#OsunMSMEClininc: Osinbajo, Aregbesola Reassure Commitment To Human, Capital Developments, As FG Set To Empowers 20,000 People In Osun?

The Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday reaffirmed the Federal Government’s commitment to eradicating poverty, hunger, unemployment and other related vices in the country.

The Vice President while launching the Nationwide Small and Medium Enterprise Clinic (MSME) and the Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme (GEEP) in Osogbo stated that? 20,000 people would benefit from the initiative in Osun.
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The MSME is a Federal Government’s Empowerment Initiative under the office of the Vice President initiated to support Small and Medium Enterprises in the country.

Osinbajo stated that the scheme was initiated by President Muhammadu Buhari in a bid to support small businesses and enterprises by providing the people soft interest free loans to run their businesses.
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He said the present administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari having seen the SME as the powerful economic drive decided to take the bull by the horn to empower the sector as part of efforts to stimulate and re-energize the economy.

Osinbajo expressed confidence in the administration of President Buhari, saying “I have confidence in the fact that our President will take Nigeria and Nigerians to greater heights.

According to him, we are here in Osun to launch another milestone achievement of the present administration in the country in fulfillment of our electoral’s promises to the people of Nigeria.

“The Nationwide Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) and Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme (GEEP)? are enterprise intervention programmes of Mr. President to empower the small businesses in the country.

“This scheme was initiated to provide interest free loans to those who are into small businesses so as to empower them and as well stimulate our economy.

“To us, this scheme remains the engine of the economy and as a serious government, we have keyed into it to ensure that our people are empowered and taken out of the abject poverty and hunger.

“We have made arrangement to empower 50, 000 people ?in Osun under this scheme so as to further strengthen the people’s commitment to businesses and as well encourage those who are into SME.

“We are bent on our commitment to continue to deliver on our electoral promises as our government is determined to judiciously utilize the nation’s ?resources for the betterment of our people”, Osnbajo added.

While commending the people of Osun for being enterprising and productive, the Vice President  said, “I have seen in the people of this state the zeal to economic productivity and prosperity”.

“My visit to this state has made me to see how resourceful the people of this state are. I have seen that Osun is one of the engine of agro-allied economy in Nigeria as this could be easily identified in the zeal of our people to economic growth and development.?

?He lauded Governor Rauf Aregbesola for bringing to his people the much needed dividends of democracy through his numerous human and capital infrastructural developments.
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“My visit has made me to see some of the good works of this administration particularly on roads, schools, security among others”, Osinbajo emphasized.

Speaking earlier, Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola charged whoever is ready to work and earn a living to key into the laudable programme.

He said the programme will empower about 20,000 beneficiaries in total starting with 10,000 beneficiaries who will get a none interest loan of at least 50,000 each.

According to Aregbesola, “for those of us who are ready to work and earn money, this is an opportunity for you. I advise you to key into the this programme and do something good for yourself.

“We are happy about this because it will go a long way in alleviating the sufferings of people and assist in our efforts to banish hunger and poverty.

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#OgbeniGovtAt7: Broadcast By The Governor Of The State Of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, On The Seventh Anniversary Of His Administration, On November 27, 2017

