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FAYEMI’S LEGACY IN EKITI AND THE POSSIBILITIES FOR THE NIGERIA AGENDA

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FAYEMI’S LEGACY IN EKITI AND THE POSSIBILITIES FOR THE NIGERIA AGENDA  By Akin Rotimi

 

 

 

 

 

Nigeria is at a critical crossroads as the ruling party, All Progressives Congress (APC), is now set for the special convention to determine the party’s candidate for the 2023 general election. The primary election is of interest to most Nigerians who look to the APC for the emergence of a credible flag-bearer who could possibly be Nigeria’s next president.

 

 

 

 

 

 

At a time our country faces increasingly worrisome challenges, there is a sense that we cannot afford to get it wrong in choosing President Buhari’s likely successor from amongst the shortlisted candidates, including Dr. Kayode Fayemi, the current governor of Ekiti State, and chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), who most informed stakeholders and analysts consider best fit for the presidency at such an important period in our history.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amongst other aspects of his reputation and public records, Fayemi’s legacy as Governor of Ekiti State is an indicator of the possibilities that abound for Nigeria if he emerges, just like former President of the United States of America, Bill Clinton, became president after serving two-terms as Governor of the small landlocked state of Arkansas, and chairman of the National Governors Association. It is therefore expedient to revisit the basis of the critical acclaim Fayemi has earned on account of his stewardship of the small agrarian state.

He does not have a loud and boisterous nature and he is prudent to a fault, hence his lack of interest in self-aggrandisement and going overboard to blow his own trumpet, but at the heart of his efforts as governor lies Fayemi’s moral compass. He is first a man of deep convictions driven by concrete social democratic principles. His motivations and vision for the Nigeria Agenda are well documented in books he has authored before and during his sojourn in public service so far, and his big ideas have found expression in a comprehensive and integrated manner in the policies, programmes, and projects implemented in Ekiti State. For example, Governance which is the first pillar and the mainframe for governmental functionality has taken a positive direction under his watch.

Clear evidence of how serious the Fayemi administration treats good governance can be seen in a tremendous improvement in transparency and ease of doing business indices which have placed the state among the best in Nigeria. Recently, the state was adjudged the second most transparent state in public procurement and financing. The state has also soared high in the Disbursement Linked Indicators mileage of the World Bank/FGN backed State Fiscal Transparency Accountability Sustainability (SFTAS) scheme aimed at improving probity, accountability, and transparency in public expenditure. It is no wonder that in spite of very lean revenue accruable to the state, it has continued to be a frontline state in school enrolment, public health coverage, social security, gender equality, ease of doing business, and social amenities. Ekiti has the highest life expectancy in Nigeria, the lowest out-of-school children, and the best social investment strategy.

Similarly, the administration has done well in infrastructure development with the completion of a number of critical roads such as Oye-Iye-Otun road, Aromoko-Erinjiyan-Ikogosi, Agbado-Ode-Isinbode-Omuo, New Ado-Iyin, Ilawe-Igbaraoke, and Ilupeju-Ire-Igbemo-Ijan. The government has also commenced the rehabilitation of Ado-Ifaki road and Ikole township roads, in addition to massive restoration of Ado-Ekiti metropolitan roads.

The government has delivered the Oja Oba Market at Erekesan. It has completed the magnificent Obafemi Awolowo Civic and Convention Center which is a multipurpose structure designed to accommodate shopping malls, a cultural center, cinemas, amphitheater, library, museums, halls, e.t.c. It is one of the first of such purpose built buildings in Nigeria. The government has also delivered the biggest water corporation headquarters in Nigeria and undertaken a total overhaul of three major water dams in Ero, Egbe, and Ujere with the installation of power sources, main pipes, and reticulation of hundreds of kilometers of pipes to towns and villages in about ten local government of the state.

In education, in fulfillment of the overall vision to develop manpower needs for sustainable development in agriculture as well as science and technology, the administration established the Ekiti State Polytechnic, Isan-Ekiti, and the Bamidele Olumilua University of Education, Science and Technology, Ikere-Ekiti. In an effort to expand access to secondary education, the administration has constructed five new model colleges, with three others being built in the three senatorial zones. Over 900 blocks of classrooms have been rehabilitated with sanitary, water, and fencing facilities, just as all schools in Ekiti have been supplied with furniture and instructional materials. It is noteworthy that education is free and compulsory for all children up to senior secondary school level.

