NDE Commends Osun Track Record On Social Protection Programmes

By Mariam Bello

Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s administration in the State of Osun has for the umpteenth time been commended for its unprecedented track record on social protection.

This commendation came from the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) through its State of Osun Coordinator, Mr. Sola Babalola in Oshogbo during the mining of Osun YESSO (SOCU)’s 3rd and 4th rounds of the Single Register of the Poor and Vulnerable Households (SRPVH) by the Osun NDE’s of Skills for Job (S4J) component of Osun YESSO.

Mr. Babalola who equally appreciated the present administration for innumerable supports received by the NDE with specific mention of the assurance gotten to take care of starter packs worth millions of naira for beneficiaries of the Skills for Job programme, assured the State  Operation Coordinating Unit ( Osun YESSO) of maximum commitment of his team to the success of the laudable initiative.

In his remarks at the event, the State Coordinator, Osun YESSO, Mr. Olufemi Ifaturoti intimated the Skills for Job Team of the continued commitment of the present administration in the state to the empowerment of the unemployed population and eradication of poverty at large.

Mr. Ifaturoti who was represented by the Head of Operations, Osun YESSO, Mr. Sola Adetoye enjoined the Osun Skills for Job Team to make the best use of the list of potential beneficiaries mined from the Single Register of the Poor and Vulnerable Households painstakingly generated and domiciled at the State of Osun Operation Coordinating Unit, Osun YESSO, with a view to ensuring that the laudable initiative achieve its intended goal.

Osun Probes Procurement Contracts

By Solomon Odeniyi

In a bid to ensure transparency and accountability in the process of public procurements across the State of Osun, the government has inaugurated auditors to probe all procurement contracts from 2015 till date.

The team of Auditors comprises of recognized independent procurement auditors who are professionally qualified and would be assisted by public procurement agency staffers.

They (auditors) would look into all public procurement contracts within the stipulated time when the law was enacted.

According to the Acting General Manager, Public Procurement Agency, Mr. Ayo Fatoberu, the government has given a directive that the agency must be able to give a clean slate for all contract that were awarded from 2015 till date.

He added: “Like we have the financial audit which looks into the books and account of agency in order to know if the funds received have been used judiciously, their function essentially is to make sure the law has not been bye-passed. Let us say for instance, the threshold for approval is N10million for an agency; nobody is allowed to split the money in order to circumvent the N10million  ceiling”.

He revealed that machinery has been set in motion in accordance with the procurement law, and like the financial auditors, their procurement counterpart would be attached to various agencies, adding that the team is already carrying out this crucial exercise and some of its agents would be visiting the various MDAs in no distant time.

On the reason behind the One day sensitization program, Fatoberu said at the end of the day, his agency would have been able to sensitize the accounting officers, who are the head of each MDAs, as to the provisions, guidelines and the sanctions prescribed by the law in order to guide the conduct of public procurement process in their various agencies.

He added that as the sensitization anchors on transparency, accountability and value for money, the bulk of the works rest on the shoulders of the account officers, who are accountable for the money realised and spent.

The Acting General Manager of the Agency enjoined the various participants to go back to their various agencies and ensure proper dissemination of the provisions of the law and allow it to guide the conduct of their respective officials who are in charge of public procurement.

Also, the Project Coordinator of SLOGOR, Yemi Ijidele enjoined account officers on the need and strive to change the negative narratives about them, especially the perception that, accounting officers help to stash government funds and the expected service delivery often time are not delivered.

He lauded Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola administration for creating an agency for public procurement with highly technical and administrative capacity which has made the state government to be able to boast of a public procurement manual, the establishment of procurement cadre in the civil service. This among others, he said, would regulate public procurement processes and definitely block leakages in the state.

The Head of Service, Mr. Festus Olowogboyega admonished the participants to always follow due process in all they do, so as to avoid procurement cases and the stiff punishment prescribed for defaulters, noting that the whistle blowing policy of the government has shown that there is no hiding place for any nefarious activities by anyone in the country.

Office Of The Governor’s Budget: PDP Leaders Are Fiscal Illiterates – Osun Govt

The Government of Osun has described as false, baseless and unfounded the allegation of financial malfeasance levelled against the administration of Governor Rauf Aregbesola by the state chapter of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

A statement by the Media Adviser to the Governor, Mr Sola Fasure, said PDP had once against demonstrated its skill at deception and uncanny ability to turn white into blue in a bid to discredit the people-oriented government of Aregbesola.

He stated further that the opposition PDP in Osun in company with the party’s governorship aspirants dished out concocted figures that were a mix-bag of lies and half truths containing wildly flawed and incorrect statistics about spending in the Office of the Governor.

According to Fasure, Osun PDP has demonstrated for too long its inherent ability for untruth and deception and so the recent information it purported to disclose to the public was nothing unusual as it is the party’s stock in trade.

PDP had claimed that the Office of the Governor spent N6.3 billion in 2016, among other sundry financial improprieties. Fasure described this alleged financial information as a display of monumental fiscal ignorance to ascribe the Office of the Governor to the person of Governor Rauf Aregbesola.

According to Fasure, the dubious press conference by the PDP was therefore a desperate attempt to change the narrative on the soaring popularity of Governor Aregbesola and the APC in contrast to the dwindling fortunes of the PDP in the state and all over the country.

The statement read in part: “We therefore have the following to say on the cacophonic baloney concocted by the PDP on the account of the state.

“The primary source of the information relied upon was the state audited account for 2015 and 2016 that had been publicly presented with fanfare on April 4 this year.

“It is therefore curious how the state’s account transparently presented to the public could be a source from which the opposition will draw allegations of financial impropriety.

“For the avoidance of doubt, Osun is the only state among the six participating states in the State and Local Governance Reform (SLOGOR) Project that publicly presented its account for three years running. Others are Anambra, Cross River, Jigawa, Kano and Yobe.

“The PDP got its facts wrong by claiming that the Office of the Governor spent N6.3 billion in 2016. It was actually N9.7 billion. N4.8 billion was also expended in 2015, as against N1.2 billion falsely claimed by PDP. But it is a display of monumental fiscal ignorance to ascribe the Office of the Governor to the person of Governor Rauf Aregbesola.

“There are 28 agencies under the Office of the Governor. These are: Osun Park and Gardens; Wife of the Governor; Office of Regional Integration; Bureau of Government House and Protocols; Christian Welfare Board; Muslim Welfare Board; Public Procurement Agency; Osun State Sports Council; Office of the Deputy Governor; Public Service Office; Special Project Office; Sustainable Development Goals; O’Jobs; Office of Human Resources; Bureau of Public Service Pension; Office of Economic Development and Partnership; Policy and Economic Team; Office of Forestry, Natural and Mineral Resources; Office of Policy Coordination; Bureau of General Services; Osun State Emergency Management Agency; Bureau of Lands; O’Honey; United Nations Development Programme; Osun State Agency for the Control of AIDS; Sustainable Development Goals; and Bureau of Communications and Strategy. These are the agencies which received the budgetary allocation under reference, not the person of the governor.

“A breakdown of the 2016 sum reveals that N648 million was spent on personnel, N2.5 billion on overhead while N4.99 billion was spent on pension, making a total N8.1billion. The balance of N1.56 billion was expended on capital acquisition and other critical expenditures.

“It is ridiculous and the height of mischief to claim that the state government spent N1.8 million on health in 2016. Capital project and project funded on health alone was to the tune of a total sum of N498 million in 2016. Hospital Management Board in 2016 also got N1.5 billion. Capital projects in health were also carried out under Sustainable Development Goals and the Ministry of Health.

“PDP also claimed that the Office of the Governor spent N276 million on ‘infrastructure maintenance’. This is false. The sum was expended on ‘infrastructure acquisition’. There is a world of difference between ‘acquisition’ and ‘maintenance’.

“The state government has had to use huge sums to repay debts. These debts date back to the old Oyo State. Aregbesola’s administration inherited a total of N19.9 billion debt incurred by the previous PDP administration. These debts were owed UBA, Zenith Bank and Sterling Bank. As it is evident to all, the bonds were used efficiently for infrastructure development.

“The state government also took more than N25 billion loan to pay workers salaries and it was in order to avoid cumulating more debts to pay workers salaries that the government adopted the modulated salary structure arrangement.”

Fasure averred that it is sad to behold the display of intellectual ineptitude of PDP which made a mountain out of the molehill and in the process expose itself to ridicule and public opprobrium with the expression of monumental ignorance on simple fiscal matters.

He stated that the PDP leadership, with its governorship aspirants including a professor and a Senator of the Federal Republic, shamefully displayed crass ignorance in its failure to know and distinguish the difference between the Office of the Governor and the person of the governor.

According to Fasure, this faux pas has morally disqualified PDP and its aspirants from occupying any leadership position, having demonstrated their unsuitability to govern the state.

He therefore, alerted the media and the public to be wary of the diabolic intentions of the PDP leadership who are ‘certified confusionists that have perfected the art of lying and public deception.’

