Three Osun Government Officials Kidnapped In Kogi

The State Government of Osun has raised an alarm on the unfortunate kidnap of three of its officials yesterday in Kogi State.

The kinapped officials include the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Finance, Mrs. Adebimpe Ogunlumade; Director, State Audit, Mr. Tajudeen Badejoko, and the Driver, Mr. Oladapo Ajani Arogundade.

In a press release signed by Mr Sunday Owoeye, the Head of service of the state, and made available to OsunDefender, the state government said preliminary information available indicate that the gunmen accosted them between Obajana and Lokoja the Kogi State capital and forced them to stop before the three officials were violently whisked away.

The officials were said to be returning from Abuja where they had attended the briefing on the State and Local Government Reforms Project; a World Bank and European Union Programme.

The Government has alerted all necessary security agencies nationwide in general and Kogi State in particular towards safe release of the three abducted officials while also appealing to all Nigerians for information that could lead to their immediate release.

We’ll Continue To Give Agriculture, Forestry Prominent Place In Our Economic Drive- Aregbesola

…Says Osun is Attaining Self-sufficiency in the Production of Staple Commodities

By Waheed Adekunle, Osogbo

The Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has reiterated his administration’s commitment to continuously improve the economy of the state by prioritizing agriculture and forestry development. Aregbesola reassured that his government would leave no stone unturned in its resolve to ensure self-sufficiency in the production of stable commodities in the state.

Governor Aregbesola made the statement while addressing people at the opening of Public Hearing on Shasha Forest Reserve Encroachment, at the Multipurpose Hall, Local Government Service Commission, Government Secretariat, Abere, Osogbo.

Governor Aregbesola who described the two sectors as veritable sources of food, shelter, life sustaining drugs and raw materials for the industries, said the importance of agriculture and forestry to our national economy cannot be over-emphasized.

He said the meeting was called in order to foster the peaceful atmosphere that is needed for the development of the state in accordance with his six-point integral action plan, saying a responsible government, in a developing economy like Nigeria, must give agriculture and forestry prominence in its development plan.

Governor Aregbesola said the goal of his administration was to attaining self-sufficiency in the production of staple commodities through forest renewable and non-renewable, tangible, intangible, quantifiable and unquantifiable natural resources in a bid to take the state to the greater heights.

Aregbesola said considering the global standard prescribed by Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), hence 35 per cent of any nation’s land mass must be forested, stated that

Analyzing his administration’s achievements, Governor Aregbesola said his government has successfully raised 2.5 million seedlings of Tectona Grandis (Teak) and Gmelina Arborea (Igi-Iye) for free distribution in the state in 2014.

He said his government has also, engendered a healthy environment through systematic application of community mobilization, volunteerism, technology and other best practices in waste, flood and vegetal management to attain Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) standard in sanitation, beautification and forest resources management.

According to him, “At the inception of our administration, we put in place the Osun Rural Enterprise and Agriculture Programme (OREAP) to empower farmers through guaranteed inputs, rural infrastructural development and youth training in farming and agro-entrepreneurship.

“Other government interventions are in  development of storage facilities and market linkages, development of farm produce processing, especially rehabilitation of the Cocoa Processing Industry at Ede, development of mid-regional market and guaranteed transportation for easy movement of goods and produce.

Governor Aregbesola who condemned the illegal activities being allegedly perpetrated by some people in the Shasha Forest Reserve in Ile-Ife, saying henceforth his government would apply appropriate disciplinary measures on the perpetrators.

“However, in spite of all these efforts by the government to promote agriculture and give those willing to farm access to agriculture land and other farming inputs, some people have been encroaching on government forest reserves.

“It is regrettable that Shasha Forest Reserve in Ile-Ife, which is one of the oldest forest reserves in the country, is at the receiving end of this unsavoury development.

“Encroachment on forest reserves has also been a source of communal tension and conflict generation just as this was contrary to our administration’s resolve towards the promotion of communal peace and harmony.

“Forest encroachers are carrying out illegal activities. They also put up illegal structures and engage in unregulated farming practices, among others. In doing this, they are also denying government essential revenues that would have come into government coffers if they had been law abiding.

“For these reasons and many others, it has become an imperative that we put a stop to encroachment. We must begin by finding the root cause of this obnoxious practices, those who are involved, the extent of damage they have caused, how this is causing communal tension and how to put a permanent stop to it”, Aregbesola added..