My good people of Osun,
It gives me great joy to address us all on the seventh anniversary of our administration. I congratulate all the functionaries of the administration (past and present), workers in the state that have been the vehicle and cutting edge instrument of governance, leaders and members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and all our supporters in the state and beyond, who believe in us and whose encouragement has kept us going at the most trying times.
Our administration was inaugurated on November 27, 2010; the day after God-fearing judges of the Court of Appeal in Ibadan restored our mandate and ordered that we be inaugurated immediately. That was seven years ago.
It was an eventful period, full of triumphs, challenges and interesting times. Looking back, we can say like Julius Caesar in his letter to the Roman Senate around 47 BC: ‘Veni Vidi Vici’, ‘I came, I saw, I conquered’.
We were able to come to the government of Osun, in spite of the obstacles the opposition put in our way; we saw the situation of the people and their various needs; and we overcame the challenges of meeting them, as they came our way. It is a great privilege to have served you these past seven years.
Osun is the heartland of Yoruba. Ile Ife, where the Yoruba race began, is close to the capital city in Osogbo. We saw the manifest destiny of Osun as the catalyst and driver of Yoruba renaissance and development. This is why we have taken regional integration to be very important. To be able to play this role, we must ourselves be on the march. Like Aristotle said, he that will move the world must first move himself.
We realised then that the people must be conscious of themselves – their past, present and future. They must rediscover their heritage and strength and use them to engender their own development, in order to take their rightful place in Nigeria and in the black race. This is why we began with rebranding by bringing to our consciousness our heritage as Omoluabi, the quintessential Yoruba persona that is the epitome of virtues in hard work, chivalry, honesty, knowledge, dignity and character.
That investment has paid off. From the elders to school children, Osun people now conduct themselves with the consciousness of Omoluabi, in business transaction, interpersonal relations, warm reception of strangers and even examination conduct in schools.
We know the relevance of education in development. It is established wisdom that the acquired knowledge of today determines the future of the people, just as their knowledge base of yesterday is responsible for the state of things today.
We set to work by holding an education summit of stakeholder. From that summit, we began an education revolution that should impact our state for the next 50 years. Under it, we have constructed brand new state of the art 20 Elementary Schools, 22 Middle Schools and 11 High Schools.
In addition, we rehabilitated existing schools and made them decent environment for leaning. We have consistently for more than five years been feeding 262,000 elementary school pupils nutritious meals every school day. We gave free uniforms to all pupils in public schools. We have also introduced discipline to our schools. We provided the first and only of its kind computer e-learning tablets to final year student of High Schools in Osun.
We reintroduced callisthenics into Nigeria, a sporting activity that has been known to have the substance of unity, harmony, balance and team work which presents one of the best engagements for teaching young pupils the cooperative spirit in a simple, delightful and interesting way. Since 2012, we have trained 28,000 children in this sport and have now extended it to private schools in order to spread the benefits beyond public schools.
With mathematical certainty, our 11 mega high schools, in 50 years to come, would have produced 550,000 world beaters, occupying strategic positions nationally and globally, by the grace of God.
We have engaged more than 40,000 youths in public works through the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES). Most of them eventually got soft-landing in teaching, agriculture, information and communication technology and several others. For this reason, Osun has one of the lowest crime incidents in the country and has been adjudged the second least poor state in Nigeria by credible rating agencies.
We introduced protection and succour for our senior citizens, gave them access to healthcare and put them on monthly allowance.
We took care of the destitute and the mentally challenged. We gave them medical care, rehabilitated them and resettled or reunited them with their family, whichever case is applicable.
We have provided soft and interest free loans to more than 350,000 people, particularly women, to start micro, small and medium enterprises and have disbursed more than N15 billion in the process.
We have also provided security for the state with the purchase of patrol vehicles,
armoured personnel carriers and other gadgets for law enforcement agencies. Criminals and bandits now think twice before coming to Osun. You all can now sleep in peace without fear of night marauders.
We have revived farming and made it a profitable vocation, such that young people have now embraced it. Through the agencies of Osun Rural Enterprise and Agriculture Programme (O’REAP), Quick Impact Intervention Programme (QIIP) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, we have provided assistance to farmers, sent budding farmers on training abroad and laid the foundation for agriculture boom.
Our administration has also invested in road transport infrastructure. We have constructed more than 1,500 kilometre of roads in the nooks and crannies of the state, including 10 kilometres in each local government area in the state. Besides the township roads in Osogbo, Ilesa, Ile-Ife, Ede, Gbongan, Iwo, Ejigbo and other towns and a network of several intercity roads, these four roads: Omoluabi Motorway from Gbongan to Akoda with Abdulkareem Adebisi Akande Trumpet Interchange, Osogbo to Ila-Odo, Gbongan-OrileOwu to Ijebu Igbo and Oba Adesoji Aderemi East Bye Pass, stand out and are iconic road projects that are befitting legacies we are leaving behind by the time we complete our term.
We have come, seen the challenges and conquered poverty, ignorance, disease and fear of the known and unknown these seven years.
However, as we all know, a financial tsunami hit the country from late 2013 occasioned by alleged theft of crude oil. By the middle of 2014, this has been escalated by the global fall in price of crude oil. By then, there has been a substantial reduction in our revenue base, as we stutter to fulfil some of our obligations. We came out of it and have been waxing strong since then.
The lesson we learnt from this debacle was that the era of dependence on free and unearned money from oil is over and we must work for our own money. It is a fundamental principle that the total wealth of a nation is the collective effort at wealth creation by every member of that nation in the production of goods and services. It behoves on all of us therefore to work hard and create our wealth.
Every able-bodied person, above 18 years of age, who is not in school, must work, any kind of legitimate work, even if it is as a human porter in a market or motor park, and must never be dependent on parents and family. There are many opportunities in arts, crafts, creative engagements and all areas of human needs. Given all of the government incentives available, the easiest occupation to be in now is farming.
The government will then be supported from our taxes, rates, levies and fines. Every taxable adult in Osun must view it as a patriotic duty to support the government with tax payment as and when due.
At our level of development, all it takes for our state to be solvent and prosperous is for at least one million, out of the over four million population in Osun, to pay a tax of N250 every day for 20 days in a month. That will bring N5 billion, which is enough to pay salaries of our workers, run the government and develop our state in every area.
In the remaining one year, I will be committed the more to serving you, to accelerate the pace of development and increase our efforts at ushering in prosperity to the government and people.
We will leave a good and enviable legacy in education, physical infrastructure and all aspects of human development. We will also do our best to bequeath a worthy legacy successor that will continue the works we have started in the best tradition of progressive leadership. We will not leave you exposed and helpless before the wolves.
In these past seven years, I have been privileged to work with and be supported by a host of people. The first of which are the wonderful, dutiful and godly workers of the state government. Your sacrifice, understanding and commitment to duty made it possible for our administration to make much impact. I am very grateful.
My appreciation goes to the leadership and members of our party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun and all over Nigeria, for the vision of people-centred political leadership we are mandated to provide and for which they have backed us up to the hilt.
I have also enjoyed the company and services of the political class and technocrats, past and present, from Osun, Lagos and beyond, that have helped me to crystallise and actualise all our ideas of government. I thank you all.
I acknowledge the rock solid support of my wife and members of my family. The stability they give at home, the peace of mind and comfort I receive from them are invaluable. I thank you all.
I will like to use the opportunity of this address to thank all those who commiserated with us and stood by us in August at the departure of my mother. I appreciate your love and your kind assistance during this period and beyond. I thank you.
I must express my gratitude and appreciation to all the people and residents of all our communities in Osun from the big cities to our villages and farming communities, women, traders, women groups, market women and men, farmers, professional groups, artisans, drivers, transporters, commercial motorcyclists, traditional rulers, community leaders, religious leader, security agencies, students, employers of labour, employees, media practitioners, nongovernmental organisations, political parties and other groups that have been our ardent supporters and admirers.
I thank you all.
Osun a dara!
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Osun Govt Orders Clampdown On Tax Defaulting FG’s, MDAs In The State

