Students, Teachers Laud Aregbesola On “Opon Imo” Device

By Nofisat Adeoye

Public schools students and teachers in the State of Osun have lauded Governor Rauf Aregbesola on his commitment to the advancement of education.

The Students and Teachers commended the state government especially on its “Opon Imo” (Tablet of Knowledge), Initiative.

The device, named ‘Opon Imo’ (Tablet of Knowledge), was introduced by the Aregbesola administration in 2013 as a first-of-its-kind stand alone e-learning tablet to aid learning by secondary school students in the state.

The beneficiaries so far have been final year students in the state. Since its introduction in 2013, it has served four sets of final year students in Osun public schools.

The State government on Wednesday however started the distribution of the tablets for the 2017/2018 academic sessions.

While it lasts, 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 technological device in the state.

Also at the Adventist Government High School today, the final year students expressed their gratitude to Aregbesola who they tagged “Peoples Governor”.

In her remarks, the Vice Principal Academics, Mrs A A Oyewole commended the Governor for having the progress of the students at heart. She said the gesture is an extra mile on the part of the Governor.

The Coordinator of the programme, Bambo Basorun however urged the students to make judicious use of the tablets, saying its use will go a long way in determining the outcome of their forthcoming examination.

Osun Local Government Service Commission Holds Staff Head Count Tomorrow

The Local Government Service Commission team will tomorrow (Thursday 7th December, 2017) embark on Head Count of Staff in Olorunda Main Council, Olorunda North LCDA and Olorunda Area Council.

This was made known in a press statement signed by the Coordinating Director, Local Government service Commission, Barrister Lekan Babalola.

According to the release, all staff are expected to make themselves available as no excuse whatsoever would be tolerated for absenteeism.

Osun Commences Sale Of Forms For Agric Land Bank

Government of the State of Osun has commenced the sale of application forms for allocation of farmland in preparation for the 2018 farming season in its farm settlement.

A release by the Head, Corporate, Commercial and Admin Services, Osun Agric Land Bank, Mr Wole Adewole stated that Interested farmers and members of the public are enjoined to apply for the allocation of farmland ranging from 1 to 2 hectares at the new farm settlements located along Ikoyi-Ago Owu and Ajegunle-Ijebu Igbo axis.

The release said interested farmers will then have to pay into the Osun Agricultural Land Holding and Development Authority (Osun Agric Land Bank) account at the Omoluabi Mortgage Bank Plc, Old Governor’s Office, Gbongan Road, Osogbo or any of its branches, the sum of N2,000 (Two thousand Naira) from Thursday 30th November to 14th December, 2017.

Mr Adewole stressed that upon payment for application forms at the bank, applicants are expected to present evidence of payment at the Land Bank Office at the Office of the Governor, State Secretariat for collection of Application Forms.

The Head, Corporate Commercial and Admin Services of Osun Agric Land Bank said the office can be contacted by phone on 07035398267 or 07030679913 for further enquires.

The agency however urged interested members of the public to take advantage of the opportunity as there is limited land available.

MD Proffers Solution to Economic Recession as OSICOL Changes Name to Omoluabi Holdings

Toba Adedeji
The Managing Director of Omoluabi Holdings Limited, Dr. Tunde Faleye has suggested that states across the country should supplement federal allocation with business ventures.
As the agency formerly called Osun State Investment Company (OSICOL)  was rechristened to Omoluabi Holdings Limited on Wednesday in Osogbo, Faleye while addressing journalists, said, “Through innovative investments by government, more revenue could be raised to further boost funds at the disposal of government.
Faleye who is a strong advocate for more business ventures asserted that the practice in the State has grown the balance sheet of its investment in Omoluabi Holdings Limited to N3.6billion.
He said, “the figure represents an increase of 760% in the last six years. The opening balance of OHL increased from about N300m it was in 2010.”
“Through different innovations, Aregbesola’s administration has been able to grow the agency’s balance sheet to sum of N3.6b in 2017.”
Faleye further said, “The feat achieved by the agency would not have been possible, without the support from Governor Rauf Aregbesola, who has being encouraging introduction of various business innovations that have been turning in good returns for government.”
He however announced that the Aregbesola administration as renamed the agency.
According to him, “To avoid confusion the same agency which the previous administration christened Osun State Investment Company (OSICOL) is the same agency Aregbesola’s administration renamed Omoluabi Holdings Limited.”
He noted that since 2010 when Aregbesola came on board, the agency has being handling conglomerate and multiple businesses for the state like a private company.
“Omoluabi Holdings Limited has subsidiaries in Oil and Gas, mordern poultry and establishment of Agro-Allied Company. We also have interest in quarry business and cocoa plantation farms, to mention but few” Faleye concluded.

