Oyewale Oyelola, Osogbo
Osun State government led by Governor Rauf Aregbesola has employed over 6000 teachers in the last eight years to boost manpower in the educational sector.
The state government made this known on Wednesday during a press conference jointly addressed by State Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Adelani Baderinwa, Media Adviser to governor, Sola Fasure, and Osun APC Director of Research and Strategy, Kunle Oyatomi in Osogbo.
The press conference according the state government was an appraisal of the Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s administration, clarification on rumours and make people see the need for continuity and consolidation of the Aregbesola’s endurance legacy of good governance.
The state government said Aregbesola’s administration had embarked on the construction of state-of-the-art 100 Elementary Schools, 50 Middle Schools and 11 High Schools, noting that 28 Elementary Schools, 26 Middle Schools and nine High Schools have been completed while the Government High Schools in Ikirun and Iwo would be commissioned by the end of this month.
“More than 6,000 teachers have been employed by the Aregbesola’s administration to boost manpower in the school system. The government has put in place a policy that makes teachers in elementary and middle schools to rise to grade level 16. In addition, the government appointed three Tutors Generals, equivalent to Permanent Secretary, in the three senatorial districts in the state. In capacity building, majority of our teachers and principals have been undergoing training, workshops and seminars in and outside Nigeria. “
The APC led administration also constructed and rehabilitated about 2000 kilometres of road across the state. Some of the roads are 226.02km of Boundary roads (among which are the 40km dualisation of Osogbo-Ikirun-Ila-Odo-KWSB road, 17.40km Oba Adesoji Aderemi/Osogbo-East bypass road, 2.80km Olaiya-Itaolokan and dualisation of Gbongan to Akoda with a trumpet bridge named after the former governor of the state, Chief Adebisi Akande), 415.89km of Intercity Roads, 218km Township Roads and 225km of Rural Roads. These also include 10 kilometre in each local government area.Work is ongoing on the Orile-Owu – Ijebu-Igbo Expressway; Osogbo – Ila-Odo, Kwara Boundary Expressway; Oba Adesoji Aderemi Ring Road; and Gbongan – Akoda Road.
Ogbeni Aregbesola also engaged 60,000 youths into the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES) thereby making Osun one of the least unemployment figures in Nigeria according to National Bureau of Statistic (NBS).
About 30,000 traders, artisans, small scales enterprise and business owners have benefitted from the N3.6bn loan through Osun Micro Credit Agency.
Aregbesola however noted that the state is capable of repaying its loan, adding that the total amount being owed by the government at present is less than N139bn; this is because the debt is reducing every month. Governor Aregbesola had stated that the conventional loan obtained by the government would be settled in 2019 while the N11.4bn Sukuk would be fully paid back in 2020.
TEXT OF A JOINT PRESS CONFERENCE ADDRESSED BY THE MINISTRY OF INFORMATION, OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR AND THE DIRECTORATE OF RESEARCH AND STRATEGY OF THE ALL PROGRESSIVE CONGRESS (APC), STATE OF OSUN ON SEPTEMBER 19, 2018
Gentlemen of the media, we welcome you all to this joint press conference being addressed by the Ministry of Information, Office of the Governor and the Directorate of Research and Strategy of the All Progressive Congress (APC), State of Osun. This press conference centres on the appraisal of the Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s administration, clarification on rumours and lies and the need for continuity and consolidation of the Aregbesola’s endurance legacy of good governance and effective service delivery to the people of the state of Osun.
There is no gainsaying the fact, and it will equally be an understatement to say that the noble administration of Governor Rauf Aregbesola is a success; the governor himself is the architect of the modern Osun and the All Progressives Congress (APC) is the party that is propelling and encouraging the government on the series of peoples friendly and popular programmes, policies and projects.
FOR THE RECORD
In eight years, Osun has been witnessing tremendous developments. Osun has since moved far from where it was when Aregbesola took over on November 27, 2010. All parts of the state are being given attention in terms of infrastructural growth. All the sphere of governance and each of the sectors of the society at large have had its own share of Aregbesola’s innovation, passion and dedication to societal wellbeing.
For specifics, the achievement of the present administration on ROADprojects is laudable and unprecedented. Osun had never had massive construction of quality road like we are having currently. About 2000 kilometres of road has been constructed and rehabilitated by the Aregbesola’s administration. These are some of it: 226.02km of Boundary roads (among which are the 40km dualisation of Osogbo-Ikirun-Ila-Odo-KWSB road, 17.40km Oba Adesoji Aderemi/Osogbo-East bypass road, 2.80km Olaiya-Itaolokan and dualisation of Gbongan to Akoda with a trumpet bridge named after the former governor of the state, Chief Adebisi Akande), 415.89km of Intercity Roads, 218km Township Roads and 225km of Rural Roads. These also include 10 kilometre in each local government area.Work is ongoing on the Orile-Owu – Ijebu-Igbo Expressway; Osogbo – Ila-Odo, Kwara Boundary Expressway; Oba Adesoji Aderemi Ring Road; and Gbongan – Akoda Road. It is our hope that these roads will be completed before the end of our tenure.
