Text of the Speech Delivered by His Excellency, Senator Isiaka Abiola Ajimobi at the State House of Assembly In year 2012, before, the then speaker of the house, Rt. Hon. Monsurat Sumonnu. Pacesetter news reported.
You can read and compare with the current governor of the State, His Excellency, Engr. Seyi Makinde One Year Score Card
Read below the immediate former governor’s speech.
Let me give glory to the Almighty for the opportunity He has given us to be here today and particularly for me to stand before the Honourable members of the Oyo State House of Assembly to present the very first State Address to the State Assembly, marking our first year anniversary.
2. When I received the correspondence of the House of Assembly notifying me that the House had passed a resolution that the Executive Governor shall give a yearly State of Oyo State Address to the Assembly, my joy knew no bounds.
3. This resolution of the House conforms with our position on collective and participatory governance which has been aptly captured by the signature of our government, “Ajumose.”
4. In every sense of the world, there can hardly be a better way to demonstrate our conviction about collective governance than giving periodic feedbacks to the House of Assembly which is an assemblage of the representatives of our people.
5. Madam Speaker, before I go into the details of this address, permit me to pay tributes to the members of the Oyo State House of Assembly.
6. When I stood before you on June 10, 2011 to proclaim the Assembly, many of our people lived in trepidation that we were about to unleash a demon on the political landscape. Their fears were fuelled by what, in legislative parlance, is called the “Hung Parliament.” In Oyo State. At the inception of this Administration, the legislature was fairly composed of members of three different political parties, with none having a comfortable majority to guarantee a rancor–free legislative business.
7. As a former parliamentarian, I had my fears as well. But I was guarded by the belief that, given the pedigree of the members of the House, the interest of Oyo State and our people would override parochial party considerations in the affairs of legislative business.
8. One year down the line, I am grateful to the Almighty that my confidence was not misplaced.
9. Madam Speaker, the Oyo State House of Assembly has done Oyo State people proud. Hardly in the history of the parliament in Oyo State, not even when a single party was in clear majority, have we had a year-long peaceful, mature and patriotic conduct of legislative business as we have experienced in the last one year. I doff my hat for the Speaker, Principal Officers and Members of the Oyo State House of Assembly.
10. Let me quickly recall that you have truly lived up to the tradition of service, which previous occupiers of this hallowed chambers have been known by. It is in this hallowed chambers that the motion for the independence of our dear country, Nigeria, was first moved in 1953.
11. This House of Assembly is, therefore, not like any other one in Nigeria. As members, you are partakers in a heritage of service, vision and leadership. I am most grateful that, with the business of the last one year, you have lived to the bidding as one of the foremost parliaments in Nigeria.
12. Madam Speaker, this occasion is for me to give an account of our stewardship in the last one year. I will approach this by briefly touching on the vision with which we set out; the accomplishments we have made in the course of the last one year; and finally, our vision for the years ahead.
13. When I proclaimed this 7th Oyo State House of Assembly on June 10, 2011, I outlined the vision of our administration as one driven by such priorities as human capital development, education, skills acquisition, effective healthcare delivery, infrastructure development, rural integration, development of agriculture and agro-allied industry; improved security and good governance.
14. Although we are only one year into our four-year tenure, I am pleased to inform you, Madam Speaker, that we have successfully laid the foundation upon which this vision will be realized.
15. Permit me, Madam Speaker, to begin with the intangible achievements of our administration.
16. You will recall that at the time our administration came on board, Oyo State had become a classic case of the “Hobbesian state of Nature”. A state where no one who goes to work in the morning could be rest assured that he would not fall prey to political thugs or miscreants or that his/her property would not be vandalized or his estate forcefully appropriated by some political god-fathers. I am pleased to affirm, Madam Speaker, that we have changed all that. Peace has returned to Oyo State. We were able to achieve this through objective and dispassionate approach to addressing public issues. We also set up a Joint Security Team code-named Operation Burst, for which the government has provided necessary facilities for its operation.
17. Still on the intangible achievements. We have broadened the frontiers of democracy and good governance. In this respect, I, once again, want to congratulate the House of Assembly for partnering with the executive arm of government in the last one year. We have maintained cordial relationship between the executive and the legislature, at no peril to the separation of powers that undergirds our democracy. I wish to place on record that in this past year, the executive forwarded a total of 25 bills to the House, out of which 16 have been passed.
18. This event of yearly report to the legislature is another instance of good governance. As part of the first anniversary, I shall be holding town-hall meetings across the state to take the scorecard of our administration to our people at the grassroots. We have restored confidence in our public service with able leadership, prompt payment of salaries, increment in pensions, payment of backlog of pension inherited from the past administration and the institutionalization of in-service training and capacity building.
