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.

Time To Rupture The Vultures – A Display Of Self Denial, Semantic Arrogance And Bad ‘Belle’ By Isiaka Owoade

The article by Mr Remi Oyeyemi titled ‘Osun State – Time to Rupture the Vultures’ is an award winner in self-denial, semantic arrogance bad ‘belle’. A futile effort to deny the obvious gains of democracy spread across the state, an ego trip in word-play employing so many words and yet saying nothing, an indulgence in over-generalisations, unsupported allegations and the use of uncouth words and logic characteristic of beer parlour debates.  The article was apparently written to achieve two objectives, (i) to abuse the person of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and (ii) to denigrate the landmark achievements that have been recorded by the administration.  In his attack on the person of Ogbeni, Oyeyemi came across as a petty-minded wailer out to impress his co-travelers with his unabashed use of gutter language, lacking in tact, decorum and respect for the reading public.  My purpose here is not to join issues with Mr Oyeyemi for abusing Mr Governor as I am sure Ogbeni’s skin must be by now so thick to absorb anything the likes of Oyeyemi throw at him.

Oyeyemi touched on raw nerves with his brazen effrontery attempting to rubbish the widely acclaimed policies and projects executed by this administration especially in the education sector. Rather than providing evidence to prove his ‘years of locust’ metaphor, Oyeyemi chose to regale us with his mastery of meaningless high-falluting words in a ploy to confound the poor reader.  Because he was actually out to lie, he struggled and succeeded only in revealing his abject lack of knowledge of the socio-economic dynamics and developmental needs of Osun.  In his odium-laden description of Ogbeni’s administration as the years of locust, he failed to tell us which previous administration was his benchmark years of development. In education which Oyeyemi singled out for derision, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has recorded  ground-breaking achievements in all aspects, infrastructure, teachers’ morale, students conduct and performance, enrolment and retention.  I challenge Mr Oyeyemi to deny the under-listed achievements in education.

Twenty-three Elementary Schools have been built, each 1000 capacity.Twenty-two Middle Schools have been built, each 1000 capacity.Eleven High Schools are at various stages of completion. Six have been completed commissioned and in use. The High Schools have capacities for 3000 students.All the new schools are state-of-the-art and compare favourably with schools in the western world. Aregbesola believes our students deserve the best.In addition to building new schools, forty dilapidated schools were stripped, refurbished and equipped.  The schools are all over the place.The school feeding programme was expanded. 300000 elementary school pupils are fed lunch every school day. Over 210 million dishes have been served since Ogbeni’s arrival. The objective is to increase enrolment and retention.  This objective is being achieved.In the 10 years that preceeded Aregbesola, the best WASCE result was 15.7% in 2010. The result for 2017 is 44.6%. A whopping 184% improvement in performance which the likes of Oyeyemi pretend not to see.  We are not where we want to be yet, but there is no doubt that the investment in education is beginning to pay off.Decentralisation of education management by the creation of three district offices each headed by a Tutor-General of Permanent Secretary grade.  As a means of boosting the morale of teachers, the TGs were appointed from the principals.The establishment of Osun Education Quality Assurance and Morality Enforcement Agency.The establishment of Osun Education Marshal Corps to help eradicate truancy.

 

These were achievements recorded in the space of seven years which Oyeyemi has so uncharitably labelled as years of locust. It is either Oyeyemi does not reside in Osun or he is in self-denial, playing the proverbial ostrich with his head permanently buried in the sand and so cannot see nor appreciate these achievements which have been unparalled in the annals of Osun. 

 

Oyeyemi made reference to WAEC results league table and the seeming low rank of Osun on it.  This is a needless table WAEC compiles every three years despite the fact that the examination conditions and supervisory regime vary considerably across the nation. It is no secret that ‘miracle centres’ are all over the place where the integrity of the examination is known to be seriously compromised. Tolerance to these miracle centres differ from state to state. How can the results be comparable when the examination conditions can not be guaranteed to be uniform.  Here in Osun, we do not use WAEC league table for any purpose.  If Oyeyemi wants to compare Osun basic education with other states in Nigeria, a more credible league table is the JAMB league of university admissions by state. Osun has always been in the top three of this table for the past six years. This information is publicly available – simply Google Jamb admissions.

