Makinde Promises Legislative Autonomy

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Seyi Makinde

Esther Oluku

The Governor of Oyo State, Mr. Seyi Makinde yesterday in Ibadan, the state capital, inaugurated the ninth Oyo State House of Assembly, declaring his readiness to guarantee legislative autonomy.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, indicated that the governor had earlier issued a proclamation for the inauguration of the state assembly pursuant to Section 105 (3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).

According to the statement, the governor also promised that his administration would facilitate a new kind of synergy with the legislature.

Makinde stated that the state will not move forward if the executive, the legislature and the judiciary fail to work together.

“We exist; the executive, legislature and judiciary, to move Oyo State forward in the right direction. I will do everything in my power to see that there is a good working relationship between the arms of government, even as we expect the legislature to carry out its oversight functions diligently. We will respect the autonomy of the legislative arm of government and sustain the doctrine of separation of powers as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).

“Oyo State cannot move forward if we do not work together. This is why I am using this opportunity to implore you to work with us, putting the interests of the good people of Oyo State who elected us, first.”

Makinde said that his resolve to jerk up annual budgetary allocation to Education sector in the state to 10 percent is irreversible adding that the measure is a worthy cause.

He also restated his resolve to set up an anti-corruption commission for the state, while also instituting an investment promotion commission to expand the state’s economy. He said that the two bills would soon land on the table of the lawmakers.

He said: “I, therefore, want to use this opportunity to mention that two of the first bills the executive will be sponsoring are; the Oyo State Investment Promotion Agency Bill and the Oyo State Financial Crimes Commission Bill.

“In keeping with our campaign promise to make Oyo State the preferred investment destination in Nigeria, the Oyo State Investment Promotion Agency (OYSIPA) Bill, 2019, will birth an agency that will initiate, promote, facilitate and coordinate investments in the state through Greenfield, Public-Private Partnerships, Privatization, Commercialization of state-owned assets, and transform the economy of the state through strategic Asset Management.

“Furthermore, the Oyo State Financial Crimes Commission Bill will create a state agency that will ensure transparency and accountability in both state and private sector, and work with the police in Oyo State to reduce economic and financial crimes to the barest minimum.

“We cannot have people willing to invest in the state when they are unsure their investments will be protected against fraud by relevant agencies. When we say Oyo State means business, we match our words with actions. We build strong institutions to ensure it is not business as usual.”

Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Adebowale Ogundoyin, who was elected at the sitting, said that the legislature would run an open door policy, adding that since elections are over, the time was ripe for the lawmakers to set sights on the task of building the state.

Youth Group Pledges to Eliminate Poverty, Revolutionise Agric in Nigeria

A visionary group of young professionals, operating under the banner of “Youth Advocates Nigeria,” has launched an aggressive move towards revolutionising agriculture by removing the stigma of poverty associated with it in Nigeria.

Led by Aina Tolulope, an Agricultural Economics graduate from the University of Ibadan, the enterprising youths comprising fish, maize, lettuce, and cassava farmers, converged on the Recreation Centre, Adamasingba, Ibadan, Oyo State capital, on Saturday, for a seminar on how to collaborate, synergise and harness the various available resources in the agricultural sector, locally, nationally and internationally, towards making them self-reliant; taking the teeming youth away from the dense market of unemployment, social malaise and poverty.

Among the various entrepreneurs invited to the seminar who gave motivational talks were its President, Tolulope (MD/CEO, Tolulope Foods and Farms); Olayinka Ayowole (an Agronomist and CEO, Viyola Foods); Yinka Adesola (a practical organic farming entrepreneur); Abayomi Egbemode (CEO, Dipo Integrated Farms); Oluwafemi Aliu, Babatunde Oladimeji, and Sam Ogbone (a bio-technologist and expert in modern soil-less farming), among others.

The youth group has the mission “to connect, equip, empower the next generation of agricultural change makers to take collaborative and innovative action towards feeding the nation and the world”.

Speaking on the objective of the group, Tolulope who revealed that its vision “is that of a world where young dynamic youths can take centre-stage in creating a world without hunger,” added that, “over the years, there have been a lot of challenges in the agric space. A lot of people who come into it see it as unattractive.

“Now, we have a generation of young farmers who are passionate about this sector, but a lot of things do not work, and we need to make it work by coming together and having a strong voice that can harness opportunities within our space, and also push a movement that can make things work and affect us. We don’t want to be a generation of farmers that will be poor because we are not poor; we cannot be poor. We are sophisticated and changing the face of agric tech through improved agri-business practices”.

Noting that the organisation is a non-political and non-governmental one, Tolulope also said that in striving to improve their well-being, “we chose the theme of the event: “Collaboration for progress in Agriculture,” and so; we need to come together because if we do it separately, we will not come to a concession and make the needed impact for opportunities that affect our sector.

“So, ours is an advocacy group focussed on creating a movement, a voice for young people in this space. We have sustainable agro- business ventures. It is when youths in agric business are creating job opportunities, food security, that we can say the nation is moving forward and Nigeria has the largest population of young people in which agriculture can accommodate over 70 per cent of them in employment opportunities.

“Average age of our farmers is 65. What will now happen in about five years if we don’t transition to groom a generation of young people that are passionate about agriculture and have agri-businesses that work?”, she asked.

Asked how they intend to generate funds, the president said, “On finance, we are meeting today to have everyone of us young professionals to put our thinking cap on; think of how we can generate funds from supports from private and public organisations. This is because many of us lack take-off capital. Our objective is to ensure we have youths that own sustainable agro-businesses”, she told reporters.

In his lecture, Sam Ogbone, said that there was the need to introduce technology to agriculture sector and make it a tool for building a country desired. According to him, “we cannot be depending on soil for our farming because there are many factors militating against soil farming. There is a need to ensure that we can produce food, not dependent on the soil or weather. That is why there is need for soil-less farming. It is not to throw soil out of the window but to complement soil production in both rural and urban areas.