The beauty of democracy is best shown when elected public officials use the commonwealth of the people to provide the much desired dividends of democracy for the people.
This way democratic institution and processes are not only sustained but also strengthened.
In the history of Ogun State, the administration of the Executive Governor of the state, Prince Dapo Abiodun would get the thumbs-up from the electorate having unprecedently delivered on the dividends of democracy.
The governor’s achievements and contributions to the development of the State has easily become a reference point for many in the Southwest and the country at large. And among his people, His government is prided by many as “the face of good governance in Nigeria.”
The brilliance with which Dapo Abiodun has continued to execute his electoral promises in the State has relentlessly put smiles on the faces of the people while also ensuring that the people can confidently look into the future with a huge sense of confidence and assurance that the State and its resources are in good hands.
Three and a half years into his administration in Ogun State, no one foresaw the magnitude of what more would be done by him.
Some of the numerous achievements of the Prince Dapo Abiodun-led administration in Ogun State within the last two years are briefly highlighted below.
Since he became the Executive Governor of Ogun State in May 2019, His Excellency Prince Dapo Abiodun has made good his promise to develop road infrastructure with an even distribution and commitment of resources and time to all senatorial districts of the State.
In Ogun West, the reconstruction of Raypower Road and Imasayi-Ayetoro Road has been completed and the new roads are already being used by motorists, while Oke Ola Road in Imeko and Owode-Ilaro Road are currently being reconstructed. Also, the Government has reconstructed the Odo Afa Road and Bridge in Ipokia LGA. It would be recalled that the road and bridge had been in deplorable conditions for a long period of time. Of particular importance is the 19.2km Agbara-Lusada-Atan Road which had long been abandoned despite the industrial significance of the region to the State’s economy. The road project, which was flagged off by HE Prince Dapo Abiodun on Thursday, April 29, 2021, is going at a commendable pace that will deliver a quality road on completion. It’d also be recalled that in the same month, the governor inaugurated the 10.25km Lusada-Igbesa Road which was constructed by the Ogun Guangdong Free Trade Zone in partnership with the Ogun State Government.
In Ogun East, completed road projects include: Oru-Awa-Ilaporu-Ibadan Road, Fusigboye-Ojofa Street Road and Asafa Oke-Asafa Isale-Ayegun-Ojofa Street Road in Ijebu Ode. Other projects, which are ongoing, include: the 14km Ijebu Ode-Epe Expressway; Oba Erinwole Dual Carriageway, Sagamu; Molusi College Road; Ilishan Market Road; 11km Atan-Erunwon Road; Ogbagba Street Road; and Ejinrin-Oluwalogbon-Mobalufon-Ibadan Road.
In Ogun Central, completed road projects include: Obantoko Road (Fajol-American Junction-Unity Estate-Gbonagun); Idi Aba-Oke Lantoro Road; and Ikoritameje-Adenrele/Olose Titun-Vespa Road. Ongoing project which are nearing completion at a commendable pace include: construction of the 42km Abeokuta-Sagamu Interchange; reconstruction of Panseke-Adigbe Road; as well as extension of the proposed gate Development at Sagamu Interchange. In Ifo LGA, roadworks are ongoing on Akute-Denro-Ishasi-Oluwakemi Road.
Housing: The Ogun State Government has completed the construction of the King’s Court Estate being executed in Abeokuta, the State Capital, after final touches were put in in March 2021 by the Ogun State Property and Investment Corporation which is handling the project intended for middle-class income earners. At the same time, Phase II of the Prince Court Estate at Kemta Idi-Aba is almost completed. It’d be recalled that Phase I, which delivered 150 low-cost housing units, was completed in the first year of the current administration. Finally, while the government plans to extend its housing scheme to other areas such as Ota, Ilaro, Sagamu, Ikenne and Ijebu Ode, it is already currently constructing an affordable housing estate in Kobape. The project is about 60 per cent completed.
Water: In the period under review, the Ogun State Government embarked on the rehabilitation of the Iberekodo Dam. As at May 28, 2021, remarkable progress has been made, with five new gates installed as well as gear hoists, cofferdam demolished, and water flow restored. With water flow already restored, the Ogun State Water Corporation is almost set to recommence supply.
Rural development, water supply and sanitation:
Potable Water Provision: The Ogun State Government, through the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency In the period under review rehabilitated a total of nine hand and motorised boreholes into complete solar-powered boreholes in Odeda, while constructing two new ones. In Yewa North LGA, eight (8) boreholes have been rehabilitated with solar power, while five have been fully constructed. Five hand and motorised boreholes were also rehabilitated in Ado Odo/Ota LGA, while thirteen new ones were constructed. In Ipokia LGA, twelve new solar-powered boreholes were constructed, while eight were rehabilitated. While this rehabilitation and construction projects are ongoing, those already executed have brought the needed relief to residents who had in the past had to search for potable water or settle for what they could lay their hands on.