 

Mr Oyeyemi bombarded his readers with vacuous generalisations, alleging this and that without an iota of proof.  He initially sounded altruistic and came across as a patriotic defender of the people’s interest. Sadly, he eventually revealed his true self in his concluding paragraphs as nothing but a desperate opposition politician believing that disparaging the incumbent administration using vulgar, abusive and emotional words will get him the throne. Osun people are far wiser than that.  He concluded his diatribe by admonishing his cohorts to prepare for a show down should the 2018 elections not be favourable for them.  We are waiting.

Dr Isiaka Ayodele Owoade is the Executive Chairman, Osun Education Quality Assurance and Morality Enforcement Agency

 

Festive Season: AGF Felicitates With Christians

By Nofisat Adeoye

A socio-political organization, Asiwaju Grassroot Foundation, has Felicitated with Christian residents of Osun State on the celebration of Christmas and New Year.

In a release signed by its Coordinator, Tijani Sikiru and Secretary, Comrade Adeniji Yahaya, the group wished the people of the state many happy returns of the season.

AGF also urged the Christians to imbibe the lessons of the period and follow the good examples laid by Jesus Christ.

Lamenting over the current fuel scarcity which has dulled the period, AGF implored Christians to be thankful for the gift of life and still enjoy the period in any little way possible.

“From all of us at AGF, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We pray the coming year marks the beginning of great things in our lives and our society.”

APC Berates Omisore For calling Osun Civil Service State

By Nofisat Adeoye

The All Progressives Congress, APC in the State of Osun has berated a former Deputy Governor of the state, Sen. Iyiola Omisore for tagging the state as a civil service state.

In a statement signed by the party’s spokesperson, Mr Kunle Oyatomi, the party said the statement could only have come from someone with no political experience of government.

“To call Osun a civil service state is absolute nonsense. Any politician with that mentality or attitude or both can never ever develop a state. The civil servants are a fraction of the totality of government and they constitute in most cases, less than 1% of the population.

“They are an important part of government, admittedly but they are not the reason government exists. Government exists for 100% citizens of the state and justice demands that all be treated equally and helped to contribute to the overall development of the state.

The APC added that workers only constitute 5% of the state population and shouldn’t be given priority over other people and sections of the state.

“Only an ignorant politician will be in government as head of the executive and give unequal priority to any section of the state. If the civil servants deserve salaries because they work for it, all other citizens also have right to social services which every citizen, including civil servants enjoy.”

“So, it is clear if Omisore had been governor since 2010, he could never have handled the crisis that hit Nigeria, including Osun since 2013. Ninety per cent of what Aregbesola has done in Osun today would never have seen the light of day because Omisore will be busy using all Osun money to pay salaries and to succeed even at that, he would have needed to take loans to pay workers’ salaries.

“And in the case of Osun, these workers represent only 5% of the population.
You can therefore imagine what state of squalor and underdevelopment Osun would have been today.” the release read in part.

Our Administration Has Laid Solid Foundation For Investment – Aregbesola

By Nofisat Adeoye

Governor Rauf Aregbesola has stated that with the standard infrastructure put in place by his administration, investment will surely thrive in the state.

Aregbesola said this known at a One-day enlightenment seminar on “Stimulating Effective Shipment of Non-oil Export Products” organized by Nigerian Shippers Council, South West Zonal Coordinating Office.

Aregbesola who was represented by the Special Adviser on Wealth Creation, Mr. Adetoyese Ademola, gave accolades to the organizers for identifying the state as a place of economic development, adding that the capacity of Nigerian Shippers Council as one of the leading economic regulator of Nigeria’s port sector cannot be overemphasised.

At the enlightenment seminar for stakeholders held at White Plain Suites and Towers in Osogbo, the State capital, presentations as regard the theme were revealed in line with part of the mandate of Nigerian Shippers Council.

In his presentation titled “Stimulating Effective Shipment of Non-Oil Export Products in the State of Osun”, the Commissioner, Ministry of Commerce, Industries and Cooperatives, Mr. Jayeoba Alagbada stated that the state government under the leadership of
Aregbesola has laid solid foundation for investors to invest in the state through projects and array of Agricultural produce as well as solid Minerals.

