BEING THE INAUGURAL ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY SEYI MAKINDE, THE EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR OF OYO STATE, ON MONDAY, MAY 29, 2023, AT THE OBAFEMI AWOLOWO STADIUM, IBADAN.
Four years ago, I took an oath before God and you, the good people of Oyo State. I pledged to put aside my self-interest to serve you to the best of my ability. Today, I stand before you to renew that pledge and reaffirm these solemn words – I will always put your interests first.
And as we usher in Omituntun 2.0 on this day, I see another opportunity to reflect on our first term in office, recall our promises made and promises kept, and renew those promises you have given us another opportunity to keep.
We have worked hard to stimulate and accelerate economic and social development in Oyo State. As promised, we have extracted value from once-moribund facilities and abandoned projects in Oyo State. In 2019, just a few months after we came into office, we set our sights on reviving the Pacesetter Quarry and Asphalt Plant, Ijaiye. We have since handed it over to private investors in keeping with our mantra that the only business government should have in business is to create an enabling environment for the private sector to thrive.
We rehabilitated the main bowl of the Lekan Salami Sports Complex, Adamasingba. And what a proud moment it was when our State hosted an international match at that stadium for the first time in about thirty years.
We also rehabilitated the once-moribund Oyo State Agricultural Development Programme Headquarters, Saki, the Rural Community Development Centre, Aawe, and we are on the verge of making history as we convert the Fasola Farm Settlement into a modern agribusiness industrial hub.
We have built a solid foundation for sustainable development.
Under Omituntun 1.0, we prioritised infrastructural development. We completed over 137 km of road projects, taking a top-to-bottom approach to road rehabilitations and reconstructions. We focused on interconnecting all the zones because we knew that therein lies the key to kick-starting our no zones left behind policy.
We built roads such as the 76.7 km Ogbomoso-Fapote-Iseyin Road – a completely new road construction. No road had ever existed in that place before now. But we knew that this construction would open up the Ogbomoso and Oke-Ogun Zones. Already, we have big businesses springing up on that road.
We are also constructing the 110 km Senator Rashidi Ladoja Circular Road. We plan to complete the construction of this road with all ancillary amenities that will give our people a first-world transport experience on that route within this tenure.
Our top-to-bottom approach also means that under Omituntun 2.0, we will ensure that we complete all ongoing road projects and give priority attention to internal roads in urban areas.
We laid the groundwork for ensuring that we have a modern transportation system. We completed two bus terminals and have another two in view. We set up infrastructure that made it possible for our airport to fuel aeroplanes for the first time since the Ibadan Airport was constructed. We are upgrading this airport into an international airport that will serve as a viable alternative to the airport in Lagos.
We celebrated new milestones, such as when we got sole ownership of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH).
We restored lost glories in sports. We all rejoiced when our darling Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) were reinstated into the elite division of the Nigerian football league. We plan to go a step further to see our 3SC win the league and once again compete at the regional and continental levels for the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League.
We conquered at national and international sports festivals. We set a new record for Oyo State at the 21st National Sports Festival when for the first time in Oyo State history, we won 43 Gold Medals and placed fourth on the medals table.
We turned the trend of government owing workers salaries, pensions and gratuities. We paid all Oyo State workers regularly and consistently on the 25th of every month – the ‘GSM Day’ and even went a step further to pay the 13th month salary four years in a row for the first time in the history of Oyo State. We reduced the gratuities deficit of past administrations by over N16 billion and once again, put a smile on the faces of our fathers and mothers who served Oyo State in their youth.
We promise to do even more under Omituntun 2.0. We will work towards ensuring that the backlog of gratuity payments is cleared within this next four years. Of course, we will continue with the consistent payment of workers’ salaries and pensions monthly.
We mourned the tragic losses of our loved ones personally, sub-nationally and nationally. But even in those trying circumstances, we saw opportunities to bond, learn from our mistakes and forge a better tomorrow as a people.
We defied all odds, including a global pandemic and came out stronger, better.
We accomplished all of these because you, the good people of Oyo State, supported us.
We felt your support when we said, “Use your PVC, not violence”. You spoke in one voice and showed that it is possible to conduct elections in Oyo State without any bloodshed.
We felt your support when despite the actions of a few, you refused to be divided by religion, ethnicity, language or gender.
We felt your support when you spoke with one voice at the polls, and we won with a margin never before seen in the Oyo State history of Nigeria’s Fourth Republic.
Yes, everything we accomplished in the last four years was because you, the good people of Oyo State, stood by us.
And so, as we face another four years with this mandate that you have given us, we again, in all humility, ask for your support. With your backing, we know our vision for Omituntun 2.0 will become a reality.
We have shared our plans with you in our Oyo State Roadmap for Sustainable Development 2023 – 2027. And we look forward to four years of sustainable development refocused on four pillars: the Economy, Education, Healthcare and Security.
