Breaking News: Aregbesola To Sign Ground-Breaking Public Procurement Bill Into Law

…to establish an e-Portal for procurement

Osun Defender has learnt that Governor of the state of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, will today sign a ground-breaking Public Procurement Bill into law.

The Public Procurement law passed by the State House of Assembly, is a well-researched Law in line with the demand for transparency, accountability and effectiveness that the procurement process demands.

In the unique law, the state recognized the place of technology in the 21st century, as it made provision for the creation of an e-Portal for procurement, Osun Defender exclusively learnt.

Section 61 of the law to be signed provides that, “the Board shall design and set up a secure electronic portal to be known as the Osun Government Electronic Procurement System, not later than twelve (12) months from the enactment of this Law or at such time that the Governor may consider appropriate.”

Osun Defender gathered that the e-Portal shall be the primary source of information for all public procurement matters and opportunities within the purview of this Law and Regulations issued therein.

Osun Defender learnt the passage of this Law will guarantee citizens, particularly small and medium scale enterprises ample opportunities to participate in the economic opportunities and benefits embedded in public procurement, among others, it will also ensure probity, accountability, transparency, value for money as well as establish fair pricing standards and benchmarks.

In all, the State of Osun Public Procurement Law, 2015 consists of eighty-one (81) sections.

Section 23(1)-(27) of the Law which provides for the Governing Rules on public procurement encapsulate core foundation of the law. This Section is the result of scientific and well grounded research into why procurement sanctity has eluded many Governments and their Agencies as it is no gain saying that where there are no adequate guidelines and safeguards, no matter how well intentioned any policy of Government is, it is bound to be abused by unscrupulous elements saddled with its operation. Hence, the Section is coined in line with best global practices in procurement and even modeled to suit peculiarities in the State of Osun so as to forestall any act of sabotage right from the outset of any procurement process.

Section 24 Osun Defender learnt, further compliments Section 23 by providing for Warranties for all procurement contracts. This provision is designed to ensure that requisite skill in service provision is employed and also that genuine material and other inputs are used for in any given procurement.

With this new State of Osun Public Procurement Law, Section 25 makes it mandatory that all procuring entities must have a procuring Office whose functions shall, among others, be:

  1. initiate the entity’s procurement process;
  2. carry out appropriate market and statistical surveys and prepare analysis of cost implication of a proposed procurement;
  3. conduct pre-qualification exercise for suppliers, contractors or consultants based on requisite expression of interest; and
  4. evaluate expression of interest by suppliers, contractors or consultants and forward lists of qualified submissions to the Board.

Section 32 makes it mandatory that the procurement of works, goods and services by all procuring entities shall be conducted by Open Competitive Bidding except where otherwise expressly provided otherwise in the Procurement Law.

In all, the beauty of this Law is anchored on the fact that it envisages the creation of a system for procurement that is organic and self sustainable and if diligently followed and adhered to by those that would be called upon for its implementation, particularly the Civil Servants.

Ooni Not In Any Supremacy Battle With Anyone- Ogunwusi Aide, Moses Olafare

…Says Building Bridges of Harmony is Ogunwusi’s Watchword

By Waheed Adekunle, Osogbo

The Director of Media and Public Affairs, Ooni’s Palace, Comrade Moses Olafare, has reiterated the avowed determination of the Imperial Majesty, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi to bring together cordial relationship and mutually-beneficial peaceful coexistence among the Yorubas home and abroad without any sense of discrimination.

Comrade Olafare revealed that the only thing that is paramount to Ooni was the need to foster unity and healthy development among the Yorubas and the entire nation.

The Ooni media aide made the statement in an interview with our correspondent.

Comrade Lafare who described Oba Ogunwusi as a supreme lover of peace, said his ultimate interest on the sacred throne of Oduduwa is to explore all measures through which the collective interest and genuine unity among Yorubas and other tribes would be entrenched, fostered and enhanced.

