PDP Shamed As Aregbesola Vindicated – APC

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said that the more the People’s Democratic Party struggle to demonise, scandalise and repudiate the person, the policy and the government run by the APC leader in the state, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, the more acknowledgement, praise and recognition he gets from home and abroad.

This was contained through a statement by the party’s Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy, Barrister Kunle Oyatomi.

The party said the irony was that Aregbesola is being singled out for those things he has done which the PDP and other critics vehemently deny its existence.

It added that the constant and consistent refrain of the opposition elements in the state is, on the one hand, that Aregbesola has done nothing whatsoever to improve lives, and on the other hand, they shamelessly threaten to either stop, demolish or suspend every project which is supposedly too “sophisticated” for the people of Osun.

“In their hopelessly flawed judgement and pathetic ignorance, they claimed that the State of Osun has been in its “worst” form since the Aregbesola-led APC government came to power in the state seven years ago.

“However, only last Thursday, Yoruba professionals, home and abroad, declared that in their professional judgement, and with the facts on ground available to them for assessment, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola was the “best” performing governor (within the Yoruba area, presumably) for the year 2017.

“This should make the PDP bury its head in shame because the group of people, who are talking, are not simpletons like most of Aregbesola’s critics, but professionals with stable minds, depth of scholarship and a comprehensive understanding of what it takes to adjudge a governor the “best” amongst his colleagues”, the APC said.

The Party said it was not surprised that the PDP has been quiet since this Award was made public because it (PDP) knew what further damage their negative comment would do to their already rotten image as liars, falsifiers of data and people in denial of what stares at them glaringly in the face.

According to the Party, “those who so irrationally condemn Aregbesola may not simply be ignorant, they may actually be intellectually impaired; which is why their situation appears pathetic.

“Anybody who has not read the reasons the Yoruba Professionals gave for awarding the “Best Governor of Year 2017” to Aregbesola will do himself or herself a lot of good to do so and those who already have,  may take a second look at it.

“It was not a sentimental exercise” the APC claimed, arguing that, “the group had a goal in mind to award excellence to who its due, after vigorous assessment of the empirical evidence on ground. As professionals, they acted professionally.

“But critics and opponents of the Osun governor are mainly opposition politicians acting in a politically irresponsible way, without regards for facts and the demonstrable evidence on ground.

“Part of their profession is to deceive, falsify and condemn in order to gain political advantage. For the most part, they are not agents of truth,” the APC declared.

“It will be interesting to read or hear (or both) from the PDP what demonstrable evidence they will advance against the judgement of the Yoruba Professionals.”

“One thing is for sure though; the professionals’ judgement among others,  will certainly lead the debate in the run-up to the governorship election in September,” the APC concluded.

Osun Begins Electronic Time Management System In Public Service

In a bid to further enhance service delivery and productivity in Osun Public Service, the State Government has begun the test running of the electronic time management system in five selected MDAs.

The test run which is expected to last for 8 working days is currently taking place in the Ministry of Finance; Education; Agriculture and Food Security; Innovation Science and Technology and the Ministry of Human Resources and Capacity Building.

This is contained in a release from the Office of State and Local Government Reform Project (SLOGOR), signed by its communication officer, Mr Oni Olugbenga.

According to the release, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has made it clear through his GREEN BOOK of his intention to reform the entire Osun public service for better productivity without sacking any worker.

The statement also made it clear that the current reform going on in the public service which include the introduction of time management system was not to witch hunt any worker but to improve on efficiency and discipline which is the hallmark of the present administration.

The statement therefore urged workers to go about their normal duties with diligence and the mind set of contributing their quota to the growth and development of the State.

Omisore And PDP Not Morally Qualified To Criticise Me – Aregbesola

The Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has said that the former Deputy governor of the state, Senator Iyiola Omisore, and his People’s Democratic Party (PDP) lack the moral and political integrity to fault his government achievements.

The governor held that the legacies that he is leaving behind in the state surpasses what previous administrations in the state especially the seven and a half years disaster the PDP meted on the state.

Aregbesola made the statement while addressing a gathering during a New Year party organized by the leadership of Yoruba Patriots Movement (YPM) in Ila-Orangun, Ila Local Government Area of the state.

‎He said the state under his watch has in the last seven years witnessed tremendous turnarounds, compared to what he met on ground on assumption of office seven years ago.

The Governor, responding to a statement credited to Senator Iyiola Omisore that his administration has failed the people of the state, stated that Osun was almost run aground when Omisore and PDP government were in power.

Aregbesola berated Omisore for being unabashed in spite of the obvious gross incompetence of his party that rendered Osun to deplorable condition, saying it is unfortunate that a questionable personality like him could still go ahead to fault a government that had revived the already comatose system.

He challenged Omisore and other PDP loyalists to come out and tell the whole world the achievement recorded when they were in government in the state.

Aregbesola expressed displeasure on what he described as ‘incompetency and bad governance’‎ the seven and a half years of PDP administration in the state, saying Osun would have turned to a state of pride among the comity of states if not backwardly governed by the PDP.

The governor also attributed the seven and a half years of the PDP rule in the state as a ‘complete waste’, noting that Osun would have collapsed if not being rescued by God through him.

He described the circumstances of his emergence as ‘necessity’ saying he came to government at a time the people of the state not only needed drastic change but good governance.

Aregbesola called on members of the opposition parties, particularly those castigating his government unjustly, to come to the public and defend what PDP achieve while in government.

According to him, it is not a doubt that 16 years of PDP rule in Nigeria is a complete waste. PDP ruled Osun for seven and a half years and nothing tangible in terms of development could be traced.

“I am not surprised that a failed politician in person of former Chairman Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Iyiola Omisore can castigate our administration in spite of his failure while in the Senate.

“One needs not be told before knowing the fact that he (Omisore) did nothing while in the Senate to support the state as the state was abysmally governed and misruled for seven and a half years that PDP ruled.

“The statement credited to him (Omisore) showed his gross administrative incompetence and lack of understanding of what good governance is all about because he is supposed to ask himself what he did while he was in government.

“He (Omisore) was in the Senate for good eight years and he couldn’t help to facilitate the construction of Ilesa to Ife road through Osu town.

