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Makinde signs revised 2021 budget into law

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Oyo state governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde signed the N268.8 Billion revised 2021 budget into law, just as he assured that it will consolidate his administration’s infrastructure initiatives.

Governor Makinde, who gave the assurance on Monday while signing the budget at the Executive Council Chamber of the Governor’s Office, said that real implementation of the budget would commence in earnest, as, according to him, the state is targeting at least 70 per cent implementation.

According to him, there is a lot to look forward to in terms of dividends of democracy by the people of the state in 2021.

He added that the state was poised to complete many of its infrastructure works in the new year.

The governor appreciated members of the Oyo State House of Assembly for approving the 2021 budget in a timely manner, adding that the synergy between all the arms of government in the state has made the governance process easier for everyone.

It will be recalled that Mega Icon Magazine had earlier reported that Governor Makinde withhold his signature from a N273.7billion increased budget recently sent to him by the Oyo State House of Assembly.

The report also revealed that the proposed budget for the 2021 fiscal year, tagged: “Budget of Continued Consolidation,” which was a total of N266.6billion when presented recently by Governor Makinde was increased to the tune of  N273.7 Billion by the States’ lawmakers.              

Continuing, the House of Assembly approved and passed the sum of N273.7billion, late night on Tuesday.

The Oyo State House of Assembly, however made a U-turn on Friday and passed the sum of N268.8 billion as the 2021 appropriation against N273.7 passed earlier in the week.

But the governor dispelled  this describing it as insinuations that the House of Assembly padded the budget and that the Executive rejected it and forced a revision, adding that the rumour was simply untrue.

“It is certainly not Uhuru, but we will continue to do our best to make things work in our dear state. It is a budget of continued consolidation, so we continue to ask for your support as we undertake various projects this coming fiscal year,” the governor said.

He added: “Today, we are signing into law our Budget of Continued Consolidation. This completes the first phase of the process for the 2021 fiscal year budgeting. First, we got the good people of Oyo State involved in the budgeting process through the town hall meetings, then we prepared the budget and passed it on-to the state’s House of Assembly for approval. 

“After this signing, the real work of implementation begins.”

Governor Makinde stated that the 2020 budget fell short of the 70 per cent target but recorded a performance that was a little above average at 50.32 per cent due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic meltdown occasioned by the fall in oil prices. 

“We met a lot of our goals because we used the Alternative Project Funding Approach (APFA), and the Contractor’s Project Financing Scheme to finance many projects. We also made use of targeted loans for project financing. Of course, the reward for hard work is more work. So, for the 2021 fiscal year, we will continue to be innovative and creative in our approach to financing.”

He noted that the government will “work harder and smarter next year to ensure that we meet our performance target of at least 70 per cent.”

Governor Makinde promised to explore alternative finance models in 2021, stating that projects which the House of Assembly saw as imperative as well on-going ones would be implemented.

“As already mentioned, we have some alternative finance models which we will be exploring in 2021. So, these projects, which the House saw as imperative, will still be implemented. However, we will carry out those projects without incurring higher interest on loans or negatively impacting Oyo State’s economic policies and budget performance.

“Let me also quickly add that with Nigeria staring at a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, we just have to remain prepared for eventualities. Some countries are already thinking of a second lockdown. But if we play our part, by observing all the guidelines provided by the Oyo State COVID-19 Task Force, we might weather this second wave without considering a lockdown.

“Be that as it may, we continue to maintain a positive outlook for 2021. Many of the projects we started in 2020 have less than 18-month cycles. So, we will see a good number of projects initiated by our administration completed in 2021.

For example, the 65km Moniya-Ijaiye-Iseyin Road, 21km Airport Road- Ajia-New Ife Express Road with a spur to Amuloko, and perhaps even the Idi Ape-Basorun-Akobo-Odogbo Barracks road, should be completed in 2021. 

“By God’s grace, we will watch our first match in the upgraded Lekan Salami Stadium at Adamasingba in 2021. We will even commission the bus terminals all around Oyo State. Those who lost their stores, this year, as a result of the inferno at Akesan Market, will be happy to move back to the rebuilt market with better facilities next year,” Governor Makinde added.

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Catholic bishops advocate review of Nigeria’s security architecture

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Catholic Bishops of Ibadan Ecclesiastical Province, comprising Ibadan Archdiocese, Ilorin, Ondo, Oyo, Ekiti and Osogbo Dioceses, on Tuesday called for a thorough review of Nigeria’s security architecture.

The bishops, who gathered at the Jubilee Conference Centre in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital, also expressed concern over the rising insecurity in the country, adding that it was unfortunate that the Federal Government has remained impervious to this call.

The meeting had in attendance, Most. Rev. Gabriel Abegunrin, (Ibadan), Most. Rev. Felix Ajakaiye (Ekiti), Most. Rev. Emmanuel Badejo (Oyo), Most. Rev. Felix Job (Ibadan).

