AN ADDRESS DELIVERED BY HIS EXCELLENCY, SEYI MAKINDE, EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR OF OYO STATE, AT THE INAUGURATION OF THE STATE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL HELD ON THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2019
When I was sworn into office in May, Oyo State workers had gotten used to late payment of salaries; our vulnerable senior citizens were accustomed to receiving their pension payments in fractions. Our children were unsure about sitting the Primary Six and Junior Secondary School Three terminal exams. Our people were living in a state of despair.
It is not even the politically significant 100 days in office, and many of our citizenry can testify to having partaken of the ‘omituntun’ my administration promised before we came into office. Salaries and pensions have been consistently paid on time and in full. A few weeks ago, I approved the immediate payment of N280M for pensions and gratuity to 100 civil servants on Grade Levels 1 to 17 who retired from 2012. Students’ enrollment in examinations reached what people have called “unprecedented levels” because of our zero fees policy. I also increased the bursary paid to students of the Nigerian Law School from N100,000, which was last paid in 2012, to N500,000. Our administration will continue to prioritise education as the foundation upon which sustainable development will be built. We are gradually easing the pains of our people.
Of course, we still face enormous challenges ahead. We have, literally, only just started. Before we took over, our state’s per capita income was about Nine Hundred Naira (N900). Oyo State’s per capita is not the worst in Nigeria. But compared to one of our closest neighbours to the West who make over One Thousand Five Hundred Naira (N1500) per capita, it leaves much to be desired.
My vision in the next four years is to visit and reverse the negative socio-economic indices that have beleaguered Oyo State over the years and make our Pacesetter State set the pace again.
I am happy to report to you that all hands are on deck. I have been intentional in my actions. I have identified critical areas of focus, and with the help of my recently appointed principal officers, Oyo State’s band of civil servants and the co-operation of the good people of Oyo State, we have been working in the areas of Security, Health, the Economy and Education these past seventy eight (78) days.
We have spent some time assessing and consulting with stakeholders at various levels since we assumed office because as our people say, Eni ti o be Ige Adubi ni ise, ara re ni o be. This is no time for trial and error. For every action taken, we must pre-empt and foresee outcomes.
I have visited Adeoyo hospital, Yemetu and the abandoned 10,000 metric tonnes silo in Awe. I have met with Security Chiefs, the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, Nigeria Labour Congress leadership in Oyo State, the Nigerian Communications Commission and stakeholders of Shooting Stars Sports Club, one of our two state-owned football clubs.
I have held regional meetings, such as the talks with the Ogun/Osun River Basin Development Authority. I have also held international discussions with representatives of the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce and with representatives of the World Bank. Our administration reached an agreement with the World bank to accelerate developmental projects in the state. We will work towards implementing the agreements reached at these meetings.
By God’s grace in the next few weeks, I will be announcing a new security architecture to tackle the spate of insecurity in our beloved state. As mentioned earlier, I have not been working alone. No one can do this work alone. It takes cooperation and team spirit to move any endeavor forward, and that is why all fourteen of you will be playing a crucial role in the overall development of Oyo State.
I am looking forward to seeing you come up with innovative and creative policies that will accelerate Oyo State’s journey to greatness. I imagine you sponsoring bills from your various departments that the Executive can escalate. But most importantly, I desire to see you make focused, intentional and mindful decisions that show that you put Oyo State and our people above personal interests.
I have had one on one interactions with all fourteen of you. Your various endeavours hitherto have prepared you for this moment. You had successful and fulfilling individual careers in the private and public sectors. I have among you representatives from academia, former legislators, professionals and business people.
But you chose to answer this call to serve. With the formidable track record and CVs you all possess, I am happy that you are not working against me.
And so we are gathered here today to inaugurate the Oyo State Executive Council as stipulated in Sections 192 and 193 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended). Their mandate is to direct, supervise and manage their portfolios. It is indeed an honour to welcome you all to be a part of our administration.
Just as a CEO cannot function without a trusted and tested board of advisors that key into his visions, Oyo State cannot make the desired progress unless we work together.
I have presented my vision for the people of Oyo State. As you take up this appointment, I believe you are keying into this vision. As I said in my inaugural speech, I will delegate effectively, but the buck will always stop with me. I hope that you will likewise take responsibility and not pass the buck.
So, come with me, work with me, let us take Oyo State to greater glory.
Together, we can do this!
Once again, I congratulate you all on your appointments.
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria
Long live Oyo State.