“He was in the Senate and nothing was done through him to support the growth and development of the state, rather his party bastardized the economy and left our people in abject poverty.

“The economy of the state was in a total shambles while the state was retrogressively ‎backward in terms of the basic infrastructure development which our government has addressed.

“I challenge him (Omisore) and any other member of the opposition to come out and tell the whole world what they did to support the state while PDP as a political party was in government for seven and a half years.

“It is still fresh in the memories of our people that PDP’s government failed Nigerians and it was due to their failure that our great party, All Progressives Congress emerged”, Aregbesola added.

Governor Aregbesola charged members of the opposition parties in the state to always jettison sentimental politics and live by realities.

He described N500‎ billion debt allegation as total falsehood, saying no right thinking individual will believe that a state like Osun could be given N500 billion as loan.

‎”I am unperturbed that those against us are the most shameless set of people who couldn’t justify the circumstances of their existence. They failed to remove the log of wood in their eyes but are quick in wanting to clear dust from others’ faces.

“They castigated us for no just cause.  Some were claiming that we borrowed N500 billion which is highly impossible for a state like us to borrow. I wonder how a state like Osun will be given such huge money. Do we even have the resources to do so?

“Some are still condemning our budget, describing it as a ruse. It is unfortunate that a former Chairman Senate Committee on Appropriation could be so ignorant on budget fundamentals.

“He (Omisore) also condemned our education intervention; he forgot that the matriculable students while PDP was in power were just 11 percent compare to the 46 per cent we have raised it to now.

“We can say it with confidence that we have raised the percentage of the matriculable students from 11 percent to 46 percent. Since 2010, Osun has been producing very encouraging candidates through external examinations for higher institutions.

“Osun has always been among the first three states of matriculable students in Nigeria and this can be verified through the site of National Bureau of Statistics.‎ We have consistently maintained either first, second or third”, he stressed.

Earlier in his remarks, the former Interim National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Chief Bisi Akande, commended Governor Aregbesola for being at the forefront in the promotion of unity, love and peace among the Yoruba.

He advocated for support and collaboration among Yoruba, home and abroad, saying it is time for them to form a vanguard that will help in actualizing southwest regional integration‎, growth and development.

‎”We need to promote unity, peace, love and harmony among Yoruba. The unity of Yoruba is non-negotiable. We have to return to the culture of unity, hard work and peace that we are known for”, Akande added.

Also, the Chairman of Yoruba Patriots Movement (YPM), Chief Oladosu Oladipo hailed the present administration in the state for being committed to infrastructure development.

Oladosu who had earlier conferred on Aregbesola an award of excellence for his contribution towards the growth and development of Yoruba race, said history will continue to write his name on the golden page.

“We have seen solid infrastructure that can sustain Osun for 50 years. You have built edifices in all sectors. To kill a nation, is to kill education. To promote a nation, is to promote education. You have built rapid and systematic development in education. You are truly promoting knowledge based education”, he stated.

The Chairman of the organization said YPM envisions a powerful, responsible, value-oriented leaders and entrepreneurs that will create the much-needed highly developed society that will network all social infrastructures needed for a rapid, systematic and sustainable social, economic, cultural and political development of Yoruba nation in particular and the commonwealth of Nigeria in general.

“We established this organization‎ to unite all Omo Oduduwa, thus fostering development partnership internally and with other ethnic nationalities in Nigeria and off-shore nation’s under the fiscal constitution based on equity, equality, love, cultural respect and progressive and all outstanding Yoruba core values of Omoluabi”, he stressed.

In his remarks, the Orangun of Ila, Oba Wahab Oyedotun applauded Governor Aregbesola’s developmental strides.

Oba Oyedotun said Aregbesola’s government has performed excellently well in the last seven years.

 

 

PHOTONEWS: Yoruba Patriots Movement Honour Akande, Aregbesola

Yoruba Patriots Movement on Wednesday honoured Chief Bisi Akande as the Grand Patron of the movement and Governor Rauf Aregbesola as a supporter of the movement.

The event was held inside Akande’s residence in Ila Orangun and was graced by the two monarchs in Ila.

Here are photos from the ceremony captured by Dolapo Ogundiran.

Breaking: Aregbesola Presents N173bn 2018 Budget To Osun Assembly

Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola on Thursday presented a total sum of N 173,980,083,007 billion budget of the state for the year 2018 fiscal year to the state House of Assembly for scrutiny and approval.

The Governor is presenting a budget that is N27,347,336,027 higher than that of 2017, the sum N146,632,746,980.00‎ was presented to the Assembly last year.

Aregbesola, presenting the draft Budget christened “Budget of Enduring Legacy” said it is anchored on the avowed commitment of his administration to provide a conducive living environment for the people of the State.

Summarising the draft 2018 revenue budget, the governor told the House of Assembly ‎the state will be expecting money to finance the budget from expected government share of Federation Account N27 billion forming 15.56%, Value Added Tax‎ N8.8 billion (5.10%). Others are‎ Excess crude account‎ N77.7 billion‎ (0.04%),other revenue from FAAC ‎N5,052.6billion (2.90%), personal and corporate taxes are put at ‎N25.1 billion (14.45%) and N9.7 billion (5.58%) respectively.

Expected form Licences ‎is N1.5 billion (0.92‎%), General fees N20.8 billion (11.99%)‎, General. Earnings N3.6 billion (2.55%), rent on government buildings and rent on lands and others at ‎N335.7 billion (0.19%) and N279 billion  (0.16%) respectively.

Other sources are. Repayment, investment income,‎ interest earned, reimbursement, domestic aids, foreign aids, domestic grant and foreign grants

‎The governor put the total year expected receipt at N151.9 billion ‎(87.34%), other sourced fund to finance specific projects are internal source and external are‎ N1.5 billion ‎(0.86%) and external source N20.5 billion (11.80%” respectively‎.

‎He said, “Our ultimate goal for the 2018 Budget is to ensure a continuous improvement in the welfare and standard of living of our people.

“This will be achieved by consolidating the previous achievements of this administration and do everything possible to recover the lost glory of the State.

“Thus, the 2018 budget has been carefully packaged to ensure the effective realization of our vision as encapsulated in our Six-Point Integral Action Plan.

