Aregbesola Commissions Newly Constructed Council Secretariat

Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, on Wednesday said that his government decided to establish new Local Council Development Areas in order to consolidate on the efforts of the late sage Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Chief Bola Ige.

Governor Aregbesola made the statement while addressing people at the official commissioning of the newly constructed office building of the newly created Ife Southwest Local Council Development Area, in Awolowo town.

The governor said the establishment of new LCDAs was to build on the legacy laid by the late sage described Chief Obafemi Awolowo, who he described as a father of modern government in Nigeria. He said Chief Awolowo had in 1981, introduced the establishment of LCDAs with cardinal objective of making government closer to the people at community levels.

He said: “Besides, the fact that LCDA contributes to the development of the state, its creation also helps foster communal peace and progress among the people at grassroots. The creation of LCDAs is not for fun but rather, a noble intent to make government more nearer to the masses and enhance all-round growth and development.”

In his welcome address, the Council Manager of Ife South West Local Council Development Area, Alhaji Yinusa Olalekan Akande, commended Governor Aregbesola for the dedication of his government to the general well-being of the people in the state.

He said the commissioning of the new LCDA’s Secretariat complex in the town was a clear manifestation of the vision and mission of the Aregbesola government to make life more abundant and meaningful to the residents of the community

In his remarks, the Chairman House Committee on Education in the State House of Assembly, Hon. Folorunsho Bamisayemi, commended the state government for being supportive of the people of the constituency. He said the impacts of the creation of the council is being positively felt in the constituency, saying the constituency had benefited immensely from various government intervention programmes.

Earlier, the Olu of Awolowo town, Oba David Omisore, expressed profound gratitude to the state government for citing the new LCDA headquartres in the town.

We’ve Impacted On Over 20,000 Businesses- Osun Micro-Credit Agency

The Osun Micro-credit Agency has further given a breakdown on how its N3.2bn loan scheme has impacted on more than 20,000 small businesses in the last year, 2016.

The General Manager of the agency, Mr. Babaranti, while giving a breakdown on Thursday in Osogbo, said the over 20,000 beneficiaries of the loan scheme came under the 1,366 cooperative groups which applied for and got loans from the agency in the year under review.

According to the General Manager, the cooperative groups with the least number of members out of the 1,366 had 15 members.

“If you sum up this, with the least groups having 15 members, you will agree that conservatively put, we have recorded over 20,000 beneficiaries in 2016,” Babaranti stated.

Babaranti added that in addition to the over 20,000, 321 Small and Medium Enterprises were also funded while a total of 205 individuals applied and got loans through the same scheme.

Before Thursday’s breakdown by the agency boss, the government had on Wednesday said that more people are expected to benefit this year, 2017, as government intends to still expand the micro-credit facilities to go round more businesses.

The statement by the Bureau of Communication had said, “This government is poised to make sure that its small and medium scale businesses are developed roundly for the economic growth of the state.

“This was while last year alone, 1, 366 cooperative groups benefitted from the interest-free micro credit of the government, which is aimed at empowering small and budding business enterprises. With each cooperative group having at least a membership strength of 15, that would tell you that well over 20,000 businesses have been impacted on.

“For the ease of doing business, Government has made the loan interest-free. This will help the repayment of only the principal alone.

“Government has thus taken up the burden of paying the interest on the loan.”

The statement advised that loans be judiciously utilized by the beneficiaries.

Government also promised to continue the financial assistance as more beneficiaries would be targeted in the new year as well.

Osun Farmers Praise Aregbesola Over Continued Support

The Governor of Osun, Rauf Aregbesola, has received a warm applause for being forthright on the implementation of policies designed to revamp the agriculture sector in the state.

The praise was coming from members of the Osun state chapter of Cassava Growers Association of Nigeria, while they presented their position paper to the State House of Assembly Committee on Agriculture.

The association commended the state for being the bulwark of support to the needs of farmers in the state since assumption of office.

Presenting the paper, the Chairman of the Association, Dr David Ogunsade, described agriculture as the only surviving alternative to dearth of revenue from crude oil production in the country.

He stressed the need for more support from governments, stakeholders and other interested groups to enhance agricultural productivity, capacity, as well improve on the youth’s endorsement and participation in farming.

Ogunsade said government must provide the enabling environment that would further enhance micro-credit facilities to farmers most especially the peasant farmers in the country.

He however saluted Governor Aregbesola’s administration for establishing what he described as a robust and mutually beneficial partnership with the association which according to him, had re-positioned the agricultural sector in the state.

Furthermore, he stated that the government of Osun had done well in boosting the welfare and morale of farmers through its prompt interventions as part of efforts to realising the state’s potentials in agriculture.

Calling for modern agricultural practices to improve on the agricultural productivity in the state, Ogunsade said no effort must be spared by all at building a capacity that would encourage farming through the provision of ultra-modern facilities to farmers.