He therefore enjoined the citizenry on the need to demonstrate patriotism, maturity and integrity in addressing the issue by cooperating with the committee in giving it useful and reliable information, without holding anything back.

Earlier, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Sanitation and Physical Planing, Architect Wale Ojo, said the committee is determined to carry out the assignment with objective perception and mindset and as well come up with a report that shall be in the public interest and also last for generations.

Architect Ojo who described the meeting as a necessary call, said the interaction session was imperative sequel to the report received on the alleged illegal entry, demarcation, re-allocation and farming at Shasha Forest Reserve, Ile-Ife.

Speaking on the purposes of forest, Architect Ojo stated that, forest is conserved for significant benefits which include: amelioration of Climate Change; Provision of Shelter for our Wildlife, Provision of raw materials for our industries, Provision of materials for drug industries, Provision of water shed for our streams and rivers , research purposes.

He frowned at the alleged illegal entries, demarcation and re-allocation in Ife Shasha forest reserve, saying farming on such a forest like this remains an inhuman act which must be thoroughly dealt with.

According to him, “All these are anti-thetical to the purpose of keeping the forest and are therefore not in the public interest.

“The report that came to the Government is that illegal entries, demarcation and re-allocation as well as farming have been taking place in the Forest Reserve.

“All these are anti-thetical to the purpose of keeping the Forest and are therefore not in the public interest.

“Forest is conserved for significant purposes such as amelioration of Climate Change; Provision of Shelter for our Wildlife, Provision of raw materials for our industries, Provision of materials for drug industries, Provision of water shed for our streams and rivers , research purposes”, he added.

Architect Ojo who described Governor Aregbesola as a man peace, urged him not to relent to continuously engender peaceful-coexistence among the citizenry.

He said, “Mr. Governor, being number one Omoluabi who believes in peaceful resolution of disputes through dialogue, has therefore allowed the public hearing by an Inter-ministerial Committee.

In his address, President, Forestry Association of Nigeria and Professor of Forest Economic and Sustainable Development, University of Ibadan, Prof. Labode Popoola, lamented over the indiscriminate deforestation in the country said the time has come for government at all levels to rise against the occurrence in order to save the country from adverse effects of global warming and climatic change.

Prof. Popoola who condemned the clearing of forest majorly for farming confirmed that 400, 000 hectares of forest is lost annually through what he described as shifting cultivation.

He said the history of forest is as traceable as history of man, saying forest provides home to nearly 300 million people just as over 1.6 billion people across the world earn their livelihood security in, and from forest.

Prof. Popoola said though forest is a source of good agricultural land and environmental legacy, but there is a need for government to gazette on the intensive agriculture not extensive agriculture.

He called on the state government to expedite action capable of protecting the reserve forests across the state in order to entrench the socioeconomic and environmental benefits of the forests.

Prof. Popoola also charged the state to promote community based Forest Management, Private Forestry, Joint Forest Management and Participatory Forest Management respective in the interest of the state.

He noted that the only panacea to rescue the world from the menace of global pollution and warming was for all to develop the spirit of protection and conservation on the reserve forests.

According to him, ” Forest is life, and there abound enough evidence that those who grow it, care for it and conserve it.

“As diversely perceived, forest in our society are viewed as just “bush” a nuisance, a dangerous place for demons and evil spirits, wild animals that can harm but it remains an ecosystem where human existence lies on.

” Though we need to go back to land to farm, but it has to be systematically and intensively planned because sustainable agriculture does not imply creating environmental crisis”, he added.

In his remarks, the President, Ife Progressive Forum, Chief Lawrence Olajire Awoyoyin urged the State Government to come up with a modality that will put an end to the lingering controversy over the reserve forest in Ile-Ife.

He said there is an urgent need for government to strengthen the prohibition laws and gazettes guarding against indiscriminate deforestation in the state.

Chief Awoyoyin who advised government to continuously provide necessities at protecting the forests for general benefits, adding that until a permanent stop is being put in place, the challenges would be on increase.

He lamented over the continuous clearing of the forest site, saying proper measures must be put in place to end the illegal action.

Chief Awoyoyin therefore implored the state to set up a formidable adversary committee and task force so as to fast track and facilitate the activities of the forest.

” If truly we want to turn around the socioeconomic and environmental benefits of this forest, there is need to restrict those perpetrators who have been profusely destroying the forest.

