Oyo State governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, on Wednesday, addressed members of the State House of Assembly, declaring that his administration has been meeting the expectations of the people of the state.
The governor, who was speaking at the Assembly chambers on the occasion of the first anniversary of the 9th Assembly, declared that his administration was determined to deliver on the electioneering promises made to the people during the campaigns.
He also stated that the state has, so far, conducted over 3,500 COVID-19 tests, a development which he said placed Oyo State in the top four of highest testing states in the country.
He announced that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has approved a second diagnostic laboratory for COVID-19 testing in the state.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted Governor Makinde as stating these in his “State of the State Address” delivered before the members of the Oyo State House of Assembly.
He added that the actions, policies and projects of the administration in the last one year, “have been geared towards ensuring that the impact of good governance reaches everyone in our state.”
The statement further indicated that the governor also explained how the administration has succeeded in growing the economy of the state despite the COVID-19 pandemic and how it has fared in the education, health, and security sectors.
Makinde added that as a result of the administration’s decision to respond to the pandemic based on science, data and logic, the administration has succeeded in ensuring that response to COVID-19 pandemic has not created “more problems than the pandemic itself.”
The governor stated that some of the approaches of the administration in curtailing the harsh reality of the pandemic included the decision to partially lock down the state and the deliberate decision to grow the economy by injecting funds into the economy through prompt payment of salaries.
He maintained that in order for the state to be able to take an informed decision on reopening worship centres, schools and other businesses affected by the partial lockdown, it is ramping up testing for the virus by embarking on Community-Based Testing in 10 locations within and outside the state capital.
“We have projected a July 15 date for the resumption of schools. But that date is dependent on the risk situation analysis presently being carried out by the experts.
“For this same reason, we have held off from reversing our directive on religious gatherings. We saw what happened when a private organisation did not follow the advisories we provided to the letter. Over 50 per cent of COVID-19 cases in Oyo State can be traced to this organisation. So, I take this opportunity to again plead with our religious leaders to be patient with us. We are keeping our eyes on the numbers and will adjust this directive at the right time,” he said.
According to Governor Makinde, the administration has been able to complete hundreds of education infrastructure projects as well as put in place policies that have contributed immensely to the improvement of the education sector.
He added that the administration has been investing in education because of its belief that “education continues to be one of the best ways to fight poverty and improve our economy.”
It will be recalled that Governor Makinde had, during his state broadcast on May 29, maintained that the administration has completed 239 education projects left behind by the last administration and 68 others started by the administration, while another 236 projects are ongoing.
The governor said: “When I took the oath of office, I pledged to serve and protect the people of Oyo State. In the past year, our actions, policies and projects have been geared towards ensuring that the impact of good governance reaches everyone in our state. From the entrepreneurs and managers of large corporate organisations to the market woman and the Micra driver on our roads.
“To be fair, the first year in office for every administration is always used to plan and set things in motion. But in most cases, when the people have voted massively for ideological change, they are in a hurry to see the resolution of issues that affect them. There is pressure to hit the ground running and set the ball rolling.
“I can report to you that these expectations are not lost on us, which is why, from the outset, we built our Roadmap for Accelerated Development in Oyo State, 2019-2023 around four pillars: Economy, Education, Healthcare and Security.”
In the area of healthcare delivery, Governor Makinde told the Assembly that the state has begun a new a new funding system for primary healthcare, noting that part of the 22.5 Billion Naira infrastructural loan approved by the Assembly will go into developing the healthcare sector.
“We have set the standard we want for our Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs), and anyone who has visited the renovated and equipped PHCs at Oranyan, Aafin in Oyo Town, or ALGON Comprehensive Health Centre at Eyin Grammar, Ibadan, will testify to the fact that the standard is high.
“If there is one thing that the COVID-19 pandemic should have taught us, it is that we have to get our house in order. Little did we know that in our lifetime, there would be any sickness that will force everyone, no matter their social class to depend on our local healthcare facilities for any chance at survival. With the Infectious Disease Centre at Olodo and more ongoing upgrades to healthcare facilities in Saki, Ogbomoso, Igbo Ora and Awe, we are in a better place, healthcare-wise, than we were a year ago.
“Ultimately, we plan to renovate or rehabilitate one PHC per ward in Oyo State. We know this is a daunting task, but it is one we are determined to accomplish,” he said.
The governor added that the state got the 7.6 Billion Naira loan borrowed by the previous administration but which the Assembly approved to be repurposed for the Akufo and Eruwa farm estates in March 2020, stating that the upgrade of the farm settlements will begin in July 2020.
On security, Governor Makinde said the Oyo State Security Network codenamed Operation Amotekun will be fully operational within the next one month, even as he commended the Assembly for the moves to review the laws on rape and sexual assault, promising to ensure the enforcement of the laws, as he charged all the arms of government to continue to show zero tolerance for sexual violence.
In his welcome address, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Rt. Honourable Adebo Ogundoyin appreciated God for the journey so far, noting that the Assembly has brought about unprecedented legislative achievements and innovative lawmaking ideas.