Oyo State Governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, has declared that his administration is set to make Iseyin, located in the Northern part of the State the solid minerals development capital of Nigeria.
Governor Makinde, who stated this at the 41 Days Fidau Prayers for the late Aseyin of Iseyin, Oba Dr. Abdulganiyu Adekunle Salau, Ajinese Ologunebi I, held at the Iseyin District Grammar School, said that his administration would focus on tourism and solid minerals development if re-elected into office in 2023.
He maintained that his policy document, Oyo Roadmap for Accelerated Development, 2023-2027, which is already being prepared ahead of the reopening of the campaign window, will capture tourism and solid mineral development as viable tools for achieving the economic expansion agenda of the administration.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted the governor as saying that his administration would work out how to derive benefits from the Ikere Gorge Dam and other tourist attractions across the state.
At the event, which had in attendance by the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Kayode Ariwoola; the Deputy Governor of Oyo State, Barr. Bayo Lawal; legal luminary, Barr. Ahmed Raji, SAN and many government functionaries, the governor described the late Aseyin as an individual who loved Iseyin and did his best to attract development to the town.
Governor Makinde, who stated that his administration’s decision to connect Iseyin to all other zones of Oyo State through road infrastructure is not unconnected with its plan to make Iseyin the centre of the state and a solid minerals development hub in the country, noted that the administration has completed the 65 kilometres Moniya-Iseyin Road, while the 76 kilometres Iseyin-Fapote-Ogbomoso Road has gone beyond 50 per cent.
The administration is also constructing the Oyo-Iseyin Road in the same axis, he said, even as he declared that the resuscitation of the Ikere Gorge Dam is a top priority project for the administration and that it would receive attention once funds are available.
He equally maintained that the Iseyin General Hospital is among the hospitals captured in the French Government Intervention Programme for the healthcare sector in the state.
He said: “We need to thank God for a day like this, because we are celebrating the life of our departed Kabiyesi.
“I don’t think I have come across any individual who loved Iseyin like the departed Aseyin of Iseyin. The last time I came here for a condolence visit, I stated that it was on the sick bed that he signed the land document for the LAUTECH Faculty.
“I can also remember that when I came to deliberate with him on how we can have Iseyin as the centre of Oyo State, I told him that we want to link Ogbomoso to Iseyin because Saki is already linked to Iseyin and he was very happy. He showed interest and said the road we are talking about, which is Iseyin-Fapote-Ogbomoso, was the route his forefathers passed when they were trading with other places. I told him how serious we are and promised that it won’t become an abandoned project.
“Now, I am happy that, as of today, we have done beyond 50 per cent of that project.”
The governor declared that while his government would continue to deliver on its electioneering promises till the last day of the first tenure of the administration, more developmental projects will come to Iseyin and the entire Oyo State if the people re-elect him as their governor in 2023.
Earlier, Barrister Raji, SAN, who welcomed and appreciated Governor Makinde and other dignitaries on behalf of Iseyin Community, lauded the governor, noting that his tenure, which coincided with the era of the late Aseyin, brought tremendous developments and progress to Iseyinland.
He listed the completed Moniya-Iseyin Road, the ongoing Oyo-Iseyin and Iseyi-Fapote-Ogbomoso Roads and most importantly, the establishment of the Faculty of Agriculture of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, after decades of failed promises to Iseyin people from previous administrations, as part of the blessings that came to Iseyin during Makinde’s government.
He promised that the people of the town would show their appreciation to the governor by re-electing him in the 2023 general election, as according to him, Iseyin people are not ingrates and would follow the dictates of the Quran, which says goodness must be rewarded with goodness.
Raji, however, stated that the community would still want the governor to address some of its areas of needs, including the fixing of the Ikere Gorge Dam, which he said is capable of generating electricity for the people, giving potable water and boosting agriculture.
He added that the government should also kindly give attention to fixing the Iseyin General Hospital and the potholes that were beginning to appear on the Iseyin Township Road built by the immediate past administration.
While responding to the demands made by Barr. Raji, SAN, Governor Makinde said: “I thank my brother, Barrister Ahmed Raji, SAN. I have noted all you said and what you requested will be granted concerning the fixing of the potholes on the Iseyin Township Road.
“The man in charge of the Oyo State Road Maintenance Agency (OYSROMA) is the Deputy Governor and he is your son, so I can assure you that OYSROMA will act on the request soon.
“Concerning the Ikere Gorge Dam, I think I am the first governor of the state who visited the site more than three times. The benefits which we can derive from there, which are water supply, power supply and irrigation for agricultural purposes are already in our programme. Actually, we need huge funds for this but I can give you the assurance that it is a priority project and would be acted upon. The Dam is also a tourist attraction.
“If you have gone to Australia before, the country is almost like the world capital for solid minerals. I can tell you that Iseyin will most, certainly, become the world capital for solid minerals in Nigeria. So, for those who have plots of land here, don’t sell them now, as you can sell them for higher prices soon, say in five years to come.
“Also, concerning the request on the state hospital, the French Government gave Oyo State the sum of €55million to expand and improve our healthcare facilities and the General Hospital in Iseyin is one of the projects we plan to execute. So, it is a matter of time. Everything will be sorted out.
“Lastly, I want to assure you that if you support this government with your votes in the 2023 general elections, more developmental projects beyond what we have already done will be witnessed in Iseyin.”