“In addition, the state government must also provide the basic needs to the state Ministry of Environment, Sanitation and Physical Planning so as to ensure proper protection of this forest”, he stressed.

Osun Speaker Commends Aregbesola On Cocoa Drive

Speaker, State of Osun House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Najeem Salaam has commended Governor Rauf Aregbesola for reinvigorating his interest in cocoa produce and other agro-allied businesses saying that Was a smart move for a state desires to boost its internally generated revenue.

Speaker Salaam made the statement in Ejigbo while addressing supporters of All Progressives Congress (APC), stressing that the only credible alternative now was to rejig agriculture in the state with a view to having a comparative advantage on the national table.

He said the state parliament under his watch would throw its weight behind the governor on his drive to push agriculture as a new frontier for revenue generation, asserting that the strive to put smile on the faces of the people would not be halted by global economic downturn with the new drive on agriculture.

Speaker Salaam then charged the rural dwellers to enhance their capacity on modern farming by engaging the officers of extension office and ministry officials, as he urged the officials of agric ministry to design a scheme that would facilitate a productive engagement between themselves and the farmers.

He further enjoined all adults in the state to fight unemployment with farming and agribusiness, saying the situation of things now has compelled the youth to have a rethink on white collar job, which is getting complicated by the shrinking industries and resources.

We Won’t Stop Building Functional, Integrated School System With Modern Facilities – Aregbesola

…Says his Govt has Provided Decent Functional Environment for Learning Across Public Schools

By Waheed Adekunle, Osogbo

The Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has reassured the citizens of the state that his administration would remain focused and determined in its efforts at providing quality and quantitative education in the state.

Aregbesola also pledged his government’s commitment to continuously building functional and integrated school system through the provision of modern facilities in all the public schools across the state.

Governor Aregbesola reiterated this at the Multipurpose Hall of Local Government Service Commission, State Secretariat, Abere, while addressing a gathering at the Summit on Standard for Construction and Rehabilitation of Schools’ Buildings in the state.

The Governor stressed that with the construction of brand new state-of-the-art 100 Elementary Schools, 50 Middle Schools and 20 High Schools all across the state, his government has genuinely provided decent functional-enabling environment for teaching and learning in the state.

He stated further that the present administration was bent at providing academic environment devoid of rancour and distraction having being informed that the environment of learning is a key determinant of the quality of education being provided.

Aregbesola said the initiatives and strategies deployed in tackling the palpable academic decadence and rots prior to his inception was basically emanated from the understanding of the state of education which called for an urgent intervention in rescuing the young generation from the shambles of collapse.

According to him, “This awareness and imperative helped shape our philosophy of the school environment and the buildings we envisaged for our young learners”.

Governor Aregbesola stated that the present administration through its clearly-defined intellectual capacity had changed the concept of schools from a number of nondescript buildings cut into classrooms with one or two additional rooms for the teachers and headteachers.

He noted that the state government under his watch has been aggressively rehabilitating existing school buildings being considered for renovation to standard level across the length and breath of the state in order to motivate the morale of all the yound learners.

Governor Aregbesola explained that the school infrastructure development programme being put in place had opportuned public schools, the provision of additional classrooms, offices, toilets, stores and special rooms to existing schools that are short of such facilities coupled with the renovation of existing structures in bad condition.

“We have proven to our people that being in power is to serve with all capacities and as well extend dividends of democracy to all as this is being manifested in all our policies, programmes and actions since we got to power.

“For whatever reason, we won’t stop in our efforts to impact positively in all sectors of the economy just as we prioritized education, so shall it be in other sectors to effect greater development.

“Though we are in a critical economic period, but in spite of this, our government would not loose focus to provide the essentials in all aspects of human life as we are determined to redeem the state of the present situation.

“We will equally do all we could at providing quality and functional education in a decent and conducive teaching and learning environment just this initiative had given positive results in time past”, Aregbesola added.

Analyzing the features of the new schools, Governor Aregbesola elucidated that the newly constructed Elementary and Middle schools are designed to have maximum capacity for 1,000 pupils, while a High School is designed in three-in-one school capacity to take in 3,000 students, with three principals.

According to him, “The Elementary and Middle Schools have 25 classrooms while high schools have 72. Elementary Schools have two Headteachers/Principals’ office, while Middle Schools have three and High Schools have four.

