In London Speech, Aregbesola Stresses Importance Of Education In Africa

Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola today decried the low level of educational advancement in Africa.
The Governor expressed his disappointment while delivering a keynote speech at the launch of the African Business Club in the London Imperial College.
He said “Education in Africa has not been an engine of development, rather, it is a system of social stratification where bland certificates are issued in order to separate the political and economic elites from the others. This is one of the factors responsible for poor productivity. Those who have certificates without the requisite skills cannot drive enterprise. They only see their certification as entitlement to privileges. Education therefore is not harnessing Africa’s brain for her development.”

The Governor added that he conceived education “as the preparation and development of worthy citizens for the immediate society and the world at large. Education is that infrastructure of the mind that develops our youths to become models of good character, innovation and competence. This is what we call Omoluabi in Yoruba.”

Aregbesola who is famous for his government’s several educational policies, went on to explain what his government has done in uplifting education in the State of Osun. “Education received the greatest attention and resources from our administration. One of our first tasks was to convene an education summit, headed by the Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka. That summit produced the blueprint of our education reforms. In a state of roughly four million people, we embarked on an ambitious programme of building from scratch 100 elementary schools, 50 middle schools and 20 high schools. Each of these schools has a capacity for 600 pupils, with the high school being a three in one, each designed and equipped to sustain 1000 pupils. These new public schools soon began to displace private schools.”
He continued “…We provided a stand-alone e-learning tablet, which we named ‘Opon Imo’ (tablet of knowledge), for final year students in public schools, in share display of creativity. This tablet contains all the recommended 56 textbooks by the three examination bodies for senior school certificate examinations in Nigeria. It contains also past questions of these bodies, a virtual classroom, extracurricular zone and the themes of Yoruba traditional religion. This tablet was the saving grace in a year when teachers went on strike for eight months and did not prepare the final year students for their examinations.”
“We also pioneered in a sense, the home grown school feeding programme (OMEALS), in which sumptuous meals are provided for 252,000 elementary school pupils on every school day. We say ‘in a sense’ because the programme had existed in an attenuated form prior to our coming, but our administration gave it a new identity and prominence. Because of its success in Osun, it has now been nationally adopted by the Federal Government. Earlier in the week, our state organised a national induction for other states understudying the programme, preparatory to implementing it in their own states. I have also been invited to the British Parliament to share our experience with the world.”, the Governor remarked.

Aregbesola Delivers Keynote Speech At Imperial College In London (Photos)

Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola this morning delivered the keynote speech at the launch of the African Business Club at the Imperial College In London. Below are pictures from the historic speech;

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Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola To Deliver Keynote Address At London’s Imperial College

Governor of the state of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola will this morning deliver a keynote address at the launch of Africa Business Club at the Imperial College Business School, London.
Apart from the keynote address, Mr. Governor will also be lead panelist in subsequent panel discussions.
The theme of the event, Using Innovation to reengineer Africa’s development – Moving from talk to action, will see several eminent personalty address various issue from the health sector to finance and other areas of Interest.
Ogbeni Aregbesola aside his keynote address, will be speaking discussing ‘circumventing the barriers to sustainable development and harnessing the potential of disruptive innovation’ during his special breakout session.
Other panelist at the event includes Professor Nelson Phillips – Dean, Imperial College Business School | Professor of Innovation & Entrepreneurship; Dr. Ifeanyi Okoye – Founder & CEO Juhel Nigeria Ltd; Dr. Ikem Odumodu – Former Director-General of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria; Mrs Toyin Sanni – Group MD/CEO of United Capital Plc and Chairperson of the Capital Market Committee; and Rosalind Kainyah MBE – Founder and Managing Director, Kina Advisory Limited amongst several others.

EDITORIAL: Gideon Aremu’s Gruesome Murder

The murder, some days ago, of a member of the Oyo state House of Assembly, Gideon Aremu, who represented Oorelope Constituency, was quite sad and shocking. For a young man like that with a promising future to be cut down at his prime – just like that – is really saddening. We ask; what could he have done to deserve being sent to a journey of no return?

Umpteen times this newspaper and others in the country have editorially condemned assassination as a means of settling scores. It’s most barbaric and wicked. We still believe – as we have always maintained – that no grievance; political or otherwise, is beyond negotiation. Every issue under the sky no matter how volatile can be settled through communication and negotiation. To resort to taking life that one cannot give is highly criminal and ungodly. For we believe that it’s only God Almighty that has the sole right to take life since He alone is the sole giver of it.