Comrade Lafare who lamented over the palpable strained relationships among the traditional rulers in the past, said with the peace keeping mission and diplomatic shuttle of Oba Ogunwusi, the yoruba nation is drifting towards prosperous destination.

He further stressed that the major objective of Oba Ogunwusi was to strategically restored and revived the socio-cultural and economic integration of yoruba race, which according to him would give every yoruba man the required sense of belonging and as well revitalize the already desecrated legacies.

Comrade Lafare, however assured of Oba Ogunwusi’s resolve to continuously serve as an agent of change, harmony, unity, love, peace and tranquility within and among the yorubas.

He said Oba Ogunwusi was highly committed to the need of restoring the Yoruba dignity, integrity and sanctity, saying the time has come to revamp pride position of yorubas and black race among other ethnic inclinations in the world.

The Ooni’s media aide however reaffirmed Oba Ogunwusi stance to resist any act capable of dragging him into supremacy contest, adding that history has already vindicated him.

“Kabiyesi Ooni is less concerned over any supremacy tussle, because his interest for now on the sacred throne
of Oduduwa is to explore available measures to entrench the collective
interest and genuine unity among Yoruba, Nigerians, Africans and the entire world.

“For this reason, he has been seeking for utmost peace, love and unity, that is why his reign has resolved to continuously impacting the spirit of love, neighborliness, unity and  peace.

“I am also optimistic that his stance in build bridges of harmony among Yourba traditional rulers and beyond would continue to be trademark that would be towed by all and sundry.

“Oba Ogunwusi is resolutely committed to how Yoruba ethnic group can restore
its glory and pride position among other ethnic inclinations in Nigeria and he can never allowed himself to be dragged into supremacy contest or join issues with anybody”, Comrade Lafare stressed.

He therefore commended Oba Ogunwusi for championing the cause of yoruba people and promoting the peace cohabitation in the country.

Osun To Turn Kiriji War Site To World Class Recreation Centre

By Waheed Adekunle, Osogbo

The Governor of the state of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has disclosed his administration’s resolve to resuscitate the dearth status of the state’s tourist centres.

Governor Aregbesola said the current excruciating economic system remains a sacrosanct wake up signal for every serious government to look beyond the crude oil revenues.

Governor Aregbesola made the disclosure while playing a host on Committee set up on the Design of Kiriji War Site Road Networks in Igbajo and Imesi-Ile respectively.

Governor Aregbesola who described Kiriji site as significant historic site for all yoruba race, said his government would do all it could to position the site to a world class recreation centre.

Presentation of the Kiriji War site in Igbajo1
Nigerian Institution Of Civil Engineers presenting the Road Network Design of the Kiriji War Site to Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola in Osogbo, yesterday

Aregbesola attributed the primitive Kiriji War site to what he described as cultural repository asylum, stressing that his government would not hesitate to invest in bringing back to life, the yoruba socio-cultural and ethnical legacies.

The Governor averred that tourism as a lucrative sector has the countless number of potentials to boost the state’s Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, and as well place the state to a viable position among the world tourist centres.

Aregbesola said the time has come to alternate tourism as a realistic means to revenues from Federation Accounts, reiterating that no stone would be left unturned to ensure its total realization.

Governor Aregbesola who recounted his laudable achievements since assumption of office, said his government has regurgitated the untapped potentials of tourism, which he said has witnessed tremendous changes and as well contributed positively to the socio-economic and cultural lives of the citizenry.

Aregbesola however commended the committee for coming up with such brilliant idea, which he described as monumental initiative, saying the significance was not only meant to jerk up the state’s economic value, but to improve the cultural heritage of yoruba race.

He charged the state Ministry of Home Affairs, Tourism and Culture to facilitate the project, promising that his government would ensure all round revival of the historic Kiriji War site to attract the deserved economic values.

“I am fully impressed on this well-thought out proposal to improve our cultural heritage. Though our government has been very undaunted, resilient and steadfast in rehabilitating, enhancing and improving the tourism sector, but nevertheless, much still need to be done to ensure that all the tourist sites in the state are revamped for the betterment of our people.