“Middle Schools in addition have two staff rooms; Elementary Schools, one; while High Schools have six, just as each of our schools have a multipurpose hall, a food court, a library and a sick bay.

“Elementary Schools have 12 toilets for pupils and four for teachers. Middle Schools have 12 for pupils and 12 for teachers while High Schools have 48 for pupils and eight for teachers.

“Middle Schools have two laboratories while High Schools have six. Elementary Schools have one recreation zone but Middle Schools have two. High Schools however have a standard Olympic field and track pavilion, a basketball court, a tennis court and standard playground.

“High Schools, in addition, have six seminar rooms, one examination hall, a bookshop and a bursar’s office.

“Additional features in all the schools are boreholes for water supply, electricity, fire protection, ICT room, home economics room, standby generators and others as we have also separated the academic staff from facility management by engaging facility managers to manage the facilities while teachers concentrate on imparting knowledge to the pupils”, he added.

The governor said his government decided in creating beautiful academic environment for the young learners having realized the concept of beauty on the young impressionable minds of the pupils, saying a beautiful environment will go a long way to infuse the value of excellence on the pupils in the process of character formation.

He added, “Having been brought up in a beautiful environment, they will tend to recreate this beauty in their environment when they started getting into positions of leadership and responsibility.

“We are already seeing the result. The badly behaved pupils in run down and dilapidated schools are now well behaved when taken to the new environment of the beautiful new schools.

“It is also part of our objectives to derive the maximum value from every kobo spent meaning that while striving to have the best possible value, in comparative terms, we spend the least.

“Our schools have been the cheapest compared to the ones in others states as we believe that quality does not have to be expensive.

Earlier, Chairman, Osun State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB, Chief Felix Awofisayo said the summit was primarily organized to strengthen the ongoing reposition exercise in education sector.

Mr. Awofisayo who was represented by the Commissioner one of the board, Mr. Kamorudeen Adekunle noted that as part of the summit, is to intensify strategy to facilitate perfect maintenance of all the school facilities across the nooks and crannies of the state through cheap and affordable building materials.

“This summit is put together with the sole aim of taking education to the next level in the state and as well prepare favourable future because we believe that any state that fails to build on the future through education is bound to fall.

“We don’t want our state to be found wanting in the education sector, that’s why we are striving to take education to the next level in Osun”, he opined.

He therefore urged the participants to share the knowledge acquired through the summit with others.

Life Returns To Ede Cocoa Processing Plant, With Osun Set To Become Hub Of Cocoa Production

Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State on Thursday said the state would soon become the hub of cocoa production in Nigeria with the revival of the moribund Osun Cocoa Production Industry.

The governor made the remarks in Ede during a facility tour of the resuscitated Cocoa Production Industry in partnership with Chinese Company, Golden Monkey of China.

The partnership between Osun Government and the Chinese Company to revive the cocoa production after 15 years is based on 70 and 30 percent equity respectively.

Mr. Aregbesola said the present production capacity of 20,000 metric tonnes per day was a good development when compared to its 5,000 metric tonnes capacity per day in 2001, after which it was abandoned.

“With this production level, the name of our state will be on the map of the world as a centre of excellence in the processing of cocoa and other products.

The governor said the Cocoa Industry would go a long way to support the state’s agricultural plan to develop cocoa farming in the state.

He commended the partnering company for its commitment to the contractual agreement by hitting the ground running.

Earlier in her remarks, Song Lin, the Assistant General Manager of Skyrun Cocoa Production Industry, said the management had increased the production capacity of the industry four times.

She said the company was presently producing cocoa liquid and soon, the organisation would be producing cocoa powder and cake.‎

In his speech, Adewale Adeeyo, the Chairman, Board of Directors of the Industry, said the state invested a lot of energy to make the project a reality.‎‎

Mr. Adeeyo explained that with the resuscitation of the company, the business of cocoa produce buyers and farmers had been positively rejuvenated. (NAN)

We Will Continue To Empower Farmers For Better Productivity – Aregbesola

Waheed Adekunle, Osogbo

The Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has insisted that his administration would spare no effort in making agricultural sector the bedrock of economic sustainability in the state.

Aregbesola also reassured his administration readiness to continuously turn around the fortunes of agricultural sector in the state for better productivity.

Governor Aregbesola gave the assurance while addressing the members of the State Farmers Association, during a meeting at Oke-Osin, Atakumosa West Local Government area of the state.