The killing of this young lawmaker has again sent another wrong signal to us as a people and most especially to the political class to which the slain legislator belonged. While we cannot say with certitude here that the killing of the young lawmaker was politically motivated, it may not at the same time be totally out of place to read political meaning to it since he was a politician and also given the fact that politically motivated killings have always found abode in our land.

At a time that we could say that we are having some respite in respect of assassination of politicians the killing of this young legislator is sending another wrong signal. This leaves a sour taste in the mouth and it saddens the mind greatly. For whatever reason we don’t need unnecessary waste of life like this especially as they involve young and dynamic elements with the potentials of providing good leadership to our country in the nearest future. It’s most criminal and highly condemnable.

No doubt the future of our country is in the hands of young and dynamic people who are also politically upwardly mobile as they are capable of injecting new and progressive ideas into our politics which will lead to effecting positive changes as against archaic and antediluvian ideas that have occupied our political landscape over the years. But when members of this class of political animals are being mercilessly sent to early graves then the rest will be scared away from joining politics thereby being denied the right to make meaningful contributions to fatherland through this platform. And this is why we find the murder of this young legislator highly condemnable. It’s most unwelcome, counter-productive and totally anti-human.

We like to conclude this piece by calling on the security agents to fish out the killers of this young lawmaker. The case must not be allowed to be swept under the carpet like series of similar ones in the past that we have failed to unravel the mysteries surrounding such wicked assassinations. The Police and other security agents must not fail in their duty this time around. They must ensure that they achieve result by bringing his killers to justice. May God help them – Amen.

Economic Recession: Aregbesola Enjoins Youths To Embrace Farming

… Says Era Of Free Money Is Gone.

By Waheed Adekunle, Oshogbo.

The Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has implored all and sundry especially the youths on the need to embrace farming as a panacea to the current economic imbroglio.

Aregbesola who called on Nigerian leadership to prioritize agriculture in its efforts at mitigating the adverse effects of the present economic downturn, however charged government at various levels to expedite policies capable of encouraging youths to farming.

Governor Aregbesola made the call while addressing practicing farmers during an interactive session with the members of the All Farmers Associations, at Erimo-Ijesa, Oriade Local Government Area of the State.

Aregbesola who lamented over the state of the nation’s economy and its adverse effects in the general well being of the masses, however described agriculture as the only realistic alternative to crude oil.

The state helmsman described his administrative foresight in recent times as a wake-up call to every serious government, saying the present economic dangers wouldn’t have befallen the country if the nation’s economy had properly diversified.

Governor Aregbesola who lamented over the mono-economic nature of the country, said his government would do everything possible within the limit of the constitution to revamp the dearth in agriculture.

Aregbesola attributed his utmost commitment to agricultural resuscitation as a bid to alternate the present economic downsize and as well improve the food production capacity of the state.

Governor Aregbesola who implored his counterparts to develop more interest in farming, however said no reverse in his administration’s clear-vision to turn around the agricultural sector in the state.

Aregbesola who described farmers as assets to the nation, said with the emerging economic situation, farming remains the only surviving mechanism to rescue the nation from the path of possible economic gloom and doom.

Aregbesola said, “It is regrettable that over-dependence on crude oil revenues had led us to this serious economic mess just as we all slept on the same direction.

“We are all guilty of this because we forgot to plan for this special economic period. We relied heavily on the income coming from crude oil forgetting that a period like this would come at all.

“The free money coming from the Federation Accounts had blocked virtually every government’s face to think beyond the box of economic diversification.

“Meanwhile the current economic challenges is in no doubt the product of our ineptitude to plan for the future.

Governor Aregbesola who expressed delight over his administration’s sagacity in the management of the state’s economy, said, his foresights had contributed significantly towards the actualization of economic prosperity.

Aregbesola however pointed out that his government was informed on the need to re-strategize its economy sequel to its ingenuity on economic diversification.

He said no going back in revamping the lost glory in agriculture, saying the time has come for Nigerians to go back to farm.

According to him, “There is no other means to economic prosperity than for us to go back to the drawing board and map out workable policies that would facilitate quick recovery of our agricultural losses.

“We must all see the need to uproot the decadence in agriculture and invest hugely in it especially in the face of the current economic situation.

“There is need for every serious government to encourage youths to farming through the provision of necessary tools capable of aiding the activities of the prospective farmers.

“Without mincing words, we have seen the effects of mono-economy. We have seen the effects of our inability to think beyond the nose, hence call for the need to embrace agriculture as better alternative.

“Based on this, our government has decided to deplore everything possible within the limit of the constitution to revamp the dearth in agriculture, because with the emerging economic situation, farming remains the only surviving mechanism to rescue the nation from the path of possible economic gloom and doom.