“Although implementing a project like this takes much in terms of resources and timing that cannot be completed or finished in a short period, but notwithstanding, but we will commit necessary human and material resources to ensure that the good gestures are realized.

“Our government is highly interested in initiating some things that will show that Kiriji is not an ordinary site to yoruba person, but rather an historic site that creates importance and significance particularly on our unity, our commitment to peace, progress and development.

“We will do this so as to continuously promoting our cultural heritage for future generations.

To achieve this, Governor Aregbesola charged the Ministry of Home Affairs, Tourism and Culture, to get a consultant to assist it into comprehensive research that will enhance and facilitate the smooth implementation of the proposed projects.

Governor Aregbesola called for deep research into all aspects of the Kiriji War which he opined that would enhance the seamless execution of the project.

” This is a good demonstration of social responsibility. I thank the initiator and those who brought this wonderful initiative to limelight and we assure you of fruitful partnership”, he stated.

Governor Aregbesola who urged  members of Nigerian Society of Engineers, NSE, to always show concern towards the socio-economic and infrastructural welfare of the people said, there is the need for them to partner with government for general growth and development.

He said, “As an engineering association, I want you to do more than this because there are some engineering solutions that ought to be recommended for government for better improvement of the society and general well being of the masses.

“You must be part of progress in giving recommendations that would improve the condition of our roads and thereby prevent the avoidable accident and destruction to the lives of the people in the community.

“Always help government to solve problems that confront society. Try to let people and government know that you care about their welfare by either quickly draw their attention before such development becomes a threat or danger to life or even in preventing the development of a threat, you support.

“Let your method of showing concern about the welfare of the people be totally improved in finding solutions to society and community challenges.

He therefore assured members of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, his government’s support, adding he would personally do all necessary things to revamp the site for general well being.

He added, “We will partner with you once the Ministry of Home Affairs, Tourism and Culture gets through with other aspects of the projects.

“Once necessary researches and findings are done, we shall look for how to implement your infrastructural proposal to make the site a memorable recreation centre that will attract visitors around the globe.

Earlier, the Chairman, Committee on the Design of Kiriji Road Networks, Engineer David Sola Oni, commended the state government for living up to the responsibilty in spite the nation’s dwindling revenues.

Engineer Oni who described the tremendous achievements recorded in the last five years by the current government as inestimable said, Governor Aregbesola has exhibited his rare passion in all aspects of the economy.

He extolled the significant successes and memorable legacies which he said the present government had successfully made, assuring Governor Aregbesola of utmost commitment, dedication and avowed determination towards the successful actualization of the projects.

Engineer Oni who gave a comprehensive background on the report that produces a map of Kiriji war site at Igbajo and Imesi-Ile, said the war site had farmlands, and various war relics such as spear bullets and other weapons used during the civil war.

He elucidated that the site was the location of war treaty signing in September 23, 1886 between Ibadan and its affiliates and Ekiti Parapo and its affiliates.

Engineer assured that an extensive research and finding had been done on the site, saying the time has come to revival the history and turn the site to a place to be in the world.

He buttressed his point with scientific analyses where the war locations were technically revealed and analyzed.

According to him, “The war locations include: Aga-Ogedengbe, a stone seat of Ogedengbe and Latoosa’s camp at Igbojo.

“Others are; Okuta Orunorunga, Latoosa stool, Fejeboju Stream, Latoosa Grove and the peace treaty site”, he stated.

Engineer Oni therefore urged the state government to urgently expedite action that would fast-track quick implementation.

He disclosed that about 5killometers of roads network would be constructed across the War site, saying adequate implementation of infrastructures around the site would go a long way in positioning it to the vantage place.

Engineer Oni therefore assured the state of effective and efficient implementation of both cultural and infrastructural designs as being promised.

Order Of Supremacy Of Yoruba Monarchs

The Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, has declared that the Ooni of Ife remains the number one monarch in Yorubaland and should be given the honour due him.

The monarch made this known in his Ake Palace, Abeokuta in Ogun State on Sunday when the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, paid him a courtesy visit.

Oba Gbadebo went on to identify ego as the reason behind the disunity among traditional rulers and people in Yorubaland, calling for all to bury the hatchet to move the Yoruba race forward.

He went on to list the five principal monarchs in Yoruba land according to their order of superiority.

According to Oba Gbadebo, the monarchs are: Ooni of Ife, the Alaafin of Oyo, the Oba of Benin, the Alake of Egbaland and the Awujale of Ijebuland.

He said: “Ooni is one of the five principal Obas in Yorubaland. The others are in order of the way they are classified on supremacy basis. After the Ooni is the Alaafin. After the Alaafin is the Oba of Benin, after him comes the Alake of Egbaland and the fifth and by no means the last or the least, the Awujale of Ijebuland.

“So, it’s our pleasure that you are in our midst today. We are happy to receive you.

“You have demonstrated good upbringing already since you started. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo came and demonstrated that by prostrating as a man of culture. The papers carried it yesterday. We are proud that is an Egba man who came to visit the spiritual father of Yorubaland.

“Actually there is nothing wrong in terms of unity; it is ego-tripping, what people would think of me, I want to promote my own image. That is what has been wrong with us all along. Once we stop promoting self-image, there will be unity among us.

“Every Oba in Yorubaland has a letter of appointment. Nobody has made you Oba of a place that you have not conquered or you think in terms of conquest. Why must you now call yourself what you are not.

So, as you go along, let this humility be your watchword.”


Ooni Loses Grandmum

Queen Mariani Adeyemi Ogunwusi, the paternal grandmother of Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, is dead.

She was 104 years.

Madam Mariani Ogunwusi
Madam Mariani Ogunwusi

The deceased was survived by her only surviving son, the Ooni’s father, Prince Oluropo Ogunwusi and 12 grandchildren.

According to a statement by the Ooni’s Director of Media, Moses Olafare, Queen Mariani, who lost her second child, Prince Isaac Olufemi Ogunwusi, and her husband, Prince Olaobaju Joseph Ogunwusi in 1995 and 1998 respectively, died at exactly 4:30am on Tuesday in her Ile-Ife residence

Court Remands Pupils In Osun For Destroying Properties

An Osogbo Magistrate Court has ordered that two secondary school pupils arrested in connection with the attack on Orisun FM based in Ile Ife be remanded in prison custody.
The magistrate also ordered that five of the accused persons who are underage should be remanded at the Corrective Centre, Osogbo.
The pupils, who were ordered to be remanded at prison custody are: Michael Ayodele and Sodiq Adeleke who are 18 years old.
The five underage are: Adisa Sefiu (16), Adebisi Jamiu (16), Olatunji Segun (16), Ayoh Festus (16) and Chioma Anuoluwapo (16).
Police Prosecutor, Mr.  Elisha Olusegun, told the court that the accused persons and others who are currently at large committed the offence on February 4, 2016 between 8:30am and 12 noon in Ile Ife, Osun State.
The prosecutor told the court that the accused persons and others at large conspired and willfully destroyed library windows at the Oduduwa College, Ile Ife and some other properties before trooping to the radio station where they destroyed property worth millions of naira.
The prosecutor told the court that the students destroyed seven vehicles during the riot which they embarked upon following the decision of the state government not to pay the West Africa School Certificate Examination of students who failed to score four credit passes in the mock examination conducted by the state government.
The offense according to the charge sheet contravened the provision of sections 516 and 415 of the Criminal Code Cap 34, Vol. 11, Laws of Osun, 2003.
The accused persons, however, pleaded not guilty to the eight-counts  of conspiracy, felony and unlawful damages of properties slammed against them.
The Magistrate, Mr. Olusola Aluko did not allow oral application of their counsel for the accused persons, Mr. Dauda Oyewole.
He ruled that  the counsel should file a formal bail application.
The magistrate subsequently ruled that the five underage persons should be remanded at the Corrective Centre and the two accused persons  who are 18 years old to be remanded in prison custody.
He later adjourned the case till March 1 for mention.