There is no part of Osun that is left out in the infrastructure development, the little of which is standard drainage construction and channelization of erosion paths, which has helped in preventing flood in the state.
Going to the EDUCATION sector, we have recorded success in both infrastructure and content delivery. It is a fact that Aregbesola has undauntedly given priority to education. The modern schools being constructed by Aregbesola could be best described as “educational monument” and a “legacy project”, capable of creating unquantifiable future for the present and incoming generations. Aregbesola’s administration had embarked on the construction of state-of-the-art 100 Elementary Schools, 50 Middle Schools and 11 High Schools. Presently, 28 Elementary Schools, 26 Middle Schools and nine High Schools have been completed while the Government High Schools in Ikirun and Iwo would be commissioned by the end of this month.
More than 6,000 teachers have been employed by the Aregbesola’s administration to boost manpower in the school system. The government has put in place a policy that makes teachers in elementary and middle schools to rise to grade level 16. In addition, the government appointed three Tutors Generals, equivalent to Permanent Secretary, in the three senatorial districts in the state. In capacity building, majority of our teachers and principals have been undergoing training, workshops and seminars in and outside Nigeria.
Over 50,000 students have benefited from ‘Opon Imo’ in Osun since inception in 2013 to 2017. Less than N3billion has been spent on procurement, installation, distribution and maintenance of ‘Opon Imo’ since inception till 2017. Opon Imo’ has helped to improve performance of students in Osun, culminating in 54 per cent pass rate in 5 subjects including Mathematics and English in 2018, The best result in a 10-year period. In 2013, ‘Opon Imo’ won the e-learning and science category in World Summit Award, World Congress in Sri Lanka.
A strategic pointer to Aregbesola’s commitment to education in Osun is the sponsorship of 85 medical Students of Osun State University who were sent to Ukraine by the Aregbesola’s administration for medical studies. The government had sent 85 UNIOSUN medical students to the V.N. Karazin Kharkov National University, Kharkov, Ukraine in January 2013 to study medicine when they could not proceed to clinical class because of none availability of Teaching Hospital for UNIOSUN. The students have graduated and returned to Osun as medical doctors.
Aregbesola in less than 100 day in his first term, Aregbesola established Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES) through which 20,000 cadets were employed into the public works. Another set of 20,000 unemployed youths were engaged in 2013, rounding up the figure to 40,000. The OYES cadets were given safe landing with jobs in teaching, various agriculture schemes and ICT. For this, Osun now has one of the least unemployment figures in Nigeria while the state is also among those with the lowest crimes rate, according to National Bureau of Statistic (NBS). A fresh set of 20,000 youths are recently recruited and inaugurated by the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo on Saturday, September 15, 2018. With this, the total figure of youths absolved and engaged by the Aregbesola’s administration cumulatively now is 60,000
Osun is one of the states that pioneered the free school feeding programme. In the programme, healthy and nutritious meals are being served to 262,000 elementary 1-4 pupils in all public schools in the state, every school day. This programme, called O’MEALS cost the government of Osun N3.6 billion per annum. O’ MEAL integrated into the agriculture and economic empowerment programmes of the state. This is because under it, 3,007 food vendors were engaged and trained to cook healthy and hygienic food for the pupils. To be able to feed these pupils, 15,000 whole chickens, 254,000 eggs, 35 heads of cattle and 40 tonnes of catfish are weekly bought off farmers and other producers in this state.
In February 2013, Governor Aregbesola launched 50 state-of-the-art ambulance vehicles as part of the state’s Ambulance Service Scheme tagged O’ Ambulance. The ambulances were stationed in strategic places on highways and across the local government. The O’ Ambulance had saved more than 4,000 lives. The Director General of O’Ambulance, Mr. Akinloye, said the scheme rescued more than 2,000 people in 2016 alone through its prompt rescue operations in emergencies across the state.
The primary responsibility of every government, as stated by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is provision of security for the safety of life and property of the citizenry. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) recently rated Osun as the state with the lowest crime rate in Nigeria, just as the Nigerian Peace Index in 2018 rated Osun as the most peaceful state in Nigeria.
