Fuel Scarcity: Osun Govt. Sympathises with Christians

By Nofisat Adeoye

The State Government of Osun, has sympathized with people of the State especially the Christians, over the fuel scarcity issue.

“It has come to the attention of the State Government of Osun that the peace, joy and serenity of this Yuletide season is somewhat being marred by fuel shortage being experienced all over the country. This is most regrettable.

“The State Government of Osun sympathises with all the people of the state whose movements have been restricted or have had to spend valuable time on queues in filling stations.”

In a release signed by the Media Adviser to the Governor, Mr Sola Fasure, the State Government urged the residents to be calm as the Federal Government has concluded plans to address the issue.

 

“However, we have received assurances from the Federal Government and not less a person than President Muhammadu Buhari that the situation is being addressed, that more barges of fuel are being received and distributed at the moment and that the crisis will soon be over within the shortest possible time.”

While wishing the Christians, a Merry Christmas, the State Government also urged marketers to desist from hoarding fuel so as not to worsen the current situation. 

“The State Government therefore urges fuel marketers in the state to desist from hoarding, profiteering and other sharp and unethical practices that could exacerbate the situation, worsen the plight of residents and detract from our Omoluabi status.

“The State Government urges residents and fillings stations to be orderly and peaceful in the sales of fuel, where the product is available. There should not be more than a single lane of vehicles on the queue, to prevent traffic congestion and vehicle accidents. On no account must any road be blocked or made impassable as a result of fuel queue. Filling stations must observe all safety rules in order to prevent accidents and fire outbreaks.

“Law enforcement agencies, particularly the Police, Civil Defence Corps and the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) should properly take charge of the situation and do the needful in order to maintain law and order, prevent unruly and disorderly public conducts, protect lives, ensure public safety and free flow of traffic.

“The State Government of Osun wishes all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in Advance.” the release reads in part. 

Osun Rejects Court Order Invalidating State Land Use Charge

By Nofisat Adeoye

The State Government of Osun has rejected the report of a High Court judgement sitting in Ilesa which invalidated the State of Osun Land Use Charge Law 2016.

In a release signed by the media adviser to the governor, Mr Sola Fasure, the State government stated noted that the case was instituted with the most malicious and malevolent intention of crippling the state’s revenue drive and ultimately her finances.

Meanwhile, the State’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Hon Ajibola Basiru has been asked to appeal immediately and ask for stay of execution pending the determination of the case.

“The State Government of Osun has received the report of a High Court judgement sitting in Ilesa which invalidated the State of Osun Land Use Charge Law 2016. We are still studying it.

“We do not agree with the judgement and it is rejected in its entirety.

“Nevertheless, we have firm belief in the rule of law and have great respect for the judiciary. We have therefore asked the State’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice to appeal immediately and ask for stay of execution pending the determination of the case.

“It must be noted however that this is a We have the firm belief that the judiciary will not allow itself to be dragged on this dishonourable path.”

Between Mediocrity Comments And Aregbesola’s Commitment

By Abiodun Komolafe

American minister and author, Norman Vincent Peale famously stated that the magic in enthusiasm “spells the difference between mediocrity and accomplishment.”

Peale’s statement above brings to mind the State of Osun’s very slippery slope, pre-2011; and Rauf Aregbesola’s conscious efforts towards remedying a system that had grown bad over time.

Much as it is impossible to deny Aregbesola’s place in history, there are those who, out of sheer ignorance, argue that the governor’s great strides could only have been made by a mediocre leader. On the pages of this argument lies a succession crisis which, lately, has been making some people act on fantasy and banking on the opportunity presented by 2018 as a fig leaf for deepening threats to stability.

There are even those who comically opine that the governor’s troubles started with the sudden death of Isiaka Adeleke and only peaked with the eventual defeat of Mudasiru Hussein at the battle of Osun West on July 8, 2017. Well, though space constraint may not favour the enumeration of confused and erroneous opinions prevailing at a time like this, one is not in doubt of the fact that Adeleke’s tragic fate served as a reawakening balm for the ruling party and one can only pray that it would make a good use of this unfortunate-yet-rare opportunity.

