By Nofisat Adeoye
Governor, State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has expressed that it has been a great privilege to serve the people of the state.
Wishing the people a happy New Year, Ogbeni said he would always cherish their love, patriotism, courage and forthrightness.
“My good people of Osun, I am most pleased and grateful to God for the New Year. Irrespective of our condition at this moment, given our endowments and God’s natural blessings around us, we have the hope that a happy and fulfilling year is ahead of us. For when we have life, we have hope.
“The last year was challenging but we can say that it was better than the two years before it, just as we believe that this New Year will be better than the old one. ”
Aregbesola who listed the achievements of his administration so far, said the State has become a reference point in good governance.
“For the past seven years, we have laboured to bring people centred progressive governance to Osun. This has been visible in youth, vulnerable senior citizens and women empowerment, agriculture development, industrialisation, infrastructure development, education, job creation, human development, water resources development, urban renewal and so on.
“All these have transformed Osun and projected it positively beyond what we met. Osun has now become the reference point in prudent management of resources and responsible governance.
“On Thursday last week, I presented to the State House of Assembly the budget for the administration of this state for next year. That budget is the culmination of all our effort and will represent the crowning glory of our achievements. I fully intend to implement it to the last kobo.
He however urged the people to pray their taxes, adding it is the only way the state can be economically and financially safe.
“All of us should pay our taxes, rates, levies, fees, fines and other financial obligations to the state. From our population, if one million of us productively engaged can contribute N250 for 20 days in a month, we will be able to raise N5 billion. This will enable us comfortably pay our workers and pensioners full salaries, run the government, provide infrastructure and carry out social protection services for all the people.
“All the things we desire like good roads, functional education, recreational facilities, security of life and property and a conducive environment for the pursuit of happiness and so on can best be provided by the government. No individual or private organisation can provide them to the satisfaction of all the people. This is why we all need to support the government by fulfilling our financial obligations to it in order for it to be able to carry out all its projects satisfactorily too.”
“This is the last New Year message our administration will pass to you as our tenure will end on November 26. Therefore, I will like to say from the bottom of my heart that it has been a great privilege to serve the good people of Osun. I cherish your love, fierce patriotism, courage and forthrightness. You are a great people.
“I must commend and thank you all most sincerely from my heart for your kind support, for the sacrifice, understanding and the willingness to do and support what is right, and not what is convenient, in the past seven years.
“I must in particular thank all the workers in the state who have laboured with us for the successful implementation of our programmes and are therefore part and parcel of our success story, especially those who have had to endure 75 per cent and 50 per cent salary regime since July 2015.
“It is my earnest prayer that the New Year will be peaceful, successful and usher in fresh opportunities, goodness, prosperity and abundance to all and sundry. I wish you a happy and blessed new year, 2018.” he added.