Alagbada stated that the foundations are necessary precursors to make the state a major player in the national drive to promote Non-Oil Export.

Alagbada described Aregbesola as a Governor with foresight, Alagbada added that one of the Governor’s major projects at inception of his tenure was construction of Free Trade Zone in the state which comprises Importers/Exporters, Shippers Associations, Commodities Association, Chambers of Commerce, Manufacturer Association of Nigeria, among others.

The Director, Inland Transport Services Department of Nigerian Shippers Council, Lagos, Mr. Akintunde Makinde in his presentation tagged: “Role of Nigerian Shippers Council in Trade Facilitation” affirmed that the role of the association is to provide protective platform for stakeholders in import and export business nationally and internationally.

Makinde who was represented by Mr. Akintola Kola, maintained that actualization of objectives of the Federal Government’s Executive Order on the ease of doing business in Nigeria through the councils trade facilitation and regulation must be embraced by stakeholders at all levels.

Also in his presentation on Packaging of Agricultural Products by the Regional Coordinator, Nigerian Export Promotion Council, NEPC, Mr. Babatunde Faleke averred that packaging must be protected and advertised, as well as trendy and innovative.

Faleke noted that agricultural products in Nigeria with improved packaging have a place in the international market.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Zonal Coordinator, Nigerian Shippers Council, South-West Coordinating Office, Mr. Olurotimi Anifowose appreciated Governor Aregbesola and stakeholders for their support of the council in the state through the Ministry of Commerce, Industries and Cooperatives.

He also appealed for appropriate recognition to the Shippers Council which is not a non-governmental organization for good service delivery, while pledging that the Nigerian Shippers Council will not fail in its function as one of the key boosters of Nigeria’s economy.

Appraising A Progressive Govt In Office

By Abidoun Komolafe

In less than a year from today, Rauf Aregbesola’s tenure as governor of the State of Osun will come to a close. A time like this therefore presents an opportunity to review his performance in office, vis-à-vis, his administration’s Six Point Integral Action Plan.

Although, it has become fashionable for the opposition to look for partners in its dubious search for raw materials to power its odious charades, a closer assessment of the specifics will lead Nigerians to draw appropriate conclusions on the success or otherwise of Aregbesola’s government. For instance, if the governor’s desire was to move the state from a public service economy to its rightful place as an agrarian state, how has he fared in activating market-driven value chain? If his vision and mission found solace in setting Osun on a genuine path to socio-economic development, hasn’t he done well in plucking a coin out of the mouth of the fish? What was the state of our roads before Aregbesola’s inauguration and why has his desire to make Osun the food hub of the Southwest been misconstrued for avenues to siphon funds out of the state by a misguided and disgruntled clique? How has he been able to provide a soft landing for the salary bug, which no doubt has also caught up with Abuja?

Again, has Ogbeni betrayed the trust of his people or is it a case of his traducers woefully failing to purge their dirty excesses before coming to the table to seek equity? Is it an issue of the achiever, unsuspectingly shifting away from blowing his own trumpet loud enough to wake even the dead or that of the audience provably imprisoned by mute indifference? Perhaps, more importantly, is it one of unreconstructable spinners notoriously trying to destroy the threads of communal togetherness woven together over a long period of time?

With a motivation to rapidly develop the state in all ramifications as well as enhance the capacity of the people, Aregbesola’s government has in the last 7 years delivered “all round” development to at least 75% improvement on what it met in 2010. While the administration has been consistent in its investment in infrastructure without undermining welfare, lives of children, youths, adults, aged, the weak have also been positively impacted in line with its Social Protection programmes. In addition to ‘Opon Imo’ (Tablet of Knowledge), this administration’s ‘O’ Series have not gone without bearing positive fruits.

As we all know, Aregbesola’s intervention in the education sector is not limited to provision of infrastructure as government has so far been training a third of teachers in its public schools on a yearly basis. Besides, the state’s sterling performance in the West African School Certificate Examination (WASCE) is better understood from the context of where we are coming from. As at 2010, the performance level of students in WASCE was 15.7%. Within the last 7 years, Osun has recorded as high as 46.3%, which is quite a huge jump in the number of students with credit passes in English Language and Mathematics. The state’s position (between 1st and 3rd, since 2013) in the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB) interms of matriculable students in Nigeria has rubbished the premise that WAEC rankings of states alone should be the basis for judging performance.