The Osun State Government has given the marching orders to the relevant agencies of government to ‘use all necessary means’ including total shutdown, to collect the backlog of taxes of more than N4.7 billion owed the state by Federal Government’s Ministries, Departments and  Agencies, especially education institutions, operating in the state.

This was contained in a statement issued by the Media Adviser to Governor Rauf Aregbesola, Mr Sola Fasure, on Wednesday after the State Executive Council meeting held at the Executive Council Chamber, Office of the Governor, State Secretariat, Osogbo.?

The directive was given to Osun State Inland Revenue Service (OIRS) to bring the full weight of the law to bear on culpable Federal agencies operating in the state and are owing the government taxes.? The Council expressed dismay at the agencies’ intransigence at paying tax as and when due, saying no effort would henceforth be spared in collecting every kobo of government from those owing past and current taxes.

The decision of the Council came after deliberating on the report that Federal agencies situated in Osun, especially education institutions, for several years held back more than N4.7 billion taxes due to the state.

The Council then directed ?all the relevant government agencies to use all necessary means, including shutting down such defaulting institutions.?

The statement reads in part: ‘Council received the report of Federal Government agencies, especially education institutions, operating in the state owing the state government backlog of taxes running to billions of naira.

‘The established tax liability alone is N4.2 billion while current liability is N524 million, totalling N4.7 billion. This huge sum is needed by the government to meet critical obligations.

‘Council asked these institutions to pay what they are owing immediately and directed all the relevant government agencies to use all necessary means, including shutting them down, to collect what is being owed the government from them’.?

?The State Government also condemned in its totality the heinous activities of game hunters who set bush on fire in order to trap animal. This often leads to burning of crops and economic trees. The council warned those who engage in this acts to desist and directed law enforcement agencies to put an end to this by enforcing relevant laws.

?According to the Council, ?’the activities of game hunters and others that set bush on fire, thereby burning farms, crops and other valuables, have come to the attention of Council and have been roundly condemned.

‘Those engaged in this economic sabotage acts are urged to desist forthwith as law enforcement agencies have been  directed to bring culprits to book’.

?The Council also congratulated the State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, on the seventh anniversary of his administration which will come up on November 27, 2017. ?

?The Council expressed satisfaction at the giant strides the Aregbesola’s administration has made since inception and forthwith approved the programmes lined up for celebrating this unique event.

 

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Osun Seals Dangote Quarry Over N1.5bn Tax Default

The Osun Board of Internal Revenue Service, OIRS Thursday sealed a Dangote Quarry located at Ajebandele, Ayedaade local government area of the state.
The tax enforcement team which was led by the Special Adviser to Governor Rauf Aregbesola on Tax and Revenue Matters, Barr. Gbenga Akano and the officials of Osun Internal Revenue Service arrived at the quarry as early as 6:30am, sealing the entrance to the site.
The Dangote quarry is said to have defaulted in tax to the tune of N1.5bn according to documents seen by this newspaper.
It was gathered that the company has been allegedly evading tax since it started operation on the land many years ago.

Explaining what transpired, Akano said the company was owing about N1.5 billion tax.

According to Akano, several letters have been written to the company but yielded no result.

Meanwhile, some private local security operatives suspected to be members of Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) attacked the tax enforcement team led by Barr. Gbenga Akano. Akano said the team had gone to the quarry but was initially  prevented by the suspected OPC members, numbering about 30 men.

He added that the private security operatives allegedly shot at the officials of the IRS, seized their phones and gadgets and harassed them.

He said the officials phones and gadgets were seized and they were harassed by the OPC. However, a detachment of policemen from the Osun State Command brought everything under control.

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Govt Arrests 7 Suspects Over Illegal Mining In Osun

The State Government of Osun has arrested seven persons for illegal gold mining in Itagunmodi Community, Atakumosa West local Government area of the state.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Mineral and Natural Resources, Hon. Tunde Ajilore, accompanied by men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps had stormed the community where the illegal gold mining takes place without recourse to public interest.

Parading the suspects, Ajilore said that the state government’s effort to curb the activities of illegal miners underscored the importance of a structured biometric database of miners in the state.