In addition to the state’s free health care programme, the health sector has received a tremendous boost with the rehabilitation of all the primary health facilities across the state. The General Hospitals are also undergoing massive rehabilitation and equipping. The state’s tertiary health facility, Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital has witnessed phenomenal growth in terms of expansion and building of structures to host the different departments of the hospital. More importantly, the administration saw to the full accreditation of the institution.

In terms of the big ideas to reposition the state as one of the most viable and economically self-sustaining states, the Fayemi administration began what is clearly an audacious journey to prosperity. The strategy is anchored on the areas of economic advantage as an agrarian state. In addition to a number of successful public-private partnerships such as the Ikun Dairy Farm now being run by Promasidor Limited, and the Ire Burnt Brick which has been revamped and given to a competent private sector operator, the administration created a thriving agric-processing zone in the northern senatorial district with massive agricultural processing industries springing up and smallholder farmers emerging.

The game changer Fayemi embarked on to help farmers have access to international markets is the construction of the agric-cargo airport that will be delivered by August, 2022. The vision is to make Ekiti the ultimate destination for the vegetable and allied produce market globally. Though landlocked, the airport will change the status of the state to an international destination without boundaries. The project is envisaged to create an agro-business hub and serve as both a national and international cargo gateway to Nigeria with the ability to attract both cultural and medical tourism. It will also be an international free trade zone. Technically, the runway can carry aircrafts as large as the Boeing 747 with a 3.6km usable runway (3.2km runway with overrun of 400m). The airport would also be useful for our national air defense system. When completed, the airport will have a night navigation system that can make 24 hours landing possible as well as bulk fuel installation for aircraft to stopover to refill while on transit. It will also serve as a major craft maintenance hub that will relieve local airlines of the humongous cost of maintaining their craft offshore. These are some of the unique offerings of the airport when completed.

Another big idea that Fayemi’s midas hands are touching is the Ekiti Knowledge Zone which is aimed at turning the people’s passion for learning into a viable economy. The Ekiti Knowledge Zone is a smart city, a piece of information, and communication technology (ICT) hub, and an innovation city where content creators, ICT experts, programmers, innovators, soft and hardware engineers can ply their trade. The vision is to make the EKZ a go-to place for all manner of innovative solutions destinations.

While Fayemi appreciates the importance of physical infrastructure as a catalyst for socioeconomic development, he is quite aware that the ultimate operating system for any society to work remains the values upon which the society is constructed. It is for this reason that he undertook a comprehensive values orientation project that saw to the development of Ekiti Values Education as a compulsory subject in Ekiti public schools. This is a major legacy to ensure that the future generations are brought up on sound ethical principles.

There are many more phenomenal achievements of the Fayemi administration in Ekiti State that are well documented, including his efforts in improving security in the state, extensive civil service and public sector reforms and facilitating the legal framework that would ensure no one is discriminated against on account of their religion, gender, tribe, age, or physical ability. In Ekiti State, there is a zero tolerance policy for Gender Based Violence, a law to protect and empower differently abled people, and a law to ensure women are given an equitable percentage of appointive political offices. Fayemi has fought to ensure no one is left behind, and his template of inclusive governance is needed at the federal level to heal and unite all Nigerians again.

In conclusion, it is necessary to touch on Fayemi’s tenure as Minister of Mines and Steel Development. Fayemi drove the formulation of a sector roadmap unprecedented in its scope, ambition and buy-in, which is what is now being used by his successors. The reforms in the sector required a dogged public official able to rally all the stakeholders, and Fayemi fit the bill. Using a decisive yet consensual leadership style, he secured the cooperation of a disparate range of industry actors in charting a new course for the sector. If his transition from state governor to federal minister and then back to governor was seamless, it was due to Fayemi’s consistency.

In bringing all the sector stakeholders together, Fayemi was applying the same philosophy of participatory governance that has defined his public service career, and which Nigeria desperately needs now – a detribalised nationalist and proven technocrat with the expertise, experience, and network of relationships across the country, to build consensus on the imperatives for rebuilding a new Nigeria.

History has placed on the APC stakeholders and delegates the responsibility of choosing a candidate that is best positioned to move Nigeria forward – and we hope they make the right choice in the person of Dr. John Kayode Fayemi, for a New Nigeria.