Governor Aregbesola who described agriculture as the only sustainable alternative to current economic reality, said his government would do all it could to empower the farmers for an increased productivity.

Aregbesola contented that the era of perceiving crude oil as sustainable economic resources in the country has gradually faded out, hence calls for the need to genuinely diversify the economy for better productivity and an enhanced general well being.

Governor Aregbesola further explained that his government since assumption of office has been investing significantly on agriculture having considered it as the everlasting sector for economic sustainability.

He said as part of his six Integral Action Plans for the good people of the state, his government had successfully identified agriculture sector as the only surviving tool for socioeconomic and political integration.

Governor Aregbesola attributed some of the successes recorded in agriculture sector to what he regarded as prompt empowerment and motivation of farmers in the state, stressing that on no account does his administration fails to prioritize the sector in its annual economic planning and appropriation.

Aregbesola said as part of his administration’s commitment to revamp the lost glory in agriculture, the current government had resolved in moving round the rural areas where it was believed farmers were predominated in order to appropriately articulate the general needs of farmers and enhance greater productivity.

He revealed that the appropriate steps taken by his administration in resuscitating the dearth state of agriculture sector in the state, thus brought about the landmark achievements recorded so far.

Aregbesola who expressed dissatisfaction over the current state of the nation’s economy predicted that unless government at all levels appropriately diversify the economy into agriculture, mining, solid minerals, science and technology among others, the economic vision was at stake.

Governor Aregbesola further stressed that his administration had successful turned the state from being regarded as a civil service state to an agrarian state, disclosing that the economic power of the state lies in the agricultural-farm produce.

He said his government has greatly devolutionalized powers to grassroots so as to encourage the rural dwellers and as well turn the state to food basket of the nation.

He added, “our government having being informed on the need to diversify economic decided to bring the farmers to the limelight of economic sustainability .

“We had brought dividends of democracy to the grassroots and as a matter of fact today, we have recorded greater benefits on these genuine initiatives.

“As part of our mission to support subsistence farmers to commercial farmers, we have so far granted loan facilities to our farmers and also disbursed the needed facilities and chemicals across the state’s farmers.

“To this end, we are projecting further in our resolves to facilitate more benefits and supports to facilitate more participation in farming.

Governor Aregbesola therefore encouraged all to develop interest in farming so as to reduce the unemployment rate and as well increase the agricultural productivity in the state.

Earlier, Chairman, Farmers Field School, Mr. Timothy Akingbade commended Governor Aregbesola for keeping the promises made to the people of the state, saying the impacts of the present administration have been greatly felt over the years.

Mr. Akingbade implored the state government not to relent in its efforts at repositioning agriculture sector, just as he assured ultimate support of farmers.

While giving analysis of the loan facilities provided for the farmers in the state, a representative of the Quick Impact Intervention Programme for Farmers, Mr. Eluyemi Arowolo, disclosed that almost N1billion has been given out as loan to farmers across the state.

Mr. Arowolo who confirmed the statement in the report issued out by the organization on the loan facilities being provided by the Bank of Agriculture, said the organization was determined to assist any farmer who is confident of what he does.

He therefore urged those who have benefited from the loans to as a matter of necessity refund it within the agreed period so as to open advantage for others.

In his remarks, the Olosin of Osin, Chief Lawrence Apata lauded Governor Aregbesola for prioritizing farmers’ welfare in all his policies and programmes.

Chief Apata who described Governor Aregbesola as a lover of farmers, said in the history of the state, no government has ever paid adequate attention to farmers as being done by the present administration.

He called on the state government to continuously supporting farmers and provide the needful needs so as to enhance the better participation in farming and as well boost the agricultural sector.

Chief Apata who identified social amenities as the major challenge of rural dwellers, thereby implored Governor Aregbesola to fast track the provision of modern facilities especially mobile networks, motorable roads, portable water, electricity among others.

Osun Embarks On Audit Of Private Health Institutions, Shuts Down Unregistered Centers

The Osun State Government on Tuesday directed the closure of all unregistered private hospitals and related health institutions across the state until they are properly updated and registered.

This is contained in a statement signed by Dr Akinyinka Esho, the Permanent Secretary of the state Ministry of Health.

Esho also directed all registered clinics and convalescent homes to report at the ministry to re-affirm their status within seven days.

He said that the state government had resolved to review the activities of all private hospitals and other health facilities in order to ensure proper health care service delivery in the area.

