.Hails Gov for restoring Fasola Farms’ glory
Obasanjo says Makinde is ‘doing extremely well,’ delivering benefits of democracy in Oyo
.As Oyo govt commissions Oyo-Iseyin Road, LAUTECH College, Iseyin
Former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has lauded the governor of Oyo State, ‘Seyi Makinde, for delivering the benefits of democracy to the state through building of infrastructure, education and restoration of the glory of the historical Fasola Farms, Oyo, among others.
Chief Obasanjo, who maintained that the essence of democracy is about the wellbeing and welfare of the people, noted that Makinde “is doing extremely well” and that the people of the state have given their mandate to the “right person.”
The former president stated this at Ojongbodu Grammar School, Oyo and the College of Agriculture and Renewable Natural Resources, Iseyin, a campus of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, where he joined the governor to commission the 34.85 kilometres Oyo-Iseyin Road and the LAUTECH Campus.
Obasanjo, who also joined the governor to inspect the nearly completed Fasola Agribusiness Industrial Hub, Oyo, said governance should bring about development, peace, wealth creation and stability, calling on residents of the state to continue to support the governor.
The former president commended the governor for restoring the glory of Fasola Farms, stating that though Oyo State is already number one in cassava production, it should complement that with investments in livestock production and other crops.
In his speeches at the separate events, Governor Makinde said with the completion of the Oyo-Iseyin Road and the LAUTECH Campus projects, his administration had delivered on its promises to build infrastructure that targets the economy and to make Oyo State the education hub of the country.
In Oyo, the governor said the Oyo-Iseyin Road is a key project that will open up the zone through connectivity of roads, noting that his administration would continue to prioritise interconnectivity through road constructions.
He said the development would increase the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state and also expand the economy, thereby creating more opportunities for industries to establish their businesses in Oyo State.
He added that the 34.85km Oyo-Iseyin road is of economic significance not only to the people of Oyo, but also to all citizens of the state, as the communities and businesses located in and around the area would be impacted massively.
The governor called on the Ministry of Culture and Tourism to synergise with the Oyo State Agribusiness Development Agency (OYSADA) to explore the tourism potentials in Fasola Industrial Hub, while he also assured that the government would proceed to fix inner roads across the local government areas in the state.
Speaking shortly before the commissioning of the LAUTECH College of Agriculture and Renewable Natural Resources, Governor Makinde said he had also fulfilled his promise to make Oyo State an education hub, saying though he met only Tech-U and a jointly-owned LAUTECH, the state now has three universities.
According to the governor, the building of the College and other infrastructure around Iseyin also meant that his administration has completed the needed infrastructure, which successive administrations can build on.
Governor Makinde also used the occasion to congratulate residents of Iseyin over the appointment of the new Aseyin, noting that his critics who insulted the state government for the long time it had taken to fill vacant royal stools could see that he had been working.
He called on princes and interested parties in Oyo to stop bickering over the selection of a new Alaafin of Oyo, while also firing warning shots to all parties that the respected stool would not go to the highest bidder and that anyone with intent to sell the throne would meet his waterloo.
The governor said: “It gives me great joy to be here today as we commission one of the key projects that will open Oyo and Oke-Ogun zones to further investments and economic stimulation.
“When our administration came in a little over four years ago, we had plans for accelerated development in our dear state through improving our road infrastructure. We knew that if we were to compete favourably with other states in Nigeria and become key players in the West Africa sub-region, we had to interconnect all the zones by road.
“We are able to quickly identify where our competitive advantage lies and we came out with a strategy to address that advantage. Oyo is the biggest by landmass in the entire South West zone of Nigeria and we have arable land for Agriculture. The question for us then was how do we get the big players to come and site their investments in agribusiness on our land. The answer was to open up the zones through a road project.
“Yes, we had a choice between doing what the previous governments had done. We can concentrate efforts on Ibadan to repair inner roads, which will be easily visible to the people in the capital but we said we won’t do that.
“We concluded that we would rather let our infrastructural development go after our economy. But we chose to take the path less traveled, but people are criticising me up until this moment and they are complaining that all the inner roads are bad. Well, I have good news for them, we will start fixing the inner roads in a matter of weeks.
“These days, when I see or read people complain about the bad roads in Ibadan, I smile because the people doing business in Ibadan know what we are doing, and our investors too know what we are doing.
“The people who used to avoid going to Oyo through the Oyo-Iseyin road or to Iseyin through the Moniya-Iseyin Road know what we are doing and what we have done.
“Commuters and businesses located in these areas know that they are cost-savings and they know that it is impacting.”
The governor added that his administration would address the yearning of the people to fix internal roads, calling on the local government chairmen to come up with sustainable templates that would help the third tier of government to deliver road infrastructure in the state.
“I can assure you that the inner roads will be fixed in Ibadan, Ogbomoso, Oyo and other zones but first, we have done what we promised the people we were going to do, which is to stem rural-urban migration. People can stay in Iseyin and work in Ibadan now and there are people staying in Oyo and working in Ibadan. And for businesses, Oyo and Iseyin are now one.
“We prioritised interconnectivity through roads such as the 65km Moniya -Iseyin Road, 76.67km Iseyin-Fapote-Ogbomoso Road, 48km Ido-Eruwa Road and this 34.85km Oyo-Iseyin Road. With industries moving to this area, we quickly increased our IGR and generated funds to do the last miles of the road.
“As I mentioned earlier, this road has high economic significance not just to the people of Oyo and Iseyin but to the entire state and region. The fact that it is a federal road highlights its importance.
“This road hosts one of our biggest assets in Oyo State. Our first agribusiness industrial hub, which I have been told will be completed in about two months, is domiciled on this route.
“I do not want to preempt what will be seen there but going by what I have been told, our vision of creating an industrial hub in this zone is becoming a reality. We already have at least five agribusinesses operating out of the hub and we should expect more.
“Our vision is to have an agro-tourism site here and I look forward to seeing the Ministry in charge working with the Oyo State Agribusiness Development Agency (OYSADA) to make this place a tourist destination in the shortest possible time. I look forward to seeing how horizontal synergies can be created between the ministry and OYSADA and we are set out to achieve this,” the governor added.
Speaking on the Oyo-Iseyin Road project, the Commissioner for Public Works and Transport, Prof. Dahud Shangodoyin, said the reconstruction of the road cost N9.99 billion and that it was funded through the Alternative Project Funding Approach (APFA), which is the state’s Public Private Partnership Model alternative.
In his goodwill message, the Minister of Works, Senator Dave Umahi, who was represented by the Director of Federal Highways, South-West, Engr. Adedamola Kuti, lauded Governor Makinde for the quality of the job on the road, stating that the project was done in line with federal standards.
Also in his remarks, Barr. Ahmed Raji (SAN), expressed appreciation to Governor Makinde for making life easier for farmers, business owners, peasants and all the people of Oke Ogun through the projects.
“We need people of your ilk in government; if others can make infrastructure development go round the way you are doing in Oyo State, then Nigeria will be better than this.”
The two events were attended by top government functionaries including the Deputy Governor of the state, Barr. Bayo Lawal, members of the Executive Council, traditional rulers and Otunba Oyewole Fasawe, who was in company of former President Obasanjo, among others.