Popular News Anchor Dies Of “Massive Stroke”

Veteran news anchor, Amanda Davis has died after being hospitalized for a “massive stroke.”

The TV anchor who has enjoyed an amazing career for over 25 years was at Atlanta’s airport heading to San Antonio following the death of her father when she had a medical emergency.

The 62 year old broadcaster died around 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday after suffering a stroke at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Tuesday.

The station reported that Davis died at the hospital Wednesday surrounded by family. A statement on the station’s website said Davis’ “family is asking for privacy at this difficult time.”

 

 

 

Robert Mugabe’s Retirement Package Revealed

State media has reported that Zimbabwe’s former president Robert Mugabe will get a residence, a car fleet and private air travel as part of a new government-funded retirement package for former leaders.

Mugabe will also be entitled to at least 20 staffers including six personal security guards, all paid for from state coffers, according to details of the benefits published in The Herald newspaper.

The 93-year-old, who quit last month under popular pressure following a military takeover, is the first beneficiary of the generous measures unveiled Wednesday by new President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

No monetary details were spelt out, but the country’s constitution stipulates that an ex-president is entitled to a pension equivalent to the salary of a sitting president.

Local independent media reported last month that Mugabe was granted a $10-million (8.3-million euro) retirement bonus as part of a deal to persuade him to eventually resign. The government denied the claims.

As part of the new package, Mugabe will have three cars — a Mercedes Benz S500 Series or an equivalent class of sedan, an all-terrain station wagon and a pickup van — which will be replaced every five years.

The government will also pay for fuel.

Mugabe and his wife will be entitled to diplomatic passports. The couple can go on four first-class air or train trips within Zimbabwe and four trips abroad on a private plane.

Mugabe will also be awarded a fully-furnished official residence anywhere in the capital Harare, in addition to bills and entertainment allowances.

Health insurance for the former leader, his spouse and dependants is also included in the raft of benefits.

Mugabe resigned on November 21 after his party expelled him and parliament began proceedings to impeach him in the wake of a military intervention.

 

Apple’s CEO Must Fly Private Aircrafts For Security Reasons

Apple’s board has instructed chief executive Tim Cook to use only private aircraft “in the interests of security and efficiency” at the world’s most valuable company, regulatory documents show.

A filing with securities regulators during the week said the board determined that its CEO must use private aircraft for “all business and personal travel.”

The policy was implemented in 2017 “in the interests of security and efficiency based on our global profile and the highly visible nature of Mr. Cook’s role as CEO.”

The filing noted that the value of the private flights is calculated as “imputed taxable income” which is not reimbursed by Apple.

The filing showed Cook received some $12.8 million in compensation for 2017, including a salary of $3 million and incentive awards.

Cook took home far less than other top Apple executives including chief financial officer Luca Maestri and senior vice president Angela Ahrendts, who received some $24 million for the year.

Yet Cook’s previous stock awards vested in 2017 were worth an additional $89 million for the CEO, according to the filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The market capitalization for the iPhone maker has been hovering around $900 billion and is up nearly 50 percent for the year.

 

Four Killed, Several Injured In Borno Suicide Bomb Attack

At least four people have been reported dead and several injured in a suicide bomb attack on Thursday at Amarwa community of Konduga Local Government Area of Borno.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the incident occurred at about 2 p.m. when a male suicide bomber infiltrated the village and detonated an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) strapped to his body.

An eye witness, Bukar Fantai, told NAN that the bomber managed to sneak into the village disguising as a grain merchant. Fantai said that the insurgent first approached a shop keeper and offered sorghum for sale.

He said the terrorist, thereafter, went to a shade where many villagers gathered for relaxation and detonated the explosive.

“The suicide bomber detonated the IED, blew up himself, killing some, while 13 others sustained injuries in the explosion,” he said.

A competent security source confirmed the attack to NAN, saying that the wounded persons were referred to the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) for treatment.

The source said that Police EOD and patrol teams had been deployed to sanitise the scene of the attack, adding that normalcy had been restored to the area.

Police and military authorities have yet to comment on the incident.

 

 

George Weah Wins Liberia’s Presidential Election

The National Election Commission (NEC) has announced that Weah has won an insurmountable 61.5 percent of Tuesday’s vote, which was delayed several weeks after a legal challenge from Boakai.

The NEC said that with 98.1 percent of all votes counted, Boakai had only secured 38.5 percent support.

Ahead of Thursday’s results, armed and helmeted police deployed outside the poll body’s headquarters and some of Weah’s supporters were already rejoicing.

“The Liberian people clearly made their choice… and all together we are very confident in the result of the electoral process,” tweeted Weah before the official results were announced.

Weah topped the first round of voting in October with 38.4 percent of ballots but failed to win the 50 percent necessary to avoid a run-off. Boakai came second with 28.8 percent.

Recall that Weah is the only African ever to have won FIFA’s World Player of the Year and the coveted Ballon D’Or. The 51-year-old starred at top-flight European football clubs Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan in the 1990s before playing briefly in England for Chelsea and Manchester City later in his career.

Chelsea icon Didier Drogba from neighbouring Ivory Coast already sent Weah a congratulatory message.

“Is it President Weah?” said the New Dawn newspaper on Thursday, referring to a man who has the backing of heavyweights including former warlord Prince Johnson and apparently the covert support of outgoing president Sirleaf.

 

 

Your Own Aare Ona Kakanfo Must Not Seek War But Promote Peace; Aregbesola Tells Gani Adams

The Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has charged the Aare Ona kakanfo designate, Otunba Ganiyu Adams to use the office to promote regional integration, peace, unity and love among the black race and not the promotion of war.

The Governor gave the admonition while playing  host to Otunba Adams who was in Osun to formally invite the governor to his inauguration as the 15th Aare Onakakanfo of Yourubaland, at Government House, Osogbo.

Aregbesola called on Aare Ona Kakanfo designate to use his office and the new position to advance the interest of Yoruba people and their culture.‎

‎He charged him to rally round Yorubas with his position so as to understand that progress, development, wealth creation and happiness are the issues they must all embrace.

Aregbesola urged Adams to promote the peace, progress and development of the Yoruba race, stating that the issue of regional integration of the race should also be placed on the front burner once he assumes office.

He explained that the time has come where the peace, progress and economic advancement of the yoruba race should be the target of any leader that has the love of the people at heart.

The Governor also charged Adams on the need to chat a course that will make Yorubas all over the world begin to see themselves as a people ready to lead black race for all round growth and development.

He urged the incoming Aare Onakakanfo to use his office to mobilise the Yorubas for productivity, noting that it is only through this that the Yoruba nation and its people will begin to see themselves as the leaders of the black race who can tell the world that the black man has a mission.

According to him, “War is a negative phenomenon, it is destructive, it is bitter, it is cruel and it must therefore not be promoted by anyone. It must be condemned, rejected and discarded.

“So you are not the Aare Ona Kakanfo to seek war and you must not seek war. We are not therefore celebrating you as the war general to precipitate crisis but your own general must promote peace, harmony, love and collaboration among the Yoruba people.

“You must join all progressive elements, leaders and people of our land to unite us, to combine us and to ensure that whatever differences we have are properly analyzed and resolved so as to focus ‎on development both physically and socially.

“Regional integration therefore must be your watchword. You must do your best in promoting integration of our people in their various political divides such as political divide of ideologies, boundaries and interest‎s.

“You must rally round Yorubas with your position to understand that progress, development, wealth creation and happiness are the issues we must all embrace.