The report commended Aregbesola’s commitment to providing adequate security for the people of the state. Aregbesola purchased and distributed 125 patrol vehicles to security agencies in the state and specifically provided 25 fully equipped Armoured Personnel Carriers to the state Police Command.The Aregbesola’s intervention in security system in the state is responsible for the peaceful atmosphere of the state.
A total of 24,850 traders, artisans, small scales enterprise and business owners have benefitted from the N3.6bn fund provided by the state government of Osun, through the Osun Micro Credit Agency. The breakdown of the figure is as follows: 11,391 beneficiaries from commerce were given N1.6 billion credit, 9,100 beneficiaries from agriculture sector were given N1.3 billion, while 2,552 Manufacturers were provided N375.7 billion.Also 1,379 artisans were given 204.5 billion, just as 233 people from education sector got a sum of N34.3 million, while 195 people from health sector obtained N28.5 billion. The number of beneficiaries and the amount were recorded between 2014 and 2017. In 2018, about 11,000 small-scale business owners have been empowered, rounding the total figure of the beneficiaries to 36,000 plus.
Bola Ige Mechatronics Institute, (BIMI)
Bola Ige Mechatronics Institute, (BIMI) is one of Africa’s best mechatronics school, with none of its kind in Nigeria or sub-Saharan Africa for that matter. The institute has three computerised mechanical workshops for assembling and repair of various types of automobiles. The Rauf Aregbesola’s administration sent 30 Osun indigenes to Germany for a 2-month intensive training in May 2014. Subsequently, the government of Osun in partnership with a foreign agency and support from the National Automotive Council established the multimillion-nairamechatronics institute and named it after former Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Chief Bola Ige, SAN.
The following has been achieved under the AGRICULTURE sector: Over 16,000 jobs created for the indigenes of the State of Osun. Over 700km of rural roads built to reduce cost of transportation for farmers and increase access to markets, 30 bridges constructed with access given to areas cut-off from civilization. Over 2.8 billion naira given to farmers as loans, over 11,000 farmers have been supported with direct cash transfers, 5,000 farmers’ co-operatives registered and over 71,000 farmers have benefitted from the Government’s interventions so far in agriculture sector.
More than N2 billion zero interest loans had been made available to farmers in addition to yearly provision of farming inputs and additives. The government has also sponsored two sets of youths to Germany for training in modern farming techniques.
OBOPS– Osun Broiler Outgrowers Production Scheme is an agricultural programme established by the trail blazer, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola. OBOPS has produced at least 5 million birds in the last three years. The first phase created over 200 millionaires was sponsored by the state government and anchored by TUNS Farm. The second phase of the programme, being anchored by AMOO FEEDS has also kicked-off and will empower 30,000 farmers. OBOPS programme has helped the state government’s course on the elementary school feeding programme, O’Meals of the present administration leading to the gainful employment of about 1,000 farmers and over 3,000 food vendors under the elementary school feeding programme.
Aregbesola has brought a radical transformation in the health sector. The governor has in the last seven years built Primary health centres in Ogbaagba, Erin-Ijesha, Erin-Ile/Erin-Oke and about nine comprehensive health centres were equipped with modern day equipment. To comprehend the effort on the O-Ambulance scheme, Aregbesola built emergency unit in the State Hospital Asubiaro, Osogbo. In 2014 Aregbesola bought 100 handheld scanners which were distributed to rural areas outside the cities and Asubiaro State hospitals. Four 3-D Duplad scanners were distributed according to the Senatorial districts; one was given to Iwo, Ilesha and Asubiaro then the fourth one was given to LAUTECH Teaching Hospital here in Osogbo. The government also built tuberculosis control centre in Ilesa west.
All the projects and programmes highlighted above are too heavy to be achieved in just about eight years, except for a focused, purposeful and development driven government. No patriotic Osun indigene/resident will deny these blessings wrought on our state through Ogbeni’s fertile mind and creative hands. Ogbeni is an enigmatic character well appreciated by the high and the mighty, even from faraway lands.
We are in a period where lies and propaganda are flying here, accusation and counter accusation and there and political parties are throwing mud at each another. We are not unaware of some frivolous and baseless accusation against Aregbesola’s administration and the government of the APC; thus, we want to make clarification and some of the issues.
Prominent of the issues is the DEBT PROFILE of the state. We would like to remind the good people of Osun of the official report of the National Bureau of Statistics which put both the internal and external loans, bond and other credit line obtained by the State Government to N179bn ($96, 347, 432, 73 and N147, 069, 973, 626.49) in September 2017. This is against the wanton figure of N600bn at a time, N450billion at another and N400billion being stated by the lazy and unpopular politician. Besides, the total amount being owed by the government at present is less than N139bn; this is because the debt is reducing every month. Governor Aregbesola had stated that the conventional loan obtained by the government would be settled in 2019 while the N11.4bn Sukuk would be fully paid back in 2020. The Accountant General of the state had also in May this year stated that the total debt left for the state to pay was N143.6bn. These are verifiable facts and anybody saying contrary is only out for mischief and political purpose.
