NEW YEAR BROADCAST DELIVERED BY THE GOVERNOR OF OGUN STATE, HIS EXCELLENCY, SENATOR IBIKUNLE AMOSUN CON, FCA,
ON TUESDAY 1ST JANUARY, 2019
My dear good people of Ogun State, on behalf of your Government, I congratulate you on witnessing the beginning of yet another New Year. We thank and glorify God Almighty for seeing us through the year 2018. My prayer is that the Year 2019 will bring more unprecedented development to our dear State and usher in good tidings for all of us.
2.Let me in a special way register my sincere appreciation to you for the extraordinary support, cooperation and understanding that our Administration has continued to receive from the good people of Ogun State, ever since we assumed office in 2011. Even our ardent critics will agree that we have continued to reap bountiful harvest in all areas of our 5-Cardinal Programme. Undoubtedly, the Almighty God’s favour, the support, goodwill and cooperation of our good people have remained the major contributing factor for the successes recorded, so far, by our Administration. Our working together has elicited positive and fruitful outcomes in the last 7½ years of our Administration, we have firmly placed our dear State on the path of continued socio-economic development. I must say that you are all indeed invaluable partners in progress. As trustees of your mandate, we have continued to demonstrate our gratitude to you by deploying the resources of our dear State to create a conducive and business-friendly environment that has motivated and encouraged private investments, both local and foreign, to do business in our dear State. Today, your State, our State, Ogun State is now the industrial capital of Nigeria.
3.My dear good people of Ogun State, as I present, today, the very last New Year message of our 8 year Administration in Ogun State, permit me to note that this year 2019 is very crucial to all of us, particularly towards sustaining the pace of development across the length and breadth of our dear State. We are determined to continue to work until the very last minute of our administration, which ends on 29th May, 2019. We are confident that the best way to bequeath an enduring legacy to our people is to hand over to another capable administration that will sustain the mission to rebuild our dear State. Without doubt, I am optimistic that the good people of Ogun State will ensure that the right candidate emerges in the forth-coming 2019 General elections to build upon our achievements in office.
4.On our part, as an Administration, we are determined to ensure completion of all on-going development projects across the State before 29th May, 2019. Some may argue that the time to present the scorecard of the achievements of our Administration is not now, but, it will not be out of place to begin to beam the spotlight on the giant strides our dear State has taken since our assumption of office 7½ years ago. Gone are the days when our dear State was listed among economic backwater States in Nigeria in terms of infrastructure and other socio-economic indices. Our new status as an industrial hub and a preferred destination for new investments has continued to be affirmed by third party sources. With our concerted efforts, Ogun State has taken its rightful place among the comity of economically-dynamic States in the country. This is a long-awaited fulfilment of the dream of our forebears. And, we consider ourselves lucky and blessed to be the administration driving this new positive revolution!
5.On this note, it is imperative that we take stock of the journey so far. Our approach to the socio-economic development of our dear State has continued to be holistic and multi-dimensional. With the “5-Cardinal Programme” serving as our development blueprint, we have continued to revamp all the key sectors of the economy of our dear State. Our records in this wise speak for themselves.
6.Since we took office on 29 May 2011, we have set about repositioning education in the State. Delivering Affordable, Qualitative Education has been the priority of our Five-Cardinal Programme. We have continued to pursue our objectives through a number of avenues including budgetary allocation of at least 20% of our budget to Education annually, with 22% on average over the past 8 budgets; a reflection of education as our top priority; removal of all charges for primary and secondary school education; renovation of 240 schools across our dear State; construction of 278 blocks of classrooms under our MDG/SDG programmes; purchase and distribution of text books; underwriting of WAEC exam fees from 2011-2017; and, we have continued to successfully sustain the Home-Grown School Feeding Programme in our primary schools, in collaboration with the Federal Government. All these approaches have helped us reverse the challenge of out of school children while we are very pleased to report that enrolment figures for primary and secondary school learners have risen drastically by 38% in the state from 2013 to 2018.