While describing the damage done to the site as too enormous, Ajilore said the activities of the miners amount to economic sabotage, warning that the state government will not fold its arms and allow the situation to continue unchecked.

“As a state, what we are saying is that there is need for us to know how many miners are here, a landlord who does not know how many people is feeding will surely run bankrupt.”

“For the past three months, we close the bush in order to appropriate and know the number of people that operate at the mining site. That is why we requested them to come for biometric so as to know their number. We were able to register about 6,000 miners within one and half month.

Ajilore however reiterated that the government will resist all forms of illegal mining in the state, as it will go all out to bring perpetrators to book in a bid to sanitise the system.

Speaking, the State Commandant of the NSCDC Mr. Aboluwaye Akinwande said investigation is on and anyone found culpable will be charged to court.

“Our next action is to conduct a preliminary investigation, then ensure we follow it up before charging them to court.”

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Osun Govt Condoles With Tinubu Over Son’s Death

The State Government of Osun has expressed condolences on the demise of Mr Jide Tinubu, the first son of the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The hearts and prayers of the entire good people of the State of Osun are with Tinubu Family; we identify with the family on the painful occurrence of the young man’s sudden death and the trying time and we share in their grief.
We know that death is inevitable but Mr Jide’s death is a colossal loss to Nigeria because it has denied the country the service of a resourceful, brilliant, able, ebullient and promising Nigeria. It is sudden, shocking, painful and cruel!
We pray that almighty Allah give the Tinubu family the fortitude to bear the loss. We could not in anyway, hide from the fact that losing a loved one, especially a child, leaves a deep pain and bitter memory in a father’s  life, but we urged the esteemed leader of the ruling APC to take solace in Allah, the only God that giveth and taketh life.
May the soul of the gently young man rest in peace and may Allah accept him to Janat el Fridaus.
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Osun Integrated Payroll System Blocks Wastage, Enhances Aregbesola’s Prudency In Financial Management

The Integrated Payroll System introduced by the Governor Rauf Aregbesola led administration in the State of Osun has improved financial management in the state and helped to block leakages which were hitherto the order of the day before the current government took over in 2010.The Integrated Payroll System introduced by the Governor Rauf Aregbesola led administration in the State of Osun has improved financial management in the state and helped to block leakages which were hitherto the order of the day before the current government took over in 2010.

Aside the fact that the system combines all segments of the workforce including pensioners in the same payroll, the move has also made financial transactions easier with workers and retirees remuneration easy to disburse and paid.

]With partnership from Chams to manage effectively the procedure, the process carried out with the use of Information Communication Technology, ICT has further deepened and checked all forms of financial impropriety associated with the payment of salaries, pensions and gratuities as experienced in the past.

Some civil servants who handle the payroll of respective government MDAs like Mrs Obalade Oluwatoyin of the Osun State Polytechnic, Iree, Mrs Ajayi of the Ministry of Finance, Mr Adeyemi Yinka of the Osun State College of Education Ilesa as well as Mr Ayodele Akinjobi of LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Osogbo while speaking to newsmen over the weekend affirmed that the new system has in no small measure contributed to making the payment of salaries efficient.

According to the four respondents, the Integrated Payroll System has in a great way improved their knowledge of ICT in the realm of payroll management and as well placed the state in the comity of states with the prevalence of adequate, responsive and effective model of salary payment in the country.

Moses Olorunsola who is a Payroll Officer with the State Government of Osun said apart from convenience, the process has eliminated the multiple verification exercise for pensioners, curbed delay in the payment process with onward transfer to CHAMS, the consultancy firm for correction and onward payment.

Adesanmi Adeleke who works for CHAMS said the initiative was put in place to eradicate the challenges that have ridden the public service payroll system for a long time and deploy a biometric driven payroll system for the state.

He said before December 2017, about 150 payroll officers as well as salary officers in every government agency will be trained to be more enlightened about the process and conform to international best practices without prior assistance of the contracting agencies.

Adeleke stated that the payroll skill empowerment and acquisition programme organized by CHAMS will go a long way in driving the state Salary Automation Programme.

The Permanent Secretary of the State Ministry of Finance, Mrs Adebimpe Ogunlumade said the Staff Audit Biometric System in use in the State of Osun is among the first of its kind in the country with a great efficiency in Salary Payment.

She held that aside bringing the needed innovation, the Integrated Payroll System has blocked leakages, curbed wastage, absolved inefficiency and restored sanity coupled with financial prudency on the part of the State Government of Osun.