By convention, a mediocre leader is inaccessible and torpid. He is nippy, reactive and insensitive. Since he has a reputation for following the herd, he neither delights in improving the lives of the people nor dares to broaden the socio-economic landscape of the community he’s elected to lead.

Contrast this with a first-rate leader whose relational glue is limited to “a small number of specific people”, not “a lot of people”. He is a team leader who draws inspiration by discovering a deeper level of intimacy and new aspects of the people’s moral fiber.

With delicious ambiguity, a mediocre mind will be quick to condemn the provision of school uniforms and other education materials to 750,000 pupils of government primary and secondary schools in Osun but will rather display hereditary prejudices to support the sewing of Christmas cloths for 20,000 children in Ekiti.

Destined for unrhymed poems and unclear stories, the opposition won’t only describe the efforts of this ‘repository of trust and confidence’ at giving Osun a cargo airport as a ‘bogus project’, the it’ll also prefer ‘stomach infrastructure’ to a feeding programme which currently consumes N12.7m daily to feed 254,000 school children for 200 days in a year.

It is nothing but amiable mediocrity to see “so much hunger, disease, poverty” in Osun, when available indices point to the contrary: 2nd only to Oyo State in poultry production; 2nd richest state in Nigeria; 5th largest economy in Nigeria with its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growing at 7.3% per annum; and 13th crime-free state in Nigeria.

Furthermore, the state is 2nd in Human Capital Index and has maintained 2nd position in four years in a roll in the global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI).

A government that productively engaged more than 40,000 youth and impacted no fewer than 20,000 of its indigenes with requisite skills in Information Communication Technology couldn’t have been led by one whose portion is in the beaten tracks. More importantly, an administration that revitalized the education sector in all ramifications would never succumb to the trivial, misguided and unmeasured campaigns of a crowd of traducers.

With free health services at all levels, provision of drugs and Ultrasound Scanners for its hospitals, construction of 80 new Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and Tuberculosis Control Laboratory, coupled with the refurbishment of 9 State Hospitals, among others, the Health sector cannot deny having had its own fair share of Aregbesola’s attention. The administration’s massive road construction for the rapid and infrastructural development of the state is visible even to the blind while its social protection programmes have also gone a long way in reducing poverty and hunger as well as improving healthy living.

His encouraging intervention in Agriculture was geared towards arresting “the imminent fear of political disenfranchisement, economic stagnation and socio-psychological insecurity.” It was meant to guarantee food security, target and create employment for the youth as well as support partnership and investors in agriculture.

Oyo! Benue! Ondo! Kogi! Kwara! Ekiti! Edo! Even, Bayelsa and Delta States! But then, why does the opposition delight in using the salary bug as a narrative to insult our collective intelligence even as Osun has fulfilled its side of the bargain with Labour?

At the moment, more than 15 states are under the yoke of the salary ruckus. Without doubt, this is where enemies and doubters have again missed it. For example, how much is Osun generating monthly compared to what an economically viable state like Lagos rakes in daily? What was the size of Nigeria’s exports of crude oil and petroleum products some 3 years back compared to what we are now cosmetically priding ourselves in? What was the exchange rate in 2013 and how has it fared in 2017?

Again, there can’t a better opportunity for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to wake up from the witches-and-wizards slumber currently threatening its success stories. Behaving as if 2019 will be a ‘go-it-alone’ affair without votes input from its political appendages will not help matters. As things stand, Nigeria is under intense pressure because the only business currently making waves – and the only valuable means of livelihood – in this part of the world is politics.

The sickening reality is that ours is more of a political economy that spends so much in tending to the struggles of bureaucracy and the frictions of administration even as our tax regime is poor.

Agreed! Civil servants have all along been the state’s greatest asset without whose support this administration wouldn’t have gone this far. But, settling down to the stark realities in which the state has now found itself, can it make any meaningful on the salary challenge without progressive thoughts on staff rationalization? On the other hand, how best can the electorate reciprocate government’s good gestures, bearing in mind that to whom much is given, much is expected?

