My Dear Good People of Osun,
As I step aside today following the conclusion of the four-year tenure you freely gave me, I thank God and I thank you for your support, cooperation and prayers over the years.
I recall how the journey began four years ago; how by your belief in me and your conviction in the plans and programmes of our Party, you exercised your right to vote for me.
Motivated by God’s promise, my conviction, we promised that we would serve you with steady heart and hands. We promised that we would hit the ground running once we assume office. We gave our words that we would put you first and run a people-centred government. We pledged to uphold the best ideals befitting of an Omoluabi.
As we draw the curtain on this first tenure, we are convinced that we neither reneged on our promises nor disappointed you. We kept faith with you and maintained fidelity with our electoral promises. It was our wish to continue to serve you but we are constrained by the outcome of the July 16 Governorship election which we are already challenging in court.
As a law-abiding citizen and government, we are stepping aside to allow the law take its course.
However, we look forward to continue to serve you in no distant future. We have absolute trust in God that we shall be back soon, as we have implicit trust and confidence in the judiciary to do justice in the case before it.
We are confident that this period of temporary political eclipse shall pass. The sun shall shine again, brighter and warmer and the sustainable development and participatory governance that we enthroned, which have been applauded by local and international organisations, shall be restored and put on a surer and better footing.
There can be no substitute to people-oriented and development savvy governance in a democracy. The tap roots of the unprecedented good governance, inclusive and participatory governance that we introduced, which delivered massive equitable projects and programmes are too strong to be uprooted.
My Dear Good People of Osun, I cannot thank you enough for not only supporting us throughout our tenure but for also standing by us even after the outcome of the July 16 election. Your goodwill encouraged us to continue with all our projects till the last day.
Let me reiterate here that in this first tenure, we were able to take care of the fears and evil of fiscal indiscipline and lack of implementation, which hamper projects and services in the nation’s public service. This can be seen in the myriad of people-centred and masses-focused projects we delivered for the use of the people of the State in this first term.
We proved that infrastructure and economic development are doable in a depressed economy and that stagnated development in a struggling economy is a product of intellectual laziness, dearth of creativity, shortage of innovation and lack of political will.
The laudable and people-centred projects we were able to deliver include the feeding of 30,000 vulnerable persons in Osun on a monthly basis through the Osun Food Support Scheme and financial support for the aged and widows; opening up of the Mining sector that attracted big investors to the state; reforming of the educational sector, including the recruitment of 2, 500 teachers; review of the single school uniform regime among others in line with the demand of the people; renovation of school buildings, distribution of educational materials to our pupils, provision of free education and free meals to them as well as training and re-training of our teachers to provide quality education for our children to enhance their performance as leaders of tomorrow.
In order to increase access to quality and equitable education at all levels with a view to empowering Osun citizens to realise their full potential, we upgraded the existing Osun State College of Education, Ilesa to a full-fledged University of Ilesa, with a world-class funding strategies that would not exert unnecessary pressure on the finances of the State; fixing of the State Specialist Hospital, Asubiaro and equipping same with state-of-the-art equipment, where we constructed120-bed ward and 30 units of Doctor’s Quarters; rehabilitation of the Ejigbo and Ifetedo General Hospitals; we also instituted the Osun Health Insurance Scheme (OHIS) to deliver affordable healthcare to our workers while offering free health services to the vulnerable under the scheme; revitalization of 332 Primary Health Centres -one per ward across the State.
We constructed, reconstructed and rehabilitated rural and township roads to open up our rural areas, help our farmers to transport their produce to the market and generally bring equitable development to our State. Apart from the Olaiya Flyover, which is an architectural masterpiece, a paragon of aesthetics and a socioeconomic signature on the economic transformation captured by the Development Agenda we exchanged for the mandate of our people, other major roads that were touched by our administration are: Ada-Igbajo road, Osogbo-Kelebe-Iragbiji road, and Akindeko-Awosuru link road via Adejumo Street with Oremeji spur, Akinlade Street, Adewale Street with loop to WAEC road all in Osogbo; Army Barack (Ede)-Ara-Ejigbo township road, Moro-Yakoyo-Ipetumodu-Asipa-Ife/Ibadan Expressway Junction Road and Ereja Roundabout-Ereguru-Isaare-Oke Oye-Sabo (Irojo)-Ilesa/Akure Expressway Junction.
