BACK PAGE Osun IGR: From Negative To High Fiscal Capacity

 

All indications show that the Rauf Aregbesola-led administration prioritises economic policies that will spur growth, wealth creation and prosperity for Osun people. These policies are targeted at reducing the rate of poverty and unemployment. The long-term economic plan of the state governor is to create wealth and prosperity for the people.

It is clear that Osun economic model is targeted at driving economic growth and sustainability intended to achieve self-sustainability for the state where proceeds from Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) will be used to drive economic growth and prosperity for the people without depending on the allocation from the Federation Account.

It is on record that Aregbesola has established a process with the introduction of electronic data processing of all taxpayers’ information and this has created easy access to taxpayers’ information. The training and retraining of revenue officers in the use of enabling laws, improvement in the administrative machinery to eliminate bottlenecks and bureaucracy in process have also helped. The state has created a comprehensive data on who should pay tax or the key economic activities that can generate tax income.

No doubt, the state can boast of high revenue capacity and expenditure which needs to compare with the national average. Aregbesola has created high fiscal capacity, or a relatively high capability to cover Osun expenditure needs using its own resources. In 2011, the state had low fiscal capacity, that is, a low level of revenue-raising capacity given what it would cost to provide a standard set of public services to its citizens.

For instance, Osun is now a pacesetter among the six participating states in the State and Local Governance Reform (SLOGOR) Project. The programme, organised by Office of the Auditor-General in Osun State, in collaboration with SLOGOR Project (EU/World Bank Assisted), was held at Aurora Event Centre, Osogbo. Osun, through the Office of the Statistician-General, has released the figure of its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) for seven years, from 2010 to 2017.

In a statement, the Statistician-General, Prof. Wasiu Gbolagade, dismissed the rumour that Osun was fictitiously giving incorrect figures as a window dressing. He said in 2010, the IGR stood at N3,376,735,645.43, rose to N7,398,572,036.48 in 2011 and was N5,020,250,633.94k in 2012. Gbolagade said the IGR in 2013 was N7,284,225,003.77, became N8,513,274,186.67 in 2014, while it was N8,072,966,446.00 in 2015, N8,884,756,040.35 in 2016 and N11,731,026,444.38k in 2017.

He said: “The IGR increased from N3.38 billion in 2010 to N8.51 billion in 2014. It increased from N8.88 billion in 2016 to N11.73 billion in 2017, representing percentage increase of 32.4. The types of IGR the state depends mostly on are PAYE, MDAs revenue, direct assessment, road taxes and other taxes. Of the above, PAYE generated the highest revenue for the state.

From a paltry N300 million a month about 7 years ago to N1.6 billion now, internally generated revenue (IGR) in the state appear to have taken a quantum leap. Osun has also been ranked as the second less miserable and poverty-ridden state in the country for the year 2017, according to a report by Financial Derivatives Company released on January 1, 2018. The report, titled: ‘How the States Performed in 2017’, stated that Osun had the lowest net FAAC allocation in the country but was not delinquent in the payment of salary arrears.

The investment in human capital by the Aregbesola administration would yield bountiful returns in education tax, thereby contributing substantially to the state’s monthly IGR target. In line with this, 277 model schools with about 1,811 modern classrooms were built or rehabilitated and the schools were equipped with 62,922 sets of chairs and tables. Every school day in Osun, 253,000 elementary school children receive a nutritious meal produced largely by local farmers to boost learning as well as local production. The Osun School Feeding Programme is the longest running of its kind in the country. In six years, Osun has, through its basic education agency invested billions to build capacity, both in human and physical infrastructure.

The Osun Agency for Community and Social Development Project has also partnered with the World Bank, committing, at least, N2 billion on several social developmental projects to reach 1,073,129 beneficiaries in rural communities. The partnership is delivering 356 inclusive, gender-sensitive and multi-sectoral micro projects, covering education, rural electrification, primary health care, transportation, and potable water provision in 263 communities across the state. Most of these businesses and individual beneficiaries are already captured in the tax net.

