Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, on Friday, clarified that the N7.6 billion loan approved by the House of Assembly on Thursday for the upgrading of two farm settlements in Akufo and Eruwa, to Farm Estates, is a victory for the people of Oyo State in their pursuit of agricultural sustainability and economic emancipation.
The governor also made it clear that the loan was not a fresh one being sought by his government.
The Oyo State helmsman, who described the decision of the state House of Assembly to grant immediate access to the loan facility, said the loan was borrowed from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for “agricultural equipment” by the immediate past administration of Governor Abiola Ajimobi.
A statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, indicated that Governor Makinde had, in May 2019 when he was still governor-elect, moved to prevent the misappropriation of the funds by approaching the Oyo State High Court in Ibadan to get an injunction restraining the Ajimobi-led administration from accessing and spending the loan few days to the end of the tenure.
Governor Makinde maintained that contrary to insinuations that he was obtaining an additional N7.6 billion loan after an initial approval for N10 billion loan facility for infrastructure development, the N7.6 billion loan had already been approved by the CBN before he got to office.
He added that the apex bank had begun to deduct money from Oyo State’s Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) allocations from source to repay the loan.
The Governor stated that his administration had only approached the House of Assembly to seek approval to change the purpose of the loan facility, so that it could be put to better use in developing farm estates in Eruwa and Akufo farm settlements in the state in a pilot scheme that will be used as a model for the state-wide farm estate initiative of the administration.
Governor Makinde further explained that limiting the scope of the project to Akufo and Eruwa Farm Settlements, which were in the same federal constituency, was to allow for effective planning, monitoring, evaluation and coordination for the pilot scheme, adding that the project would extend to other settlements across the state, as his administration will remain fair to all zones in the state.
According to Governor Makinde, “the farm estates will serve as pilot schemes for our Private Public Development Partnership (PPDP) Farm Estates and will eventually generate funds to develop the other seven farm settlements in Oyo State. This is a deliberate plan aimed at creating sustainable development in the state.”
On the issue of the N10 billion loan earlier approved by the House of Assembly in July this year, Governor Makinde said: “The N10 billion is still intact as it has not yet been accessed. The loan is meant for specific infrastructural development projects. Once the Due Process Office is through with the approval process of hiring contractors for the earmarked projects, we will start accessing the loan to fund these projects.
“Our administration will continue to be transparent and accountable to our people about how public funds are utilised in the state. We will ensure our people get value for any project that we execute, and also ensure that infrastructural development projects are tied to our economy.”
In Borno, Air Force Bombs Boko Haram Meeting Venue
Boko Haram terrorists’ location being used as a meeting venue at Boboshe area on the fringes of the Sambisa Forest in Borno State has been destroyed, according to the Nigerian Air Force (NAF)
NAF’s Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, made this known in a statement on Monday.
He disclosed further that the Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation Lafiya Dole conducted the attack on Sunday, following successive days of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions, coupled with human intelligence reports.
Daramola also explained that the reports established that a building within the settlement was being used as a rendezvous by the insurgents, where their commanders assemble to take instructions before launching attacks against military troops and innocent civilians.
“Accordingly, the ATF detailed its fighter aircraft to attack the hideout, scoring accurate hits within the designated area leading to the decimation of the target structure.
“Several BHTs were also killed as a result of the strikes,” the statement said.
NAF , thereafter vowed to sustain its efforts while working with surface forces to completely destroy all remnants of the terrorists in the north-east region of the country.
Nigeria customs save N1.4bn, arrest over 460 smugglers, migrants
The Nigeria Customs Service on Monday said Nigeria has saved N1.4 billion naira since the partial closure of the nation’s borders.
Colonel Hameed Ali (rtd), the Comptroller General of Customs announced this while addressing a news conference in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
He said a total of 317 suspected smugglers and 146 illegal migrants were arrested during the period.
The Customs chief noted that the partial border closure was yielding the desired results as the nation’s consumption of petroleum products has dropped by 10.2 million litres.
Oyo: Get ready for unprecedented development, Makinde raises hope
Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde said at the weekend that the people of Oyo State should get prepared for unprecedented development with him at the helm of affairs in the state.