Aregbesola who used the occasion to appeal to some farmers who have not refunded the loans given to them, said his government would not take levity with whoever fails to refund as agreed.

Earlier, the former commissioner for Agriculture, Food Security and Youth Engagement, Hon. Wale Adedoyin who described Governor Aregbesola as the lover of farmers, said the current government had made a significant landmark in agricultural sector.

He said the visit was first of its kind in the history of the state, describing it as a better avenue to engage farmers on greater agricultural productivity.

Adedoyin who described agriculture as the only sustainable economic sector in the country, called on all to promote agriculture.

“It is now obvious that the current government is bent at promoting agriculture.

“This meeting is an interface between the farmers and the Governor as it equally serves as an avenue for farmers to interact with the government officials on the need to promote agriculture”, he added.

Some of the farmers who could not hide their feelings, commended Governor Aregbesola for prioritizing their welfares in the scheme of things.

They also lauded the state government for providing the needful to farmers, saying government intervention on agriculture had yielded positive results.

They therefore implored the state government not relent on its oars in the provision of the needed amenities.

EDITORIAL: Has South-West Integration Died?

The recent visit, for the second time, of Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti state to his counterpart in the state of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has again reminded us about the critical issue of regional integration. Has regional integration agenda died? This question becomes pertinent in view of the seeming silence of the South-West ruling elite on the issue these days as against the way the call for it once gathered momentum in recent past.
Even though Governor Fayose is of the opposing political party, he seems to be on the same page with the Governor of Osun on the issue of RI as he clearly stated during his first visit to Ogbeni that he “had come to discuss issues bothering on the developent of the South-West”. So the Ekiti helmsman even though he’s in the opposition has not hidden his interest in RI. If this is so we wonder why all the helmsmen in the South-West cannot close ranks once again to make this agenda work. Of course there is no better time than now to put this agenda on the front burner. This is because for the first time since independence, the political alignment of the South-West is in sync with the centre. The alignment presents great opportunities. It must be used.
The reason why regional integration matters is because within the context of our lopsided quasi-federalism the region needs to pull resources together to make appreciable progress. For example, to build railroads, economies of scale is important. Realistically, no state can go it alone. And yet a lot of big infrastructural projects still have to be undertaken. The multiplier effect on the economies of the states will be tremendous. Indeed unquantifiable!
Now that the equation has changed at the centre, this is the time to restart. The key issues is that of commitment. Here the commitment of the State of Osun helmsman Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola is worthy of emulation. He is totally committed and has set aside petty jealousy and rivalry in his commitment. His attitude is commendable. Aregbesola is aware that the destruction of the regional system and the subsequent balkanization has adversely affected the prospects and development of the southwest.
The way out is therefore to use regional integration to redress the balance. With an understanding government in place at the centre we can now leverage on the change we worked for to our benefit. For example , the South-West must jointly pursue the repeal of the Railways Act of 1958. Such a move will allow us to fast-track the integrated development of the railway system across the region. The economic effect and benefits will be immense. Every aspect of our economy will be positively affected; agriculture, interstate commerce, manufacturing and so on and so forth. It is a win/win. Every other area of socio-economic endeavour will follow.
What’s more? The states in the region can jointly undertake agricultural and industrial projects for example and use jointly owned commodity exhanges and commodity boards to turn the region into an agro-industrial power house. The possibilities are immense. The same goes for mining, information technology, manufacturing and so on.
We deceive ourselves if we think we can go it alone. The current economic climate will show up the futility of a go-it-alone policy. It just won’t work.
For this reason all hands must be on deck to kick-start the process. A lot of work has already been done as background research work; it must now be activated. The South-West like elsewhere faces a demographic bulge. Mishandled it could turn into a social catastrophe. On the other hand it can be turned into an exciting opportunity. The immense opportunities provided by regional integration provides this.
In addition this is the time for the South-West to play catch up. There is no doubt that we lost out big time in the past. This is why we must use the present change as an opportunity to rebuild. However as we know ‘heaven helps those who help themselves’. By pooling resources and with careful planning and give and take the South-West can make it happen. We who have led the way before must once again blaze the trail. We cannot afford to slide backward. The present generation have a duty to promote the well-being of the next generation. This is why the impetus of regional integration is incontrovertible.

Eid-El-Fitr: Aregbesola Calls For Tolerance And Progressive Leadership

Governor of the State of Osun, Rauf Aregbesola, on Wednesday called for tolerance and understanding of Nigerians to move the country forward.

The governor made the call after the Eid-El-Fitri prayers at Oke-Baale in Osogbo.

“We thank Almighty Allah for permitting us to survive the fasting.

“We want to tell our people that if we can endure the 30 days Ramadan hunger, we can endure anything.

