By Rasheed Adebayo Mabayoje
**Our government is people oriented. We won’t stop school feeding, free education” – Aregbesola
It was a gathering of representatives of every spectrum of the society, including traditional rulers, prominent indigenes, present and past government officials, leaders of formal and informal business unions, market women, students union leaders, opinion leaders, religious leaders, artisans, leaders of state civil service, civil society Organisations, Labour Union Leaders and all other relevant stakeholders in the
They all spoke frantically on issues bothering their minds, relating to governance generally in the state.
Chairman of the conference who was the first Secretary to the State Government and Head of Service, Chief Moses Inaolaji Abowaba said participants at the summit came upon their belief in the seriousness and commitment of the Aregbesola government. “For once we see somebody who is passionate about the development of Osun. We are here without any sentiment but because if anybody has done well we should acknowledge it, he said.
Mr Abowaba noted that governor Aregbesola demonstrated foresightedness by his action plans, through which the state reached curent level of development.
Governor Rauf Aregbesola who declared the conference open recalled that former governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola had earlier on broached the idea of a gathering where stakeholders would discuss development in the state. “That is why, when the idea was later suggested by our people from the House of Representatives I advised them to communicate with former governor Oyinlola as an adviser, Governor Aregbesola said.
He urged participants to discuss without any fear of intimidation.
He however cautioned against any fowl discussions. He added that the gathering was “another open forum where everyone should be free to say it as he sees it without any fear of intimidation.”
Summary of the deliberations was captured in a communique which was ratified by the gathering.
– That the infrastructural development of the State of Osun is essential, irrevocable and should go on without compromise within the limit of available funds.
– Government should evolve all possible policies and programmes by which the economy, hence revenue realisable by the State of Osun could grow.
– In the face of dwindling revenue from the federation account, all Osun people must resolve to collectively ensure that there is tremendous improvement in the internally generated revenue.
– All the people and businesses in the State of Osun must patriotically pay their taxes and rates before being compelled to do so.
– Loopholes in the way revenues are collected should be blocked.
– There is an urgent need to review the cost of governance particularly to ascertain accurately the Cost of the various components, salaries, allowances and overheads encompassing recurrent expenditure of the Government of Osun.
– There should be feedback mechanism on government policies and programmes so as to evolve prudence, transparency and accountability in fund management.
– Government should consider diversification of the state economic base. There should be an improvement in the on-going efforts in the area of agriculture, mining and tourism.
– Government should embrace Public Private Partnerships (PPP) where the State has comparative advantage especially in the Areas of Agriculture, Mining and Tourism.
– There should be more efforts at ensuring that government patronises more competent and efficient local contractors so as to create more wealth within the economy of the State of Osun.
– The state Public and civil Servants should cooperate with government with a view to ensuring efficient and effective service delivery.
– In line with the objective to revisit the cost of Governance, Government should follow up with the declared readiness of Labour leaders to allow verification and audit of staff strength in the state with a view to confirm actual number of workers and the salary bill.
– Public servants in the state should be motivated to work efficiently as would be expected of them while reduction in the use of consultants should be exploited.
– Parents through the platform of Parents Teachers Association (PTA) should be made to contribute token to augment the laudable free education policy of the state government.
– Government is commended on its efforts on growing commercial activity within the economy of the state through the micro-financing programme through the provision of soft loans to small and medium enterprises. Government is encouraged to do more in this respect.
– Commended Government for its various youth empowerment programmes.
– The conference commends the Osun Legislators’ Forum for its effort in organising and sponsoring this conference and enjoins them to make it an annual event.