Abimbola Abatta, Osogbo
Ever since his emergence as the Osun State governor, Adegboyega Oyetola has never ceased to reiterate his administration’s commitment to people-oriented policies and programmes. The unprecedented achievements of his administration during the past one and a half years has further proved beyond doubts that Oyetola is a man of his words. He has continued to gear resources towards setting the state on the trail of sustainable prosperity and development.
It should be recalled that at his inauguration, Governor Oyetola pledged to prioritise workers and pensioners’ welfare while sustaining the tempo of development kicked off by his predecessor. The governor avowed to reposition the economy of the state, initiate strategies towards youth empowerment, improve the internally-generated revenue, strengthen Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), boost the agriculture, health and education sectors.
True to his promises, Governor Oyetola has not shirked in his obligations. He has indeed brought massive development to the state via his administration’s highlighted programmes. The State governor of Osun has been described by many as an exemplary leader with the foresight and administrative skills necessary for leading the state. Governor Oyetola maintains that health and infrastructure are crucial to human, social, and economic development.
As part of his efforts to combat crime and strengthen the security tendency of the State, the governor on April 28th, 2020, flagged off the Joint Task Force (JTF) to curtail the menace of kidnapping, cultism, illegal mining, and other related crimes. The governor disclosed at the flag-off ceremony that “it is a path to maintaining our status as a security-conscious State, securing our people, and attaining economic recovery and transformation for a sustainable, safe prosperous Osun.” He also inaugurated the Osun Community Policing Advisory Committee to strengthen security at local areas within the state. Not only that, but he also inaugurated the Osun Security Network Agency and Amotekun Corps Board as well as the Independent Complaints Board to further guarantee the security of lives and property of the citizens.
To complement the work to transform the narrative of the State, Governor Oyetola flagged off Osun Ethanol Bio-Refinery Factory and Dagbolu International Trade Centre. The ethanol bio-refinery factory is targeted at industrialising the state by opening a window of investment opportunities for the state and generating up to ten thousand jobs for citizens of the state. The trade centre on the other hand is hinged at facilitating rapid economic growth, massive employment opportunities, and increased agricultural production.
Concerning the health sector, the governor delivered on his promise to rehabilitate the terrible state health services across Osun. In light of this, Oyetola’s administration is the first, in the history of governance in Nigeria, to revitalise three hundred and thirty-two (332) Primary Healthcare Centres at once. He stocked the healthcare centres with drugs and equipment to boost their effectiveness. To put an end to the persistent Out-of-Stock Syndrome of medicines in government secondary healthcare facilities, the governor approved the launch of Osun Health Insurance Scheme Drug Distribution Centre, which has been supplying medicines and consumables to sixteen OHIS-accredited public secondary health centres in the State.
It also noteworthy to mention that the governor released the sum of four hundred and seventy-seven million, nine hundred and twelve thousand, three hundred and ten naira for the inclusion of vulnerable citizens of Osun into the OHIS.
In the first year of his governance, his administration recruited 20,000 cadets into the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES) and increased their allowances from the initial N9,500 to N12,000, while cadets deployed to schools across the state had theirs increased to N15,000.
Another notable achievement is the renovation of schools across the state equipped with modern facilities to provide quality, functional, and affordable education for students as a means of acquiring a better life and driving development. He enhanced the Osun School Feeding programme, O’meal, by recruiting 2, 210 food vendors who were given free cooking kits and utensils to feed over 250,000 elementary school pupils on every school day with nutritious food. This is to improve school enrollment and help the pupils develop a healthy brain for academic activities.
In a swift response to the yearnings of the people of Osun, Governor Oyetola reviewed and reversed some of the educational policy put in place by his predecessor. Part of the aspects of the policy reviewed and reversed are the single uniform policy, 4-5-3-4 structure, discontinuation of the merger of girls’ high school and boys’ high school.
Not forgetting the fact that Osun State University, UNIOSUN, is the first government-owned university to hold virtual matriculation and convocation across the Nigeria.
In the agricultural sector, the giant strides of the governor continue to trail on as thirty cocoa farmers benefitted from a five million naira loan to advance their farm produce through the purchase of chemicals and fertilizers. His government also doled out agricultural inputs such as maize seeds, cassava cuttings, vegetable seeds, lime, fingerlings, and Knapsack sprayers to farmers to cushion the effects of COVID-19 on all the citizenry within and outside the State.
Operation light up Osun is another laudable achievement by the governor. According to the governor, the Light-Up-Osun project is part of the larger security architecture of his government. This project is not meant to simply beautify the state, but it also ensures that people are safe from any form of harassment from criminals. This also proves that the Oyetola-led administration is devoted to ensuring that the environment becomes unsafe for criminals to operate, especially under the cover of the night.
In the area of road construction, Oyetola has begun and still continues to fulfil his pledge to construct and rehabilitate roads, some of which are the Alekuwodo road network, Igbajo-Ada, and Ejigbo road. His administration is currently fixing Atakumosa Market in Ilesa that got burnt in 2015.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the state, the Oyetola-led administration, characterised by its proactiveness, responded to the situation with the aim of not only curtailing the spread of the virus but also cushioning its harsh impact on the populace. Isolation centres were constructed and revamped to admit the patients. Different committees were also set up to provide relief materials for the Osun masses.
Without mincing words, these reeled-out achievements recorded during Oyetola’s one and a half years since he emerged the State governor of Osun convey his gusto towards stimulating Osun State as an industrialised and well-developed hub amongst its counterparts in Nigeria.