“It is important to intimate this august Assembly that the preparation of 2018 Budget has been very participatory. Relevant inputs were sourced and received from various stakeholders across the State in order to enhance the quality of the Budget”.

‎Aregbesola from the budget presentation put the summary of total arrears transferred to the Draft 2018 Budget as budget surplus/deficit‎ N-28.6 billion, liabilities, N22 billion, salary arrears N-22.8 billion, Pension and gratuity, N-6.7 billion and capital arrears (dredging/flood control)‎ N-2.3 billion totalling N-38.5 billion.

‎He said, “Having presented the highlights of the summary of the revenue and expenditure components of the draft 2018 Budget as well as the sectoral and sub-sectoral classifications of the Capital Budget, let me now present the highlights of the proposals contained in the budget.

“I will start by highlighting the achievements recorded in each of the sectors/sub-sectors and thereafter speak on the programmes and projects admitted into the 2018 Budget.

‎”The State of Osun, being an agrarian economy with arable fertile soil, can only move forward positively by revolutionising agriculture. The present administration will continue to put agriculture in its pride of place of the state economy.

“Agriculture will not only provide employment for our teeming masses, it will also encourage rapid agro-allied industrialization of the state, generation of income and improved welfare of the citizenry.

“As spelt out in the Six-Point Integral Action Plan, our intention is to make agriculture profitable, attractive as a good venture as well as making food available in the State for the well being of our citizens.

 

The Dawn Is Almost Here By Rauf Aregbesola

By Rauf Aregbesola

It occurred to me in Ilesa during the turning of the sod of Ilesa water project on Monday December 18, 2017, that after I had prayed in the Islamic way to also pray with my favourite Bible verses. This is Psalm 24. I am particular about verses 7-10 which say: Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

8 Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.
9 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

10 Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.

The year is coming to an end and we must salute you for your perseverance, patience, sacrifice, dedication and labour of love. There is no better time to acknowledge and tell you this than now. You have done well so far. What is left is just to thank you, particularly the 28 per cent of you who have endured modulated salaries. These are the 20 per cent who earn 75 per cent of their monthly pay and the eight per cent who collect 50 per cent of their salary. The remaining 72 per cent, as you all know, have been earning their full pay and are not being owed any outstanding salaries, irrespective of the spin being given to this by our traducers. Even at that, we must thank everyone for the sacrifice you have all made in other areas. This is because your relationship as workers is contractual and I want to assure you that everyone will get his or her full pay when this is over.

We are unfortunate to be in this situation because we are in strange and difficult times. Most of you do not know that what we are in today is the equivalent of a state of war. In a state of war, beyond the destruction of lives and property, there is also shortage of resources to live on. If you remove the destruction and physical devastations, the acute financial constraint is the equivalent of a war condition. We are therefore in an economic war situation.

Interestingly, I never shied from telling anyone this. As far back as February 14, 2014, I told the world that we were in economic war situation. This was reported by The Vanguard newspaper on the front page. Nobody even remembered that I said this then. Even at that, I was struggling to pay salaries then. But before then, in 2011, when salaries was being increased, I had warned that it would be unsustainable. Nobody knew then that there would be theft of over 600,000 barrels of crude oil per day for 24 months or the glutting of the international oil market that would later crash oil price and cut Nigeria’s revenue by more than 60 per cent.

Notwithstanding what we are going through now, as painful as it is, the reality is that it is impossible to do beyond what we are doing. If anyone is in doubt, consider these figures.

From July 2015 – when we started paying modulated salaries, our income from all sources, including gross allocation from the federation account, internally generated revenue and two tranches of Paris Club Refund – to November 2017, is N121.6 billion. Meanwhile, our total personnel cost (excluding gratuities) within the same period would have been N104.4 billion if we had paid the full salaries of N3.6 billion every month. Our personnel cost therefore is 85.8 per cent of our total revenues from all sources. 

However, this is an academic exercise because before the allocations get to us, some deductions would have been made on commitments already made since as far back as the 1970s, up till now; and we are also paying modulated salaries.

The reality, however, is that our net income is N61.7 billion while our real total personnel cost is N63.98 billion. This stands at 103.6 per cent of our total net revenue. I obtained these figures from the Accountant General of the State and you can individually verify them in his office. The implication of this grim statistics is that we have spent more on salaries and emoluments than our revenues from all sources. 

The question to ask then is how have I been able to pay salaries and other emoluments more than the government has received? If you want to be fair to me, that is the question to ask. It has been very difficult, yet we keep begging and appealing.

Beyond paying government workers, we still have a government to run and a popular mandate of good and progressive governance to meet. We made campaign promises and we must also deliver on them.

We know some of our opponents and traducers are hiding behind the salary issue and have been instigating the workers against us. But again, what more can we ask from a government that, without prompting, between December 2010 to December 2013 paid workers 13th month bonus salaries; which restructured leave bonus to be paid on a worker’s birthday or service engagement date; which without prompting quadrupled and gave car and housing allowances to workers? How could we in all honesty categorise such government as being insensitive and anti-worker?

It should go without saying that if we have the resources, we will provide flying cars for the workers. We will put our lives on the line to achieve that. Nobody should therefore fail to understand the circumstance that prompted us to pay modulated salaries to 28 per cent of our workforce.

When this problem began, we had to keep taking loans, up to N25 billion, in order to pay salaries. But we must face reality; we cannot continue to give what we don’t have. I have extrapolated from the statistics I gave you earlier, that should we even want to give workers everything we have, it is still not adequate.

Yet we must do other things. These figures show we are in a quandary. It is beyond the sentimental and emotional. The truth is: our state requires an extraordinary push to overcome the financial challenges we face currently. The infrastructure we are putting in place is part of this extraordinary push. The roads, for instance, are to open up the state for business and wealth creation. The schools are to provide the infrastructure of the mind needed for development. The social protection programmes we put in place are to lift the vulnerable portion of our population and prevent tension and crime.

None of the roads leads to my house. They are to jumpstart the economy of the state. The Gbongan to Akoda Road, Oba Adesoji Aderemi East Bypass and Osogbo Old Garage to Ila-Odo Road will open up the corridors along which they passed and it will be amazing what turnaround these will bring to the economy of the state. Whatever we are getting as IGR today will be quadrupled. That is our vision and target. 
We are grateful that to a large extent, you have collaborated with us and supported us.

