By Opeyemi Oluwatayo
Since the emergence of Governor Seyi Makinde and his registration of wonderful strides in the governance map of the country, the Oyo APC caucus has been clutching at straws by either spreading falsehoods, downplaying his activities by calling it bare minimum (even though their party could not do this “bare minimum”) or comparing him with three or more governors in their party.
Despite all this, he excelled in all comparison.
The latest of the comparison is APC Oyo going to a state in the far North, Borno state, to draw comparison with Governor Zulum. This is an attestation that their 8 years government failed excellently in Oyo state.
Instead of comparing Governor Seyi Makinde to Governor Zulum who himself had urged that he should not be compared to anyone so that he can focus. Can I kindly remind APC Oyo state that Governor Seyi Makinde is not having the same kind of FAAC allocation as Borno? Also, there are no NEDC grants for Oyo state. Despite this, Seyi Makinde has done exceptionally better, even if this comparison was to stand. I’ll like to remind the estranged APC structure in Oyo state without a ward chairman that they should endeavor to have a recognized Publicity Secretary. Maybe that will help them communicate better and reasonably in public discourses.
At this juncture, let me do a quick run down of what Governor Seyi Makinde has done since he came into power. Oyo APC claimed the governor has not distributed another set of notebooks and textbooks since the first one his administration shared at the beginning of his tenure. Is it migraine or general amnesia affecting the Oyo APC family? I’ll like to remind them that despite the hurdles Covid-19 posed last year, Governor Seyi Makinde commenced the distribution of N2.7m worth of notebooks to Oyo state students.
Also, APC lied that students were not given report cards. Another falsehood fabricated in the minds of these mischief makers. This falsehood was busted by a press release by Mr Taiwo Adisa, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde.
Let’s move on to infrastructure, Governor Seyi Makinde has delivered and completed about 80kms of roads namely 65kms Moniya to Iseyin road, 11km Saki township dual road, 7km Akobo road, 5kms Beere to Molete Road and 3km Lautech first gate road. In the same vein, over 400kms of roads projects are ongoing across all zone in Oyo state, namely 21km Airport to Ajia road, 12km phase II Akala Expressway to Apata dual road, 77km Iseyin to Ogbomosho road, 35km Oyo to Iseyin road, 45km Saki to Igboho road, 12km Apete to Akufo concrete road, 5km Gedu-oroki-Asipa, 11km Iwo road and environs to airport dual road. These road infrastructure are spread across different geopolitical zones in the state. APC in eight years could not point out 40kms road they did. Seyi Makinde in 31 months has surpassed that. In fact, in their 8 years administration, they could point to one inter-city road project in the state.
Let us talk about the challenge junction improvement work that has eased traffic conjunction over there. The completion of Bashorun-IdiApe-Iwo road with installation of traffic lights, the two bike loading points at Agodi gate, the 250km of smart LED public lighting radius spread across the state.
APC criticized the solar streetlights. This only shows that these guys are antiquated. Smart LED lights are taking over public lighting all over the world because of its durability and smartness in control. The brightness is also unmatched. But, no, the opposition still criticised.
There are four bus terminals projects ongoing in the capital city to bring orderliness in the transport system. Governor Seyi Makinde is also overseeing the setting up of over 1,500 housing units in the state. None of this happened during the 8 years of APC’s administration.
Agbowo mall is coming up from its feet from being a den of criminals to become a proper super commercial complex. Ijaye Asphalt plant has already started operation. Akesan market was rebuilt to a modern facility. Sasa market is also getting rebuilt, in the same vein as Eleyele market which is also getting reconstructed.
If APC Oyo is doubting the effectiveness of the fire service, they should ask people at Agodi gate when fire gutted their market earlier this year. Eyewitnesses testified that the firefighting vehicles were on ground and did their best to mitigate the unfortunate outbreak. We do not hope for further mishap to prove any point.
Governor Seyi Makinde, in the health sector, procured 10 ambulance vehicles, three of which are ICU fitted. Out of the 351 primary health centres on course to be built by this govt, 42 have already been concluded, another 8 was completed at the height of Covid-19 pandemic. Aremo General Hospital is completely rehabilitated same as the government clinic at the State’s Secretariat.
The high dependency unit at LAUTECH’s Teaching Hospital was fixed, MRI machine was purchased. Adeoyo Teaching and General Hospital at Ringroad and Yemetu were given facelift from electricity supply to surgery theatre, accreditation of courses and installation of medical equipments. Agbami chest clinic has been upgraded, Jericho hospital has been moved to a bigger site. The old site is now being upgraded to become the Oyo state nursing homes for elderly ones. Saki specialist hospital at Saki is completed, Eruwa general hospital got an upgraded lab, Oranyan primary health centre has been upgraded since the first 100 days of the governor in office.
Governor Seyi Makinde has equipped security men with equipments which includes over 500 vehicles, including 125 fast cars, numerous JAC pickup vehicles, motorcycles for Amotekun. Also, the recruitment of 1,500 Amotekun officers, the highest among states where Amotekun is operational. Recently, the Governor commissioned the completed Amotekun headquarters with communication gadgets that cover the whole of Oyo State. More CCTV coverages, expansion of Oyo State security control room with complete acquisition of license to operate the CCTVs as case was not so earlier, provision of bulletproof vests, combat helmets and boots for police and monthly welfare and maintenance allowances for security operatives.
