Month: June 2018

Ajimobi to establish welfare centre for street children, orphans

Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has disclosed his intention to establish a child welfare centre to cater for street children and orphans.

The governor made the disclosure while receiving members of the new governing board of the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, led by the Chairman, Alhaji Bagudu Shettima, who paid him a courtesy visit in his office, on Thursday.

He said that the centre would also help in addressing the health and social needs of other vulnerable people in the state.

The governor said: “The general wellbeing of the people of Oyo State is one of the top priorities of our administration and that is why we have invested heavily on health facilities and evolved policies in the health sector, which are today being emulated by other states across the country”.

He said that it was the same gesture that led to the establishment of Access to Basic (Health) Care (ABC) Foundation by his wife, Chief Florence Ajimobi, through which, he said, many less privileged people had been assisted at no cost.

Ajimobi said: “I am, therefore, happy to inform you that plan is at an advanced stage for me to establish what a Child Welfare Centre, which will see to the welfare and wellbeing of those children in need of parental care.

“It is my belief that this will help in addressing the health and social needs of our people in Oyo State and reduce the rate of child abuse, child trafficking and the use of our youths for nefarious activities like thuggery and brigandage.”

He said that the establishment of the centre would further complement several efforts of his administration in the provision of qualitative healthcare services and other socio-economic interventions in the state.

The governor, who reiterated his administration’s commitment to assisting UCH to emerge as a leading health institution in Africa, commended the institution for regularly fulfilling its civic responsibility through regular payment of tax.

He urged the board and management of UCH to improve on the standard for which the health institution was known all over Africa, pledging that his government would not hesitate to offer assistance when required.

The governor said: “UCH, like the University of Ibadan, is one of the three reasons why Oyo State is regarded as the intellectual capital of Nigeria. We are proud to have the institution in our state and it is our determination to ensure it remains the best, not just in Nigeria, but in Africa.

“I also want to use this occasion to appreciate UCH for also fulfilling its civic responsibility to the state government through regular payment of tax. For those who do not know, UCH is presently the highest taxpayer in Oyo State.”

Speaking earlier, Shettima expressed appreciation to the governor for his unflinching support for the health institution, assuring that his board would consolidate on the various successes associated with it.

He disclosed plans to hold a special retreat that would aggregate the strength of the institution to further impact on the state’s health sector and the nation at large.

The board chairman also hinted the governor about some of the activities already lined up to commemorate the institution’s 61st anniversary, the theme of which he said was the ‘Rebirth of Excellence’.

He said efforts would be made to build more on the collaboration between the state government and UCH with the renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding (Mou) for the Ibarapa Community Health programme.

Shetima said: “While we seek for more collaboration with the State government as well as more assistance in the area of land donation, we pledge, in the spirit of the 61st anniversary of UCH, to renew the MoU for the Ibarapa Community Health programme.

“We want to put on record that Oyo State has been very supportive and we will build more on the collaboration.”

The Chief Medical Director (CMD) of UCH, Prof. Temitope Alonge, who was on the entourage of the board Chairman, also disclosed that the old people’s clinic, which was planned to be established in each local government in the state, had taken off in 17 local council areas of the state.

Oyo Boosts Trade With GEEP MarketMoni Loans

Oyo boosts trade with GEEP MarketMoni loans

Over 12,000 beneficiaries from Oyo State are now counting their gains from the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) MarketMoni interest-free loans.

The Federal Government revealed this today at the state’s Micro, Small and Medium-Scale Enterprise (MSME) Clinic, where the Vice-President Prof Yemi Osinbajo interacted with over 2,500 of the beneficiaries in the ancient city of Ibadan.

Speaking at the event, the Vice President stated that “the president has directed the expansion of the GEEP MarketMoni loan to accommodate the least traders.” According to him, it is “the hope of Mr President to broaden opportunities to every Nigerian by providing such loans such as the MarketMoni loans, TraderMoni, and the latest being the FarmerMoni to accommodate even the least trader.”

