The government of Oyo State, on Thursday, launched the inclusive budget initiative where views are being collated from residents and indigenes of the three senatorial districts ahead of the 2020 budget.
The initiative, which Governor Seyi Makinde said would enhance the open governance agenda of his government, will encompass a hybrid of bottom-up and top-bottom approaches to development, the Governor stated.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, indicated that the initiative was launched through the Town Hall Meetings being put together by the Oyo State Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, headed by Barrister Adeniyi Farinto.
Governor Makinde stated that the programme would help produce an all-inclusive budget following the extensive consultations.
According to him, the stakeholders’ meeting was organised by the Government “in its bid to prepare a budget that would be most suited to the people’s needs and the overall development of the State.”
He said: “Over the years, there has been a debate over which is the best approach to governance: A top-bottom approach, which relies on leadership setting the goals and then breaking it down for implementation or the bottom-top approach where the citizens play a role in determining what the goals should be. We have opted for a hybrid of both.
“Before we came into office on May 29, on our campaign trail, we listened to you and so were able to come up with what I have often referred to as a four-point agenda that will reposition Oyo State for greater stability in economic growth powered by Agriculture, Security, Education and Healthcare.
“We remain focused on those areas as we are convinced that these will serve as a fulcrum of prosperity for the people of Oyo State. However, we still need your inputs.”
The Governor further disclosed that his government was also preparing a 20-year State Strategic Development Plan in addition to hearing the ideas of how the 2020 budget should be handled, saying the contributions of the stakeholders at the event would go a long way in making the plans more people-centered.
“When we reviewed the 2019 budget downwards, it was not out of the need to spite to anyone. It was because we discovered that we have not been living within our means.
“Borrowing money is not necessarily a bad thing. If it is for capital projects that will yield returns, it is acceptable. Borrowing money to pay salaries is not advisable.
“So, as we discuss ways to spend what we have, we should also remember that we have to use what we have to generate more funds and increase our Internally-Generated Revenue (IGR).
“It is my hope that this engagement will improve the performance of the budget and sustain the developmental objectives of this administration.
“I want to further assure you that your feedback and views will be given due consideration,” the Governor stated.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Mr. Adeniyi Farinto, said the programme was a further attestation to the all-inclusive nature of governance under the present administration in Oyo State and its resolve to move the people from poverty to prosperity.
Farinto posited that a stakeholders’ meeting of such nature was a genuine platform where all opinions would not only be explored but would be critically examined for the growth and development of any State.
He stressed that having a people-oriented budget had always been the priority of the Makinde administration, noting that government that was run with the understanding and inputs of the people was a practical expression of transparency and good governance.
The commissioner charged community leaders and other representatives present at the event to come up with strategic programmes and articulate initiatives as well as suggestions that would take the State to her pacesetting mode.
He asserted that the stakeholders’ contributions were critical in the initiation, formulation, and execution of people-oriented budgets, assuring that the people’s inputs would count in the development of programmes and projects in the State.
Economic Adviser to Governor Makinde, Dr. Adetunji Babatunde, who also delivered an address, justified the decision to opt for open governance, adding the government would easily get the priorities right.
According to him, a government that adopts the inclusive budgeting the approach would not be building roads where the people’s priority was a hospital or a police station.
Makinde flags off construction of ultra-modern local govt service commission secretariat
Governor of Oyo State, Engineer Seyi Makinde, on Friday, flagged off the construction of the office complex for the Local Government Service Commission and Local Government Pension Board, noting that those opposed to the project would be silenced when they see the outcome.
Governor Makinde, who maintained that the state government has commenced a gradual rehabilitation of the secretariat complex which, he said, had been left to degenerate over the years, added that the process would not abate until the entire structure was given the desired face-lift.
A statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted the governor as saying these while unveiling the 3D design for the office complex.
The governor maintained that the idea of the office complex came from the Local Government Service Commission itself, while he also noted that in 11 months when the project would be completed, opposition members criticizing the government would be silenced.
He said: “It is my pleasure to be here today to flag off the office complex for the Local Government Service Commission and the Local Government Pension Board.
This was not my idea but that of the Permanent Secretary of Local Government Service Commission.
“We thought we should lay our own foundation and start a campaign of regenerating the secretariat. Oyo State had the opportunity of having the very first modern secretariat then and, several years later, it is still those structures that we keep seeing. They were not even renovating them, they were just painting the exterior, only.
“We did not do anything for the 100 days in office of this administration but, much later, we released 15million Naira to each ministry to renovate their offices. And I am glad, indeed, that the Secretariat is wearing a new look, not only from the outside but even from the inside. Renovation work is also going on at the Governor’s Office.
“In about 11 months, we will be coming back here to commission the edifice. So, I thank the chairmen and chairpersons of the local government areas and the local council development areas, because everybody came together to buy into the vision. And by that your singular action, we were able to raise a substantial amount that is needed for the construction of this structure.
“Where I was coming from, we played a little bit of politics but this is governance. When we initially came up with this idea, some people said we were taking money from the government’s purse. I think they will shut their mouths permanently in another 11 months.
“I congratulate the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters and Local Government Service Commission and Local Government Pension Board. It is your idea and baby and we will support you to see to its completion.”
In their separate speeches, the chairman of the Oyo State Local Government Service Commission/Local Government Staff Pension Board, Honourable Aderemi Ayodele, and the secretary of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Oyo State Council, Comrade Olusegun Abatan, described the flag off of the office complex as historic.
Abatan, who praised Governor Makinde for seeing to the payment of about N5 billion in gratuities to retired workers of Ministries, Departments, Agencies and Parastatals, said that Makinde’s administration was purposeful.