19. I have highlighted infrastructure development as a priority of our administration. I am pleased to inform you, Madam Speaker, that we have done in one year, what many previous administrations could not do in four years. We have either rehabilitated/constructed or rehabilitating/constructing a total of 199 roads and eight (8) bridges across the nooks and crannies of Oyo State. We are currently constructing a fly over at Mokola, the first in 35 years in Oyo State and the first by any democratically elected government. We have dredged 43 rivers, canals and streams, as well as cleared more than 120 drains. We have devoted time and resources to return our urban centres to the beautiful havens that they were in the past.
We have instituted weekly environmental exercise to mobilize our people to partner with government, so as to make our environment beautiful, clean and healthy.
20. Finally on this score, we have commenced preliminary work on the construction of a 110 KM Ibadan Circular Road which will serve as the epicentre of the development of Oyo State. We are not only constructing a road, we are delineating the 110KM stretch as the new corridor of development with areas like ICT Park, Industrial Estates, Educational Section, Media Centres and so on to drive our vision for the rapid, social and economic development of Oyo State.
Let me clarify that we inherited some of the projects that were on the drawing board; some were at the planning stage while we conceived many of them. More importantly, we executed them. We cherish performance and not propaganda. We have performed as advertised.
21. In agriculture, our goal is to guarantee food security through the expansion of agricultural services. In concert with some of our development partners, we are currently constructing seven earth dams in Ilora, Batake, Ibapon, Ado Awaye, Idere and Fashola. We are also rehabilitating three earth dams at Pade, Akufo and Kisi. We are training 3,500 Yes-O Cadets as Agriculture Extension Cadets so that our farmers would be abreast of latest developments in technology-driven agriculture. Because we reckon that we have an aging population of farmers, we have designed and embarked on a School Agriculture Programme to bring young people into farming. Finally, we have signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with investors from the United States of America, Canada, Australia and South Africa, for the establishment of large scale commercial farms in Oyo State. When these farms come on stream, they will not only boost food production and provide job opportunities for our people, they will afford our local farmers the opportunity to learn about the best practices in agriculture from these parts of the world.
22. Education, Manpower Development and Skills Acquisition are important components of our Restoration Agenda. In this respect, we are currently rehabilitating 235 blocks of classrooms in Primary and Secondary Schools. We have reduced tuition by as much as about 50% in some of our tertiary institutions. We have resumed the supply of science and home economics equipment and furniture to our schools. Last year, government paid N396 million WAEC fees and distributed about 3.3 million exercise books to pupils in primary schools.
Also, we have commenced the processes for the establishment of the Technical University of Oyo State. In the next one year, our focus shall shift to the renovation of existing technical colleges and the establishment of new technical colleges and Skill Acquisition Centres across the State. Finally on this score, Madam Speaker, I am glad to inform you that we have successfully resolved the prolonged crisis on the ownership of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso with Osun State.
23. In the area of Social Welfare and Poverty Alleviation, we have employed 20,000 youths into the Youth Empowerment Scheme of Oyo State – Yes-O. I am pleased to inform you, Madam Speaker, that after some teething problems, all the 20,000 Cadets engaged in the Yes-O programme have been duly deployed to strategic areas of need.
24. We have also started the “Keke Ajumose” Scheme with the procurement of 1,000 units of tricycles which are given on loan to Okada riders under the umbrella body of their association, Association of Okada Riders, AKOMORON. This is directed at reducing accidents on our roads, as well as providing succor to many of our unemployed youths. This figure will increase as beneficiaries pay for the tricycles, creating funds for the procurement of more tricycles. It is my pleasure to inform you, Madam Speaker, that we have verifiable evidence that the introduction of the tricycles have reduced accidents in our urban centres. Last year, we successfully provided relief for victims of the August flood tragedy in Ibadan through provision of accommodation, materials and cash.
The Ministry of Women Affairs, Social Welfare and Poverty Alleviation have through many intervention programmes empowered thousands of our women and the needy in the state.
25. In Health, government has commenced the first phase of the construction of 62 new Primary Health Centres in the wards where they do not exist at present. We have also commenced the rehabilitation of our hospitals for the provision of comprehensive healthcare service. We are about to commence our Abiyamo project through which at least one (1) Primary Health Centre will be equipped with essential drugs in every ward in selected local government areas.
26. Madam Speaker, I am pleased to inform you that during the past year, we pioneered the New-Born Screening Initiative through which new babies with sickle cell anaemia would be detected at birth for immediate medical attention. Our exploits in healthcare delivery also include provision of free healthcare to over 300,000 beneficiaries in our roving Free Health Mission and the ongoing procurement of 4 big ambulances and 200 tricycle ambulances for prompt emergency services.