It is a known fact that private organizations and individuals take loans to finance their businesses. Most successful governments in other parts of the world achieve development and great dynamic society through the aid of loans and other financial facilities which they put to good use as have been done in the State of Osun. We bring to fore China and the United States that are the most developed economies in the world and are incidentally countries with the highest debt profile which indicated that as rich as they are; their resources seem not enough for their development plans, thereby resorting to loans. The administration of Governor Rauf Aregbesola as a visionary, prudent, accountable and proactive one took the loans to finance rapid development of infrastructure that made Osun a reference point and cynosure of good governance in the land.
We commend the workers for the understanding, steadfastness and support to the government during the financial crisis that brought about the payment of modulated salary in which workers on level 1-7 were paid full salary, those on level 8-12 were paid 75 per cent while workers on level 13 and above and all political appointees were paid 50 per cent of their salary.
However, the state started paying full salary to all categories of her workers in July this year when there is sufficient fund to do so. It is noteworthy to state that the payment of the full salary was made possible by the increase in the price of crude oil in the international market which in return increased the revenue of the Federal Government and raised the accruable allocation to the states.
It is necessary to state categorically that the administration of Governor Rauf Aregbesola has always given priority to the prompt payment of salaries to its workers. We hold workers in high esteem and always appreciate their efforts and contributions to the development of the state.
There is no government in Osun that has been fair and considerate to the pensioners in the state like Aregbesola’s administration. The State Government of Osun is very committed to the payment of pension and gratuity of its retired workers. The current administration met a N50 million monthly pension payment in 2010 and increased it to N150m in 2011 and later to N500m in 2012. For record purpose, the government had in February this year specially paid pensions and gratuity to a total number of 2,006 pensioners who retired from Ministries, Departments, Agencies and parastatals in 2011/2012 when the government released a sum of N1.2bn for such purpose. Also, in May, a total sum of N200m was released for the payment of gratuities to retired officers on old pension scheme and another sum of N100million for the payment of contributory pensioners. In the same May of this year, the government released a sum of N1.8bn bond to the retired workers under the Contributory Pension Scheme in the state. More than 210 civil servants were given the bond certificates. 171 retired officers and 39 retired workers from the local government received their bond certificates totallingN1.6bn and N200m respectively. A sum of N40 million was also released to fresh set of 400 pensioners in the state. The sum was paid to 148 retired secondary school teachers, 250 retired civil servants and 2 retired parastatals workers.
With these interventions, it is out of place to say that the administration of Governor Rauf Aregbesola is insensitive to the plight of the pensioners. The protesting pensioners were politically motivated. They were sponsored by one of the opposition candidates, with whom they hold meetings regularly and from whom they received cash and other gifts and a marching order to destabilise the government. They are out for cheap blackmail against the administration of Governor Rauf Aregbesola.
We are proud of Governor Rauf Aregbesola for his ingenuity, vision and ceaseless efforts in transforming the State of Osun to an Eldorado. Osun has been able to summon the challenges of poor roads and dilapidated school infrastructure, poor health facilities and insecurity. Aregbesola brought to the fore, the conflagration of good governance predicated on progressive ideas and practical solutions to the problems of Nigeria and Nigerians. It is crystal clear that Aregbesola has raised the bar of governance in the State of Osun.
Therefore, we urge the people of the state to continue supporting the government of the APC and vote for its candidate in the coming Saturday governorship election, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, for more dividends of democracy, continuity and consolidation of legacy of good governance. The electorate, through their votes, should not allow the progress of the state to be stalled. APC candidate is the only competent person to run the state for steady development and progress.
There is no credible opposition. One is an over pampered child that wasted his youth in riotous living and cannot even boast of a secondary school education. He is known at best obscene street dancing. Another is a serial loser who has nothing to offer, other than an allegation of murder that has refused to go away. He has been indicted for stealing public funds and is now refunding the money back to the federal government through the EFCC. Another one is a disgruntled politician who could not get enough votes in the primary election of his former party and has been shopping for a platform to contest. He is bringing anger, venom and an oversized grudge and sense of entitlement to govern the state. They are all desperate and should be kept away.
The APC is the party of the masses that believes in egalitarianism and equal access by all the people to societal resources and privileges. I am urging you therefore, on behalf of Governor Rauf Aregbesola and the entire State Executive Council to vote for Gboyega Oyetola, one of us, who is part of the transformation of Osun, who understands all the issues and will continue the good works.