Electricity: The State Government has commissioned the 100KWp solar mini-grid Hybrid Electrification System at Olooji Community. Equally, Atapa Community in Ogun Central Senatorial District and Kotogbo in Ogun West have also been provided with complete Household Solar Lighting Systems.
Modernising Fish Processing: The Government, through the Ministry of Rural Development, fabricated and distributed a large number of modern smoking kilns to fish processors in different LGAs including Ikenne, Sagamu, Odogbolu, Ijebu Ode, Obafemi Owode, among others.
Township Road: The 6km Koriko Village Road that leads to Association of Senior Civil Servant Housing Scheme was upgraded in the period under review, to ease hardship faced by residents and other road users.
COVID-19 Containment: Despite being the state to host the index case of the dreaded coronavirus in February 2020, Ogun State contained the virus in a laudable manner with quick and effective moves taken by the State Ministry of Health up to the point of vaccination. The State has a record of low fatalities, with 70,200 persons tested, 4,600 treated, 80,000 vaccinated, and 50 fatalities.
PHC Renovation: In the period under review, a total of forty-two Primary Health Centres, PHCs have been renovated and equipped, with sixty others ongoing across the 20 LGAs of the State. This is to improve access to healthcare, especially at the grassroots.
Hospital Renovation: Ongoing in three different locations is the renovation of State General Hospitals. These are in Idiroko, Ibiade and Odeda. The Government has also carried out some construction at, while also renovating, the State General Hospitals in Iberekodo and Ijebu Ife. Renovation has also been carried out at the 120-bed Mother-and-Child Ward at the State General Hospital in Iperu.
Healthcare Workers Recruitment: In September 2020, Governor Abiodun approved the recruitment of medical staff across cadres, including resident doctors, nurses, pharmacists and others. The Governor gave specific instructions to all state-owned hospitals to recruit 20 consultant doctors, to address the existent shortfall at the time. As at May 28, 2021, a total of 310 medical staff have been employed by the State Government – from consultants to attendants.
OOUTH Mortuary, A&E: The Mortuary and Accident & Emergencies, A&E Unit of the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, OOUTH, Sagamu have been upgraded. This is as the State Government conducted a total overhaul of the Mortuary with six freezers and renovated the A&E Unit.
24-Hour Ambulance Service: In the period under review, the Ogun State Government launched its 24-hour ambulance service across the State. In addition to this clear improvement in the effectiveness of ambulances within the State, the number of available ambulances has also increased within the period under review. As at May 2019, the State had barely six ambulances, but as at now, there are 21 ambulances, with plans underway to have about 30 for easier access to prompt healthcare delivery. Already, for better access, an ambulance unit has been established in each of all nine Federal Constituencies in the state.
Basic Health Care Provision Fund: The administration of Prince Dapo Abiodun has paid the sum of N100million as commitment fund into the Basic Health Care Provision Fund. The Fund targets persons categorised as vulnerable, including the aged, pregnant women and children under the age of 5. Already, the Ogun State Health Insurance Agency, through its 236 officers-in-charge and ward development chairmen trained for this purpose, has commenced registration of 20,000 beneficiaries for free healthcare across all 20 LGAs. Also, N600,000 has already been disbursed for the implementation of the Fund to 196 PHCs, and payment will continue monthly with N100,000.
Tricycle Ambulances: Towards easing access to public health facilities, especially in emergencies, the Ogun State Government distributed 34 tricycle ambulances to rural PHCs to reduce maternal and infant mortality which may have increased due to the remote location of the areas.
ICT-Enabled Mass Transit Buses: On Tuesday, May 11, 2021, the Ogun State Government took delivery of high-capacity buses, which it said was the first batch of the technology-enabled vehicles to be used for the State’s Bus Mass Transit Scheme targeted at easing access to safe, public transportation as well as create jobs in the value chain while also giving the State internally generated revenue, IGR, a boost.
DIGITAL ECONOMY AND EASE OF DOING BUSINESS
Digital Economy Infrastructure Project: On April 15, 2021, the Ogun State Government launched the Ogun State Digital Economy Infrastructure Project, OGDEIP. The project, which was approved by the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy, will provide connectivity in key institutions, MDAs, and unconnected regions of the State through improved technology to ease the conduct of work and business both for the private and public sectors.