 

Osun Govt., OAU Disagree On N1.8b Tax Default

By Israel Afolabi

End seems not to be in sight over the issue of the alleged tax default by the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, as the Osun government insisted that the university was owing N1.84 billion as against N384 million claimed by the institution.

It would be recalled that the state government had last week Wednesday sealed off the university over the alleged non-payment of tax to the tune of N1.84 billion, but the university management has come out to deny owing such amount, saying, its outstanding tax liabilities was a sum of N384 million only, being under-deduction from staff salaries for the period of 2015 and 2016 for PAYE.

However, at a press conference in Osogbo on Wednesday, Osun Internal Revenue Service (OIRS) has said that the decision to seal off the university was justified, saying though, the university had been unsealed following interventions from eminent Nigerians who prevailed on the state to accept the little offered.

Speaking at the conference, the Special Adviser on Tax and Revenue Matters to the Governor, Barrister Olugbemiga Akano said, “We are here today to set record straight and maintain our earlier position on tax issues involving Obafemi Awolowo University. The figure of N384m being claimed by the authority of OAU as the outstanding tax liability for 2015 and 2016 is misleading.

“OAU was unsealed, upon the intervention of eminent Nigerians, most especially Femi Falana, SAN that prevailed on the state to accept the sum of N25m offered by the university as deposit for further negotiation on repayment plan for the balance and the state is left with no other choice than to respect them by removing the seal.

“As an alumnus, I am in pain that the only institution I can point at in the whole world as my own is involved in this ridiculous issue of tax under-deduction and juggling of figures, even when the system of modern and civilized governance calls for strict compliance by all taxable adults and organisations with tax laws”, he stressed.

He emphasised that the amount of N384m the OAU claimed as being owed was the balance they were supposed to pay for the year 2006-2014 audit as at the time the representatives from the office of Accountant-General of the federation came into the matter for further investigation on outstanding liability of Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies due to the state as at 11th December, 2016.

“As at 4th May 2018, the amount of N287,815,947.07 has been their outstanding in respect of 2006-2014 contrary to the OAU rejoinder of N384,000,000.00 it claims”.

Barrister Akano also maintained that the sum of N1.8bn claimed by the state is a report of painstaking audit of the books supplied by the institution itself to the government’s crack team of auditors.

According to him, “Relevant tax laws allow anybody or institution to raise objections or appeal against an audit report within a limited time frame which the university failed to so do. It is too late in the day for the university to rely on a letter written by a third party to peg their liability to such a mind-boggling ridiculous sum of N384m meant for 2006-2014 liability for 2015-2016.

He also insisted that the OAU owes the state government of Osun the sum of N1.844,770,939.45 plus N5m outstanding, which make it to be over N2 billion tax default.

The OIRS boss then warned every tax defaulter, be it individual or organisation that failure to remit their taxes and levies would leave the board with no other option than to explore all legal means on them.

He called on other organizations affected by the efforts of the government and others who have not been reached to quickly show up for the resolution of the issues involved.

Osun Govt. Policies Are People-Friendly – NIPPS

The National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) has said Osun government has demonstrated strong connection with the masses in the implementation and execution of policies and programmes. 

NIPSS lauded the spate of infrastructural development of Osun in the last seven years of Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s administration.

The institute’s Director of Research, Professor Habu Galadima gave the commendation during a courtesy call to the Governor, at the Government House, Osogbo and hailed the present administration in the state for bringing to the citizens, the basic infrastructure requirements in all sectors.

Galadima, who led the delegation of the Participants of the Senior Executive Course 40, 2018 of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies to Osun, said the visit of the delegation has exposed the delegates to the giant strides of the Arebesola’s administration.

According to him, “Just on our arrival to Osun, we have been able to see the good works that the present administration had done. We have seen the rapid development in all the nooks and crannies of the state and it is amazing that the government has been able to develop a strong connection with the masses.

“We have also learnt that the state has been able to touch the lives of the poorest by equipping them with the basic infrastructure needs. Thought the basic responsibility of government is to put smiles on the faces of the people and give them hope to live, this I can feel and see that the present government in Osun has done. We are aware that the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES) that was initiated by the Aregbesola led government has really helped to reduce the scourge of unemployment and alleviated poverty among the residents particularly the youth.

“To us, this is a programme which other states of the federation really need to key into by coming down to Osun to understudy how it works because it will go a long way in arresting idleness among Nigerian youths”, Galadima added

Speaking on the roles and responsibilities of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Galadima described the NIPSS as the highest institution for policies and strategies in the country which has the full backing of the federal government.

He said the participants on the tour to the state were drawn from different sectors of the economy, in respect of the theme of the institute for each year tour exercise as the institute remains the think tank of the nation.

