The Governor of Osun, Rauf Aregbesola, has said that his administration is laying a foundation in every sphere of life that would put the state in a steady progressive path such that even after his tenure, reversing or halting such progress would be difficult or totally impossible.
He promised that none of his ongoing projects would be left uncompleted by the time he is handing over to the next governor.
The Governor spoke both at a special edition of live interview broadcast organized by the state-owned radio and television station, OSBC and the colloquium organised to mark the second anniversary of the second term of his administration held in Osogbo.
Mr. Aregbesola held that before coming to office, he had done his homework well, knowing that youth engagement was of immediate necessity, adding that in less than 100 days of his inauguration, he engaged 20,000 youth in public works through the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES).
He said the O’YES initiative has gone a long way in taking a lot of idle youth off the streets, redefining their lives and as well giving them hope capable of sustaining them throughout their lives.
He said his government had also impacted positively in the lives of over 40,000 youth through O’YES scheme as the good gesture had helped in turning Osun to state with the lowest crime rate in Nigeria.
He added that the N200 million monthly allowance being given to O’YES volunteers had tremendously reflated the economy of the state.
The governor said the stipends being received by the O’YES cadets goes directly into the economy of the state, adding that in less than two years, Osun GDP shot to the seventh largest in Nigeria.
On education, Mr. Aregbesola said his administration has expended billions in the provision of free meals for 252,000 pupils every school day, noting that the innovation was aimed at revamping agriculture, empowering farmers, cooks and food vendors in a value chain of wealth creation that cascades to at least one million homes in Osun.
He said the state under his watch has built several state-of-the-art model schools across the nooks and crannies of the state having taken seriously the importance of education to development.
According to the Governor, “I have no doubt that our monumental performances made the organisers of this event to also coin out ‘Raufnomics’ to reflect how our policies have positively affected Osun in a most fundamental sense.
“We provided E-learning tablets to final year grade 12 pupils in the state. This is an innovation that is not available anywhere in the world except Osun.
“We have also made significant investment in agriculture. We realised that food is an integral aspect of national security. No nation is secure that cannot feed its people. Agriculture is also the gateway to industrialisation.
“We have consequently empowered our people in various agriculture schemes. We have sent two batches of our youth to Germany for further training in modern agriculture practices.
“We have constructed more than 800 kilometres of quality, stone based roads with concrete drainages across the length and breadth of the state. These are not just any roads that catch our fancy. They are roads carefully selected because they impacted the most on the social and economic activities of our people.
“We incorporated the weak and vulnerable groups like the specially challenged, destitute, the aged, women and the girl child for special care and attention through special schemes”.
Considering the adverse effect of the present economic challenges, Mr. Aregbesola said his government has been working hard to rescue the state from the pangs of economic recession.
He pledged to continuously position the state on the path of economic stability, progress and prosperity, saying “we have made it a point that no one is left behind by our administration”.
Speaking on the topic “Democracy, Good Governance and Sustainable Economic Development: Value Added Approach”, the guest speaker, Akin Oyebode commended Mr. Aregbesola for being consistent in threading the path of economic greatness since assumption of power.
Mr. Oyebode, a professor of law, said the event was to celebrate the doggedness, unrelenting and unwavering commitment of Mr. Aregbesola to all round growth and development.
Mr. Oyebode, who described politics and governance as instruments deliberately designed to give hope to the people, said the present administration has clearly resuscitated the already lost hope, sustained it through good governance and as well rekindled the future of the state through massive infrastructure across the length and breadth of the state.
“Aregbesola has changed Osun landscape politically and economically. The presence of his good governance has been felt in every nook and cranny of the state.
“Aregbesola has left his footprint on the sound of time. He has been within the last six years doing his best to ensure that the state maintains and sustains her status as pacesetter in infrastructure development.
“Very many initiatives such as Osun Youths Empowerment Scheme, O’YES, Osun Rural Enterprises and Agricultural Programme, O’REAP, E-learning computer tablets produced and distributed freely to students of public high schools, Osun Schools Infrastructure Development Programme, O’SCHOOLS, Osun Elementary School Feeding and Health Programme, O’MEAL, among others are initiated to bring about the much desired socio-economic transformation to the people of Osun.
“All the projects being executed under Aregbesola’s administration are purposefully designed to add values to general well being of the citizens”, Professor Oyebode said.