*Akin Rotimi writes from Ado-Ekiti*

Politics

Nigerians hail Matawalle on proactive action on security

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Nigerians hail Matawalle on proactive action on security

Nigerians hail Matawalle on proactive action on security

By Olorunfemi Adejuyigbe

 

Nigerians hail Matawalle on proactive action on security

 

Nigerians from all walks of life have hailed the executive governor of Zamfara state, His Excellency, Governor Bello Matawalle, on his government’s proactive action on security in the State.

In an early morning phone in programme where security issues in the State was discussed, callers commended the latest action of the government on kidnappers.

 

 

 

 

 

It will be recalled that the State government has recently pronounced a death sentence on any kidnapper caught in the State. Most of the callers indicated that this pronouncement was long overdue in order to checkmate the current rising kidnapping cases not just in Zamfara state but generally in the country.

Governor Matawalle few days ago, threw his weight behind death penalty on those convicted for banditry, kidnapping, cattle rustling and cultism in the State, when he signed into law a bill passed by the Zamfara State House of Assembly prohibiting and punishing terrorists, cattle rustling, cultism, kidnapping and other incidental offences.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The new law provides that any person found guilty of banditry, kidnapping, cattle rustling, Cultism or being an informant to the bandits is liable to death penalty. Also under the law, anyone found guilty of aiding and or abetting the crimes mentioned is liable to life imprisonment, twenty years imprisonment or ten years imprisonment without option of fine.

Recently, Zamfara state has witnessed a new wave of rising kidnapping and banditry cases, a situation which ignited the call by the government for the citizens to pick up guns and arms to protect themselves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

However, while the state’s call for the citizens to take up arms, met with some form of reservations from different quarters, the current call for death penalty for kidnappers caught, has elicited great commendation for the government.

Matawalle was also commended on the radio phone in programme, for his foresight in providing good governance and infrastructure in the state and also for his usual swift responses to issues that affect the citizens of his state.

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Top Presidential Aspirant Decamps To Labour Party, Declares Support For Peter Obi

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Top Presidential Aspirant Decamps To Labour Party, Declares Support For Peter Obi

Top Presidential Aspirant Decamps To Labour Party, Declares Support For Peter Obi

By Olorunfemi Adejuyigbe

Top Presidential Aspirant Decamps To Labour Party, Declares Support For Peter Obi

 

 

The presidential aspirant of the National Rescue Movement has decamp from the party to support labour party presidential candidate, peter obi.

 

 

This is seen as a major boost to the aspirations of peter obi and labour party, in clinching the presidential seat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LP in a post on its Twitter account on Wednesday evening revealed that Martin Agbaso and his supporters, Emeka Mandela, a presidential aspirant aligned with Obi’s ambition.

According to the party, the presidential organisation of Mandela officially collapsed into Labour Party for the former Governor of Anambra State.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is coming at a time LP is working on merging with the New Nigeria Peoples Party and its presidential candidate, Rabiu Kwankwaso ahead of the 2023 race.

The support for the presidential ambition of Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) has received a boost as a presidential aspirant of the National Rescue Movement collapses his structure into the party.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LP in a post on its Twitter account on Wednesday evening revealed that Martin Agbaso and his supporters, Emeka Mandela, a presidential aspirant aligned with Obi’s ambition.

According to the party, the presidential organisation of Mandela officially collapsed into Labour Party for the former Governor of Anambra State.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is coming at a time LP is working on merging with the New Nigeria Peoples Party and its presidential candidate, Rabiu Kwankwaso ahead of the 2023 race.

Obi and Kwankwaso have met on the possibility of merging to push out the All Progressives Congress and the New Nigeria People’s Party

 

 

 

 

 

 

However, there seems to be a stumbling block as no presidential candidate is ready to step down to be the other’s, running mate.

Announcing the development on Wednesday, the party wrote, “Labour Party today welcomed new members to our great party. New members include Chief Martin Agbaso & His Supporters, Dr Emeka Mandela (Presidential Aspirant of National Rescue Movement -NRM) who’s a presidential organization officially collapsed into the Labour Party for Peter Obi.”

