Osun CSDP: Transforming The Rural Areas

In an attempt to revolutionise the development at the rural areas, the Agency for Community and Social Development Project (CSDP) was set up in some states of the federation. The State of Osun is one of the 27 states in Nigeria that currently participate in the World Bank assisted Community and Social Development Project. The Osun CSDP was set up in 2009 during the administration of Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola.

The administration of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has since inception upped the ante of support for the CSDP, by paying the counterpart fund of the state as and when due, with a view to ensuring development at the rural areas in line with the six-point integral action plan of the administration. Even in the midst of lean resources, records have shown that the government never reneged on payment.

The project which has the backing of the Federal government is established to assist development in the rural areas as it affects infrastructure like provision of transformer to aid the supply of electricity, road rehabilitation to ease movement of people and goods, provision of potable water and the construction of civic centres among others.

The beauty of the project is that projects that would be executed in any community are undertaken by the people who voluntarily and willingly choose among their pressing needs the one they need most. Whatever project the community overwhelmingly chooses would be the one, they will ask the CSDP to fund. They choose from at least three needs.

The idea behind the CSDP is community participation, as such community which desires the project will pay 10 per cent counterpart fund, while the state government through the CSDP pays the remaining 90 per cent for the cost of the project. The revenue from the government is subsequently sourced from the World Bank and is paid in stages within a certain period of time.

According to an official of the community, the various stages to be followed, include a formal application by a community in which officials from the CSDP would subsequently visit the community to assess whether the demand is real and just or a strategy by some few people to dupe the government and the community.

If the agency is satisfied, the community would have to forward them another letter inviting them for the Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) where majority of the residents are expected to be in attendance. At the PRA, election is conducted to choose members of the Community Project Monitoring Committee (CPMC) made up of eight people headed by a Chairman.

It is the apex body, under which there are three other sub-committees – the Procurement, Operation and Maintenance, and the Monitoring and Evaluation.

The CPMC is the body that ensures that the aim of the community is achieved by ensuring that money released is appropriately used for the purpose it is meant. The procurement committee is responsible for the purchase of any material or equipment needed to accomplish the task. The committee responsible for the operation and maintenance of the project is the Operation and Maintenance sub-committee, while the Monitoring and Evaluation committee is to ensure that the project is constantly being monitored and evaluated.

After all these committees might have been put its place, the Field Appraisal takes place where officials of the agency and other professionals from the relevant State ministries visit the community to appraise steps taken.

If satisfied with the steps taken so far, a one-day seminar is conducted where different officials of the agency sensitise and educate community leaders on how best to go about the project. The seminar which takes a whole day is a prelude to the presentation of cheque to the community.

At the seminar, the leaders of the community are warned against the abandonment of the chosen project, as the fund that would be made available would be enough to carry out the project. This is so because the agency would have done its research to ascertain the value of the project before directing the community to embark on it.

Elementary book-keeping and accounts are taught at the seminar which comes in handy to help streamline the spending habit of the community on the project. Women are encouraged to actively participate in the activities of the CSDP while in most cases they are elected treasurers.

Community leaders are encouraged to meet regularly to ensure that decisions are based on consensus and not at the whim and caprices of the chairman. They are however, warned that if they run foul of the regulations of the agency, the law will take its due course.

The total amount to be given is usually divided into three tranches. The first tranche is presented in the community usually by the General Manager, Mrs. Funmi Abokede. The subsequent tranches are released based on the judicious use of the first one and this takes place in their corporate head office at old Governor’s office, Osogbo.

Communities that benefit from such developmental projects are advised to make good use of it, because not every community that applies scale through. The inherent benefit is that such communities that benefit can also enjoy the bounty if the first money is properly utilized.

The local government council area which covers the community is involved because there are certain documents that have to be approved by it.

An account specially opened by the community is also demanded to which the agency’s cheque is paid. The account warehouses the community’s 10 per cent counterpart funding. Cash are not withdrawn anyhow except for purposes specifically meant for.

Commending the Abokede-led agency, the Chairman, Oloruntobi Community Ota-Efun Area, Osogbo, Murtala Agboola, while receiving a cheque of N5 million from the agency for the procurement of transformer last week said the agency has been very active in transforming the rural areas in Osun with the assistance of the state government.

He urged that the tempo should be sustained for more communities across the state to feel the impact of the government.

Oyinlola Debunk Rumour Defection, Says He Remain APC Stakeholder

The former governor in the state of Osun, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola has debunked rumour making round that he is planning to defect to another party.