May the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, grant us peace in Nigeria!

*KOMOLAFE writes in from Ijebu-Jesa, Osun State, Nigeria ([email protected])

Government Must Incorporate Informal Sector Into Tax Payment – OIRS

In order to put an end to the economic downturn facing the country presently, there is need for Osun state government to map out strategy which could be used to make informal workers pay taxes and other levies.

This was the view of Prince ‘Wole Adesanya, Commissioner for Informal Sector, Osun Internal Revenue Board, while delivering a public lecture on the topic: “The Impact of Informal Sector Taxes and Levies on the Development of State of Osun Economy” held at Teachers House, Estate in Osogbo the state capital.

Prince Adesanya, during the lecture organised by the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (Osogbo and District Society), noted that revenues that accrue to the state government can be derived from two broad sources, namely external and internal sources.

He said the increasing cost of running, coupled with dwindling revenue has left various state governments with formation of strategies to improve their revenue base.

While emphasising on the need for the state and local governments to generate revenue from internal sources, the Commissioner said serious decline in the price of oil in recent years has led to the decrease in the funds available to government.

He noted that for the state to cope and meet its financial obligations there is need for it to map out strategies in which all the informal workers would be made to pay taxes and other levies.

According to him, workers in the informal sector in Nigeria are in vast majority of the entire population hence, the need for the government to look into how such large number of people would be made to perform their civic roles by paying all necessary dues.

He, therefore, charged informal workers to see payment of taxes and other levies as civic responsibilities, saying tax was the only alternative upon which the state can be transformed and made habitable for the people.

Adesanya however urged the state government to also redouble its efforts and increase awareness, monitoring and enforcement, saying informal sector has potential capacity to contribute substantially to the revenue base of the state.

Earlier in his address, the Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), Osogbo and District Society, Pastor. Kayode Adekunle said the lecture was timely, considering the current Nigeria’s economic quagmire which calls for immediate solution.

Describing the role of informal sector in the development of the state, Adekunle noted that the sectors are highly dynamic and contribute substantially to the general growth of the economy and personal or household income.

He said the institute organised the programme to mark his one year in office, saying the Institute had earlier visited Jaleyemi Hospital where the management of the hospital was educated on the need to cooperate with government of the state by paying relevant taxes and levies.

He also assured the government of the CITN support in bringing awareness to the door steps of every citizen of the state on the need to perform their civic responsibility especially in the area of payment of relevant taxes and levies.

Osun LG Election: Court Fixes Jan 11 For Hearing

By Ismaeel Uthman

As against the January 23, 2018 fixed by the Federal High Court for hearing on the legal tussle over Local Government elections in the State of Osun, the court has fixed January 11 for the hearing of applications of Osun Government against the decision to stop the poll.

The State government of Osun has filed an application for the vacation of the ex-parte orders granted by the court last week grounding the state’s Local Government funds, as well as restraining orders in respect of election to Local Council Development Areas and Area Councils as regards the conduct of the local government poll in the state slated for January 27, 2018.

According to the application filed by the state government before the same Federal High Court by the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in the state, Dr Basiru Ajibola, the court order was liable to be set aside ‘ex debito justitae’ for fundamental irregularity, breach of applicant’s right to fair hearing and manifest lack of jurisdiction.

Three chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Kolawole Osunkemitan, Chief Douglas Adeyinka Oyinlola and Prince Aderemi Adeniran Adelowo had approached the court with an application for the stoppage of monies for the local government in the state in an attempt to stop the conduct of the local government.

The government stated that the court order was made in violation of the legal right to fair hearing of the government as guaranteed under Order 26, Rules 13 and 14 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2009 and in consequence that it breached the right to fair hearing as guaranteed under Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

On this, the government argued that whereas the Rules of the court mandated a minimum of three days as return date for the order to show cause, the Applicant only had one day between the day of service of the order on the Abuja Liaison Office on Thursday 30th November, 2017 and 4th December, 2017 when the orders were granted. This is in view of the fact that Friday, December 1 and Sunday, December 3 were public holidays in the eye of the law and cannot be computed in determining the three day return date.

