No fewer than 24, 850 traders and small scales enterprise and business owners have benefitted from the N3.6bn fund provided by the state government of Osun.
The Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s administration with the support of the Central Bank of Nigeria had provided a sum of N2.1bn as take off capital for the Osun Micro Credit Agency for disbursement to eligible beneficiaries.
The Commissioner for Commerce, Industries, Cooperatives and Empowerment, Mr Ismaila Jayeoba-Alagbada, the N2.1bn initial capital matured to N3, 660, 335, 000 stated this in an information made available to newsmen.
According to the report, 11, 391 beneficiaries from commerce were given N1, 677, 481, 000 credit, 9, 100 beneficiaries from agriculture sector were given N1, 339, 682, 000, while 2552 Manufacturers were provided N375, 711, 000.
The report disclosed further that 1, 379 artisans were given 204, 538, 000, 233 people from education sector got a sum of N34, 388, 000, while 195 people from health sector obtained N28, 535, 000.
The number of beneficiaries and the amount were recorded between 2014 and 2017, according to the report.
Giving the breakdown of the disbursed fund, Jayeoba-Alagbada said a total of N662, 000, 000, N1, 496, 000, 000, N681, 000, 000 and N821, 335, 000, 000 were disbursed in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 respectively.
He said 90 per cent of the beneficiaries have been repaying the credit to the Osun Micro Credit Agency.
Jayeoba-Alagbada explained that as a result of direct re-ploughing of the initial capital provided by the state government which was N100, 000 and recycling of the N2bn CBN fund, coupled with interest income and charges, the agency has operated with the total sum of N3, 660, 335,000.
The commissioner maintained that the provision of the credit facilities has created wealth for individuals and enhanced the performance of farmers, self help groups, cooperative societies, small scale businesses, cottage industries, hotels, hair dressers, artisans and others.
He stated that the success recorded in the repayment of the credit taken by the beneficiaries is an indication the economy of the state has improved, explaining that if the beneficiaries were not making enough profits, they would not be able to make repayment.
Jayeoba-Alagbada submitted that the credit facility achieved its intended purposes which are to create wealth and employment opportunity for the people of the state.
The state government of Osun has expressed its readiness to partner a broadcasting platform of Vid-Vision Media Nigeria, the Gem TV Africa for the 2018 Commonwealth Africa.
According to the Commissioner for Information and Strategy in the state, Mr Adelani Baderinwa, the state government is ready to explore every available opportunity to hobnob with international community and attract foreign investors to the state.
Baderinwa spoke while receiving the Chief Executive Officer of the Vid-Vision Media Nigeria, Ms. Oladayo Fashola in his office, on Tuesday.
More than 300 global and African thought leaders, eminent personalities and emerging leaders from Africa and other parts of the commonwealth, and friends of Africa are expected to converge at the 5th annual commonwealth Africa summit in London, United Kingdom, between March 12 and 14, 2018.
The event will spark new thinking on how to achieve shared prosperity and common good for Africans and how Africa’s growing youth population can transform the continent.
Expected speakers at the event include former Ghanaian President, H.E John D Mahama; the United Nation Deputy Secretary-General, Amina J Mohammed, who is a former Nigerian Minister for Environment; Chief Mrs. Folorunso Alakija, the Chancellor, Osun state University, among others.
Baderinwa maintained that such event would afford the state the opportunity of telling its success story and encouraging African countries to emulate Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s social security programme like Osun Youths Empowerment Scheme (OYES), O’ MEAL and the delivery of good governance in general.
Commissioner for Special Duties in Osun, Hon. Mudashiru Toogun has hinted that the state would soon commence enumeration of cattles to identify strayed cows and their owners for necessary actions.
Toogun, who doubled as the Chairman of Committee on Peaceful Co-existence between Fulani /Bororo and Farmers in Osun disclosed this during a media chat with journalists in Osogbo.
He explained that the process of enumeration would be done by tagging cows with distinct number that suggests traceable owners.
According to him, this is in furtherance of an adopted conflict resolution mechanism in the state to ensure farmers / herders’ peaceful co-existence.
Toogun noted that the state government under Governor Rauf Aregbesola has been able to maintain relative peace amongst farmers and herdsmen with conscious integration of the Fulani settlers into the society by making provision for necessary and basic needs of the herders.
“In the course of looking for ways in which the relative peace would be enjoyed between farmers and herdsmen could be sustained, we discovered important needs of the herders, and we were able to address them.
“The government had sunk over 13 boreholes in various Fulani communities and befitting schools for their children for qualitative education.
“In addition to that, we are embarking on enumeration of cattles in the state for the purpose of linking strayed cows with their owners, to enable us make amicable settlement on issues of invasion of farms”, he said.
The Commissioner however said that there was no plan to enact anti-grazing law in the state, adding that the adopted traditional way of settling disputes between farmers and herdsmen have been effective and potent.