In his remarks, the Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola called on the tiers of government to prioritize the fundamental principles of government by being proactive towards the protection of lives and property of the citizen.

He expressed great displeasure in the proliferation of security challenges in the country, saying the time has come for government at various levels to strengthen security and improve on the welfare of the citizenry.

The Governor canvassed for true federalism that will engender equitable distribution of resources, describing the call as a necessity to end the socio-economic challenges bedeviling the country.

He called on government at various levels to be more alive to their constitutional responsibilities, arguing the crisis between the suspected Fulani herdsmen and farmers are product of government insensitivity to people’s needs.

He explained that in the process of development, some Nigerians have unconsciously eroded the way some sections of the society (farmers) make their own livelihood, thereby trampling on the rights of some people which in turn make them to turn violent while protecting their means of making a living.

Aregbeola held that Nigeria needs to develop a process that will make it impossible for herdsmen to roam around with their cattles but rather apply modern cattle ranching.

 

PHOTONEWS: Osun Govt Pays Condolence Visit To Oyo Over Speaker’s Death

The State Government of Osun on Tuesday paid a condolence visit to the Oyo State Government over the death of the Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Hon Michael Adeyemo who passed on last week.

The government delegation was led by the Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola alongside the Chief of Staff, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola and other members of the State Executive Council.

They were received by Governor Abiola Ajimobi, Former Governor Alao Akala and other dignitaries at the Oyo State Government House, Agodi, Ibadan.

Adejare Taofeek Adebayo who was there sent in the following photos:

Osun Govt Refurbishes 6 Firefighter Vehicles

By Ismaeel Uthman

The State Government of Osun has expressed its determination to curtail natural disaster incidents in any part of the state through the social security programmes of Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s administration.

Speaking through the Commissioner for Home Affairs in the state, Dr Adebisi Obawale, the government said it was poised to reduce to the barest minimum incidents of loss of life and property to fire disaster across the state.

Obawale stated this  while in the presence of the governor testing six firefighter vehicles refurbished by the current administration after being abandoned for eight years.

According to Obawale, the firefighter vehicles were fully ready for any emergency in any part of the state, disclosing that the vehicles have been stationed in Osogbo, Ilesa, Ikirun, Iwo and Ife.

Obawale said: “We are not praying for emergency or disasters but at the same time, we must be fully prepared to safe life and property as expected of any responsive government.  The firefighter vehicles we are testing today worked for only six months after they were procured.

“The vehicles had been abandoned before the administration of Governor Rauf Aregbesola came on board. But I am happy to tell you that those vehicles are now in good shape and are ready for any emergency in any part of the state. Our personnel too are up to task in combating any fire outbreak.

“We now have enough equipment to combat fire outbreaks with these firefighting vehicles and manpower across the state.

“We now have fully serviceable fire trucks, engines, delivery hoses and other equipment to gear the operation.”

 

Osun Govt., Speaker, Eulogise Adeleke’s Virtues

A year after his death, the government of the State of Osun and the Speaker, State House of Assembly, Dr. (Rt. Hon.) Salaam has described late Senator Isiaka Adeleke as a great politician with good heart who sought peace and conflict free society while he lived.

The state government in a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Adelani Baderinwa described Adeleke’s death as sour grape in the mouth as it denied all, the good naturalness well known about him by all and sundry.

The statement described the deceased as a flamboyant politician with great kindness for the needy, saying, the late Adeleke did his best to provide for the masses that he came across during his life time.

“A grassroots politician of note in his life time, the first civilian governor of the State of Osun was in constant touch with his people till he breathed his last. No wonder his demise brought a deep sense of loss to all, even when it is clear that as mortals, we all live at the mercy of God”.

While praying for Aljanat fridous for him, the government again urged the family, friends and associates of Senator Isiaka Adeleke, the Timi of Edeland, Oba Munirudeen Adesola Lawal and other well-wishers across the world to find solace in the good life and indelible footprints the deceased left behind”, it reads.

Also, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Goke Butika, Dr. Salaam stressed that the demise of Senator Adeleke was a big vacuum that is difficult to fill, saying he served the state at his youthful age and served the nation through the Senate of the Federal Republic at his prime before he succumbed to the cold hand of death.

Speaker Salaam asserted that the state Parliament under his watch is working plans to honour the memory of the first civilian governor as well as the senior lawmaker, saying the plans when perfected would be unveiled to the members of the public.

“Late Senator Isiaka Adeleke, the first civilian governor of the state who died in active service as a distinguished Senator of the federal republic would be honoured by the Assembly soon, because he was a great leader and lover of peace. We shall honour him as a departed senior lawmaker,” Dr. Salaam quipped.