He added that the loan is meant for every Nigerian who is willing to work, earn a living and at the same be a partner in the ongoing efforts at resuscitating the economy

Also speaking, Oyo State governor, Abiola Ajimobi said the importance of MSMEs to the economy and lauded the Federal Government for its outstanding initiatives geared at bolstering the economy by empowering MSMEs. He stated that “small business is where prosperity begins because it is the live-wire of the economy.”

He said the Federal Government must be commended not only for realising this, but also in reinforcing it through their great initiatives.

The Executive Director, Financial Inclusio , Bank of Industry (Bol), Toyin Adeniji, said GEEP MarketMoni is a self-sustaining programme that has come to stay. “We have given out loans to thousands of people across the country. Recently we were in Edo to interact with beneficiaries, and we are doing the same today in Oyo State with over 12,000 beneficiaries.

Between N10,000 to N100,000 is being disbursed specially for market women, traders, farmers, who are in the lower cadre of financial inclusion in the country. We have even commenced another scheme known as TraderMoni which is targeted at those in the far remote ebb of financial inclusion,” Adeniji said.

GEEP MarketMoni loans are repayable in six months with five per cent administrative charge. To ensure that the loan instalments are paid on time and conveniently, collections begin from the third week after loans are received.

Greed, bane of Progressive Politics in Nigeria – Ajimobi

Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has said that the growing incidence of greed and desperation to amass wealth by political players is alien to the progressives’ politics of late Chief Obafemi Awolowo era.

The governor said this during a condolence visit to the family of a late leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo Central Senatorial District, Pa Samuel Ogundiran, in Jobele, Afijio Local Government Area.

Ahead of the 2019 general election, he called on political parties to conduct proper scrutiny and integrity check for aspirants jostling for their tickets, while also challenging those that have what it takes to lead to throw their hats into the ring.

Ajimobi described the deceased politician as “one of the last men standing” among the disciples of Awolowo, who embraced progressives politics till death.

He said, “Chief Awolowo maintained his stand in politics, despite pressures from the center and his followers, like Pa Ogundiran, would remain resolute on their ideology.

“Progressives politics is today riddled with greed. It is no more the same progressives we used to know. It is all about money. If you give them money yesterday and you have none to give them today, you will be called names.

“Baba died when his wisdom on progressive politics is still needed. He was a core progressive politician. I urge his children and youths in general to emulate the good deeds of Baba.

“I also want to say that politicians aspiring for political offices must be thoroughly screened from home to know them better before they can event get the ticket. Most aspirants do not have the discipline and decorum to lead others.”

Ajimobi, who also described himself as a progressive politics, said his own brand of politics places emphasis on winning elections, just as the leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said this was slightly different from the politics of the Awolowo era that focused more on participation than winning elections.

The governor advised the children of the late politician to emulate the good deeds of their father, bearing in mind that they could someday also assume positions of leadership.

The governor prayed for the repose of the soul of the deceased, adding that the void created by his departure would be too difficult to fill.

In Ibadan Media City, Culture, Technology Collide

The importance of culture and creativity to urban regeneration is a policy development that is gaining currency in the world over. Some governments are even providing an altogether more focused and pragmatic creative industry policy that entails the manifestation of a purpose-built cluster of creative industry activity.

From Europe to Africa and America, cities are choosing to adopt sophisticated marketing campaigns in order to promote themselves, internationally, as a result, Creative London, Creative New York, Creative Sheffield, Creative Toronto have become new slogans that cities have used to garner international reputation as somewhere amenable to creative professionals.

One of such cities emerging in Nigeria is Ibadan. Creative Ibadan.

Located at the heart of BCOS complex in Basorun, Ibadan, the idea behind it is to use the latent resources within BCOS as the takeoff ground for the project.