That Aregbesola has succeeded to a very large extent in all the critical indices is already settled. For example, within the last seven years, Osun has ranked 2nd on Human Capital Index and has maintained the 2nd position in four years in a roll in the global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI). Besides, it is now the 5th largest economy in Nigeria with its GDP growing at 7.3% per annum. And, as we speak, Osun is the 2nd richest and the 13th crime-free state in Nigeria.

Enrollment rate for the state’s children in primary school hovers between 70% and 80% – no doubt is about the highest in the country – while its performance ratings in NECO has also been in the units. In broiler production, Osun is now 2nd only to Oyo State. It also came 9th in the recently-concluded National Youth Games, a feat that has for a long while eluded the state. Predictably, Latifat Abiola Oyeleye and Alabi Philip Toluwalase have demonstrated that government’s transformational investments in the education sector have not been in vain.

Lest we forget, Aregbesola’s civil servants-friendly disposition could also be seen in his commitment of more than N200 billion to salaries, pensions and allowances, compared to less than N60bn spent on infrastructure. It is also worth mentioning that, under its O’MEAL programme, government has so far committed more than N10 billion to providing over-200 million plates of highly nutritious meals to students in its Elementary Schools across the state.

Pre-November 27, 2010, Osun could not boast of a recreation spot anywhere in the state. Now, Nelson Mandela Freedom Park in Osogbo has added flavour to more than 80 Tourist centres, scattered all over the nooks and crannies of the state for fun-seekers to make merry. And, with more than 200 hotels, some of which can compete favourably in the comity of hospitality business, the state’s revenue base is assured of a huge boost. The signing of a N216 billion investment in Industrial Park with a Chinese firm, Jiangsu Wuxi Taihu Cocoa Food Company Limited, also points to a ”fresh deal” for transforming the state’s ”industrial base.”

Of course, the governor deserves commendation for leading a new understanding in parliamentary Local Government administration in Nigeria. When fully operational in the 1st quarter of 2018, facts are that it will, among other advantages, help in expanding the potentials for accountability, transparency and societal capacity building.

Well, this is where Aregbesola’s accusers deserve some tutorials on the politics and the complexities of capital city centres. As an illustration, though Obafemi Awolowo hailed from Ikenne-Remo, he chose Ibadan as capital of the then Western Nigeria to concentrate the greater part of his development efforts. Gawain Bell who served as governor of the old Northern Region between 1957 and 1962 was a South African, while Ahmadu Bello, his premier, was from Rabbah in Sokoto. But that never deprived Kaduna its privilege as the administrative capital of the Northern Region. Ditto for Enugu under Michael Okpara whose source was Umuegwu in the present day Abia State.

How Expert Views Osun Resources Allocation

By Kazeem Mohammed

Of recent, the government of the State of Osun has been re-emphasising its commitment to welfare of workers and pensioners through payment of salaries, pensions and allowances, to the tune of about N200 billion, equivalent of 77 per cent and N60 billion, equivalent of 23 per cent on developmental project in the last seven years.

The justification came on the heel of some criticisms that the Governor Rauf Aregbesola-led administration has not been paying adequate attention to the welfare of workers and pensioners, a situation that had triggered series of protests particularly by pensioners in the state.

The government since its assumption of office in 2010 had been meeting its obligations on salaries, pensions and allowances, until sometimes in 2014 when the economic situations in Nigeria not peculiar to the state of Osun forced the administration to adopt modulated salaries structure for its workforce, subject to agreement with labour unions, rather than disengaging workers from service.

An Economic Historian from the Department of History, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Dr Tunji Ogunyemi said, if government has actually spent only N60 billion on Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) and N200 billion on recurrent expenditure, which comprises of salaries, pensions and allowances, it amount to investing only 23 per cent of total government expenditure on CAPEX.

He said, “I think this is not bad at all and I just wonder why people who should know are still complaining about the government on its commitment to salaries, pension and allowances.

