Osun Govt, European Union Signs N789 Million Water Contract

By Kehinde Ayantunji

The State Government of Osun in partnership with the European Union Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Reform Programme (EU-WSSSRP-II) Assisted Project has signed N789,122,355.00 water project in various locations across the state.

The new projects includes rehabilitation of Ede Water Works and the Mini-Water Schemes / Dams in seven 7 Vocal Communities such as Gbongan, Ode-Omu, Orile-Owu and Araromi-Owu, in Ayedade Local Government.

Others beneficiary communities are Okuku, Igbaye and Inisha in Odo-Otin local government.

Two successful contractors that emerged from the bidding process, Pandada Nigeria Limited and Hydrogold Limited will handle the project in the various locations.

Special Adviser to the Governor on Water Resources, Rural Development and Community Affairs, Babatunde Ibirogba while addressing journalists shortly after the signing of the contract agreement said the new project will directly touch the lives of the people through the provision of water to communities.

He said the state governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola is committed to the provision of water to the people of the state and will not spare any effort to make life more abundant for them.

He explained that the rehabilitation of the water Dams and Motorised Boreholes shall be completed and handed over between 18 – 24 months and appealed to the contractors to do a good and quality job which would make the community to enjoy the benefit of the support of the state government and the EU-WSSSRP-II Assisted Project.

He assured EU-WSSSRP-II that the opportunity shall be judiciously utilised, enjoining the benefiting communities to see the project as theirs own projects.

Osun New HOS Advises Education Stakeholders to Support Educational Drive

Education stakeholders in the State of Osun have been admonished to cooperate with the administration of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola in its efforts to deliver qualitative education to students in the State.

The new Head of Service, Dr. Olowogboyega Oyebade gave the admonition at St .Mark’s High School, Osogbo while flagging off, “Osun Education Drive Scheme”, which according to him, is targeted at giving the State’s Education system a push.

While appreciating the teachers for their tireless efforts at securing the future of students, Dr. Oyebade pointed out that, the new
scheme is aimed at assisting students and teachers.

The new Head of Service advised all teachers to see counseling as an integral part of teaching which will assist students in their
educational pursuits. Dr. Oyebade then reiterated that in the new unified service policy, the entire public service is one in which staff will be freely deployed to areas of critical needs, including teaching.

Highlight of the flag off ceremony was the one hour teaching of SS1 Students on “Parts of Speech” in English Language by the new Head of Service, coupled with award of monetary rewards to the students for questions answered correctly.

Present at the ceremony were: the Permanent secretaries/Tutors General for Osun East and Central Education Districts, Messrs Obisesan and Aderinola, the Permanent Secretary, Human Resources and Capacity Building, Mr Leye Aina, the Director –General of the State Broadcasting Corporation ,Mr Wale Idowu, the Coordinating Director in the Ministry of Information and Strategy, Mrs. Femi Webster-Esho as well as all the Directors in the Ministry.

Meanwhile, the teaching campaign moves to Osun West Education District on Monday.

Osun Calls For Collaboration In Education

Various stakeholders in the education sector have been enjoined to join hands with government in the onerous task of developing education in the state of Osun, for the future of the state to be bright.

This is just as the 1989 set of the Old Students Association of St Charles High School, Osogbo were commended for the rehabilitation of the library complex constructed within the school. Chairman, Osun Education Quality Assurance and Morality Enforcement Agency, Dr Isiaka Ayo Owoade stated these during an unscheduled assessment visit to the school. He said the efforts of the Aregbesola administration in the education sector will yield more positive results if members of the general public join hands in the maintenance of facilities which government has provided.

Dr Owoade, who took time to inspect past and present WAEC results especially that of 2017, said it is gratifying to discover that, majority of the students who sat for the examination came out with flying colours showing great improvements. While calling on teachers to intensify efforts at ensuring that students performance continue to improve, the Chairman called on the teachers to improve on the teacher/students mentorship culture as a means of improving learning.

He however, warned them to be gender sensitive so as not to destroy the motive, while also calling on parents to ensure that their children are fully focused on education and avoid distracting them with other ventures.

Also speaking, Executive Secretary of the Agency, Mr Lawrence Oyeniran who commended the general conduct of the school charged the teachers to keep up the good work in the quest to taking education in Osun to greater heights. In his own remarks, the Principal of the school, Mr Anthony Famoriyo said the creation of the agency was a step in the right direction as it has gone a long way in sanitizing the school system in Osun.