BCOS sits on a considerable estate of lands, about 65 acres of lands, of which less than 20 per cent has been used.

Conceived by Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, Ibadan Media City is to serve as the innovation hub and regional headquarters of the creative economy of Western Nigeria in line with the ideas of UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN), which was launched in 2004 to promote creative and sustainable urban governance.

Only last Friday, the XII yearly meeting of the UCCN, which ended in Polish cities of Krakow and Katowice —- joint hosts and Creative Cities of Literature and Music —- reinforced the desires of countries to refocus the creative economy.

Themed ‘Creative Crossroads’, the meeting provided culture workers and missioners opportunity to exchange and share ideas, experiences and good practices on how to advance culture and creative industries for better cities.

Celebrating the collaborative spirit, which lies at the core of the UCCN, and drives member cities’ local and international action, members looked at how they could better stimulate social cohesion and intercultural dialogue, and recognise cultural diversity in their cities, how the digital era impact the city of tomorrow, as well as how global concern over the future of the planet urge urban communities to reconsider their production and consumption patterns, and lastly, how culture and creativity could improve the quality of urban life.

These overarching issues form the fulcrum of the Ibadan Media City Project. According to Yomi Layinka, chief executive of the project, “the concept is to create a hub of media and entertainment businesses and practitioners that will propel the very proud heritage of the Yoruba people, not only to us at home, but also to the Yoruba in the diaspora and to the black world in general.”

The Guardian gathered that the location, state-of-the-art facilities and focus on industrial partnerships will give mass of independent specialist creative, digital and media organisations opportunity to create an innovation led ecosystem that nurtures the development of talent for the creative, media and technology economies.

It also gathered that in order to attract the creative professionals to live as well as work in these media cities, often there would be high specification living accommodation built alongside the creative industry facilities. These include, extensive public areas, comprising cinemas, concert halls, restaurants, function and conference centres, retail areas, theme parks and studio tours.

Media cities provide a vibrant cluster for hanging out, training and thus, gaining access into networks at the peripheries of major media projects. For example, the overall ambience of Soho in London, with its bars, cafes and clubs provide the environment in which advertising professionals learn.

Layinka said the project was borne out of the desire of Governor Ajimobi to modernise Oyo State. “Having dealt with insecurity, infrastructure, he looked at that aspect of human endeavour that would best encapsulate total development.”

He explained that the project is essentially to bridge the gap between culture and technology, as well as market the aggregate Yoruba culture.

Though, first of its kind in Nigeria, the Ibadan Media City is modeled after a few ones around the world such as, the Dubai Media City in the United Arab Emirate, Media City in Salford, Manchester, and others in Seoul, Korea and Copenhagen, Denmark.

Other cities that have similar areas include: the fashion industry cluster of Faubourg Saint-Honore in Paris or the jewelry quarter in Birmingham. Here in Ibadan, Mokola offers an example of a cluster of printers and graphic designers and illustrators just as Somolu does, in Lagos.

Beyond the vibrant clusters, there are also the incubator spaces; often purposefully designed spaces that are rented out at relatively low rates to small scale creative industry workers with the specific intention of creating a vibrant, collaborative environment.

“We intend to build a theme park and resort where families can come for holidays,” he quipped. “There would be an area dedicated to major Yoruba icons, whose statues make up the Walk of Fame. Once you get in, these Yoruba heroes and heroines would bid you welcome.”

Layinka continued, “the idea is that urban city planners have found the idea of a concentrated media city project to be a major feature of urban centres in need of regeneration. In most of these cities, the concept was to create a hub that acts like an energy-giving source for that region. So, our ambition with the project is to create a regional media hub that is located in Ibadan and can serve the whole of West Africa.”

Creative cities focus on any of seven areas of creativity: Crafts and folk art, media arts, design, film, gastronomy, literature and music. The same is the focus for Ibadan; however, Yoruba icons and architecture will have pride of place.