Road Facilities for Adire Markets: Towards easing daily business activities in two Adire markets, the Ogun State Government in April 2021, provided an access road and three boreholes for use by traders and buyers of the heritage fabric. Itoku Adire Market has been provided with two boreholes, while the Asero Market has been provided with one borehole. The access road, which would ease the movement of goods, traders and buyers, is currently being constructed in the Itoku Market.
WOMEN AFFAIRS, EMPOWERMENT AND SOCIAL WELFARE
Ogun Coders ICT Programme: In October 2020, 25 women in Ogun State benefited in Phase I of the AboCoders Programme, a free training programme organised for women between the ages of 16 and 35 by the State Government in collaboration with AboCoders (a subsidiary of Aspillos Foundation).
Family Planning: Within the period under review, the Ogun State Government established a family Planning Centre at State Hospital, Ijebu Ode to improve family planning uptake in women aged 15-49 years.
AGRICULTURE AND YOUTH EMPOWERMENT
Linkage for Job Creation: Over 26,540 jobs were created through the linkage of farmers and youths to agriculture opportunities through intervention programmes. The Ogun State Government provided input and facilitated the crediting of beneficiaries with over N1.5billion in the CBN Anchor Borrowers Programme and the FGN/IFAD/Ogun State Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP). In addition to this, 11,099 more jobs are set to be created in the year 2021, as this number of applicants have registered to be first-batch beneficiaries of linkage to inputs and credit in five commodities which include: fisheries (720), oil palm (750), poultry (8,084), piggery (1,245) and cattle (300); under the Expanded CBN/Ogun Anchor Borrowers Programme
Cocoa Production: Towards reviving cocoa production, the State Government provided a total of 10,000 hectares of land In Iwoye-Ketu to cocoa farmers in the period under review. This land provision is covered under the CBN Anchor Borrowers Programme.
Ogun Broiler Project: Executed so far in the period under review and still ongoing is the Ogun Broiler Project that began with 54 pilot youth beneficiaries who made a cumulative profit of N450,000 in three cycles. The beneficiaries produced 162,000 broilers and 3.24 metric tonnes of broiler meat. With over 9,000 individuals showing interest in the flagship project, it is set to be replicated across all 20 local government areas of the State for even benefit to the people.
Input Palliatives to Smallholder Farmers: The Ogun State Government, in the period under review, provided improved planting materials to 40,000 smallholder farmers, while fertilizer was provided to target 10,000 smallholder farmers.
Tomato Production: The Ogun State Government facilitated the donation of about 100million tomato seedlings to vegetable farmers across Ogun State. The seedlings were donated by the Raw Materials Research Development Council, RMRDC.
Agro-Industrial Processing Zone: In the period under review, Ogun State was declared as the perfect location for the proposed Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone, SAPZ by the African Development Bank, AfDB. This was jointly re-established in March 2021 by the AfDB and the International Fund for Agricultural Development during their working visit which applauded the Government’s initiative of the ongoing Ilishan-Remo Agro-Cargo Airport project.
OGSTEP: The ongoing World Bank/Ogun State Economic Transformation Project, OGSTEP is targeting 40,000 farmers in nine priority value chains, which include: cassava, maize, rice, soya bean, tomatoes and pepper, sesame, fishery and poultry.
N-CARES: Ogun State is currently a beneficiary of the Wold Bank/Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus, N-CARES Project which kicked off in June 2021. The programme is funded by the International Development Association, IDA to support ICT services; water supply, sanitation and waste management; social protection; agricultural extension and research; and banking institutions in the aftermath of the dreaded coronavirus.
Animal Care: In order to improve access to animal care for animal lovers and breeders, the State Government facilitated the construction of a Primary Animal Health Centre (with equipment and consumables) at Ajegunle Farm Settlement in Odeda LGA. The project was donated by the Federal Government.
Land Clearing: In supporting youths in the State, the State Government together with the Federal Government cleared a total of 1,000 hectares of farmland at Apojola in Odeda LGA. The Federal Government collaborated with the State Government to clear 400 hectares, while the remaining 600 were independently cleared by the State Government.
200-Trainee Soil-Testing Programme: In the period under review, the Ogun State Government in collaboration with the National Agricultural Land Development Authority, NALDA initiated a 200-trainee soil-testing programme. Results of the collaboration include the setting up of an integrated farm estate as well as a garri packaging plant
Farm/Farmer Support: The Ogun State Government has constructed 20km access roads in Obafemi-Owode, Yewa North and Ijebu North East LGAs; 14 solar-powered water schemes in Ijebu North East, Obafemi-Owode, Yewa North, Ifo, Ijebu East, Odeda and Odogbolu LGAs; as well as four cassava processing centres at Baara, Alapako-oni, Oke iyemi and Ayetoro, and Rice Processing Centre in Eggua.