Osun 2018: PDP Plots Hate Campaign Against Aregbesola, APC

To launch itself back into the heart of the people of the State of Osun ahead of the 2018 governorship election, some characters in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were alleged to have decided to launch hate campaign against Governor Rauf Aregbesola and the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.

A source within the PDP in one of the faction said the party has concluded arrangement to whip up community sentiments against Aregbesola and his party with a view to getting towns and cities to reject them in 2018 at a meeting held with leadership of the newly inaugurated Caretaker Committee.

PDP sources who spoke with OSUN DEFENDER on condition of anonymity confessed that the newly elected Senator Ademola Adeleke and two wealthy Nigerians in Lagos have been contacted to bankroll the project.

According to the PDP sources, the PDP has also set up a committee to work on aggrieved members of the APC, particularly the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Lasun Yusuff and Alhaji Fatai Diekola with a plan to get them to continue undermining the leaders of the APC and causing crisis.

The PDP sources disclosed that the party could not win election in the state with fair campaign, hence it has resolve to recruit people and engaged them to smear Aregbesola’s image and discredit his achievements in the state.

The hate campaign is said to be centred on ongoing projects, religious and community crisis, among others.

According to the PDP sources at the meeting, the PDP concluded to set discontent for the APC by selling messages of hate, peculiar to a locality, to the people with a view to getting members of the public in such locations to hate Governor Rauf Aregbesola and the APC.

Specifically, the hateful messages are to be designed to stress a problem in a locality is meant to whip up community sentiment against Aregbesola and the APC in towns and cities.

For instance, Governor Aregbesola is to be held responsible and made the scapegoat of any wrong in any town or city using uncompleted projects in such place as a deliberate wish of the governor and the APC.

According to the sources, the PDP is working seriously to ensure that Aregbesola and the APC lose the strong base it has in Osogbo, the state capital by watering down his love in the heart of Osogbo residents.

To achieve that, the PDP allegedly resolved to sell a story that Osogbo is being marginalised in the Aregbesola’s administration with too little number of appointments and that the governor is victimising prominent Osogbo indigenes who are members and supporters of the APC.

The PDP also resolved to discredit the Aregbesola’s achievement in Osogbo by watering down their essence and dissuading indigenes of the city from commending him on the ground that Osogbo deserved more infrastructural development than what it is on ground, compared to the votes given to the governor.

The medium learnt that the PDP has been recruiting people to carry out the hatchet job.

For Iwo Federal constituency, the PDP sources disclosed that the dilapidated Osogbo/Iwo road was chosen to launch the hate campaign against Aregbesola and the party.

The story to tell the people of the Federal Constituency, according to the sources, was that Aregbesola deliberately refused to reconstruct the road as a mark of lack of concern for the plight of the people of Iwoland.

It was also gathered that the PDP members resolved to play devil’s advocate by telling the people of Iwoland that Aregbesola did not treat the Secretary of the State Government, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti well and attempted to frustrate him out of office.

“They wanted to paint a picture that Aregbesola does not like Iwoland and that is why the SSG is being marginalised by his administration”, said the sources.

The sources also said that the PDP allegedly concluded on embarking on campaign of calumny with the ongoing Gbongan/Osogbo road dualisation which has gone on for more than two years which was initially earmarked for it.

“At the meeting, the party concluded to poison the mind of the people of Gbongan, Ode-Omu and other communities that the Gbongan/Osogbo road is serving. The people engaged for the job will be telling the people that Aregbesola has bastardised the economy of the area with the non-completion of the road”, the source disclosed.

It was gathered that the PDP has begun move to source for fund to implement these strategies.

Senator Ademola Adeleke, who is representing Osun West Senatorial District at the Senate, two other people in Lagos and one of the recently inaugurated caretaker committee members have been penciled down as financiers of the project.

Olorunda North LCDA Embarks On Developmental Projects

In line with the commitment to bring development to the grassroots, the Caretaker Management Team of Olorunda North Local Council Development Area (LCDA), led by Honourable Quadri Owonikoko has embarked on developmental projects to ease the suffering of the people in the LCDA.

A statement by the council’s Information Officer, Oloruntoyin Adejobi identified construction of an Utra-modern Secretariat at Ota Efun market, erection of concrete electric poles at Ayekale, grading of roads of Laaro Timehin Housing Scheme, distribution of food items to staffers, security operatives as well as politicians in the just concluded Ramadan period, as some of the interventions made by the management team within a short time of his assumption of office.

It added that the Owonikoko administration has also repaired the faulty tractor to boost agriculture, saying the tractor would also be available to a farmer for rentage to serve as revenue base for the Local Government.