Moving to the stadium the APC mock so hard, we should establish a fact that the governor did not use 5.5bn ($12m) to remodel just Lekan Salami stadium from ruins to what it is (we all know how the sports complex was before now, especially the pitch). Governor Seyi Makinde upgraded it from rot to an international facility with natural grass, VAR, expanded capacity with cover, proper tartan tracks, renovated dressing rooms, wet rooms, doping centre, media centre and a clinic.
That aside, the money is also getting Oyo state 10 more sporting arenas like outdoor and indoor basketball courts with stands, lawn tennis court, badminton hall, judo hall, kickboxing hall, wrestling hall, boxing ring, 5 a-side pitch and a training pitch, apartments for visitors to subscribe into will be provided, 6 mini stadia spread across the state are also benefiting with selected schools also getting mini football pitches, all still ongoing. On the case of the dried turf, the pitch is natural grass and it’s experiencing an expected challenge, before the completion of the whole sports complex the govt has assured us that the facility managers will be handed the stadium for proper management.
We should ask APC why they’re so dishonest in this regard of value for money, because Mokola bridge, a 1.4km bridge built by Ajimobi with $20m in 2011 could not even stand heavy duty vehicles. Oyo State people should also get to ask APC where the billions they sunk on planting of flowers that have withered after two years in the name of beautification, that scam should not go scot free. The General-gas Bridge they budgeted N1.4bn for in 2017 with just rods to show for it was awarded at 1.03bn by Seyi Makinde and it’s already 60% done. Akobo road that was contracted by Ajimobi for N1bn per km, is being done at 400m per dual km even with compensation to affected owners of structures who have them demolished The project has been completed. The Circular road that Late Ajimobi contracted for more than N2bn per kilometre at just 32km stretch, two years without a km properly tarred, the four or more lane road with toll gate is contracted at N1.2bn per km at 110km stretch, work will start on it very soon.
APC has no say when value for money is discussed.
In education, Governor Seyi Makinde has returned Oyo state to the era of free education policy while improving the rank on Oyo state in the sector across the country. The School Governing Board the state is considering will not in any way take us back to the time students were paying to access public education, thereby leaving Oyo with over 400, 000 out of school children. APC kind of rejoices in dysfunction because that is only the reason why they would want Oyo state to go back to times when public education was levied with a lot of burden on parents. From 3k school fees to lesson fees to maintenance fees to PTA fees, everything is free now with free tutorial for UTME and WAEC candidates.
Seyi Makinde is keeping up to date with UBEC commitment to access as much grant as possible, Oyo state was the first to pay in 2021, same state defaulted UBEC between 2013 – 2018, indeed, something has changed.
In two years, 48 model schools were completed, without counting projects like blocks of classrooms, boreholes, libraries, laboratories and furniture.
LAUTECH university is now running smoothly and was recently adjudged the best state university in the country, and the fourth best university in Nigeria. The governor is making efforts to see that it becomes a conventional university starting from the newly established faculty at Iseyin Town. Other tertiary institutions are getting due attention from funds to get accredited to capital projects like renovated hostels at Polytechnic Ibadan. Let me point out that when APC states like Kaduna and Ondo are increasing school fees, Oyo state reduced fees by 25%.
The opposition also talked about Botswana maize. The governor made himself clear at the inauguration that it is a work in progress. More so, Covid-19 came last year and stalled the government arrangement with Farmcrowdy to achieve this. Despite this, the govt has done things in the agribusiness sector. Let us start from the facelift given to the 25-year-old OYSADEP HQ in Saki, now OYSADA HQ. Registration of 20,000 small scale holder farmers with distribution of farm inputs from cassava stems to corn seeds, pesticide, cocoa nurseries, ongoing training of 10,000 youth in agribusiness in partnership with a tech integrated farm in Nasarawa. The govt is ready to establish the beneficiaries by setting them up as independent commercial farmers linking them with ready-made markets or connecting them with commercial farms where they can take up job roles and get meaningful payments.
The 7.6bn loan taken by APC but accessed by this govt is evident at Fashola agribusiness industrial hub, same will be established at Akufo and Eruwa, African development bank also loves what Oyo state is doing and they are partnering with Oyo state to establish another one at Ijaye. Private agribusiness companies have shown interest in Oyo state, that’s why you’d see a cassava processing company set up at Ilora, another one at Ido, Niji farms and Brent farms are attracted by the state government policies and are investing heavily in agribusiness. Friesland dairies have expanded their operations in the state.
To further aid industrialization and night life, Governor Seyi Makinde has started the setting up of Oyo State’s first independent power project with a capacity of 11MW. This will further grow our IGR and support our health facilities and e-governance system to perform optimally
Let us talk IGR growth and general economy. In over a decade, Oyo state made a back-to-back appearance on the top 7 chart for IGR. Also, Oyo state moved from a state making N2bn monthly to N4.1bn in 31 months, no heavy taxation, VAT collection in Oyo state is the third largest in Nigeria. Oyo state reduced its external debts from $108m in June 2019 to $83m at the moment. Domestic debt reduced from 98bn from June 2019 to 91bn at the moment. All these data can easily be accessed through the Debt Management Office, DMO.
I’ve succeeded in outlining the various achievements of Governor Seyi Makinde beyond rhetoric of numbers without empirical facts. All I have said can be verified. The IGR growth can be easily seen on NBS website, the debt management on DMO website, UBEC projects can be verified on UBEC websites and Oyo feedback website, the other projects are visible with there locations given.
APC in Oyo state should shut up!!!