Agricultural Extension Service Delivery: In the period under review, the State Government through the Ogun State Agricultural Development Programme, OGADEP conducted a series of trainings with varied numbers of beneficiaries in different programmes. These include: 3rd batch of Anchor Borrowers Programme cassava beneficiaries in February 2021; 20 OGADEP extension workers and 2,520 farmers on cassava production and weed management, in collaboration with German International Cooperation, GIZ in March 2021; as well as 357 OGADEP extension agents and farmers on Pod Borer Resistance, PBR cowpea in July 2020.
Yewa Crises: In the wake of the herder-farmer crises that rocked the Yewa region of Ogun State, Governor Abiodun immediately set up an Intervention Squad, as well as a Peace-Keeping Committee. The Squad is a multi-agency security troop saddled with the primary responsibility of returning peace to, and maintaining same within the region, while the Committee administered palliatives provided by the State Government to victims of the crises. Displaced victims were also appropriately rehoused, following the express instructions of the Governor.
Amotekun: On April 1, 2021, Governor Abiodun officially inaugurated the indigenous security outfit, AMOTEKUN Corps. The security outfit is an initiative of all Southwest Governors, to address the security challenges that were beginning to creep into the region.
YOUTH AND SPORTS
Adoption of Indigenous Star Athlete: On April 25, 2021, HE Prince Dapo Abiodun announced that the Ogun State Government was adopting 24-year-old Oluwatobiloba Ayomide Amusan, an indigene of Ogun State who won in the 2018 Commonwealth and 2019 African championships. With a view to doing more of such adoptions, the Government is now saddled with certain responsibilities such as provision of sponsorship for official sports competitions that Amusan may be interested in the future.
EMPLOYMENT AND EMPLOYMENT GENERATION
Ogun TEACh: The paying special intervention two-year Ogun State Teaching Experience Acquisition Channel (Ogun TEACh) is one of the Ogun State Government’s approach to filling the vacancies in teaching positions of public primary and secondary schools. Employees, who were selected after a transparent selection process, may be accommodated into the full-time teaching service of the State at the expiration of their initial two years.
Ogun Job Portal: Launched in August 2019, the Ogun Job Portal has continued to connect unemployed persons and business owners seeking expansion, with their desired benefactors. The State Government has utilised the online platform to get details of applicants for employment and empowerment in different sectors, especially education, security and agriculture.
Teacher Employment to Fill Vacancies: In March, 2021, the Ogun State Government commenced the Ogun State Teaching Experience Acquisition Channel (Ogun TEACh), a paying special intervention two-year scheme set up to fill the existing vacancies in the public primary and secondary schools as well as technical colleges in the State.
School construction: In what has been popularly tagged the “Yellow Roof Revolution,” the Ogun State Government within the past two years has embarked on a massive overhaul of the face of education in the State. Structure erected in different schools across the State’s 20 LGAs include classrooms, hostels, toilets, offices, stores and equipped e-libraries/computer rooms. These structures are visible and verifiable in almost all public primary and secondary schools, even as the project is ongoing. At the same time, 570 schools have been rehabilitated (with reconstruction, reinforcement and reroofing) till date across Ogun State within the period under review. These schools include even the Emeritus Ogunlesi Model School in Sagamu, the construction of which was left half done by the last administration as at May 29, 2019.
Reward for Outstanding Performance: On 22nd April, 2021, Governor Abiodun gave special recognition to Ms Faith Odunsi and Mr Oladimeji Shotunde, amongst others. Odunsi had topped the Global Open Mathematics Competition, as Shotunde emerged Best Graduating Student of the Lagos State University, LASU. While the State Government launched an endowment fund seeded with N5million for Ms Odunsi, it awarded Mr Shotunde a 2-bedroom bungalow and a N2million cash prize, as 32 other teachers and students got various other prizes.
The beautiful strides of Governor Dapo Abiodun can be best summed up with the recent words of the Awujale and Paramount Ruler of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona, who said: “You have worked assiduously these past three years and three months and you have justified why you deserve a second term in office.”
Oba Adetona spoke through his representative, the Dagburewa of Idowa, Oba Yunusa Adekoya, at the inauguration of Igan Road in Ago-Iwoye, in Ijebu North Local Government Area.
“The message is clear. You have done very well by fulfilling the promises made to us in 2019. 2023 is sure and our people will vote overwhelmingly for you”, he assured the governor.
This is the obvious outcome of a qualitative representation and governance well given. Prince Dapo Abiodun has justified the good faith reposed in him by the people of Ogun State and as it stands, the continuity of his administration is assured as the people would do everything possible to sustain the unprecedented good democratic institution built by His Excellency, Governor Dapo Abiodun.