In the application, the government contested that the court had earlier refused the reliefs sought by the plaintiffs (now defendants) on November 27 for interim injunction in a Motion Ex-Parte dated November 8, 2017, pointing out that the court lacked jurisdiction to grant same reliefs on December 4, 2017 as it had now turned around to do.

The government argued that it amounted to sitting on appeal over its ruling and/or orders for the court to grant same reliefs of the motion ex-parte it had earlier refused, adding that the application had become ‘functus officio’.

It explained that the court lacks requisite jurisdiction to still proceed to make an order to show cause against the defendants (now applicants) in contrary to its earlier verdict refusing the reliefs.

According to the government, there is no urgency to warrant the grant of the interim orders, maintaining that it amounted to using the court as “a vehicle for perpetrating injustice”. The government also argued that the orders are liable for non-disclosure of material facts by the Plaintiffs in obtaining the ex-parte orders. For instance, that the LCDAs had been operational since 2015.

Apart from the application to discharge the orders ex-parte, the government also filed Notice of Preliminary Objection that the matter should be dismissed and/or struck out on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction, locus standi and absence of cause of action.

The government argued that the plaintiffs lacked locus standi to file the suit and that the subject matter of the suit does not fall within civil causes and matters for which the Federal High Court is conferred with exclusive jurisdiction to entertain by virtue of the provisions of 251 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As Amended).

The government asked the court to dismiss or strike out the suit for being speculative, vexatious, and frivolous and intended to irritate the state and constituting abuse of court process.

Also, the State House of Assembly and the Osun State Independent Electoral Commission (OSIEC) have filed applications to set aside the order of substituted service granted by the court and all the proceedings of the court.

The grounds of their application are that the court could not competently make an order for substituted service at an address within jurisdiction on a defendant residing outside the jurisdiction of the court.

In the circumstance of non-service of all the processes in the suit on the House of Assembly and the Commission (OSIEC), government stressed that the court ought to set aside all the proceedings and orders granted in this suit.

Lessons To Learn From Osun-YESSO

The Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO) which is a tripartite agreement among the World Bank, the Federal Government of Nigeria and participating states was launched in September 2013 with the overall objective to increase access of the poor to youth employment opportunities, social services and strengthen safety net system.

YESSO which is an offshoot of the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (O-YES) was designed to achieve the same feat as OYES which saw unemployment rate plummeting from 12 per cent to 3 per cent in the State of Osun in the year 2010 (Source: National Bureau of Statistics, 2010).

In other words, YESSO was designed to strengthen the safety nets programme through coordination, effective targeting and monitoring and evaluation. Some of the merits of
YESSO are the establishment of Single Register (SR) of poor and vulnerable households which is now building block of the Federal Government Cash Transfer programme, provision of labour intensive work (Public Workfare), skills training for unemployed youths (Skills for Job) and targeted grant transfer in the North East region of Nigeria.

The Osun-YESSO was institutionalized with the State Operation Coordinating Unit (SOCU) as the institution responsible for coordination, management and oversight of social safety nets.

It does these by developing a database of poor and vulnerable households for selection into safety nets interventions that can support their needs. Three important lessons can be learned from the YESSO model of curbing unemployment. First, is the targeting method which demonstrates the important roles communities can play towards the identification of poor and vulnerable households.

Second, it is the selection criteria which limits the error of inclusion and exclusion. Lastly is the output of the Single Register (SR).

Targeting

The failure of previous interventions on youth empowerment programmes to reach the poor and vulnerable groups in the society has shifted the attention towards Community Based Targeting (CBT).

The CBT process involves geographical targeting, community gathering, data collection and analysis, and validation of list of identified households at the community level.