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Re: What’s In A Name: Ilesa Grammar School Or Ilesa Government High School? By Inwalomhe Donald

I read with concern an article written by one Bolanle Bolawole on page 30 of Nigerian Tribune Newspaper of 29th October, 2017 where he could not make any reference to Osun Sukuk bond law where the sukuk projects were captured. What type of journalist is Bolanle Bolawole? Critics like him should get a copy of Osun Sukuk bond law to educate the public. The 11 high schools projects are clearly stated. Aregbesola is acting within the law.
There is difference between Ilesa Grammar School and Ilesa Government High Schoool. The grammar represents the old generation and analog while Ilesa Government High School represents 21st century digital school for human capital development. I am surprise that we still have analog journalist like Bolanle Bolawole in the 21st century talking about the name of a dilapidated school when Governor Aregbesola has laid foundation for digital education in Nigeria. Instead of critics like Bolawole to praise the governor for the 21st century digital schools for human capital development in Osun State, they are busy talking about the name of a mud school. They left the substance of Osun innovative steel high schools that you cannot see elsewhere in Africa.
I may recall that Osun, under Aregbesola had in 2013 floated  N11.4bN Sukuk bond to fund government’s massive education infrastructure provision projects. Ilesa Government High School was one of the11Sukuk high schools that the sukuk bond was used to finance. When Aregbesola wanted to take sukuk bond, it was clearly stated in the agreement that Ilesa Government High School was one of the 11high school projects to be executed with the sukuk funds. The law clearly captured the 11 high school projects. The law on sukuk projects was passed by Osun State House of Assembly. Aregbesola is merely executing Osun State sukuk law. So, why the criticism?
The constitution of Osun State is clear on who has the power to name or change the name of schools. The old boys’ association of a school has no power to decide the name of a school. It is Osun State Government that can determine the name or change the name of a school? So, why is the old students association of Ilesa Grammmar School in court?
Aregbesola’s critics do not address issues of development. When the governor went to take sukuk bond, they said he wanted to Islamize Osun State and now that he is commissioning the sukuk schools projects, they are now agitating for the name of the schools..
Governor  Rauf Aregbesola of the State of Osun opened a  newly built Ilesa Government High School. The new school, he said, was in furtherance of his government’s effort to ensure sound basic education in the state. It cost N1.3billion. Aregbesola, who is an indigene of the town,  said at the opening today that  the 3,000 capacity school, has 72 classrooms, which could accommodate 49 students each. He said other facilities in the school included 18 toilets  for girls and boys, bookshop, art and science library, 1,000 capacity examination hall, Principals’ and general offices, among others.
The school we are commissioning today is state-of-the-art. many people when they see the picture, because it is so good, they argue it is so good, they argue it is computer generated graphic in 3D.  “Actually it is a 3,000 capacity three-in-one school. Each school has its principal with an overall senior principal.  “the complex has 72 classrooms of 49 square-meters each capable of sitting  49 student, 6 laboratories, 18 toilets for young ladies, 18 toilets for young men, 1 science library, 1 art library 1 facility manager’s office, 1bookshop, 1 sick bay, 1 bursar’s office, 3 general staff office, record store and 1 security shed/reception.
“There are total of 1,000 square-meters of floor space hall capable of sitting 1,000 students for external examinations. This hall has storage, for equipment utility storage, a stage, for document, 4 female toilets and 4 male toilets.
“For sporting activities, there is an Olympic sized football field, 7-lane sprinting tracks for 100 meters and 400 meters events, a pavilion and an outdoor basketball court that doubles as tennis court. The school has its own borehole, an electricity transformer and an ample parking space for at least 75 cars.
“Welcome to the new world of educational infrastructure in Osun. The school cost N1.3billion which includes the cost of furnishing, landscape and electronic boards. “I am happy and  full filled that we have public schools that can  compete with the best in the world and indeed, our new schools are he ones to beat around here
As it is, facts have emerged that the administration of Governor Rauf Aregbesola had not only taken the bull by the horn at revamping education sector, but aslo refocusing the people’s attention and interest to quality, qualitative and functional education through his various interventions that have attracted residents particularly parents to resolve taking their children to public schools.
The Osun public school sector that had almost collapsed and failed prior Aregbesola’s government are now at the central point of reference in enrollment strength, leaving private schools at enrollment low ebb.
It was gathered that private schools in the state are gradually loosing students to public schools due to facilities which Aregbesola’s administration had put in place to advance public education.
Some members of the National Association of Private School Proprietors of Nigeria, Osun state chapter, confirmed that the decline in the rate of pupils and students enrollment into private schools in the state had been on increase in the last few years.
Inwalomhe Donald writes from Benin City inwalomhe.donald@yahoo.com
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We Are Not Happy Paying Modulated Salary To Workers – Aregbesola

Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun state has expressed his grief over the inability of the state government to pay full salary to the workers in the civil service and political appointees.
Aregbesola said he was unhappy on the payment of modulated salary to the workers, just as he explained that not all the civil servants in the state are affected by the modulated salary.
He stated this at the weekend while addressing a team of Federal Government on the Digital Switch Over who was on advocacy visit to the state, led to his office by the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Adelani Baderinwa.
According to the governor, economic downturn induced by the brazen corruption, wanton theft of crude oil and mismanagement of the country’s resources by the PDP Democratic Party (PDP) led Federal Government forced the state to what it is witnessing today.
Aregbesola said no reasonable person or government would be happy not being incapacitated to perform his/its required responsibility.
The governor said: “We are not happy paying modulated salary to our workers in the civil service and political appointees, we are compelled by the financial reality; we are constrained.
“Contrary to the lies you are being fed, it is not all our workers that receive half salary. Workers on level 1-7, being the most vulnerable and the largest chunk of the workforce are being paid full salary. Workers on level 8-11 showed understanding with the government to accept 75% of their salary.
 