The desire is for Ibadan to be a genuine community, where collaborative relationships can grow and flourish. It’s a concept reflecting the way the creative industry is moving, as the boundaries between ‘new’ and ‘old’ media become increasingly blurred. This is a brave new world, which will require talented people from different disciplines to work together.

The project chief executive said, “we intend to build a studio where a lot of major productions could hold and not just for producers in Ibadan, but for producers across the country and the world at large. We are talking about a broadcast studio that can host major events like Big Brother Nigeria, Big Brother Africa, major sporting events, drama and films.”

Smiling, he said, “the last controversy about Big Brother Nigeria being shot abroad will stop. We also intend to build an entertainment mall that will comprise cinema, shopping centres and so on.”

According to Layinka, “we also intend to build in the media city as support for all the other facilities, a four-star hotel, such that visitors could come into the city and spend their weekends. They could attend events, watch movie down the road, go to the production studio and see what is going on there and take their children to the theme park to see what is going on there.

“And lastly, a Media Academy, which is primarily to train a new generation of creative workers, be they producers, software code writers, fashion designers, music stars and managers in the entertainment sector. The academy will be where you supply the manpower needs of the hub and by extension expand such that producers or software code writers in Akure, Ado-Ekiti or Lagos would find a convergence here.

Don’t forget that I said it is a hub and so it will be a community of creative artists and media practitioners, who are at the cutting edge of their crafts and who can cross-pollinate in a contemporary, dynamic and energetic manner and by extension impact their immediate community in Ibadan, South-West and certainly across Nigeria. The major reason we need that is because these are the times that call for innovative thinkers, for people who are thinking out of the box and have the energy and capacity to bring new ideas to the table.”

Why Ibadan and not Oyo, Ogbomosho, Eruwa or any other town in the state, Layinka answered, “the city is a critical space in the landscape of the Yoruba nation and it must take the initiative in developing and evolving into the modern society that we must continue to aspire to have.”

History has it that Ibadan came into existence, in 1829, during a period of turmoil that characterised Yorubaland at the time. It was in this period that many old Yoruba cities such as old Oyo (Oyo ile), Ijaiye and Owu disappeared, and newer ones such as Abeokuta, new Oyo (Oyo atiba) and Ibadan sprang up to replace them.

Layinka added, “because of the geographical, socio-cultural and historical place of Ibadan in the Yoruba nation, no better place is suited to lead in the renaissance, using culture as its platform and media as a transformation agent.”

Said Layinka: “The land has been there and the question is what do we do with it? So, what we want to do with it is to build this media and entertainment city, which would preserve BCOS and expand it and then have about five business units that are related to media and entertainment.”

According to local historians, Lagelu founded the city, and was initially intended to be a war camp for warriors coming from Oyo, Ife and Ijebu.

As a forest site containing several ranges of hills, varying in elevation from 160 to 275 metres, the location of the camp offered strategic defence opportunities. Moreover, its location at the fringe of the forest (from which the city got its name) promoted its emergence as a marketing centre for traders and goods from both the forest and grassland areas.

He is optimistic that the project would change the culture landscape of Western part of Nigeria. He said what has been driver of major projects under Governor Ajimobi is Public-Private Partnership model.

The governor who has a private sector background “understands that the sustainability of projects requires that the managers have a clear plan of their Return on Investment and not the traditional system in which government creates projects especially for patronage and political gift-making. PPP is the model because not only does it free government to concentrate on its core functions, especially in the face of dwindling resources, it also invites private sector participation, which brings in financial resources and more importantly management capabilities, to ensure that the decision-making processes are sound and based on business and not political considerations.”

He said, “when you have private investors involved in a project of this magnitude, they know what it costs, they have their contacts, they have experiences and can create partnership and alliances in terms of where the product is made and how it is sold across the world. That is the model that is being used; the government essentially is creating an enabling environment for its major takeoff in terms of the land assets it would yield and the private sector come in. We are inviting and talking to a major multi-national corporation already involved in entertainment businesses, big brands that will come in from across and outside the country to have a stake in the project.