“Your office must seek for a united effort to elevate and promote humanity, hence, you must support all the progressive forces in Yorubaland to rally Yoruba people for productivity and through that mobilize Nigerian people for higher mobility and productivity.

“Once Nigerians are fully mobilized, our resouces and size will be promoted toa new high of global domination in this world.I am not in anyway afraid that you will champion this and play your own part to promote humanity”, Aregbesola urged. ‎

Earlier in his remarks, the Aare Ona Kakanfo designate, Otunba Gani Adams commended Governor Aregbesola for  moving Osun forward despite the harsh economic situation in the country.

He said he is proud to be associated with a man of the people like Aregbesola, noting that his position has been used to turn around the economy of the state.

Adams said he decided to come to Osun to personally invite the Osun governor to his inauguration which comes up in January 13, 2018 as he believes in his leadership.

According to him, I am proud of you. I am proud to be associated with you. You have made us proud. You have been able to do much despite the harsh economic situation.

“Though I am here to invite you to my inauguration and to pay homage to our people but as a gennuine leader with which your personality epitomize, I am happy to be at home.

“I must commend you for the matured manner in which you have  been able to steer the state”, he added.

Ogbeni Aregbesola’s 2018 Budget Speech

SPEECH DELIVERED BY THE GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF OSUN, OGBENI RAUF ADESOJI AREGBESOLA, AT THE PRESENTATION OF THE 2018 DRAFT APPROPRIATION BILL TO THE STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY ON THURSDAY, 28TH DECEMBER, 2017

BUDGET OF ENDURING LEGACY

It gives me great pleasure, once again, to be in this hallowed chamber this morning to present to the good people of the State of Osun through this Honourable House comprising the representatives of our people, the 2018 Draft Budget of the State.

Mr. Speaker and the distinguished members of this Honourable House, I am in a familiar and hospitable terrain. The first time I came to this House under your leadership, it was at the inauguration of the House in 2011. My last visit was on my 60th birthday earlier in the year, during which you honoured me and inducted me as one of your own in an honorary capacity. In between, I have been here in person to present budget or inaugurate the house. I have also been represented here by proxy. I must let you know that I cherish your affable accommodation, kind assistant and invaluable cooperation. I have been positively challenged by the house but I have also been positively influenced without being adversarial. I can therefore say that this is the best parliament in the world. Being here again therefore gives me the warm feeling of being with kindred spirit.

Mr Speaker, what we are doing here today is in compliance with Section 121 (1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, which states that “The Government shall cause to be prepared and laid before the House of Assembly at any time before the commencement of each financial year, estimates of the revenues and expenditures of the State for the following year”. The budget which is being presented to this House of Assembly today represents the 2018 proposed revenue and expenditure estimates of the State Government of Osun. The proposed budget is the 8th budget to be prepared by this administration and the fourth budget of our second term in office. Incidentally, this is the last budget to be presented before this Honourable House by my administration since we shall be completing our second term in office at the tail end of the year.

Before I continue this presentation, I will like to express my appreciation to Mr. Speaker and the Honourable Members of this august house for their support and cooperation to the executive arm of the State Government. It is on record that your unalloyed support and cooperation with us in the last seven years have assisted us greatly in meeting the yearnings and aspirations of our people.

Since our democracy or better still, our government, is on a tripod, I will also like to appreciate the Judiciary under the able leadership of the Chief Judge, the President of the Customary Court of Appeal and the Honourable judges for their unalloyed cooperation and support for our administration. It is only through the collaborative efforts of the three arms of Government that we have been able to perform in line with the dreams and aspirations of our founding fathers.

Mr Speaker, let me state unequivocally that the preparation of annual budget is a very important duty of government as well as a veritable tool of governance which requires rigorous thinking while having in mind various segments of the society. The fortunes of the people in the State are being determined by the quality of the annual budget. It is therefore a very serious business and that explains why we have taken our time to carefully consider all the ramifications in shaping the destiny of the State and our people for the next one year.

The 2018 Budget being presented today is to consolidate all the various achievements we have recorded in the various sectors and sub-sectors of our economy in the last seven years and to leave an enduring legacy for the State in line with the policies and programmes of our Administration. The budget is equally targeted towards ensuring the completion of all the on-going projects as much as we can and with a view to bringing about continued improvement in the socio-economic well being of the people of the State of Osun. Like the previous years’ budgets, the 2018 budget is in line with the Six-Point Integral Action Plan of our Administration; and has also been packaged towards ensuring achievements of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the State of Osun in line with the national economic policy and international best practices.

Before presenting the 2018 budget proposals, let me first present a review of the Year 2017 Budget.

REVIEW OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF 2017 BUDGET OF THE STATE OF OSUN

It would be recalled that the size of the 2017 Budget tagged “BUDGET OF RECOVERY” approved by this House of Assembly was N146,632,746,980.00 (One Hundred and Forty-Six Billion, Six Hundred and Thirty-Two Million, Seven Hundred and Forty-Six Thousand, Nine Hundred and Eighty Naira). The total recurrent budget was N76,315,496,240.00 (Seventy–Six Billion, Three Hundred and Fifteen Million, Four Hundred and Ninety-Six Thousand, Two Hundred and Forty Naira) while the capital expenditure was N70,317,250,740.00 (Seventy Billion, Three Hundred and Seventeen Million, Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand, Seven Hundred and Forty Naira, Ninety-Five Kobo) .

The Budget was formulated to enable Government execute certain vital projects and programmes that could improve the well-being of the people of the State. However, arising from the volatile nature of the international oil market which has resulted in the low price of crude oil, dwindling revenue of the State and limitation in the capacity of the State Government to obtain internal and external facilities as a result of the stringent Federal Government of Nigeria/CBN regulations; and the unimpressive performance of our internally generated revenue (IGR), our intention to achieve 100 per cent implementation of the budget was greatly hampered. This development therefore makes it inevitable that there is the urgent need to depend less on allocation from Federation Accounts and concentrate efforts on how to grow the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the State. At this juncture, I need to solicit the support and cooperation of all the good people of the State to ensure that they fulfil their civic responsibilities by way of payment of all taxes and levies due to the State Government.

This is of absolute importance if we are to implement our budget. Mr Speaker, please permit me, for the sake of the public to explain that budget is just an outline of expected income and intended expenditure. It is not that the money has been warehoused somewhere, waiting for disbursement at the right time. It comes everyday in trickles from taxes, levies, rates, fines, grants, allocations and so on. Therefore, the income must first be realised before it can be spent. It goes without saying therefore that without realising the income, the budget is a mere academic exercise. This is why it is absolutely necessary for the people to pay their taxes and other financial obligations.

PERFORMANCE OF 2017 BUDGET

The third quarterly progress report on the 2017 budget prepared by the Ministry of Economic Planning, Budget and Development revealed that the total revenue which accrued to the State Government from all sources was N62,884,172,292.89 (Sixty–Two Billion, Eight Hundred and Eighty-Four Million, One Hundred and Seventy-Two Thousand, Two Hundred and Ninety-Two Naira, Eighty–Nine Kobo) while the total expenditure for the nine month period was N61,314,382,862.81 (Sixty-One Billion, Three Hundred and Fourteen Million, Three Hundred and Eighty-Two Thousand, Eight Hundred and Sixty-Two Naira, Eighty-One Kobo).

