As part of activities marking his second year in office, Oyo State Governor, Engr Seyi Makinde held a media chat on BCOS television on Saturday, May 29, 2021, to give an account of his governance in the past 2 years.
During this media chat, Governor Makinde responded to questions raised by journalists and the general public.
Here are ten takeaways from the event:
1. Governor Seyi Makinde outlined infrastructure projects embarked on by his administration and the impact on the economy. These include the 65km Moniya-Iseyin Road which has been completed, the Apete-Awotan-Akufo Road and the Airport-Ajia-New Ife Express Road with a spur to Amuloko.
2. Governor Makinde said that there is no plan to put a total ban on ‘Okada’ riders in Oyo State. Instead, he said that they would be integrated into a modern transportation system where an identity management system would enumerate and identify all riders.
3. On security challenges, the governor noted that insecurity is a major challenge to the nation at large. He stated that Oyo State fares better than most other states. He highlighted his administration’s achievements in the security sector including the operationalisation of the Amotekun Corps, the setting up of a Security Task Force, and the upgrade of the Security Control Room as some of the steps being taken to combat insecurity in Oyo State.
4. Speaking on the ban on open grazing by Governors of Southern Nigeria, Governor Makinde said that the Oyo State Government, signed the anti-open grazing law in November 2019. He, however, said that the state didn’t get the support of federal agencies for enforcement of the implementation of this law. He therefore said that what Nigeria as a nation needs is not a constitutional review but complete restructuring so that state governments can enforce their own laws in their states.
5. On finance, Governor Makinde said Oyo State achieved an increase of over N1 billion monthly in Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) without increasing taxes. According to him, to achieve this, the government made tax collection simpler and broadened the tax base to capture the informal sector. He appealed to residents of the state to meet their tax obligations especially the land use charge.
6. Governor Makinde clarified the position on debt owed by Oyo State. According to him, the external debt owed by Oyo State has reduced by $24million since this administration assumed office in 2019. He added that the state government is borrowing for the expansion of the economy, not consumption and so, the state has the capacity for repayment.
7. The Oyo State Governor stated that his administration is paying retirees and pensioners at both ends. He said the inherited backlog of gratuity payments from 2011 was being cleared while the gratuity of those who retired during his tenure was also being paid.
8. When quizzed about the Oyo State Anti-Corruption Agency, Governor Makinde explained that the delay in commencing operations was due to certain challenges which are being resolved such as offices for the members. He stated that OYACA members are being trained and would resume operations in due course.
9. Speaking on government owned businesses in Oyo State, the Oyo State Governor stated that his administration’s analysis on the partnerships entered with the private sector to run state-owned businesses revealed that the state was receiving more revenue as part-owners than when the businesses were fully owned by the state. He reiterated that government should not be running businesses.
10. Governor Makinde concluded the chat by saying that talks about his re-election bid were too early and a distraction as he was focused on fulfilling his promises to the people of Oyo State for his current tenure.