It would be recalled that late Senator Adeleke died a year ago in his country home, Ede; he was a serving Senator representing Osun West.

 

Osun To Prosecute OAU, Glo, 9mobile, Others Over N12billion Tax Debt

By Ismaeel Uthman

Osun state government has accused some corporate organisations and Federal Government agencies in the state of owing over  N12 billion in both corporate and income tax within the spate of 13 years.

The Special Adviser to the Osun State Government on Tax matters, Barrister Gbenga Akano disclosed this at a press conference in Osogbo.

He listed those tax defaulters to include: Globacom with N7,600,595,640.00 (Seven Billion, six hundred million, five hundred and ninety five thousand, six hundred and forty naira) 9 mobile with N882,448,475,00 (Eight hundred and eighty two million, four hundred and forty eight thousand, four hundred and forty eight naira) between the period of 2005 and 2017.

Others are: Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife with: N1,884,770,939,45 (One billion, Eight hundred and forty-four million, seven hundred and seventy thousand, nine hundred and thirty nine naira, forty-five kobo) between the period of 2015 and 2016.

Wetland Construction Nig. Ltd, N8,686,336.41 (Eight Million, six hundred and eighty six thousand, three hundred and thirty six marauding, forty one-kobo) with ten per cent penalty and 21 per cent interest between the period of year 2015 and 2016.

Lapo Agric Development Initiative with N7,078,313.20 (seven million, seventy-eight thousand, three hundred and thirteen naira, twenty kobo) with ten per cent penalty and 21 per cent interest between the period of year 2013 and 2016.

Nigeria Custom Service with liability of 111,221,381.37 (One hundred and million, two hundred and twenty one thousand, three hundred and eighty-one naira, thirty –seven kobo, and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps with N128,289,909.12 (One Twenty Eight Million, two hundred  and eighty nine thousand, nine hundred and nine naira, twelve kobo) among others.

Akano submitted that the state government gives zero tolerance for tax evasion and avoidance, describing it as “a great sin against the human race for justice to reign”.

“We are set to begin criminal prosecution and make sure that these aforementioned companies face the full wrath of the law.

“We are by this press briefing informing all defaulters that failure to redeem their taxes and levies will leave the board with no other option than to explore all legal means”.

Osun Repairs Six Fire Trucks

To prevent fire disaster, loss of property and related disasters, the Osun State Government has repaired and put to use six fire-fighting trucks.

The trucks have been out of use since 2010 before Rauf Aregbesola took over the reins of government in the state.

Adebisi Obawale, the Commissioner for Home Affairs, disclosed this when conducting test of the trucks repaired along with Governor Rauf Aregbesola.

Obawale further stated that the abandoned fire trucks in the last seven years ago were now fully ready for any emergency in the state.

He described the repair as part of the Aregbesola administration’s achievements.

“Our first aim is to care for life and property as part of our six-point integral action.

“Although we are not praying for emergency or disasters, at the same time we must be fully prepared to save life and property as part of my office duties before minor issues became major problems,” said he.

Michael Ogundipe, the director, Fire Service, also explained to the governor that they now have enough manpower and equipment to combat fire across the state, especially in Ilesa, Iwo, Ife, Osogbo, Ede and Ikirun.

After the testing of the trucks by Osun State fire officers, Aregbesola gave kudos to the Commissioner for Ministry of Home Affairs, for his commitment in the rehabilitation and repair of the trucks.

 

Osun Remembers Senator Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke One Year After

PRESS RELEASE

Osun Remembers Senator Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke One Year After

The government and the people of Osun today remember one of its illustrious sons and indeed the first executive governor of the state, Senator Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke who passed on to the great beyond suddenly on 23rd of April, 2017.

As a people and government, the loss of Adeleke was sour grape in the mouth as it denied all, the good naturalness well known about him by all and sundry. A flamboyant politician with great kindness for the needy, late Adeleke did his best to provide for the masses that he came across during his life time.

A grassroots politician of note in his life time, the first civilian governor of the State of Osun was in constant touch with his people till he breathed his last. No wonder his demise brought a deep sense of loss to all, even when it is clear that as mortals, we all live at the mercy of God.

While praying for Aljanat fridous for him, the government again urged the family, friends and associate of Senator Isiaka Adeleke, the Timi of Edeland, Oba Munirudeen Adesola Lawal and other well-wishers across the world to find solace in the good life and indelible footprints the deceased left behind.

Adelani Baderinwa
Commissioner for Information and Strategy
State of Osun