“It is only workers on grade level 12 upward that receive 50% of their salary. The workers have shown maturity, support and understanding. We acknowledge and appreciate the sacrifice and support of the workers.”
Aregbesola said the financial burden on the government was incurred to provide massive infrastructure to transform the state and develop it economically, noting that Osogbo desired infrastructure development to have a look of a state capital.
He said: “Before our government, Osogbo roads were very narrow and since there was no development, there was no heavy traffic and the roads accommodated the users. However, there was influx of people to the state since our administration came on board. There was heavy traffic on the Osogbo roads and they could not accommodate the traffic anymore.
“We started construction of new roads and rehabilitation of some existing ones to ease traffic. As a visionary government, we know that by the time our economic plan begins to grow, the Osogbo roads would become busier, so we come up with the construction of Osogbo East Bypass road.
“The Osogbo east bypass road has four big bridges. Anybody that does not have business in Osogbo will take the road to their various destinations. This will reduce traffic on Osogbo township roads. We constructed the road for economic purposes. People that are narrow in thinking do not know that.
“We know that things are hard and the state is passing through financial difficulty. But we are undeterred by the challenges. Our credo is to see that our people explore their freedom for economic prosperity.
“Our joy is in the fact that we will leave a legacy that will transform into economic prosperity for the people and the state. Like the credo of our mentor, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, we want freedom for all, life more abundant.”
In his address, Baderiwa, the commissioner for Information and Strategy, said he was in support of the Digital Switch Over, saying that it will provide for young and talented men and women and as well throw challenges to the lazy and unproductive workers in the media industry.
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Osun’s Gospel of Parliamentary Democracy, By Abiodun Komolafe

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, local government elections will hold in the State of Osun on January 27, 2018. At  least, 332 councilorship slots will be up for grabs in an election scheduled to be the first of its kind in the life of the Rauf Aregbesola-led administration. Not only that, it will be the first in the history of Nigeria’s Fourth Republic that parliamentary practice will be given a shot at the Local Government level.

While some professional doubters may wish to liken Osun to an administrative jungle where laws are brazenly breached and, constitutionalism, flagrantly abused, Section 22 of the Local Government (Administration) Law Cap 72A, Vol. 4, Laws of Osun State 2002 as amended states as follows: “There shall be for each Local Government a Chairman and a Vice Chairman who shall be elected by the councillors of the Local Government Council from among themselves. The Chairman and Vice Chairman shall only be elected among the councillors of the political party that has majority seat in the Local Government Council.” So, why parliamentary system in  Osun?

By the way, what does Aregbesola stand to gain by daring to walk with clear  conviction where  even  angels dare  to  tread and what roles does has the “inchoate” problem associated with Local Government creation in Nigeria {ref: Supreme Court’s judgement in AG Lagos v AG Federation (2004) 20 NSCQLR 99A} got to play in all of these?

Without doubt, the creation of Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs), Area  Councils  and Administrative Offices in Osun was a political masterstroke  by this  government  and Aregbesola deserves commendation for giving Osun a sense of direction and purpose. Lest we forget,  ‘Ogbeni’, as he is fondly called, was a prominent member of the Bola Tinubu-led team that  midwifed  the  LCDA  system  in  Lagos State. That he is again finding a new path to rehabilitate our democracy in line  with the views and position of the people clearly attests to  his valued  intelligence,  unquestionable  optimism  and  endless hope for a better Nigeria.  One can only pray other leaders would tap into the sheer force of his personality and the power of his ideas.

Again, why the introduction of parliamentary system in Osun and where do we go for succor, in case our cherished system becomes captivated by the culture of corruption and inefficient management system usually associated with our Nigerianness?

By design, parliamentary democracy is meant to encourage quicker legislative action, primarily because the executive branch is a product of the support of the legislative branch which in turn “includes members of the legislature.” In an environment like ours where ethnic, racial, even religious and ideological animosity have been elevated into statecraft, parliamentary practice serves as an effective instrument for direct political participation and even distribution of power.

Also, the likelihood of a drastic drop in the rush for; and friction at the centre under parliamentary practice is high. And, apart from its ability to carry along with it a spectacular increase in political activities across the state, Aregbesola’s innovative revolution is most likely to generate robust discussions on the way forward for a democratic Nigeria.

Quite clearly, it is because we have failed to test our laws that dysfunctional political system has become commonplace scandal in Nigeria. Contrary to projections, parliamentary system runs the risk of becoming a mere fig leaf by which Nigerians seek good governance and socio-economic liberation  unless  the  fine issues  of its cumulative impact are clearly defined. In any case, this is where the involvement of critical stakeholders likes the youth, traditional institutions and civil society groups in exploring all the opportunities that  an election of this nature and timing presents comes in. Church  and  State must also collaborate in the overall interest of the electorate’s exploring the  strengths and inspirations  that  the exercise will be throwing open. Essentially, political parties must  read the signs right by going  into  the contest with  their  best, votes-worthy candidates.

Walter Bagehot famously describes ability to do “what the people say you cannot do”  as “the greatest pleasure in life.”  Like a field of driven snow, Osun  governorship election is  less than a year away! Agreed! No two elections are the same. However, the tragedy of victory is that success at the January 2018 poll may not necessarily translate into  victory  on September 22, 2018 unless some purposeful political reengineering is done where necessary.