This year witnessed a drop in the revenue accruing to State as a result of the glut in crude oil market, and continual depletion of excess crude oil accounts by the Federal Government of Nigeria. It is necessary to state that, despite the tight financial position of Government due to dwindling revenue from the Federation Account, we have been able to execute various projects and programmes that were very beneficial to our people. We have tried to ensure prudent management of our scarce financial resources in the overall interest of the citizenry. We are delighted to say that we have done our best within the available resources in the provision of necessary infrastructure for the development of our dear State. Once again, I will like to thank the distinguished Legislators and the good people of the State of Osun for supporting us in ensuring the high performance recorded by our administration these past seven years. It is our desire to ensure a higher level of performance in 2018.

Let me now present the 2018 Draft Budget of the State of Osun.

MAIN FEATURES OF THE DRAFT 2018 BUDGET OF THE STATE OF OSUN

Our ultimate goal for the 2018 Budget is to ensure a continuous improvement in the welfare and standard of living of our people. This will be achieved by consolidating the previous achievements of this administration and do everything possible to recover the lost glory of the State. Thus, the 2018 budget has been carefully packaged to ensure the effective realization of our vision as encapsulated in our Six-Point Integral Action Plan. It is important to intimate this august Assembly that the preparation of 2018 Budget has been very participatory. Relevant inputs were sourced and received from various stakeholders across the State in order to enhance the quality of the Budget.

At this juncture, I wish to present to this Honourable House of Assembly, the draft 2018 Budget, the size of which is N173,980,083,007 (One hundred and Seventy Three Billion, Nine Hundred and Eighty  Million, Eighty Three Thousand  and Seven naira only). The draft Budget which is christened “Budget of Enduring Legacy” is anchored on the avowed commitment of the present administration to provide a conducive living environment for the people of the State.

Let me now present the summary of the 2018 draft budget of the State of Osun.

(I)       SUMMARY OF THE DRAFT 2018 REVENUE BUDGET

DESCRIPTION BUDGET 2018 Percentage of the Total Revenue (%)
 ₦
OPENING BALANCE (A)                                 –  
REVENUE:  
GOVERNMENT SHARE OF FAAC 27,064,054,430.00                      15.56
GOVERNMENT SHARE OF VAT 8,870,044,300.00                         5.10
GOVERNMENT SHARE OF EXCESS CRUDE ACCOUNT 77,780,840.00                         0.04
OTHER REVENUE FROM FAAC 5,052,679,630.00                         2.90
PERSONAL TAXES 25,142,496,000.00                      14.45
CORPORATE TAXES 9,713,000,000.00                         5.58
LICENSES – GENERAL 1,599,640,000.00                         0.92
FEES – GENERAL 20,863,528,350.00                      11.99
FINES – GENERAL 182,085,000.00                         0.10
SALES – GENERAL 2,258,594,450.00                         1.30
EARNINGS –GENERAL 3,683,227,100.00                         2.55
RENT ON GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS – GENERAL 335,776,500.00                         0.19
RENT ON LAND & OTHERS – GENERAL 279,085,000.00                         0.16
REPAYMENT-GENERAL 26,025,957,907.00                      14.96
INVESTMENT INCOME 462,950,000.00                         0.27
INTEREST EARNED 60,458,590.00                         0.03
RE-IMBURSEMENT GENERAL 632,800,000.00                         0.36
DOMESTIC AIDS 5,749,000,000.00                         3.30
FOREIGN AIDS 795,607,070.00                         0.46
DOMESTIC GRANTS 7,979,390,530.00                         5.59
FOREIGN GRANTS 4,381,500,000.00                         1.52
TOTAL CURRENT YEAR RECEIPTS (B) 151,955,945,697.00                      87.34
FINANCING OF SPECIFIC PROJECTS BY OTHER CAPITAL RECEIPT                               –
INTERNAL SOURCE 1,500,000,000.00                         0.86
EXTERNAL SOURCE 20,524,137,310.00                    11.80
TOTAL FUND SOURCED (C ) 22,024,137,310.00                      100.00
TOTAL PROJECTED FUNDS AVAILABLE (D=A+B+C) 173,980,083,007.00

 

(ii)   Summary of the Draft 2018 Expenditure Budget

Items 2018 Estimates (N)  % 0f the Total Expenditure
PERSONNEL 33,367,229,660.00                   19.18
CRFC (Personnel) 9,183,139,080.00                     5.28
OTHER RECURRENT – OVERHEAD 14,527,340,146.00                     8.35
CRFC (Overhead) 28,027,881,850.00                   16.11
 ASSETS/Capital 76,507,826,281.00                   43.98
CRFC (Capital) 12,366,666,000.00                     7.11
TOTAL 173,980,083,007.00                100.00

 

(iii)  Summary of Total Arrears transferred to the Draft 2018 Budget

BUDGET SURPLUS/DEFICIT -28,674,145,687.00
LIABILITIES (b) 22,024,137,310.00
  -6,650,008,377.00
SALARY ARREARS -22,862,047,079.45
CRFC ARREARS (PENSIONS AND GRATUITY) -6,764,116,700.00
CAPITAL ARREARS (DREDGING/FLOOD CONTROL) -2,309,171,144.61
TOTAL  -38,585,343,301.06

 

 

(iv)    CAPITAL EXPENDITURE BASED ON SECTORS

ADMINISTRATIVE SECTOR 10,298,104,640.00                   11.59
ECONOMIC SECTOR 60,362,255,770.00                   67.92
LAW AND JUSTICE SECTOR 902,939,500.00                     1.02
REGIONAL SECTOR 15,000,000.00                     0.11
SOCIAL SECTOR 17,211,192,371.00                   19.37
TOTAL CAPITAL EXPENDITURE (H) 88,874,492,281.00                100.00

 

(v)     CAPITAL EXPENDITURE BASED ON FUNCTIONS

GENERAL PUBLIC SERVICES 24,481,246,820.00                   27.55
PUBLIC ORDER AND SAFETY 1,334,191,720.00                     1.50
ECONOMIC AFFAIRS 35,724,119,520.00                   40.20
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION 969,737,950.00                     1.09
HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AMENITIES 9,854,451,660.00                   11.09
HEALTH 2,611,873,680.00                     2.94
RECREATION, CULTURE AND RELIGION 302,498,830.00                     0.34
EDUCATION 12,504,590,629.00                   14.07
SOCIAL PROTECTION 1,091,781,472.00                     1.23
TOTAL CAPITAL EXPENDITURE (G) 88,874,492,281.00 100

 

Having presented the highlights of the summary of the revenue and expenditure components of the draft 2018 Budget as well as the sectoral and sub-sectoral classifications of the Capital Budget, let me now present the highlights of the proposals contained in the budget. I will start by highlighting the achievements recorded in each of the sectors/sub-sectors and thereafter speak on the programmes and projects admitted into the 2018 Budget.

AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT

The State of Osun, being an agrarian economy with arable fertile soil, can only move forward positively by revolutionizing agriculture. The present administration will continue to put agriculture in its pride of place of the state economy. Agriculture will not only provide employment for our teeming masses, it will also encourage rapid agro-allied industrialization of the state, generation of income and improved welfare of the citizenry. As spelt out in the Six-Point Integral Action Plan, our intention is to make agriculture profitable, attractive as a good venture as well as making food available in the State for the well being of our citizens.