Osun Partners Chinese Firm to Establish N216 Billion Industrial Parks

The State Government of Osun has signed an agreement worth N216 billion with a Chinese firm, Jiangsu Wuxi Taihu Cocoa Food Company Limited, on the establishment of Industrial Park in the state.
The Governor, during the agreement signing at a state dinner‎ at the Government House banquet hall in Osogbo stated that the state has agreed to allocate 200 hectares of land to facilitate the establishment of the Industrial Park in Osun.
The partnership, according to Governor Aregbesola, will support the state on six different investments which includes; cocoa bean processing, chocolate and food processing, salt processing, cassava starch processing, gold mining and power plants.
The total investment by Jiangsu Wuxi‎ Taihu Cocoa Food Company Limited on the Industrial Park is USD 600 million.
He described the multi-billion naira investment partnership as part of his administration’s efforts to raise the bar of local and foreign investment in the state.
Governor held that the agreement would go a long way to support the economic drive of the state, particularly in the quest for industrialisation.
Reading through a copy of the agreement, Governor Aregbesola said the project will take-off by January next year as the state was ready to give all possible support to actualise the success of the proposed Industrial Park.
‎The agreement reads in part: ‎”On November 28, 2017 Jangsu WUXI TAIHU Cocoa Food Co., Ltd. held talks with the State Government of Osun, Nigeria on the investment in the establishment of Industrial Park in Osun State.
“Through full communication and negotiation, both sides reached resolutions which are summarized as follows: “the Osun Government of Nigeria agrees that Jiangsu Wuxi Taihu Cocoa Food company Limited will invest to establish the Industrial Park in Osun State who will allocate 200 hectares of land for the Industrial Park.
“The total investment by Jiangsu Wuxi‎ Taihu Cocoa Food Company Limited on the Industrial Park is USD 600 million. The first phase of the project includes six projects: Cocoa bean processing, chocolate and food processing, salt processing, cassava starch processing, gold mining and power plants.
“The construction project of Jiangsu Wuxi Tiahu Industrial Park will strictly abide by the relevant laws and regulations of the State Government of Osun and Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The government will provide policy guidance for the construction of JiangsuTaihu Wuxi Industrial Park and give support of energy, infrastructure and other aspects. After the completion of the project, favourable tax terms will be given.
“The state government will set up a working group for the construction of Jiangsu Taihu Wuxi Industrial Park, which is responsible for the docking and service with China. The two sides agreed that the project would start in 2018”.
‎In his remarks, the General Manager of Jiangsu Wuxi Taihu Cocoa Food Company Limited, Mr. Liu Jianhui,‎ commended Governor Rauf Aregbesola for tapping possible opportunities to develop the state commercially.
He said the company decided to establish $600 million worth projects in the state, having understudied the economic potentials of Osun to grow foreign investments.
Liu Jiangsu assured the state of fruitful partnership that would bring change to the economic activities of the state and as well create a robust bilateral economic relation between the state and Chinese firm.
The company’s GM said the investment will generate employment opportunities for the youths, thus creating wealth and employment for the state’s citizens.
According to him, we are bringing a huge investment into the state of Osun ‎so as to complement the existing investment on cocoa processing industry and as well support the state economically, commercially and industrially.
“We have very strong confidence in the fact that ‎the partnership would in no distance time bring about dividends to both parties as the state’s potentials would be appropriately utilized”, he stressed.
Members of the State Executive Council present are the Governor of the State,
Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, his Deputy, Mrs Grace Titilayo Laoye Tomori, Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Moshood Olalekan Adeoti, Chief of Staff to the Governor,  Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola and the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Dr Ajibola Bashiru.
Others are; Commissioner ‎for Commerce, Industries and Cooperatives, Mr. Ismaila Jayeoba Alagbada and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Forestry, Natural and Mineral Resources, Mr. Stephen Babatunde Ajilore, all representing Osun State Government.
Chinese delegation members includes; General Manager of Jiangsu Wuxi Taihu Cocoa Food Company Limited, Mr. Liu Jianhui, Assistant General Manager, Shanghai Golden Monkey Group,  Mr. Zhang Hua, Nigeria Skyrun Cocoa Industrial Products Limited, Ms. Xu Feng and Chinese delegation members.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Commissioner for Commerce, Industries and Cooperatives, Hon. Ismaila Jayeoba Alagbada lauded Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s commitment to turn Osun to a commercial hub of the southwest region.
He confirmed the progress which the previous Chinese investment had made in the cocoa processing industry located at Ede, saying “we are here to chat a new course for the development of our dear state.

