Governor vows to make Oyo fastest growing economy

Olubunmi Osoteku, Ibadan

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Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde

Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde has disclosed that the vision of his administration is to make Oyo State the fastest growing economy in Nigeria, within a short while.

The Governor, who stated this while addressing a two-day retreat for members of his Executive Council and senior aides said that to achieve this end, his administration would leverage on agriculture value chain, among others.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Taiwo Adisa quotes the Governor as telling members of his Cabinet at the retreat with the theme: “Taking Oyo State from Poverty to Prosperity (P2P),” held at the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan.

Resounding successes
He said his government is looking towards resounding successes in the four key pillars of the administration.

Promising to deliver on his vision for the State, Governor Makinde, according to the statement, noted that he was aware of the magnitude of the responsibility bestowed on him and he could not let the people of Oyo State down.

Makinde said: “Today, I have another chance to share my vision with you. With the number of times I have had to repeat this vision, I would not forget it even if I wanted to. And so today, I am going to be talking about the roadmap to prosperity in Oyo State.”

The statement names the four pillars of development upon which the government would build the prosperity of the State to include: health, education, security and economic expansion through agriculture value chain.

The Governor affirmed: “Permit me to restate my visions for these areas and to share with you what we have done so far to make these visions a reality. Indeed, visions exist in the realm of imagination. In keying into a vision, we are hoping that what we imagined will come to reality. This is why in expressing visions, people often ask: What will success look like?”

Enabling environment
Governor Makinde stated that success in the four key areas of his administration would include making the Oyo State economy the fastest growing in the country; delivery of qualitative education that equip students for life after school; making Oyo State safer and promoting qualitative healthcare delivery service.

“We have to create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive. That is why one of the two Executive Bills we have so far transmitted to the Oyo State House of Assembly is the Oyo State Investment Promotion Agency Bill. The Bill is to initiate, promote and facilitate investments in the State,” he revealed.

Disclosing that policies alone cannot drive growth, the Governor restated the need to decide on where to direct investment that would stimulate growth, stating that one of the sectors the government would leverage off is agriculture.

He said, “I’m happy our Commissioner for Agriculture, Muyiwa Jacob Ojekunle, understands this vision and has made it his own. Already, we have entered into a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement with an Agri-Tech company, Farmcrowdy, to commence a three-year plan working with 50,000 farmers to boost Agribusiness in Oyo State.”

Makinde revealed that economic reports received from the Oyo Ile Investors’ Forum, a non-governmental organisation, has been inaugurated and the Commissioner for Commerce, Adeniyi Adebisi, is going through for the implementation of the recommendations as advised by the Forum.

He stated, “I must add that their recommendations are targeted towards growth. We agree that focusing on job creation, the integration of women into the real sector, taking practical steps towards increasing tax revenue and identification of potential investment opportunities will drive the economic development of Oyo State.”

The Governor affirmed that instead of increasing taxes, technology and positive messages would be used to get more people in the informal sectors to pay their taxes, noting that people are encouraged to pay when they see taxes used for their benefit.

The Governor added that, “Visions are spiritual and they require mindfulness for a person to see them through. As our elders say, a dog does not eat the bone which is hung on its neck.  In all my reflections, I remain keenly aware of the magnitude of the responsibility that has been bestowed upon me. I cannot let the people of Oyo State down. So I must take care of this “bone” you have hung around my neck. I will deliver this vision.”

Speaking shortly after Governor Makinde’s presentation, the Chairperson of First Bank of Nigeria, Dr Ibukun Awosika, in a presentation entitled: “Accelerated Development,” urged government functionaries in the State to be real change makers.

Dr Awosika noted that they could make or destroy whatever the government was trying to achieve in transforming the State.

The Secretary to the State Government, Mrs. Olubamiwo Adeosun, while opening the retreat, said the gathering was to discuss how to achieve the roadmap for accelerated development of Oyo State as set out by the Governor.

She urged the participants to contribute meaningfully to achieving the target goals.

 

Sammie Idika