On the other hand, the fact that All Progressives Congress (APC) got it wrong on July  8, 2017 does not mean that all hope is lost for the party. All the more reason the Aregbesola-led administration must pray towards turning the counsel of the Ahithophels to nought! Truth  be told:  Nigerians are hungry and their quality of life has become so unimpressive that, should the opportunity present itself again, one is not in doubt of President Muhammadu Buhari’s recalibrating  the illusion of ‘belonging to  nobody’ and “everybody”. Sad therefore that Osun is being treated as a case in isolation!

At a time like this, clarifying extant confusions troubling Nigeria’s Israel may tend to suffer from conceptual impressions. Petty quarrels among brothers also have the capacity to snowball into politically-motivated eruptions of cataclysmic proportions if not accorded the honour of fragility it deserves.

To this end, necessary steps must be taken to urgently address all ideological disputations that may want to pitch APC members in the tents of Us versus Us. Most importantly, the salary dislocation which has so far proved to be no respecter of party, racial or gender affiliations must be  courageously confronted in a way that will  ultimately  leave  all parties convinced that the country’s present pass truly has an expiry date.

 

Let me by way of conclusion state that, on a good day, an election of this shape and size should afford members of the ruling party a rare opportunity of closing ranks for the purpose of retaining the state for the party in 2018. The hope is that events as they happened in Edo State on September 28, 2016 and Ondo State on November 26, 2016 would provide lessons sufficient enough for the ruling party to  deactivate opposition’s fantasy that it is the party of choice in Osun.

May the Strength of Israel grant our leaders the wisdom to lead us aright!

*KOMOLAFE  writes  in  from Ijebu-Jesa, Osun State, Nigeria  (ijebujesa@yahoo.co.uk)

 

abiodun KOMOLAFE,

020, Okenisa Street,

PO Box 153,

Ijebu-Jesa, Osun State.

 

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Osun Commissions University Road, As Alakija Donates N250million To Project Completion

The Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has described the situation where operators of Universities in Nigeria rely on subvention from the owners and burden students with humongous tuition fees as intellectual laziness.
The Governor observed this at the formal opening of the access road to the University of Osun (UNIOSUN), at the entrance to the university in Osogbo.
?He held that Nigerian universities should adopt world best practices where schools? raise funds through endowments, grants and donations from the larger society, which is the primary beneficiary of university education.
?The Chancellor of UNIOSUN, Chief Mrs Folorunso Alakija was said to have assisted the university with the sum N250 million, which was the exact amount they needed to complete the road project.
?Aregbesola averred that university funding anywhere in the world is capital intensive and requires helps from philanthropist like Mrs Alakija to boost education system.
He commended Mrs Alakija’s gesture, ? saying it is a refreshing perspective on funding for education, particularly the university, which requires a huge financial outlay.
Aregbesola said: “Universities require a large amount for capital projects and not less sum for recurrent expenditure.
“In our intellectually lazy (or idea challenged) environment, the line of least resistance has largely been followed – which is to rely on subvention from the owners and burden the students with humongous tuition fees.
“But the best practices, as we see from other climes, are to raise funds through endowments, grants and donations from the larger society, which is the primary beneficiary of university education anyway.
“Universities also generate revenues through patents, royalties and other intellectual property materials.
“This is why there is a huge gap between per capita spending on students by the Euro-American universities, compared to our own.”
The governor commended UNIOSUN for being on this same path of operating within the framework of intentional standard of running a tertiary institution.
He stated that the university has been self-subsisting for some time now as government has stopped giving any subvention to it.
He added that universities all over the country must wake up to the economic realities of the present time and be creative in sourcing funds to ?run their institutions.
He also called on other people of good will to emulate the good gesture of Mrs Alakija by contributing to the growth and development of education in the state and country at large.
He equally tasked alumni of the educational institutions in Osun who have education background, to ?support students of elementary and middle schools in the state as their own contributions to education development.
He continued: “The university has been responsible for generating its own revenue, even when we asked it to review tuition fees downward.
“In light of dwindling revenue and rising cost, universities must be creative in sourcing for funds. The burden of funding education should be spread in the society.
“There are thousands of people who will gladly give money, build roads, donate buildings, endow chairs in the name of a cause, a relation etc. and do many more for education.
In light of this, I must add that contribution is not limited to giving money.
“There are many alumni of our primary and secondary schools who have education background; they should support our students in basic education.
 “All they need to do is to volunteer to teach in any of our elementary and middle schools for one hour in a day in English, Mathematics and the Sciences. We need them as volunteers.
“I am therefore commending Dr Alakija for her kind gesture in helping the university to construct this road and for her other interventions in the institution.
“She has etched her name in history and a grateful state, government and people will not forget her good deeds.?”
In her remarks, the donor, Mrs Alakija, attributed the gesture towards the construction of the university’s access road to her immeasurable passion for education.
She lamented on deplorable state of the nation’s education system, saying it is lamentable and disheartening that no Nigerian University made the list of the first 1000 universities in the world.
According to her: “The education system in Nigeria presently needs urgent assistance and unless there is a major overhaul, the future of the next generation of Nigerians will be bleak.
“As we all know, education is very important for sustaining and developing people. With it, people acquire wisdom and knowledge. They build confidence and develop the ability to fend for themselves from what they have learnt.
“It is also both an instrument of stability and of change; stability in the sense that good traditions are documented, taught, imbibed and practiced; change because it prepares and equips people to meet new challenges. In the same vein, education is a tool for inculcating moral values in the citizens.
“?The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Sustainable Development Agenda has identified 17 Global goals, which every nation of the world must strive to accomplish by 2030.
“The 4th goal which is quality education, requires that inclusive and equitable quality education which promote lifelong learning opportunities be made available to all.
“Education is a vision my family and I do not take lightly. This is evidenced by the support we continue to give to students through our Rose of Sharon Foundation where almost 1,500 students benefit from our scholarship program up to university level and the same spirit of which also drove the completion of this project.
While calling on all to support education in the country, Alakija said the attainment of qualitative education will require all of us to pull resources together to make the difference the system so desperately needs.
?In his welcome address, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Labode Popoola, applauded the philanthropic gestures of the donor, Dr. (Mrs) Folorunso Alakija, describing her as a seasoned philanthropist.
Professor Popoola recalled the steps taken by the management of the institution at constructing an access road to the university’s main campus, saying that the vision led the management of the institution to extend hands of help to the Chancellor.
?According to him: “One of my first major activities on assumption of duties was a meeting to renegotiate the contract for the construction of this road. I bless the day, 22 March, 2017 when I led my Management Team to our Chancellor, Dr. (Mrs) Folorunso Alakija, in her Lagos Office as part of the preparation towards the 6th Convocation of our University.
“In my briefing, I lamented the state of the access road to our university and the challenge to raise the sum of N250 million to complete the road project
“But three days after the visit, we received the alert of the sum of two hundred and fifty million naira from the school chancellor and for this reason, the chancellor deserves our accolade.
“She is always there for us, her unparalleled benevolence for the completion of this road project is highly commendable. Her unending passion to positively impact humanity is an inspiration for us as an institution.
?
The Chairman Governing Council of the University and Pro-Chancellor, Mallam Yusuf Ali, also commended the donor, Mrs Alakija, for being passionate about the plights of the institution.
He disclosed that the institution only paid N100 million out of N350 million? spent for the construction of the access road.
Mallam Ali however called on well-meaning Nigerians to see the need for supporting education by imbibing the philanthropic life style that could help to advance quality, qualitative and sound education in the country.
“Government alone cannot bear the cost of financing education. Those who run institutions of higher learning should put on their thinking cap and be creative in sourcing for funds to develop these institutions.
“Also, an individual, whom God has materially endowed has shown by the example of our Chancellor, Dr. Folorunso Alakija, could make a lot of difference.
Where the managers of our resources act honestly, transparently and without corruption, men and women of goodwill who are endowed will be more readily disposed to help fund our educational system.?”
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Ifelodun LG APC Settles Internal Crisis Two Years After