Governor Makinde, who stated this while addressing a mammoth crowd that gathered for a civic reception in his honour at his ancestral village, Ajia, in Ona Ara Local Government Area of the state, said that he was already in talks with the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) for an upgrade of Ibadan Airport to facilitate Cargo operations and international flights.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted the Governor as saying that agro-allied services would benefit heavily from the impending upgrade of the Airport.
“As I stand in front of you, I promise that I will not disappoint the people of the State. I am telling you here today, prepare yourself for the unprecedented development of the state,” the Governor said, adding that he will reward the people who trusted him with votes with unprecedented development across the state.
The statement also indicated that Governor Makinde restated his commitment towards fulfilling all his campaign promises to the people of the state, noting that his Government has begun different efforts to see to the development of infrastructure, education, agriculture and health sectors in the state.
Governor Makinde, at the event organised by the Ajia and Its Environs Descendant Union, declared that he would not disappoint the people of the state or break the trust that the people reposed in him by delivering good governance to the state and developing its nooks and crannies.
He admonished the youths in Ajia and across the state to take their education seriously by making judicious use of the free education policy of his administration so as to become useful and productive to themselves and the society.
The governor further said: “It has been said that a prophet is without honour in his own town. But today, the people of Ajia, my kinsmen, have honoured me and you have not made selfish demands from us, you have asked us to govern with integrity and the fear of God; you have warned us to be wary of sycophants and to continue to pay attention to the welfare of the people as we have been doing. I assure you that we will do all these and many more in fulfillment of our promises,” the Governor said.
He maintained that as parts of efforts to develop the state, he had begun discussion with the Federal Airport Authority on how to upgrade the Alakia Airport, Ibadan to an international airport to boost the economy the State.
He further said: “I have begun discussion with the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria and they have given us certain conditions on the upgrade of our airport so that it can accommodate bigger aircrafts. When that is done, those travelling from Osun, Ekiti and Ondo will not need to get to Lagos before boarding flights and what that tells you is that Ajia and other rural communities around the airport as well as the economy of Oyo State, will soon witness a new dawn.”
Governor Makinde told a jubilant crowd of Ajia residents that he would soon begin the reconstruction of the Ajia Road.
He said that as a private citizen, he had offered to construct Ajia Road but that the previous administration in the state turned down the offer.
Makinde also stated that he had equally faced similar hostility from the previous administration in the state whose agents destroyed the borehole and the equipment deployed by his contractor when he was trying to build a borehole for Alesinloye Market in the state capital.
He declared that in a matter of weeks the State Government would review the Iyana-Agbala Road Project and make it a priority, noting that his administration would pay full attention to the development of rural settlements across the State.
Earlier, a foremost Head of Service in the State, Pa. Theophilus Akinyele, expressed joy that Ajia Village could produce the Governor of Oyo State after producing about three Heads of Service in the State.
He urged Governor Makinde to continue to place premium on the welfare of people as he had been doing as a private citizen.
Akinyele called on Makinde to make Ajia a model village as it obtains in South Africa and some other places.
Also in his address to welcome dignitaries to the event, chairman, Ajia and Its Environs Descendants Union, Engr. Amos Fakayode, commended Makinde for making Ajia and Oyo State proud through his achievements within the first 100 days in the office.
He noted that the community was neither disappointed nor surprised at the giant strides of Governor Makinde, adding that as a private citizen, the Governor had singlehandedly provided electricity to the community.
He said: “We welcome Governor Seyi Makinde to Ajia, his ancestral root. We are grateful to God and proud of you. As you have started well, may you end well. We have been hearing of you, many states are making you the reference point. We, your kinsmen, are proud of your achievements in 100 days. We believe you can do more and we want you to do more, because we want to remain proud of you after you might have left office.”
He appealed to the Governor to provide good road networks into and out of Ajia; pay attention to the employment and empowerment of its youths and above all, make it a model village with model primary, secondary and tertiary institutions, among others.
He noted that Ajia community would remain solidly behind the Governor and continue to pray for his successful tenure in the office.