“We thought about PPP as one major tool for ensuring sustainability of projects. It is the prerogative of every government to take decisions on whether projects are viable or sustainable, because it was ostensibly voted in by a majority of the people having considered the manifesto of the candidates and their pedigree. People will vote for the new government trusting that it would do good on behalf of the community, so if that government comes in and does not think that this idea or any idea for that matter is viable, it is its prerogative.

“However, it is also the prerogative of the people that vote the government in to tell it what they want and what is desirable for them. That is why there are mechanisms like town hall meetings and so on for telling government that the decisions it takes are either good or not good. So, I think there is a moderating mechanism for ensuring whether the project continues or not apart from the PPP strategy that as said is likely to guarantee sustainability because it is beyond the government; it is a business concern that must keep running on its own.”

Ajimobi congratulates Muslims on Eid-el-Fitri, seeks spiritual rebirth

Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has congratulated the Muslim community in the country on the successful completion of the month-long Ramadan fasting.

The governor, in a statement by his Special Adviser, Communication and Strategy, Mr. Bolaji Tunji, prayed that Allah should accept their supplications, even beyond the holy month.

While calling for spiritual rebirth among the Islamic faithful, he enjoined them to imbibe the teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammed on the essence of Ramadan fasting.

Senator Ajimobi also admonished the faithful to use the Eid-el-Fitri celebrations to pray for the unity and peaceful co-existence of the country’s ethnic groups, and shun divisive tendencies capable of drawing back the country’s wheel of progress.

Ajimobi said, “Since Ramadan fasting symbolises spiritual rejuvenation, it is expected that our Muslim brothers and sisters will continue to adhere to the teachings of Prophet Muhammed. Part of this is to be our brother’s keepers and ensure service to humanity.

“Besides, it is important for us to move closer to Allah, even after the Eid-el-Fitri celebrations and eschew things that are against His will and commandment. We should not be tempted to go back to sinful habits.”

“Leaders in all the tiers of government also deserve to be assisted with prayers so that they can lead us aright and move the country forward in all ramifications.”

He commended the spirit of oneness and peaceful co-existence among all religious adherents in the state, urging them to sustain the tempo so that his administration would have ample time to concentrate on its efforts at repositioning the state.

Ajimobi: Vanguard of good governance and infrastructural revolution

For Governor Abiola Ajimobi, the passion for the transformation of Oyo State has been the driving force since 2011 when he assumed office. No wonder that he has been able to take the state out of the woods and restore the fading pacesetting glory, which used to be its pride. Even the political adversaries of the governor cannot but agree that he has upped the ante of governance from its hitherto pedestrian level. To the citizens, Oyo State has never had it so good, especially in terms of good governance and infrastructural revolution

Besides, Governor Ajimobi has succeeded in challenging the status quo and put paid to the culture of impunity and entitlement mentality. For him, the meagre resources available to the state should not end up in the pockets of the few parasitic individuals but rather, must be channelled towards the development of the state. The governor has kept faith with this stance and the state has been better for it, notwithstanding the antics of the opposition and the ranting of the mischievous.

No doubt, the road had been tortuous, especially against the backdrop of what Ajimobi inherited on assumption of office in 2011, which was simply a state of anomie. The situation in Oyo State then could be likened to the Hobbesian state of nature where life was brutish, nasty and short. Murder, brigandage, rape, arson and wanton destruction of property were the order of the day and the state then had the unenviable tag of a garrison. Pronto, Ajimobi introduced what he called pyramid of development, the fulcrum of which was peace and security. Through this, normalcy was restored in a state which had hitherto been held hostage by motor park overlords, political jobbers and touts who, at that time, were veritable instruments in the hands of political merchants.