In the outgoing year, various programmes were implemented with a view to boosting agricultural production in the State. We will continue with our intention to make agriculture more profitable, attractive and vibrant to enable us attain self-sufficiency in food production with spillover effects to other States of the Federation. In this regard, the following achievements were recorded:

  • Establishment of Land Bank for the purpose of land allocation for intending farmers;
  • Securing investment to the tune of N539 Million for massive Broiler Production under the Public Private Partnership arrangement known as Osun Broilers Outgrowers Production Scheme (O-BOPS);
  • Empowerment of over 436 farmers through Osun Broilers Outgrowers Production Scheme (O-BOPS);
  • Nine moribund Farm Settlements were resuscitated across the State. These are Ago-Owu, Oyere, Mokore, Olupona, Ila, Esa-Oke, Akinleye (Iwo), Igbaye and Ifon-Orolu;
  • Completion of 500Metric Tons capacity Warehouse in Osogbo and 1000 Metric Tons capacity Warehouse in Oyan in order to ensure preservation and storage of agricultural produce;
  • Completion of 7 (Nos.) Mini-warehouses of each 120 metric ton capacity located at Ago-Owu, Ilesa (OSSADEP Zonal Office), Ife (OAU Commercial Farm), Odua O-REAP Youth Academy Owode-Ede, Esa-Oke Farm Settlement, Mokore, and OSSADEP Headquarters, Iwo;
  • 500,000 Hybrid Cocoa seedlings were provided for farmers free of charge for planting under the Tree Crops Project while 64,000 Oil Palm seedlings were raised and sold to farmers at highly subsidized rates;
  • Distribution of 2,000 Cocoa Games for cocoa farmers as Gtason method;
  • Distribution of 6,000 Bitter Kola free to Farmers;
  • Distribution of 6,000 kolanut seedlings free to farmers;

In the 2018 fiscal year, the State Government of Osun will continue to commit resources to promote and encourage robust investments in Agriculture through the provision of necessary enabling environment. Government would also consider new projects and programmes to serve emerging needs of agriculture as a business including:

  • Development of 3 Abattoirs and cattle market in Osogbo, Iwo, Ilesa/Ife in the State of Osun in order to ensure the consumption of wholesome meat by the populace and also to grow our Internally Generated Revenue;
  • Collaboration with International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) to enhance distribution of improved varieties of crops and uplifting agriculture from peasantry to commercial farming in the State of Osun;
  • Encouraging Public-Private Partnership (PPP) through CBN-NIRSAL Anchor Borrower Programme (ABP) in the running of the Agriculture Projects in the State to enhance sustainability and overcome constraints associated with meeting budgetary expectation;
  • Expansion of Fish Farm Estate to squarely address animal protein deficiency in the diet of our people. Interested Fish Farmers shall be allocated land space for fish pond construction including Service Providers in the area of Hatchery, Feed Mill and Fish Processing Establishments in the Estate;
  • Assisting farmers in the areas of Agricultural Mechanization, deployment of new technology, Soil testing and food laboratories in order to reduce drudgery and youth aversion to agriculture as well as boost the productivity of agricultural factors of production;
  • Strengthening the Farm Service Centres to supply requisite Agricultural Inputs with a view to alleviating the suffering of Osun peasant farmers;
  • Partnership with IITA, OAU and other institutions for improved seedlings and technology-driven agricultural practice in the State; and
  • Execution of Cocoa Rehabilitation Scheme with a view to boosting Cocoa production and IGR in the State.

EDUCATION

Education is the key to sustainable development. In the realization of this, our Administration has constantly accorded Education the deserved attention since we assumed office seven years ago. Since coming on board, our administration has not relented in its avowed resolve to revamp the education sector from the rot we inherited. It has become evident that our administration is determined to bring complete transformation to the educational sector in the State. We have since taken giant strides to re-construct and re-structure the education sector in order to restore quality and promote functional education at all levels in the state.

The vision of the government as enshrined in the Six-Point Integral Action Plan is:

‘to promote functional education at all level’.  Consequent upon this, the State Government of Osun operates a free Primary and Secondary Education and in addition provides Opon Imo (Computer Tablets) and other required instructional materials to pupils and students in all Public Schools. Apart from this, the improvement in the nutritional and health status of pupils being fed through Osun Elementary School Feeding Programme (O-MEALs)  has helped to improve the production capacities of farmers, suppliers of farm produce and has empowered many women who were appointed Food Vendors by the State. To further enhance the programme in 2018 fiscal year, adequate provision has been made in the 2018 Budget.

5.3   In order to improve the staffing situation in our schools and considering the paucity of fund at the disposal of the State Government, there will be deployment of Public Servants with teaching qualifications in some core subjects, in line with the on-going unification policy of the State Government, while the system of engaging our Youth Corps members in the teaching of our students will continue.

Furthermore, our Administration, through the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) in collaboration with the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Abuja and the Education Tax Fund (now Tertiary Education Tax Fund (TETFUND) has completed the construction of six Model High Schools, 20 Elementary Schools and 22 Middle Schools.  More than 50 per cent of the schools under construction have been completed and commissioned while others are at various stages of completion will be completed before the expiration of our administration in November 2018.  In addition to the foregoing, Government will continue to ensure a timely release of Running and Examination Grants to all our schools in the New Year.

Government provided furniture items to all the newly constructed schools.  Efforts will be made to ensure that modern furniture items are provided in all our schools to aid teaching and learning, and to make learning environment conducive to pupils and students in the State.

5.6   It is also necessary to mention that, in our avowed commitment to provide functional education, the reform carried out in the education sector by creating three Education Districts has started to yield positive results.  With the appointment of Tutors-General for three Educational Districts there is better supervision and monitoring of all our schools and very soon, the impact will be felt through improvement in the WASC and NECO examination results in this State. Similarly, to encourage Primary School teachers to reach the pinnacle of their careers like their counterparts in Secondary Schools and core Civil Service, the process is on to appoint nine Headmasters-General, one each for the nine Federal Constituencies in  the State.

Our Administration will remain irrevocably committed to the joint ownership and co-funding of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso and the College of Health Sciences, Osogbo with the Oyo State Government.  We will continue, as usual, to meet our financial obligations to the higher institution in the 2018 fiscal year within the limit of available resources.

Education, as we all know, is the bedrock of development of any nation because it makes people easy to lead, impossible to blind-fold and difficult to enslave. Based on this, any serious government that is desirous of transforming the State into an economic haven will not joke with education.  In realization of the pivotal role of this sub-sector, a sum of N12.504 Billion or 14.07 per cent of the total capital budget has been allocated in the 2018 draft Budget to take care of the various programmes and projects earmarked for execution.

HEALTH CARE SERVICES

The provision of qualitative health care for our people remains a top priority of government.  We have since inception recorded remarkable achievements in the areas of infrastructural development, improvement in the health equipment status in our hospitals, and distribution of medical consumables and capacity building through sponsoring health workers on further studies.  The policy thrust which is geared towards restoring healthy living among our people will continue to be pursued with all doggedness in the next fiscal year.

In line with our vision, we are prepared to continue to save our people from avoidable deaths due to emergencies, poverty, and inadequate health facilities. Health, as we know, is wealth.  We will ensure increased accessibility to qualitative health care services in all parts of the state by completion of all on-going projects. Specifically, in 2018 fiscal year, Government will ensure that the renovations and upgrading of the nine State Hospitals in the State are fully completed.

