By James Ogunnaike
Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun is two years in office as the governor of the state. His two year period in office has brought tremendous development to all sectors of the state economy, despite the shortfall in the state allocation from the federation account, as well as dwindling economy occasioned by the global pandemic that affected the entire world in 2020.
It would be recalled that Governor Abiodun decided from the first day in office to leave the state better than he met it.
With this notion, he has given priority attention to deliver the dividends of democracy through quality education to the people of the state, because he believes that the best way to fight poverty is to empower people through quality education.
The innovative and impactful ideas Governor Abiodun has brought to bear in the education sector of the state include free education in public primary and secondary schools, stoppage of education levies, offering of automatic employment to best graduating students in higher institutions, renovation and rehabilitation of over 236 blocks of classrooms in primary schools across the 236 wards of the state, which has brought increase in students enrollment.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Dapo Abiodun led-government ensured that Ogun students did not lose out totally as it organized “OgunDIGI” Class which was able to keep the students in the state busy during the pandemic.
The long-neglected Moshood Abiola Polytechnic (MAPOLY), Abeokuta was put back on its feet with Governor Abiodun’s intervention.
Also, Tai Solarin College of Education (TASCE), Omu, Ijebu which was shut down for almost two years as a result of protracted crisis by the previous administration, was also returned to its glory.
Technical and vocational education was not left out, because Governor Abiodun saw this as a means of taking the youths out of the unemployment market. To achieve this, the governor revitalized some of the technical colleges to train artisans. He equally sets up a TechHUB facility to enable youths leverage on Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
In the area of infrastructure, over 172 kilometres of roads had been completed across the state. Some of the road construction works include the Epe-Ijebu Ode and Sagamu-Abeokuta federal roads. Others are Itoikin-Ibefun-Ijebu Ode, Iperu-Ilisan, Sango-Ojodu Abiodun, Ilaro-Owode, Osi-Ota-Awolowo-Navy-Kola and Balogun Kuku in Ijebu Ode.
Several township roads had been completed and these included; Idi-Aba-Elite-Oka Lantoro, Fajol-Gbonagun-Obantoko road.
Panseke-Adigbe-Obada Oko road, Atan-Erunwon road, Adatan-Asero road, the abandoned Lafenwa- Rounder road, the 32-kilometre Akute-Ajuwon-Alagbole road Journalists Estate, Arepo, Ijebu-Igbo township are ongoing.
Creation of Ogun State Public Works Agency (OGPWA) following the passage of the Ogun State Road Maintenance Agency (OGRMA) amendment bill into law has birthed several cost-saving opportunities through the massive construction, rehabilitation and maintenance projects. They have created streams of job opportunities, improved productivity, increased mobility and alleviated poverty within the state.
The state government is also giving special attention to infrastructure development in the Agbara-Atan-Ota, Ewekoro-Ifo and Sagamu-Ogijo industrial hubs and this has led to the flag-off of Agbara-Lusada-Atan road construction.
Another significant project was the revival of operations in the Arakanga water treatment plant which is responsible for supplying portable water to Abeokuta metropolis and its environs.
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The governor’s bias for healthcare was evident in the reconstruction and renovation of public Primary Health Centre across the length and breadth of the state. The facility upgrade included the installation of solar power equipment and fencing.
During the peak of COVID-19 pandemic, the administration set up five COVID-19 isolation and treatment centres across the state. The government also set up a Molecular Laboratory at the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, (OOUTH) Sagamu; the first Molecular Laboratory solely funded by a State in Nigeria, with capacity for 150 tests a day. The first COVID-19 Mobile Laboratory in Nigeria with the capacity to run 450 tests a day was equally provided.
Recruitment of additional healthcare personnel; doctors, pharmacists, physiotherapists, nurses, medical scientists, for the first time in many years.
On agriculture, through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Anchor Borrowers Programme, weed killer, fertilizers and agriculture fields were supplied to about 20,000 farmers in the state.
Similarly, the mass recruitment of youths into the Ogun State Environmental Protection Agency (OGEPA) and vocational trainings for artisans in plumbing, electrical and building works are under the direct labour initiative of the state ministry of housing.
The establishment of Oko Owo Dapo and Care for Widows’ schemes have been great sources of empowerment and increased productivity for the beneficiaries.
On Security, Ogun State Security Trust Fund was formed, backed by law, saying that the fund is a private sector-driven program that would support the state government in addressing various security challenges facing the state. Also, Amotekun Corps and Joint Special Security Intervention Squad (JSSIS) have been inaugurated to complement the duties of conventional security agents. Over 100 vehicles and 200 motorcycles with communication gadgets were distributed to security agencies in the state.
On workers’ welfare, civil and public servants receive their salaries as at when due. The governor implemented payment of the minimum wage of N30,500 since October, 2020. Governor Abiodun is clearing backlog of promotion inherited from previous administration.
Also, payment of monthly pension and gratuity receive governor’s attention. The governor absorbed 1,500 civil servants employed by Senator Ibikunle Amosun at the twilight of his administration.
Construction of four Fire Service Stations in different locations of the state.
Vanguard News Nigeria
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