The key distinction of this approach is the substantial role of the community in the overall selection of the beneficiaries, albeit following some selection criteria.

Selection Criteria
The target groups are poor and vulnerable youths within the identified households that will either participate in the labour intensive work (PWF) or skill matching training programme (Skills for Job). The following conditions applied: (a) they have to be between 18 and 35 years old; (b) they have to be in a community identified as poor; (c) they have to be unemployed.

Numbers enrolled
By December 2016 till date, a total of 7,000 households have received direct cash transfer on monthly basis. Also, a total of number 1,000 of youths between ages 18 and 35 have been effectively enrolled in labour intensive work and receive monthly stipends. These numbers increase per phase of CBT which is already at the fourth phase.
Other states adopting similar model will experience the same dramatic improvement in their unemployment numbers.

Ondo Govt Understudies Osun Welfare Programmes

By Israel Afolabi

The successes recorded by the government of the State of Osun on the operations of Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO) have drawn the attention of the Ondo State government, which was impressed enough to send a team to Osun in order to understudy the programme.

YESSO which is an offshoot of the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES) is a tripartite agreement among the World Bank, the Federal Government of Nigeria and participating states.

The programme was launched in September 2013 with the overall objective to increase access of the poor to youth employment opportunities, social services and strengthen the safety net system.

Addressing the Ondo delegates in Osogbo on Wednesday, the State Coordinator, Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO), Mr. Femi Ifaturoti said that Governor Rauf Aregbesola conceived the OYES idea as a social intervention programme to reduce the unemployment rate among the youths in the state.

The Coordinator declared that OYES, borne out of passion and vision has become a reality, commending the Ondo State Team for choosing Osun to learn from and promised them all necessary supports during the period of their assignment in the state.

He noted that there are similarities between the leaders of Osun and Ondo states in terms of development.

According to him “it is the vision and passion of Ogbeni Aregbesola to put this OYES scheme in place in Osun and we set up this scheme to tackle the problems of unemployment”.

“For the first time in the history of Nigeria, Osun government employed 20,000 youths at a go to reduce unemployment. There are other schemes which have addressed the need of those that are not educated and the vulnerable people in the state”.

In her response, the head of the Ondo State delegation, Mrs. Bunmi Ademosu, who is the Special Adviser to the Ondo State Governor on Inter-governmental Affairs, said the purpose of the tour to Osun was to study the developmental programmes that encourage the youths.

According to her, “We are here to share from the State of Osun experience and to know what the state of the virtuous has been doing to tackle unemployment among youths”.

She said that Osun and Ondo states share the same vision in dealing with youth unemployment, as everybody, according to her, should have the passion and confidence to move the country forward for better.

“With this Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES) programme in place, the idle hands will get busy with something worthy”, she added.

In his presentation, the leader of the Osun Project Implementation Unit, Mr. Olugbenga Odulaja emphasised the need to develop youths and engage them for better goals.

In his goodwill message, the OYES Commandante, Col. Eniibukun Oyewole (rtd) noted that OYES is a premier project in Osun which 42,000 youths has passed through to better the lots of the people across the state.

He said, “Osun has a low-crime rate, because the scheme has taken many youths off the streets who now work on building a sustainable society”.

He appreciated the effort of the present administration in the state for the supports given to the programme.

Osun Govt. Appoints Two New Monarchs

By Nofisat Adeoye

The Government of the State of Osun has approved the appointment of Prince Agboluaje Cornelius Omisade as the Oloja of Ibodi in Atakumosa West Local Government Area and the appointment of Prince Samuel Adeniyi Olaniyan as Edigbon of Edemosi in Ila Local Government Area of the state.

This was contained in a release issued at the end of the state executive council weekly meeting and signed by the media adviser to the Governor, Mr Sola Fasure.

Fasure said “Council approved the appointment of Prince Agboluaje Cornelius Omisade as the Oloja of Ibodi in Atakumosa West Local Government Area. Prince Omisade’s candidature was unopposed, having been presented as the sole candidate by Otemuyi Ogasa Ruling House. Council congratulated and wished him a peaceful and successful reign.