The permanent secretary, therefore, enjoined all the affected private hospitals and clinics to comply with the directives, warning that failure to do so would attract severe sanctions.

Kings Varsity Commences Operation, As 120 Students Get Scholarship

Kings University, Ode-Omu, Osun State, recently matriculated its pioneer students and officially inaugurated the school.Founder and chancellor, Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo, who awarded scholarships to 120 students of the school, said the university aims at raising leaders that would impact the world economically, intellectually and socially, apart from leading Nigeria to join the league of technologically advanced nations.

According to the chancellor, the faith-based school will lay emphasis on information technology, leadership and entrepreneurship.

He said: “In Nigeria, most institutions only inform the head and do not transform the mind, making their products skillful thieves that know how to rig elections and squander public fund. Our products shall make the difference; take the nation to greater height. We have begun talks with Oxford University, London, to partner with us to achieve our goals.”

Expressing optimism that the school will do well, the Osun State governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, disclosed that apart from being the first university in the country to be commissioned with its pioneer students, the university has been on its permanent site long before the National Universities Commission (NUC) licensed it.


We Feel Your Pains, Buhari Assures Nigerians

President Muhammadu Buhari has commended Nigerians for their perseverance while urging them not to lose confidence in the ability of his administration to bring about the change they so much desire.
The president stated this at the 2015 Vanguard Awards in Lagos on Friday night, where he was honoured with the Personality of the Year Award 2015.
The President, who was represented by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said that he was keenly aware of the difficulties that Nigerians were facing, especially as a result of the fuel scarcity, poor power supply and inflation.
“As a government that was propelled into office by the power of the people, we cannot but feel the pains of our compatriots, and we deeply empathise with them.
“We are working round the clock to ease the pains of Nigerians, and the effort of the government has started yielding fruits.
“We seek to make the petroleum products available nationwide, restore gas supply to the power generating firms, improve the economy and put Nigerians back to work,’’ he said.
The president said that he understood that Nigerians had started questioning whether this indeed was the `Change’ they voted for.
He said that some had even gone as far as saying that by voting for the All Progressives Congress (APC), Nigerians had entered “One Chance’’.
“Well, I can tell Nigerians that our change agenda is real, and that indeed, they will get the change they voted for.
“Nigerians have not entered ‘One Chance’, because the ‘One Chance’ drivers and their conductors have been driven out of town.
“Change is a process, and that process has begun. The pains of today are temporary, and will soon give way to abundant joy as we put our country firmly on the path of sustainable growth and development,’’ he said.
The President said that all Nigerians, the civil society organisations and the media were the real heroes of the last general elections and the country’s democracy in general.
He commended the media for the role it played in ensuring the relative success of the last general elections and the resilience of the nation’s democracy since the beginning of the Republic.
“When the history of the last general elections as well as our democracy is eventually written, I have no doubt that the media will occupy a prominent place on its honour’s list.
“This is not a surprise because there is no contesting the fact that from the pre-independence years through the years of independence, the various attempts at democratic governance and the years of military interregnum, the media has stood solidly on the side of the people.
“It has fought for the national interest without compromising its integrity,’’ the President said.
In bestowing the honour on the President, the Vanguard described him as “a living example of what tenacity, fortitude, and perseverance meant in human experience.’’
“Until future experience proves otherwise, Buhari is the closest yet that Nigeria will have to America’s Abraham Lincoln,’’ it said.

Osun Assembly Passes Street Trading, Ilegal Markets Prohibition Law

Osun State House of Assembly has passed into law, the Street Trading and Illegal Market Prohibition Bill 2016.

In statement by the Chairman, House Committee on Information and Strategy, Olatunbosun Oyintiloye, the passage of the bill followed a motion moved by the Leader of the House, Timothy Owoeye and seconded by Babatunde Olatunji representing Ife North Constituency at the plenary on Tuesday.

The bill, the statement said, is seeking to prohibit hawking or exposing goods, wares and articles for sale or offer service whether or not from a stationary positions in any place or streets in some major towns of the state or within the vicinity of any public building in the state.

The affected towns, it said, are Osogbo, Ile-Ife, Ilesa, Iwo, Ede, Ikirun, Ikire, Ila-Orangun and Ejigbo.

The statement added that the bill was also prohibiting the establishment or maintenance of any market by any person other than the state, local government or statutory corporations.

