area Commander, ACP Mohammed Sani Musa, by CP Alamutu.

In his address, a prelude to the award presentation, the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Crime Puzzle, Felix Mordi, disclosed that prior to ACP Mohammed’s assumption of office at Ota Area Command as Area Commander, the area was synonymous with such crimes like thuggery, rituals, inter-tribal conflicts, land grabbing, armed robberies and cultism.

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South West

Ogun Senator charges FG to prioritise agriculture to guarantee food security

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By Jeleel Olawale

Senator Shuaib Afolabi, the Senator Representing Ogun Central Senatorial District in the National Assembly, has charged the Federal Government to prioritise agriculture to increase food security across the country.

Salisu gave the charge while speaking at the 2024 National Reunion Conference, at the Oduduwa Hall OAU, on Sunday, in Ile-Ife, by Obafemi Awolowo University Muslim Graduates’ Association (UNIFEMGA).

The Senator who spoke on the topic: “Changing Nigeria’s Consumption Based to a Service and Production Based Economy,”  said, worldwide, the economy of any country goes up and down, what needs to be done is how to go about it.

He said that there’s a need to review economic policy with a view to increase our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) through agriculture.

“If the federal Government invests heavily in agriculture, there will be food sufficiency in the nation.

“Agriculture as the economic bedrock of a serious nation, would solve the present economic challenge facing the country,” he stated.

“We will attain our food potential as a country and the journey has commenced with president Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration and the lawmakers are going to provide legislative support to make things better,” he declared.

According to him, Nigeria has the resources to navigate the current economic issues facing the nation.

He said the inability of the previous government to evolve a policy that will take us out of the wound, is one of the reasons why we are where we are today but gradually we are coming out stronger as the country is a work in progress.

The Senator stated further that the palliative given to people recently can only solve the economic challenge temporarily, but there’s a need to dig deep into long term solutions in order to have a prosperous nation.

He emphasised that Nigerians have a government that is presently taking proactive decisions and policies that will solve the long term challenges facing the nation.

He listed underutilisation of resources, structural bottleneck as the bane of the economy, with micro economic instability, fiscal deficit as the consequences of the menace.

Senator Shuaib noted that in order to opt out of consumption based economy and be more focused on production based economy, he said national values and ethos must be revisited, new measure of performance, activation of dormant national assets which are lying fallow should be resuscitated.

“There must be a marriage between the town and the gown, our universities must not only fulfill the mandate of teaching and research but engage the community.

“The outcome of their research works must be felt by the communities. Our universities must be seen as truly citadel of generating ideas that will solve our economic challenges in the country.”

The Chairman, senate committee on ICT and Cyber Security said, critical assets of governments, ease of doing business, infrastructural development must be put in place. There must be a positive attitude and having a plan on where to be in years to come.

He said, he has no doubt as a nation, that one day everything will be normalised.  He urged the youth to go into agriculture as an alternative enterprise they can engage in to provide employment and increase food security across the country.

Senator Shuaib urged UNIFEMGA not to rest on its oars in campaigning and contributing to discourse for a just and better society in providing social services for the society through education.

Speaking, President, UNIFEMGA, Engr. Abdul-Fattah Olanlege said, “It has been a rough year for all, as Nigeria’s economy is more sustainable but is clouded with the selfish activities of saboteurs and lavish insensitivity of some of our leaders.

“The effects of removal of fuel subsidy and floating of the naira on the prices of foodstuff, goods and services almost paralysed the nation to the extent that religion worshipers cried out.

“The discourse of this year’s reunion is our contribution to educate the populace on the need to define what really matters to us as a people, look inwards for solutions to our needs and significantly reduce dependency on importation to really strengthen our economy.”

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