This was quickly followed with the establishment of a joint security outfit codenamed ‘Operation Burst’ which was equipped with state-of-the-art communication equipment, a fleet of patrol vans and armoured personnel carriers to enhance its operational efficiency. The governor moved a step further by floating a Security Trust Fund through which stakeholders were brought in to partner the government in raising fund for the security of life and property of the citizens. These efforts have, no doubt, yielded a result, as no major crime, robbery or brigandage had been recorded in the state in the last seven years. It should be stated here that the speed at which the nefarious activities of a group of outlaws, which styled itself `One million boys,’ was crushed is a further attestation to the effectiveness of the security arrangement put in place by the governor.

Part of what the Ajimobi-led administration inherited in 2011 was a dirty state capital. Indeed, Ibadan had the renown of one of the dirtiest cities in the country owing to indiscriminate dumping of refuse by the residents. Besides, the city lacked a clear-cut solid waste management policy, while it constantly suffered environmental hazard and degradation. Aside from cleaning up the city, the governor embarked on a comprehensive urban renewal and physical infrastructure development programmes. Also, in order to restore sanity to ever-growing Ibadan city and make it truly modern, the governor inaugurated the master plan for the city, in conjunction with the World Bank. This was complemented with the floating of Bureau of Physical Planning and Development Control with the sole responsibility of checking indiscriminate erection of structures in Ibadan metropolis. Part of the urban renewal programme of the Ajimobi-led administration was the construction of two ultra-modern motor parks at Temidire and Podo areas of Ibadan as well as the provision of 100 heavily-subsidized luxury buses for intra-city transport service in Ibadan, Oyo, Ogbomoso, Iseyin, Saki and Igboora.

piqued by the poor road network in the state, Ajimobi embarked on the dualization of some major roads in Ibadan metropolis, including Challenge-New Garage-Toll Gate Interchange and Onireke-Jericho-Aleshinloye-Dugbe-Agbarigo Road. While the Eleyele-Ologuneru-Eruwa road is nearing completion, the dualization of Idi-Ape-Basorun-Akobo-Odogbo Barracks Junction Road; Gate-Old Ife Road-Alakia, as well as the expansion of Oke Adu-Iwo Road are ongoing. The road dualization projects are not limited to the state capital, as township roads in Oyo, Ogbomoso and Iseyin have also had their first ever dualized roads, while work on the Saki township road dualization has reached an advanced stage. The drive towards making Ibadan a mega city has also made the governor to construct the Mokola flyover, the first to be done by any civilian administration in the state, as well as to revive the Ibadan Circular Road which had, for 15 years, remained a dream under his predecessors. The first phase of the project, awarded to ENL Consortium Limited at the cost of N70bn, under a build-operate-and-transfer arrangement, is moving on steadily. Suffice to add that the project is being financed by the contractor through a facility sourced from the China Exim Bank. When completed, the road will decongest Ibadan city, enhance its aesthetics and commercial value.

Ibadan urban flood management initiative is another programme of the Ajimobi-led administration that has received wide applause. Targeted at forestalling the recurrence of the August 26, 2011 flooding, which consumed many lives and property, the programme has ensured massive dredging of river channels and desilting of drainages. These efforts have since saved Ibadan and its environs from flooding. Similarly, the perennial water shortage, which the residents of Ibadan had been experiencing, triggered the governor to carry out a wholesale rehabilitation of Asejire Waterworks, which had been abandoned by successive administrations for 17 years. Only recently, the governor flagged off the rehabilitation works on the Eleyele Dam, which had been badly hit by the 2011 flood disaster, leading to its overflow as well as degradation of the appurtenant structures. The incident had caused one of the two functional values of the dam, which was meant to curtail flooding during high flow periods through its reservoir holding capacity, to be compromised. The project, which is in conjunction with the Ibadan Urban Flood Management Project of the World Bank, will put a permanent paid to the long-standing history of flooding in Ibadan metropolis when completed.