The efforts of the state government soon resulted in corresponding increase in investments and production in Osun State. Tuns Farms, an indigenous poultry company, in partnership with smallholder farmers, ramped up broiler production to position the state as the second-largest broiler producer in the country. Omoluabi Garment Factory, a PPP venture between Sam and Sara Garments and Osun government, emerged as the largest garment factory in West Africa. RLG Adulawo, an indigenous computer assembly plant, also established operations in Osun as a result of the favourable infrastructure in the state. These investments created many jobs with both the organisations and their staff boosting the tax revenues of the state government.

Between 2013 and 2017, The Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative rated Osun second-highest in Human Development Index among the 36 states in the country. In 2014, Rencap in its 36 shades of Nigeria economic review of states ranked Osun as the 7th largest economy in Nigeria, while in 2013 the NBS rated Osun as the state with the lowest poverty rate in Nigeria.

With the good outing of the Aregbesola administration so far, creating an enabling environment for investments and also providing critical infrastructure, it is not surprising that the state is so highly rated by independent observers. The goodwill has already reflected in the IGR growth trajectory, prompting the collective aspiration of citizens of the state as well as government officials that N5 billion monthly IGR is realisable.

 

{BACK PAGE} UNESCO: Omisore’s Image As Message

ISAAC OLUSESI writes, no sooner that the lie detector, confuted Iyiola Omisore’s lies spit on  the global village about what UNESCO did not do in the State of Osun, than the Me in him collapsed and his public image came crashing further, with a deafening cacophony and devastating thud in a heap of open shame.

In Nigeria, this is governorship election year in the State of Osun. Political parties would have to submit themselves to the whims and caprices of the rational or erratic voters, which ever applies. And for some politicians, the season will herald the exigency of intellectual, value-compliant campaigns; and for other politicians, however, it is just diving into the abyss of dissent and rebellion, a sardonic virulence against reason, with gigantic scheme of notorious lies to heat up the polity. In Osun politics, the arrowhead of the nasty lies in the public glare is also the egghead of opposition elements, Iyiola Omisore who, the political rabble-rousing of the yester-years in the state gained him election into the Senate from the Agodi prison. And since then, lying through his teeth has encapsulated his ecstatic quest to occupy the highest office in the state.

The prison infections at Ibadan, capital of Oyo State with the vices in gusts picked at the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the platform for his infamous election into the National Assembly goaded him into grotesque distortion of truth, manifest disdain for orderliness and contempt for morality in his public conduct. Somehow, ironically, the more brutish lies he oozes out to garner public respect and support, the more obscured his image becomes as Osun electorate do not share any dogged obsession with his cult of hideous, heady lies. The revolting, incurable liar, ever prepared to have the “Fulani cow-stick laid across his (the) back”, in the George Orwellian characterisation in Animal Farm, has always foolhardy seen lying as a profession like Bonnie and Clyde, the lecherous, murderous couple that once ruled the American underworld.

Readers of gumshoe, detective stories like me know that the day the couple were apprehended by law enforcement agents and asked what their profession was, their response, quick and witty, was: “We rob banks, and tell lies thereafter to cover our tracks”. Lying as a profession and Omisore’s professional tool of political mass mobilization, orientation and sensitization, sound so bizarre.

But it is not only Bennie and Clyde who classified lying as a profession. Get hold of Bullet Budget’s Eponym of Electioneering Violence (1978) and see lying listed also as profession, shoulder to shoulder with noble professions like Journalism, Advertising, Public Relations, Publishing, etc. The classification of lying as a profession has only attempted to put a stamp of legality on the illegality. It is certainly an attribute of indecent persons, a crime traced to the frustration of the mind.

Excuse me! Let’s enter into a caveat here. What really is it at stake that pushes Omisore to reel out lies at every turn of opportunity to comment on state affairs, degenerating from the serious to the comic and from the sublime to the ridiculous? The answer is Me, faux naïf– the sound of self-righteousness from within, constantly reminding himself of his ‘holier than thou mentality’ and keeping the hair of his body glued to the skin. What the Me in Omisore directs to do or say, he does; and when and where the Me in him directs to go, he goes.

Omisore, the fatalist, also pessimist has only Hobson’s choice, unflagging choice in any matter as he has no deep inner conviction to cling to heroically. The Me excites him to see the hairy hands of hoary fate in the development changes in Osun. The Me activates him to see the thin skeletal hands of evil in the diverse infrastructure development projects in the state. The Me accelerates him to have a hung of how and where Osun government gets finances for his multiple infrastructure projects. The Me incites him to want to amble the Osun government into his own orbit, mould Osun citizenry into his own image and mangle the Osun world in his ambit. And the Me is the basis of his intense struggles to always dominate the people around him and subdue the environment.

Remember the case of Omisore, the gut-wrenching lie that he told the global village about what the United Nations Educational and Scientific Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) did not do in Osun. It was the Me in Omisore, that regurgitated the grand hogwash lie, with noisy insistence that UNESCO gave Osun Governor, Rauf Aregbesola counterpart funds, spent to reconstruct the Olaiya-Ita-Olokan Road, the state-of-the-art road that leads to Osun Groove, apparently to rubbish Aregbesola’s road commissioning speech recently that the state’s Omoluabi Infrastructure Conservation Funds, with the state parliament approval was used to construct the 2.8 kilometer dualised road, christened Workers’ Drive.

But beyond Omisore’s facile, infantile determinism lay the taproots of a serious malaise in him. He pulled out a knife, all blades, all alive and grossed out faute de mieux: “It is an open secret, and a matter in the domain of the public that the Osun State Government had accessed counterpart funds from UNESCO which is in excess of over 70 per cent, following the designation of the Osun Osogbo Groove by the world body as one of the World Heritage sites for local and international tourists …which began during the regime of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the State. But it is a statement of fact that Aregbesola received counterpart funds from UNESCO”. Gibberish! Balderdash!!

Omisore lied, barefaced, to warm himself into the heart of Osun people, but he was immediately negated by Olusola Macaulay, the UNESCO’s Communication Consultant (Regional Office) in a quick humiliating refutation: “UNESCO did not contribute any fund to the construction of that road to Osun Groove. And there was no time the Osun State Government or any of its agencies approached UNESCO to support the project. We did not pay 70per cent or any other fraction to the project as being peddled. As I speak with you, we have no project we are undertaking in Osun State.”

No sooner that the UNESCO lie detector confuted the lie spued by Omisore, the Osun chief thriller, than the Me in him collapsed; and his public image came crashing further, with a deafening cacophony and devastating thud in a heap of open shame such that Omisore, faux bonhomme, is now fighting for bits of fresh air out there to sanitize his head. The message here is manifold: one, Omisore has earned himself a non-hero stature for his salacious appetite for libelous lies, with self-indulgence in riotous imaginations or guesses; two, the abject lies of the ‘glamour boy,’ thought to be a wasp in the ignoble court of lies could not after all be deployed creatively; three, his temper tantrums, his seditious lies, with bravery akin to arrogance cannot lead the society and man to new frontiers of knowledge, growth and development; four, the UNESCO quick rebuttal has made more public Omisore’s grouchy image, green fingered at lying that was aimed at crushing Osun under his barbarous lies and intent at making self a grafter, tricking to be given money to shut up; and five, having split a lie fatuous on the whole world about what UNESCO did not do in Osun, Omisore indeed could not be said to be a pathfinder in any global virgin forest. Rather, he remains a study in tragic equivocation and ambivalence. Pity Omisore, the infernal! He fails more than he thinks he’s succeeding. His governorship ambition is not made in heaven, that’s the truth.

As though, Omisore, looking so bare and helpless like he cannot swat a fly that settles at the top of his nose and almost shy like Mahatma Ghandi was to the British Empire, only the Me in him must have propelled him on the dangerous lying adventures on such a grand scale. If wishes were horses, Omisore would have sculptured for himself a mouth to spew forth lies, had the Creator of man forgotten to fix up one in the anatomy of man.

Meanwhile, Osun has blown a whistle on Omisore and asked him to stay at home, off Osun governorship race. Complimenting the whistle, let the court of laws in Nigeria take care of the Omisores, the unskilled, reckless liars in Osun and elsewhere in the nation and bring them to book. Unfortunately, instead of tempering the nerves of liars, Nigerian government makes them more hardened and desperate. Otherwise, UNESCO ought to match Omisore to court

  • OLUSESI is Assistant Director, Publicity, Research & Strategy, All Progressives Congress (APC), State of Osun

 

BACK PAGE: Awo Today

BKANMI ADEMILUYI argues in an article first published in the website Obirikiti  (circle) that a guiding principle which was so transformative should not become a vacuous shibboleth  or electioneering slogan.

It is rather unfortunate that the administrative intervention of Chief Obafemi Awolowo or has it has come to be referred to – “Awoism” has become a vacuous electioneering slogan rather than a coherent political philosophy. It will be of use if Awoism can be codified as well as modernised in the way that the British politician RHS Crossman did with the work of the philosopher of ancient Greece Plato, in his seminal work “Plato Today “. Crossman reintroduced Plato to a new generation and made him relevant to the modern world.

“Awoism “ is clearly problematic today and for an obvious reason. Awolowo was a social democrat, who was very deeply shaped by the progressive current of the nineteen – forties very much like the other African nationalists of that era. In his own case as the leader of government business and later premier of the western region he used the opportunity to merge theory with practice.

Apart from the Osun State governor Rauf Aregbesola none of the so called Awoists has actually in thought and deed really held up the banner of Awoism as a political philosophy rooted in social democracy. Awoism should have enjoyed a renaissance during the debates on the Structural Adjustment Program [SAP], sadly, this historic opportunity was missed and it did not. The Awoists gave no response at all, let alone even a tepid one. The fight against SAP was relinquished to other forces.

The price paid has been devastating on the political economy of the Southwest. With SAP came the reversal of critical gains made in education and access to healthcare. The de-industrialisation in the region was pronounced. The great industrial estates built on the framework of a harsh taxation regime in the region became the abode of “places of worship “. The whole point which was to use the industrial estates as the trajectories for industrial development, backward integration, employment generation and sustainable development is gone. Equally painful is that the development finance companies have been dismantled due to the “Soludo reforms “. This is catastrophic, for the region needs long term development finance. Awolowo himself was acutely aware of the painfully obvious stultification of the development process of the Anglo -Saxon banking model with its debilitating short termism. This model clearly could not provide the long term financing so vitally needed to evolve a self sustaining economic base.

For this reason, Awolowo created the Cooperative Bank in 1953. The Cooperative Bank was key in creating a lower middle class, a strata that used to be known as a petite- bourgeoisie. It gave the Yoruba a head start in the distributive trade, small scale and light industries. For the higher end more capital intensive ventures, Awolowo created The Western Nigeria Finance Corporation, The Western Nigeria Development Corporation etc. If the Malaysian visiting delegations were astonished that Yoruba’s owned Breweries, heavy industries and food processing plants in the late fifties and the early sixties, it is due to the efficacy of the development finance institutions. We have to recreate all of this again. For the issue of the structure, the efficacy of capital as well as its deployment remains a critical issue in the quest for sustainable development,. Yes we can!

A new form of Awoism, will, like Awolowo did, look at options such as the German “social market” economic model founded on tripartite cooperation between government, business and trade unions. This is the basis for Germany being the strongest industrial economy in Europe. In addition, it is in tune with our using consensus building rather than adversarial means. Also of interest should be the Dutch farmers’ cooperative formula. Today the Netherlands has just 200,000 farmers organized in cooperatives exporting $110 billion worth of agro industrials a year. This again fits in with our cultural affinity. We must examine the models that fascinated Awolowo and which he adapted for positive development. Fundamentally, the emphasis on human capital development, as well as the emphasis on Social Capital as the most enduring form of developmental capital must be reignited.

