SDGs Handler, Olajoku Scores Osun High

By Abdullahi Omotayo

Senior Special Assistant to the Osun Governor on Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs), Dr Folawiyo Olajoku has emphasised that, since the creation of the state in 1991, no government has surpassed Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s achievements within seven years of his administration in history.

This was the remarks of Olajoku while fielding questions from journalists in Osogbo the state capital, saying that Aregbesola’s performance is exceptional.

The Policy and Research Consultant described as unprecedented the achievements of Governor Aregbesola, stressing that no governor has ever recorded such strides since the creation of the state.

Olajoku who noted that the APC led government in the state has visibly performed with its impacts spread across the state, said what the state government accomplished through Sustainable Development Goals apart from those ones executed by the state on its own are second to none.

Some of the laudable projects of the present administration according to Olajoku includes; Introduction of O’Ambulance, the programme that had saved many lives involved in road accident, construction of bridges, construction of roads among others.

He also mentioned the free meals given to pupils of all the elementary public schools every school day; construction of the state-of-the-art classrooms, introduction of calisthenics in public schools among other interventions in education, health, as well as human and capital development.

Olajoku said all these aforementioned projects have brought unprecedented development to the state, adding that it has expanded the state beyond expectation.

While speaking on the activities of SDGs, the SSA said no fewer than nine primary health centres across the state were built in the last few months.

He said: “Some of the targets of the 17 SDGs, which have taken over from the millennium development goals include: to overcome poverty, reduce hunger, introduce good health and quality education, as well as good jobs and economic growth.

“But in Osun, we focus our goals on good health and quality education. Those two goals are very key to the sustainability of other goals.

“Between August last year and now, we have successfully built nine Primary Health Centres in Oke-Ila, Atakunmosa East and West, Oke Inisa in Ijebu-Ijesa.

“Also in education, we have built, renovated and upgraded many elementary and middle schools in Egbedore, Osogbo , Olorunda, Iwo among other areas in the state.

All these projects are rural based and the idea of global goal is to execute the projects that can better the lives of the people in the rural communities. In my office today, we have been able to embark on two major goals, health and education”.

Will Osun Have Cow Colony?

Commissioner for Special Duties, Honourable Mudasir Toogun said, “the problem with the cattle colony is in the name itself, no one in Africa will hear the name and it will not send fear down their spine.

“Actually the intention behind it is not to colonise any place, rather it is ‘cattle ranches’. Cattle ranches are a good business and it would provide and create more jobs; the government alone could not foot the bill of these ranches, hence, the need for the industrialists to come and grow feeds for the ranches”.

“Hardly can any state afford to fund the growing of cattle feeds and maintenance of ‘cattle ranches’, it is a big business that require private partnership.

“So, industrialists and cooperate organisations are beckon to establish cattle ranches in the state.

“To contain activities of the Bororos, only the government with its instrumental of power can’t do it.

“What has made the problem more alarming is the development that had taken over our land; we construct roads, build houses, there is population explosion but the land is fixed.

“Also, large cultivation of land is on the increase, so there is a need for cattle ranches, but it could be private business as any other business which any other person can do”.


Osun Partners World Bank To Empower MSMEs

The Osun State Agency for Community and Social Development Project has collaborated with the World Bank Group to disburse over N2bn to social developmental projects aimed at reaching 1,073,129 beneficiaries in rural communities.

According to a report, the partnership is handling out 356 inclusive, gender-sensitive and multi-sectoral micro projects, covering education, rural electrification, primary healthcare, transportation, potable water provision in 263 communities across the state.

The Osun agency noted that the majority of  businesses and individual beneficiaries were already added to the next tax net.

It said the efforts of the state government would soon result in corresponding increase in investments and production in Osun State.

The statement read in part, “Tuns Farms, an indigenous poultry company, in partnership with smallholder farmers, ramped up broiler production to position the state as the second largest broiler producer in the country.

“Omoluabi Garment Factory, a public-private partnership venture between Sam and Sara Garments and the Osun State Government emerged as the largest garment factory in West Africa.  RLG Adulawo, an indigenous computer assembly plant, also established operations in Osun State as a result of the favourable infrastructure in the state.”