Photonews: Aregbesola Hosts Chinese Cocoa Investors In Osun

Governor Aregbesola on Tuesday evening hosted Delegates of Wuxi Taihu Cocoa Food Co. on a dinner party and signs off the first phase of agreement on the $600m contract Investment.


Here are photos as taken by Dolapo Julius.

We Are Not Paying Half Salary – Osun Govt

The State Government of Osun on Tuesday restated that it is not paying half salary to its entire workforce.
It said rather than half salaries, the government is paying based on the modulated salary structure agreed by government and labour when financial tsunami hit all tiers of government across the country.
A statement by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Adelani Baderinwa in Osogbo, said contrary to a report on a national daily, with the modulated salary structure, the State Government is not indebted to any worker.
Baderinwa said “We have been saying it loud and clear and we will not be tired of saying it until the mischief makers succumb to fact and reality; it is only a section of workers on grade level 13 and above that receives painfully 50 per cent of their salaries based on agreement between the government and the labour unions.”
“Outside that category of workers on grade level 13 and above, no other receives half of his or her salaries and the workers in this category are just about 20 per cent of the state’s workforce.”
“Workers on levels 8-12 receive 75 percent of their salaries while officers on levels 7 and below receive their full pay.”
Stressing that all workers in the state have received their salaries up to October this year, the Osun Commissioner for Information said the same modulated salary structure is also used for the pensioners.
Baderinwa stated that “The only outstanding payment to pensioners is the gratuity and this is due to workers who choose not to participate in the Contributory Pension Scheme and therefore left service in 2011/2012.”
“We recall that workers on levels 8 and above received the July and August arrears when the government paid in July this after receiving the second tranche of the Paris Club Loan Refund.”
The State Government of Osun however reiterated that the government will fully fulfill its obligations to the entire workforce when the state’s economy improves.
He contended that the report by the national newspaper is a clear attempt to malign Governor Rauf Aregbesola and paint the state government as deliberately paying “Half Salary.”

LG Autonomy: Osun Backs NUT For Kicking Against LG Funding of Primary Schools

By Toba Adedeji
The kick against Local Government Autonomy got a boost on Tuesday as State Government of Osun threw its weight behind the Nigeria Union of Teachers over the funding of primary schools.
The State government through the Commissioner for Education, Mr. Omotunde Young restated the government’s non-backing of local government autonomy in a rally by members of the NUT which terminated in front of the State Secretariat.
The NUT members in their scores appeared in uniform and chanting solidarity songs while some of them were armed with placard, with several inscription, read: “Enough of Toying with The Future of Our Youth, Save Primary Education from Imminent Collapse”.
The NUT members led by the Union’s Chairman, Mr.Wakeel Amuda while addressing the Commissioner for Education, Mr Omotunde Young said, “Our demand on local government autonomy is that our salary should be on first line charge.
According to The Chairman, “We are not ready and we won’t take it if primary school teachers and maintenance of schools are put in the hand of local government councils. I am now appealing on to Government of the State of Osun to help us to put up memos to our House of Assembly, when they are passing the bill of local government autonomy, teachers salaries and maintenance of schools should not be put in the hands of local council.
The Union handed over several letters which conveyed their pleas to the Commissioner.
According to one of the letters titled, “Request For Audience With NUT On The Issues of Local Government Autonomy” signed by Principal State Secretary, Mr. Abdullahi Mohammed which was sighted by our correspondent, stated that, “The leadership of the National body of NUT Abuja have requested States to seek for audience with the State governor and House of Assembly on the issue of Local Government Autonomy.”
“NUT is against the Autonomy of Local Government because in 1990-1994 when the funding of primary school education was under them, teachers’ salaries was messed up to the extent that teachers were owed 6 to 12 months continuously on purported reasons of “zero allocation”.
“If autonomy will be granted, primary school teachers’ salaries be made first charge from the sources and handed over to State government for payment.”
In his address, the Commissioner assured the NUT members of government’s support for their struggle and ensure that education in the state is not shambles.
He said, “It is your right under democracy to have rally like this and I love this rally because is peaceful and their is no obstruction of any kind.
“Education is the most important factor in any society. If the society is well run we must thank the teachers and those who have make the right decision on education so at no time we should under rate the important of teachers and education.”
“I am happy that your demands is in concern about what will happen to the level of education. As teachers we must first know that Nigeria is called Federal Republic of Nigeria which means “federation”. It is a relationship between one region and the other; the relationship is strictly between the Federal government and the State. Ghana is not a Federal Republic so we do not have that same. Federation that we are being called is not just a wish or title but is what form the foundation of our relationship and if you recollect as teachers that foundation actually came from the federal government and the regions, is single relationship, that relationship is originally between the federal government and the regions which had now been broken down to the State and it has not been changed.
Local government is also important, they are important centres for development and operations. Usually, anywhere in the world what you have is to get development through the local government but it doesn’t go beyond that. While you have stated your case as that of put salary and education on first line charge, it is much more than that. The call for local government autonomy is a call that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world; in any federation because federation is between an entity and second entity. The local government is an entity within and under the state. As a teacher you need to educate people on this and the politicians who do not know, many of them dropped out of your schools and they don’t know and many of them didn’t come to Osun Schools to be properly educated.
Omotunde posited that, the call for local government autonomy is borne out of selfishness, laziness in thinking and planning deficiency.
He said, “The reason for their clamouring is because we all go cap in hand to Abuja to collect money not because they want to use it as avenue for development. The call is not driven by development focus but greed and lack of vision. Those who know and don’t want to agree we won’t allow them to disrupt this country.