Nigeria Beyond Oil: Ooni Of Ife Says Ife’s Gold Needs Exploration

The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, says Ile Ife will be the take-off point of the new Nigerian economy in a post oil and gas era.

Oba Ogunwusi expressed optimism that an exploration of the huge solid minerals in the state, especially gold, would give an unprecedented boost to the nation’s economy and shift it away from volatility of the crude oil market.

He stressed the need for focus to shift from oil and gas to other solid minerals in Nigerian states.

“All over the country solid minerals are everywhere. But we haven’t even exploited it.

“Indeed, we can survive without oil and gas. If we don’t have oil and gas, we can survive because the mysteries in this land are more than anywhere in the world.

“There is a huge potential in Ife. There is no solid mineral we don’t have. We have gold, Timberlight Gemstone… We have very large scale deposit of all those materials and I like to practice what I preach,” the monarch told Modele Sarafa-Yusuf on Channels Television’s programme, ‘View From The Top’.

The Oba said that he was already working with the State and Federal Governments to promote solid minerals, tourism and agriculture to keep the youths engaged and promote the local economy.

Ooni of Ife, Adeyeye Ogunwusi and Modele Sarafa-Yusuf of ChannelsTV
Ooni of Ife, Adeyeye Ogunwusi and Modele Sarafa-Yusuf of ChannelsTV
He urged the leaders to lead by personal example, advocating the use of made in Nigeria goods.

“The beads that I am wearing, I went as far as Benin Kingdom to go an exploit the beads. People don’t wear it any longer but it is made in Nigeria and I am proud to say it. The gold in between it, I took it from Mokuru waters in Ife and it is one of the most purified gold in the world. It is a 23.9 karat gold, raw. We just decided to do surface mining.

“We have it in Nigeria. We have it in Ife, Ilesa and in Niger State. All these things are just littered everywhere. But there is nobody to harness and put all those structures in place.

“We have focused too much on oil and gas.

“So I am very proud to say today that what I am wearing is made in Nigeria hundred per cent. This throne, the shoe that I am wearing are made in Nigeria. It is that bad, the soap I use is made in Ile Ife. That is the only way Nigerian economy can grow. So we must lead by example,” the Ooni of Ife stressed.


Osun Assembly Passes Land Use Charge Bill Into Law

Osun State House of Assembly, on Monday passed into law, the State Land Use Charge Bill 2016.

According to a statement by the Chairman, House Committee on Information and Strategy, Olatunbosun Oyintiloye, the passage of the bill followed a motion by the Leader of the house, Honourable Timothy Owoeye for the third reading and seconded by member representing Ede South constituency, Nureni Adebisi at the plenary.

The bill, which, he said was sponsored by the executive arm of government was seeking to make provision for the consolidation of all property land based rates law, the neighbourhood improvement charge law and tenement rate law  into a new land based charge, to be called Property Land Use Charge to make provision for the levying and collection of the charges and for connected purposes.

The Assembly had on Tuesday, November 3, 2015, held a public hearing on the bill, where professional bodies and other stakeholders lauded the bill and said, it was coming at the appropriate time.

Pronouncing the passage of the bill, the Speaker, Honourable Najeem Salaam, said its passage was delayed to ensure that affordable rate that would not put unnecessary burden on the people are arrived at.

According to him, the present economic situation require that every property owner must contribute to support the government, just as he charged the executive to ensure effective sensitisation of the people to key in into the new law and see reason to pay the appropriate charges. Salaam also called on the implementers of the new law not to hide under it to put unnecessary burden on the people, urging that the law should rather be used for the benefit of the people,” he said.

Bread Seller From Osun Turns Big Model In Lagos

Many may not have heard the story of Olajumoke Orisaguna, a native of Ire in Osun State, who now is a big model in Lagos.

Osun Defender learnt Jumoke who is a trained hair stylist, relocated to Lagos to join the bread-hawking business when she was ‘mistakenly’ discovered by celebrity photographer, TY Bello.