The statement noted that the investments created many jobs with both the organisations and their staff boosting the tax revenues of the state government.

It said the Aregbesola-led government had reportedly recorded a 760 per cent growth on its investment base through diversification.

It attributed the investment of the state in oil and gas, modern poultry, agro-allied, and a host of other ventures.

The Managing Director, Omoluabi Holdings Limited, formerly known as the Osun State Investment Company, TundeFakeye, was quoted to have said recently that the agency which commenced operation in 2011 with a capital base of N300m had successfully increased its capital to N3.6bn as at 2017, representing 760 per cent increase within the spate of six years.

Fakeye said the increase was due to the array of innovations and business ideas that the current administration had introduced.

He was said to have advised other states to follow the footsteps of the Osun State Government by going into business ventures and building a reliable IGR.

This, he said, would help in sustaining the states in the face of dwindling monthly allocations from the federation account.

The agency said,  “Renaissance Capital, an emerging markets investment bank in Africa, recently published a report stating that Osun State and eight others are the largest economies in Nigeria. Ekiti, Lagos, Oyo, AkwaIbom, Rivers, Kano, Katsina and Kaduna are the other states.

Osun Needs To Grow With Tax

By Sodiq Yusuf

I am convinced that in any part of the world where development is seen as nothing but inevitable, the issue of tax or taxation is not something to toy, joke or play with, it is strictly business and when I say Business, it is imperative for development to thrive.

Everyone knows Tax, it is even something you hear and listen to nowadays from a teen age. But one still wonders if the people want to have attitudinal change at all towards this important necessity to make government run and safeguard governance.

For us as individuals, we make sacrifices to survive. Despite this, we crave for good things always even if it is not really needed, we just want to be seen as someone that has a good life.

In the State of Osun where government places premium on the welfare of the citizenry, they also find ways of easing the burden on the people by getting investors to grow the economy of the state by coming in to do business.

In modern entities where businesses thrive without or with small pain, there are things which makes them survive and grow with the economy.

And that’s why the government of Rauf Aregbesola places premium on providing the key infrastructure needed to endear these investments to the state.

Bridges, roads, schools, Ambulance Services for Emergencies, Environment Sanitation Mechanisms among others have been built and still springing up in the nooks and crannies of the state.

These and more are what the state is offering to the citizenry with the allocation patched up by the State’s Internally Generated Revenue as part of it’s duties and responsibilities to the people.

Aside this areas, there is one that is key and that’s security, it’s good to know that in Osun, the nooks and crannies are peaceful to the extent that security agencies maintain the peace with support from the state government in cash and provision of apparatus for them to work.

Undoubtedly, there enormous programmes cannot be sustained without the payment of taxes.

Tax is important in Osun as to every government, the issue of IGR is something that cannot be toyed with.

It is imperative for all in the State of Osun to fulfill their obligation to government by remitting their taxes to its coffers, either by paying through banks or points where the government has designated.

With this, government will be empowered to do more for the people and of course, the people will have course to challenge or call government to question on what their hard earned resources is used for.

Together let’s make Osun Viable through the payment of our taxes.

Osun toti ndara konii B’aje ooooooo


FGM: Osun Ranked Highest In Nigeria

Nigerians from different walks of life have condemned the continued practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) by a section of the populace.

This condemnation is coming on the heels of the day set aside for the campaign against ending of FGM.

According to Mrs. Esther Oke, a retired Chief Nursing Officer, she maintained that healthwise, the cutting of the female genitals can cause some health problems which may be long or short term.

In the short term, she disclosed that, “the female may bleed to death or contract some disease due to infections while in the long run, she may have problems associated with child birth and the female may end up being promiscuous since the outer labia which would have made her to enjoy sexual intercourse has been cut off”.

Religiously, she also revealed that there was no chapter in the Holy Bible or verse in the Quran which support female circumcision.

Mrs. Oke noted that female circumcision which internationally is referred to as female genital mutilation has Osun as the state with the highest rate of practice in the country while Ede North local government has the highest in the state and Ife Central local government with the lowest.

According to her, research also revealed that the practice of FGM was predominantly among the educated class and especially amongst the men.

