By Abisola Omibeku
It is no longer news that the Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has committed so many resources to the development of the State. While most people are familiar with the giant strides of his administration in massive infrastructural development as can be seen in the renovation and construction of mega school structures, good roads, and other infrastructures that dot the urban areas; critics will say that these projects are limited to the urban areas; however, the not so talked about achievements are those done in the rural areas in the State. Ogbeni Aregbesola’s administration through various agencies of government has been executing various community driven projects across the State in the areas of water and sanitation, primary health care, education, markets, transportation, electricity etc.
A case study is the Agency for Community and Social Development. In delivering service to the people in the rural areas, projects which are communities’ identified and driven are part financed by the communities, with them paying 10% of the project sum, and the Government contributing 90% of the funds. The Government is able to do this by sourcing for funds from the World Bank. The rationale behind the 10% contribution by the communities is to ensure ownership and sustainability of the projects.
For the records, as at October 2017, Ogbeni Aregbesola’s administration has through the Agency for Community and Social Development carried out 109 Rural Electrification projects; 71 road projects, 57 different projects under the social economic sector, including construction of civic centers, 62 water projects, 41 in the education sector, 9 environmental projects, 14 in the health sector and 4 Gender and Vulnerable G&V Projects, totalling 351 completed Micro Projects. A case at hand is the recent commissioning by Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola of seven rural electrification projects in various communities in Ife North Local Government Area of the State. The commissioned projects in the seven communities in Ife North local government which are, Yakooyo, Amule, Asipa, Akorede, Akinlalu, Isale-Ola and Kumegun, will further boost the local economy by creating wealth and enhancing communal progress. These projects are not new on the agenda of Ogbeni’s government as a power generation plant was also provided in another area of Ife North local government few years ago.
Also, in line with Ogbeni’s unwavering commitment to the 6-point integral action plan of his government, which are to banish poverty, banish hunger, banish unemployment, restore healthy living, promote functional education and enhance communal peace and progress, 10 kilometres road in each local government area of the State have been constructed, and through the State government’s Rural Access Mobility Project rehabilitated and constructed 313.82 kilometres of rural roads, and 61 kilometres pilot roads have undergone annual mechanized maintenance. In addition, the government has also constructed 21 river crossings and on-going construction of 3 river crossings across the State. Now, farmers can easily transport their produce, thereby creating wealth and improving their standard of living. Proper drainages have also been constructed, which has helped the State in preventing floods.
Currently, over 200 Boreholes are set to be sunk, and construction of 100 Sanitation and Health Facilities, in Ifedayo, Ayedaade and Odo-Otin Local Government Areas of the State of Osun through the Rural Water and Environmental Sanitation Agency. Other projects include 11 Solar Motorized Boreholes, 123 Hand pumps in 115 Communities, 30 of 3-compartment Gender Friendly Pour Flush Sanitation Facilities and 57 of 2-compartment which are also to be erected in 51 schools and 36 Health Facilities in the State. Completed projects in the State are construction of 488 water and sanitation facilities in three Local Government Areas, and 395 hand pump boreholes in two Local Government Areas.
In his seventh year as the Governor of the State of Osun, detractors can say what they will, propagandists can go to town spinning what they know how to, however, what is glaring and cannot be taken away from Ogbeni is his doggedness, passion and will to make Osun a better place than what he met when he came into power. His belief is whether you are in the rural or urban areas, you deserve a better standard of living, and this he shows by relentlessly investing in infrastructures and programmes.
Indeed, Ogbeni has laid a good foundation for coming administrations to build on. The strategic Omoluabi branding which is now a way of life is believed to pass on from one generation to the next; with this, the infrastructures that have been established in this administration should not be hard to maintain.
Osogbo, State of Osun