The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, says he attracted developmental projects to his home town, Oro, because of his strong bond with the community and a common notion shared by the community members.
According to the minister, an average Oro man cannot consider himself successful until he has constructed a personal building in the town and contributed to the town’s development.
Mohammed stated this in an interview with newsmen at the 2023 Oro Day Celebrations, held in the town, near Ilorin, in Kwara, and witnessed by prominent sons and daughters of the community.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that one of the major events of the celebration was the commissioning of an 80-bed Mother and Child Hospital, facilitated by the minister.
The hospital was built and equipped with state-of-the-art facilities by the Office of the Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals.
Mohammed recalled that he facilitated the rehabilitation of township roads in Oro which was awarded and funded by the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing.
He said besides providing solar-powered street lights in the community, he equally attracted a 60 MVA, 132/33kV transmission substation to the town.
According to the minister, the project, with 5km turn-in-turn-out Offa-Omu-Aran 132kV double circuit transmission lines, was awarded by the Federal Government through the Transmission Company of Nigeria.
NAN recalled that the substation contract was awarded in the sum of N3 billion local content and $8 million (about N6 billion) foreign exchange.
Asked whether he would not be accused of bringing development to only his town to the detriment of others in the state, the minister said he had facilitated projects across the senatorial zones.
The minister said he facilitated the construction of a 40-bed Mother and Child hospital in Igbaja, a town within his Local Government Area, by the SDGs office.
He said he equally facilitated the construction of schools in Ajase town, roads in the Isin Local Government Area, as well as water and road projects in Oke-Ero LGA.
According to the minister, he attracted roads and water projects to Offa and Omu-Aran towns while in the capital city, Ilorin, he facilitated the construction of classrooms and the installation of internet facilities in schools.
Mohammed, the Chief Host of the 2023 Oro Day, said the essence of the celebration was to raise funds for community development, cultural propagation and revival and to keep the indigenous people united.
Going down memory lane, the National President of the Oro community, Prof. Babatunde Bojuwoye, said the first Oro Day celebrations took place in 1976 and the proceeds from it were deployed to community development.
He said the fund realised then was used to tar the town’s major internal roads, provide electricity supply with street lighting, construct and equip Oro General Hospital which was later handed to the state government in 1980.
The Professor of Medicine and Consultant Physician said the second Oro Day celebrations took place in 2005.
He said during the celebrations, awards of various categories were presented to sons and daughters of Oro who had distinguished themselves and contributed to the development of the town.
Bojuwoye said the third in the series which was held recently, the proceeds from its fundraising would be deployed to the renovation of the community centre, built by the community over 40 years back.
He said the fund would also be deployed for the construction of boreholes in strategic areas of the community.
The don said they also planned to use the fund to install solar-powered street lights which the minister had already provided for the community.