Dr. Olagunju Olukayode, an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist with Crustal Hospital, a private hospital in Osogbo noted that although the government had tried and is still trying, there is more to be done in the area of advocacy, education and applying the law to deal with offenders where necessary.

He maintained that despite government intervention, FGM was common amongst traditionalists and that it was a practice that was tied up with the culture of the people.

Both were of the opinion that contrary to the belief that any female not circumcised end up being promiscuous, they hinted that it was the circumcised female who has the tendency of being promiscuous because she may find it difficult to get sexual pleasure.

As per the issue of itching of the genitalia amongst female children, they both agreed that it was due to poor hygiene, as vaginal itching can be experienced by both the circumcised and uncircumcised females depending on how clean they were.

The theme of the year 2018 celebration is: “Ending FGM/Cutting Is A Political Decision”.

Osun Leads In Youth Empowerment In Nigeria – DG, ITF. Aregbesola says initiative in tandem with Osun policy on empowerment

The Director General and Chief Executive of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Sir Joseph Ari ‎has described Osun as a trail blazer state in the empowerment of youths in Nigeria.

This was just as the Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola stated that the ITF’s initiative is in tandem with the philosophies and policy thrust of his administration’s welfarist interventions in the state.

Ari said the present administration in the state led by Governor Rauf Aregbesola has raised the bar of governance through numerous social intervention programmes that had impacted positively on the lives of the citizenry.

The ITF DG made the statement on Wednesday while delivering his speech during the ‎closing ceremony of the National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP) sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment in conjunction with Industrial Training Fund (ITF) at Aurora Conference Centre, Osogbo.

The ITF boss said the state has also demonstrated high sense of commitment ‎towards improving the general well-being of the citizenry as being reflected in the successes recorded by the state on her empowerment programmes.

He disclosed that Osun was chosen after the Federal Capital Territory due to the immense contributions of the Aregbesola’s administration to youth and women empowerment since its inception.

Ari lauded Aregbesola for providing an enabling environment for the youths to thrive in the state, saying the state ‎has been identified as doing much in social intervention programmes.

‎According to him, “the selection of Osun as the second state after the FCT where this programme is held was not only deliberate but also intentional due to the high sense of commitment attached to the youth empowerment by the Governor.

“It is not in doubt that Osun has proven its commitment as a state where empowerment is prioritized particularly the youth empowerment, making the state to be seeing as a leading light in youth empowerment in Nigeria.

“We are all aware of myriads of developmental achievements which the state has made in reducing poverty, tackling the scourge of unemployment and making the youth of the state to be self-sustaining and self-independent.

“These among others are the reasons the state is seen at the centre of empowerment in the country as our visit to the state has further exposed us to many of the successes the state had made to empower her youths and women”, he added.

Aregbesola lauded ITF for being determined in its focus towards reducing the scourge of unemployment in the country with the provision of numerous ‎vocational and technical trainings being organized across Nigeria.

He described the empowerment programme organized in the state as a build-up to the course championed by his administration, saying the occasion will open another window of youth development, actualized through skills acquisition initiatives.

The Governor held that youth development and engagement has also been given attention by his administration, narrating that his government had successfully empowered 40,000 youths through Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES).

According to him, “‎The OYES cadets were not just left hanging, they were given soft landing in agriculture, (O’REAP, O’MEALS, O’BEEF, O’HUB, O’HONEY, O’BOP), O’CLEAN, teaching service, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and sundry other vocations that have become permanent jobs for them.The policy had ramified micro-economic impact on Osun.

“The N200 million monthly allowances we were giving them percolated the grassroots in buying food, paying rent, transportation and buying household goods, thus,three things then followed. One, Osun recorded the lowest unemployment rate in Nigeria. Secondly, the crime rate in the state also fell to national lowest. Lastly, the GDP of Osun rose to become the seventh highest nationally.

“We set up OYES-TECH for the training of youths in the assembly and repairs of electronics, ICT, mobile phones and computers as we have also trained many in agriculture through O’REAP and have sent two batches of agripreneurs to Germany for advanced training in animal husbandry and farming methods.