According to him, for rapid growth in the sector, modern agricultural practices must be encouraged while interest-free loans must be introduced to farmers.

He implored the state not to relent on its goal at turning the state to food basket of the nation.

“Our moribund agricultural infrastructures like cassava processing industry, cocoa processing industry, palm oil production industry among others, must be resuscitated so as to meet the needs of the people and help the state to be self-sufficient in food production.

“We want our Governor to do more in reviving all the cassava processing industries across the state so as to further increase on our cassava production capacity,” he added.

In response, Chairman of the Osun State House committee on Agriculture and Food Security, Mr Gbadebo Abdullahi, said government would continue to support the association in realizing its goals.

He then urged the farmers to always fulfil their obligation by refunding all credit facilities provided by government in order to enable others to benefit.

Abdullahi also tasked the farmers to seek other avenues to improve on their production and quality.

He assured them that the government would do its bit and they should also do theirs while maintaining unity.

Another member of the committee, Mr Israel Aloba, in support, called on the members of the association to cooperate with relevant agencies in the realisation of their dreams, saying this would help fast track their job and make the state the hub of cassava production in the country.

Celebrating The Golden Years of Osogbo School of Art

Oshogbo, capital of Osun State, is the home of Centre for Black Culture and International Understanding, (CBCIU). Located in South-west of Nigeria, 240 kilometres north of Lagos, Osogbo is both a Yoruba city kingdom of over 700,000 people and an important chapter in the history of modern African art.

To celebrate the 50 years of Oshogbo Art, an exhibition will hold from January 17 through 23, 2017 and will be organised by Centre for Black Culture and International Understanding (CBCIU), Oshogbo. The two oldest cultural icons of Oshogbo, Chiefs Jimoh Buraimoh and Muraina Oyelami, are at the forefront of the exhibition. The exhibition preview will take place on Monday, January 16, 2017. Official opening as well as launching of the journal CBClU in Oshogbo is on Tuesday, January 17, 2017. The exhibition is expected to run from January 17 through 23, 2017.The exhibition is expected to move to Abuja and will take place at Thought Pyramid Art Centre, Abuja. Curator is the Artistic Director, Thought Pyramid Art Centre, Mr. Jeff Ajueshi.

In the 1960s, Osogbo witnessed a series of artistic activities, ranging from painting and sculpture to music and theatre, from painting and sculpture to music and theatre. It attracted international attention and brought Osogbo’s artistic status in Nigeria parallel with that of Paris, France. Since then, Osogbo art has become a trademark, signifying the richness and vitality of Yoruba art and culture, most impressively expressed by the annual Osun-Osogbo. Two different groups of works can be distinguished. There are the paintings, sculptures, beads, and textiles sold locally and internationally, and other works depicting Yoruba deities and festival motifs.

Credit for Osogbo’s artistic renaissance goes to late Suzanne Wenger, Georgina and Ulli Beier for placing Osogbo on the world’s cultural map. They did not just start an arts school or movement, but started engaging the young boys and girls who were in Duro Ladipo Theatre group to do some art works during the long hours between play rehearsals. The experiment succeeded beyond Ulli and Georgina’s wildest imaginations, as it created more art and culture on a global level.

It is for this reason that CBCIU Oshogbo wants to highlight some of the distinctive features of the experiment, whose features contribute to the Osogbo School of Art to the global art community.

Though it would be recalled that there were already contemporary artists trained according to modern art techniques and perspectives in Nigeria, the Oshogbo experiment was the first to have succeeded in encouraging a contemporary modern art that would build on and continue the indigenous art traditions. This is what has made the artists famous throughout the world. The artists themselves were young men with only rudimentary formal western-style education, after which they became artisans, petrol station attendants, etc. All of them were resident in Osogbo, capital of Osun State. Easily, the achievement of Georgia and Ulli was the ability to turn the underprivileged and disadvantaged status of these young men into great assets: no certificates were required of them to join in the experiment.

According to Ulli Bier, “Unlike European art student of comparable age and unlike the art historians, critics and anthropologists who have been looking at their work as ‘Yoruba’ or ‘African’ or ‘Western,’ early prediction that Oshogbo artist would soon run out of steam after their european mentors left Nigeria in December 1966 looks ridiculous”.

The exhibition intends to invalidate this misconception and celebrate the artistic movement that has not only remained true to its cultural identity and essence.

From that beginning to the present, almost all the promotion that Osogbo Art has had has been from abroad or by foreigners. True, there has been patronage of them by individual Nigerians and Nigerian Institutions, but home recognition of what the movement stood for, and still represents, has been lacking. Osogbo Art Movement was uniquely Osogbo thing, so much so that the town, in fact, became known as the left bank of Nigeria art in the 1960s.

