Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, said on Wednesday reaffirmed his commitment to pay N30,000 minimum wage to workers in the state, adding that no staff in the State’s workforce would earn below the national minimum wage.
He stated that once the Committee set up by his government to look into the modalities for the implementation of the wage completes its assignment, the Government will stand side by side with the workers to implement the decision.
The Governor noted that he was looking forward to a decision that would be agreeable to the civil servants as well as affordable and sustainable for the State government.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, indicated that the Governor made the declarations during the annual inter-religious service to usher in the 2020 working year, held at the Car Park of the Governor’s Office.
The Governor also urged every resident of the State to join hands, put political affiliation and tribal sentiments aside to keep making Oyo State greater.
At the service, which was attended by the Deputy Governor, Engr. Rauf Olaniyan; the Chief of Staff, Chief Oyebisi Ilaka; the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs. Olubamiwo Adeosun, political appointees and civil servants, the Head of Service, Mrs. Amidat Ololade Agboola, maintained that 2019 was filled with challenges but that God had counted those in attendance at the event worthy to see a New Year.
Agboola, who welcomed political office holders and workers to the service, maintained that it was in 2019 that God blessed Oyo State with a Governor like Makinde, whom she described as god-sent to the civil servants.
According to the Head of Service, the Governor has shown what leadership entailed: selflessness, even as she appreciated the Governor for demonstrating commitment to workers’ welfare and the repositioning of the civil/public service in the State.
She cited the payment of salaries as and when due since the administration took office, noting that the general public in the State had been sharing in happiness engendered by that act.
She also commended the Governor for giving the approval for the reinstatement of some officers in the civil/public service who were unjustly dismissed by the last administration; approval for Productivity/Merit Award to recognize the hard work of civil servants and the approval of N15 million for the renovation of offices in each of the ministries in the Secretariat Complex, among other areas.
She, therefore, charged civil servants to rise to the occasion by contributing their best quota towards developing the State, calling on them to give room for innovative ideas and a new way of doing things in the New Year.
In his speech, Governor Makinde maintained that though the administration was less than a year in office, it has causes to be thankful to God, because it has continued to enjoy tremendous goodwill, adding that it would not take the loyalty from the people for granted, as it will put in its best for the good of the people of the State in the New Year.
Governor Makinde, who gave thanks to God for some of the remarkable feats achieved by the Government in 2019, citing the increased funding to education, ongoing renovation and equipment of hospitals as well as the expansion of the State’s economy through investments in agriculture, small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) and infrastructure, among others, promised to continue on the path to growing and developing the State in the New Year.
He said: “As we gather here this morning for this inter-religious service to usher in a new working year, it is the best time for each one of us to reflect on our accomplishments last year and then plan how to become better versions of ourselves this year.
“Our elders say that as we travel through the forest, we must always shake the trees so that people who are watching can quickly tell the distance we have travelled. This administration has been here for less than a year but the expectations that the people have of us is enormous. But we should be thankful that we have been enjoying the tremendous goodwill from the people and we must never take their loyalty for granted. We must remain at the top of our game and put in our best for the benefit of the good people of Oyo State.
“When the Imam of the Government House was admonishing us, he emphasised that we must not do three major things; not to divulge secrets, not to give wrong information and we should not talk evil of ourselves, but people do all these three things.
“Someone even said that he was the governor of yesterday and I am the governor of today and that tomorrow’s governor will also come to rule. But I am surprised, because I doubt if that former Governor remembered he would one day leave office when he was on the governor’s seat.
“And in the sermon we just listened to, we have been implored to do all things with the fear of God. So, because I know that another governor will rule tomorrow, I will do things with the fear of God.”
Governor Makinde, who used the occasion to commiserate with all victims of fire incidents across the State, warned civil servants and residents of the State to work towards preventing fire disasters in their personal lives by setting smart goals and planning adequately in the New Year.
He further said: “In a way, we also want to prevent personal fires in our lives this year and the best way to do that is by setting smart goal. So, we need to plan. Let us all set goals that will be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. And that is being SMART. We should plan now so that when we meet for the next inter-denominational service, we will be able to look back as we are looking back at 2019 now, and have a cause to be thankful.”
The Governor added: “Some people have said that all the things we have done in seven months are just cosmetic. Well, we are thankful for the progress in our education system. We have increased funding for the sector and we have been able to get some children off the street. We still have a lot more to do in this sector and we still believe that 2020 will be a good year for education in Oyo State.
“We are also thankful for the improvement in health care, as we have renovated and equipped some hospitals and started with the Health Insurance Scheme. It is my belief that civil servants and others will take the advantage of this scheme so that they do not have to pay out of pocket for health care.
“The Jericho Specialist Hospitals has been moved to a new location, which is bigger and spacious. And that is not cosmetic.
“We are thankful that the streets of Ibadan are now well lit up. We will extend the project to all major cities in the State this year. We are also taking steps to ensure the safety of lives and property for all living within the borders of Oyo State. Some palaces and markets have also been lit.
