IMOLE OSUN: Laudable Achievements of Governor Adeleke’s 2023 Activities BY James Bamgbose.

IMOLE OSUN: Laudable Achievements of Governor Adeleke’s 2023 Activities

By James Bamgbose

Moments from now, 2023 will wind up, and a new year, 2024, will be ushered in. Governor Ademola Adeleke finishes 2023 with a spectacular performance, navigating complex governance issues to deliver better outcomes, making hitherto impossible things possible, and diligently pursuing infrastructural renewal and economic growth of the state.

This year, Governor Adeleke fought hard to stop the mandate usurper from tampering with the will of the people, going through courts to secure the mandate that the Osun electorate willfully entrusted with him at the poll. In 2023, Governor Adeleke led the campaign that secured a resounding victory for candidates of the party in the state for various positions at the general election, producing all three senatorial seats, nine House of Representatives seats and twenty-five out of the twenty-six House of Assembly seats.

In this outgoing year, Governor Adeleke showed strict commitment to his 5-points agenda, which are Adequate provision for workers’ welfare, salaries, gratuities and pensions; Boosting the state economy by Business partnering and support for SMEs; Osun funds serving Osun people through homegrown infrastructure policy; People-focused social policy through skill-based education, affordable healthcare state security and social support; Agro-based industrialisation for wealth and job creation for youths and women.

In this year, Governor Adeleke’s effective leadership marked a paradigm shift in governance, despite attempts by detractors to undermine his efforts. His laudable achievements earned him the moniker “Mr. Performer” within a year in office. In 2023, Governor Ademola Adeleke achieved significant milestones that have had a profound impact on the development and economy of Osun State focusing on infrastructure, community empowerment, healthcare, and welfare initiatives. These achievements have not only transformed the physical landscape of the state but have also had far-reaching economic benefits, positively impacting the lives of the citizens.

Here’s a look back at Adeleke’s 2023

EXTENSIVE INTERCONNECTIVITY NETWORK

One of the key accomplishments of Governor Adeleke’s administration in 2023 is the extensive rehabilitation and reconstruction of over 90km of intercity roads across all 9 Federal constituencies in the state. This was a departure from the poor attitude shown towards infrastructural development, which not only put users and communities through tough situations but also strained economic activities.

Governor Adeleke however changed the narratives as he embarked upon massive road projects across the state. This effort has not only improved connectivity but has also enhanced economic activities by facilitating the movement of goods and people within and beyond the state.

UPGRADING DIGITAL ASSET INFRASTRUCTURE

Prior to Governor Adeleke coming to office, Osun’s digital presence is uninspiring. On Google Maps, Osun coverage was at less than 30%, making it difficult for businesses and places in the state to benefit from the huge benefit that the facility offers. Within the first quarter of 2023, Governor Adeleke initiated processes to upscale the state’s digital footprint, and through the Google mapping initiative, the state coverage at this time stood at over 70%, making it easy to locate places and businesses compared to before.

This was complemented with the launch of optic fibre deployment across Osun State, marking a significant leap forward in the state’s technological advancement. Osun State witnessed the launch of a comprehensive optic fibre deployment program. This technological infrastructure investment is crucial for enhancing communication networks, promoting digital inclusion, enabling businesses to thrive in the digital age, and fostering economic growth through improved access to information and online services.

And to seal it all was the adoption of the Start-Up Act, which when eventually passed by the State Assembly, will provide the needed legal frameworks for the digitally savvy young population of the state to benefit from their technological investments and inventions, among others.

POWERING COMMUNITIES AND VULNERABLE GROUPS WITH THE NECESSARY SUPPORT TO LIVE A BETTER LIFE

In 2023, communities and vulnerable groups had a good feeling of government. This was evident in the launch of a provisional grant totalling N389,542,466.00 to 50 communities and 13 vulnerable groups by Governor Ademola Adeleke. In this arrangement, communities and vulnerable groups decide on the amenities required, and they are provided grants to execute them without any interference from the government.

These grants were aimed at implementing various micro-projects tailored to the specific needs of each community, thereby promoting grassroots development and inclusivity. Projects such as motorized boreholes, rehabilitation and construction of schools, construction of maternity centres, rural electrification, and water channels, among other needs of communities and vulnerable groups were done through this initiative.

IMPROVED ATTITUDE TO THE WELFARE OF WORKERS AND PENSIONERS

Poor welfare conditions were one of the numerous problems that Governor Ademola Adeleke inherited last year when he took office. Questions on owed 30-month salary were recurring, and the financial benefit of promotion given to workers in 2019 by the immediate past administration was unresolved.