“Let us use the experience of the Ramadan to re-fashion our lives, be tolerant, persevering and live a life that will add value to our community, state and nation.

“Nigeria needs peace for development and Nigerians must strive for peace as we learn to tolerate and understand one another for harmonious relationships.

“If we live harmoniously, we will have a better society and development will be assured,” he said.

The wife of the governor, Sherifat, equally admonished Muslims to sustain abstinence from sins which they observed during Ramadan.

She said abstaining from sin should not be limited to the Ramadan period alone and urged them to sustain it. adding that Muslims should continue with the spirit of self-denial and cleansing.

The Chief Imam of Osogbo, Sheik Musa Animashaun, who led the prayers, urged Muslims to shun all forms of vices.

He reminded them that all humans would leave this sinful world, adding that living a life of holiness was the only way to get to heaven.

He prayed for the success of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration and the peace of the state and the country. (NAN)

Catholic Faithful Laud Aregbesola’s Commitment To Religious Impartiality

By Waheed Adekunle, Osogbo

The representative of the Catholic Church Pope, Papa Nuncio, Most Reverend Augustine Kasujja, has commended Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola for his extreme spirit of solidarity, cordiality and hospitality.

The international religious cleric also applauded the state government for adopting policies that facilitated equity among the members of the existing religions.

Rev. Kasujja who led the delegation of the Catholic Church, made the state during a courtesy call to the state governor, at government house, Osogbo.

The cleric stated that the antecedents of the present administration in the state was a clear manifestation to the fact that, Osun remains one of the states in the country with high level religious tolerance.

Rev. Kasujja who described  Governor Aregbesola as a religious peacemaker, said the Governor’s reception is very exceptional even in spite the fact that he is a muslim.

The cleric applauded the state for resorting to dialogue whenever there is misunderstanding, saying greater impacts of the state on religious propagation would be forever commended.

He averred that the process of dialogue in solving disputes and related issues had over the years contributed significantly towards the mutually beneficial relationship between and among the various faiths in the state.

Rev. Kasujja who described dialogue as the only mechanism to avert violence, pledged catholic’s commitment to continuous spirit of dialogue in resolving issues.

He called on the adherents of all religions to champion dialogue as the only tool capable of restoring peace, love unity and togetherness, saying any attempt to wave this off, the society is doomed and crumbled.

Rev. Kasujja said very individual must as a matter of necessity seeks peace, adding that once it missing, one is demanding for vendetta which according to him can cause unavoidable societal catastrophe.

He said, “the essence of life is love and every human being must brace up this indispensable valuable to ensure peaceful cohabitation.

“By extension, every human being is created to propagate the continuity of the existing peace and as well ascertain and maintain peaceful co-existence among themselves.

“Based on these reasonable reasons, all religious adherents must imbibe the noble spirit of dialogue for better mediation and reconciliation whenever there is natural misunderstanding.

“We must accept and tolerate one another’s beliefs as we are created to relate without any form of violence.

Rev. Kasujja lamented over the state of education in Africa, saying there is a need for government at all levels to come up with a modality that would transform the state of education across the continent.

He therefore sought for more cooperation and support from government at various levels, saying once government does the needful, the socioeconomic, religious, political and cultural matters are solved.

According to him, ” it is unfortunate that most of the schools now are not in the right positions, but we believe strongly that with sincere change in our attitude, things would get better.

Earlier, the Catholic Bishop of Ibadan Diocese, Reverend Gabriel Leke Abegunrin, described the current government as the great supporter of the Catholic Church.

He attributed the support and collaboration being received from the state government to what he regarded as strong commitment of Governor Aregbesola to religious’ propagation.

Rev. Abegunrin who commended the efforts of the present government in maintaining peace and unity amidst diverse religious faithful, said it is on record that Osun remains one of the states in Nigeria that have done justice to the existing religions.

According to him, “I am happy that Osun government under the leadership of Governor Aregbesola has proven the required sincerity and justice to religions as expected from any leader whatsoever.

“Obviously Osun government is a great supporter of our church. The government has already established a very unique, robust and healthy relationship not only to Catholic members or muslims, but by extension, the christian community and other religious faithful.

Rev. Abegunrin who charged residents of the state on the need to promote love, unity and co-existence irrespective of religious differences, advocated religious tolerance as the major instrument to put an end to the current religious challenges.

Rev. Abegunrin who condemned in its entirety the alleged religious crisis that trailed the judgment of the State High Court over the right to wear hijab by the female muslim pupils in the public schools, said if dialogue had been given its best place by the protesting set of the christian community, the matter wouldn’t have escalated.

The religious leader who described the court order as valid, said not until a court injunction is being proved otherwise by an higher court, such verdict remains valid.

He noted that the only way out for whoever feels being dissatisfied with the court injunction was to approach a superior court and file an appeal towards the lower court judgment, saying the case of hijab would have put to rest if the aggrieved had taken a legal direction.

Rev. Abegunrin pointed out that the court injunction which had created a lot of disaffection among the members of the populace due to over anticipation, would have been intellectually averted if proper steps had been taken.

He called on the people to always address issues with passion especially issues that bother on religions, saying proper understanding of the constitutional procedure in seeking a redress, would in greater measure helps to avoid unnecessary societal fracas.

The cleric described catholic community as a peace-loving religious body, saying as far as christianity is concerned, there is no room for violence.

Rev. Abegunrin who declared as uncalled for, the wearing of ceremonial garments to schools by the christian pupils, adding that such act amounts to a complete religious aberration.

In his remarks, the Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola who commended the leadership of the Catholic Church, said no efforts would be spared to ensure peace and tranquility in the state.

Governor Aregbesola said peaceful co-existence among the citizenry remains un-negotiable, emphasizing that his government would do all it could to continuously foster desired cordiality, love and peace among the religious faithful.

The Governor reiterated his determination to continuously prioritizing justice and equity among the existing religion, noting that his government had never accorded preference to any religion.

According to him, “We have no ill-feelings to any set of religion as we strongly believe that religion is an instrument of refinement and instrument of developing capacity for human beings.

“Our government also believe that religion is an instrument of testing human beings to restrict provocation towards the development of every human being for higher spiritual attainment.

“Therefore, when religions failed to do these, there is a need to challenge the adherents of such religion.

Governor Aregbesola canvassed love as the only mechanism to entrench peaceful relationship between and among the people of diverse religious philosophy.

He said, “As a matter of fact, all founders of religions today need love to centralize faith into their religions, thus, there is no other means at all as to love and compassion.

“The cardinal focus of all religions is love. Though differences occur in the methodology of attaining goals.

“I am always disturbed when we human beings discriminate, develop hatred and so on against their faiths because to me, I believe strongly that there is no iota of doubt in the sense that religion means love, compassion, unity and accommodation.

Governor Aregbesola who supported his claims with three fundamental religious facts, said faith, hope and love must not be undermined in any of the existing religions.

According to him, “There are three fundamental factors that enshrines religion, such as faith, hope and love and as big as they are, love is most superior because it brings comfortability, peace, unity, togetherness and tranquility.

“Obviously, love is the end of all loss and as a matter of fact, no religion should skip this vital instrument in its orthodoxical doctrines, principles and standards.

Governor Aregbesola therefore promised to continuously build healthy relationship among the religious adherents.

“Catholic church has been particularly supportive to our administration and I want to encourage the church to continue with that.

“We will work extremely with the leadership of your church, and other denominations to bring about a peaceful state where our people can go about their lawful economic activities, social and cultural engagements without molestation.

“Our focus is to ensure that every citizen lives a good life with joy, happiness and prosperity”, he added.

Meanwhile, one of the members of Osun Development Association, Professor Olu Aina said the association had reached a common ground with the protesting members of the christian community to put an end to the lingering hijab tussle in the state.

Prof. Aina who assured the people of the state on peaceful relationship vowed that the association would deplore necessary measures to ensure stable peace in all parts of the state.

“We have met with the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN on the need to over look any form of religious differences among the adherents of the existing religions.

“To this end, we hope that henceforth, nothing as such would replicate in the state”, he stated.

Sterling Bank Boss Lauds Osun Govt On Good Environmental Culture

From left-  Former Special Advisers to the Governor on Environment and Sanitation, Hon. Bola Ilori, Governor State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Executive Director Sterling Bank Plc, Mr. Lanre Adesanya, Osun State Head of Service, Mr. Sunday Owoeye, and Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti, during the official Handing Over of Customized Uniforms for Road Managers by Osun Waste Management Agency (OWMA), Sponsored by Sterling Bank Plc to Mark this Year 2016 National Environmental Sanitation, at City Hall, Olonkoro, Osogbo on Tuesday 28/6/2016.
From left- Former Special Advisers to the Governor on Environment and Sanitation, Hon. Bola Ilori, Governor State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Executive Director Sterling Bank Plc, Mr. Lanre Adesanya, Osun State Head of Service, Mr. Sunday Owoeye, and Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti, during the official Handing Over of Customized Uniforms for Road Managers by Osun Waste Management Agency (OWMA), Sponsored by Sterling Bank Plc to Mark this Year 2016 National Environmental Sanitation, at City Hall, Olonkoro, Osogbo on Tuesday 28/6/2016.

By Waheed Adekunle, Osogbo

The Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has reassured on prompt implementation of pro-masses policies and programmes targeted to bring the desired change and succour to every resident of the state.

The Governor also reaffirmed his administration readiness to maintain a top position among its peers at championing good environmental sanitation.

Aregbesola stated this during the presentation of highway managers’ kits to the members of Osun Waste Management, OWMA.

Governor Aregbesola who identified environmental challenges as part of the reasons his administration took aggressive steps towards waste management and sanitation, saying the efforts started with the 90 days emergency declaration on sanitation and zero tolerance for filth and drift at the later end of the launching of the O’Clean and O’9lean plus initiatives.

He boasted that the available records and accolades earned through the initiative had without any sense of doubt positioned the state as one of the safest states in environmental management.

Analyzing some of his achievements, Governor Aregbesola said his government had contributed significantly in the reduction of sanitation related diseases.

He emphasized that the present government had modified the monthly environmental sanitation observed every last Saturday of the month to include markets and workplaces sanitation every Thursday of the week.

According to him, “our administration has also dredged and channeled major rivers and streams throughout the state so as to prevent the palpable loss of lives and property usually associated with the menace of flooding.

Governor State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola  with Highway Managers and Staff of Osun Waste Management Agency (OWMA), during the official Handing Over of Customized Uniforms for Road Managers by OWMA, sponsored by Sterling Bank Plc to Mark this Year 2016 National Environmental Sanitation, at City Hall, Olonkoro, Osogbo on Tuesday 28/6/2016.

“We have also ensured that Osun Waste Management Agency created by this administration received all necessary attention and support to fulfil its mandate of keeping the state clean.

Governor Aregbesola who commended management of Sterling Bank of being the first corporate entity to deem it fit to collaborate with the government
on waste management efforts.

He said, “we thank the management of Sterling Bank for this laudable feat of donating these set of uniform kits to our road sweepers and highway managers.

He therefore urged other corporate entities to emulate the good gesture as part of their corporate social responsibilities.

Earlier, the Executive Director, Sterling Bank Plc, Mr. Lanre Adesanya, said the presentation of uniforms to refuse packers and environmental highway managers was in line with the bank’s strategic focus on the environment as one of its corporate’s social responsibility priorities.

He commended the state government’s  efforts at changing the landscape of the entire state in spite of the challenges being experienced both in the private and public sectors.

Mr. Adesanya noted that the efforts are undoubtedly a reflection of an unparalleled determination and commitment to have in place a state that can be proud of.

He said, “at Sterling Bank, environmental cleanliness is one of the cardinal points of our Corporate Social Responsibility thrust that informs the bank’s continued commitment of enormous resources towards ensuring that the environment where we live is habitable.

“As we embark on this mission, we consider it of utmost importance, to protect those whose job is to manage and clean the environment that is why we came up with the idea of producing uniforms for highway managers to ensure their safety, make them more relevant in the society and as well as dignify them while discharging their duties.

He therefore assured the state of continuous support and collaboration in maintaining a healthy environment in the state.

In his remarks, the General Manager, Osun Waste Management Agency (OWMA), Alhaji Ganiyu Oyeladun said the government of the state of Osun, through Osun Waste Management Agency (OWMA) has in the recent years embarked on various activities under the O’OCLEAN and O’OCLEAN PLUS initiatives with the focus on achieving the government objectives of restoration of healthy living and empowerment for the citizenry.

Alhaji Oyeladun noted that the current administration has successfully placed a high priority on environmental sanitation and waste management, hence the creation of this agency.

He said OWMA has succeeded in entrenching the culture of cleanliness among the citizenry, adding that with the efforts put together by the agency, there is sharp reduction in sanitation related diseases just as there is drastic reduction in mortality and morbidity rates.

The OWMA General Manager explained that in the previous years, the agency has consolidated on the gains of the various components of the O’Clean plus initiative, which include “PSP waste management, Igi-Iye, Biogas, waste Nylon buy back, O’clean Marshal, among others.

Alhaji Oyeladun pointed out that the agency was able to achieve the feats through the significant cooperation of members of the public on the regular statewide environmental sanitation exercises, as well as weekly market and workplace/office sanitation every Thursday.

He commended the state government for its untiring efforts at ensuring clean, hygienic and safest environment across the state since inception.

According to him, “the OWMA appreciates the heavy investment of this government on waste management, which includes the servicing of the refuse compactors, the management of the central dumpsites and others scattered around the state, regular payment of the stipend to about 500 Road Managers and other sundry issues.

“These efforts have continued to attract awards for the state government both locally and internationally.