7.Similarly, the Model College initiative was another response to the rapid growth rate of enrolment, based on our tactical intervention to stem the tide of out of school children. This success, on one hand, brought about a good problem of having to provide more new learners with a contemporary education, leveraging on modern infrastructure. Our Model College, especially Akin Ogunpola Model College in Akinale, Ewekoro Local Government, has provided us with an excellent opportunity to implement our education plan with glowing results thus far, despite initial teething problems. Our methodology has attracted international partners such as the German government through the Goethe Institute, with the introduction of the German language. Our school joined the prestigious group of Pasche schools as the first and only Nigerian public school that offers the language, out of over a thousand schools globally. Our Model College is also going to field her first set of West African School Certificate candidates in 2019 and we are expecting stellar results. As with anything new, full acceptance of the Model College was initially slow. But, as our parents, both local and national, continue to see real value as demonstrated by the progress of their children and wards, the clamour to open more Model Colleges grows louder. We remain resolute in our commitment to open the other Model Colleges as soon as possible.
8.As the Industrial capital of Nigeria, it is imperative that Ogun State is market ready with appropriately skilled manpower, thus our activities in the Technical and Vocational Education space have been deliberate and strategic. Our partnership with Samsung Heavy Industries Korea (SHIK) for the construction and rehabilitation of workshops and classrooms at Government Science and Technical College, Idi-Aba, Abeokuta, is an example of our transformational activity in this space. Training is available in the marine specialist areas of Electrical, Welding, Spray Painting as well as Woodwork and Culinary Arts. The project, an investment in excess of $1.3million, was commissioned in 2017 and has delivered its first batch of graduates, while the second batch is about to proceed on an industry internship. We are poised for more transformation as we anticipate an upgrade in TVET education, based on the foundation of a revised law to strengthen and upgrade the oversight board. The revised bill is already before the Ogun State House of Assembly.
9.Our Tertiary Education sector has received a boost with the conversion of Moshood Abiola Polytechnic (MAPOLY) to Moshood Abiola University of Science & Technology (MAUSTECH) and with Ogun State Polytechnic, taking off at Ipokia. In addition, our various ICT Polytechnics are achieving unprecedented growth in enrolment spurred by the appropriate compliment of accredited courses. The Tai Solarin College of Education (TASCE), Omu has been accorded status as a Degree Awarding Institution by virtue of its collaboration with Olabisi Onabanjo University. As these institutions flourish, we believe that Ogun State is poised to record many more firsts in the tertiary education sector, reinforcing our status as the education capital of the country. It is also heart-warming to note that our continued investment in our other tertiary institutions has continued to attract local and international collaborations in the area of human resources development, infrastructural development and curriculum planning, etc. This commitment has further deepened the learning process and improved on the quality of graduates produced by these institutions.
10.In our bid to continue to safeguard our borders against the outbreak of communicable diseases, our health sector has been reformed and fortified for improved service delivery. We believe that prevention is always better than cure. We thank God and commend the professionalism of our health personnel, as we did not record a single case of any communicable disease such as monkey pox and lassa fever in Ogun State in 2018. I implore our people to continue to observe personal and general hygiene at all times, and respond to advice of medical experts. We also made tremendous achievements in taking most of our health programmes to the grassroots in 2018. Under the Community Based Health Insurance Scheme, Araya and other health projects, we recorded more registrations of communities across the 20 LGAs and 37 LCDAs. These are in addition to our Administration’s continued programme of free health care for pregnant women, children under 5 and the elderly.
11.Similarly, economically-disadvantaged women who register for Araya are also eligible for our Gbomoro Programme. Pregnant women receive a transport allowance when they visit antenatal clinics and they receive further allowances as well as MAMA kits when they give birth in Government-owned health facilities. This Scheme, among others, has continued to make a significant contribution to safe deliveries among this disadvantaged group of women. In effect, our women are four (4) times safer during child-birth in Ogun State, compared to the national average, and our child mortality rate is also 5 times better than the national average.
12.Other interventions include our focus on healthcare workers and upgrading of Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) and hospitals that have continued to have positive impacts on maternal and new-borns health, with an increased rate of attendance at antenatal clinics and of deliveries, by skilled birth attendants. Indeed, construction is at an advanced stage for an ultra modern 250-bed hospital, with world class amenities, which will be completed by May, 2019. This facility, when completed will greatly impact the health status and well-being of a larger population of our people. I want to assure our good people of more benefits from the health schemes in the new year.
COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY
13.In the area of Commerce and Industry, our dear State has continued to live up to its billing as the investment destination of choice. Available data from a recent survey showed that, Ogun State alone attracted 75% share of the total Foreign Direct and Local investments in the manufacturing sector in Nigeria. Our investment portfolio as a State is over 180 new industries, some of which have individually invested between a minimum of $200million and in excess of $2billion. But as we cannot afford to rest on our oars, our Manufacturing sector is expanded to create more opportunities for foreign investments to continue to berth and local businesses to continue to grow in our dear State. This has greatly helped to create more direct and indirect jobs for our people in 2018.
14.As a matter of fact, year 2018 has seen many new industries coming on board, ranging from the manufacturing of household materials, beverages, security equipment, automobiles and mining, among others. For instance, we commissioned a $250million International Breweries Plant in Bara, Obafemi Owode Local Government, in August 2018. The plant is the largest investment of the ABInBev Group in Africa, outside of South Africa. We are appreciative of the huge positive impact of the private investments on the socio-economic development of our dear State. Even with just (5) five months to the end of our Administration, we will continue to provide an enabling and conducive environment for investment to thrive in Ogun State. I hope to see more positive impacts of these investments on the lives of our people in the new year and beyond. And, it is our belief that the various interventions and integrated approaches in other sectors, such as, infrastructure, energy, rail and airport, will further enhance the Ease of Doing Business in our State, and thereby attract more investors.
15.INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT AND URBAN RENEWAL
In our bid to ensure the sustenance of the Mission to Rebuild Ogun State, even beyond the tenure of our Administration in office, we have invested massively in construction and rehabilitation of roads, flyovers and bridges to ease movement of people, goods and services, and thereby aid business growth across the State. Most of these constructions have been successfully completed while the tempo of work has been increased to fast-track the completion of other on-going roads and bridges construction and rehabilitation across the Three Senatorial Districts of our dear State within the shortest time. These include, but not limited to:
❖ Construction of over 357.11km of brand new Ogun Standard roads;
❖ Rehabilitation of over 3,125km of Roads throughout the three senatorial Districts;
❖ A total of 16 Fly-Over Bridges to resolve traffic conflicts on the Ogun Standard Roads constructed across the Three Senatorial Districts; and
❖ A total of 13 Bridges constructed over various rivers in the Three Senatorial Districts of the State, and several others on-going in the State, such as;
❖ Construction of an additional 100km of brand new Ogun Standard roads;
❖ Rehabilitation and maintenance of additional 5,000km of Roads across the State;
❖ Construction of 25 Ogun Standard Semi-Urban Roads spanning a total distance of 293.34km throughout the State; and
❖ Construction of another 171 Ogun Standard Rural Feeder Roads spanning 1,283km in all the 20 Local Government Areas and 37 Local Council Development Areas in the State.
16.We purposefully embarked on infrastructural development particularly to fulfil our electoral promises to put in place world class amenities and infrastructure, that will not only enhance the quality of life of our people, but will also attract investors to the State. For this reason, I consider our continued investment in infrastructural development as a step in the right direction. This has helped in accommodating the continued influx of the people who are coming to benefit from the several competitive advantages that our dear State has to offer. In all, I must say that the infrastructural development in the State has generated thousands of jobs for professionals, artisans, suppliers and other numerous numbers of our people. In addition, the construction of ultra-modern shopping malls in the State�s capital and major cities of our dear State has continued to enhance business growth. More of the shopping malls and shop are to be allocated to our marketers this year.
17.Just last night, we held a series of performances at the amphitheatre of our newly built city-centre in Oke-Ilewo, Abeokuta. When completed, the city-centre will also consist of high rise buildings, an ultra modern shopping mall, a movie theatre, Hotel and Service apartment, amongst others.