Others are: Most. Rev. AyoMaria Atoyebi (Ibadan), Most. Rev. John Oyejola (Osogbo), Most. Rev. Jude Arogundade (Ondo) and Most. Rev. Paul Olawoore (Ilorin).

According to them, “With the current realities, it has become more necessary than ever to demand the review of Nigeria’s security architecture. Given  the campaign promises of the present government and the cauldrons of insecurity erupting all over the country, it is unfortunate that the Federal Government has remained impervious to this call. As a consequence, we parade a Nigerian Army that has not been able to effectively check the atrocities of Boko Haram for over a decade. How does one deny the allegation that kidnapping and banditry are abetted by government when  even State governments pay bandits and herdsmen as a means of placating them?

“How can we claim to have a Nigeria Police, when the body is no longer trusted to protect the same people it was set up to serve in many parts of the country?”, the bishops questioned.

The Catholic Bishops, in a communique jointly signed by the President, Most Rev. Gabriel Abegunrin and the Secretary, Most Rev. John Oyejola  at the end of  their first meeting for the year 2021, identified the ongoing effort of the governors of some South Western States  to regulate the activities of Fulani herdsmen within the zone, noting that insincerity, selfish interests and lack of political will had in the past, caused needless destruction of life and property and inflicted untold pain and hardship on innocent citizens.

However, they urged the governors to shun deceptive adulations and empty promises on issues that impact the security of life and property.

The communique read, “they must work with the security agencies to courageously implement the law in all cases and sanction those who blatantly and murderously flout it in their territories. No Nigerian or foreigner should be above the law in any part of the country.

“It is frustrating to see Governors, constitutionally empowered  as the first security officers of their States, being impeded and rendered ineffective by mitigating actions and pronouncements allegedly made on behalf of the Federal government, when they take lawful steps to respond to security needs in their States. Such manner of governance, that exerts itself to protect the interest of a segment of the population at the expense of the security of life and property of the majority, makes the emergence  of militias and self-appointed messiahs inevitable.

“We therefore join all well-meaning Nigerians who have called on the authorities to allow alternative and lawful initiatives which are established for protecting life and property like the South Western Security Network (SWSN), codenamed Amotekun, to thrive. Such initiatives deserve to be supported and optimised  as a complimentary security organization for the benefit of the people in different parts of Nigeria”.

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Properties worth over N50m lost to inferno – Sunday Igboho reacts

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Yoruba activist and Oodua  Republic agitator, Chief  Sunday Adeyemo popularly known as ‘Sunday Igboho’ has said that properties worth  over N50 million has been lost to the early Tuesday morning inferno at his Soka residence in Ibadan

Reacting on Tuesday, shortly after his house went up in flames, Sunday Igboho explained that the arsonists broke the gate to the building to gain entrance before setting the house on fire.

He stressed that the two people living in the house fled for their lives in the chaos.

“Around 03:30 am this morning, my siblings living in my old house came to alert me that some hoodlums were at the house, shooting sporadically, and that they had forced the gate open and set the house ablaze.

“My siblings escaped unhurt but my house was burnt. When we got there, the hoodlums had escaped so we called the fire service to put out the fire.

“I am surprised that some Yoruba people could be supporting killer herdsmen to destroy my house. This saddens me.

“My agitations are for all of us to come together against killer herdsmen who have been terrorizing the Yorubas by kidnapping, killing our brothers, and raping our women in Yoruba Land.

“To my amazement, some Yoruba people are aiding these killer herdsmen.

I expected them to come and attack my residence where I live now to show that they mean business.

“I assure you if they had, I would have been able to give you evidence of the hoodlums that did this.

“The property destroyed in that inferno would not be less than fifty million”, he added.

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2 Operatives Injured , As Youths Attacked Amotekun In Oyo {Photos}

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The Western Nigeria Security Network codenamed Operation Amotekun, in Oyo state has confirmed that two of its operatives from Ilesiwaju Local Government Area of the state were attacked by some ‘misguided youths’.

Oyo Amotekun also informed that though, there was no loss of life, but the officers were severely injured and are in critical condition at an undisclosed hospital.

It added that vehicles belonging to Itesiwaju Area Command were completely vandalized .

The state Command, in a statement issued on Monday explained, “On the 23rd of January 2021, two of our operatives from Itesiwaju LGA were travelling to Ago-Are enroute Tede were brutally attacked without provocation.

“They were granted free passage at Ago -Are end upon the explanation that they were from Itesiwaju LG and are on routine mission.

“However, at Tede end some misguided youths attacked the operatives with guns, matchetes and axes.

“Though there was no loss of life, our two operatives were severely injured and are in critical condition at the hospital.

 

“Unfortunately, after this unprovoked attack and assault, our vehicles belonging to Itesiwaju Area Command were completely vandalised and damaged”, the statement concluded.

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