According to the statement, Owonikoko had said on several occasions that the rationale behind the creation of additional LCDA and administrative offices by Governor Rauf Aregbesola was to bring development closer to rural dwellers, saying, he would do anything within his capacity to make that dream come true in his LCDA.

Banks, Hotels Activities Paralysed As OIRS Continues Enforcement

In its quest to recover all the outstanding revenues due to the state government of Osun, the State Board of Internal Revenue (OIRS) has again descended on some other privately-owned institutions, including Hotels, Restaurants, and Banks.

The affected establishments include Osogbo Micro-finance Bank, Diamond Bank, Stanbic IBTC, Blue Petals Hotel and Suites Ede, amongst several others.

The activities of the affected establishments were paralysed last week, as the officials of OIRS stormed the defaulting offices.

According to the Special Adviser on Tax and Revenue Matters, Mr Gbenga Akano, the essence of the enforcement is to make sure that the doctrine of equity is maintained so that those who voluntarily comply to tax payment will not see themselves as being cheated.

Akano, therefore, implored all and sundry especially those within the tax net to imbibe the culture of voluntary tax compliance.

YESSO ‘Skills For Job’ Training To Begin In Osun

By Sikiru Obarayese

The World Bank has given an approval to the State of Osun, to commence ‘Skills for Job’ component of Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO), aimed at training youths in life skills, specific sector skills and entrepreneurship.

To this end, Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Officer have recently been trained in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, where the Focal Person from the facilitator of the ‘Skills For Job’ Component, National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Mrs. Roseline Olaomi said, “the beneficiaries are selected from the single register of poor and vulnerable households developed by state Operation Coordinating Unit of YESSO and identified by communities’ leaders”.

Olaoni explained that Skills For Job, is focusing on the Local Governments who are in the Urban area, and the selection criteria that must be fulfilled by the beneficiaries are, “Youths between ages 18 and 35, who must have attained the JSS3 certificate, but unemployed”.

She stressed that beneficiaries will be trained on life skills, sector specific skills and entrepreneurship skills for three months, and then moved in for internship with the private sector for six months.

According to her, the beneficiaries with at least, 20days attendance in a month are entitled to stipends of N7,500 monthly.

Roseline said, “the unit will provide starter packs to the trained beneficiaries and will provide incentives to private sectors for an internship of the beneficiaries.

Miss Yemisi Haastrup, one of NDE Official, also said that the selection process of the beneficiaries was transparent, with the help of community leaders.

284 Osun Youths Trained In Agriculture

Another 284 unemployed graduates in the State of Osun have been trained in agriculture to reduce unemployment rates and to boost food production in the state.

They were trained under FADAMA 111 projects, tagged FADAMA “Guys” Training, initiated by the Federal Government in collaboration with Osun government and the World Bank.

Speaking at the end of the two-week intensive training held at Oladele Ajose Lecture Theatre, OAU, Ile Ife recently, the FADAMA Coordinator in the State of Osun, Dr Adebowale Adediji applauded the beneficiaries for their good conduct during the training and well prepared Business Plan that would qualify them for support grants.

While charging the participants to use the knowledge acquired in the training towards expanding agriculture business, he assured them that the next line of action would be the disbursement of grants to trainees based on the possible practicability of their business plan.

The FADAMA Coordinator also admonished the youths to embrace “Omoluabi” ethos preached by the government of the State of Osun by showing honesty and sincerity in all their doing.

Noting that the enabling environment created by the Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has opened the opportunity door for farmers to benefit immensely from all available  programmes. He urged all the potential beneficiaries of the grants to make judicious use of it when collected.

Adediji then promised that more youths would be empowered through FADAMA project.

Also speaking, the outgoing Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture, Obafemi Awolowo University, Prof Adeagbo Amusan appreciated the World Bank and Government of the Osun for supporting agriculture to ensure abundant food production to ensure continuity of human existence.

While assuring the trainees of OAU Faculty of Agriculture’s willingness to assist them, he tasked them to feel free in requesting for any assistance that could help them achieve their business plan.

Speaking on behalf of the participants, Mr Ajibola Ibrahim from Irewole Local Government of the state described the training as interesting, full of practicals, highly educative and handled with best professional hands.

He however appreciated Osun Government, OAU lecturers and FADAMA for making the training a pathfinder for them, saying that with the training their slogan as “Unemployed Youths” has changed.