We are simply asking for further perseverance, understanding, patience and sacrifice.

You must not fail to recognise, as Chief Obafemi Awolowo admonished us, that the darkest part of the night is just before the dawn.

I told labour leaders in my recent meeting with them what Comrade Hassan Sunmonu said in a public occasion, that something told him that we will be out of these difficulties by March of next year. I agree with him. It will come to pass Insha Allah! 

I may not figure out how this will happen now but I am reminded of the passage in the Bible where Prophet Elisha, at the height of a terrible famine his nation faced, prophesied that by the next day food would be abundantly available and for cheap, but an unbelieving nobleman guffawed and quipped that even if the heavens were to be opened, the prophecy would be impossible to come to pass. The Prophet replied him that he would see it but he would not be part of it.

True to God, it happened but he was trampled to death under the feet of the exultant people in their most joyous moment. I believe it will happen and you will all be part of it. Our own season of famine will be over by March of 2018. Aamin!

I am pleading with you; don’t let the enemy of our race deceive you. You have patiently borne the brunt of this situation to be able to patiently wait for another three months. Don’t be persuaded to change course. 

Remember that we have other options, which include rightsizing the workforce and living within our means. We have not done this, but have decided to weather the storm together until we dock at safe harbour. Let us keep it at that. I thank you.

Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola is the Governor of the State of Osun and this piece is extracted from his address to the state workers in an occasion during the civil service week.

Aregbesola Promises To Reinstate State NYSC Subvention

By Toba Adedeji

Despite the economy holocaust facing the country, Governor Rauf Aregbesola of the State of Osun has promised to reinstate the State NYSC Subvention to the corps members serving in the state.

Governor Aregbesola while speaking during the closing ceremony and terminal parade of the 2017 Batch ‘B’ Orientation Course at the Ede camp of the NYSC said, “The recent request by the State of Osun Coordinator of National Youth Service Corps, Mr. Emmanuel Attah our administration is looking into the provision of corps member allowances and also on appropriate review as at when necessary. You will collect this very soon which is a sign of very good mercy from us.”

Aregbesola who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Mrs Titi laoye-Tomori in his address also advised the corps members to engage in skill acquisition during the Orientation course positing that, “Job and wealth creation cannot be left for the government alone, though it is its responsibility to give a policy direction on such schemes and the enabling environment for their actualization.”

“There is a clear synergy between unemployment and poverty; therefore in order to fight the scourge, the NYSC introduced the skills acquisition and entrepreneurship development program which is aimed not only at keeping participants busy but also empowering them to contribute their quota to the socio-economic development of our nation.”

According to the Governor, “My administration is poised towards job creation and youth empowerment. We have empowered the citizen of the State especially Youths and women to the tone of N15billion which has helped to alleviate poverty and unemployment syndrome in the state.

Aregbesola assured the corps members of safety and security during the time they will spend in the state.

Also, the State NYSC boss, Mr. Emmanuel Attah also solicited the help of the State government in improving the facilities at the camp, payment of State allowances to corps members, financial support to subsidize feeding on camp, expansion of the Camp Lecture Auditorium, and renovation of the Camp Dining Hall/Kitchen.

BOSS Has Introduced New Paradigm In Governance – Ifaturoti

Femi Ifaturoti, the Director-General of Bureau of Social Services (BOSS), State of Osun, is one of those who drew-up the roadmap for the six-point integral action plan of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola. He spoke with Shina Abubakar on the administration of Aregbesola within the past seven years. Excerpts.

OSDF: Seven years into Ogbeni Aregbesola’s administration, how has the BOSS added value to the administration?

Ifaturoti: BOSS represents a very unique new paradigm in ensuring public service delivery. It arises directly out of the vision of Governor Rauf Aregbesola and it is something that has never been done by any government either at the federal or state level.

Essentially, what BOSS is setup to do is to ensure that government did not just deliver on all its promises, but the people and government must get value for all the jobs awarded to contractors. Heads of MDAs or even contractors that are awarded projects must do so in line with the six-point integral action plan of the Governor.

So, BOSS is a kind of quality control office, office of due diligence, to ensure that even before contractors or other government agencies are engaged to implement or execute contracts for which the state is spending public funds, public accountability of the fund is expected. In this case BOSS has become a necessity for every state that wants to be seen to be delivering on its promises. I found out that in the process of rendering service, we have had course to reverse several MOUs, either because we realize that there are some due diligence issues or lapses which are not in the best interests of the state.

We’ve also had causes to save the state a lot of fund, monies that would be spent without commensurable value for the state.

I am happy today that people commend us particularly in the area of infrastructure and all the good works the government has been doing, but one thing people fail to realize is that what you see there as a finish product, there is an agency that ensures that it is commensurate with government investment.

It might interest you to know that we do not award contracts here, we are working behind the scenes to ensure that government get value for what it paid for, but we can terminate any contract if we realise that it is not being carried out in accordance with the terms agreed upon by both parties and at the end of the day we are not likely to get value.

BOSS’s staffing is multi-disciplinary in nature, we have quantity surveyor, civil and structural engineers and IT experts who are in charge of evaluation. There is no contract done or ongoing that our officials have not visited, minimum of three times before completion and if someone wants to know the number of roads in the local government that this government has done, BOSS is where to come.

OSDF: The “opposition” in the state have been condemning that the cost of constructing road project in Osun is too exorbitant; coming from a background of quality control and assurance, how do you measure road construction in Osun, in terms of quality?

Ifaturoti: Not being present at the time contracts were awarded, I may not be able to discuss extensively on that, but one thing I do know is that there are certain standard calculation placed on amount charged for projects that is universal, particularly on the aspect of construction. For instance, if a person constructs a drainage that is made with blocks, such drainage cannot be compared with a concrete drainage. My quantity surveyor tells me that there is measurement related with measuring the depth and breadth. With that in mind, only those who want to run into serious trouble just deliberately inflate contract and expect to get away with it. Even based on the agreed figures, people attempt and will still continue to attempt to cut corners and that is where we come in. We take our people to the land, we analyse the initial payment in terms of mobilisation which constitutes most of the percentage, if a contractor seeks another strand of payment, or the parent ministry that awarded the contract wants to give out another strands, we ensure that before such ministry gives out the money, the amount paid conforms with the work done so far. In some instances, we find out that if an agency like ours doesn’t exist, someone might claim a further reimbursement or other charges which represent 100%. If we discover that the contractor has not met up, we, in conjunction with the parent ministry, write that in our own view, we cannot give further reimbursement until the work delivered corresponds with the amount paid. At the end of the project, we work to ensure that the quality of the job done is better than if there was no agency like us.

