Ogun State Information and Strategy Commissioner, Mr. Adedayo Adeneye in this interview with the Publisher, Nigerian NewsDirect, Dr SAMUEL IBIYEMI and Group Business Editor, AYO FADIMU, speaks on the achievements of Ogun State under the leadership of Governor Ibikunle Amosun giving reasons Ogun is celebrating 40th year of its creation and assuring the state citizens of good days ahead. Excertpts:
Since your resumption of office, what can you say are the achievements of the present administration?
Sincerely speaking, this administration has done well in terms of infrastructure, agriculture and education which are among the five cardinal points of Governor Ibikunle Amosun’s administration.
Agriculture, as we all know, leads to development and this administration has done well. At present, we are about to inaugurate close to 60 projects of which 40 will be commissioned this week to mark Ogun State’s 40 years of existence.
Some of the inaugurated projects include 15 model schools, two hospitals, roads and bridges which everybody can see. Projects expected to be inaugurated this week include housing estates for civil servants and Three Hills Housing Estates. This present administration has done well in the last five years.
Looking at the economic challenges facing the country in 2016, do you think it is necessary to celebrate Ogun State at 40?
Well, I think you need to rephrase that. It is not so much of a celebration to say, but we are marking the 40 years of Ogun State. We are marking it with 40 projects; we call it 40 at 40. We think it necessary because we have all these projects on ground so why not use them to mark the 40th anniversary of Ogun State. Everybody knows the economic situation Nigeria is currently facing and it is expected to affect Ogun State. But we are going to be inaugurating a lot of these projects on that 40th anniversary.
Can you mention some of these projects?
They are too numerous to mention. What we are basically doing is that, Ogun State is divided into three senatorial zones; Ogun West, Ogun East and Ogun Central. So in each senatorial zone, we need to inaugurate no fewer than 10 projects although some of them have 12 to 15 projects. As I said before, there are almost 60 projects that are ready but we are going to inaugurate 40 to mark the 40th anniversary of Ogun State.
From Ogun West, I can mention Sango- Ijoko Road; Ilo Awela Ota Township Road; Ado-Odo Model School; Comprehensive School; New born Estate in Agbara; Ipokia Palm Plantation and Imafo Cashew Plantation. Moving down to Ogun East, there are New Makun City Hall in Shagamu; Ikenne Model School; Ago Iwoye Model School; Shagamu Model School (we have three schools there), Oba Akarigbo Road, and if you pass through Shagamu now you will see that it has been expanded and it is ready.
The Lagos Garage flyover and the Badagry flyover in Ijebu Ode are going to be inaugurated. This administration will inaugurate Ijebu Ode Township Road and Shagamu Hospital project. In Ogun Central here, there are projects like Alagbagba Farm Settlement, Laderin Workers Estate, with Ogun flyover, Sapon flyover, Iyana Mortuary fly over; Mowe-Ibafo Link Road; OGTV-Brewery Road; Omida Market which we are proud of and Isale-Igbehin Market. So you can see that it is all encompassing.It is not just roads and bridges; we have markets, we have housing estates. So we are trying to touch all aspects that will touch people’s lives in Ogun State. How do I put it, necessity is the mother of invention. And it is a priority of the government, having experienced dwindling global oil prices.
The government of Ogun State took it upon itself several years ago to look inwards into Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). There is a limit to what IGR can do for Ogun State and how much you can get from people. So part of what we did was to expose Ogun State to industries and it can be achieved when you have good roads. Ogun State has enough topography and we were able to convince industries to come and do business in Ogun State. We create the enabling environment by providing good infrastructure good road network, among others. We all know that Lagos State is the haven of manufactured products. If any product is going to the north, it has to pass through Ogun State. About 90 per cent of the businesses have to pass through Ogun State. Alcoholic drinks produced in Lagos State are transported on Ogun State roads. Ogun State is strategically positioned and for that reason, we urge those companies to locate in the state and as a result, Ogun State is now the industrial hub of Nigeria.
Of all the projects you mentioned, will Sango-Ijoko Road and Omida Market be completed before the 40th anniversary?
We are hopeful. As I said before now, dearth of funds affected some of our projects. But you can see that the effort is there for the present administration to complete such projects. I mean we had previous administrations that didn’t even embark on any one and they collected allocations far more than we collected. We have past administrations that collected billions of Naira per month and we are collecting a little less than N2 billion and we are still embarking on these projects. The Sango-Ijoko Road that you mentioned, no administration touched it because they knew it was going to cost a lot