In 2018, this administration will continue to provide essential drugs and medical consumables in all our hospitals at subsidized rate.  The ‘O’ Ambulance Scheme, no doubt, has been used to save a lot of lives in situations of emergency in the State.  More efforts will be made in the New Year to make the scheme more functional to achieve the purpose for its establishment.  Regarding Primary Health Care and Disease Control, a lot of intervention activities will continue to be carried out, including spraying of houses under the indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) in the Malaria Control Programme in three Pilot Local Government Areas, distribution of Insecticide Treated Nets to pregnant women and children as well as distribution of drags tables to health facilities, as well as awareness and sensitization programmes for the control of diseases like malaria, Avian Flu, Tuberculosis HIV/AIDS, Monkey Pox etc. To bring health care delivery services to the door steps of our rural dwellers, Primary Health Care Brand has been constituted in the out-going year.

Regarding LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, Government will continue to perform its statutory responsibilities towards the Institution as it has always been doing.  LAUTECH Teaching Hospital is a Centre of Excellence known for the provision of quality tertiary health services to the people of the State of Osun in particular and Nigeria as a whole.   It needs to be mentioned that through innovation and ingenuity of the management of the hospital, we now produce oxygen which is used locally within the hospital as well as for sale to other health care providers. The hospital has also begun production of essential drugs and consumables.

INDUSTRIALIZATION, FINANCE, COMMERCE AND COOPERATIVES.

Industrialization

There is no doubting the fact that industrialization is the key to economic development. The State Government had entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a foreign firm for the resuscitation and sustainable operation of Cocoa Products Industry, Ede. Full operation is expected to commerce at the factor very soon.

All necessary and preliminary works had been carried out for the establishment of three factories at the Omoluabi Free Trade Zone, Abere, in Ede North Local Government Area of the State. These are a Mini–Bus Assembly plant, an automobile plant and a polypropylene pipes manufacturing factory. Construction work has reached an advanced stage on the mini–bus plant which is expected to be in operation soonest. Implementation of the other two projects is to start in earnest while they are expected to be in full operation in 2018.

FINANCE

The management of the finances of the State Government of Osun is on course. However, our experience in the last two years with regard to the inflow of funds into the coffers of the State Government has not really been very pleasant. The actual revenue accruable to the coffers of the state from the Federation Account fell seriously short of our projected revenue for the current year. In fact, the monthly receipts from the Federation Account have been dwindling drastically and consistently for the past two years. It behoves on all of us to depend less on the revenue from the Federation Account. Consequently, the issue of the Internally Generated Revenue of Government shall be taken more seriously than before.

On this note, I wish to humbly enjoin the good people of the State to cooperate with our revenue officers in the discharge of their civic responsibilities. The improvement of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) stands as the only means by which this administration can fulfil its promises to the good people of the State through the provision of social services, infrastructural development and so on. Our IGR target in 2018 is to reach a minimum of N5 billion monthly, and with the support of all and sundry, we are sure that this feat is achievable. To this end, every resident of this state, private and public establishments and others should be alive to their obligation to the Government. All forms of taxes due should be paid promptly. With the Revenue Law in place, we have constituted a new Internally Generated Revenue Service and new Revenue Board. The Board will be autonomous in its day–to–day activities which will eventually lead to improvement in their performance.

The State Government in 2018 will endeavour to strengthen IRS in terms of personnel and financing. I want to advise all taxable individuals to make sure they register and obtain Taxpayer Identification (TIN) card. Public and Private Organizations will be requesting for Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) before attending to individual and this is a nationwide affair. For clarity sake, I need to emphasize that Taxation is under the Exclusive Legislative list which only the National Assembly can discuss and pass into law. According to the The Personal Income Tax Amendment Act (2011), a new consolidated relief had been granted. Employers of labour are to remit the tax deducted from the total Emolument of their staffers latest on the 10th day of the following month.

Under the national fiscal space which we operate, the Federal Government has made stringent policies to make sure that raising of fund from both the capital market and commercial Banks become near impossible. However, to achieve our aim requires the cooperation of all and sundry. The task of taking the State to an enviable position is a joint responsibility. I therefore implore all corporate bodies, individuals and everybody doing business in the State to fulfil their obligations in terms of prompt payment of taxes and levies in order to achieve our target.

The Local content policy floated by the State of Osun in 2012 is still in force. The policy is designed to ensure that resident contractors, suppliers, artisan etc are actively involved in the execution of Government projects and Programmes. To this extent, the State of Osun Local content policy calls for a target of 80 per cent utilization of Osun Personnel in all public projects while the remaining 20 per cent is reserved for effective transfer of technology through hands-on experience by experts. It also stipulates that contractors draw 50 to 60 per cent of their manpower and material inputs from Local Communities. The Ministry of finance is expected to monitor the compliance of all contractors, Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government with the local content policy.

COMMERCE

This Administration has taken a number of steps towards the realization of sustainable growth and development of commercial activities in the state. The construction of Dagbolu Market tagged “O–HUB” is on–going which, after completion, will make the state the hub of regional trade in goods and commodities of the South West. One of the facilities slated for the Mid–Regional Market (O–Hub) at Dagbolu is an Inland Container Depot (ICD). An Outline Business Case (OBC) had been prepared by the State Government and accepted by the Nigeria Shippers’ Council for the development of the ICD. Necessary machinery is being put in place to ensure the realization of the project in the 2018 fiscal year.

More than 6,000 people benefitted from the Free Train Transportation Service of the State Government during Christmas, Easter. Eil–el–Fitri and Eid–el–Kabir celebrations in 2017. This has increased the total number of beneficiaries drastically from the inception of the programme in 2011. It also had salutary effect on the state’s economy and has achieved the objective of re–awakening the interest of the citizenry in rail transportation in preparation for the take–off of the Mid–Regional Market (O–Hub) which has rail transportation of industrial goods and agricultural produce as one of its core component.

Our administration has started the Biometric Data capturing of all  resident of this State. The cardinal objective of this project is to have a data base containing detailed information about all residents of the State for planning purposes. The exercise had been completed for all civil and public servants as well as students and pupils in public elementary, middle and high schools. The registration of other residents, notably, artisans, market men and women, farmers and all who are in the informal sector of the State Economy is on–going and is expected to be completed in due course. We have also launched Omoluabi Weight and Measure (Osunwon Omoluabi) to reduce and possibly eradicate cheating on both the sellers and buyers, and to guarantee equity and justice.

Given the importance attached to Industrialization, Finance, Industry, Commerce and Cooperatives sector, the State Government has allocated a sum of N60,238,255,770.00 (Sixty Billion, Two Hundred and Thirty-Eight Million, Two Hundred and Fifty-Five Thousand, Seven Hundred and Seventy Naira) to sub-sector in the draft 2018 Budget.

TRANSPORTATION (WORKS)

The present administration recognizes road construction and maintenance as pivotal in the achievement of economic, social and political goals. Based on this, the Government is determined, with all patriotic zeal, to increase the tempo of construction and rehabilitation and maintenance works within the nine Federal Constituencies of the State of Osun. Our Government is resolutely committed to standard and good quality job delivery and has made it as the watchword for the project execution for all contracts and direct labour jobs in the State of Osun. This could be observed from the quality of roads being rehabilitated in our State. In spite of economic challenges, our administration has continued to keep on moving in the parlance of good governance and has painstakingly and prudently managed the limited resources in line with knowledge of critical economic effects. To this, the Government has embarked on effective cost measures and belt tightening methods to ensure proper management of little available resources for greater productivity. This has resulted to massive construction and rehabilitation of over 1500km of Intercity and Intra-city roads, including an appreciable kilometres length of rural and Local Government roads across the length and breadth of the State where several billions of naira had been committed.