“We are also thankful for expanding the economy of Oyo State and it is our belief that we can use investment in agriculture, small and medium size enterprises and infrastructure to keep growing the economy. We will keep focusing on addressing the challenges that the SMEs in Oyo State face, especially multiple taxation.”
Addressing the issue of the N30,000 minimum wage, Governor Makinde assured the civil service in the State on his Government’s resolve to stand side by side with them to arrive at a point that would be agreeable to the workers as well as affordable and sustainable for the State, saying: “On the new minimum wage, the committee has been set up, they are working and moving towards alignment but I promise you that this administration and the workers of Oyo State are on the same page on this ongoing negotiation. And when it is concluded, I give you the assurance that we shall stand side-by-side to announce to the whole world what we have agreed. “Whatever we will agree upon is going to be in the interest of the workers and our state. First, our collective decision will be agreeable to everybody. Second, it will be affordable. Third, it will be sustainable.
“Before this administration came into place on May 29, they were paying percentages as subvention to the higher institutions. “Just a month before the previous administration left, they moved it to 100 per cent and we have been paying it since we came in. I know that they do have agreement in some states and will still breach the agreement. But, here, once we sign that agreement, we will pay it.
“We won’t pay in percentages and I want to also state categorically that no worker in Oyo State will earn below the national minimum wage.”
Ladoja At 76: Alao pens emotional thank you message to ex-Oyo governor
Ibadan North East/South East Federal House of representatives nominee of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) in the 2019 election, Mr. Semih Oladimeji Alao on Friday penned an emotional appreciation message to former Governor Rasidi Ladoja, describing him as the most innovative personality in politics.
The Osi Olubadan of Ibadanland, Chief Ladoja, was born on September 25, 1944.
Alao in a message obtained by Mega Icon Magazine also thanked the former governor of Oyo state for his amazing efforts and support over the years.
The message reads, “Happy 76th Birthday to Osi Olubadan of Ibadan, the most innovative person in politics today. High Chief (Daddy) Rasidi Adewolu Ladoja.
“Not only do you seamlessly adapt to address the emerging challenges from the persistent ones that we face in our society today, but you are also always striving to make things better with new approaches and such unfaltering determination.
“I just want to thank you for all of your amazing efforts and support over the years!
“Many happy returns to you today Sir”, it added.
2020 budget touched all sectors of economy inspite of COVID-19 – Makinde
Governor Seyi Makinde has said that the 2020 budget of Oyo state touched every sector of the state’s economy has requested by citizens and stakeholders.
The Governor, who spoke through his deputy, Engineer Rauf Olaniyan, disclosed this at the 2021 town hall stakeholders meeting held at Igboho.
The governor lamented that COVID-19 brought a shrink to the budget on capital expenditure, adding, that the state is still managing to accommodate all the needs of each community as highlighted by the stakeholders.
He said that the state is poised to engage more stakeholders in the preparation of the 2021 budget by consulting across the seven geopolitical zones in Oyo state as opposed to the three senatorial districts for the 2020 budget for more openness and transparency.
Governor Makinde further asserted that his administration is predominantly about inclusion which is the fulcrum on which democracy rests, urging the people to come out and dialogue with government since they are the most affected by the decisions of government.
While x- raying some completed projects executed by his administration in Oke-Ogun region, the governor disclosed that government has begun the remodeling of OYSADA headquarters at Saki, upgrading of various primary healthcare centres and facilities and the set up of a specialist hospital.
The state helmsman urged the people to be security conscious in the face of recent security challenges, saying, security is our collective responsibility.
While responding to the requests and submissions from all local governments and stakeholders, he assured that the state will ensure that the issues of security, education, employment and power supply will be looked into and will get budgetary attention in 2021 within the available resources.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Barr Adeniyi Farinto highlighted the projects the government executed as requested by the people of the region in the 2020 budget meetup with stakeholders.
He said the construction of the Moniya-Iseyin road, return of OYSADEP now OYSADA headquarters to Saki, fixing of Saki- Ogboro- Igboho road among other things are a promise kept by the current administration.
The commissioner urged the citizens of the food basket region of the state to make inputs and cooperate with government in fixing roads and other projedts to enable government in delivering on its promises.
Makinde flags off construction of 360 housing units, Ajoda new town estate
Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, on Wednesday, flagged off the construction of 360 Housing Units at the Ajoda New Town Estate, located on the New Ibadan-Ife Expressway.
The estate, which is estimated to cost about Two Billion, Five Hundred Million Naira (N2.5 billion), according to the governor, will enhance affordable housing to all and sundry in the state.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted the governor as saying that the strategic location of the new estate will ensure that the investors make quick returns on their investments.
In another development, Governor Makinde, also, on Wednesday, handed over the Agbowo Shopping Complex, Ibadan, to investors who have committed to turning around the fortunes of the abandoned complex in 104 weeks.
The complex, which is located opposite the Main Gate of University of Ibadan, was commissioned in 1984 but abandoned 12 years ago.