Others are: Lawyer Atanda Road, Iwo; Ila-Arandun-Kwara Boundary Road; Nike Gallery – Ido – Osun Township airport with palace spur; Ikirun – Eko-Ende Road; the access road to Fountain University, Osogbo; Osogbo (Lameco)-Okinni-Ilobu – Ifon Osun Market with Spur to Olobu’s Palace; Osogbo/Ilobu-Akari-Erin Osun Roundabout on Osun LCDA Junction; Post Office-Ayetoro – Jamodo – Ifon Palace – Janta Ifon Osun; Isale-Asa-Oke Aree road, Iree, as well as Ikire township roads among other interventions. There are however a few other roads that are still on-going, while some are nearing completion. Among these roads are: Ife Township Roads; Inisa Road and Osogbo-Iwo Road among others. We did all these because fixing our State’s infrastructure deficit is a critical item on our Development Agenda. This is because no economy can truly succeed without adequate infrastructure to make life easy for residents and businesses.
We also restored the lost glory of our civil service and ensured that workers’ salaries are not only promptly paid but continued to pay minimum wage despite the devastating effect of COVID-19 pandemic. We stood tall among comity of states in the fight against COVID-19.
We also resolutely defended and prioritised the welfare of workers and pensioners. For this first term, we expended over N50 billion to cater for our senior citizens to settle their pensions and gratuities. We remitted the contributory pension as and when due, and we were at the same time reducing the backlog we inherited from the previous administration. By and large, we were able to stabilise the economy of the State under our leadership.
We never toyed with the security of our people as we cooperated with other States in South-West to set up Amotekun to support the conventional security agencies in order to further secure our State.
We also launched the Osun Youth Policy Document to take care of the present and future of our younger generation, just as we injected over N2billion into the economy through the Osun Microcredit Agency to empower our market men and women.
From a little above 10billion in 2018, we have been able to grow the State IGR N20billion, just as our performance in the World Bank’s States’ Fiscal Transparency, Accountability, and Sustainability (SFTAS) has continued to earn us accolades and financial benefits.
In 2018 before we came into office, Osun was placed 32nd on the fiscal sustainability index, finishing just ahead of Taraba, Plateau, Adamawa, and Kogi states.
However, by the latest ranking in 2021, we have climbed to the 19th place on the index, as we are now ranked 13th out of 36 states of the federation.
As we end our first term, rest assured that Osun is more stable economically than we met it in 2018 and it remained the most peaceful state in the country under our leadership.
For four years, we did not take any bank loan facility. But we benefitted from the N3billion monthly intervention from the federal Government to all the States for six months to cushion the effect of deductions of budget support facility and salary bailout accessed by the previous administration, just as we have paid N97 billion from the total debt we inherited in 2018.
We are leaving behind cash of over N14 billion. In addition to the N14 billion cash, another N8 billion is being expected between December and January from our performance in SFTAS and the IGR. Also, another Seventy-Two million Dollars will come to the State soon from RAMP 3, NG-CARES, Nigeria for Women Project and Ease of Doing Business. These are earned, based on performance. And we have indeed performed to earn them. It was part of the same performance that earned us the award of Best Governor on Efficiency of Public Expenditure and TOP Performer on Domestic Revenue Mobilisation by the World Bank’s States’ Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability, SFTAS, recently.
We have gone this length to let you know that Osun under our leadership was sustainable. It was done through fiscal discipline and personal sacrifices.
On behalf of our team, I appeal to you all to continue to be law abiding and to work assiduously to build the Osun of our dream. Together, we shall continue to mend the broken walls of our dear State and restore her glory for our collective good and that of posterity.
Thank you all and may God continue to bless Osun.
November 26, 2022