27. Madam Speaker, you may wish to recall that when I presented the 2012 budget, I indicated that many of our development projects would be driven through the Public-Private Partnership.
I am pleased to inform you that this strategy is already yielding fruits. Two weeks ago, I turned the sod for the construction of a 150 room 6 Billion Naira worth 5-star hotel in Ibadan. We have also commenced work on the construction of two housing estates in Elenusonso and Lagos-Ibadan Expressway respectfully, under the Public-Private Partnership.. The construction of the 110KM Circular Road is also to be undertaken under the Public-Private Partnership model.
28. Our strategy of leveraging on the Public Private Partnership has been complemented with reaching out to international development partners. May I inform you, Madam Speaker, that we found out to our dismay that Oyo State had not been receiving her fair share of support from development partners because some past administrations did not reach out to such agencies. We have received tremendous support and affirmative assurances in our quest. In the next few months, our people will begin to see the benefits of the overtures we are making.
Already, preliminary work has commenced on the establishment of the Okerete Trans Border Market in Oke-Ogun area of Oyo State. The project is supported by the Department of Foreign Investment, DFI of the United Kingdom. When the market comes on stream, it will provide millions of direct and indirect jobs and transform the economy of the Oke-Ogun area beyond the imagination of any of us. We have also made tremendous progress in our relationship with the World Bank. Indeed, we are already receiving the benefits of the expertise and support of development partners in the area of infrastructure development, environment and capacity building in public finance. We are already at advanced stage in securing financial support for our initiatives in these areas and more. Interestingly, a team of potential investors arrived from the United States of America last night to explore areas for investment and industrialization in the State.
29. Madam Speaker, may I confirm to you that we have been able to accomplish these feats through the support of the House of Assembly and goodwill of the people of Oyo State.
30. We had our own fair share of distractions that could have derailed the vision of the government but for the support and cooperation of our people.
31. The outstanding challenges were labour unrests, the tragic flood incident of August 26th, 2011, threat to peace by factions of the transport drivers union and the national fuel subsidy crisis.
32. Our government encountered a challenge with labour within one week of assumption of office. It is. Needless to restate that some of the booby traps set by the previous government slowed down the government. We, however, thank the Almighty, our leaders and the people of Oyo State for supporting government to overcome this challenge. We have commenced paying a minimum wage of N19,100.00 and have brought the salary structure of Oyo State at par with comparable States in the South West. We have gone beyond this to clear backlog of pensions, increased pensions by 142 percent, put a representative of pensioners on the Pension Board, ensure prompt payment of salary by 25th of every month and paid a full thirteen (13) month salary in December 2011.
33. The tragic flooding of August 26, 2011 in which scores of our people lost their lives and property worth billions of Naira were lost was a major challenge for the administration.
34. Apart from taking the government off many of its programmes, the tragedy also caused the government substantial resources in time, funds and manpower. We are indeed grateful to our well wishers, sympathizers, the House and people of the State for supporting the government to overcome the disaster. Above all, we give all glory to the Almighty.
35. The Future… Madam Speaker, these are only the highlights of our efforts in the last one year and the challenges we faced. Most of these programmes will mature in the second year and the benefits will become accruable to our people. In this second year, our focus for the rapid transformation is anchored on three projects that we have started working on.
36. The first is the transformation of the Ibadan Airport to a Cargo Airport. The airport will complement the Erunmu Dry-port and the new development corridors along the 110KM Circular Road.
37. The second project is the supply of natural gas to Oyo State to enhance the attraction of foreign and local investors to the state.
38. Finally, we are working on the expansion of the rail transport facility in the state. The combination of these three facilities will add fillip to our quest for private sector investment which is the guarantee of rapid development of our state.
39. We have embarked on discussions with agencies and parties concerned with these initiatives and we are confident that the projects will soon leave the drawing boards for the world of reality.
40. Madam Speaker, I am pleased to inform you that efforts at bringing in development partners, private investors and the World Bank to partner with us in these projects are beginning to yield fruits.
41. Few months back, the prestigious Financial Times of London listed Ibadan as one of the top 10 destinations of choice for investments in Africa. This is a confirmation that our efforts are yielding fruits. We shall not rest on our oars.
42. I seek the continued cooperation of the House of Assembly as we drive the process to rapid development of our dear state.
43. In conclusion, Madam Speaker, let me thank you, once again, for providing the platform for us to provide the scorecard of our administration. I pledge our continued cooperation and support for the House of Assembly.
God bless Oyo State House of Assembly.
God bless Oyo State.
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria_2012
First Year Anniversary for Senator Isiaka Abiola Adeyemi Ajimobi.