Oyebanji: We’ve Changed Ekiti Narratives with Welfare Packages

Yinka Oyebode writes that Governor Biodun Oyebanji of Ekiti State has changed the narratives of governance in the state through comprehensive welfare packages for the populace.

Ekiti State Governor, Mr Biodun Oyebanji, has disclosed that his government has been able to change the narratives in the state by being strong on welfare issues and creating economic opportunities for the citizens. 

These, he said, has impacted positively on the standard of living of the residents as well as improve on economic development programmes of his predecessors. 

Oyebanji who stated these during an engagement with Ekiti Stakeholders in Abuja on Tuesday, said his administration in the last one and half years has led the state with a deep sense of responsibility, guided by the fear of God and principle of transparency and accountability . 

The Governor added that every money that comes into the state’s coffers has been spent transparently and prudently, adding that his government has paid over 17 billion naira as pension, gratuity, car, and housing loans to Ekiti public servants since he took over as Governor of the State. 

The Stakeholders meeting  had in attendance Ekiti indigenes who are in senior cadres in the Federal Civil service, top officials of Federal Parastatals and agencies, as well as para military organisations . 

Also in attendance were members of the Ekiti Caucus of the National Assembly; and some members of Ekiti State Executive Council . 

Addressing the gathering, Oyebanji asserted that  his administration remained focused on transforming the state’s economy into a productive and self-sufficient powerhouse by leveraging on the state’s resources and potentials to achieve sustainable development and economic dependency.

He said the stakeholders’ engagement meeting is part of his administration’s policy of inclusion and partnership with critical stakeholders to ensure sustainable development in the state, stressing that through forging an alignment of visions and unanimity of purpose with the stakeholders, the state could achieve the shared prosperity agenda of his administration.

Expressing confidence at what the state stands to gain by collaborating the stakeholders, the Governor said “We believe strongly that if we have alignment of visions, alignment of minds and unanimity of purpose, the Ekiti that our forefathers fought for, we can achieve it”. 

According to him, “We are conscious of the burden of history on us, we campaigned for this office, we made promises to the people, we begged them to vote for us, we are not here to complain and we are not complaining. We have accepted this responsibility and we don’t lack the capacity, we don’t lack the ability, we don’t lack the vision, we don’t lack the drive but we can do better than what we are doing with your help, so I’ve come to you today not as a Governor that knows it all, I’ve come to you as someone asking for help”.

Reeling out the achievement of his administration in less than two years, the Governor said he has connected over 45 communities that have not had electricity for over 10 years back to power grid, intervened in infrastructure, provision of  free education, regular payment of salaries and pension as and when due, approval and payment of promotion arrears, payment of monthly deduction, and also revamping health care services.   

The Governor disclosed that his administration has also taken giant steps towards checking incessant incidence of losing medical doctors in the state to federal government by approving pay parity between state and federal health workers.

Explaining his desire to be remembered as a Governor that created wealth and make people productive, he expressed his firm belief that productivity drive prosperity, hence  his administration has engaged over 600 youths in agribusiness to enhance food security and stimulate economic growth.

He explained further that each participant of the youths in agribusiness would receive a parcel of already cleared land ranging fron one to five hectares, depending on the type of agriculture activities they intend to pursue as well as receive high-quality seed, fertilizer, herbicides andthe purchaseoftheirproduce by government.

While calling on the federal workers to leverage their positions in the federal public service to facilitate more development to the state, provide information that can create access and opportunities for the people to prosper and achieve their potentials, the Governor said by sharing insights and data on federal initiatives and opportunities, they are helping the state to make informed decisions that can drive Ekiti’s growth and development.

He urged them to use their knowledge and resources to partner and support the state government to enhance the quality of life of the citizens and provide together an environment where every Ekiti citizen can thrive and prosper. 

His words: “I believe strongly that with you behind us, people will start to have a rethink about who Ekitis are. We are extremely dedicated people, we are hardworking, we are loyal, we are transparent, we are courageous but we don’t have access to opportunities and we lack platforms. But that platform that we lack is what God has provided through you. It is those platforms I’m asking, give us this platform, collaborate with us, assist us so that we can use your network  and your platform to develop our people.

“ We believe strongly that with our six point agenda in the state today, we are intervening in infrastructure, we are revamping our health care services, we are doing education, free education, we give grants to schools, in the medical sectors we are confronting the problem of infrastructure, the problem of drugs, and we are also combatting the problem with staff.

“We are the second state in the country that has paid hazard allowance. We paid over 14 billion in pension, we are paying gratuities, we have committed 200 million every month to gratuities, we pay salaries as at when due. As of today we are not owing workers salary since we were sworn into office. We have paid arrears of pensions, given promotion arrears, we have paid contributions to our workers and you can call your people at home, we are very faithful when it comes to the issues of pensioners. We pay pensions with salaries and we have not defaulted at all”.

Prior to the Governor’s address, the Senior Adviser on Economic Matters and Chairman of the Economic Management team, Senator Olu Adetumbi and the Commissioner for Finance, Mr Akin Oyebode, had in separate presentation laid out the State’s economic prospects and challenges, stressing that with more support the citizens, the government would do greater exploits in the area of sustainable development. 

Earlier in his opening remarks, the Commissioner for Special Duties, who is also the Chairman, planning committee, Mr. Dolamu Adeniyi said the meeting was part of the Biodun Oyebanji administration’s strategies to ensure all inclusive government and involve various sectors in the decision making processes in the state.

In their separate goodwill messages, the Senate Leader, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, Minister of Solid Minerals, Dr. Dele Alake, and Senator Dayo Adeyeye, commended the Governor for providing quality leadership and for bringing prominent figures from the state together to discuss Ekiti progress and development. 

While urging the Governor to ensure that the meeting is regular, they charged the federal public servant to explore every opportunity at their disposal to facilitate more development to the state.

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