The statement indicated that Makinde, while speaking at the flag-off ceremony held at the Ajoda Housing Estate, New Ife Road, Ibadan, declared the determination of his administration to bridge the gap in the housing sector in Oyo State.
He said that the New Ajoda Housing Project is jointly sponsored by the Oyo State Government and Remax Realtors Limited, saying that, while the state provided thirteen (13) hectares of land for the scheme, the developer is expected to solely finance the project.
The governor, who stated that the flagging off of the Ajoda Housing Estate is a fulfilment of one of his campaign promises, said the project will consist of 2-bedroom semi-detached houses; 3-bedroom semi-detached houses and 3-bedroom detached houses.
This was just as the governor said that the project will be replicated in other parts of the state so that many residents of the state can benefit from such projects.
He added that investors have begun to repose confidence in the state and are willing to do business in Oyo State because of the way the government is now being run by the present administration.
He said: “We are here today to flag off a project, which is in fulfilment of one of my campaign promises. Those who have taken time to study our Roadmap for Accelerated Development in Oyo State, 2019-2023, would have come across our promise to facilitate private sector-driven housing delivery through variants of public-private partnership (PPP) initiatives.
“And so today, we are flagging off the construction of three hundred and sixty (360) housing units here in Egbeda Local Government Area, Ibadan Zone.
“As I said earlier, this is a PPP initiative. We are working with Remax Realtors Limited. To make this project a reality, the Oyo State Government through the Oyo State Housing Corporation is providing thirteen (13) hectares of land for the scheme, while the developer will solely finance the entire project.
“The project will cost N2.5 Billion, and upon completion, the developers will recoup their finances when the houses are sold. We have seen the wisdom of getting contractors or developers to commit to projects by using their own monies to carry them out.
“Some people may wonder why we are starting off in the Ibadan Zone? Well, the need for an affordable housing scheme in Oyo State is clearly evident. Statistics show that the population of the capital city has been growing at over 2 per cent since 2018 with a peak of over 2.5 per cent in 2020. So, half of the population of Oyo State live in Ibadan Zone.
“But that the project is starting in Ibadan Zone does not mean that it will end here. Our plan is to replicate these housing units in other parts of Oyo State in the shortest possible time.”
He also charged members of the public who are interested in buying landed properties in Oyo State to patronize Oyo State Housing Corporation, adding that his administration will continue to operate an open-door policy.
Similarly, while speaking at the flag-off of the renovation and remodelling of Agbowo Shopping Complex, Governor Makinde stated that the state will work in collaboration with Messrs Whitestone Global Ltd to convert the moribund facility into a premium commercial real estate and a 4-star hotel.
He said the collaboration will be in the form of a long lease concession for 50 years, with a capital injection of N4.9Billion, saying: “Our administration understands that the only business that the government should have in business is to create a conducive environment and the needed support for private enterprises to thrive. And this is what we are doing.
“You will readily agree that the injection of N4.9 Billion into the Oyo State economy is an economic stimulus in the short term which will translate to broader benefits in the long run.
“The process of selecting the concessionaires was also transparent. As everyone knows, the days of getting contracts from the government solely because a person knows the governor is in the past. I make bold to say that the PPP mechanism of the state has been re-engineered for effectiveness.”
The governor assured that shop owners in the complex would have the right of first refusal when the complex is finally remodeled.
He also promised to put up a revolving fund scheme to assist those who may not have the money to pay for the shops by the time the project is completed.
In his remarks at the two events, the chairman of the Oyo State Housing Corporation, Barr. Bayo Lawal, said the experience of the corporation in the past has not been palatable, stating, however, that the pains are gradually being addressed by Governor Makinde.
He also appealed to those desirous of owning lands in the state to approach the corporation for reliable landed property.
Also speaking, the Managing Director, Remax realtors Limited, Adefunke Adesoji, said it was an honour to work with the Oyo State governor on the project, which was conceived as a public-private partnership.
In their separate remarks, the Commissioner for Lands and Housing, Barrister Abiodun Abdulraheem and his counterpart in the Ministry of Justice, Prof. Oyelowo Oyewo, enjoined investors and residents of the state to key into the projects, which they described as a landmark initiative.
Also speaking at the handing over of Agbowo Shopping Complex, the Managing Director of Whitestone Global Ltd., Mr. Woleola Oluwole, said: “Today is indeed a great day and another landmark in the trending capacity of Oyo State. This is not surprising because we have a governor that is an honour to follow; we have a governor who is a father to watch. Here we are today marking another trend for others to follow.
“In this place today, as it is, in the next few months, we will know, indeed, that the God of heaven has smiled upon us and the rest of Oyo State.
“This facility, when completed, will have a time level car park that will double as a drive-in Cinema in the evening; a 10-floor first class hotel; 600 capacity 3D Cinema in the evening, an underground gaming arcade; what I call the 22nd-Century E-shopping Mall. All of these will be inside 25,000 square metres.”
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