Path to Sustainable Development in Osun

Adegboyega Oyetola

Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo writes on the resolve by the Osun State government to reclaim missed opportunities and set the state on the path of sustainable prosperity and development

As Osun State gears to mark the 29th year of its creation, the state government organised series of public lectures on economic advantages and prospects in agriculture, tourism and mining in the state. The event was part of the state government’s deliberate and measured plans to unleash the state’s economic potentials to the world for the purpose of shoring up her Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).

Guest speakers for the event are Dr. Nteranya Sanginga, Chiamaka Ifediora and Najim Animashaun. Sanginga is the Director General of IITA, Ibadan and has to his credit 120 published peer-reviewed articles and has also trained over
30 PhD candidates all over Africa and other part of the world,
majority of whom now hold strategic leadership positions in their countries.

Ifediora shared her over 15 years tourism development experience. Ifediora has consulted for private and public enterprises in the UK, USA, The Gambia, Turkey, Kenya and Nigeria.

Animashaun on the other hand shared his mining industry insights. Animashaun is a Buckingham University trained extractive industry lawyer with over 30 years progressively robust experience in mining. A former Special Assistant to former General Manager of Nigerian Mining Corporation and Minister of Petroleum Late Dr Rilwan
Lukman, Animashaun has also worked on projects funded by the World Bank, UK DfID and the United Nations.

Also with over 70 per cent improvement in her IGR since inauguration in November 2018, the Gboyega Oyetola-led government believes much more can be harnessed for the benefit of the people of the state if her capacities in agriculture, tourism and mining are adequately explored.

At the maiden Virtual Public Lecture organised by the state’s Ministry of Regional Integration and Special Duties, to herald the 29th Anniversary of the creation of the state, the Governor Adegboyega Oyetola reaffirmed the administration’s resolve to reclaim missed opportunities and set Osun on the path of sustainable prosperity and development.
He said the administration would spare no effort to unbundle the potential of the state across all sectors, particularly agriculture, tourism and mining. He added that under his watch, the state has developed workable and achievable roadmap that would help drive its people-oriented policies to enhance growth and development of the state.

While reeling out some of the achievements of his administration in the last one and half years, he said the government had successfully consolidated on the past strides and recorded huge success in its efforts to stimulate the economy of the state and utilise the state’s socio-economic potential.

Speaking on the theme of the lecture, “Unbundling Osun Potential towards prosperity in Agriculture, Tourism and Mining”, Oyetola noted that “as a responsible government which inherited a fragile economy and faced with COVID-19 dilemma but is not given to excuses, we have gone back to the drawing board to creatively design an unusual method to respond to the challenges in order to deliver the better life to the people.

“This virtual lecture is therefore a creative and proactive response to achieving the objective of the economic and investment summit, which we floated in November last year as our solution to lifting the state out of economic woes and making it an economic hub of the South-west.

“The theme of this virtual lecture is apt and timely at this period when petro dollar is declining, monthly allocation is progressively tumbling and economic activities are diminishing. It is also apposite that the lecture is coming at a time when diversification of the economy remains the obvious road to economic recovery and prosperity.

“As an administration, we believe that our state has all it takes to prosper and that the greatest potential of the state of Osun is its people and the resources that lie under its soil. At a perilous time like this, there is a need to look inward to tap on our strength and potential in Agriculture, Tourism and Mining, which, without doubt, are our areas of comparative advantage.

“From the experience of the nation with oil, unbundling Osun potential towards prosperity in its areas of comparative advantage goes beyond resource abundance. We shall need to approach our potential as business and adopt an amalgam of appropriate strategy, efficient and competent personnel and employment of due process in the management of our resources to avoid resource curse.”

Oyetola who reassured of the government’s commitment to contain the spread of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic and revive the economy of the state, said “the administration is resolved to wriggle the state out of lack and put it on the lane of prosperity.