“The sixty-one units (61) of roll-on-roll refuse vehicles with two hundred and forthy-four (244) waste bin were distributed to private waste collectors under the private sector partnership programme in waste management.

“The PSP initiatives had succeeded in providing employment opportunities for the citizens as well sustaining the gains of the O’clean programme.

“The initiative also has the potential of achieving the zero tolerance for dirt and filth in the state, as well as increasing the internally generated revenue of the state government in the coming years.

Aregbesola Tasks Police On Community Relations

…As New IGP Flags-off Passing-out Ceremony of new Squadron Commanders in Osun

By Waheed Adekunle, Osogbo

The Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has charged Officers and Men of Nigeria Police Force on the need to strengthen community relations among the diverse people of Nigeria.

Aregbesola also pointed out that the only ingredient capable of enhancing the activities of the members of Nigeria Police Force was to maintain civility while discharging their constitutional duties as being enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Governor Aregbesola stated this while addressing people during the Passing-Out Parade of Police Mobile Force Squadron Commanders’ Seminal/Combat Operation Course 03/2016, at Police Mobile Force Training College, Ila-Orangun, Osun State.

Aregbesola identified the protection of lives and property of Nigerian people as the reason behind the establishment of Nigeria Police Force, saying the only way for the police officers in the country to champion the course was to establish and entrench a strong bond with the people in their various communities.

The Governor who charged the nation’s police on the need to rededicate themselves and live up to their responsibilities, said officers of the Nigeria Police Force must build more on efficiency, competence, courage, sacrifice and effectiveness.

Governor Aregbesola who described community relations as a vibrant mechanism to policing, said the time has come for the management of Nigeria Police Force to map-out strategy that will maintain and sustain favourable, mutually-beneficial and cordial relationships between it and the citizens.

The State helmsman maintained that not until police see themselves as part and parcel of the community, their services to the nation would remain ineffective and uncelebrated.

The Governor also used the occasion to appeal to the newly appointed Inspector-General of Police, to as a matter of necessity expedite actions that would reposition the Force and as well stamp-out the perceived corruption and ineptitude.

He noted that such action if properly carried out would definitely correct the anomalies in the sector and as well instill trust and confidence.

He said, “going by the space of the current security challenges facing our nation, there is no iota of doubt that one of the ways to overcome this security menace was for the officers and men of Nigeria Police to develop workable strategy that will fast track necessary intimacy between it and the people in the community.

“Since society can only be civilized if there is adequate security of lives and property, hence, remains a challenge to security agencies to maintain good relations with the people in the communities.

“Police must integrate with the people in the community to ensure that their civil responsibility is being carried out with high sense of discipline, loyalty and competence.

“As part of the efforts of Nigeria Police to ensure safety, they must not forget the fact that safety begins in their immediate environment and for this purpose, they must respect the people in the society and engagement them in their services”, Aregbesola added.

Governor Aregbesola who described the state as one of the safest states in Nigeria, said his administration would not relent to prioritize safety of the citizenry in all its policies.

He therefore advocated for peaceful co-habitation among Nigerians, saying “united will stand divided will fall”.

Earlier, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris revealed that efforts are in top gear to ensure that all commissioned officers from the rank of an Assistant Superintendent of Police to the Inspector-General of Police declare their assets.

The newly appointed IGP said the initiative is aimed at checking the activities of corrupt officers and deterring others from indulging in corrupt practices while nothing that the obvious implication of unprofessional conducts will attract serious disciplinary measures.

Idris who vowed to complement the efforts of the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari in the fight against insurgency, corruption and other related vices, said the Force is set to put a drastic end to all the myriads of challenges bedeviling the country.

He described corruption as a cankerworm which has been identified as the most critical factor holding the Nigeria Police back from the path of quality and professional service delivery, saying his administration was set to consolidate on the solidly built foundation of its previous administration in tackling corruption and ensure that the Force is ridded of a few misguided elements bringing infamy upon the image of the Force.

The new IGP disclosed that his administration would ensure that the root cause of corruption is fought to standstil by frontally engaging the IGP Monitoring Unit and X-Squad to checkmate officers nationwide with a view to enforcing accountability, transparency and discipline among officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force.

According to him, “This event is coming at a very crucial time when the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is determined to build a Police Force capable of combating emerging security challenges of national concern such as kidnapping, militancy, insurgency, terrorism, communal clashes, cattle rustling and host of other organized crimes”.

“We will spare no effort to ensure total accomplishment of these goals and also maintain a safest, secured and prosperous nation through prompt and timely discharge of our duties as police officers.

He promised that his administration would consolidate on the welfare initiatives of the immediate past administration by ensuring prompt payment of salaries, promotion of officers as at when due through regular encouragement.