By February this year, Governor Adeleke took a step that confounded even his worst critic, by issuing a template for the phased payment of the owed salary arrears. And true to the circular, Governor Adeleke paid the first month of the owed arrears, and this December paid the fourth month. His predecessor, Gboyega Oyetola, could not do anything about the owed salary arrears despite being a part of the administration that incurred it.

Apart from that, in April this year, Governor Adeleke cash-backed the promotion given to workers by the past administration. Workers had waited over three years under the past administration yet nothing, with many even losing hope about enjoying the benefit of the promotion of what is largely seen as ‘audio promotion’. In the same 2023, Governor Adeleke approved the payment of N15,000 wage award for active workers and N10,000 for pensioners as part of measures to cushion the impact of the removal of fuel subsidy. This timely action demonstrates a commitment to honouring labour agreements and ensuring the financial well-being of workers and pensioners during the nation’s current economic state.

In 2023, Governor Adeleke has used over N28 billion on pension liabilities, for both old and contributory pensioners in the state. There is hardly any Governor in the history of Osun to commit such an amount to pensioners’ welfare in one year alone. This is in addition to the enrollment of all retirees in Osun state in a health insurance scheme (the first state in Nigeria to do so), which will alleviate the pressure of maintaining health on pensioners and reduce the occurrence of avoidable deaths among them.

STRATEGIC INVESTMENT IN THE EDUCATION SECTOR

Upon assumption of office, Governor Ademola Adeleke met public infrastructures, including schools in a deplorable condition. This year, Governor Adeleke embarked on the complete rehabilitation of 31 public schools in Osun state, cutting across the 30 local governments and area office. The infrastructure of the identified schools are totally overhauled, make conducive for teachers and pupils. The rehabilitated schools were also equipped with furnitures and other essentials that will aid effective learning.

At Osun State University (UNIOSUN), Governor Adeleke’s transformative leadership was also felt. According to the open confession of the Vice Chancellor, Professor Clement Odunayo, Governor Adeleke completed a 52-unit office complex in the institution (the first government since 2010 to execute any capital project in the school).

PRIORITIZE HEALTHY LIVING BY INVESTING IN THE HEALTH OF OSUN PEOPLE

That health is wealth is not just a slogan to Governor Ademola Adeleke, but one that must be matched with action. This year, Governor Adeleke has prioritized healthy living for the people of Osun state by initiating interventions and policies that provide the people with the needed healthcare support. Through the Imole Surgical and Medical Outreach, Governor Adeleke was able to meet the health needs of at least, 50,000 people across Osun state. Beneficiaries received surgeries and other treatments at no cost to them.

In the longer term, Governor Adeleke is rehabilitating PHCs across Osun state, equipping them with essentials that will aid effective services, which include all-round power for them. Many of these PHCs will be fully delivered next year and offer improved service delivery for the people.

In 2023, Governor Adeleke paid hazard allowance to healthcare practitioners in the state, preventing them from joining a nationwide strike action (the only state in Nigeria to witness such).

BUILDING TOMORROW TODAY

In November this year, Governor Ademola Adeleke launched an ambitious infrastructure plan for Osun State. The multi-billion infrastructure plan covers road construction, healthcare infrastructure, clean water provision, and school rehabilitation across all areas of the state. This ambitious plan is poised to elevate the state’s infrastructure to world-class standards, attracting investments and fostering sustainable development.

And the projects will be funded by revenue that accrues to the state, and not loans as we experienced in the past that plunged Osun into this terrible terrible financial situation. Some of the projects in the infrastructure plan, like the Old Garage-Lameco dual-carriage road, which will have an overhead bridge at Oke-Fia, have commenced, and the others will commence next year after their papers are completed and awarded to a contractor. In the infrastructure plan is a 45km road, which will see each of the 30 local governments have at least a 1.5km road constructed.

These are just a few of the laudable accomplishments of Governor Adeleke’s vision to significantly contribute to the development and economic growth of Osun State. Others include the provision of portable water for 332 wards across the state; and the commencement of the University of Ilesa with an approval of courses by NUC amongst other things.

After a critical evaluation of the achievements of this Government since its first day in office to the 100 days in office till date, the vital question of “how was he able to achieve them despite the humongous debt burden passed to him by his predecessor, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola?”.

The only answer to this question and other questions in the mind of Osun People concerning the ways and manners the Governor administered the state within his first year in office despite various anti-people policies the last administration set for the state, especially in the financial of the state.

Governor Adeleke’s unwavering commitment to fulfilling his promises to his people and prioritizing the welfare of government workers has earned him recognition as a leader who puts the interests of his people first. As Osun State continues on its path of progress, Governor Adeleke’s legacy of inclusive and sustainable development is set to leave a lasting impact on the state’s future.

James Bamgbose writes from Igbajo, Osun State and can be reached via mail at bamgbosejames9@gmail.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *