The Quest for Accelerated Development in Oyo State
In this article, BAYO AGBOOLA examines the efforts of the Oyo State government to accelerate development over the past three years.
From all indications, Oyo State Governor’s Engineer Seyi Makinde would leave no stone unturned to change the fortunes of ‘Pacesetter State’ during his first term. This precedes the next general election in 2023.
No wonder the Governor, in one of his official capacities, said, “When you gave us the mandate to serve you, we promised to create a modern Oyo State based on four pillars: l education, economy, health and safety.”
It is therefore not a hidden fact that since taking office on May 29, 2019, Makinde has been trying its best to permanently change the face of Oyo in terms of modern technological innovations and developments with a view to blending in with this is popular in other parts of the world.
The strategy adopted
To achieve this goal, Governor Makinde considered several options to achieve his vision of making Oyo great with a view to bringing the state back to its position among other states in the country.
One of these was the launch of a series of training workshops to equip farmers and youth with agricultural and entrepreneurial skills to run and profit from business ventures. Through this, youths and farmers from six local government areas of the state were trained in the Rural Financial Institutions Strengthening (RUFIN) program at Ikoyi-Ile in Oririe Local Government Area of the state .
According to the state government, the training program titled “Business/Entrepreneur Development” was a deliberate effort to meet the needs of people below the ladder, as business and entrepreneur development training would enable them to run their businesses profitably, either as an individual business or as a group business.
It also aims to ensure the preservation of village savings and loan groups, to understand the concept of savings, savings accumulation and the culture of savings, to inculcate good credit management, to appreciate the essence of financial planning and budgeting, among others.
We would leave nothing to chance – the state government.
State Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Ojemuyiwa Ojekunle, speaking through the permanent secretary of the ministry, said, “It is pertinent to state here that the state government, under the leadership of Governor Seyi Makinde, would leave no stone unturned to reach out to young people in rural communities as well as rural farmers to benefit from the state government’s agribusiness programs.
He said that OYSADA has been tasked to develop two modern and standard agricultural estates in Akufo (Ido LG) and Eruwa (Ibarapa-east LG) and establish the Awe Agricultural Training Center and revive the Rural Access Project and agricultural marketing. to provide 1,600 km of rural roads that would open up rural areas and prepare residents for business opportunities in the sector.
Makind also speaks
Governor Makinde, for his part, did not mince words in affirming his administration’s efforts to move the state from its old classification to a modern Oyo. He said his government’s economic policies over the past few years have yielded positive results in education, road infrastructure and agro-industry and other vital sectors with newly reconstructed/rebuilt roads impacting positive on the economy of the state through the creation of a prosperous environment for private actors in agribusiness. This, he said, has enabled the state to attract N23 billion in agribusiness as well as an additional $125 million in blended finance from development partners for rural roads, agro -logistics, markets and industrial centers.
The roads, he said, included the 65 km Moniya-Ijaiye-Iseyin road, the 76.7 km Ogbomoso-Fapote-Iseyin road, the 34.85 km Oyo-Iseyin road and the proposed reconstruction of the 48 km Ido-Eruwa road, the construction of 56 model schools and the completion of the renovation of 200 primary health care centers (PHC) with the aim of ensuring the existence of at least one functioning PHC in each of the state’s 351 electoral districts.
He listed the notable impact of his administration in recent times on building a modern Oyo State, including the completion of the first phase of the renovation of Lekan Salami Sports Complex, Adamasingba, Ojoo Bus Terminals and Challenge, which already handle up to 10,000 passengers a day off peak. and 56 model schools. He noted that more than one million two hundred thousand residents of the state have benefited from the free health missions in the state since their launch in 2020, while more than 280 kilometers of street lighting have been provided through the project. “Light up Oyo”.
“In addition to that, we provided lighting in off-grid areas. Communities such as Otefon in the Atiba Local Government Area have been supplied with electricity for the first time since their existence over 100 years ago. While work is underway to provide off-grid electricity to Agbararu community in Iwajowa local government area, Ajia community in Ona Ara local government area and Arowomole community in Ogbomoso South Local Government Area.
On security, amid harsh criticism from across the state, especially from the opposition camp, the governor marked his administration high, saying his government has been able to bring down the crime rate by equipping security agencies, in particular the delivery of 100 operational vehicles. in Oyo Amotekun recently and the ongoing recruitment of an additional 500 people.
During a recent safety meeting with state stakeholders, the Governor said, “Safety is everyone’s business and if we all do our part well, we would have a safer and more secure environment. ; Although the safety of life and property is the primary responsibility of the government, but the government cannot do it alone, except with the cooperation of the entire citizenry and as we can see from the report obtained throughout the country. Oyo State is relatively peaceful; this was not achieved through the efforts of the government alone, but through the efforts of all stakeholders, especially the security commanders. »
According to Governor Makinde, the meeting aimed to get the situation report from various quarters on security as well as dialogue on what to do as stakeholders and refine the necessary steps. This would help the government put in place the necessary mechanisms to ensure that the people of the state sleep with both eyes closed. And regarding the operation of the Amotekun Corps, we have perfected the process of employing an additional 500 men to improve their performance and further deepen our state’s security architecture.
“Just a few days ago, the governor, in his quest for more development for the state, was in Israel to meet with investors and institutions who have shown interest in the state’s agribusiness policies during which j signed a cooperation agreement with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem to develop an agribusiness knowledge economy with the partnership including scholarship offers, knowledge transfer and exchange programs between the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) owned by Oyo State,” Governor Makinde pointed out.
“We met students from Oyo State at the university. During our stay in Israel, we visited two kibbutzes (agricultural settlements) – a dairy farm and another farm that produces lettuce and fish, to see the deployment of agritech in modern agribusiness,” said he noted.
Currently in Oyo State, whether serving a second term or not, what seems glaring is that Engineer Makinde is determined to have his name entered as the number one citizen of the history of the state in the construction and manufacture of a modern Oyo.