According to him, the administration has so far paid N1.98 billion to retirees of primary schools while local government retires have got about N3.2 billion.”
He further stated that in the last one year, the administration, apart from paying 100 per cent pensions to retirees, has been releasing N274 million monthly for the payment of gratuities of retired Primary School teachers and Local Government staff.
He noted that so far, the sum of N3.5 billion has been paid as gratuities to retirees by the administration, noting that the efforts of the Makinde government have culminated in the socio-economic development being witnessed in the state.
COVID-19: SON moves to harmonise locally produced ventilators to meet global standards
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) on Wednessday disclosed that it has begun harmonising the production of ventilators developed across the country to conform with the international standards toward containing COVID-19 pandemic.
SON’s Director-General, Osita Aboloma, made this disclosure in a statement in Lagos, following the unveiling of locally manufactured ventilators produced by Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro in Ogun.
SON’s DG, who was represented by its Ogun Office 1 Coordinator, Mr Jerome Umoru, was at the unveiling.
SON urged various inventors to ensure compliance with ISO 5080601/2/12/3020 and Medical Electrical Equipment part 11 for clinical care.
He noted that adherence to the standard will ensure ease during the process of conformity assessment and product certification.
He stressed that the certification of locally produced ventilators, air purifiers and hand sanitiser machines would put the nation in its pride of place globally.
“We are partnering with the institute in ensuring that various machines produced in the country meet the required standards so as not to end up in the shelves,” Aboloma said.
He also added that the standards body of the unification was also aimed at saving the nation’s foreign exchange spent on importation of ventilators to fights against COVID-19.
Aboloma advised private sector investment in such innovations to enable inventors to go through the next stages of clinical trials and obtain the Nigerian Industrial Standard (NIS) mark.
He reiterated SON’s support toward sustaining local production of essential materials to fight the COVID-19 pandemic through quality assurance.
“In our efforts to address the ongoing pandemic, we have diligently assigned officers to inspect the ventilators and alcohol-based hand sanitisers under production.
“We have one common standard for each product. We want to ensure that what we are producing meets the standard and once it does, we will certify it.
“We will also continue to monitor activities so that they do not rest on their oars in producing quality goods.
“I have presented a copy of the Standard to the Rector of the Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro, and it is the ‘golden rule,” he said.
SON promised that the moment the institute was able to meet the basic parameter on requirements, certification of the innovations would be fast tracked.
“SON is ready to partner with all technical institutions, especially those involved in the production of life saving equipment and materials at this time.
“This is so that their products will meet minimum requirements of the relevant Nigerian Industrial Standards (NIS), and undergo certification under the Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP) scheme,” he said.
The SON director-general revealed that in no distant time, consumers would be empowered through product authentication scheme to determine the quality and conformance of products at the point of purchase.
He said that those without necessary certifications would be rejected.
Just In: Makinde distributes palliatives to persons living with disabilities
The governor, who stated this at the Governor’s Office, Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan during the distribution of palliatives to PWDs, maintained that pretenders and impersonators will never again be allowed to take what rightly belongs to PWDs in the state.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, indicated that the distribution of palliatives to PWDs is the third phase of the palliatives distribution in the state, with the state having distributed palliatives to 90,000 poorest of the poor households as well as the distribution of seedlings, herbicides, pesticides and other farm inputs to 10,000 farmers in the first and second phases.
In his speech, the governor reiterated his promise to set up an agency for persons with disabilities, noting that his administration has not forgotten its commitment in that regard.
He added that the agency will be in place before the administration’s second anniversary in office.
He said: “When I walked in here this morning, I thought of the pictures in my archive. We have all met. We have all taken pictures together. So, you are not new to me and I am not new to you. It is just the continuation of the relationship that we started, even before I became the governor of this state.
“The bottom line is that, before now, we went into the records and we saw that every time you say you are putting up a programme for the people living with disabilities, you only have 20 per cent of the data being correctly presented. About 80 per cent will just be able-bodied people taking benefits that belong to the people living with disabilities. But we have been able to crack that and solve it. So, never again will pretenders or impersonators in Oyo State take what rightly belongs to people with disabilities.
“When we said they should bring names of persons living with disabilities for them to be included in the administration at the local level, some people thought we would not check. So, they brought the names of able-bodied people. We called and asked around and discovered that it was the names of able-bodied people that were submitted. So, we removed their names.
“I want to use this opportunity to thank you for your support during the election and the present administration. We made promises during the electioneering and promised to involve you in every facet of this administration and we are on that path.
“This is the third phase of palliatives distribution. The first stage is for the poorest of the poor amongst us. We distributed palliatives just like this to 90,000 households. Some who are farmers called me and said we should give them seedlings to increase their productivity when they get to their various farms. We listened to them and, in the second phase, we distributed seedlings to the farmers.
“Now, this is the third phase, which is for the vulnerable within us and it will be for 30,000 households. So, we are flagging it off with yourselves because you are among the vulnerable in our society.”
Governor Makinde, who stated that he was aware that his promise to set up an agency for PWDs has not been fulfilled, said the promise will come to fruition, as he has kept a record of all the promises he made during the electioneering.
He implored the PWDs to continue to adhere to the directives of the Oyo State Task Force on COVID-19.
Speaking in the same vein, the Executive Adviser to the governor on Agribusiness, Dr. Debo Akande, said the event was a reflection of Governor Makinde’s commitment to ensuring equity and equality in the running of the state, adding that with the governor, all citizens and residents of the state are equal.
He maintained that the food security and emergency committee, which is in charge of palliatives distribution, did due diligence to ensure that all persons present at the event had their data checked and clarified.
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