The former governor, who reiterated his commitment to All Progressives Congress (APC), called for unity among the party faithful and urged them to disregard insinuations that he was leaving the party.

In a statement issued by a former Secretary to the Osun State Government under Oyinlola administration, Kazeem Adio, says rumours about some leaders leaving the party for whatever reasons are being circulated by some faceless elements in the polity who should be ignored.

The statement read in part: “Prince Oyinlola is a major stakeholder in the party (APC); remember he was the secretary of the New PDP, a key component of the APC at the formative stage, he is also a member of the party’s Board of Trustees. He not only remains in the party but has also been silently working very hard to ensure its growth, stability and unity in the face of recent challenges,” the statement read.

“As a leader in Osun State who is at home with all segments of the society, Prince Oyinlola’s major concern at the moment is how to strengthen the party, make it get closer to the people and continue to make their welfare a priority. The people of Osun State can get their interest better served by remaining with the APC.”

Oyinlola further urged citizens across the country to join hands in seeking divine favour for the governments at all levels.

Oyinlola Advises FG On Boko Haram War

Former Osun State Governor, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, has called on the Federal Government to build on the success recorded so far in the war against Boko Haram.

Oyinlola also advised the government to disabuse the minds of those who might still be sympathetic to the violent group.

He said this in an interview with reporters after receiving an honorary doctoral degree in Public Administration from the Fountain University, Osogbo.

The university also conferred an honorary doctoral degree in Political Economy on the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Mohammed, at the event.

Oyinlola said, “If we look at the beginning of the insurgency, there was a time when Boko Haram members were in charge of a sizeable part of our land. That is no longer happening. They can no longer hoist their flag and they have been reduced to stragglers.

“They will not want to give up easily. But while the military is carrying on with their operations, the government should begin to disabuse the minds of those already indoctrinated. That will be good way to maintaining the success recorded so far.”

The Sultan warned Nigerians against trying to force their religions on others.

The monarch said he had so many things in common with Oyinlola, who he said, was his commanding officer in the Nigerian Army.

The Deputy Governor of Osun State, Mrs. Titi Laoye-Tomori, urged universities to stop being certificate-awarding institutions to problem-solving centres.

Universities, she added, should endeavour to equip their graduates to be job creators rather than jobseekers.

The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Bashiru Raji, said 11 out of the 350 graduating students, obtained first class degrees.

The VC said that 102 of them obtained second class upper division; 172 second class lower division while 59 bagged third class degrees.

Raji also noted that the National Universities Commission accredited all the programmes in the university.

According to him, the university is ranked 18th among private universities.

The Punch

Aregbesola Names Auditorium After Oyinlola

…charges Nigeria Universities to impact positively on the society, names auditorium after Oyinlola

The Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola on Tuesday called on Universities in the country to impact positively on the Nigerian society‎ rather that the role of just admitting students and awarding certificates at the end of their academic exercise.
The Governor while giving the charge ‎at the fourth and fifth convocation ceremonies of University of Osun at the University’s convocation arena, main campus, Osogbo also named the university auditorium after the former Governor of the state, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola.
He held that university education  should be a sector that should impact on the society, saying the country ‎is daily beset with life threatening challenges in wars, hunger, diseases that are defying solutions.
‎Aregbesola also admonished Universities to be prepared in providing leadership for the country to be able to overcome it’s present economic challenges.
He stressed that their will be hope for Nigeria if Universities in the country start preparing students for a self-reliant post-graduation life and guiding society with the ideas and philosophy of change, science, technology, finance and entrepreneurship.
‎”Our universities are primarily suffering from the crisis of mission. While they may have beautifully crafted mission statement, in practice, they are giving the impression that their raison d’etre is to admit students and award certificates to them at the end of their studentship.
‎”How impactful on our society and governance have these institutions been? We are daily beset with life threatening challenges in wars, hunger, diseases that are defying medical solutions, homelessness and just anything imaginable. Of course, it could have been worse.
‎”Where there is no vision, the people perish, says the holy writ. Lack of mission consciousness inevitably leads them to in-fighting and other self-inflicted crises.
“It is therefore the case that apart from graduating students, another veritable product of Nigerian universities is jostling for power, influence and resources with factions as many as there are faculties and petitions as powerful and numerous as academic journals. Where there is no vision, the people perish, says the holy writ,” Aregbesola said.
‎The Governor chided most Nigerian University for relying on grants and subventions, adding that no serious institution will think of surviving with subventions.
He said, “Most universities are underfunded. They rely mostly on subventions from their proprietors. Yet, there is nowhere in the world where a good university lives only on subvention.
“One of the disingenuous ways to fill the gap is to charge exorbitant tuition fees. While tuition is universal, it is lazy and unimaginative to make this the basis for generating revenues to sustain a university.
“Universities must learn also to generate revenues through endowments and creative revenue yielding ideas in patents, copyrights and so on”. Aregbesola stressed.
In his speech, the Acting Vice Chancellor, Prof. Jelil Oguntola Alamu, remarked that the University has been sustaining it’s reputation as an institution purposely established to promote academic excellence and sound moral education.
He revealed that the University has continued to grow in leaps and bounds with the recent accreditation of six more programmes by the National University Commission, bringing the programmes the school is running to 32 mature academic programmes.
Professor Oguntola equally disclosed that the university has become a member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) as well as signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN).
According to the Don, the school also excelled both nationally and internationally as students of the state, who participated in debating competition organised by African Regional Inter-University Debate Competition organised by UNESCO, came 3rd overall.
“Osun State University continues to sustain it’s reputation as an institution established to promote academic and moral standard.
“My greatest joy today is the relative peace and high level of academic excellence attained by the institution since I became the Acting Vice Chancellor about a year ago.
Barring all odds, the University successfully completed 2014/2015 academic session promptly without any form of interruption in our academic calendar,” Prof Oguntola said.
In his valedictory speech, the overall best student of the institution for 2013/2014 session, Adeyemo Kazeem Adekunle, was full of appreciation to the Government of Osun for the establishment the University.
Adekunle, with the best CGPA of 4.7 from Civil Engineering Department, commended Osun Government for catering for thousands of students from Osun and other adjoining states.
He stated that the school will continue to serve humanity in numerous significant ways as long as it is in existence.