Under the Ajimobi-led administration, Ibadan is now an attractive investors’ destination, judging by the number of blue-chip companies that have berthed in the city Ibadan owing to its ambience and aesthetics, which was made possible by the urban renewal efforts. For emphasis, no fewer than 36 new companies had been attracted to the state in the last seven years, with close to 4,000 direct employees, according to figures obtained from the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria. Furthermore, the state has been rated as the fifth most investment-friendly state by the National Bureau of Statistics, with Ajimobi being hailed for attracting more than $61m (N22.4bn) foreign direct investment to the state so far. The acquisition of a large expanse of land on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway for the Polaris-Pacesetter Free Trade Zone and an Industrial Park is also a demonstration of the Ajimobi-led administration’s relentless efforts at industrializing the state.

The education sector has also received the desired attention from the governor, particularly with the floating of Education Trust Fund, as a public-private partnership through which stakeholders are expected to collaborate to improve service delivery and boost the standard of education in the state. This is aside the establishment of the Oyo State Model Education System Initiative (OYOMESI) which seeks to inculcate moral values in students, as well as the School Governing Board (SGB) policy, which is a participatory model that brings together all stakeholders in the education system for the management of public secondary schools in the state. Through this policy, more than N2bn had been injected into the state’s education sector in the last one year, leading to improved infrastructure in the schools. The resounding success of the SGB has now made a masterstroke policy that is being studied by other states in the South-West zone as a template for participatory management of public schools.

he health sector is also not neglected in the Ajimobi revolution, with the governor floating a N50bn Health Endowment Fund, as well as the introduction of Health Insurance Scheme, which is the first of its kind in Nigeria. With registration fee pegged at only N200 and a monthly premium fee of N650, participants are guaranteed treatment for any ailment in public health facilities across the state. However, it remains free for children under age 5 and pregnant women. The recent launch of the Oyo State five-year cancer control strategic plan, aimed at reducing cancer-related incidence and mortality, has also attracted plaudits to the Ajimobi-led administration. That the Kaduna State government sent a powerful eight-member delegation to understudy Oyo’s health insurance scheme is enough testament to its novelty and success.

As Ajimobi marks his seventh anniversary of purposeful governance, there is no gainsaying the fact that the governor has etched his name in gold as the father and builder of modern Oyo State. And no doubt, history will be kind to him for being the vanguard of good governance and infrastructural revolution in the state

New Democracy Day: Abiola, others did not die in vain – Ajimobi

Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has said that Chief MKO Abiola and other heroes and heroines who paid the supreme price for the actualization of June 12, 1993 presidential election did not die in vain after all.

In a statement by his Special Adviser Communication and Strategy, Mr. Bolaji Tunji, the governor said that the declaration of June 12 as Democracy Day by President Muhammadu Buhari was a vindication of the clamour, in the last 25 years, for the recognition of Abiola’s sacrifice.

The governor congratulated the people of the state and all democrats across the country on this year’s commemoration of the June 12 annulment, noting that the struggles of the years past are beginning to yield the desired dividends.

Ajimobi said that this year’s occasion presented a veritable opportunity for the people to celebrate and also reflect on the ideals that Abiola and other pro-democracy activists lived and died for.

The governor advised the people to continue to defend democracy and its institutions against anti-democratic forces no matter the odds.

While describing the late politician and business mogul as a symbol of democracy, he praised him for his strong conviction that ordinary Nigerians must be freed from the shackles of oppression and poverty.

Ajimobi said, “It was this conviction that Nigerian masses should be freed from their oppressors and that the destiny of the whole nation should not be held to ransom by a cabal that propelled him to stand by his mandate and to defend it to the last.

“Apart from Abiola, the democracy that we all are enjoying now was also made possible by the likes of Chief Abraham Adesanya, Chief Anthony Enahoro, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu, Chief Frank Kokori, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu among others.