He added that such law could be counter-productive with the present atmosphere across the state.
On State Police, Toogun stressed that state policing remains lasting solution to the menace of incessant clashes between herdsmen and farmers across the country.
“ In a situation where arrested herdsmen were set free by the police, citing “orders” from the above for such an action is dangerous and capable of frustrating any move to sustain peaceful co-existence.
“I believe Nigeria needs police institution that understands its terrain of operation better and in accordance with the norms of its environment.
“For me, State Police is the way to go if we are really serious about resolving this National challenge before it gets out of control”.
The state Government of Osun has received yet another set of 13 indigenes of the state that were evacuated from Libya by the Federal Government.
The government received the Libya returnees, comprising of five males, seven females and a three month old baby girl at the Port Harcourt International Airport.
Receiving the returnees, Director of Operation, Osun Emergency Management Agency, Engr. Akin Adetuberu, stated that the state government could not allow them to spend extra time at the airport because of its great concern about their welfare.
According to Adetuberu, Governor Rauf Aregbesola is always concerned about the plight of Osun indigenes within and outside the country, just as he commended the governor for his timely response on the transportation of the returnees to Osun.
The returnees were received in Osogbo by the Commissioner for Special Duties, Hon. Mudashiru Toogun who encouraged them to always take a legal and due process in looking for greener pasture within and outside Nigeria.
One of the returnees, Miss Fashola Moyosore, who claimed to be a native of Ile-Ife commended the state government for the prompt step taken to ensure their safe transportation back to Osun, maintaining that the gesture would be forever appreciated.
By Ismaeel Uthman
The National Pension Commission (NPC) has confirmed that the State of Osun and 11 other states in Nigeria are the ones remitting the Contributory Pension Scheme.
According to the NPC in a press release placed in one of the national dailies on Wednesday, Osun government was remitting the employer and employees’ contributions to the CPS.
This is contrary to the rumours peddling in the state that the state government has not been remitting its own contributions and that of the workers.
In the advertorial, NPC said 15 states had enacted the CPS law but has not been remitting the contributions, while two states are remitting only the employee portion of the contributions.
It would be recalled that Governor Rauf Aregbesola had last week approved released of N1 billion for the payment of contributory pension to retired civil servants in the state.
The governor also released additional N200 million for the payment of gratuity to the pensioners.
Commenting on the NPC report, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy in the state, Mr Adelani Baderinwa on Thursday said, the report affirmed Aregbesola’s commitment to the welfare of all retired and serving public servants.
Aregbesola, according to Baderinwa, has also approved the release of another N150 million, aside the N200 million already paid out as gratuity to pensioners. The disbursement will take place shortly.
He disclosed that the total amount of gratuity to be paid by the government is N350m out of which N200m have been released and being paid, while another N150m approved to be released.
The commissioner maintained that the release of N1bn for the payment of contributory pension and N350m for gratuity payment was outside the normal monthly pension payment to the pensioners who are not on CPS.
Baderinwa said the welfare of all citizens and workers and pensioners in particular have always been the fulcrum of all decisions and policies made by Aregbesola’s administration since it came on board about seven years ago.
He said: “The administration of Aregbesola is very responsive to the plight and welfare of the workers and retired public workers in the state. The governor, naturally, does not need to be told or put pressure on before doing the right thing for the benefit of the workers.
“The NPC report is a knock for the political jobbers who are masquerading as 2011/2012 pensioners that have been fraudulently claiming that Aregbesola has not been paying pension contributions, and even diverting money meant for the payment of pensioners.
“Like we had said during their sponsored protests, those who are parading themselves as leaders of the 2011/2012 pensioners forum are apologists of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) being sponsored to blackmail Aregbesola’s administration.
“The 2011/2012 forum of pensioners had taken to habitually lying in pursuit of political goal than real pension matters then. The NPC report has confirmed our claim. The 2011/2012 forum of pensioners should bury their heads in shame for making unfounded allegations against Aregbesola.
“In spite of the financial challenges, Aregbesola has been faithful to the workers and retirees.”
Baderinwa urged the civil servants and members of the public to support the government in improving the Internally Generated Revenue of the state, saying that the economic resources of the state needs to be improved upon for the government to be able to carry out its constitutional duties.
By Ismaeel Uthman
The negative narratives on the administration of Governor Rauf Aregbesola by members of the public, and particularly the opposition parties have been fading away, investigation has revealed.
OSUN DEFENDER noted that the perception of the people of the state about the Aregbesola’s administration is gradually changing, with favourable comments from the general public.
Investigations revealed that the completion of some projects which some of the people thought had been abandoned restored hope and confidence in the minds of the people who had been feeling disappointed in the Aregbesola’s administration.
Some of the projects which the people had thought had been abandoned included the 40km Dualisation of Osogbo-Ikirun-Ila-Odo-KWSB road, 17.40km Oba Adesoji Aderemi/Osogbo-East bypass road, 2.80km Olaiya-Ita Olokan and dualisation of Gbongan to Akoda.
But the continued construction of the roads, in spite of the financial challenges facing the state, keeps surprising the people and has left them wondering on how and where the governor is getting the fund for the continuity of the projects.
The reconstruction of Olaiya-Ita Olokan road has been completed and already named ‘Workers Drive’ by Aregbesola.
Commuters on the road have been passing positive comments on Aregbesola’s administration because of its standard.
The road will be commissioned soon.
OSUN DEFENDER visited the Gbongan-Akoda road which hosts a trumpet bridge named after the former governor of the state, Chief Adebisi Akande, and noted that the dualisation was almost at Ode-Omu, which is few kilometer away to Akoda.
The construction of the Bisi Akande Trumpet brigde has been completed.
According to the Commissioner for Works and Transport, Engr. Kazeem Salami, about 3km of some parts of the road were constructed with reclamation process and stone boulders.
When OSUN DEFENDER inspected the Osogbo-Ikirun-Ila-Odo-KWSB road construction on Wednesday, the dualisation was almost at Ikirun, Ifelodun local government.
Commercial transporters who are the major commuters on the roads have been expressing their satisfaction on the project, describing it as smooth and friendly to their vehicles.
The Oba Adesoji Aderemi/Osogbo East-bypass is also nearing completion. The four bridges of the road have been completed. The bridges were built over a railway, Osun River, a major road and the other one on another Osun Rivers.
The bridges are named: November 26th, 5 Judges, November 27th and August 8th respectively.
The road, which is nearing its completion, has already been functioning as viable alternative route for commuters just passing through the state without having to go through the traffic in the city.
Traffic now flows freely within the state, as the new By Pass provides alternative route to various destinations within and outside Osogbo, the state capital. When completed, the road, which is circular, will link with the Ring Road (Ibrahim Babangida Way) to form a complete circle round the state capital Osogbo.
From Stadium, the tarring of the road is at Testing Ground, going to Oke-Baale. The road had been tarred from Dele Yes Sir to Ilesa garage.
During his courtesy visit to the governor last Friday, the Director-General, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, Dr. Monsur Liman lauded Aregbesola on the massive development his administration has recorded in infrastructure.
According to Liman, it is evident that Aregbesola has transformed the state with road construction, bridges, beautiful environment, schools among others.
Commenting on the road constructions, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Adelani Baderinwa said massive road construction would enhance economic development and it would enhance smooth transportation of farm produce and goods.
Baderinwa maintained that good infrastructure is the bedrock of socio-economic development, explaining that the massive road construction put in place by Aregbesola’s administration have been connecting people, driving commerce and maintaining global competitiveness.
He noted that the road construction would in no time reduce costs in many economic sectors in the state by providing better accessibility to markets, increase employment, bring in foreign investment and improve global presence in the state.
Baderinwa said Aregbesola deliberately named the Olaiya-Ita Olokan road after workers in the state in appreciation of their sacrifice, understanding and support at the trying period of the state.
In his comment, the Commissioner for Works and Transport, Salami expressed satisfaction on the quality of work done by the contractors handling the projects, just as he lauded Aregbesola for his focus on the completion of the roads in spite of the paucity of fund.
The state government of Osun has described the death of Prof. Akinwumi Ishola, a prominent Yoruba scholar, playwright and actor as a setback to the promotion of Yoruba language, her indigenous culture and tradition.
According to a press release by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy in the state, Mr Adelani Baderinwa, the government said Ishola’s death was an irreparable loss to the Yoruba race.
Baderinwa expressed worries over the deaths of Yoruba leaders and scholars, saying that the race is left with a few noble leaders.
He maintained that Prof. Ishola was a good ambassador of Yoruba race and had contributed immensely to the promotion of its culture, values and tradition through his movies and writings.
According to Baderinwa, Ishola was an embodiment of Yoruba knowledge, its people and society. This is unarguably encapsulated in his literary pieces as the linguistic and communicative competence of the language, its cultures reflect greatly therein.
He said: “Prof Ishola was a foremost Yoruba playwright and one of the few remaining custodians of Yoruba literature and culture of repute. Part of his legendary work for the preservation and promotion of the Yoruba culture and tradition are Efunsetan Aniwura, O Le Ku, Saworoide, Koseegbe, Iyalode Tinubu, Olu Omo, Ogun Omode and many more.
“He committed his life to the promotion of Yoruba culture through his creative works and valuable contributions to the international body of knowledge.
“May his soul rest in peace, may the work he has done in promoting our literature continue to endure and may our culture never die.”