The new IGP vowed that his administration would uphold adequate protection of lives and property just as it remains one of the cardinal duties of the Nigeria Police Force, adding that special attention would also be given to action and potential consequences.

He however charged the participants of the course on the need to take critical analysis of the lessons learnt from the training with a view to be more effective and efficient in their performance and maintain the virtues of worthy ambassador of Nigeria.

The new IGP who expressed confidence in the newly inaugurated commanders, expressed delight in the fact that they (commanders) demonstrated a high sense of discipline, professional competence, dedication and responsibility during the course of the training exercise.

According to him,”going by the quality of the training acquired in the last three-week, I have no doubt that you will translate these strategic professional competences into actionable realities.

“It is also my joy that you have all demonstrated these distinguishing virtues and successfully completed your three-week exercise”.

He noted that it remains important for them to know that every action and inaction of the men under their respective commands will have direct bearing on someone’s life which may make or mar their careers as the case may be.

The new IGP urged them to rise up to the challenges by applying the skills acquired towards nipping emergent crimes in the bud.

“Henceforth, all police officers must act with utmost civility to members of the public in the course of discharging their constitutional responsibilities”, he added.

He therefore called on the commanders of the operational arm of the Force to display a high sense of professionalism by ensuring that their personnel are appropriately deployed to authorized persons, saying henceforth all officers who might have been deployed to the unauthorized persons must be withdrawn immediately.

In his remarks, the Commandant, Police Mobile Training College, Ila-Orangun, ACP Muhammed Dankwara, revealed that a total of fifty-nine (59) out of sixty (60) Squadron commanders who attended the three-week course have been recommended for pass-out after a rigorous, tedious, energy sapping, re-invigorating, physically and mentally tasking courses.

ACP Dankwara stressed that the course which commenced on Monday 6th of June, 2016 saw the course participants through theory and practical work including strategic leadership/management course, PMF duties and statutory roles of a commander as well as the use of the Global Position System, Weapon Handling, Firearm Laws among others.

He said, “I am pleased that the course participants have exhibited a high sense of discipline and commitment in all ramifications while the course lasted.

ACP Dankwara however implored the new IGP to as a matter of duty resuscitate the training of the rank and file in the Police Mobile Force so as to clear the backlog of training of local mobilized combatants in the various squadrons.

He noted that one of the ways to curb incessant misuse of firearms was for the authority of the Nigeria Police Force to urgently weapon handling for the gallant officers.

ACP Dankwara meanwhile suggested that operational outfit within the force be detailed to send officers and men on regular basis for training and retraining.

Aregbesola Compensates Osun Residents Affected By Road Projects

No fewer than 450 people whose farms were affected by road construction in Osun State received monetary compensations yesterday.

Three other people, who houses were affected by road construction in the rural areas, also collected key to a newly built house.

Handing over the monetary compensation and keys to the beneficiaries, Governor Rauf Aregbesola said the compensations were in fulfillment of government’s promise that people would not be burdened by developments on-going in the different parts of the state.

He handed over cheques of N28 million to 450 farmers, including some traditional rulers, whose farms were affected by construction of roads in the rural areas by Rural Access and Mobility Project (RAMP).

The three individuals who collected keys into their new houses worth N10 million include; Mr. Adebisi Dauda (Yinma Aba Village); Mrs. Comfort Odebode (Gbengbeleku Village) and Akinwale Oyetade (Gbengbeleku Village) all in the suburb of Ile-Ife.

Among those who also collected monetary compensations were traditional rulers, whose farms were also affected by construction.

They are Oba O. Fatanmi (Olura of Ira); Oba Olugbenga Omole (Olumukoro of Mokoro); Baale Bunmi Bamosun and an Evangelist, Makinde Samson.

Aregbesola said the administration would remain unwavering in its rural-urban integration in the state so as to open up the farms for easy transportation of farm produced.

According to the governor, 500 kilometres of rural roads had been penciled down for construction out of which 225 kilometres has now been completed.

“It is our commitment to open up our rural areas and make life easy and comfortable for our farmers.

“This is why we are constructing the roads in other to make all our farms accessible.

“Besides, this roads will also make it easy for the farmers to transport their farm produce from farms to the market. This will boost commercial activities while alleviating the suffering of farmers as well.

“We intended to construct 500 kilometres of rural roads across the state. As we speak, we have constructed 225 kilometres and still going on.

“Those we gave compensation to are people whose property and farms were affected. We promised them that they will not suffer any hardship owing to the development in their domain.

“We have, by this payment of compensation, fulfilled our promise to them,” Aregbesola said.