There are more artists of good quality, old and middle-ged, plying their trade in Oshogbo today than in any other town in Nigeria, Lagos included. By its very success, the Osogbo Art experiment proved that tradition can be modernised from within; that in certain fields of cultural practice no certificates but talent is what matters most. If there had been no Osogbo Art Movement, there probably would not be CBCIU located in Osogbo today, or certainly, it would have been located in another town or country. CBCIU is, in many ways, a product and beneficiary of the movement. Finally, remembering and celebrating Georgina and Ulli Beier and the contributions of he various artists to the global art community will form part of celebrating 50 years of Oshogbo Art Movement.

Osun Babes FC Unveil New Club Crest Ahead of Next NWPL Season.

Nigeria Women Premier League side Osun Babes FC have unveiled their new club crest which will appear on the club’s shirt from the start of the 2016/2017 Nigeria Women Premier League Season (NWPL).

The management of the club decided to make it known to the public after lengthy consultations with stakeholders and fans of the club who were broadly in favour of establishing a new logo for the Omoluabi Queens.

The new design marks the departure from the existing badge, adopted in 2014, and instead resembles an updated version of the club’s new philosophies.

According to a statement by the club’s media officer, Olayinka Olawole, “The new crest features a shield that retains the seal of the State of Osun, which comprises of two elephants, Ori Olokun, a Cocoa tree, an inner shield, crossed woods, Swords, a mace and seven cowries.

“The elephants symbolizes strength, service and prosperity, while the Ori Olokun represents the common origin of Yoruba and their dexterity in technology. The Cocoa Tree and two crossed logs of wood on which the elephant stands signifies the dependence of the state and its respects for agriculture and other natural resources of the land.

“Also, the chief’s sword and mace embodies the spirit and purpose of Osun State! While the inner shield and cowries on the Ori Olokun symbolizes the link between Osun State and the federal republic of Nigeria and the seven grandsons of Oduduwa respectively. The crest also includes the year the club was founded, 1995.

Some of the players told the club’s media team how happy they are looking forward to wearing the new badge.

“We are really looking forward to wearing it. It’s something new. This is what we love about this club and the journey we have been on since we’ve been here. There have always been new and exciting things and every one of them positive. It’s no different with this badge. We think it’s great.”

Meanwhile, the club has officially ended screening for new players ahead of the 2016/2017 NWPL season and have retained eighteen players from the old players and also picked twelve new exciting players for the new season.

O’ Rehab Shares Success Stories of Cured Mentally Ill Patients

The Osun state government O’Rehab programme has shared her success story of over 160 former psychotic members of the society who have now been fully treated, cured and rehabilitated by the state government.

Under the program which started in November 2011, several men and women, including  some who have been on the streets for as long has thirty years have been cured, equipped with vocational skills/ crafts for economic empowerment and reconnected with their families and reintegrated with the society. So far, the scheme has recorded less than 2% relapse cases.

Under the scheme, affected persons are treated at one of the five hospitals; Ladoke Akintola University of Technology teaching hospital, Obafemi Awolowo University teaching hospital, Yaba Psychiatric Hospital, Aro Psychiatric Hospital in Abeokuta and Government Hospital, Asubiaro, depending on the nature of the psychiatric disorder .

The scheme started under the supervision of Comrade Biyi Odunlade as a project under the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Special.  Although the Aregbesola-led govt is solely responsible for funding the project, Odunlade’s team works with a special psychotic treatment foundation – Care and Foundation for Mentally Ill Persons (Caremi foundation), founded by Professor Rogers Makanjuola.

According to Odunlade, some of the destitute are repatriated mainly from Lagos and other states as 90 per cent of psychotic patients treated under the scheme were dumped in the state or they trekked down from other states.

Odunlade, the supervisor shares the four-point method adopted as: the four Rs of retrieval, rehabilitation, repatriation and re-integration.

An example is Afolashade* (not real name) a young woman who the governor of the Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola saw on the streets last Christmas eve, on his way from the Iwude festival in Ilesa.  She had suffered amental disorder and a broken leg and had been roaming the streets at Isona community. He instructed that she be taken her off the streets that night and given proper care. Today, she has regained her senses.

Odunlade, however, stressed that most mentally imbalanced people are merely suffering from a form of trauma and most times only require love, attention and counseling with medication and supervision, adding that chaining them or beating them as is done in traditional healing homes will only aggravate their situation.

The care doesn’t come cheap to the Osun government. According to Odunlade, to treat an average person costs between N250, 000 to N300, 000 and can be more. “If the government uses this to treat one person, you can multiply it by how many people we have treated to know how much has been pumped into this setup over time and no hospital admits any psychotic patient without down payment or discharges them without full payment”, he said.

Sensitise The People – Osun Deputy Gov. Tells Journalists

Osun State Deputy Governor Mrs Titilayo Laoye-Tomori has called on journalists to use their profession to sensitise the people.