Olajumoke Orisaguna hawking bread
Olajumoke Orisaguna hawking bread

Jumoke began hawking bread when she got to Lagos; and that was what she was doing on the day she walked into a shoot of TY Bello, popular photographer and musician. Bello did not take note of Jumoke that moment – not until she was editing the image of the client who took her to that location.

Realised the hawker’s potentials, Bello launched a manhunt for her. Both of them later met and below is what she wrote of the newfound model who made it to the cover of the latest edition of THISDAY Style:

Aso kan na ni mo wo kiri Lana ‘.. Jumoke, the ‘model’ the Internet had been searching for, speaks almost no English.

She explained how she had worn the exact outfit in our photograph the day before and someone showed her her own photograph on his phone from Facebook. A mallam led her to my studio that morning.

She narrated her journey to Lagos…A hair stylist from Ire in Osun state but not making enough profit… between her and her husband, a sliding door installer in same village, to care for their two young children.

At the invitation of a distant relative who knew someone operating a bakery, she relocated Lagos with her 14-month-old daughter to give bread hawking a try, leaving her husband and the older five-year-old behind.

As I listened to her, I wandered if the beauty I had seen on my screen as I edited my image was a fluke ..well until she smiled . I realized that I was wrong. I had in fact underestimated the beauty of this 27-year-old woman. As always, it was her eyes and of course her perfectly chiseled features that jumped out at you when she chuckled. This lady belonged in front of my camera.

After a conversation with her husband telling him the story of our meeting, I decided I was going to photograph her that very afternoon. Within an hour, Bimpe Onakoya, one of Nigeria’s leading makeup artists, and Zubby, one of my favourite hairstylists, were at my studio to work magic.  

Olajumoke Orisaguna after the transformation
Olajumoke Orisaguna after the transformation

They had both followed the story online and were more than happy to put in their very best for her. Olajumoke … with curly extensions out revealed a short natural Afro that beautifully hugged her face.

Bimpe Onakoya also had decided to keep the make up minimal… She stepped in front of my camera and I almost couldn’t recognize her. She moved differently too. Jumoke looked straight into my lens emoting like she had done this all her life …. I knew we had found a star.

Former Attorney-General Commends Aregbesola On Massive Infrastructural Development In Osun

Wale Afolabi is the immediate past Justice Commissioner and Attorney-General in Osun State, in a no holds barred  interview with ADEOLU ADEYEMO of the New Telegraph newspaper, commended Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola on the massive infrastructural development in the the state of Osun despite its dwindling resources.

In fact, he noted that the only thing people are blaming Ogbeni Aregbesola for is that, he put so many projects on ground which he cannot even pay for now.  

“So many contracts have been completed that people see.”

“About 200 kilometers of roads that we did for Local Government have almost been completed, nobody complained.”

Read excerpt from the interview below. Enjoy!

You were in Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s cabinet, what is your assessment of his administration so far?

Ogbeni is a fantastic phenomenon in Osun state. I am happy to answer such question. I have been in government before now and I know the way it is. When Ogbeni came on board, he came with vision and passion. The only thing people are blaming him for is that he put so many projects on ground which he cannot even pay for now.

Don’t forget that but for the drop in the allocation, when he awards contract, he doesn’t pay immediately. He spreads payment for 36 months. For the fact that there was 40 per cent drop in allocation, look at the oil problem that we have now, as a matter of fact, they don’t even know that last month it was about 24million that was given to Osun state because by the time they took our deductions and loan, there was nothing to pay salary and the installment payment of some of the contract. Don’t forget that so many contracts have been completed that people see.

Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola inspecting the 3000 capacity newly built Osogbo Government High School still under construction in Osogbo, today, 8/2/2016
Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola inspecting the 3000 capacity newly built Osogbo Government High School, still under construction in Osogbo, today, 8/2/2016

About 200 kilometers of roads that we did for Local Government have almost been completed, nobody complained. Like I said, it is only when people see something that is negative that they cry about it. Schools are being commissioned on daily basis.

