The good people of Osun state at home and abroad.
I greet you warmly with best wishes of a prosperous and blessed new year. I convey my intimate prayers that the new year will bring us new opportunities, progress and advancement as a state and in our individual lives.
I extend new year greetings to the elders of Osun state; to our royal fathers; to our religious leaders; to the young and the old; to professional elites, to artisans, to students and to womenfolk. Accept my sincere appreciation for your support before my election and for the last one year of my governorship of our dear state. I am humbled by your prayers and mass backing for our administration.
I remain firmly focussed on the Five Point Agenda under which you, Osun people, elected us into office. We reaffirm our faith in the principles guiding the five point agenda which are transparency and accountability, open government, localisation, responsive leadership and attunement to citizens’ aspirations.
On the strength of the above, our government devised wholesale approach to governance such as:
●Dismantling bobby traps planted by our predecessor,
●Blocking leakages in public finance, ●Addressing the corruption and revenue diversion in the solid mineral sector,
● Restoring local government administration for grassroot development
● Embarking on mass water project provision
● Executing 91 kilometers of road construction
● Implementing free medical surgeries with over 50,000 beneficiaries;
● Total renovation of 31 schools
● Launching sport sector reforms
● Reviving the major commercial and industrial projects of the state
● Pushing for implementation of agric processing zone in Osun state;
● re-professionalisation of the public service;
● Strong attention to workers’ welfare;
● Tapping into tourism, entertainment and cultural potentials of the state;
● Ramping up efforts for a cargo and commercial airport for Osun state, among others.
Our administration achieved a lot by ensuring belt tightening, reducing cost of governance and denying ourselves many perquisites of office. As a Governor, my official expenditures are covered through the approval process rather than security votes, thereby assuring transparency and accountability.
As of today, our administration is struggling to purchase official vehicles for the state cabinet because the officials of the previous government bolted away with state vehicles. So our cabinet and other top officials have been using their private cars since we appointed them into office. Also, we are still working to renovate the official quarters vandalized by the officials of previous governments. Many of our top officials still operate from their private houses.
Despite the above handicap, our team is determined to continue to deliver on our electoral promises. I am glad to report with gratitude to God that we have remained responsive to the will and aspirations of our people. We get positive feedback and we are satisfied with our high approval ratings.
We are challenged to do more. We are prepared to make corrections where necessary as much as we will remain uncompromising when it comes to anti-corruption drive, transparency and accountability as well due process. As I always affirm, our tenure is married to rule of law and fear of God.
As a people, our nation is passing through serious economic challenges. As a sub-national entity ,Osun, like all other states within the federation ,bears harsh consequences of inflationary crisis, high cost of living and unstable exchange rates. These are macro and micro economic issues largely beyond the purview of the state governments.
In this national economic crisis, the Federal Government through the National Economic Council attempted to create a collective focus for a solution. All states committed themselves to this national joint effort. This resulted in specific interventions designed to cushion the negative fallouts of the national dislocation in the national economy.
We, as a state government, commend President Bola Tinubu for his relentless action towards economic restoration. But as we all know and as we are still experiencing, the economic crisis continues unabated despite the best of efforts. Osun, through the National Economic Council, is collaborating with the central government to support federal initiatives targeted at reducing inflation, cost of living and stabilising the national economy.
I assure our people that the various intervention funds received from the Federal Government and development partners are being carefully applied for various purposes as designed, ranging from infrastructure, wage award, transport logistics to social investment as manifested in the many completed and ongoing grassroots development projects in Osun state. Our administration ensures strict compliance with due process, procurement laws and public service financial regulations.
Beyond supporting federal initiatives, our government is also ensuring judicious application of intervention resources for maximum impact. Unlike the practice in the past, our government is focussing on groups with a likely multiplier effect on the larger society. We are aware of the strong nexus between formal and informal sectors of Osun society.
To this end, our interventions is an holistic one that emphasise the following:
● Regular, full payment of workers’ salaries as at when due;
● Phased payment of half salary debt as a form of palliative;
● Phased payment of pension debt;
● Free enrolment of all pensioners in the health insurance scheme;
● Quarterly Imole free medical surgeries;
● Wage award to pensioners and public workers;
● Introduction of Imole bus service;
● Boosting local economy through strong local content in project implementation; and
● a system of direct labour for localisation.
I am happy to also report that as the state ramps up efforts to cushion the effect of hard times, we are also implementing an ambitious state agenda which targets infrastructure upgrade, diversifying the state economic base and deepening the revenue structure of the state.
For the infra upgrade, we are convinced that the state economy cannot attract required investment to realise its industrial potential unless the problem of infrastructure deficit is addressed. Hence, we have started the implementation of the multi-billion naira infra plan that I launched a few months ago.
For economic diversification, we are growing the creative industry; we are opening up the industrial sector; we are attracting investors in key sectors; and we are re-skilling our youth through the soon to be unveiled Imole Youth Corps.
To deepen the revenue base, we are tapping into the solid mineral sector; we are reforming the tax sector to eliminate multiple taxation while widening the tax base.
Our dream is for an Osun economy that gradually moves away from its civil service status to a modern agro – industrial based, creative industry focussed economy. Such diversification with a functioning cargo/commercial airport will grow Osun as an export oriented economy as well as a global tourist destination being the host of important Yoruba cultural assets.
My good people of Osun state, I just signed Budget 2024 into law. It encompasses our plans and agenda for the new year. It is a year of reconstruction and eventual recovery. The infra projects slated for implementation this new year under the multi-billion naira programme include the following:
● Phase 2 of the reconstruction and furnishing of schools,making a total of 35 schools;
● Phase 2 of the water projects: 332 water projects, one in each ward of the state;
● Renovation, and in some cases, reconstruction and furnishing of primary care health centers. 345 in number with at least one in every ward of the state;
● Phase 2 of rehabilitation and Construction of roads across the State of about 1.5 Kilometers in each LGAs, totalling 31 kilometers of roads;
● Dualization of Old Garage – Okefia – Lameco road, Osogbo;
● Dualization of Ilesa/Akure -Brewery – Palace road, Ilesha;
● Dualization of Akoda-Baptist High School – Oke Gada road, Ede;
● Construction of flyover Okefia Roundabout, Osogbo;
● Construction of flyover at Lameco Roundabout, Osogbo;
● Construction of Flyover at Alamisi Junction roundabout, Ikirun;
● Construction of flyover at Mayfair Roundabout, Ile Ife;
● Construction of flyover at Owode market, Ede;
● Completion of rehabilitation of Inter-city roads such as Osogbo-Iwo Road plus dualisation from Odo Ori to Odo Oba River;
●Rehabilitation of Otan Ayegbaju – Iresi road;
● Rehabilitation of Ede-Egbedi-Erin Osun road among others.
We are implementing all the above projects without borrowing a kobo. We are relying on savings from various earnings, blockage of revenue leakage and reduction in the cost of governance and projects through localisation and direct labor.
Our administration has big ambitions to develop our dear state. We seek to bridge the developmental gap, to combine human and physical development. We are in a hurry to achieve both human and capital growth. My people, it is achievable. It is doable.
In the new year, we will refocus attention on cushioning current economic hardship while at the same time building the state economic base. Both goals are achievable as we have demonstrated in the last one year.
We seek your continued support to achieve our common agenda for collective prosperity. We promise to continue to be a listening and responsive administration, a government of the people ,by the people and for the people.
I wish you all a happy, blessed New Year.
HE, Senator Ademola Adeleke,
Executive Governor of Osun State
January 1st, 2024