The two warring groups of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ifelodun Local Government, Arobafin and Tobal ase have sheathed their swords and embraced peace.
Leaders of the two groups settled their differences and agreed to work together two years after the internal crisis.
Members of the APC and supporters of the two groups on Saturday besieged the palace of Akinrun of Ikirun, Oba Abdulrauf Olawale Adedeji who brokered peace in the APC, to pay their homage and expressed their resolutions to ensure unity of the party.
Addressing members of the APC, Oba Olawale said avoiding fight is not as important and necessary as fighting and having the ability to resolve and settle the matter amicably.
Akinrun admonished members of the party to see themselves as one united family and make sure that they continue to work for the progress and victory of the party.
Specifically, Oba Olawale charged the APC members to work harder and deliver victory for the APC in the forthcoming Local Government election.
The traditional ruler described the peaceful resolution of the two warring APC groups as a welcome development, urging members of the party in other local governments to follow suit and resolve all crisis in the party.
In his address, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy in the state, Mr Adelani Baderinwa who had belonged to theTobalase group explained that the crisis was not about members of the APC but skirmishes within the leadership of the party.
According to Baderinwa, leaders of the party in Ifelodun local government had learned lessons in the crisis and have such resolved to settle their differences and ensure that the party and its members remained united.
Baderinwa who described Ifelodun as a stronghold of the APC said the settlement of the crisis would further enhance the impressing performance of the party in every election, saying that there would be team work among the party members.
The commissioner stated that the settlement of the crisis has dealt a huge blow to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which had wanted to explore the differences among the APC members.
He commended Oba Olawale and the leader of the APC, Alhaji G.O Lawal for bringing peace back to the party, saying that they have exemplified trait of good leaders.
From the Akinrun palace, the APC members danced to Lawal’s house, expressing their joy for the settlement of the crisis.
Leaders of the APC that graced the outing included the Executive Secretary, Ifelodun Local Government, Alhaji Ahmed Omoloye, former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in the State, Mr Wale Afolabi, a member of the Osun Local Government Service  Commission, Alhaji Kehinde Olamolu,  among others.
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