“So, ‎the ITF’s initiative will keep the youths productively engaged and redirect their often negatively dissipated energies to causes that are most beneficial to them, their families and society. It will also help them to discover, tap appropriately and utilize their talents so they can maximize and utilize their God-given talents and latent potentials to the fullest.

‎”The Industrial Training Fund (ITF) has towered prominently for decades in the area of skills impartation, capacity building and Students’ Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES).

‎Earlier in ‎her remarks, the Osun Commissioner for empowerment and Youth ‎Engagement, Mrs Mofolake Adetoun Adegboyega, said the state has been able to equip youths of the state through the numerous social intervention programmes designed by the state to eliminate poverty, unemployment and other societal vices.

Adegboyega noted that the state under the administration of Governor Aregbesola has not only nipped in the bud, the scourge of unemployment but also fought to the kneel the poverty and unemployent, noting that the state’s policies and programmes had centred mostly on the people as the state has consciously improved on the well-being of the people through her people’soriented initiatives.

Adegboyega added, “our state has provided a workable and enabling environment for all to succeed particularly the youths as this could be seen in all our interventions.

“Our widely acknowledged and adopted ‎Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES) where over 40,000 youths in the stated had benefited has not only raised the bar of governance but gave our people sense of belonging to government and governance”.

Business Booms in Osun

By Nofisat Marindoti

Despite the various reports that the State of Osun is retrogressing under the leadership of the incumbent Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, the reality of what is really going on in the state has shown otherwise.

The State of Osun has continued to witness a huge turn out of investments in various levels. Enterprises are opened daily and the existing ones have continued to flourish.

Surely, all these goes down to say the present administration is not only progressive but has also brought Osun into the limelight for global recognition and acceptance through infrastructural development.

While accusing the State Government of only investing in infrastructural developments, many have forgotten that it is these infrastructural projects that will bring the much needed positive change and lift Osun from the bar of “Civil Service state” as popularly called though research has shown otherwise.

Many have chosen to stay blind to the Governor’s vision of preparing Osun for the period of oil drought without Federal allocation, the vision of making Osun self sufficient and getting it people empowered while opening doors to investments.

The Roads are Key

Just as it has been proven that every developed country must borrow to sustain its plans, it is also unbeatable that good roads are key factors in a developed country or state.

Aside the schools, the various empowerment programmes, the State Government has transformed our transport system and not only will these roads open doors to investments from various angles, it will also promote in-house marketing among the people of the state.

And just as anticipated, the roads development in Osun has given spring to businesses, new shops are being opened daily, more people are coming back home to start businesses as the Home itself has taken a new turn.

What about the developed roads in the rural areas, the farmers would gladly testify to the positive effect the roads have on their farm products, how it has helped them bring their products to the markets.

These are farmers whose products had to rotten away for lack of good transportation system but all thanks to Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola’s administration which has brought an end to the ordeals.

So, instead of criticizing the achievements of the present administration, look around you and see for yourself; the transformed Osun and doff your hat for the prudent Governor.

Osun To Map Out 10-Year Development Plan

The Osun State Ministry for Economic Planning, Budget and Development will today (Monday) begin a five-day retreat/capacity building workshop to create a new 10-year State Development Plan.

The retreat is aimed at consolidating the gains of the Rauf Aregbesola administration and other founding fathers of Osun since its creation.

The state’s development plan (2018-2028) is hinged on creating a focus on how to achieve the development objectives and goals for the state with a view to improving the living conditions of the residents in the next 10 years.

A statement by the commissioner, Dr. Olalekan Yinusa, said the development plan is expected to be a public document that will list the state’s overarching policy position and the strategies for achieving it.

Yinusa said the workshop would build the capacity of state officials, who will champion the process towards the development and implementation of the State Development Plan, when delivered.

The commissioner said the envisioning/capacity building workshop is expected to end on January 19.

The workshop will hold at the Royal Park Hotel, Iloko-Ijesa.

The statement reads: “I wish to intimate you of the approval of Mr. Governor on the five-day envisioning/capacity building workshop on the formulation of the State Development Plan (2018-2028).