“We must continue to do everything to preserve the memory of June 12, which was the day that Nigerians shelved ethnic or religious biases to take their destinies in their own hands.’’

Governor Ajimobi prayed for the repose of the souls of Abiola and other Nigerians who lost their lives in the struggle to actualize the annulled election.

Oyo LG Workers Laud Ajimobi For Clearing Salary Arrears

After the release of N9 billion to clear their salary backlog, members of the Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Oyo State chapter, have commended Governor Abiola Ajimobi for the gesture.

Bayo Titilayo-Sodo, president of Oyo NULGE, at the weekend declared that local government workers in the state were no longer hungry as before.

Titilayo-Sodo revealed to newsmen in his office that workers in 20 council areas in the state had been paid their salaries till the last month end.

He explained further that workers in the remaining council areas were being owed between one and two months’ salaries.

The Oyo NULGE boss commended Governor Ajimobi for recently releasing N9 billion for the payment of salaries and pensions for the workers under the payroll of local government councils in the state.

According to him, the disbursement of the money has brought great relief to primary school teachers and local government workers in the state.

Titilayo-Sodo said: “Some people have been saying that the disbursement of the money was political. That does not concern us. All we know is that we are not hungry like before again, and we commend Governor Ajimobi for this.”

He expressed optimism that with local government elections conducted and democratically elected officials already inaugurated, there would be improved welfare packages for council workers and increased grassroots development.

The NULGE boss also used the opportunity to reveal that most of the issues on local government employees sacked by the state government had been resolved.

According to him, “most of those who had genuine cases have been reinstated, and we hope that others will soon be resolved. As a union, we are helpless and could not wade into the issues of those who truly presented fake certificates.”

Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo; and Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, during the VP’s courtesy visit to the governor in his office, Ibadan.

Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo; and Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, during the VP’s courtesy visit to the governor in his office, Ibadan.

/ In Uncategorized / By Fadoju Babajide / Comments Off on Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo; and Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, during the VP’s courtesy visit to the governor in his office, Ibadan.

Ajimobi secures over N20b for Oyo Basic, Secondary Schools’ education

The Governor Abiola Ajimobi led government in Oyo State has secured over N20 billion for both ongoing and newly approved projects to enhance the infrastructural and other educational developments in the state.

Professor Adeniyi Olowofela, the state Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology stated this yesterday at the 59th edition of Science Teachers’ Association of Nigeria, (STAN) conference held at The Polytechnic, Ibadan.

According to the Commissioner, the School Governing Board (SGB) has input N2.5 Billion with Construction of three model Schools to the tune of N1.8 Billion and renovation of 100 secondary schools to the tune of N2 Billion by the state government.

He continued: “State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB’s infrastructural development consisting of new construction of schools, model schools, toilet facilities, furniture has gulped N3.7 Billion all to the total of N10 Billion.

A counterpart fund of N4.6 Billion each from State and Federal government have been approved to the tune of N9.2 Billion to cater for schools’ infrastructure. Also, the State Education Trust Fund, ETF has released a sum of N200 million for technical education in the state coupled with a released of N2.2 Billion for procurement of textbooks for secondary school students and all to the tune of N21.6 Billion”.

Speaking further, Olowofela also disclosed that the state government is a beneficiary of $500 Million World Bank grant to tackle the issue of out of school children for the next five years in the state coupled with a last year’s released of N94 Million bursary award by the state government to indigenous students.

Speaking on the topic of the conference, “Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and Economic Growth”, the Commissioner said Science is emanated from Latin word, Scientos and it means wisdom saying it is pertinent to apply wisdom in every human enterprise which leads to industrial revolution.

He noted that riches in the past depend on natural resources to make wealth but today’s riches exploit intellectual resources to acquire wealth. He therefore tasked Nigerian government to diversify from exploitation of natural resources to exploitation of intellectual resources to enhance economic breakthrough similar to economic model of countries like China and other developed countries to become a technological giant.