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OSUCCIMA, others collaborate on Osun Osogbo festival as pre-festival begins Monday

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The Osun State Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (OSUCCIMA) has indicated its readiness to collaborate with Osun State Government, Osun State Heritage Council and Esquire Global in their quest to have a successful 2019 Osun Osogbo Festival and trigger entrepreneurship and job creation.

The OSUCCIMA partnership commitment was given by its Ag. Director General, Chief Jide Falohun, who explained that the vision of the collaboration is to leverage on the Osun Osogbo Festival platform to boost job creation, entrepreneurship, commerce and business in Osun State.

The Lead Consultant of Esquire Global, the official Marketing Firm of Osun OSogbo Festival 2019, Mr. Tunde Muraina in a statement in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital on Sunday informed that the telecommunications giant, MTN Nigeria, GrandOAK, Coca Cola, Adron Homes and Property, Bovas and Company Limited are among corporate organisations and institutions that have given their support to the 2019 edition of the festival, just as the pre -festival events begin on Monday, August 5, with “Iwopopo”, the traditional cleansing of the town.

Muraina, also  disclosed that OSUCCIMA has introduced a product named Community day Cultural Festival for Employment and Job Opportunities, noting that the product would include Virtual Expo, Virtual Job and Global Trade Mission to the annual Osun Osogbo Festival.

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He explained that this would be a continuous collaboration as sponsors and exhibitors would be able to showcase their products and services at a virtual exhibition booth, stressing that stakeholders would connect, collaborate and promote both live and on-demand anytime and anywhere for jobs and business opportunities.

He added that eZ-Xpo as a solution provider would join forces with OSUCCIMA to provide a series of e-tools to situate the Chamber of Commerce system within the context of the 21stcentury digital economy through virtual trade show technologies.

Muraina further pointed out that community leaders, party leaders, diaspora, industry leaders, entrepreneur and investors that cannot attend the festival to participate will connect remotely on their device to save cost and travelling time.

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Politics

N7.6bn loan: Oyo PDP reacts, says APC not qualified to criticise Makinde

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Oyo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has discountenanced a statement credited to the state’s chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) in which it criticised the state Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, for seeking the nod of the State House of Assembly to access the N7.6bn loan earlier secured by the administration of Senator Abiola Ajimobi.

The PDP, in a statement signed  by its State Publicity Secretary, Engineer Akeem Olatunji, declared that “a set of morally-bankrupt and profligate politicians cannot group themselves under whatever guise to criticise the prudent, open and people-friendly administration being run by Governor Makinde.”

According to the statement, the APC, in the eight years of Governor Ajimobi, practically ran the state aground with “excessive and unjustified borrowing,” adding that a party that produced such leadership was not qualified to criticise Governor Makinde, whom he said has so far demonstrated financial prudence and transparency in the handling of the state’s resources.

The statement read: “The statement by the Oyo State chapter of the APC on the N7.6 billion loan facility was not just mischievous and jaundiced, it was not-well-thought-out, since it was only with the sole aim of misinforming people with short memory span.

“We are all witnesses to the suit filed in May this year by the then Governor-elect, Engineer Makinde, with which he sought the injunction of the State High Court to stop the access of Ajimobi’s government to that loan in less than a month to its terminal date.

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“How can the same APC, which produced Ajimobi, whose government had concluded arrangements to spend the money on frivolous projects just five months ago now turn around to claim that the loan was freshly obtained by Governor Makinde?

“We in the PDP are happy with, and are confident in the ability of Governor Makinde to revolutionise the State’s economy through agriculture and agriculture value chain.

“That is why we commend the proposed upgrading of the farm settlements in Eruwa and Akufo to Farm Estates in a pilot scheme that will be used as model for similar projects across the State.”

Olatunji stated that though the PDP would not have loved to join issues with Oyo APC, which he said is suffering from electoral failure-induced amnesia, he stated that it should be made clear that former Governor Abiola Ajimobi, who is APC’s leader in the state, plunged the state into unbridled debts by borrowing over N150 billion in eight years with nothing to show for the loans.

“Oyo APC should not have been caught pointing fingers at Makinde who is working round the clock to clear the mess left behind by the APC government, which borrowed so much but left huge number of abandoned projects and debts that are still being collated by several committees.