Mrs. Laoye-Tomori spoke when members of the Association of Christian Journalists (ACJ) visited her in Osogbo. She said journalists were in a better position to influence the people, especially youths.

She said youths should be enlightened on how to become entrepreneurs, instead of looking for white collar jobs.

ACJ president Oludayo Ojewole thanked the deputy governor for her support and promised not to let her down.

The high point of the visit was the conferment of the group’s life matron on Mrs. Laoye-Tomori

Mega Schools: APC Chieftain Lauds Aregbesola

An All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain in Osun State, Benedict Olugboyega Alabi, has lauded Governor Rauf Aregbesola for building mega schools across the state.

Alabi, who is the president of Osun Ajose Foundation, said the schools have always been a source of joy. Alabi enjoined the people to join hands with the government to ensure adequate maintenance of the schools.

He said: “I am convinced that Osun would have become Dubai if Governor Aregbesola has an access to funds as all and sundry can see the wonders he has been performing even with the limited fund available to his administration”

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PHOTONEWS: Aregbesola Inspects Ongoing Construction Of Oba Adesoji Aderemi East Bye Pass Bridge

The governor, state of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregresola took an unscheduled inspection tour of ongoing construction works in the state yesterday. The tour

The tour saw Aregbesola visit the site of the Oba Adesoji Aderemi east bypass bridge.

See pictures below:

Governor State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola (right); Chief of Staff to the Governor, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola (left) and others, during an inspection of ongoing Construction of Bridge at the Oba Adesoji Aderemi East bypass Road Osogbo.

Governor State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola (left); Chief of Staff to the Governor, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola and others, during an inspection of ongoing Construction of Bridge at the Oba Adesoji Aderemi East bye pass Road Osogbo.

Governor State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola (left); Formar Chairman Osun All Progressive Congress(APC) Osun, Elder Adebiyi Adelowo and others, during the inspection of ongoing Construction of Bridge at the Oba Adesoji Aderemi East bypass Road Osogbo

School Feeding Program Going on Well- FG

The Buhari presidency today gave an update on the National Homegrown School Feeding Programme and slammed critics, who claimed the programme is dogged by funding problems.

On the contrary, the government said, there are no payment issues or any kind of food rationing taking place in states where the programme has kicked off.

Laolu Akande, senior special assistant on media in the presidency said actual feeding of pupils is expected to commence this week in Ogun and Oyo States, while Ebonyi State will soon follow suit.

“While the Federal Government has paid all approved cooks based on the number of pupils allocated to each cook, it is the State that provides the number of pupils to be fed. And where those figures change, the next batch of FG payment would reflect it.

“Specifically, where the number of pupils increase, the State will communicate the increase and approve the review. The numbers of the new pupils are then physically verified, before a commensurate number of cooks are engaged, trained and then paid.

“The FG has also adopted a system where it pays the cooks a 10-day advance payment for feeding. The programme is designed to ensure that no cook feeds more than 150 pupils a day, but in some cases, the numbers are as low as 35 children per cook.

“The meal which must be sufficient and nutritious is costed around locally sourced items and approved by the State under the N70 per child provision by the Federal Government. Food quality is monitored at the school level through the head teachers, the Parent Teachers Association, PTA, and the State monitoring teams”.

According to Akande, 11 States have so far indicated their readiness to commence the school feeding programme having met FG’s criteria.

He said the Buhari administration has demonstrated its commitment to alleviate poverty and empower youths, with the progress so far recorded with the Homegrown School Feeding Programme, the N-Power Teach for unemployed graduates, the Conditional Cash Transfer for the poorest, and the GEEP.

Again! Osun Government Distributes Opon-Imo To Students

In keeping with its promise to continue to invest massively in education, the state of Osun government has begun another round of distribution of the tablet of knowledge famously called IPON IMO.

This effort saw government officials visit the Agbonran Science High School, Ede, a while back to distribute the tablets to the obviously excited students.

See photos below

Vice Principal Agbonran Science High School, Ede, Mr Adesiyan John (right) handing over ‘Opon Imo’ – Tablet of Knowledge to one of his student, Abdullahi Fatimoh (middle) with them is her mother, Mrs Rukayat, during the free distribution of the tablet at the school hall

Vice Principal Agbonran Science High School, Ede, Mr Adesiyan John (right) handing over ‘Opon Imo’ – Tablet of Knowledge to one of his student, Babatunde Morufat (middle). With them is her father, Mr Alade, during the free distribution of the tablet at the school hall

Vice Principal Agbonran Science High School, Ede, Mr Adesiyan John (right) handing over ‘Opon Imo’ – Tablet of Knowledge to one of his student, Tajudeen Abdullahi (middle). With them is his father, Mr Salami, during the free distribution of the tablet at the school hall

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