The Governor of Oyo State, ‘Seyi Makinde, on Saturday, took members of the Nigerian Guild Of Editors round iconic projects undertaken by his administration, declaring that his focus is to move the state from accelerated development to sustainable growth if he is re-elected as governor in 2023.
He stated that this vision lies behind the Omituntun 2.0, noting that the government has, in the last three years, focused on putting in place policies and projects that have not only helped in repositioning the state but in also lifting the people from poverty to prosperity.
While addressing members of the NGE, when he hosted them at the Executive Chambers of the Governor’s Office, Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan, Makinde said that the he will leave the state in better shape if re-elected.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Taiwo Adisa, indicated that the governor, after the courtesy visit later led the members of the Guild on an inspection tour of various projects, including the Methodist Model School, Bodija, Ibadan; the headquarters of the Oyo State Security Network codenamed Amotekun; the 65 kilometres Moniya-Iseyin Road, 78 kilometres Iseyin-Fapote-Ogbomoso road; the 12 kilomtres ongoing Apata-Bembo-Jankata Road, Ibadan road; the ongoing dualisation of the Airport Road, Ibadan and the 500,000 capacity aviation fuel storage facility being undertaken by the State at the Ibadan Airport.
He said that the government would move on to sustain the developments already put in place.
The statement further indicted that other projects inspected by the Guild of Editors included the Lere Adigun Housing Estate, Basorun, Ibadan and the Ode Oba Primary Healthcare Centre, Iseyin, which is one of the 299 completed Primary Healthcare Centres in the state.
The governor told the Guild, led by its president, Mr. Mustapha Isa, at the Governor’s Office: “Let me formally welcome you to Ibadan, the Oyo State capital and the seat of government.
“As we go out, we will all be in the same bus and take a tour through the projects we have done and those ongoing. I will tell you the vision behind some of the things that you would see. But feel free to challenge us with any of the ideas we are putting forward.”
The governor equally explained how his administration has been able to achieve a massive success in reducing the infrastructure deficit in the state through the Alternative Project Funding Approach, saying: “Some of the projects you will be seeing have been carried out through Alternative Project Funding Approach (APFA), which has been able to sanitise the mode of delivery in the state.
“We all know what the country is facing in terms of resources but we still have to carry on.
He added: “When we leave here, we will have a stop-over at a model primary school at Bodija. From there, we will go to the Amotekun Headquarters, because security is one of the major pillars of our accelerated development (Omituntun 1.0).
“The Omituntun 2.0 is about sustainable development. We have been able to put things in place and we feel that once we take on the issue of sustainability, when I finish my work here, others can take over.
“From there, we will pass the 65km Moniya-Iseyin road. I can guarantee that you will not see a single pot-hole on that road as it is a standard for our state roads.
“We will also go to the Iseyin-Ogbomoso road, which is a brand new one. It didn’t exist before we came in. It is a 78km stretch of road linking Iseyin to Ogbomoso axis of the state.
“All the bridges are done and the road itself is almost completed and we still hope to commission the project in January. We will see a model PHC at Iseyin because our target is to have one functional PHC in all the 351 wards in the state. The idea is for people not to go beyond 1km radius from wherever they are leaving to access primary health care facilities.
“From there, we will come back to Ibadan, and we will be able to show you a few of the infrastructure we have been able to put together.
“We will go towards the Airport. The road is being dualised and the Airport itself is central to expanding our economy. I tell people that if you want to expand your economy and the airport only has one flight in a day, it does not tell a good story.
“As a matter of fact, we believe aircraft should be landing and taking off every 30 minutes in the airport if it must have an impact on the economy.
“Once I have the opportunity of talking to one of the top officials with Air Peace, they complain that they cannot carry a full passenger load to Ibadan because they have to take enough fuel to bring passengers and take them back to Abuja.
“So, we have been able to put an aviation fuel storage and dispensing facility in there. Once all of that is done, the only thing that will remain to make the airport fully competitive is the extension of the runway from 2.7km to 3.3km. Once we are able to do that, then we can do other possible things around there.
“For this administration, the unique feature for us is that some of these projects were started by one of these individuals you are seeing up there (former governors).
“For us, if it’s Oyo State money, we will try to extract value from it. So, I will take you to projects that were started by Governor Akala between 2007 and 2011, a 12 kilometres stretch of road linking New Garage to around Apata. It was not touched for eight years when former Governor Abiola Ajimobi was governor but we have taken it up.
“About 10 kilometres of that road has been completed right now and the importance of the road are two; one is that it will be the first circular road, because once you are coming from Lagos and going to NNPC, you go straight on that road and if you leave the Abeokuta-Ibadan Road, you can make a right turn, you get to Ring Road junction and at the right turn, you get to Challenge.
“We will be able to show you a few of those things.
“Finally, we will stop by a model housing estate. Some of my colleagues have said Gwarimpa Housing Estate in Abuja is a model Estate built by the Federal Government.
“But for me, I felt all the government housing estates, whether they were built during the time of Baba Awolowo or anyone else, most times, they ended up being a failure, because they would start well, the government would be maintaining the roads and drainages, but after some time, they would become conduits for civil servants and political office holders to exert their influence.
“But we felt government can provide conducive environment. I can do the acquisition as a government but the infrastructure and maintenance must be private-driven.
“Once you do that and the project is handed over to the private sector, and if the people leaving in the estate really know what is good for them, they will maintain it.
“So, what we really did was put in place a land swap deal.
When we gave it out to the partner, it was N15 million per plot about one year and two months ago and now, it is about N50 million because Lagosians are putting pressure on us. It has been a successful model for us. “Government is not spending any money to put in infrastructure or for maintenance.
“With that model, we have been able to solve the problem of some people having 10 to 15 plots just because they are the ones allocating those plots.
“This is strictly a private sector-driven process.”
President of the NGE, Mustapha Isah said that the Guild was in Ibadan to hold its standing committee meeting and that it will join the governor to see some of the projects put in place by his administration.