These are projects that he started and he is commissioning them. Just recently, they commissioned Anthony Udofia Elementary School and he is commissioning so many high schools too. So, it is only when people see something that is negative that they complain about.

By and large, he said he will complete these projects and I am praying that he will complete all the projects. By the time he finishes all those projects, you will see another Akande in our land. You know Bisi Akande did his best for this state. He laid a solid foundation for the state. If you look at Aregbesola, he is working along the path. I am sure with the support of the people, he will succeed.

What is in a tax that the state government has been appealing to residents to comply with?

Yes, tax payment is a legal issue. There are so many people on the street that are not paying tax. There are so many people doing business that are not paying tax. What Aregbesola is saying is that, we are going to pursue it vigorously now.

It is not only him, look at the Federal Government, they said they are going to pursue tax payment vigorously too. By the time the oil money was coming very well, we all slept off. Now that we know that the oil money is not something we can depend upon, that is why government is now looking at tax payment.

So, it is not a new thing that he is talking about. If this man has been working very well before the fall in oil price, of course he will do well. I have confidence in him. He is a man that will do well. Therefore, I want to appeal to the people to pay their tax.

Read more here.

Osun At Retreat: Charts New Course For Development

The state of Osun has said it has resolved to come up with new strategies that would help it navigate through the financial challenges while sustaining all its development programs.

According to a communique issued at the end of a three day retreat held in Iloko Ijesa, in Oriade Local Government Area of the state, the government was compelled to review its programs with a view to executing its various development programs within the context of the ongoing economic crisis in the country.

In the communique signed by the Chief-of-Staff to the Governor, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, participants at the retreat identified the need to reduce the cost of governance, increase internally generated revenues and drive investments to the state as vital to the continued growth of the state.

The document noted that the state is on the verge of ‎unveiling what it called, “a competent and capable cabinet” which is expected to be identified and inaugurated soon.

It said the in-coming executive council of the state would be expected to work in conjunction with dedicated civil servants of the state for implementation of these plans.

The communique said participants at the retreat recognized the urgent need to put in place clear action plans that would put the state on a good footing among its peers in the country despite the biting economic hardship.

Highlighting the current global economic hardship, the communique added that Osun is not alone in the economic difficulties just as participants noted that the dwindling economic fortune will affect all tiers of government, including their business partners.

“Osun has been at the forefront of innovation in governance and it is one of the few states in the country with commendable development statistics. 

“The state has made massive investments in physical and human infrastructure in the last five years. In 2013, Osun had the lowest unemployment rate in the country and the second lowest poverty rate.

“Osun’s Youth Empowerment Model and School Feeding Scheme influenced the World Bank’s YESSO programme and the All Progressives Congress (APC) National School Feeding goal respectively,” the communique pointed out.

It further noted that the commitment of the Rauf Aregbesola administration to delivering on its development initiatives to the people of the state, stating that Osun will institutionalise performance-driven governance‎.

“The role of humans in economic development must not be overlooked, so it is important to leverage on the human resources of the state to generate ideas, establish enterprises and create much-needed goods and services.

“If we can get 40% of the population to be productive and generate surplus value, we will generate enough revenue to be comfortable. The aim of the Repositioning Osun for Prosperity (ROPE) initiative is to achieve increased IGR by employing creative means to widen taxpayers’ base and supporting enforcement action,” it added.

It said that the repositioning of the state will reduce the cost of governance by strengthening the state’s public financial management system and ensure compliance with International Public Sector Accounting Standards.

The document said that the new era that Osun is entering will increase investments in the state by attracting investors for short to medium term investments in agriculture, tourism, solid minerals, and strengthening the Public Private Partnership framework.

It also identified performance-based governance with the setting up of appropriate mechanisms and frameworks to track performance in Millennium Development Agencies and government policies as benefit of the new initiatives.

Click to read the full Communiqué from the Osun Retreat here