ENERGY AND WATER
18.We are also aware that there is an increasing need for energy to support the allocation of electricity from the national grid, and to meet the energy demands of our industrial growth. It is for this reason that our Administration has conceived and partnered with a private firm to develop the Lisabi Power Plant at Onijanganjangan while we are currently engaging other investors to build additional power plants across the State. While the Power Plant at Onijanganjangan has been energized to power the State Secretariat and other public buildings, schools, palaces, and police stations, in the State, other power plants will come online in 2019 to further boost energy supply across our dear State, and will definitely improve our water distribution network. Towards this, the new year will witness more collaborations and partnerships with development partners and donor agencies such as the World Bank; the French Development Agency’s (AFD), who are currently reconstructing the barrage at Arakanga, Abeokuta for improved water supply in the Abeokuta Metropolis; and, the Federal Government’s revival of the abandoned Ota water project, etc.
19.Let me use this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR for outlining a strong and consistent vision for Agriculture in Nigeria. Mr. President’s articulation of this vision of a country that grows what it eats and produces what it consumes and his commitment to walking the talk has inspired, guided and energized the entire country. In line with the national policy on self-sufficiency and reducing the over dependence of our national economy on crude oil earnings, we embarked on a revolutionary Agricultural Programme, which provides multiple opportunities in Agriculture and Agri-Business. It emphasizes the localization of the entire value-chain that Agriculture offers, namely: Plant-Process-Store PackageMarket and Sell. This will ensure that millions of our citizens will be engaged in the Agricultural value chain and will be able to prosper wherever they are. The MITROS rice project is one of the positive outcomes of this strategy. The results of this investment brought about the newly established MITROS RICE that was launched in December, 2017 into the market. Apart from being a source of direct and indirect jobs for our teeming youth, it also boosts production and reduces the pressure on foreign exchange spent to import foreign rice into the country. Another positive outcome of this strategy is the development of the new Ogere International Produce and Cattle Market with modern abattoir. This new modern market will serve as a one-stop market for crop and animal produce for our people across Nigeria and even the West African Sub-region.
20.Let me also state that the collaborations and partnerships with the multi-lateral agencies, such as the GIZ, World Bank, IFAD-VCDP, FADAMA, AFD, SASAKAWA, IITA, and others, are highly appreciated and will be consolidated upon this year. These collaborations have contributed immensely to the successes we have continued to achieve. We thank them for their support and we equally appreciate the increasing participation of the private sector and look forward to more of such partnerships and collaborations.
21.Let me assure the good people of Ogun State that, despite the short time we have before the end of our tenure in office, we will continue to demonstrate that it is possible to deliver inclusive affordable housing communities, that caters for all income brackets, within well-planned neighbourhoods. We also intend to embark upon transformational urban regeneration projects, creating places where people want to live, work and play. We understand the necessity of attracting and retaining large groups of people with higher disposable incomes in our State through the development of high quality physical and social infrastructure and amenities.
CULTURE AND TOURISM
22.Our dear State has continued to attract national and international attention through the annual African Drum Festival which has taken a life of its own with global interest and attention, placing it on the world tourism calendar. No doubt, the African Drums Festival has become a veritable tool to promote our culture as well as tourism in our dear State.
23.In addition to this, we will commence immediately with the construction and renovation of tourist sites in honour of Chief Hubert Ogunde, Alhaji Haruna Ishola and Madam BirikisuSungbo in Ogun East, the Kuti family, Ayinla Omowura, S. Aka, and Chief Ebenezer Obey in Ogun Central as well as Jossy Friday and Vasco Dagama in Ogun West to attract visitors and boost the Internally Generated Revenue of the State.
24.In all of this, we appreciate the roles of our Kabiyesis as the symbols of our rich cultural heritage. The Year 2019 will usher in a more conducive ambience for our Kabiyesis to continue to play their important roles as symbols of cultural values, through whom we will continue to harness the potentials of our cultural heritage for a better society.
25.Let me seize this opportunity to specially thank and appreciate the Federal Government under the able leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, for the many social intervention programmes, including but not limited to the Home Grown School Feeding programme and the N-Power Graduate Employment Programme, that till date, continue to provide employment and create jobs for our teeming youth.