“Is it that they are not expecting government to spend at all on creation of wealth and expanding the infrastructural base of the economy, which is the direct meaning of capital expenditure?

“Or, are people saying that the government should spend everything it has on consumption? I think this is rather unfortunate. You cannot do governance without CAPEX. Those who complain today of this ratio of allocation will praise the government later for being farsighted.

According to him, there can and should be judicious balancing of the recurrent and the capital expenditure (CAPEX) which would go into the production of basic infrastructure, saying “In economies that grow all over the World, CAPEX is always greater than recurrent. But in our climes here, the recurrent which is the expenditure on consumption except in few states such as Lagos and Delta, is always greater than CAPEX.

“My suggestion is that CAPEX should not be less than 30 per cent of the total expenditure, while the recurrent should take the remainder 70 per cent. By so doing, government would at least, have a cushion for providing for growth and expansion in basic infrastructure which is actually the key to development and industrial take-off.

“Make no mistakes about it, no nation grow with the kind of lopsidedness in favour of the recurrent expenditure such as we have in Nigeria today. It is the CAPEX that grows the economy not recurrent expenses except of course if you have a very productive economy which is not the case in our situation”, Ogunyemi stressed.

He then suggested that the next budget for Osun should be along the lines of trying to allocate not less than 30 per cent of the total expenditure to the CAPEX and 70 per cent to recurrent.

Ogunyemi also appealed that the Federal Government should implement the Oronsaye report to the letter to ensure proper allocation of resources in the country.

Aregbesola Flags Off Olumirin Access Road: Assures Citizens of Improved Economy

Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola has reiterated his commitment towards making life more meaningful to the people in a bid to making tourism a money spinning venture and ecotourism accessible to tourists all over the world in order to boost the economy of the host community and the State in general.

Ogbeni Aregbesola who was represented by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Culture and Tourism, Mrs Taiwo Oluga made this remarks at Erin-Ijesa during the flags off ceremony of access road to Olumirin Water Falls.

The Governor explained that provision of access road is a major criterion for consideration before a tourism site is recognised and when the road is completed, a lot of unimaginable transformation will definitely come to Erin-Ijesa and its environment in terms of socio-economic and cultural-tourism activities.

Ogbeni Aregbesola said his administration has made easy the task of tourists at Olumirin Water Falls by constructing the Pedestrian bridge to ease the ascension and dissension of tourists and aesthetics to attract visitors and researchers.

The Governor who said this is happening at a time when MKO Abiola International Airport, Ido-Osun is being put in place thereby making the arrival of tourists to Olumirin Water Falls from around the world an easy one.

He therefore thanked the management of International Breweries Plc, Ilesa for the construction of Garden Parks at the site as part of her Corporate Social Responsibility while appealing to the people to pay their taxes and other levies, so as to make government provide more infrastructural development to the State.

Also speaking, Chairman Osun State House of Assembly House Committee on Home Affairs, Tourism and Culture, Hon. Olasunkanmi Akinola, Chairman House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, Hon. Kamil Oyedele and Hon. Israel Aloba appreciated the governments’ gesture and appealed for the continued support to Aregbesola’s administration.

Earlier in his welcome address, Chairman Osun Tourism Board and Authority, Engr Abimbola Daniyan thanked the Governor for his commitment to tourism development in the State.

In his brief on the project, the Project Coordinator, Office of Water Resources, Rural Development and Community Affairs, Engr. Adelere Oriolowo said the intervention of the RAMP which is to make life meaningful to rural dwellers has impacted positively in Osun through the commitment of Mr Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola. He then assured all that, the road will be completed by January, 2018 and all bridges will be done to standard with asphaltic lane.

In his address, the royal host, Oba (Dr) Engr Isaac Adeyeba Ayeni, Okin Oloro 2nd of Erin -Ijesa who was visibly happy thanked the Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola for his support and commitment to making Olumirin Water Falls the desired place for every tourist. He therefore appealed to the government, to provide security post and health centre along the site for the safety of visiting tourists.

Highlights of the event were cultural entertainment by Osun Cultural Troupe and site tour of the vicinity.

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.