It’s not only in the area of infrastructure; we also evaluate policies, projects and programs. There are so many programmes like OYES, OREAP, OMEAL, O’Ambulance among others that often times we send periodic reports to the governor about what we consider the status of those projects/programmes. After evaluating such programmes, we also suggest measures that can be taken, when we realise that how some projects are handled, we are not likely to get desired outcome.

BOSS engages in community participation in monitoring projects, we receive many calls on reports of damaged roads in several local governments and we dispatch our engineers to go and access and take pictures. We thereby invite the contractor and advise them to redress the situation. With that we have been able to save the state a lot of cost and ensure the state gets value for every penny coming out of the public fund.

OSDF: In the area of programmes evaluation, in the seven years of Aregbesola’s administration, the state government has invested lot of funds in OREAP, how can you evaluate the performance of OREAP?

Ifaturoti: From the design stand point, and for the structuring of how things work, I think I give OREAP a pass mark, but the execution of it will be explained by them. Most of these programmes fall under certain ministries and the execution of it will depend on the competence of the people handling those ministries.

Honestly speaking, OREAP is like an octopus whereby there are many contracts being done and many of them are done before we even realize.

OSDF: How far have you been able to integrate the civil servant because most of the projects are products of what the civil servant will go to the field and implement. How much have you sensitize them to buy into quality service delivery?

Ifaturoti: We have our own internal evaluation forum for all the staff members here, and we want to cascade it to what must be done in ministries. We talk to them about the 6-point integral plan of the governor and ask them what they’ve done so far, plus the amount. At the end of the day, we develop questionnaires, we develop the kind of thing they can be using but they said they needed training for their staff to understand the workings of the system. Internally, we did three days training here for the DFAs and coordinating directors about three years ago. At the end of the training we found out that, not much has been done in the area of implementation.

OSDF: The Governor is your friend from time; do a strict evaluation of not the governor but your friend in the last seven years of his administration?

Ifaturoti: Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, coming from a communist background, I see a lot of idealism in some of the thing he does, very vibrant, ambitious and highly passionate in everything he wants to do. In the process of driving whatever he wants to do, one can actually see his vision and the passion driving his vision and it’s being translated into action. That has been the trend even from the days when he was the commissioner for works and infrastructure in Lagos. Today, I found out that he remains one of the most controversial leaders that have ever governed any state in Nigeria. He is controversial because he is a man who doggedly pursues what he believes is right. He is a man who will not be deterred by the perceived low level of access to fund. It is public knowledge that out of the 36 states in Nigeria, the allocation that comes to Osun is ranked 34th, sometimes 35th or 36th. Essentially, this Osun is not a buoyant state, but because he is uncompromising in his approach, people misunderstand him. Years after he his gone, his indelible legacy will physically be there for people to see. Within the limit of what is available to him, he has succeeded beyond expectations. He’s not perfect though.

Giving the cost of most of the projects we’ve done years ago, it would have been impossible to achieve that now particularly in the area of infrastructure. Unborn generations will come and see it. Also, Ogbeni did not see any reason why children will be sitting in classrooms that are not equipped, or lack quality teachers and infrastructure. He also believes that nobody was born to be dull or dumb. The performance of every student academically is a product of his experience, value of nutrition, tutoring and the environment where he is receiving such tutoring. That also addresses some of the wide reaching reforms Aregbe had done in educational sector.

 

Aregbesola Has Empowered Many, Restructured Commerce And Opened Osun To World Class Investments – Alagbada  

In this special edition of MEET YOUR COMMISSIONER, The Commissioner for Commerce, Industry, Cooperatives and Empowerment in the State of Osun, Hon Ismail Adekunle Alagbada bears his mind with OSUN DEFENDER Reporter, Nofisat Adeoye on the achievements of Governor Rauf Aregbesola in the last 7 years, the enabling environment for business to thrive and the need for all and sundry to support him.

Excerpt:

Q: Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola’s administration will on Tuesday clock 7 years in office, is there any reasons to celebrate particularly as it relates to your ministry? 

Well, thank you very much for this question, you will discover that, for those of you that are very conversant with the state of Osun, before 2010 when Ogbeni was sworn in as the Governor,  you will discover that the state is not the same compared to then,  we talk of commerce, of empowerment, we talk of industrialization, we talk of com1mercial activities, you talk of cooperatives development, it’s not the same in the state of Osun, even when you talk of infrastructure, forget it and you should know that there is no any state that will develop without infrastructure, that one is clear, even let’s start, ranging from Agriculture, education, commerce, infrastructure.

You know when Ogbeni was sworn in, he came with my Pact with the people of Osun which has about six integral action plan for the state. What are those things, banishing hunger, banishing poverty, banishing unemployment, functional education, maintaining peace among the communities and large food production.

When you look at this six integral action of the administration , you will discover that if you look round, when we talk of number one; maintaining peace, in Nigeria today, we have been rated as the most secured state. Do you want to talk about the huge amount spent on security, do you want to talk about the armoured personnel carriers, we don’t have all that in the state before, the Governor purchased them, that is security. When you talk of infrastructure, honestly, Mr Governor has performed very well, because there can’t be any development without infrastructure.

When you look at the roads across the state, is it Gbongan to Akoda that you want to talk about, do you want to talk about Olaiya junction, or about the Ilesa axis, if we don’t have roads, there will be no infrastructure and there will be no commercial activities in the state, that is why, even in terms of social amenities, the state Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola has done well.. Look at What he did at freedom park.

