Ekiti State Governor, Biodun Oyebanji has said he would use the philosophy of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo as Premier of the old Western region drive development in the state, focusing more on the welfare of the people above any other considerations.
Oyebanji also said his administration would undertake a radical review of academic curriculum in the state to expose students to cognate knowledge that would make them relevant in the 21st century economy.
Governor Oyebanji, stated this on Friday during a Stakeholders’ Engagement session, where he gave account of his stewardship to the people in commemoration of his 100 days in office.
He said his government is committing huge resources to the promotion of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, resolve power outage, propel road infrastructure, tourism and education, to buoy the economy and bring prosperity to the populace.
While expressing his appreciation to the public servants in the state, the Governor restated his commitment to them by assuring them that he would continue to pay their salaries and deductions without any hitch, adding that when they were paid, the resources will go round the market women and artisans thereby building a strong local economy in the state.
Reeling out the giant strides he was making in the health sector, Oyebanji posited that copious and spirited efforts are being devised to tame the migration of doctors from the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital and other health facilities overseas.
He said: “We don’t have oil in Ekiti, but we have intellectual resources that we can deploy to develop our state. We have provided T- SCAN at EKSUTH and installing 12 others in our health facilities .
“We are making efforts to ensure that some of our doctors and other medical professionals that are leaving Ekiti in droves stop and work here. We have agreed to some of their terms and demands”.
Mr Oyebanji said he does not have excuse not to be able to drive Ekiti towards the desired development and prosperity as he was part of the vanguard for the creation of Ekiti at a tender age of 26 years stated that he understand the nuances of government due to his long years of experience in governance especially during Otunba Niyi Adebayo and Dr Kayode Fayemi administrations in the state.
He added that his administration has achieved a lot in the rehabilitation of Ado Ekiti and Ikole Ekiti township roads assuring that other local government would follow suit to ensure the state attract development through national and international investors to the state.
In his effort to boost the economy of the state, the Governor also confirmed that the Independent Power Project of the state in Ado Ekiti would be commissioned by May this year to power for the street lights, government offices, hospitals which may later upscale from the initial 1Mw to 5Mw in the nearest future.
Speaking further, the Governor also said the Ilupeju and Ijesa Isu power substations would soon be completed in collaboration with the Federal Government to end electricity problem in the northern area of the state as well as to Omuo-Ekiti axis which had been cut off the national grid for over eight years.
Oyebanji noted that his administration had commenced the empowerment of youths through Innovation Grants Facilities developed as a template to open ways of employment for the youths leading to appreciable impacts in job creation.
He also added that his administration had concluded plans to remove all the challenges impeding youths from embarking in agricultural businesses by developing massive plans for the agricultural space through provision of farm seedlings, pest control, and cultivation of farmland.
“Chief Obafemi Awolowo is dead, but Chief was remembered more because of free education than because of any other thing, and that tells me that policy, though intangible that has a very fundamental effect on the lives of the populace will be more enduring and sustainable than any other thing. And I was elected to choose Awolowo’s philosophy of developing the people.
“One of the main policy thrust of his administration was to ensure that the welfare of workers was accorded top priority.
” My administration is making workers welfare a top priority as well.
“To us, right from the time we started, we have been paying salaries regularly and I know that those who are doing cooperatives are also receiving their deductions and I have given matching order to Commissioner for Finance and Accountant General that payment of deductions must not fail because I promised workers that we are going to restore regular payment of deductions because workers rely on it to finance a lot of things including payment of children school fees, building of houses and so on.”
“We campaigned on a mantra of shared prosperity and the six pillars of my administration is geared towards that and the only way we can achieve this is through productivity, so, the driver or engine of growth is the micro, small and medium enterprises in any state or country.
” But the lubricant of the engine is the civil service. Why I am saying this is for you to understand what is going to drive our policy thrust”
Governor Oyebanji thanked his immediate predecessor in office, Dr Kayode Fayemi; the first Civilian Governor of the State, Otunba Niyi Adebayo and former governor Ayodele Fayose for their sundry support and counsel.
He also thanked Ekiti State members of the National Assembly, for their support in attracting federal presence to the state, as well as the state lawmakers for their cooperation.
He promised to make regular interface with the people a major feature of the administration.
The event, which was themed ‘Keeping Ekiti Working Towards Shared Prosperity’ was attended by the Deputy Governor, Chief (Mrs) Monisade Afuye; Wife of the Governor, Dr Olayemi Oyebanji, Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Olubunmi Adelugba, Secretary to the State Government, Dr Habibat Adubiaro; Head of Service, Barr. Bamidele Agbede, members of the National Assembly; members of the House of Assembly, members of the State Executive Council, labour union leaders; market women, Artisans and other stakeholders of the state.