26.Our State Ministry of Special Duties will continue to work with the Presidency to ensure that the two (2) new schemes- the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) and the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) and Market Moni take off fully in our dear State this Year.
27.We want to thank all the good people of Ogun State who have organized themselves into Community Development Associations (CDAs) and Community Development Councils (CDCs). They have continued to be an avenue for advocacy and enlightenment for our people on Government programmes and policies. The CDAs and Cooperative Societies have remained important partners which have helped in the successful implementation of our people-oriented programmes as highlighted in our �5-Cardinal Programme�. It is in appreciation of this good gesture that we have approved, for the commemoration of the International Community Day, in 2018, the release of the sum of N72million as Grants-in-aid/subventions to CDAs, and others, to support the self-help initiative, and particularly for the continued socio-economic development of our dear State. This is also to ensure the sustainability of the self-help projects of CDAs across our dear State. This gesture was designed to help our people in sourcing capital for their various projects. The approval of N50Million for the Community and Social Development Project (CSDP) in partnership with the World Bank is another community based initiative to support the grassroots, and the full implementation is expected before the end of the tenure of our Administration. Let me also remind all our Cooperatives and CDA Leaders that the N1Billion loan in partnership with the Bank of Industries (BOI) is still very much available for those of you in Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs). The feedback has been quite positive and I encourage you all to continue to draw from it to support your businesses.
28.My dear good people of Ogun State, it is important that we remind ourselves that despite the successes we have jointly recorded, we are yet to reach the final destination of the journey that we started on 29th May, 2011. We must continue to walk hand-in-glove to take our State to greater heights. We cannot afford to rest on our oars. Rather, we must remain vigilant to ensure that the pace of development that we have continued to experience since our coming into office is sustained. In doing this, I urge the good people of Ogun State to guard against those that will want to take our dear State back to the dark days of retrogression. We have a choice to make between sustaining the mission to rebuild across all the sectors of our State�s economy or allowing a halt to the socio-economic development we currently enjoy.
29.Year 2019 can only bring us greater and accelerated development if only we vote right. What it means is that we must be more than ever before be prepared to challenge ourselves to further develop our State when we go to the polls in the coming General Elections. As we are all aware, we are already in the season of politics and politicking. We must be wary of those elements in our midst who may want to mislead us into making the wrong choice.
30.In the same token, let me also say that we must all avoid actions that will de-market our dear State in the run-up, during and after the General Elections. I charge our youth not to allow themselves to be used as tools for perpetrating violence and to cause chaos. Our Administration has done plenty to create an ambience for investments to thrive. All our work will be a total waste if by our actions or inactions, we drive away investors from our dear State.
31.As we go into the New Year, let me restate our unreserved commitment to bequeath an enduring legacy to our dear State. We will leave no stone unturned in leaving Ogun State better than we met it. Our eyes are firmly set at finishing high; finishing strong and finishing well.
32.As we celebrate this new year, let us use the opportunity of this festive period to extend our appreciation to our Royal Fathers, Religious leaders, Party leaders and Elders, Development Partners, our Bankers, non-Governmental Organisations, Civil Societies, Professional Bodies, Trade Associations, Community Development Associations, the Private Sector organisations, our dedicated and committed Public Servants, our loyal Party members, Labour Unions, Students, members of the Press, and all well-meaning groups and individuals for their unalloyed support and cooperation in the just ended year. We thank you all for the support and cooperation extended to our Administration in the last seven and half years.
33.I cannot end this address without mentioning the contributions of members of the two other arms of government � the Legislature and Judiciary � in our collective �Mission to Rebuild� Ogun State. They have been worthy and reliable partners, and together we will continue in our quest to bequeath a lasting legacy to the good people of Ogun State.
34.Once again, on behalf of the Government of Ogun State, I wish you all a happy, prosperous and fulfilling 2019. It is my sincere prayer that God in His infinite mercies will continue to be with us all.
35.I thank you all for listening and God bless.
Long Live Ogun State!
Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!!
Senator Ibikunle Amosun CON, FCA
Governor of Ogun State, Nigeria
Tuesday, 1st January, 2019.