Governor Seyi Makinde held the first of his quarterly media chats for 2021 on a BCOS programme tagged Àlàyé Gómìnà. During this press outing on Saturday, February 20, 2021, Governor Makinde responded to questions raised by journalists and the general public.
Here are ten takeaways from the media chat:
1. The delay in the commencement of construction at Akufo and Eruwa farm estates is due to bureaucratic challenges. However, although Governor Makinde said work would commence shortly, he did not give a specific timeframe.
2. On the earlier plan to export maize to Botswana, Makinde stated that the state government decided to focus on cassava production because of its comparative advantage. Oyo State maize, as presently grown, does not meet export standards.
3. Governor Makinde said he was aware of the issue with Olorunda road. Though the reconstruction has been delayed by budgetary constraints, it would be fixed in due course. Regarding the slow pace of reconstruction of the re-awarded Idi Ape-Basorun-Akobo-Odogbo Barracks road, he stated that the government was also unhappy with the work speed. They would prevail on the contractor to improve.
4. On security in Ibarapa, Makinde said his administration had invested in equipping the security agencies to fight crime. But that one challenge being faced by the government was the proliferation of fake news about the security situation. According to him, even the Oyo State emergency contact number, 615, receives many calls that give false information.
5. Governor Makinde also spoke on the murder of Dr Fatai Aborode in Igangan. He said that information from the deceased’s father suggested his killing had political undertones. Dr Aborode’s father had said the attackers spoke Yoruba and that no one else in the group was hurt aside from his son. Makinde revealed that he had directed the Commissioner of Police to arrest and question the Okada rider who had carried Aborode to his farm that day. He believed the rider who was also Aborode’s farm manager, could provide useful information to solve the murder case.
6. Makinde also answered questions about the World Bank assisted Ibadan Urban Flood Management Project (IUFMP). He stated that the contracts awarded under the previous administration were to Lebanese companies. He had moved to stop more contracts being awarded to the same companies as he was not satisfied with the work they did in the past.
7. On the recent judgment against the state government regarding its collection of rates at motor parks through appointed park managers, Governor Makinde admitted that the government was wrong. He said the local governments had been directed to resume the collection of rates at motor parks as stipulated by law.
8. Makinde stated that the Oyo State Government had not given land to Fulani herdsmen in Arapaja Odo Ona. As earlier presented at the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, his position was that the rearing of cows or any other animal is a private business that government should not champion.
9. The Governor also commented on the recent resumption of the monthly environmental sanitation as announced by the Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources. He said he does not support the enforcement and restriction of movement. Instead, he advised the commissioner to try a different approach to get residents of the state to regularly clean their environment.
10. Governor Makinde confirmed the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences, was going to be relocated to Iseyin. He also said the Iseyin-Ogbomoso road, a federal road, would be fixed by the state government to facilitate movement between both campuses.
Bonus: On the Oyo State Post Primary Schools Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM) recruitment, Makinde revealed that rechecks were being conducted on about 700 of the 5,000 applicants due to irregularities. He had just the day before given approval for 30 applicants out of this 700. He appealed for patience to ensure that all candidates got the jobs based on merit.