Then  before this government came to the state of Osun, freedom park was a terrible place, look at what is happening there now, you know before this administration, there was no social activities that you can talk of, everybody will just stay in their homes, no place of adventure, am telling you when you look at Nelson Mandela Freedom park today, right from 5 or 6pm, everybody will get there, they will just sit and relax and all this improves healthy life because some of them will always sit down inside their home, doing nothing before.

Look at that place now, honestly in terms of social amenities, this government has tried, before this Government came in, there was nothing like organized market in the state of Osun, every place was market but now we have Ayegbagu international market, all these will now boost our commercial activities, you know change is permanent, people will resist you but by the time they realize the benefit of what is coming, that is when people will know what this government is actually doing.

When we talk of commercial activities, look at what the Government is doing, look at what we did as far as the introduction of Osuwon Omoluabi is concerned, what are the things that brought that, we discovered that in our markets, they always fight, hard bargaining. We want to remove all those insinuations and look at the concept of that Osunwon Omoluabi, we call it value for money because it is what you purchase that you will actually pay for. Even when you travel abroad or go to supermarket, that is why people prefer to go to supermarket because they don’t want to be involved in hard bargaining, N10 is N10, this one is 1kg, it’s 1kg that you will pay for. But here, when you go to our markets, you will discover that they will use three different bowls for you, all these will not give you value for money and majority of our market women, they always involve in loss because when they purchase some of these goods, they use weight but they are going to sell with their hands, measuring it, how can you get it right? You don’t get it right, It’s either you sell at a loss or you get over profit or you sell exactly what you realize, qand gradually these people will move out of the market because when you sell a carton of fish today, you lose N500, another one tomorrow, instead of you gaining N1,000, you lost another one making N2500 in the course of using hand, by the time you continue this market for about six months, gradually, you are going to move away but if you use weight. If I purchase this item worth 20kg, N20,000, I want to gain N2,500, me that is doing the job because we call it opportunity cost, opportunity cost of working in another place, you must earn income, that opportunity cost that you have left is what you have to sell that fish, you have to reserve salary for that day, by the time you combine everything together, let’s say you want to realize N5, 000 making N25, 000, you now use that one for transportation and all that, you add,  by the time you divide it, it’s going to give you probably N1, 000 or so per kg. All these ones, definitely anybody that wants to buy 1kg is N1, 250, your gain is already embedded, your opportunity cost of staying there is already embedded, so before you start selling, your have already calculated what is going to come to your pocket so no matter how any person is closer to you, you cannot sell below that N1, 250 so by the time you continue like that for six months, you would have had enough money to turn over and if you have all these things in place, everybody would want to be a market woman but when you lose, first month, second month, this month, will you be happy to go back?

You will not be happy, people will now say we have been selling for the past six monthsqq, there is no money, there is no market, after all, when I go to the market, I don’t realize my full capital. They will now say you better stay at home, I think that it’s clear. Then when you look at this measurement, honestly, it’s a germane programme and it will improve the commercial activities in the state, people will now go to Osogbo or Osun, in their market, what they are using is Osunwon so when I get there, I will pay for the right quantity at the right price, there will be no cheating. So the market will be will organized.

So is the enforcement going on? 

The enforcement is on, you know when you want to make a change, you have to do it through persuasive approach despite the fact that we have what they call Federal Government…because it is under exclusive list. Let me tell you, those people that are selling palm kernel, cocoa, do you know that they sell in weight? You know they have been using scale before I was born. The white people that introduced scale or weighing machine know what they are doing, and the reason we are introducing this thing is because our farmers are not being encouraged to go back to the farm because they cannot place value on what they are producing, if you produce plantain, cassava and all other things that are being produced, you don’t know, you just get to the road and see a bunch of plantain, no measurement, N500, when they get to the market, they will increase it, can you quantify the efforts of the farmer before those things come out?

When you look at cassava, the same thing, all other items, the same, even tomatoes, why is it so? It is so because the white people are not interested, if they are interested, they know where they are buying it. So all these things will not allow the farmer to go back to the farm and that is why they do much of cash crops because that one has weight and a fixed price. So before the end of the year, they know what they are expecting so that is why you will see that it is after the market, they want to do marriage, build houses, they want to do the funeral of their father that died about 20 years ago, so you see people coming up after they must have realize a lot of money from the cash crop.

Q: Osunwon is one of the achievements, another major achievement is Kaadi Omoluabi. There are some reports that this card is only meant for pupils in primary schools, is this true and are the private schools involved? 

No, the private schools are not involved, if they are to be, they are not going to collect the cards, they will only biometric them and already public schools are distributing it now, the residents own, you know it involves certain logistics, they are going to distribute the residents own according to their local government, then it involves cash so we have to be very careful with the way we are going to do it, hopefully by next week, they should start distributing it because you know there must be sustainability, the way you do it must be very strategic and how much are they going to pay, N1, 000, the card is not ordinary card, once you put it under the Android, it is going to bring your details, it is a card you cannot fake, all your details are already embedded in the card.

So in the schools, you don’t wear our card, you don’t come to our schools because we want to know who are the original students and the fake students.

Has the process been completed for all students in public schools? 

Yes! Majority of them, for instance in Osogbo, nearly all the schools in Osogbo, except new ones that are coming in…….

Q: We are expecting the vice president next week…(Cuts In) 

Before you get to that question, there is another thing that this government had seriously made impact which has to do with empowerment, we have done a lot, this government through Osun Micro credit agency, we have disbursed about 3 billion naira to the beneficiaries in the state of Osun. As at yesterday, about 33,000 individuals benefited from the scheme. You know some of these people that your are seeing, if you say you want to banish poverty, you want to banish hunger and unemployment, it’s not when you engage them that you are going to provide job for them, you provide job indirectly.

Q: What do you mean by that? 

You know when you empower people, that person will engage two or three other people that will work for them, indirectly, you have created employment. The issue that we have in the state of Osun is that majority of our people do not have anywhere to go, they don’t have little capital to trade with and that is what this government has done by introducing Osun Micro Credit Agency, when you look at what we are doing, you know there is a programme called Quick Impact Programme, QUIP, we have done a lot there, we have spent almost one billion naira in partnership with the bank of industry.