In the same vein, in a bid to salvage the State from the scourge of poor road networks and with total commitment to the security of lives of citizenry, the present administration has taken a giant stride to embark on the dualization of Gbongan–Akoda Dual carriage way, Adebisi Akande Trumpet interchange Bridge and Osogbo (Old Garage)–Ikirun–Ila–Odo–Erinle–Kwara State Boundary.  These are Federal Roads that span a total length of 66.8km but the construction works are embarked upon by the State Government of Osun for the benefit of the good people of the State. The Construction of MKO Abiola International Airport at Ido–Osun is currently on–going which is first of its kind in the history of the State.

Our administration has recorded a landmark achievement on the provision of building as one of the developmental projects in the State. The External works at Secretariat was completed while Beautification of House of Assembly complex, Construction of Liaison Office, Abuja and many other completed and on-going building projects across the State are the success story of our Administration.

Our administration has re-affirmed her commitment to continue promoting the welfare of the citizenry, regardless of the economic situation. Therefore the restoration of urban street light across the State had been accorded topmost priority while the construction of Small Hydro Power (SHP) Plants at Ikeji–Ile jointly sponsored with UNIDO and feasibility study on Erinle Hydro Project are in progress.

The introduction of O–Tram, Motor Vehicle Administration Officers (MVAO) together with the existing VIO have played pivotal roles in the effective free flow of traffic and instil road discipline across the state. This has equally added a tremendous improvement to the revenue generation of the State.

Essentially, the focus of this administration on road projects in 2018 will be the completion of all on-going projects scattered across the State. If this feat is achieved in the New Year, we would have delivered on our promises to the good people of this State regarding road infrastructure in the State.

8.2   In order to ensure sustainability of road infrastructure currently being provided throughout the state, maintenance of urban roads would receive a boost in 2018 fiscal year. Osun Road Maintenance Agency (ORMA) which we established in 2011 would ensure good management of state roads and make the roads safer with smooth riding surface all the year round. The Agency is hinged on the policy of constant maintenance of road structures with a view to preserving them in their near original state to avoid eventual result of costly rehabilitation due to extensive deterioration. The agency has truly lived up to expectation, considering the progress it has made in a very short period of its establishment.

REGIONAL PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENTAL DEVELOPMENT

            PHYSICAL PLANNING & URBAN DEVELOPMENT:

 

Mr. Speaker, having put in place a well-conceived urban renewal policy and infrastructural development framework to a level that will enhance sustainable economic growth and development in our State, we shall be more aggressive in our infrastructural renewal initiatives.

In year 2018, we shall continue with the implementation of the underlisted activities in order to achieve our set goals in the sub-sector.

– provision of infrastructural facilities within GRA phase 1 and 2 at Ajeogbe, Ilesha and Iwo, and phase 3 and 4 along Gbongan Road/development of Geographical/ Land information Systems throughout the State;

–  development of Structural Plan for nine Cities under the Urban renewal programmes:

-rural planning and regrouping of villages throughout the State of   Osun;

–  design, development and maintenance of open spaces in Major Urban Centres of the State;

–  payment of compensation to claimants of various projects and development;

– development of Neighbourhood markets/yam sellers’ market within the Capital territory.

It is pertinent to inform this Honourable house that the major objective of our urban renewal activities is to revitalize the nine major cities under the programme into functional and commercially viable ones, to accelerate socio-economic growth and development of our dear State.

We shall develop to full capacity the Oranmiyan New Town Development Scheme and other GRA’s that had been opened up by providing essential amenities and infrastructure in the ultra-modern housing estates.

The Osun State Property Development Corporation is one of the Government Agencies saddled with the provision of houses for the citizens of the State.  Government will continue to give necessary support to the Agency in 2018.  In view of the Government commitment to the Housing Sub-Sector a sum of Capital project vote has been made for the execution of the various projects in the Sub-Sector in this fiscal year.

RURAL AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Our Administration will continue to encourage communities in the State to undertake viable self-help projects as Government alone cannot do all. All communities are therefore enjoined to see themselves as relevant stakeholders and join hands with the Government in the task of building the State.

RURAL AND URBAN ELECTRIFICATION

The current Administration will continue to place a high premium on the provision of rural and urban electrification across the state. This is because we strongly believe that rural electrification is one of the most viable means of discouraging rural-urban drifting, fight poverty as well as boosting development and economic activities in the rural areas. To this effect, Government will continue to embark on Rural Electrification projects, rehabilitation of the existing ones as well as provision of transformers to various communities across the State.

11.2 I am happy to inform the good people of the State that efforts are already at an advanced stage in the creation of an Industrial Power Park at Dagbolu. We are very sure that when this eventually come on stream, it is going to be a good catalyst to the industrial growth and development of this State.

WATER SUPPLY AND ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT

Our Administration in realization of the importance of water to the people for domestic, commercial and industrial use, accords high priority to the provision and distribution of portable water across the State.  It is gladdening to report that monumental achievements have been recorded in the area since we came on board which include the following:

  • Purchase of water treatment chemicals worth several millions of Naira;
  • Replacement of Filter Media in some of the major Water Scheme;
  • Procurement of Operational Vehicles to improve efficiency;
  • Complete rehabilitation of Ede Water Works Scheme;
  • Refurbishment of Dam Gate at Ede and Eko-Ende Water Works;
  • General Repair and Maintenance of Equipment at all Waterworks;
  • Bulk purchase of diesel for operation/maintenance of waterworks;
  • Refurbishing/maintenance of Reservoir, appurtenance and valves across the State;
  • Continuation of the Emergency Rehabilitation Works at the New Ede Headworks;
  • Procurement/maintenance of safety/protection equipment in all waterworks and Booster Stations across the State;
  • Improvement to other Water Schemes across the State;
  • Renovation of existing offices and buildings.

In our efforts to provide potable water to the people, RUWESA sunk 265 boreholes under the WSSRP/SRIP II Ejigbo WASH Programme which is now almost completed.  The State of Osun has been selected for grant assistance under the 10th EDF, and this will attract billion of naira to the State.  Equally through African Development Bank Assisted Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Programme, various Hand Dug Wells fitted with Hand Pump were constructed.

It is no gain saying the fact that the State of Osun is blessed with abundant natural resources which are however being threatened by different environmental challenges like flood, erosion, storm, damage of buildings and structures.  In most of our urban areas in the state, disposal of waste had become the most serious environmental challenges.  The high morbidity and mortality which arose from sanitation-related diseases has been of great concern to this administration.  The State Government will continue to play a major role in the area of waste management.  The Local Government cannot be left alone to shoulder the responsibilities, particularly in urban cities.  In view of the challenges posed by the peculiarities of our living environment, it is imperative that all tiers of Government collaborate to rid our environment of wastes and refuse in order to promote good health and the general well-being of the good people of the State of Osun.

The Government of Osun will continue to avert flooding by engaging in the continued desiltation of major drains, flood awareness campaign as well as dredging major streams and rivers.  Government will also ensure that all our obligations to our contractors are settled in the New Year.

The requests for the dredging of many streams in various towns in the State will continue to receive Government attention in the current year while those already dredged will be maintained continually.  It is however on this premise that the good people of the State should ensure that our streams, rivers and other water bodies are protected.  Refuse should not be dumped into the streams and dry season farming should not be done too close to the stream channels.  In spite of the massive achievement recorded in the de-flooding of Osogbo township in the first term of this Government, work is still on-going on the dredging of other streams.  This is definitely a continuous exercise.

Awareness has been created in our people that dumping of refuse on the road, in the drains in the stream channels and other unapproved sites has become a grave offence.  Anyone caught in this act will face the wrath of the law.  Local Governments have also been implored to ensure that approved dumpsites are created in their domains to facilitate effective waste management which can also be a source of revenue for the Local Governments, apart from keeping their environment tidy and clean.