“Council also approved the appointment of Prince Samuel Adeniyi Olaniyan as Edigbon of Edemosi Ila Local Government Area. Prince Olaniyan was the choice of the kingmakers from among the five candidates presented by the Edigbon Ruling House. Council congratulated and wished him a peaceful and successful reign.

The State Government also urged residents to desist from using newspapers and polythene to package food, saying the act is likely to cause harm to the body system.

“Council received report of the harmful health implications of continued use of polythene, especially when it is used to wrap hot food before or after cooking. Council strongly urged members of the public to discontinue this practice and use traditional food wrapping leaves (Eweeran and Ewe Gbodogi) in its place.

“These two leaves contain spices which are medicinal. Farmers are also encouraged to cultivate these leaves in commercial quantity. However, in the quest for using alternatives, food vendors must avoid using newspapers to wrap hot food, since newspapers contain substances which are harmful when ingested with food.” the release read in part.

Exclusive: Osogbo Gas Explosion Not Caused By Mobile Phones – Investigation

  • As Osun Takes Over Treatment of Victims

 

As widely reported, the cause of the explosion at the Grace Cooking Gas Factory in Osogbo on Sunday evening was not caused by Mobile phones.

Impeccable information available to OSUN DEFENDER has it that the unfortunate incident was an explosion that was bound to happen.

 

This is because the mobile phones belonging to the three victims that sustained varying degrees of injuries are still intact without blemishes.

 

The State Government of Osun has however taken over the medical bills of the victims.

The State Commissioner for Health, Dr Rafiu Isamotu has also visited the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ile Ife where they are currently receiving treatment.

Osun Govt. Gives Delivery Kit To Expectant Women

By Nofisat Adeoye

The Government of the State of Osun will on Monday flag off the distribution of an all-in-one delivery pack or kit to hospitals and public health clinics for expectant women that want to deliver their babies in public health centres across the state.

The gesture is aimed to encourage expectant women to deliver their babies at health facility rather than homes and unhygienic means.

The provision of the delivery pack tagged: ‘Mama Kit’ is a government project focusing at improving maternal and child health. It is supported by Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in collaboration with Save One Million Lives Programme for Results (SOML PforR) of the Federal Government.

It will also increase the quality of care index at health centre level across the state and help to provide a clean and safe delivery for women that give birth in hospitals and clinics.

The delivery pack which would be provided for women most especially at rural areas contains a one-meter piece of cotton cloth (baby wrapper), one laundry soap, a pair of gloves, a piece of cotton wool, small gauze, cord ligature, razor blade and a meter of polythene sheet which is used on the delivery table. This also contains methylated spirit and sanitary pads for the mother.

Speaking on the programme, State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Rafiu Isamotu said that the objective of the programme is to collaborate the Federal Government’s Saving One Million Lives Programme For Results (SOML PforR); increase the utilisation and quality of high impact reproductive, child health and nutrition interventions’ with overall goal of reducing under-5 mortality rate and maternal mortality rate.

He explained that since the inception of the programme in the State of Osun all hands have been on deck towards its successful implementation adding that health workers have been sensitised, trained and provision of essential materials have been embarked upon.

Dr. Isamotu stressed further that there would be symbolic presentation of the delivery pack to some women to attract them to public hospitals and clinics for clean and safe delivery.

He said further that the government will ensure proper accounting and auditing of the delivery pack so that the material will be available at all times and for everyone.

The Commissioner noted that the government will give more attention to rural areas especially those people who could not afford the delivery kit as well as discourage delivery at home, sensitise and incorporate traditional birth attendants so as to reduce under 5 mortality rate and maternal mortality rate and save mothers and children from needless death.

“We Had No Money To Buy Textbooks Before Opon Imo”


By Nofisat Adeoye

“We have been asked to buy textbooks so as to prepare for the coming Senior WAEC but most of us have not been able to do that because of unavailability of money. Many of us cannot afford the textbooks and have been wondering how to pass the fast approaching exams.”