The people of the southwest have been played a bad card. As the struggle for the reenactment of a real federal state intensifies, Awoism as a political philosophy must be brought back. Not as vacuous sloganeering but as a tool to achieving sustainable development based on real capital formation which is fundamentally necessary to achieve a fairer and more just society as well as “ life more abundant”. Awoism must be the framework for a system of social and economic relationships which is for the benefit of the overwhelming majority and not as his prevalent today, for a few.

 

BACK PAGE: Osun 2018 Countdown: 204 Days To Go!

 

Analysis By Osun Defender’s Data Analyst, Ojenike Oluwadamilola assisted by Mariam Ajetunmobi. The People’s Democratic Party has a high mountain to climb to win the State of Osun governorship election slated for September 22nd, 2018.

The party will have to have a swing of 14.8% to win overall. A key factor here, is that unlike last time in 2014, the September 22nd election will not be conducted under a PDP Minister of Police Affairs who turned the state security services into an instrument of electoral locus pocus including voters’ suppression.

The split of the PDP into two contending factions will also be a great hindrance. It is difficult to see how the deeply seated sources of disagreement can be plastered in readiness for the governorship election.

In the coming weeks, OSUN DEFENDER will take a detailed look at the senatorial districts in terms of previous and projected voters registration, turn-out and their bearing on the race.

 

Word On Marble

“VOR also welcomes the introduction of the Parliamentary system in the local government of Osun State. Apart from saving cost, the rudiments of parliamentary system of government could be learnt at the local level right from now, because there lies the future of governance in Yorubaland. We encourage other states in Yorubaland to follow suit”.

—VOICE OF REASON (VOR), a Pan-Yoruba Leadership Group

(BACK PAGE) Towards 2018: State Of Play

 

Osun Defender’s resident Data Analyst, DAMILOLA OJENIKE begins a series on the factors that could affect the electoral calculations in next year’s general elections.

Towards 2018: State Of Play

Will the herdsmen crisis currently ravaging the land upset the apple cart of the electoral calculus in 2018? Osun Defender will be using psephological (The statistical study of elections and trends in voting.) analysis in the weeks ahead to forecast and project the emerging trend.

Coincidentally the crisis has been most pronounced in the zone where the 2015 presidential election between incumbent president Goodluck Jonathan and his challenger APC candidate Muhammadu Buhari was most competitive.

The rest of the zones, the South West was an exception, were not really competitive.

The electoral calculus shows that unlike elsewhere, the marginal percentage difference between the two candidates in the ‘’ Middle-Belt” ranged from 8% to 28%. If there is a backlash against the government with the perception, erroneous or otherwise, that they have been tardy or even conniving in the crisis, then there could be swings against the APC in the decisive middle-belt which could throw the election wide-open.

Benue state which  is a hotbed of the herdsmen/farmers conundrum is clearly in play. Hitherto held since the commencement of the third republic continuously by the PDP, it swung to Buhari in 2015 by 10%. It ought to be leaning towards an APC victory. However recent events have produced a clearly disgruntled state governor and a restive population. Of note is that there always have been religious undercurrents perennially lurking beneath the surface in the electoral nomenclature of the state. This state could therefore swing into an electoral background. It will, with what is on ground, require some tactical maneuvering and great political management to contain a possible backlash against the APC here.

Plateau State is another hitherto held PDP stronghold although going to the APC by a bigger margin (16%) than Benue’s 10% in 2015. The state could also prove dicey for the APC in the event of a backlash. The incumbent governor for example took only 51% of the vote in the governorship election. This indicates that the then candidate Buhari was running well ahead of his party in the popular votes. Indeed it is plausible to argue that the coattails of Buhari might have clinched the governorship for the APC.

It is looking unlikely for example, that the crises will help the APC candidate in Taraba which they lost to Jonathan and the PDP by 80% in 2015.

Crisis management of the public perception will be key in this region in order to forestall a backlash. The presidency is embarking on a sensible containment strategy. This week’s letter from the president to the Senate is a much desired step. Unfortunately, the incoherent response of the president’s own “communications team” has clearly not helped matters. For a start, the state governments are clearly culprit, in some cases in dereliction of duties. This has shifted all the blame rather unfairly  to the central authorities.