“The State Development Plan is expected to be a public document outlining the state’s overarching policy position, outcomes and impact of the activities of the present administration and those of previous administrations. It is not about a particular person; it is not about a political party! It is about the future of our state and those unborn or still to be born children of Osun! Consequently, all hands must be on deck to ensure its success.

“The next important step is the envisioning/capacity building workshop for various stakeholders, who are key to the process of crafting and implementing the State Development Plan.”

Those expected at the workshop include Governor Aregbesola, his deputy, Iyaafin Grace Titi Laoye-Tomori, Osun House of Assembly Speaker Najeem Salam, Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, Hon Kamil Oyedele among others.

Osun Is Sustainable If……………… Finance Commissioner

The economic challenges facing Nigeria as country are not hidden and the State of Osun being an integral part of the Federation is not isolated from the effects of such challenges.

Therefore every right thinking State government and by extension state’s ministries on whose shoulders the responsibility of managing finances at that level rests must chart a new course for itself in order to sustain government businesses and aspirations. 

Commissioner for Finance, Mr Bola Oyebamiji made this remarks while addressing the Management and the entire staff of the Ministry at the conference hall of the Ministry, Finance building, government secretariat, Osogbo. 

Mr Oyebamiji explained that the essence of the meeting is to sensitise the staff as a major stakeholder in the generation of revenue to the state government. He urged the staff to see themselves as revenue marshals of the government. 

He noted the fact that the state like every other states are facing serious financial challenges at this critical period since the one-way traffic sources of revenue from Federal Government coffer are either getting tighter or seriously drying up,hence the need for the Ministries and the State in general to put on the thinking caps and double her efforts towards opening new revenue channels and intensify the exploration of the old or traditional revenue sources. 

Finance Commissioner who expressed the hope that if all concerned stakeholders and the citizenry are committed to paying taxes and other levies due to the state, then the state would be freely fulfil it’s responbilities of developing the state. 

He then assured the staff that there are rewards such as promotional and financial incentives that await every outstanding officer in the Ministry especially those that participated in the Internal Generated Revenue as reward of hard work is hard work. 

He therefore commended the governor ,Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola for his ingenuity at managing the state resources  to give the state a new look .

A New Year Prayer For Osun!

Goodbye 2017! May your soul rest in peace! Welcome 2018, the year Pastor Enoch Adeboye has prophesied would be “far better … for the country.” While the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration sees 2018 as “pivotal” in Nigerians’ quest for “Change”, Prophet Temitope Balogun Joshua describes it as a year of battles, a “warfare where the serious-minded will be victorious.” In the State of Osun, it is better referred to as the Year of the Politics of Power, when the Rauf Aregbesola-led government will relinquish power, in consonance with the provisions of the Nigerian constitution of 1999 (as amended). Coincidentally, Adeboye’s message of hope came on a day National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced Nigeria’s economy’s final exit from recession, following its contraction for five consecutive quarters.

Like Adeboye, whose target on assumption of office as General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) was to “put a church within five minutes of every person on earth,” Aregbesola assumed power at a time things were not looking up for dear state. But, being a man on a mission to succeed, the governor promised responsive, responsible and capable government in strict compliance with the Six Point Integral Action Plan. Commendably, more than 75 per cent success has been recorded.

Within seven years in office, he has added new, state-of-the-art buildings to existing school structures and refurbished several others. He has constructed more than 1000 kilometres of roads and empowered several thousands of our youth. The Health sector has benefitted immensely from the contents of his administration’s large heart while Agriculture has also had a feel of the efficiency of his intellect. Aregbesola touched the lives of the widows and people with special needs were not left out. To demonstrate his fairness to all religions, this administration has since 2013 been declaring ‘Isese Day’ as a public holiday which allows advocates of traditional religion to come together for their annual celebration. Leadership is described as the ability to transform dreams into realities. However, Nigeria’s search for relevance in a hurting world remains one of a compartmentalised bag of mixed fortunes where winners embrace the interesting accent of ‘Hallelujah’ while losers heap their misfortune on marginalisation.
The North is right at the moment infested with the dysentery of terrorism and has as such not been able to recognize its location while the South is bogged down by the stench of restructuring and has all along been all grunt, no bacon. The corrupted illogicality and the inability of the judiciary to serve as a moral compass for a nation that is stuck in a rut, coupled with the generation of a whirlwind of identity politics among the electorate, are some of the tragic manifestations of our beingness as Nigerians. Why is Nigeria this fated? First and foremost, money is scarce in circulation. Secondly, crude oil is in short supply, thereby leading to a sharp reduction in oil prices, and … accruals. Thirdly, crude oil as the cash cow is fast approaching a state of depletion and uselessness! Fourthly, once upon a regime, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) gluttonously ate all of Nigeria’s honey as if it already had a premonition of defeat in 2015.