It added that the bill also discouraged extension of shops into the walkways, road setbacks and building lines, as well as indiscriminate pasting of posters or banners, advertising goods and services on sidewalls, bus stops, bridges or any other unauthorised space.

The Speaker, Honourable Najeem Salaam, according to the statement, said the passed bill when assented to would ensure cleaner environment and safe more lives of the people.

According to him, it would also discourage the use of underage to hawk in line with Child Right Act.

Regretting that many lives have been lost due to roadside accidents with street traders being the major victims, Salaam said, the law was borne out of the government commitment to safe the lives of its citizenry.

The speaker who noted that the bill would be forwarded to the Governor for his assent, expressed hope that it would be effectively implemented to the benefit of the people of the state.

Also, at the plenary, the state Micro-credit Agency Bill came up for consideration and the speaker directed that a letter be written to the executive to correct the lacuna observed between the existing law passed in 2006 and the new bill before the House.

Aregbesola Signs Osun Land Use Act Into Law

…Says “dwindling revenue has taught us never to rely on FG allocation for development again”

The Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola on Tuesday said never will his administration base the execution of its programme on allocations from federal revenues allocations again.

The Governor, at the signing into law of the Osun State Land Use Charge Law at the Executive Chambers of the Governor’s Office in Osogbo stated that previous and present administration had so much relied on the allocation that when the oil glut came, it could no longer pay salaries and other critical expenditure of government.

Aregbesola held that the state has learnt a lot of lessons from the situation where it had to go cap in hand to the Federal government for the allocation that can no longer take care of the primary need of the state.

He described a situation that suggests that the state cannot be self-sufficient in the light of the human and material endowments on the state by God as an insult, saying looking inward for progressing the state has now become a must.

‎The main objective of the newly signed Law, he explained, is to generate additional revenue and also the provision for a single property charge which replaces all other State and Local Governments taxes on real property, including taxes like tenement rates, ground rents and neighbourhood improvement charges.

Aregbesola pointed out at the law signing ceremony that the aim of the new law is to do away with multiple rates, increase efficiency in collection and avoid discriminatory and arbitrary application of property based levies and charges.

He said, “As you are all aware, governments at all levels have been under severe financial assault for some time. This is as a result of a precipitous fall in revenues from the federation account.

“We are here facing formidable challenges in paying salaries and meeting other critical expenditure of government. This is because we have been programmed to live day-by- day on allocation from the federation account.

“The lesson we are taking from the situation is that living on other people’s bakery is never reliable. It is high time we started to bake our own cake by ourselves, if we don’t want to starve.

“It is even an insult to suggest that we cannot be self-sufficient, in light of the human and material endowments it has pleased the Almighty God to bestow on our land. One of these is land. Land is of great value where there are humans because it is the primal resource. We live, work and derive other resources from land.

“This is why we, as a government, have decided to make law that will also benefit government from part of what the people derive from land. This is the basis of the Land Use Charge Law”. The Governor stressed at the signing of the new law.

‎Aregbesola held that part of the attraction of the law is safeguarding people from abuse and arbitrariness, noting that a Chargee under the Law, on receipt of an assessment, can make a formal complaint to the Commissioner for Finance on high assessment and that it should be reduced.

He added that such Chargee also has the right to file an appeal against the assessment to the Assessment Appeal Tribunal on the precondition that the Chargee pays 50 per cent of the amount assessed and the fees that would be prescribed by the Appeal Tribunal for the filing of the appeal.

Governor Aregbesola said the new law is predicated on the principle of mutual delegation of authority between the State Government and each of the Local Government Areas in the State.

“By this new legislation called the Land Use Charge Law, once the Land Use Charge is imposed upon a property, the rates and charges which were hitherto payable under the old legislations will no longer be applicable and due on the same property.

“The Local Government Authority in the jurisdiction/locality where the property is situated is the authorised collecting authority, but in order for there to be compliance with the constitutional requirements on the division of powers between the States and the Local Governments, this new law is predicated on the principle of mutual delegation of authority between the State Government of Osun and each of the Local Government Areas in the State.

“The new Land Use Charge Law will also boost job creation in the State because between valuation and assessment and between revision and collection, we see thousands of people being employed.

“With the implementation of this law, there will be an accelerated development in many areas of the state’s economy because the multiplier effect of this new development is that by the time the owners pay property tax on their property that has been lying fallow, they will be forced to find economic use for it and in the process thousands of other unemployed youths will be gainfully engaged”, Governor Aregbesola added.