All these ones are there, we have done a lot and this will actually help the so called pastoral farming, you know what I mean by that, you know so those people that just plant, it’s what they can eat that they will produce but now as a result of that assistance, they have improved seriously and this government has done a lot of rural development like constructing rural roads. More than 250 kilometers in the rural areas so that these farmers, when they produce, they will be able to bring their goods into the market, so that is what they call rural transportation.

Look at O’YES, at the end of the day, the federal government hijacked it, that is what they are calling N-Power. Look at the O’meal, I think they are about 3,000 plus that are working and they are happy, look at the impact of that programme, consider what is going to remove in terms of poverty from our people, definitely the O’meal woman will feed the family unlike before so poverty has been reduced from 3,000 plus families using O’meal alone.

Q: That takes us to the question about the visit of the Vice President, distributing cash to about 1,800 people, those benefiting from the MSME …. 

Well, if you talk about 1,800, I will disagree with you because what we are actually planning for, we are looking between 3,000 to 8000, you can see that I was calling some people to submit their forms, the micro finance banks are screening them, we upload it to Bank of Industry and they must be credited before the arrival of Mr Vice President. Mr Vice President is just coming to do the formality, because you know without MSME, there can’t be development. Rome was not built in a day so it’s those small and medium scale businesses that will become kings tomorrow so they say charity begins from home so we have to start from the scratch.

You know there are some people they don’t need so much for them to start, those people that are selling pap, what is their capital base, they don’t need up to N20, 000, how much are they selling a bag of maize, that is the capital base they need so before you finish selling, your would have realize more than the amount you started with but if you don’t have that cash in place, what is going to happen to you, it means your will go and buy at credit, when you buy at credit, the price you are going to pay is more than the price carrying cash and you are going to the same market to sell, you cannot say because they have collected your profit in 1advance, you are going to add to your goods, nobody will buy it you want to reduce your own size, nobody will buy. It’s either you allow your own to be little, your can sell quickly so that the man that you collected credit from will not come and embarrass you in the house.

So what Mr Vice President is coming to do is because those are the down trodden people and those are the people that constitute more than 60% of our population. So if they want to say that who are those people that we need to assist, I  will say they are the one to be assisted and that is what Mr vice President is coming to do. Then the N500, 000 that will be given to small scale enterprises, they will see them, that will say what they need, it’s like a working capital because whoever wants to benefit from that scheme must have something to showcase so still those ones are there.

So before this morning programme or before this MSME project, the State Government have already done a lot in this regard. I mentioned the issue of 3 billion naira. I mentioned 1 billion naira through quick impact intervention programme, cultural trips that was made to other states during the first regime so all these is what Mr vice President is coming for but he’s coming to officially flag off the program – Government enterprise and empowerment program in the state of Osun.

Then there is another thing that the VP is coming to do, he wants to commission a world class One-Stop shop so that those people that wants to do business, you don’t need to travel before your get the information, the office will be here in this ministry, we are going to have representative of NAFDAC, SON and other regulatory agencies of the Federal government,  instead of you going to Akure, they are here so it’s a world class shop so you can get all your information at once so it’s part of what Mr vice President is coming to commission.

You don’t joke with your small scale, there are some factories in Italy, Japan that are not up to this, if you know the turn over of the factory you will be shocked. These are some of the things that the State government is collaborating with the Federal government to bring to the state. You know when you are in a state like this, people will criticize you. Why are they criticizing? Because when they were there, they couldn’t do it; somebody is doing it, they will be like what has he done so they are given to criticisms, if you say that they will not criticize you, it’s a lie, because when they were there, their focus was not the same but the focus of Ogbeni is development.

Q: You said that cheques will be distributed on Tuesday, will there be a follow up afterwards to access how these funds are being used? 

That is why we are passing through the Microfinance banks,  the Microfinance banks are screening them, if they discover that you have been defaulting through the facilities you took in the past, you won’t be a beneficiary anymore. You can’t eat your cake and have it, it’s not possible.

Q: There is a misconception regarding government developing infrastructure and salaries being owed, what can you say in a nutshell, so that we can put things in the right perspective as regards those who are saying such? 

Thank you very much, that question is important, everything is politics, when you are doing good, people will criticize you, when you are not doing well, people will criticize you. Those people that have been deprived of cheating the state, that will definitely make something, it’s normal. Assuming you did not perform, some people will be jubilating, if you are performing, they will not be happy, you have become enemies and the only thing you will continue to pray for anytime your enemy sees you, they should appear sad, what do I mean, when you are performing, it means your enemy will not be happy with you, it means what he is praying for us is not happening but when he’s sad, he will said afterall we have criticized this man, we have done this, we have done this, he’s still performing.

To some enemies, they believe that we won’t be able to continue on this job but to the glory of God, we are doing well, is it in terms of education that you want to talk about, look at all those schools, look at all the roads, the next government will not touch those schools again, he will go and build other ones, yes good to start from where Aregbe stopped. The roads, do you want to reconstruct a good road? You have to go and start your own if you want to make an impact.

What do you want to do at Olaiya junction again, what do you want to do at Alekuwodu to Ita-Olokan? Fantastic road, what do you want to do along Oba Aderemi road, what do you want to do? And people will tell you no, it’s not your job. Those people that were in government that did not remember to do anything, how do your want them to feel, what do you want them to say, they won’t praise you, that they won’t criticize you is a lie and I want to tell you that no government can do this project again because the cost is now enormous, it’s now multiplied by three, who can do this type of secretariat again, nobody, this is one of the best secretariats in the country, this secretariat is not like this before, it was when Ogbeni came that he finished the infrastructure and the landscaping and there was a government here for about seven and half years, they did not remember to do anything, have you not seen the beauty of the secretariat now?

So it bounds to happen because when they were there, they did not do it. are they not going to criticize you? Ahh, what is he doing? But the criticism doesn’t get to their stomach. It’s because when they were there, they did not remember to do it, look at the airport, by the special grace of God, it will reach a reasonable level, when we get there, look at the impact of that airport, you get what am saying because it’s having about 3.5km runway, which means any Cargo plane 1can land so if I know am staying in Ekiti, Kwara I can take my cargo here, the triport is coming to the state which has been approved. When they come to do those kinds of transaction, are they not going to sleep here, are they not going to spend money, what do you call commercial, economic activities

#OgbeniGovtAt7: Aregbesola, Osun Salutes You!!!

