Soyombo Opeyemi writes that the Ogun State Government’s investment in infrastructure has received applause from the federal government
“It is unlikely that any administration since the birth of the State has developed infrastructure as rapidly and as sure-footedly as the Amosun administration”, said Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the 4th Ogun State Investors’ Forum.
Recently, I fielded questions from journalists. This very instructive question was asked: “The nation appears again to be gripped by 2019 election fever, bringing governance practically to a standstill in most parts of the country.
How do we ensure elected public officials deliver dividends of democracy to the people till the expiration of their tenure?”
It was a thoughtful question because many politicians are consumed with politics and place development in Number Two position. Indeed, for such, the battle for 2019 began immediately after the conclusion of 2015 polls.
Why should a person elected for four years work (or pretend to work) for two years and then spend the remaining two years exclusively on politics?
Is the Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, from this world or elsewhere? 2019 is less than a year, yet he is still consumed with passion for development. The opposition is busy strategising for 2019, yet Amosun is gripped by development fever. “Will Investors’ Forum bring votes?” Some sterile minds might ask.
The belief in some quarters is that a governor would work hard during his first term because he needs a re-election and then spend the second term to feather his own nest. It is a wrong-headed notion because no governor is elected to help himself at the expense of the people but to serve them.
The Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ambassador Chris Cooter, visited Ogun State on April 14, 2013 and had this to say: “The Governor has been emphasizing that his administration is very particular about hard work. Here we are on a Sunday, I look at the construction going on, definitely, I am impressed. It is going to transform the state, no doubt. Whether it is canal, the road network, health or education, clearly, I can see a demonstration of the ‘can do attitude’.
I have not been to a state where people are working quite as hard as this one, and I have been in most of them now…”
Here we are again on the eve of an election year. Yet Amosun has spent sleepless nights organising another Investors’ Forum in order to consolidate the gains of the past and accelerate growth of the state’s economy.
Like Vice President Yemi Osinbajo rightly observed, “It is unlikely that any administration since the birth of the State has developed infrastructure as rapidly and as sure-footedly as the Amosun administration, the Governor and his team certainly deserve the loudest commendation.”
It’s, therefore, not surprising that the the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state rose from N750 million monthly when the government of Amosun was inaugurated in 2011 to the current figure of N7 billion per month. Clearly, investments in security infrastructure, road infrastructure and relevant social services on a massive scale, have yielded positive results.
Between 2012 when the first Investors’ Forum was held and 2017, over 300 multi-billion naira industries berthed in Ogun State. This is apart from the hundreds of Medium Scale Enterprises taking advantage of the enabling environment created by the Amosun administration. Hundreds of thousands of our teeming youths have been employed by these companies. A greater number of indirect jobs have been created, all impacting positively on the socio-economic lives of residents.
“I will work till the last day in office,” Amosun vowed yesterday during his address at the opening of the 4th Ogun State Investors’ Forum, at June 12 Cultural Centre, Abeokuta.
For Governor Amosun, a visionary politician should seek to leave his state far better than he met it. He should look back after his years in government and feel satisfied that he had creditably played his allotted role in the socio-economic development of his state. Besides, when you work genuinely for the people, politics will take care of itself.
– Soyombo, media aide to Governor Amosun, writes from