Former Governor, Oyinlola Identifies Quality Education As Panacea To Robust Economy

Former governor of Osun state,  Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola  has identified quality education as the road to a future of economic prosperity for Nigeria .‎

Prince oyinlola made the remark at the UNIOSUN convocation lecture titled: “Sustainable Tertiary Education in Post -Oil Nigeria” delivered by secretary General,Association Of Vice-Chancellor of Nigeria Universities,professor Michael Faborode at the main hall of the institution.

“I must commend the timeliness of the choice of this topic at this period of general economic melt down caused by crippling low oil prices”.

“I am particularly pleased at the choice of the topic because it is very much in line with the founding philosophy of this university. This university was founded to be a self sustaining, development oriented and innovative institution.”

” As the pioneer Visitor of this institution, we believed then that a day might come when petrol dollar would no longer be available to fund government expenditure hence certain innovations in public education financing was introduced particularly for this university.”

“We said then that we were setting a goal for this institution to produce a Nobel laureate within its first 25 years. We were not under any illusion that a poorly funded university would achieve that great feat, hence those early decisions to set this university apart from others across the country that have remained eternally attached to the feeding bottle of public funds.”

“It is my strong belief that the road to a future of economic prosperity for Nigeria can only be paved with education provided in the right quality.”

The former governor  stressed that,” to get quality education for a future of fulfilment for Nigeria, the nagging question of how to fund it in a sustainable manner must be answered.

According to him: “the thematic choice of this lecture is as commendable as the choice of the person to deliver the lecture. You will agree with me that a message is as good as its delivery.”

” Professor Michael Faborode who will speak to us today on this topic is one of the very few academics in the country today with the right education, exposure and experience to show us the way forward at this critical moment.”

” I do not need to bore you with the fact that he is a professor of Agricultural Engineering, former Vice Chancellor of Great Ife, and incumbent Secretary General of Association of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities. It is trite that you cannot give what you do not have. This professor has what we seek today and, we cannot wait to listen to him.”

Also, Prof. Mike Faborode in his lecture ,charged Nigeria to combine use of large manufacturers and MSMEs, in order to tackle unemployment and attain its vision 2020.

He also described the embrace of industrial production as a compelling logical way forward for the Nigeria Economy.

He identified research, new knowledge/innovation and partnerships as keys to unlocking the inherent potentials of the Nigerian university system.

Faborode, who is a former Vice Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University,stated that, diversification of economy to sectors like manufacturing, agriculture is the inevitable way forward.

He further maintained that “Nigerian higher education system and the nation itself are at cross-roads as there is need to build an effective platform and alliance for the revitalization of the system.

He lamented the  persistence decline in the price of crude oil and the sluggishness in the diversification of the economy to embrace more productive sectors.