These were the words of Adeleke Busayo, a final year student of Adventist Government High School in Ede, Osun State as she received her “Opon Imo” tablet of knowledge provided for her free by the State Government of Osun under Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.

In a similar vein, the Head Girl of the school, Oluwatuye Mary buttressed what Busayo said.

She stated that most of the students have not been able to afford the needed textbooks for their coming exams, adding that that State Government has lifted an overweighting burden through the Opon Imo project.

“I feel so excited, we have been patiently waiting for the Opon Imo since the first day our principal told us about it. I am so happy to get the Opon Imo finally because we have been told to buy textbooks but not all could afford them. Now that the Opon Imo is here, embedded with several textbooks and past questions, the burden of having to buy textbooks has been lifted.

“We are immensely grateful to the Government of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, we really appreciate this privilege and we promise to use it judiciously. Aregbesola has fulfilled his promise with the people of Osun on Education Improvement and we promise to study well and make him proud.” Mary added.

The Opon Imo, tablet of knowledge is an initiative which started in 2013.This initiative, the first of its kind anywhere in the world, covers 17 Core Subjects with over 5 Extra Curricula Subjects for Senior Secondary 1, 2 & 3 levels.

The Tablet contains over 56 textbooks , 900 minutes of virtual classoom lessons and 1000s of Practice Questions for WAEC and JAMB.

In addition to aiding preparation for School Leaving Examinations, the introduction of the tool is expected to aid adoption of information communication technology (ICT) skills among students in the State.

Back in 2013 when the Governor Rauf Aregbesola-led Government of Osun launched Opon Imo, many were skeptical about its sustainability and its effectiveness in combating the low rate of student performance, especially for secondary school students writing final year West Africa Senior School Certificate but four years down the line, the Opon Imo has proven its worth.

Apart from aiding students in their exams and guaranteeing their success if properly used, the Opon Imo has also relieved parents the burden of having to buy textbooks especially in this current economic situation.

As usual, the State government has begun the distribution of e-learning computer tablets for the 2017/2018 academic session to students in the final year in the state public schools.

The distribution of the tablets began in an informal ceremony at Osogbo Government High School, Osogbo, as the students and teachers were excited to receive the device again.

While it lasted, 30,000 units of the tablets will be given to final year students who will be writing the SSCE, NECO and Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) examinations and their teachers, across the state.

Speaking during the flag-off ceremony at Osogbo Government High School, the Principal of the school, Mrs Folorunsho Ladapo, described Opon-Imo as an unusual education tool in the state.

Also the Administrator of Adventist Government High School, Mrs Uche Agbaso, said the distribution of the Opon Imo is an extra mile on the part of the Governor to enhance better performance of the students.

In her remarks too, the vice principal administration, Mrs A A Oyewole, lauded Governor Aregbesola for the initiative and urged the students to make positive use of the tablets.

Speaking on the nitty gritty of the programme, the project manager, Opon Imo, Mr Bambo Bashorun explained that, “The government is doing its best to distribute to students a technological device, it is a marriage of technology and creativity, we are tying to make all our children have access to technology, as you can see, this device is being distributed to all SS3 students, the purpose is to help them in passing their exams and it has all their subjects textbooks, it has past questions and answers, it’s a fantastic digital learning tool, it’s a study note, so to say.

“Our Government deemed it fit to give our children the best and we have started again this year, we are going round the 120 schools we have in the state now.”

About the controversy surrounding the Opon Imo, Bambo explained that, “As you know Opon Imo has won an award internationally, we won an award four years ago. As far as controversy is concerned, we are unmoved, we are not shaking. It is audible to the deaf and visible to the blind that Opon Imo has come to stay. It is a fantastic project and we have not ceased in distributing it four years running now.

Opon Imo students

“The teachers are there, the principals are there, the students are there, the parents are there and they will give you wonderful testimonies as to what this government has done through Opon Imo so criticism with objective, we will take it but without objective, we will struck it out.”