In his first term in office, Ogbeni was the pioneer advocate of true federalism which is today part of the demand in the quests for restructuring. When he rebranded the State through such identities like state flag and coat of arms, some people saw in him a rebel of sort, trying to secede from our collective federation. But today, many states have followed suit.
When the nation was entering into serious recession few years back, prior to its manifestation to the general public and only known to few, the governor devised what is today referred to as modulated salary payments with active involvement of organised labour. In fact, veteran labour leader in Nigeria, with integrity in his trail, Comrade Hassan Sunmonu, chairs this modular creation and workers in Osun are today satisfied that their governor operates a transparent deployment of resources which saved their jobs and which, in other climes would have been in jeopardy. It also ensures regular payment of salary. As at the time of putting this on paper, no government staff in Osun is owed salaries and allowances based on the modulated arrangement. Today, many states are adopting this modular structure, even when their civil servants are being owed several months in salaries and emoluments.
Despite paucity of resources, the home-grown elementary school feeding system was long created by the Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola before other States as well as indeed the federal government thought of adopting it. Kaduna as well as several states jumped into the foray but would later jettison it for whatever reasons which we all know will not be unconnected to paucity of funds. Today, the O’Meal scheme has come to stay and the magic wand for its sustainability is known to and owned by Ogbeni himself.
These ten (10) facts about the state of Osun’s school feeding programme will completely amaze any one
- The O’Meals programme currently feeds 254,000 school children in the state of Osun, the longest running in the country.
- O’Meals currently employs 3,007 caterers, and indirectly employs 7,057 people in this feeding programme.
- 12.7million naira is spent daily to feed all school children for 200 school days in a year. 12billion naira has been spent so far since 2012.
- 900 cocoyam farmers, 700 small poultry farmers, 310 catfish farmers, 63 cow markets currently benefit from the O’Meals initiative.
- School enrollment increased from 155,318 pupils at inception to 252,739, representing a 62% increment in enrollment in the Osun feeding programme
- 8,400 crates of eggs are consumed weekly, 336,000 crates are consumed annually and 1,344,000 crates of eggs have been consumed in four years.
- 10 metric tonnes of fish is consumed weekly; 400 tonnes of fish is consumed annually, while 1,600 metric tonnes of fish have been consumed by pupils in 4 years.
- 35 heads of cows are slaughtered for consumption per week, 1,400 heads of cows are slaughtered for consumption annually, while 5,600 heads of cows have been slaughtered for consumption in 4 years.
- 15,000 birds are consumed per week, and 600,000 birds are consumed annually by the pupils. 2,400,000 birds have been consumed in 4 years.
- 0’Meals is the longest running Government scheme of its kind in Nigeria, So far , 202,234,400 hot meals have been served in the last four years.
Another is the Sukuk Bond which the federal government keyed into lately it which was introduced long ago by the Rauf Aregbesola-led government. Many individuals and bodies especially the long-discredited Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, (not the entire good Christian body) threatened hell and swore that Ogbeni was on an Islamisation mission. A simple research as to why major Christian nations of the western world and South Africa adopted Sukuk as a finance window would have provided them with the answer. But would they embark on such “daunting” research?
Now, the local government election is coming up in Osun and the State Electoral Commission, OSIEC, will adopt the parliamentary system. This is the latest revolution in Osun, waiting to be ‘plagiarised’. No state in Nigeria, except the Omoluabi State, has thought of this and I can bet that many states will follow suit in due course after the benefits would have manifested. It provides a very cost-effective and functional electoral as well as governance systems.
“Why fixation to a presidential system which our resources cannot sustain?”, Defender Parrot asks Nigerians.