The State Government places great premium on the planting of fast growing tree species to replace those that have been exploited within Government gazette Forest Reserves.  In 2018, serious efforts will be made to reclaim some of our Forest Reserves through aforestation activities.  All our Forest Reserves shall receive deserved attention in the New Year.

INFORMATION AND YOUTH DEVELOPMENT

The current Administration is determined to continue to ensure free and uninterrupted flow of information which is sine-qua-non for good governance.  We will ensure that our people are better informed and enlightened about the policies and programmes of Government, particularly on issues affecting their welfare.  In this regard, the Ministry of Information and Strategy will be properly strengthened in the 2018 fiscal year for effective performance of its statutory functions.

13.2 This Administration will also continue to give necessary support to Osun State Broadcasting Corporation to perform its leading role as the Regional Voice of the Southwest in the area of educating, informing and entertaining its numerous listeners and viewers.  This is in addition to people’s access to its activities on the internet.

Regarding Reality Radio –Vision Service, Iwo, Government in the 2018 fiscal year will ensure a proper funding of the station to enable it perform to its optimal level as conceived at the inception by the Chief Bola Ige Administration of the old Oyo State.

TOURISM AND CULTURE

Government is aware that development of Tourism potential is a global alternative for socio-economic advancement of every society.  Also Government is equally aware that the utilization of Culture and Tourism resources will create jobs for the mass unemployed youths and as a result develop the economy of the State.  In the coming year, Government will continue to promote Tourism and Culture in the State.  This will be achieved through a well thought-out development of our tourism and culture potentials of this State.

15.0 WOMEN DEVELOPMENT AND GENDER MATTERS

15.1 Women development and gender matters have always been accorded priority attention by our Administration.  Government will continue to be gender sensitive and promote full utilization and integration of women potentials into national development. It is pertinent to reiterate that our Six-Point Integral Action Plan supports, encourages and emphasizes the socio-economic development of women, either individually or as groups, through agricultural activities, commerce, arts and crafts, food processing, vocational skills acquisition and development of culture.

YOUTHS, SPORTS AND SPECIAL NEEDS

The present administration has remained strictly and consistently committed to reforming and rehabilitating delinquents and maladjusted youths through preventive, institutional and curative programmes, as well as provision of adequate care for persons with special needs, destitute and other disadvantaged persons in the State of Osun.  It is also our desire to ensure the development of sports from grassroots in schools and the entire populace across the State.  Omoluabi Youth Club is one of the programmes designed for the youth in the State, to be a platform where young people are trained, celebrated and allowed to maximize their God-given-talents for the benefit of themselves, their local communities, the state and the nation at large.

16.2 The Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES), since inception, has attracted accolades and commendation from both far and near.  The World Bank has adopted the scheme as a template for youth empowerment all over the world.  The Federal Government of Nigeria has fashioned Youth Empowerment and Social Support Operation (YESSO) and You-Win after of OYES.  The laudable scheme, which provided instant employment to 20,000 unemployed agile youths of the State of Osun is designed to be a rolling scheme so that many youths of the State will benefit from the initiative.  The volunteers on the scheme are expected to disengage after two years of participation to give opportunity for another batch.  It is our plans that the Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES) Committee will commence preparation for the engagement of another batch of the 20,000 volunteers for the scheme very soon.

In realization of the enviable position of sports as an instrument of international politics, our Administration will remain committed to the development of sports in all its ramifications in the years ahead.  The Osogbo Zonal Stadium has been redesigned to include indoor sports hall and swimming pool in order to be of international standard. Also, representatives of this State have been winning medals and laurels for the State through their participation in various sports and games outside the State.  Their efforts are going to be supported further in order to ensure that our youth are properly engaged and their God-given talents adequately tapped.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND CHIEFTAINCY AFFAIRS

The State Government through the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs will continue to vigorously monitor the activities and performance of all Local Governments in the State to ensure compliance with Laws and other regulations. Special attention will continuously be paid to monitoring Public Utilities under the Local Governments and coordinating the disbursement of statutory allocations in order to generally facilitate the development planning for all Local Governments. The Ministry will strive harder in ensuring that the Local Government Administration is effectively keyed into the current Administration’s policies as encapsulated in the Six Point Integral Action Plans.

We cannot but acknowledge the various roles played by our Royal fathers in the maintenance of peace, settling of boundary disputes, communal clashes and chieftaincy problems in their various domains.  In tandem with our noble objectives of enhancing Communal Peace and Progress, deserved attention will continue to be accorded all Chieftaincy matters, including speedy filling of all vacant stools, granting of authority to wear beaded crowns and promotion of our traditional rulers.  In addition, Government will continue to exploit to the maximum the tool of Alternative Dispute Resolution to handle Chieftaincy matters in such a way that will remove the usual stumbling blocks of civil litigations.  Our Traditional rulers are enjoined to be partners in progress for promoting peace and harmony and reducing to the lowest, litigations on chieftaincy issues.  Their roles in settling boundary disputes and communal clashes will continue to be appreciated. I want to assure you that in acknowledgement of their roles as formidable pillar for Socio-economic development, our Royal fathers will continue to be held in high esteem.

 THE LEGISLATURE

I am happy to note that our Legislature is the best in the country.  They have performed credibly in the last seven years.  On our part, we shall provide a very conducive environment for our legislators to enable them perform effectively.  I am also happy to note that during the time of the current Assembly, the renovation of the House of Assembly Complex was completed and commissioned.  The newly renovated Hallowed Chamber is of international standard and is capable of placing the State House of Assembly of Osun as the best chambers in the Federation. I congratulate Mr. Speaker and the entire members of the House for this achievement.

Once again, I want to thank our distinguished legislators, especially the Rt. Hon Speaker, for working in amity with the Executive arm of Government in an attempt to ensure improvement in the economy of the State as well as in the welfare of our citizenry.  We cannot do otherwise since the two institutions are working towards the same goal of ensuring meaningful and sustainable development of the State of Osun.  Our administration will continue to provide the Legislature with the wherewithal to perform its statutory functions within the limit of the financial resources of Government.

THE JUDICIARY

I also want to commend the State Judiciary for its activities during the last seven years.  This administration will continue to pay attention to this arm of government in ensuring the smooth running of administration of Justice in the State.  Government will continue to see to the welfare of Judges, Magistrates and Judiciary staff to enable them carry out their onerous duty without any hindrance.  Conducive atmosphere devoid of interference in tune with the doctrine of separation of power which will in turn yield good governance will be ensured in our relationship with the judiciary.  Balances would be sought where necessary for the utmost good of the people of the State of Osun.

GENERAL ADMINISTRATION

There is no gainsaying the fact that the totality of the human capital available to any organization is a key element and determining factor of the output and productivity of such an organization. It is in recognition of the important role which a contented and motivated work-force can play in the realization of the developmental objectives of government that the present administration has been working assiduously to see that the deserving officers in the public service of the State of Osun are promoted as at when due.  The current issues we are facing with payment of salaries and allowances and other benefits of public servants are not our own making.  Let me at this juncture, appreciate all the public servants in the State, including the teachers, for their support, cooperation and understanding, I want to assure you that the welfare of our workers is uppermost in the mind of this administration.  This effort will continue to be pursued vigorously within the limit of the resources available to this administration.