Our Rapport With Government Is Smooth – Osun Baptist Conference

It has been seven years since the administration of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola came into office on the 27th of November, 2010. In these years, many waters have passed through the bridge and some have been sweet, some bitter and some sour.

In this interview with Pastor Paul Kolawole, President Osun Baptist Conference, FRANCIS EZEDIUNO sought to get the views of citizens from the Christian perspective on how it has been in these seven years.

OSDF: From 2010 till now in your perspective, what to you are the good, the bad and the ugly side of this administration so far?

Kolawole: Thank God, government comes and goes. I could see that from the present administration, the things that are good are numerous. The efficient system of road network and efforts of the government to ensure upliftment in the educational sector in terms of physical structures is a major achievement for the administration.

Government efforts to secure employment opportunities for the youths, is also quite commendable.

In terms of stability and peaceful co-existence, as well as enjoyment of relative peace in the state, we rarely had communal crises. All of these are some of the good sides of this government that I can point to.

On the other side, I can say there are some things the government had done which did not go down well with the citizenry, for example, the welfare of the civil servants.  Even though, the government made us understand that they have made an agreement with the civil servants which resulted to the issue of modulated salary payment but we know that it has not gone down well with the people particularly workers.

The truth is that the issue of civil servants welfare is having a ripple effect on other segments of the society.

OSDF: What aspect would you have wished that this administration concentrate on to better the lots of its citizens?

Kolawole: Let me commend the government on its efforts to satisfy the citizens in terms of youth employment, in terms of making life conducive for both rural and urban dwellers. But personally, I will prefer the government to concentrate more on finding ways to boost our local economy. In Osun, we are not economically buoyant. Most people in the state are civil servants and that is not helping the economy of the state.

I expect a situation where agro-allied industries are in abundance. There are a lot of things we can do if we want to concentrate on agro based industries and food processing industries.

I believe if the government can delve into this, it will help our economy and create more employment opportunities for the youths. It will also enable government to satisfy the yearnings of the civil service.

Closely related to that is the aspect of empowerment. I expect the government to seek different avenues to empower our youths for better service.  We started with OYES but by now, I expected the government to have advanced more than that level so that it will not be permanent type of empowerment.

OSDF: How will you rate the relationship between the administration and the Christian community in this state?

Kolawole: Let me say as a body, the government is doing its best to satisfy the needs of the Christian community. I may not be able to say to what extent but what I know is that government did not close the gate to the body. Anytime we want to make requests from the government, the door is always open.

Sometimes, there may be request which the government may not be able to accept and address. For example, we clamoured for the return of mission schools, which it could not address because of its policy, government declined that request.

Generally speaking, the door is always open. We have some fora where we meet with the government and give our own inputs and ideas and they listen except for some other critical areas where government make us understand that this is how they want it and they cannot accept what we brought.

OSDF: There has not been mass retrenchment of civil servants in the past 7 years is this a thumbs-up for this administration?

