* My government will make tremendous impact in electricity generation, job creation, economy, ICT and healthcare delivery – Oyebanji
By John Odunjo
Stakeholders in Ekiti North Senatorial District of Ekiti State on Monday placed their demands for next year which they want captured in the 2023 budget before the governor.
The stakeholders who gathered at Ido Ekiti, venue of the North District town hall meeting to kickstart 2024 budget presentation, included the Onisan of Isan Ekiti, Oba Gabriel Adejuwon; the Obaleo of Erinmope, Oba Sunday Aniyi; Mr Ademola Owoeye; Hon Cecilia Dada; Mr Sola Ogunsina and Mr Akin Obanise, spoke for Oye, Moba, Ikole, Ilejemeje, Ido/Osi local governments as well people living with disabilities respectively.
The aggregate of the demands that emanated from the five councils in the senatorial district centred chiefly around road infrastructure, electrification, health facilities, school infrastructure.
Responding to the demands made by the representatives of each council area, Governor Oyebanji said he promised during the electioneering that his administration will be inclusive and a replica of the immediate past government of Governor Kayode Fayemi, which believed firmly in the people as powerhouse of any administration.
Oyebanji said, “I am going to deliver everything I promised Ekiti people. I am not going to be distracted. I have my plans and I will follow it to the letter. You are my employer and I owe it a duty to always come and feed you back”.
He, however, told the gathering that government might not have the financial muscle to actualise all the demands in the 2024 budget, stressing part of the reasons for the stakeholders meeting was to prioritise the demands.
“We have spent barely a year in the saddle, you will see that by the time we will spend two or three years, you will start enjoying the fruits of what we have done”.
Besides placing high premium on road construction, Oyebanji stated that his government would make tremendous impact in electricity generation, job creation, economy, Information and Communication Technology and health facilities, describing them as also pivotal to the growth of any society.
On the abysmal states of some of the federal roads, Oyebanji clarified that it will be difficult to undertake renovation of such roads without commitment that the money expended would be refunded to the state.
The governor said that he would not drive away trucks from the Northern part plying Ekiti roads and destroying them, but will contrive ways of making economic capital out of their presence.
He said, “I won’t send any truck out of Ekiti, they are doing their businesses and they can add their values. Trucks movement itself is an economy.
“We are looking at constructing a Trailer Park here, so that these people can come here and do their businesses and also contribute to the growth of our economy”.
Oyebanji assured that the little money accruing to the state would be expended judiciously and prudently for the overall good of the populace.
He said, “I will never deceive you, though we can’t do everything in a year. We have about three years MTEF, if what you sent this year was not done or captured in the 2024 budget, it will be captured in 2025.
“I know I can’t disappoint because I am standing on a solid foundation laid by Governor Fayemi. We have started by attacking those challenges in place that are constituting obstacles to our mission to improve on the welfare and the prosperity to our people.
He canvassed the people’s support and cooperation, saying, “For me to be successful, I need your support, patience and advice all the times”.
Oyebanji mandated the local government chairmen that will be elected in the December 2023 election to consult widely and feel the people’s pulses before executing any project in any town, saying project siting must be based on demand by communities.
To checkmate capital flight, Oyebanji said the local government chairmen should, as a matter of compulsion, patronise local contractors, so that the money belonging to government could circulate across all the strata of the state.
He assured that he would not impose anybody as local government chairmanship or councillorship election just as he assured that the December council polls would be free and fair.