“Hardship occasioned by national economic downturn and COVID-19 challenges notwithstanding, our administration is resolved to wriggle the state out of lack and put it on the lane of prosperity. We have the political will and the competent personnel. Our ability to prudently manage our resources since we assumed power and to keep our economy afloat in the face of depressed economy is proof that we have the capacity to translate our resources to sustainable wealth.

“In order to harness all of these for effective and efficient management of our resources, we shall regularly build capacity by organising seminars and workshops to build capacity”.

The governor went on to congratulate the citizens and residents of the state on the occasion of the 29th anniversary just as he called on them, particularly the youths to key into some of the life-changing policies and programmes of the government designed to uplift their lives and banish hunger, poverty and the scourge of unemployment.

Earlier, the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor, Prince Abdullahi Binuyo, unveiled some of the substantial achievements the government had recorded in the mining sector as the sector had witnessed tremendous transformation in the last eighteen months of the present administration.

He said the state has been prudently managing its abundant mineral resources particularly in the mining sector to rejuvenate the economy of the state as the Governor had demonstrated capacity to make solid mineral the mainstay of the economy of the state.

In their separate remarks, the Commissioner for Tourism and Culture, Dr. Adebisi Obawale and the Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Adedayo Adewole, reeled out some of the achievements recorded in their respective ministries to unleash the potential of the state for socioeconomic growth, development and prosperity.
However the host commissioner who is the State Commissioner for Regional Integration and Special Duties in the State, Olalekan Badmus, posited that the State of Osun would have been among states contributing significantly to the country’s revenue base by next decade.

He said, with good vision of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, which hinged on Agriculture, Tourism and Mining codenamed, OsunATM, the state was already on the path of sustainable prosperity.

Badmus said this in an interview with newsmen on the sidelines of the Special Anniversary Service held at Osogbo Central Mosque in commemoration of the 29th year of the state’s creation.

According to the State Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Mrs Funke Egbemode, the government appreciated its citizens for being people of peace and understanding, adding that these values have contributed to the achievements that have accrued to the state over the years.

Meanwhile, the Commissioner for Regional Integration and Special Duties, Olalekan Badmus, charged the people of the State of Osun to step up their support the good stewards of Governor Gboyega Oyetola’s administration saying the huge success recorded in 21 months was worth commending.

He said this while delivering his remark at the visitation ceremony of the First Lady of Osun, Alhaja Kafayat Oyetola to the Orphanage and Less Privileged Home in Osogbo on Wednesday.

The Commissioner, who lauded Mr. Governor for the prompt payment of salary to civil servants and pensioners, reconstruction of 322 Primary Health Centres, the upgrading of Ejigbo, Ifetedo and Asubiaro General Hospitals, the completion of Alekuwodo Road as well as
Ede -Ara Road, Ede-Ejigbo Road and Sabo-Irojo Road, added that he was confident of Oyetola’s second term ticket.

The Wife of the Deputy Governor, Mrs. Oyefunke Alabi; Commissioner for Women and Children Affairs, Barr. Olubukola Olaboopo; Commissioner for Youth, Sports and Special Needs, Yemi Lawal; Commissioner for Informaton and Civic Orientation, Mrs. Egbemode Funke; Special Adviser on Commerce, Corporative and Industry, Mrs. Christianah Ogunfolaju; Special Adviser on Youth & Sports, Aremo Lateef Adelabu; Commissioner Technical for SUBEB, Chief Moshood Oluawo; and Commissioner Services for SUBEB, Hon. Amos Akindiya are part of the state’s functionaries, who were present at the event.

In the same vein, the Ministry of Regional Integration and Special Duties, which was saddled with the task of organising programmes celebration of Osun @29, held a virtual public lecture to kick-start the week-long celebration.

The visitation of the First Lady to Orphanage and Less Privileged Homes was part of the programmes lined up for the commemoration of the state’s creation, which is going to include Anniversary Jumat and Special Sunday Services at Osogbo Central Mosque and St. Benedict Cathedral Church.