Baderinwa called for promotion of Yoruba language, values, culture and tradition by every Yoruba person, saying that if such step is not taken, dangers visibly loom for the language because of the death of its prominent promoters.
By Francis Ezediuno
In order to enhance qualitative teaching among pupils in the Elementary schools in Osun, the state goverment has commenced the implementation of the use of Jolly Phonics method in the teaching of English Language in Elementary schools across the state.
This, according to the Executive Chairman of the Osun State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Prince Felix Awofisayo is to instill literacy, numeracy and life skills in pupils at various levels of primary education, as well as to identify, write and manipulate numbers at various levels.
He said the aim of the exercise is to enhance the literacy, reading and comprehension skills of pupils in the state which are unarguably necessary prerequisites for an improved standard education.
Prince Awofisayo, in his address at the official opening ceremony of the Jolly Phonics training of Grade 2 teachers under the UBEC 2016 TPD programme at the Osogbo centre recently, noted that failure to achieve these would lead to the inability of the child to elicit the correct responses in literacy and numeracy at the appropriate levels.
In his words, “It will be disheartening if a child in grade one is unable to neither identify nor pronounce correctly 2-letter word or even a grade 4 pupil is unable to read his examination paper.
“These are terrible and unwanted in our classrooms considering the huge sum of funds the governor has committed over the years into infrastructural facilities in schools”.
He hinted that Osun SUBEB commenced the training/capacity building of teachers of Elementary schools on the use of Phonics method in teaching of English Language in schools as a means of nipping the decay which majorly begins from the elementary level.
He disclosed that in 2017, Grade 1 teachers were trained which led to tremendous improvements in the current grade two pupils.
“To continue this trend with the pupils now in grade two, their teachers need to be trained while the trained Grade one teachers handles the new intakes in grade one”.
He maintained that the effort was a laudable one with its aim of enhancing reading and writing skills from the foundation levels in schools, adding that the Jolly Phonics method had been nationally and internationally proven to be effective.
He therefore called on teachers and consultants to ensure it works in the State of Osun as well.
For maximum effectiveness, the Osun SUBEB helmsman stated that about 800 Grade Two teachers were being trained in six centres across the state simultaneously under the 2016 UBEC TPS programme.
He used the opportunity to appreciate the efforts of the partners which include; UBEC Abuja, the ILSD, the LGEA officials, the teachers just as he was optimistic that none of the class teachers would be found wanting at the time of evaluation.
Meanwhile, the Osun SUBEB Permanent Secretary, Alhaji Fatai Kolawole stated that Osun is not there yet because it had not achieved total success in the implementation of Jolly Phonics but the state is in a hurry to ensure that the training enjoys all round success.
While stressing that reading and writing should be fun, he charged teachers to use the teaching skills they have learnt to impart their students.
The State Government of Osun has approved the payment of N200 million to settle part of the outstanding gratuities of the 2011/2012 retirees.
According to the government, the 2,006 beneficiaries which consists of 801 High School teachers, 704 civil servants and 501 from agencies and parastatals will each receive N100,000, on ‘First come, first served’ basis starting from Monday next week.
A statement by Sola Fasure, the Media Adviser to the Governor stated that the decision was reached during the State Executive Council Meeting held on Wednesday.
The statement said the N200 million is in addition to the N1 billion released last week for the payment of contributory pensions to 142 beneficiaries with their bond certificates in two weeks of retired workers from January 2 to May 4, 2016.
“The council also notified all retirees from Local Governments, elementary schools and middle schools that they will have their entitlements settled instalmentally from Monday February 26, 2018. Beneficiaries will as well be selected on ‘First come, first served’ basis. The list of beneficiaries will be displayed on notice boards at the Ministry of Information and Strategy and Local Government Pensions Board.”
Fasure said “Council was briefed on the newly introduced school uniform which has been adjudged to be more durable than the previous one. Council urged parents to purchase the uniform for their school children and prepare them for school in neat, clean, well ironed and smart outfit every school day.”
“Council would like parents and guardians to know that the state government is not charging ‘school fees’ in any of the public schools in the state. However, maintenance levies are being charged only in the new state-of-the-art elementary, middle and high schools in the state.”
“Elementary school pupils are required to pay N2,000; middle school pupils, N3,000; and high school pupils N6,000 maintenance levy, every academic session. Nevertheless, a flat rate of N1,500 education trust levy is required from every pupil in public and private schools in the state every academic session.”
The Osun Executive Council also urged the standardisation and industrial production of Dodo Ikire, a special delicacy unique to Osun, for it to be marketable all over the world with consideration and provisions for hygiene, taste and branding to aid empowerment and economic advancement.
The meeting presided over by Governor Rauf Aregbesola also approved the appointment of Prince Agunbiade Oke Adeleke of Igando Quarters as the new Ajalaye of Ipetu-Ijesa after emerging victorious in a meeting of the kingmakers on December 7, 2017.