These were the same four pillars we focused on in the last four years. This is why we say Omituntun 2.0 is an upgrade.
We are upgrading to Education 2.0.
Under Omituntun 1.0, we returned over 50,000 children to the classrooms. Through targeted interventions, such as maintaining the no-fees in public schools’ policy, we plan to return another 50,000 to the classroom in the next four years.
Another policy that will remain in place is the 15-20% budgetary allocation to education. We must urgently continue to reduce the infrastructure deficit in our public primary and secondary schools. So, we shall focus on building classrooms and other needed facilities in underserved areas in the State.
We are upgrading to Healthcare 2.0.
Having upgraded over 200 Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) as promised under Omituntun 1.0, we will now equip these PHCs and upgrade more PHCs and other selected secondary healthcare facilities to ensure our people have even better access to quality healthcare.
We will ensure that communities without upgraded PHCs are prioritised in our quest to ensure that all 351 wards in Oyo State have an operational Tier 4 Primary Healthcare Centre.
We are upgrading to Security 2.0.
Under Omituntun 1. 0, we enjoyed a 25% drop in crime rate, making Oyo State one of the safest States to do business in the southwest zone. This was because we gave all the security agencies in Oyo State enormous support and created a 2,000-member Amotekun corps – the most incentivised corps in the zone. We used continuous communication to smoothen out relationships among all the agencies so that they all work harmoniously.
In the next four years, we shall not rest on our oars. We will continue to give the security agencies in the State the support they need to more effectively and efficiently carry out their duties and responsibilities.
We will further strengthen the State security architecture by training and retraining Oyo Amotekun corps members to be involved in intelligence gathering at the local level.
At the Federal level, we will continue to push for reforms that will strengthen local policing and ensure that our people continue to sleep with their eyes closed.
We are upgrading to Economy 2.0.
Under Omituntun 1.0, we focused on stimulating economic growth through Agribusiness and Infrastructure development. With the accelerated investments in these sectors, we moved our economy from N2.75 trillion in 2019 to N4.05 trillion as of Q3 2022 without increasing taxes. We also increased our Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) by over 90% in the same period.
We attracted $65 million in Foreign Direct Investments and $126 million in agribusiness from development partners’ blended finance.
Our vision is to further grow our economy by building on the gains in agribusiness. Additionally, we plan to bring in investments in Solid Minerals, Sustainable Energy and Tourism.
We are already working towards achieving this goal. Just ten days ago, we were in London to woo investors at the Oyo State International Business Summit (OYSIBS) 2023. This sets the tone for activities we will carry out in the next four years.
We will continue to be bullish about getting local and foreign direct investments into the State as we focus on youth development and creating employment opportunities for 60% of our population that form an energetic workforce.
We know we have your support as we make tough decisions and take tough actions that will lead to improving our state’s environmental and socio-political outlook.
So far, we have created the architecture required to bring sanity into the markets, transportation and waste management sectors.
We have built markets and other closed environments for our traders to carry out their business without obstructing traffic and causing mayhem on our streets. Of course, every street corner should not be converted into a marketplace.
We have built parks and other transportation hubs so transporters do not park on the roads. We are increasing the capacity of our waste managers so that our people stop seeing the medians and street corners as legal dumpsites.
We have embarked on continuous sensitisation of the people, encouraging them to adopt a lifestyle change that will make the environment more suitable for living and business.
Having created these structures, it is time to implement existing laws based on the principles of equity and fairness. Therefore, I have directed all relevant agencies to enforce existing traffic, waste management and street trading laws.
It is time to upgrade to the Omituntun 2.0 Lifestyle.
We must appreciate the link between the rule of law and sustainable development. As we all know, where there is no law, there is chaos, and where there is chaos, business and development suffer. We must never allow our communities to descend to the level of chaos that will turn away investors.
Therefore, I direct the creation of the Oyo State Mobilisation Agency for Socio-Economic Development (OMASED). This agency will be mandated to establish a public orientation and sensitisation framework into which all agencies and departments of government must key in. This framework will ensure continuous sensitisation and enlightenment using traditional, electronic and social media. I further direct that this framework should incorporate a timetable for the enforcement of all existing traffic, waste management and street trading laws.
Let me reassure the good people of Oyo State that Omituntun 2.0 will be better than 1.0. We will work even harder to ensure that the prosperity that our people have started enjoying under Omituntun 1.0 will continue for four more years.
Before I end this speech, let me once again thank the good people of Oyo State for giving us another opportunity to serve by voting for us a second time with an even bigger margin of victory than the first time. I thank our friends from South Africa and Botswana and from around the world who are here today including my brother from another mother, Nigel Pickard and his son, George. I also thank leaders, elders and members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and all those who worked tirelessly to make today a reality. Finally, I thank my darling wife, Mrs Tamunominini Olufunke Makinde, my children, Feyi, Tobi, Tayo, Folarin and Beeni for their support and understanding.
Thank you and God bless you.