* We spent N213m to lift 2,600 indigent citizens from poverty in three months
By John Odunjo
Ekiti State Governor, Mr Biodun Oyebanji, on the occasion of his 300 days in office, paid tributes to the governors before him in the state, saying they did well within available resources.
Oyebanji, who lauded the immediate past governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, for laying very good foundation upon which his administration is building on, assured that he would strive hard to surpass the achievements of the Fayemi administration.
The governor told the gathering at Omuo Ekiti for a stakeholders forum to commemorate his 300 days in office that surpassing his predecessor’s achievements “will be the only way I can vindicate Dr Fayemi that he made the right choice in backing me”.
He said, “Let me also state that Ekiti has been so lucky because all the governors who had ruled Ekiti State did well within the available resources. Let me assure you that I will never lie to you. I will continue to lead you with truth because it is too late for me to learn how to lie”.
The governor dismissed the insinuation by some concerned citizens that the new appointees could slow down his pace of performance with their politicking, saying that “rather than slow down the pace of work, the public should expect greater level of performance.
“The new commissioners are coming from different background and diverse level of expertise. We are still going to do much more than what we have done. If we can do all these in eight months without full cabinet, we should be able to do times two of these in four years.
“My cabinet members must hear this, our people said I am doing well because my commissioners, who are politicians have not been brought on board. But I want to say that they don’t have any other choice than to do well. But don’t put unnecessary pressure on them. We should know that political appointment is a position of responsibility.
“When pressure is put on them, they will be dodging and would not want to come home. These cabinet members are ready and willing and they have the fire power and experiences to do well. I have implicit confidence in them that they can only join us and deliver for our people.
“We must know that we contested the last election and won with APC as a vehicle and our members need to be very careful to remain in government. They must not take our people for granted or misbehave to them”.
Reeling his achievements within 300 days, Oyebanji said that the 3.5MW Independent Power Plant project of the state billed to supply light to government offices and tertiary institutions in Ado Ekiti and suburb to rectify epileptic power supply is 90 per cent completed.
He said, “We are reconnecting Ikogosi, Erijiyan and Ikogosi Resort Centre back to the national grid to enhance the state tourism corridor. We need N1billion to reconnect Ayekire, Ekiti East Local governments and their LCDAs after 10 years of darkness as well as Agriculture Processing Zone at Ikole back to the national grid”.
On infrastructure and industrialisation, Oyebanji said his government would be strategic in reconstructing and rehabilitating roads, assuring that only roads with high proclivities to drive his prosperity agenda will be accorded attentions.
He said that his administration, in a bid to expand the scope of food production for food security, had rehabilitated 43.4 kms of roads in six local governments besides distributing subsidised farm inputs to 2,279 to farmers.
He said, “My government has supported 1,566 farmers with both production assets and small scale processing equipment likewise providing 25 per cent subsidy tractorisation to farmers”.
The governor, who said that construction was ongoing on two model schools in Ikole and Ikere Ekiti to complement existing ones, added that his administration had taken concerted efforts to control incidences of flooding and wreckage of buildings and other valuables by dredging waterways at susceptible areas.
Oyebanji said that his government had expended N213 million to lift 2,600 indigent citizens from poverty under social investment component of his administration within the last 100 days.
“Aside the 2,600 that benefited from our cash transfer grants, we have registered 1,326 beneficiaries into the Labour Intensive Public Works, with N12,500 monthly stipend. We also distributed N24million to victims of disasters in Oke Ako and Ijesa Isu Ekiti.
The governor said that he had released a cumulative sum of N800 million to tertiary institutions as subvention arrears, while he paid N400 million to defray outstanding obligations to State Universal Basic Education Board contractors.
To tackle insecurity, he said that the Amotekun Corps had been restructured to rise to the occasion of ensuring peace and security across all the towns in Ekiti.
The governor urged traditional rulers to collaborate with the Amotekun Corps and other security agencies in the state to rid the state of criminal elements.
In attendance at the event included Ekiti State First Lady, Dr Olayemi Oyebanji; Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Chief (Mrs) Monisade Afuye; and the Speaker, Ekiti State House of Assembly, Rt Hon. Adeoye Aribasoye.
Others included the Secretary to the State Government, Dr Habibat Adubiaro; Head of Service, Engr Sunday Akomolafe; commissioners, traditional rulers, farmers, driver unions, market men and women, students, among others.