Fifthly, from the look of things, it’s as if the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) got it wrong in terms of election promises. Little wonder the party has been scavenging for solutions to Nigeria’s multi-dimensional problems! Added to the above is lack of political appointments into offices by the party in power. Last but not the least is the opposition’s satanic grip on most of those offices expected to have long been taken over by APC. All these have not only made empowerment among party members and loyalty to the party thin on the ground, they have also continued to make 2019 look as if it’s 1000 years away.

But God wills us to “give thanks in all circumstances” and “pray for the peace of Jerusalem.” So, Lord, we pray: in this New Year 2018, let Osun’s land yield its harvest and let openness, good health, employment opportunities, security of lives and property define our state. Create in us a new spirit; a new spirit that recognises worth and appreciates performance. Teach our leaders to understand that satisfaction of the people encompasses the acknowledgment of significant accomplishments and the utilisation of personal prudence. Grant them the wisdom to know that fulfillment yields smooth work, better relations and greater achievements and that enjoyment helps in restoring lost and unexploited thoughts, reciprocated alertness and proficiency. Consolation of Israel, rest the souls of the faithful departed and discourage the living from having to seek the dead among the living (Luke 24:5). Instead, teach us always to remember that death is “only a horizon” and that “a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight.”

Jehovah Rapha, the socio-economic waves which have been beating Nigeria to different, unimagined shores has considerably impacted its federating units. Take for example, my state is now Nigeria’s 13th most secured state. In my view, this is not too good for a state that is now her 2nd richest state. The God Most High, who raised the lost axe-head (2 Kings 6: 1-7), correct our steps and let there be abundance in Osun. Disabuse the dreamers and the adventurous of their using the state as a front for unnecessary confrontation between God and glamour.

El Elyon, You who, in Your omniscience, arranged for a coin to be found in a miraculous way (Matthew 17: 24-27), express Your divinity and spiritual power again in Osun’s state of finances and lead enemies of development up out of their poorly-mapped seas so that they will stop using the state’s ‘within manageable level’ debt stock as a tool for the national salary impasse. By Your power, deprive the do-nothing-but-rail-from-morning-to-night elements the privilege of mistaking a dimple for a pimple whenever issues relating to social welfare and ‘stomach infrastructure’ are raised.

Finally, Lord, You’re the God who chooses the “foolish things of the world to confound the wise,” We beseech Thee: lead us to elect a worthy successor to the incumbent governor and let not our land return to those locust years of insidious logic of uncertainty and ravenous culture of impunity.

May the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, grant us peace in Nigeria!
Komolafe wrote in from Ijebu-Jesa, Osun State.

Neighbour Defiles 6-Year Old Girl In Osun

By Nofisat Marindoti

A 24-year old man, Moshood Lukman has allegedly defiled a six year old girl (Name Withheld) whose parents live in the same compound with him.

The girl was alleged to have been defiled on the 24th of December last year at Oke-Onitea area in Osogbo, State of Osun.

The incident happened around 3 pm on the said day when Luqman sent her on an errand, according to her parents.

Speaking with Osun Defender on the agony their child has been going through,
Parents of the defiled girl (name withheld) implored government and well meaning Nigerians to help them in getting justice for their child.

A human rights activist, Waheed Saka condemned the act and promised to pursue the case to a logical conclusion.

The state commissioner of police, Olafimihan Adeoye, also assured that the case would be charged to court after their investigations.

The suspect is currently in the police custody as the family unit of the state police command continues its investigations.