 

May Day Mesage: Time To Reshape Civil Service Is Now—Osun Speaker

The need to shape up and re engineer civil service, public services and informal sector with motivation and innovations has become imperative according to the Speaker, State of Osun House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Najeem Salaam.

In a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Goke Butika, Speaker Salaam asserted that it is high time a radical departure was made from the “kill potentials” bureaucracy in the civil service, while the public service should be made proactive to respond to the challenges of the 21st century which are predicated on technology and science. 

Speaker Salaam reiterated that civilian authorities in the state and local government councils should not be seen as rivals or opposition but partners in progress, saying that mutual trust and seamless synergy between the technocrats and both elected and appointed officials would ensure quality deliverable for the benefits of the people. 

Speaker Salaam also felicitates and identifies with Osun workers, saying: “On behalf of the members of State of Osun House of Assembly, we are with the workers in our state, and we seek improved package for them as economic indices nose up.

He also called for coordinated intervention in informal sector, pledging that the standing Committee on Commerce and Industry of the House would be saddled with a task to finding the suitable ways that could be recommended for executive action.

 

Osun HDP Lauds Osun INEC On Continuous Voters Registration

Urges Osun Citizens to troop out for registration

The Osun State Chairman of the Hope Democratic Party, Mr. Wole Adedoyin has commended the Osun State Branch of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for the remarkable improvement in the ongoing voters registration exercise in the state, which has gathered meritorious commendations from Osun State Citizens and politicians. The party urged the people to cooperate with INEC and troop out to register.

This is contained in the party’s press release signed by the Osun State Chairman of the Hope Democratic Party (HDP) Mr. Wole Adedoyin on the ongoing CVR exercise in the state.

Mr. Adedoyin noted that INEC had overcome the initial challenges, which characterized the exercise and made it for people to be registered in just about five minutes. He further appealed to the Osun State citizens to be patient and come out enmasse to register so as to vote for the candidate of their choice in the forthcoming 2018 Guber election in the State.

The release scored the INEC very high in public awareness  and sensitization of the registration, opening and closing of registration centres, conduct of its officials and availability and functioning of Direct Data Capturing (DDC) machines.

 

“We are fully aware of the importance of Continous Voters Registration exercise. While it is duly provided for in the Electoral Act 2010 (As Amended), it must be emphasized that accommodating all and sundry in the Voters Register comes first and must be subjected to all due diligence for all to register before displays are made. I am appealing to other political parties in Osun State to assist INEC in the area of creating awareness for their members to participate in the ongoing registration exercise in the state” Adedoyin said.

The party however said it is important that the personnel who will operate the machines are adequately trained to understand how to manipulate the hardwares even when they malfunction.”

FG Commends Aregbesola For His Impact in Education

Nigeria’s Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, on Tuesday commended Governor Rauf Aregbesola for creating sound learning environment and laying good foundation quality education through construction and equipping of mega schools located across the three Senatorial districts of the state. Mallam Adam, who was represented by Professor Kamoru Olayiwola Usman at the opening ceremony and commencement of learning in Ataoja Government High School, Osogbo and other public schools named after Professor Wole Soyinka, Nobel Laureate and others, requested other state governments to emulate such an investment undertaken by Governor Rauf Aregbesola. 

The Minister said the federal government and the Federal Ministry of Education are proud of Aregbesola’s efforts in education sector, saying education should not be limited to a situation when a person can only read and write, but how such person can impact positively on the larger society. He held that Osun in no distant future will enjoy the seed that has been sown by the present administration with the building of the state-of-the-art schools constructed across the state.

According to him, “If we want to forestall what happened in Ife, we must continue to educate our people by making sure that we build more schools with an atmosphere that is conducive to learning.”

Speaking earlier, the Deputy Governor, Grace Titi Laoye-Tomori stated that the motive of Osun Government is to make the new High Schools centre of excellence that will produce students that are excellent in academic performance and will be grounded in the Omoluabi ethos. She also added that in line with Aregbesola’s desire to have the best teachers in the state High schools, the Governor has approved 20 per cent salary increment, and dressing allowance for all the teachers and principals in the new high schools.

The Deputy Governor further stressed that the new schools principals will also be entitled to official cars, iPads among other things.

According to her, “These intensive interventions in the education sector constitute huge capital expenditure to which Mr. Governor is fully committed come rain or shine, economic recession or depression notwithstanding.

“Mr. Governor considers no amount of money too much to invest in the lives and future of our children in Osun,” she noted.‎

The Head Girl of the Ataoja Government High School, Eegunranti Victoria, described Aregbesola as “the Awolowo of our time” and a governor who has made the impossible to be possible.