CONCLUSION

I want to say without mincing words that by the grace of God, the 2018 Budget will be objectively and faithfully implemented.  I wish to thank the people of the State for their support in the last seven years of our Administration. I like to appeal to all and sundry to continue to cooperate with our Government in the arduous task of remoulding the State of Osun into a better place. The welfare of our people will continue to be accorded top priority attention.  Our activities will continue to be guided by the highest regard for the people of the state.  I, therefore, enjoin all the good people of the State of Osun to continue to pray for the success of our administration.

Finally, I wish to appeal to our dear Honourable Members of the House of Assembly to give, as usual, speedy consideration to the 2018 draft Budget Estimates so that its implementation can commence early enough in the new fiscal year.

I thank you all for your kind attention.  I also wish you happy and prosperous New Year in Advance.

Osun a dara!

Breaking: Aregbesola Presents N173bn 2018 Budget To Osun Assembly

Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola on Thursday presented a total sum of N 173,980,083,007 billion budget of the state for the year 2018 fiscal year to the state House of Assembly for scrutiny and approval.

The Governor is presenting a budget that is N27,347,336,027 higher than that of 2017, the sum N146,632,746,980.00‎ was presented to the Assembly last year.

Aregbesola, presenting the draft Budget christened “Budget of Enduring Legacy” said it is anchored on the avowed commitment of his administration to provide a conducive living environment for the people of the State.

Summarising the draft 2018 revenue budget, the governor told the House of Assembly ‎the state will be expecting money to finance the budget from expected government share of Federation Account N27 billion forming 15.56%, Value Added Tax‎ N8.8 billion (5.10%). Others are‎ Excess crude account‎ N77.7 billion‎ (0.04%),other revenue from FAAC ‎N5,052.6billion (2.90%), personal and corporate taxes are put at ‎N25.1 billion (14.45%) and N9.7 billion (5.58%) respectively.

Expected form Licences ‎is N1.5 billion (0.92‎%), General fees N20.8 billion (11.99%)‎, General. Earnings N3.6 billion (2.55%), rent on government buildings and rent on lands and others at ‎N335.7 billion (0.19%) and N279 billion  (0.16%) respectively.

Other sources are. Repayment, investment income,‎ interest earned, reimbursement, domestic aids, foreign aids, domestic grant and foreign grants

‎The governor put the total year expected receipt at N151.9 billion ‎(87.34%), other sourced fund to finance specific projects are internal source and external are‎ N1.5 billion ‎(0.86%) and external source N20.5 billion (11.80%” respectively‎.

‎He said, “Our ultimate goal for the 2018 Budget is to ensure a continuous improvement in the welfare and standard of living of our people.

“This will be achieved by consolidating the previous achievements of this administration and do everything possible to recover the lost glory of the State.

“Thus, the 2018 budget has been carefully packaged to ensure the effective realization of our vision as encapsulated in our Six-Point Integral Action Plan.

“It is important to intimate this august Assembly that the preparation of 2018 Budget has been very participatory. Relevant inputs were sourced and received from various stakeholders across the State in order to enhance the quality of the Budget”.

‎Aregbesola from the budget presentation put the summary of total arrears transferred to the Draft 2018 Budget as budget surplus/deficit‎ N-28.6 billion, liabilities, N22 billion, salary arrears N-22.8 billion, Pension and gratuity, N-6.7 billion and capital arrears (dredging/flood control)‎ N-2.3 billion totalling N-38.5 billion.

‎He said, “Having presented the highlights of the summary of the revenue and expenditure components of the draft 2018 Budget as well as the sectoral and sub-sectoral classifications of the Capital Budget, let me now present the highlights of the proposals contained in the budget.

“I will start by highlighting the achievements recorded in each of the sectors/sub-sectors and thereafter speak on the programmes and projects admitted into the 2018 Budget.

‎”The State of Osun, being an agrarian economy with arable fertile soil, can only move forward positively by revolutionising agriculture. The present administration will continue to put agriculture in its pride of place of the state economy.

“Agriculture will not only provide employment for our teeming masses, it will also encourage rapid agro-allied industrialization of the state, generation of income and improved welfare of the citizenry.

“As spelt out in the Six-Point Integral Action Plan, our intention is to make agriculture profitable, attractive as a good venture as well as making food available in the State for the well being of our citizens.

 

Pastor Blames Paramedics For Death Of 3 Year Old In Church

Pastor Paseka “Mboro” Motsoeneng has said the family of the 3 year old child who died at his church will be filing charges against paramedics. Motsoeneng insists the paramedics from Ekurhuleni Emergency Management Services berated the mother of the child instead of providing medical care.

The child died at his church in Katlehong on Sunday and the pastor denied allegations that he wanted to load the lifeless body of the child into the ambulance, or that he and his congregants attacked paramedics.

“You know why they (paramedics) went to open the case, why they rushed to the media? They are covering because they are afraid of the lawsuit and the mother is going to actually open a case of assault because she was thrown with the oxygen tank on her foot. All South Africans must rally behind this mother. I’ll be transporting her to the police station at 11 o’ clock. She will be opening a case of culpable homicide because the child was killed”  the pastor said.

He went on to accuse the paramedics of negligence; “The ambulance when it arrived they (the paramedics) were asked to enter the church with the stretcher, they refused. They said the pastor must take the child out. I took the child out.  Then I was shouting: open the ambulance, the gentleman opened the ambulance. I got there, now the child is crying softly. Because of what happened I was afraid that the child might go (die) and will not be able to do anything because they’re here. I explained to the lady (paramedic) the child they say is dehydrated, the child couldn’t breathe can you put on the oxygen. She’s like ‘no, no don’t teach me my work, where is the mother?’ I called the mother, she started asking questions – why did you bring the child first in the church instead of the hospital.”

Meanwhile, Ekurhuleni Emergency Medical Services insists its personnel were attacked when they tried to assist. EMS spokesperson William Ntladi said the threats came three weeks after paramedics pleaded with the public to stop attacking paramedics.

“This time it happened (where) one of the prominent members of the community assaulted one of our personnel during this festive season, which is hectic and important to have everyone ready to operate in case of such emergencies. So one ambulance member was booked off for injury on duty because she was injured on the scene while she was attending (to) what she has been employed (to do) and expected to do when we arrived on the scene there was a misunderstanding between the pastor of the church whereby they had to operate within strategies and procedures.”

 

General Constantino Chiwenga Becomes Zimbabwe’s Vice President

Zimbabwe’s former army commander, General Constantino Chiwenga who led the military takeover that helped end Robert Mugabe’s 37-year rule has been sworn in as one of the country’s two vice presidents today.

The 61-year old miliary chief took the oath of office at the presidential office in Harare, pledging to “obey, uphold and defend the constitution” of the country, according to an AFP journalist who witnessed the ceremony.

 

BREAKING: 40 Killed In Multiple Bomb Blast In Afghanistan

Afghanistan’s Interior Ministry has revealed that at least 40 people have been killed and 30 wounded by multiple bomb blasts at a Shi’ite cultural center near a news agency in Kabul.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the December 28 attack, but a Taliban spokesman denied that the militant group was involved.

Reports suggested the attack had targeted the Afghan Voice news agency on the west side of the Afghan capital. But Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said later that the blasts were aimed at the Shi’ite Tabayan cultural center.

Rahimi said a suicide bomber entered the building and blew himself up during a crowded ceremony marking the 38th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

Rahimi said there were two other explosions on the street outside of the building as people were gathering to help those injured by the first blast. He said the smaller explosions outside of the building did not kill anyone.