It is a known fact that within the last seven years in the State of Osun, the informal sector for the first time is having a closer relationship with the government. It is on this basis that the Iyaloja-General in the state, Alhaja Awawu Oyebamiji Asindemade in an interview with Sola Jacobs gave her perception of the seven years administration of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola. Excerpts:
OSDF: How has Market Women in Osun State fared within the last seven years under the Aregbesola administration?
Asindemade:- Since we’ve been having democratic government in this state, no government had given recognition and acceptance to the Market women in the state as Aregbesola government had done.
The recognition is overwhelming and he has promoted the status of Iyalojas. We have been included in the scheme of thing knowing fully that we have a specific role to play towards the economic development of the state and governance generally as women.
I want to start that right from the inception of the administration, when the governor declared 90-day emergency on environment and sanitation, he included us. Prior to this time, we’ve engaged in monthly sanitation exercise in markets across the state which was ineffective, but when Aregbesola started his own policy on environmental sanitation in the markets across the state to promote healthy living and included us, things began to work well in that area.
Besides, the administration constructed a modern day market of international standard in Osogbo, known as Ayegbaju International Market, the first of its kind in the state. The market has banking halls, police station, conveniences, church, mosque, fire station, hospital and eatery among others. All these are commendable and it has encouraged us to play our role towards the state economic development.
In other to banish unemployment among the youths, we were also deeply involved in the scheme, particularly in the recruitment of OYES cadets and we, at the informal sector had direct input in the recruitment exercise both in the local and state level. This is a big kudos to this administration.
OSDF: In your view, how has Osun economy fared under his administration?
Asindemade:- The administration of Ogbeni Aregbesola has boosted and expanded the economy of the state. The state had given free interest loans to the market women aside the federal government intervention. Also, other bodies through the collaborative stance of the state government have encourage agricultural production such as hatchery, piggery, fishery, fruits and vegetable production and others in which the Iyalojas across the state benefited as well.
Aregbesola government also promote skill and entrepreneurial acquisition which make us not only sellers but producers of products and services.
Again, I must commend this government on provision of good road network across the state, the construction of 10 kilometre roads in all the cities and towns across the state, which have boosted our hope of more expansive economy.
In the education sector, we have never had it so good and have never thought that children of common man will sit and learn in state-of-the-art schools from elementary to high school across the state. Children will also be encouraged to go to the school.
OSDF: Is it true that the informal sector in the state is heavily taxed?
Asindemade:- No, we are not because we are in the committee that generate revenue in the state, so also other artisan groups and organisations. It is just that some people do not want to pay tax and yet they want government to provide amenities, it is not done that way. The only way the government can adequately provide for the citizen is for all of us to pay in line with our income. We should cooperate with this government and ensure that the good work of this government continues.