After a very intense campaign for the number one sit in Ogun State, Mr Dapo Abiodun, an astute businessman and public administrator emerged victorious. The victory was much expected as it did not come as a surprise to all the stakeholders in Ogun state politics. Abiodun obviously had all the qualifications and quality required of a governor. His display of competence and deftness in business and public service shows clearly that he was not less a man deserving of that position.
In few weeks’ time, the tenure of the State Governor Ibikunle Amosun will expire and Governor-elect Prince Adedapo Abiodun will step in as his successor.
The current governor succeeded Governor Gbenga Daniel on May 29, 2011 on the ticket of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), which later fused into the All Progressives Congress (APC), where he was re-elected in 2015.
Interacting with the governor-elect, I found that his intelligence and in-depth knowledge of the economy and social welfare was intact. Every true leader must have an in-depth knowledge of governance and the economy. Where these are lacking, it becomes a challenge to govern, as there would be no realistic and people driven idea to sail the ship of state.
In a bid to support good governance, we have set three key agenda for the governor-elect which he should incorporate into governance to move the state to economic prosperity and political stability.
Youth empowerment and job creation
The surging rise in the level of unemployment and under employment in the state needs urgent attention. The emergence of an employer of labour and astute business man as governor of the state brings hope that things may change. The state apart from focusing on the creation of jobs for the unemployed should also consider creating the enabling environment for the creation of jobs. The state has so much natural resources that can be harnessed for the over all good of the people, from the bitumen rich Ogun waterside to the oil rich Tongeji Island in Ipokia. When proper policies are put in place to harness these resources, the state will be better for it. The contracts for the implementation of some of these projects should be awarded to competent indigenes and residents of the state who will then engage the youths for the project execution, as against the usual practice of outsourcing it to foreigners. When the youths are gainfully engaged, insecurity will reduce drastically, thereby creating a fertile environment for investors to invest.
Rejuvenate local government administration
The constitution provides for a third tier of government- the local government. This tier has since gone comatose in the state. In fact, the local government administration, which is the closest to the people, ceased being relevant or functional in Ogun after the tenure of Gbenga Daniel in 2011 and literally slipped into torpitude with the advent of the Amosun’s government. The need to build a vibrant third tier arm of government which can really relate to the people at the grass root level stares Mr Abiodun in the face and same must be addressed upon his assumption of office come May 29, 2019. Grass root involvement in the scheme of things is the very wheel driving the idea of a federation.
Revamping the educational sector
The present administration, no doubt, has spent so much on educational infrastructure. Billions of naira has been spent on the government’s plan to build twenty (20) model state of the art schools in all the twenty (20) local government areas of the state to make learning more conducive for pupils and students in the state. The problem however is that, despite the enormous amount spent on these infrastructures, only a few are completed and in operation. The incoming administration must ensure that it monitors the completion of these projects as government is a continuum. Existing schools should also be renovated. Although I do not totally agree with Chief Jackie Adunni Kassim who was the governorship candidate of the United Democratic Party(UDP) in the last governorship election, that the multi-billion naira model schools were not the ones the state deserves, I however agree with him on the point that the searchlight should not be taken off the already existing school which can as well be renovated to become model schools.
Also, the very many issues of the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU) has to be addressed by the incoming government. It has been reported that the monthly wage bill of OOU is N300m while the monthly subvention being released had remained at N70m in the last one year, a situation that had continued to compel the university management to put the burden of making up for the N230m shortfalls on the students by way of payment of prohibitive fees and levies. The situation is even worse in other institutions like the Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun, where monthly wage bill is about N200m while its subvention from the state government is about N25m per month. In fact, it is so pitiful and pathetic in the Tai Solarin College of Education where some of the staff have not earned salaries for the past eight years, with their salaries accumulating to the tune of over four billion naira (N 4,000,000,000.00)! These issues will have to be addressed if the incoming administration actually have it in mind to boost education in the state.
In conclusion, if these three cardinal issues are addressed by the government, there will be growth and development in the state and the hopes and aspirations of the people would have been met.
Ehiwe O. Samuel is a lawyer and public affairs analyst. Send your comments to -firstname.lastname@example.org or 08138354796.
Written By Obioma Ezenwobodo Esq
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