The Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde has promised that he would run the State affairs like an open book throughout his tenure.
Receiving a delegation from the Commercial Service of the United States of America’s Consular-General’s Office, in Lagos, Governor Makinde said that his administration would remain accountable to the people throughout his tenure.
The delegation was led by the Commercial Attache to the U.S Consular, Mrs Christine Kelley.
Four point agenda
Playing host to the US delegation, Governor Makinde expressed his readiness to decisively execute the four-point service agenda of his government, which rest on the four pillars of education, security, health and economic expansion through agriculture and its value chain.
”Education is really key for us, because we believe that when you give knowledge to the people, that is the surest way to take them out of poverty…It was the education I received that gave me the opportunity to engage with the world. It is the same opportunity we are trying to give to the people of Oyo State,” he said.
The Governor noted that his administration was ready to collaborate with any organisation, body or country to develop the State, saying: “Most importantly, Oyo State is open for business and transparency is our watchword. We are holding ourselves accountable to inform the people of what we are doing and also for them to challenge us.”
“A lot of things are opaque in this environment. We are holding people to their words and we also want them to hold us by our words. We want to get to a point where they can read us like an open book and that is what we desire for Oyo State,”Governor Makinde stressed.
He stated that his administration would vigorously execute its four-point service agenda, to expand the economy of the State and improve the standard of living of the people.
Makinde said; “On health and security, we believe that health is wealth and that it is only in a safe environment that there can be productivity and thriving investments. And the last is how to expand our economy. We don’t have crude oil in Oyo State but we do have a large expanse of land and it is all arable.”
Noting that Oyo State is as big as Belgium and the vegetation from the Northern part of the State is derived Savannah, he stated that every inch of the land could be cultivated as there are rain forests all the way down to the South of the State.
“An educated mind, a healthy body operating in a safe and secure environment will definitely expand the economy,” the Governor added.
The Commercial Attache to the US Consular, Mrs. Kelley had informed the Governor that the visit was meant to establish bilateral trade between the US and Oyo State in the area of healthcare delivery, education, security and Arts and Culture.
She noted that that the Consular was in charge of trade promotions of the US government, especially with countries with which it had trade relations, from multinational to small and medium enterprises.
Mrs. Kelley added that the consulate was ready to partner Oyo State in all the areas mentioned, to promote the bilateral trade and develop the State.
In a related development, while addressing traders at the Scout Camp Neighborhood market, Molete Challenge, Ibadan, Governor Makinde said the decision to reduce rents in the market was to ensure that traders make maximum use of the business complex and to lure them away from roadside trading.
Saying that roadside trading is dangerous to the lives and property of the people, the Governor noted that his administration would leave no stone unturned in ensuring that lives and property of the people are well protected and secured.
He gave the assurance that all lacking infrastructures in the market would be put in place for them to have maximum satisfaction in the market.
The new charges, as announced by the Governor now stands at N40,000 for lock-up shops instead of N60,000, while the open stalls will now cost N8,000 instead of N16,000.
Governor Makinde urged the people to pay their charges as and when due and to also vacate street trading, as anyone found in such acts would be dealt with within the ambit of the law.
The Chairman of the market, Mr Kehinde Tewogbade, commended the Governor Makinde-led administration, imploring the State government to work on the Local Government Council to stop issuing hawking permits to traders on the premise of generating revenue.