By Kunle Oyatomi

November 27, 2017 is the 7th anniversary of Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola’s assumption of office as the governor of the state of Osun. It is more a seminal moment for reflection and through assessment of the achievements of the leader, the government and the party he has led thus far.

This is not a period to give any attention to the critics. There had been and there still are many of them but their views are inconsequential for the purpose of this exercise. We are concerned here mainly about what happened in Osun between November 27, 2010 and November 27 2017 under the watch of Governor Rauf Aregbesola.

Whatever anyone thinks or would like others to believe, there is a reality on ground which even lunatics should recognize; the state of Osun has changed dramatically. But some strange characters refuse to recognise this dramatic change.

Some people have been ravaged so much by envy, anger and hate that they have seen nothing, absolutely nothing good in EVERYTHING that Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has done for the state. Their cynical disposition to what had been occurring in this state under the charismatic leadership of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola since 2010 is inexplicable. However, this category of people is mostly the governor’s political rivals and opponents, and a misguided minority.

But Osun is greater than these people. The majority of citizens of this state who have eyes, a conscience and ability to appreciate what they are seeing and experiencing have every reason to be grateful to God for bringing Aregbesola on the scene to pull the state out of the depths of stagnation, which bred poverty and backwardness.

A state that was practically obscure suddenly leapt into the limelight with a revolutionary approach to governance that took his political opponents by storm and flabbergasted political observers who were not prepared for Aregbesola’s “re-branding of Osun state.” But more shocks were on the way.

In the process of implementing his six point integral action plan to * Banish poverty, * Banish hunger, *Create work and wealth, * Restore healthy living, * Promote functional education, * Enhance communalpeace and progress, Aregbesola created a sensation. He began a rebuilding and restoration exercise unprecedented in scale and astonishing in planning and the precision of execution.

This drove the opposition and the biased critics literally mad with envy, rage and hatred. They threw all the mud they could find in Osun at Aregbesola, but he remained focused.

The Result? Tens of thousands of idle and unemployed youths were plucked off the streets. Crime rate plummeted. A health emergency was to address an environment tragedy, which put citizens’ health at grave risk. Investment on human capital development was intensified. Education was re-engineered, while the schools’ infrastructure was modernised.

As you read this, over 800km of roads have been constructed since 2010 including the marvellous network of mega high ways that link Osogbo directly with other city centers in the state. There is nobody who left Osogbo 10 years ago and returns this Christmas that would not be awestruck by the transformation which has taken place under the leadership of Ogbeni Aregbesola-led APC government.

Never in the history of this state has business activities been as bustling as under Aregbesola’s time in office. Today there are more events centers, hotels and entertainment facilities in the state of Osun than there were 10 years ago. These social facilities are as busy as ever and it will surprise you to hear that some of these places charge as much as N500, 000 per event!! Isn’t that an indication that things are better now than before?

Aregbesola’s social welfare programme is worthy of note. Helpless elderly people are supported, widows are empowered to earn a living; even the disabled are not left out. Children in primary schools are given a rich meal everyday that they are in school. The impact of this programme to feed school children resonated across the world.

The British Parliament noticed, the United Nations agency applauded and the Federal Government has adopted the programme nationwide. Yet, what the fake news media propagate is the falsehood which opponents of Aregbesola spread.

Now people accuse the governor of not paying salaries. They argue that instead of paying full salaries he is building schools, constructing roads and building M .K. O Abiola International airport. Some elite in Osun society are saying that the people don’t need all the sophistication that Aregbesola is introducing into the state. These conceited people want Osun to remain as Aregbesola met it and they are inciting one of the population to spread hate across the state against the governor. But the harder they try to demonize Aregbesola, he becomes more popular.

We shall address the foolishness of this one percent of Osun people who are waging a war of calumny against the governor in the coming days and months. However, let these people be assured that their ingratitude and greed will be their undoing in the near future.

The rest of Osun people celebrate with Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and the APC because the last seven years are a memorable period of articulate and responsible governance, which has made the people not only proud but also grateful to God for progress made.

We are proud of what Ogbeni has done to the environment; we salute you for the human capital development that the state has had since 2010; we rejoice with parents and children for the wonderful school infrastructure that you have built and the rich meals you are providing for them daily; God will continue to bless you, Ogbeni, for the exquisite roads network you have constructed across the state, especially the ones in Osogbo and other city centres which only fools do not appreciate.

You have proved to the intelligent and responsible world that even in crisis situation, you keep on thinking and working to give the people of Osun a respectable place in Yorubaland particularly and Nigeria in general. Even those in Osun who oppose you cannot but admit that something different has happened in the state, which they themselves cannot do because they don’t have what it takes to govern responsibly.

As we celebrate the 7th year of your tenure as governor of the Stateof Osun, we note that in spite of the financial constraints, you are still hard at work to complete all the projects you have started, especially the road constructions.

We are not unaware that prominent people amongst Osun elite on the opposite side are working to undo what God has used you to do in the state, THEY WILL FAIL.However, we urge you to ensure that the transition process is smooth and will produce a successor that will continue where you stopped. God will give you the wisdom to do what is right.

Oyatomi Esq., is spokesman of All Progressives Congress, State of Osun.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Osun New Attendance and Time Management System

The reform activities of the State Government of Osun under the able leadership of Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola has received another boost with the upgrade from manual time and attendance management system to electronic time and attendance management system.

Since Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola took over the reins of administration in the State, he has blazed the trail of innovations for others to follow in reforms that focus on improving performance, productivity and effective service delivery among the State workforce. With the introduction of the electronic time and management system, civil servants in the State of Osun can now productively compete with colleagues within and outside Nigeria in accordance with international best practices.

According to the policy statement expressed in Ogbeni Aregbesola’s  “Green Book”  “there is need for civil service reforms that will not lead to loss of job as I Rauf  Aregbesola does not believe in laying people off in the name of reforms”. Therefore, it is imperative to note that, this development is not designed to witch-hunt any worker but, to improve efficiency and productivity of the workforce in the State of Osun.

-Olugbenga Oni wrote in from the State and Local Government Reform Project, SLOGOR, a EU assisted State Government project.