Governor Aregbesola who attributed the new law to what he regarded as a direct instrument to boost the state revenues however disclosed that the implementation and enforcement of the new law would except some institutions like religious bodies, public utilities, traditional grounds, non-profit making organisations and so on.

He said, “It is noteworthy that this law is a piece of legislation with human face with its Section 8 devoted to the class of people exempted from its ambit – the poor, religious bodies, public utilities, traditional grounds, non-profit making organisations among others.”

Governor Aregbesola therefore sought for collective supports from all and sundry, urging the people to ensure total compliance on the new development in order to move the state forward.

“I implore us all as citizens of this great state, in furtherance of our collective resolve to move our state forward by enhancing the frontiers of our economic independence, to join hands with the Government to make the State of Osun Land Use Charge Law work”, he stated.

In his remarks, the Chairman of the consultancy firm- Interspatial Limited, Pastor Olumide Bolorunduro, said the charge is a law in form of the executive bill sent to the House which according to him has already been passed into law after being assented to by Governor Rauf Aregbesola.

He said the effective implementation of law would in a greater was help in achieving an harmonized law on standardized rate.

He said, “The beauty of this exercise is based on its uniformity nature by putting into consideration the value and size of every property put together in a formula being applied in bringing in the charge.

He extolled the prompt enactment of the law which he said would go a long way in encouraging accountability, transparency and openness and as well eliminating all forms of leakages in taxation.

“This new law would definitely enhance accountability and eradicate the shortcoming in all forms of taxation especially on Land Used Charge.

“The accountability nature of the charge dictates that there will be no leakages, as all that involved in taxation and value of property or all relevant laws in this regard bringing in inter-ministerial approaches to the charge.

Pastor Bolorundoro disclosed that a committee would be set up to give and bring in reports on monthly basis about the exercise which according to him would remain greater ingredients to harmonize the exercise.

Pastor Olumide expressed optimism that this exercise will in no small measure increase the Internally Generated Revenue of the State.

The Coordinating Director, Bureau of Lands, Mr. Tayo Hassan, said the implementation of the law will in no measure assist the State to jerk up its resources and revenue, hence facilitate all round development in all sectors of the economy.

Hassan expressed confidence in the socio-economic benefits of the law if properly implemented, saying it would help to complement and balance the meagre allocation accruable to the State from the Federation Accounts.

“Effective implementation of this law will increase, improve and assist the societal infrastructural activities in the state.

“At the same time, it will optimally guard against multiple land taxation as well as economic planning purposes.

Mr. Hassan said if the law is embraced and supported by all, it has the capacity to take the state to greater heights never witnessed by any administration in the state.

Enumerating the legal implications and benefits of the Land Use Charges, former Commissioner for Special Duties and Regional Integration, Dr. Bashir Ajibola, said the passage of the bill into law by the state legislature was a signal to the fact that the state was towing the path of economic sustainability.

Ajibola noted that the exercise would engender essential human and material development in all aspects of life and assist the state to harmonise all existing laws on property acquisition for better uniformity.

He revealed that with proper implementation of the law, some local government, which have not been benefiting from the collection of the charges on land used will be able to benefit, saying state would henceforth get more from the exercise.

Ajibola said the new development has clearly departed from the previous policies in which the charges had been beneficially centralised.

“With all the efforts being made by the present government in the state, coupled with the economic reality on ground, there is a need for collective support just as voluntary compliance is required by all and sundry in making the state a better place to live”, he added.

The Speaker, State of Osun House of Assembly, Hon. Najeem Salam said the bill was passed into law purposely to increase the state’s Internally Generated Revenue and as well serve as a driven force to eradicate all forms of leakages in the revenues being generated by the government.

Hon. Salam said with the passage of the law, it has become a must for every land user to comply with the dictates of the new laws on land use charges.

The Speaker stated that the House, having painstakingly considered all factors involved, the House believed that the only sustainable way to boost the state IGR was to support the bill for physical development.

He said, “Obviously, what we have today is a fallout of what transpired during the public hearing we had.

“Due to the current economic reality on ground, both on the side of the masses and that of the government, we have intensified a considerable approach to achieve the said aims and objectives of the new land used charge.

“Our beliefs remained the fact that if this law is well implemented, the state Internally Generated Revenue will definitely improve as it is a must that will do the needful and not optional.”