Kolawole: I want to commend the government for stabilising the work force in the state. We know what is happening in neighbouring states. We are aware of the hardships they pass through. I will say ours is better than many other states and I want to commend the government for that.

On the overall, I think the government is trying to stabilise the workforce to reach a kind of equilibrium based on what is coming in and what it can expend in order to use the remaining part of the money for other capital projects.

OSDF: What areas would you advice any incoming government to make amends?

Kolawole: One is the aspect of trying to make governance meaningful. The dividends of democracy should reach the grassroot level. People should be able to enjoy it.

There is an expression I heard where a renowned Professor expounded that governance should be 10% politics and 90% economics. In Nigeria, in most cases it is vice-versa where we have a lot of concentration on politics and that is affecting the economy.

I will expect our governor to look into the possibility of making a paradigm shift where economic progression would form the major basis of governance.

The other issue is on education. There is no other way to better education than to make consultations with those who understand the rudiments of education.

This is to avoid putting the cart before the horse. If we want to lay a very firm foundation educationally, we should prioritise, so as to avoid implementing what ought to be a last option as a major priority to the detriment of others.

We should set our priorities right when it comes to educational policies in our state and country.


Osun Holds Calisthenics Display In Honour Of Aregbesola’s 7th Year Administration

As the state of Osun celebrates Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola’s 7th year in office, students in the state are set to display top notch Calisthenics display at the Osogbo City Stadium by 9am on Saturday 24 November, 2017.

The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Adelani Baderinwa revealed this in a statement on Friday.

He also announced the week long activities which included a thanksgiving ceremony and the visit of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday 27 November 2017.

It will be recalled that Governor Aregbesola during the first term of his administration sponsored teachers abroad to extensively learn the art of Calisthenics to help boost the educational sector of the state and serve as an extracurricular activity for the students of the state.

The statement quotes Baderinwa as saying that there was no gainsaying the fact that the State of Osun has been witnessing sparkling infrastructural and socio-economic development since Aregbesola took over on November 27, 2010.

The statement reads in part “The all-round progress and transformation of the state is incontestable. In all ramifications, Aregbesola has delivered the dividends of democracy to every house hold in the state with either the infrastructure projects or the social security programmes.”


“The celebration is deserving, with many national and international accolades being showered on Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s landmark programmes and projects that have brought Osun into limelight.”

The government also commended the people of the state for keeping faith with and supporting the administration of Governor Rauf Aregbesola.

‘The government calls on the people of the state to intensify prayers for the state to continue progressing and developing in peace and harmony” he said.


Osun Factional Pensioners “Tools of Politicians” – Commissioner

By Nofisat Adeoye and Toba Adedeji

The Commissioner for Information in the State of Osun, Mr. Adelani Baderinwa, has described the Forum of 2011/2012 Pensioners in the state as politicians who were in the habit of blackmailing the governor.

This is as the forum of 2011/2012 retirees in Osun protested on Wednesday imploring Governor Rauf Aregbesola to pay their outstanding pensions and gratuity.

The pensioners had took to the streets of Osogbo, the state capital to register their grievances marched through Ayetoro area to the popular Olaiya junction, with different inscriptions.

Addressing journalists separately, leaders of the forum including Comrade Omoniyi Ilesanmi, Comrade Sola Olojede and Comrade Yemi Lawal lamented that the modulated salary structure instituted by the state since 2015 had been affecting their members.

They urged the state government to expedite action on the payment of their entitlements as the situation is affecting their members in the long run.

Baderinwa said the Government has always been committed to seeking the welfare of pensioners and the entire workforce of the state.

He stressed that, “As a government, we categorically state that government has paid workers and pensioner up to date with the modulated structure agreed upon by the government and the labour unions since 2015.

“Government does not owe any worker or pensioner based on the modulated payment scheme as the pensioners have alleged.

“We wish to put it on record that (Governor Rauf) Aregbesola increased the amount being paid as pension by 500 per cent in 2011. The nonpayment of gratuity is not peculiar to Osun; and the government has shown its readiness to pay the gratuity as soon as the state’s finances improve.

“It is on record that this group of pensioners had, at one time or the other in the past, lied against the Government of the State of Osun; and in specific reference they had alleged that government collected a tranche of the Paris Club refund and diverted it, only to have a whole month wait for the actual release of the fund.”

The government said since its inception, it has worked so hard to ensure that workers and senior citizens are paid on time before the precarious economic situation that affected the whole country.