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ABIODUN WINS BEST GOVERNOR ON MSMSE AWARD

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ABIODUN WINS BEST GOVERNOR ON MSMSE AWARD

ABIODUN WINS BEST GOVERNOR ON MSMSE AWARD

By Olorunfemi Adejuyigbe

 

ABIODUN WINS BEST GOVERNOR ON MSMSE AWARD

 

Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has been awarded the best governor in Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises by the Federal Government.

Speaking at the award ceremony held in Abuja, Prince Abiodun noted the important roles of Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in Industrialized process, hence the various measures put in place to encourage its growth in the State

 

 

 

 

 

 

According the the governor, “in the continued implementation of the Building our Future Together Agenda, our Administration has established the Ogun State Enterprise Development Agency that provides much-needed support and capacity building to the Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) which are the bedrock of any economy.

“The Agency facilitates the development of MSMEs through Business Development Services, Access to Market, Access to Fund and similar services. It also assists in the facilitation of all available intervention funds from the Federal Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria and monitor compliance with all requirements in order to achieve its objectives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

” We have carried out disbursement of livelihood grants to 2,094 women in the state to boost their Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) operations. In specific terms, we have done empowerment and Capacity building through the OKoowo Dapo Scheme of 500 female entrepreneurs across the state to enable them access financing and scale up their businesses; empowerment of 2,500 rural women across the state through provision of products worth ₦100m; empowerment of over 600 youths through vocational training while 400 women and youths are still undergoing training at the Vocation training centre under the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development; empowerment of 95 Women across the three senatorial districts and more than 100 widows in commemoration of the International Widows Day”.

On measures to improve ease of doing business, governor Abiodun pointed that his administration has reorganized the Ogun State Investment Promotion Agency to provide a truly one-stop-shop for investors to know about the natural and solid minerals resources of the State and the business opportunities, and the facilitation required to invest in the State.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The facilitation, the governor noted includes, land acquisition and ownership through the State Land Administration and Revenue Management Service (OLARMS), community relations, statutory documentation, and linkages with the suppliers, especially farmers through the Anchor Borrowers Scheme of the Central Bank, adding that over 40,000 agri-prenuers have been produced through the process.

He said it was the desire of his administration to develop the Micro, Medium and Small Scale Enterprises (MSME), as part of its industrial revolution and to empower small businesses which would help in creating the path towards a sustainable economic development thereby resulting to employment generation, poverty alleviation and food security.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He noted that several MSMES Business Clinics had been held with more than 3,844 Entrepreneurs across the State in attendance, saying the key objective of the Business Clinics was to create avenue where relevant Enterprises development partners such as CAC, NAFDAC, SON, Financial Institutions R&D Institutes and Entrepreneurship Development Institutions (EDIs) would provide information on services relevant to entrepreneurs as well as avenues for on-the-spot Services in business name registration, product registration and standardization, access to finance and market as well as registration with the Business Membership Organization

His administration, the governor emphasized, was developing the State Masterplan and designation of industrial hubs with provision of power, leveraging on the gas pipeline that runs through the state just as it was constantly rehabilitating and upgrading roads leading to the industrial hubs and the inner roads.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While calling on investors to take advantage of the potentials that abound in the State, Prince Abiodun stressed that harmonisation of taxes and levies to eliminate multiplicity and ensure ease of self-assessment and payment had been carried out while there is regular interface between the industry and the academia to strengthens the curricular and equip the products of tertiary institutions with the requisite competencies required by the MSME development.

Abiodun noted that Ogun State E-Procurement Portal (eprocurement.ogunstate.gov.ng), has been created for Contractors/Vendors registration aimed at allowing more MSMEs bid for Government contracts, emphasizing that they would also be provided with free registration for MSMEs with Contracts below N20Million, as details of contracts awarded to MSMEs would be made available on the portal (archive.ogunstate.gov.ng; https://aprocurements.ogunstate.gov.ng) to increase MSME Participation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He said State has enacted laws establishing a viable and autonomous PPP Unit, which lays out the process and guidelines for all private sector partnership engagements like Joint Ventures, Concessions and Strategic Alliances especially in the development of infrastructure and exploitation of the State’s natural and mineral resources proven in commercial quantities.

The governor appreciated the federal government for partnering the State in its developmental efforts and President Muhammadu Buhari for his efforts at revamping the nation’s economy, stating that the Award would further propel his administration to scale up activities on the Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises as well as proactively engaged them in a sustainable manner to keep growing.

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