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“Is it not funny that a party that awarded Iseyin-Ibadan road, mobilised the contractors with N2 billion but had nothing to show for the money; a party that left many abandoned projects within and outside Ibadan, despite having secured and spent loans and bonds for such projects; a party that borrowed so much but failed abysmally in its duties to workers and pensioners, owing billions in pension and gratuity arrears, could point fingers at a focused government like that of Makinde?

“It is not a joke when workers in the state stand boldly to say that Makinde’s achievements in 96 days are equal to Ajimobi’s achievements in 96 months.  There are verifiable statistics to back such submissions.

“We will like to place it on record that the only reason that made Governor Makinde  to  approach  the  Assembly for approval of the access was just in observance of the rule of law. Let us also state that by changing the purpose of the loan from procurement of ‘agriculture equipment’ to upgrading of farm settlements to construction of Farm Estates, Oyo State people stand to benefit far more. It is a step in the right direction.

“We, therefore, to wish to advise the APC in the state to play politics with decorum, while they play their opposition role without braces of falsehood”, the statement concluded.

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Oyo: Get ready for unprecedented development, Makinde raises hope

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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Mixed Reactions Trail Oyo Speaker’s  ‘Hasty Approval’ Of N7.6b CBN Loan

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Reactions have continued to trail the action of the Oyo State House of Assembly Speaker, Hon Adebo Ogundoyin, as lawmakers expressed dismay against his decision to overrule their submissions and further approve the N7.6b  CBN loan requested by Governor Seyi Makinde to upgrade farm settlements in Akufo and Eruwa areas of the state to farm estates.

The lawmakers  are of the opinion  that there is a need for Governor Makinde to spread the scope and usage of the agricultural loan to other zones in the state and not limit it to Akufo and Eruwa farm settlements alone.

 

The governor, had in a letter sent to the State House of Assembly urged the lawmakers to allow him access Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) loan to develop Akufo and Eruwa farm settlements into farm estates.

The letter, which was presented on the floor  of the assembly during Thursday’s plenary informed that the proposed farm estates are to serve as pilot projects which will be used to develop other farm settlements across the state.

Other farm settlements in the state, which were not covered in the CBN loan facility as requested by Governor Makinde included; farm settlements in Ipapo in Oke-Ogun geo-politcal zone, Fashola farm settlement in Ilora Afijio local government Area, Iresaadu, Ijaiye, and Lalupon in Lagelu Local government area.

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This approval makes it the second loan so far approved for Governor Seyi Makinde by the lawmakers within five months having earlier endorsed a N10 billion infrastructure loan request in July.

It was reliably gathered that the two farm settlements are housed  in Ido/Ibarapa East Federal constituency where the Speaker, Ogundoyin  hailed from.

However, not satisfied with the choice of the two farm settlements to enjoy the loan facility out of the many others in the state, the lawmakers insisted that the loan should be spread across other farm settlements.

In their separate reactions, Hon. Isiaka Tunde representing Oyo East/ Oyo West State Constituency and his counterpart from Iseyin/Itesiwaju, Hon. Dele Adeola expressed their dissatisfaction on concentration on the loan, challenging the rationale for selecting two farm settlements within only one Federal constituency (Ibarapa East/Iddo). They maintained that the loan be spread to other parts of the state.

Also corroborating the lawmakers’ position, the Deputy Speaker, Mr Abiodun Fadeyi and the Minority Leader, Mr Asimiyu Alarape further called for the extension of the loan facility to other farm settlements in the state .

 

The duo, however urged the  executive arm of government  to ensure judicious use of the agricultural loan to enable it achieve the purpose for which it is sought, while other lawmakers, also enjoined Governor Makinde to spread the loan facility to take care of other areas.

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Despite heated debate by members on the issue, the Speaker, Hon. Ogundoyin finally ruled that the loan would be approved as presented by Governor Makinde.

“Other states have been accessing this agriculture loan facility, especially in the North. But we thank God the state government is ready to work with the federal government and provide counterpart funding to show seriousness in accessing this loan.

“We know that the CBN and federal government are interested in agricultural development and this is a blessing to Oyo state. Moreover, our own goal is to develop the state through agriculture. If we decide to spread the money as requested by some lawmakers, we might end up not achieving anything and have abandoned projects.

“These two projects can be the engine room for the other projects. We are taking the projects one at a time. If we can achieve two projects out of seven then for the remaining five, we do another two next year and thereafter, then we will be able to make progress”, Ogundoyin responded.

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