A gubernatorial aspirant in Oyo State, Adeolu Akande, has said he would create a ministry of Ibadan Capital Development when he is sworn in as the governor of the state next year.
Mr. Akande, a professor of political science, said the ministry would be at no additional cost to the state but would ensure that government activities for the development of Ibadan and welfare of its residents were better coordinated for optimal service delivery and accelerated development.
Mr. Akande said the system that is in place now is “sectorally disjointed” and cannot develop the capital city at the rate he wants for Ibadan which he says is the pride of all indigenes of Oyo State.
The politician said all government ministries, departments and agencies would take actions that would impact on the welfare of residents and development of the city in ways that guarantee accelerated and optimal growth.
He said the ministry of education is executing projects different from the ministry of health which is also doing something different from every other ministry.
The ministries, he said, work in silos as regards the development of Ibadan, whereas a ministry of Ibadan capital development will coordinate all these silos to deliver accelerated development.
Prof Akande said the initiative would not be to the detriment of other parts of the state, because apart from the fact that there is hardly any community of Oyo State that does not have full representation in the 4 million population of Ibadan, Ibadan is the epicentre of the development of Oyo State and the development of Ibadan will yield benefits to all parts of the state.
He said the ministry would also work on the integration of other towns to the delivery of goods and services that will take advantage of the population of Ibadan for the creation of wealth for people who live in those towns and communities.
The university teacher said he would also set up a project known as “Friends of Ibadan” through which the government will collaborate with eminent personalities who had lived in Ibadan, for the development of the city.
He said thousands of eminent personalities across the world had enjoyed the hospitality of Ibadan when they were students or lecturers and workers at the University of Ibadan and the Polytechnic of Ibadan and other institutions and secondary schools and now occupy prominent positions across the world.
“We are going to seek such people out and collaborate with them to use their extensive networks to develop Ibadan.”
He said people like Emeka Anyaoku, Wole Soyinka, Mike Adenuga of Glo fame, Oba Otudeko, Prof. Akinkugbe, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Gabriel Igbinedion, scores of Southern African government officials and veterans who studied at the University during the fight against apartheid, Jibril Aminu, Richard Joseph, and others too numerous to mention who enjoyed the hospitality of Ibadan could use their networks to facilitate projects that will accelerate the development of Ibadan.
” My vision is a functional city where children can go to good schools within a few kilometers of their homes,”he said. “A city where health care is at the doorstep of residents or is a phone call away. A city that develops the enormous ICT skills of the youths on street corners and a city that will reclaim its glory of providing half of the nation’s teams in football and other sports.”
Mr. Akande said there are over 90 countries and territories in the world who have less than the estimated four million population of Ibadan and which are doing well, making it imperative to take advantage of the population of Ibadan for development.
He said his government would also adopt the “City Twinning” strategy through which Ibadan will share experiences and facilities and support with other big cities around the world to fast-track its development.
“There are enormous resources out there that we can mobilise to development Ibadan for the benefit of all. We can access this through a vibrant twinning programme that will see Ibadan sharing knowledge, strategies, and resources with similar cities around the world for development,” Mr. Akande said.