We commend the government of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola for the payment of full salaries for the month of December. This forward thrust has resulted in a positive change of mood in the state. The multiplier effect as people have started receiving text alerts from the state treasury has been pronounced.
The government is also to be commended for standing by the various agreements reached with the Unions.
This is a fundamental testimony of the efficacy of the social contract which fundamentally binds the government with the populace and civil society.
In view of Nigeria’s lopsided quasi-federalism, the state government of Osun has had to carry out a delicate balancing act. The contractual obligations to its workforce has to be acknowledged, but at the same time the physical and social infrastructures have to be built to protect and enhance sustainability in development.
In this way, the government is protecting the future of another generation. It is a delicate balancing act. The figures are revealing. Out of total expenditures between 2010 and 2017, N60 billion representing 23% went on infrastructure and N200 billion representing 77% went on salaries and pensions.
Ogbeni Aregbesola must be commended for his ingenuity in balancing competing needs. He has very sensibly acted not as a politician with an eye on the next election, but as a statesman in the interests of generations yet unborn.
The verdict of history on his tenure will be very positive.
As the administration winds down with elections slated for September 22, 2018 we should be of good cheer. The decisive gains in infrastructure must be protected. The state of Osun is at ease with itself and is one of the most peaceful in the country.
The state is also the second highest in terms of the human development index. Starting from an excruciatingly low base, Aregbesola has incontrovertibly declared a dividend of democracy in a very difficult economic climate.
History therefore beckons on Aregbesola to use his acknowledged political skills and managerial sagacity in order to ensure continuity. The government to be elected on the 22nd of September must be committed to carrying the progressive agenda to the next level.
The people of Osun deserve this and every single individual must assist in order to ensure that there is no backsliding to a discredited old ways.