The President’s communications team should have used the State of Osun as a positive example. In that state as we have pointed out in our editorial this week on page 4, the pro-active, well thought out containment strategy of the government shielded the state  from the herdsmen/farmers clashes, even as they became more pronounced across the country. Osun State showed that even with a state government having tenuous control over the national internal security mechanism, containment pro-active crisis management can still be creatively deployed to avert the bloodshed witnessed elsewhere.

For its own good and for the sake of the electoral calculus, the communications team must be braced up and continue to explore this theme and get the message across. It’s looking dicey in the middle-belt but the personal authority of the President should take the ruling APC out of its pickle. The clear absence of a credible alternative opposition figure in Nigeria like Raila Odinga represents in Kenya or like candidate Muhammadu Buhari was pre-2015, is very much in favour of the electoral prospects of the APC.

In the weeks ahead; we will continue our surveys on the calculus both nationwide and in the toss-up states.

 

BACK PAGE ‘Captain: In The Storm Of Life’

 

‘CAPTAIN: IN THE STORM OF LIFE’ is a biography of ISRAEL ADEMOLA GBADEBO HAASTRUP, who the author, OLAKUNLE ABIMBOLA described as a living legend –a treaties into the history of the Haastrups, a ruling family in Ilesa, beginning with their great progenitor, Oba Frederick Adedeji Kumokun Haastrup, Owa Ajimoko I.

Ademola Haastrup could have been yet another Ijesa prince living on old glory like a faded coin. Or used this privileged connections to join the wheeler-dealers, gorging on easy money in Nigeria’s rent-driven economy that he chose neither is the story of his illustrious life.

Structured into three parts, Cradle, Career, and Charity/Religion, Captain x-rays the life odyssey of captain Haastrup, a man of immense means, yet humble mien; a shrewd businessman with interests in real estate, international shipping, aviation, hospitality and banking.

Captain Haastrup has bountifully reaped from the material and the spiritual, thanks to his industry in business; and total devotion to his Celestial Church of Christ (CCC) Christian faith. More importantly, he has lived a life without stain. To the younger generation, he is a study on how integrity is the real success story.

The Author, in the preface to the book had said that Captain Hastrup’s profile fitted the series concept of projecting genuine heroes and role models in this era when people of integrity are rare.

With the project afoot, the author said no one deserve bigger appreciation than Captain Hasstruup himself, as he sat through three long interviews and a couple of short ones to supply information, despite his busy and punishing schedule. To show how tight for time he was – and always is – one of the interview sessions held on Christmas Day, 2004, “when we talk almost for the whole day, in the captain’s magnificent country home at Alatise Village, Ilesa, Osun State”.

The biography is “a celebration of Captain Haastrup, a rare species among the tribe of the rich and the affluent. Still, enough care is taken to do some cold, serious analysis  of his life and times”.

About The Series

The biography is the second in the series of the Continental Gold Network Communications (CGNC) Modern Nigerian Leaders Series (MNLS) to celebrate Nigerians of high integrity, in an age waiting for the harsh pronouncement of history as the High Age of Turpitude. But even with this sweeping moral paralysis, many Nigerians have held up banners without stain. Though this tribe may seem few, they hold a profound lesson for the younger generation: you don’t have to be crooked to count among the successful. CAPTAIN: In the storm of life (2007) is the second in the MNLS. Chartered Teacher (2000) was the first.

About The Author

Olakunle Abimbola, author, columnist and public affairs analyst, is a journalist of many years standing. A Language Arts graduate of the University of Ibadan, Abimbola earned both PDG and MSc. in Mass Communication with stress on print journalism from University of Lagos. A career journalist, he is at present a visiting member of the Editorial Board of New Age and The Nation newspapers.

CAPTAIN: In the Storm of Life’ is Abimbola’s second  published biography. The first was Chartered Teacher: A Biography of Ganiyu Adio Akintola, which he co-authored with Bola S. Disu.