It is known that good governance is not far-fetched when there is a good leader. However, after 20 years of uninterrupted democracy, Nigerians are still in search of good leadership and real development. By Friday, 6th September 2019, many Governors who took the oaths of office on May 29 2019 will mark their first 100 days in office. While some unprepared and opportunistic leaders would use their first 100 days in office to settle political scores with their enemies, the serious ones would start giving their electorates a taste of purposeful leadership to prove that a new boss is in town.
In South Western region, the media reports (including the social media) seem to have favored the youngest Governor, Engr, Seyi Makinde of Oyo State. Besides supporting the emergence of the youngest Speaker (Honourable Debo Ogundoyin) in the region, the Governor also appointed a- 27 years old Seun Fakorede as Commissioner of Sports as well as Mrs. Olubamiwo Adeosun as the first female Secretary to the Oyo State Government. The Governor has indeed surprised a lot of people especially coming from a political party (Peoples Democratic Party-PDP) where the people of South-West are largely skeptical and critical about judging by the party’s poor performance at the federal level between 1999 and 2015.
Ahead of the first 100 days of the governments that assumed office on May 29, 2019, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo state stands out for courage. In complying with the provisions of the constitution and the code of conduct for public officers, Makinde, alone in the federation and at all levels, surpassed the requirements by not just declaring his assets and liabilities to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) but also making them public. He thus set a marker for all other office holders in the area of full disclosure. In his spirit of accountability, Governor Makinde submitted his asset declaration to the CCB on May 28, ahead of his inauguration the next day. He made the declaration public on July 14. His net worth coupled with the assets of his companies comes to a little over N56billion his four firms have a corporate valuation of N48billion. The governor also listed the assets of his wife, Omini Makinde.
By declaring the names and assets of his companies, Makinde has ensured that he would guard against the conflict of interest that is often prevalent in public offices in Nigeria. His ascension as the governor precludes his firms from bidding for or doing any public works in Oyo State.
At his swearing-in ceremony on May 29, Governor Seyi Makinde (popularly called GSM) abrogated the N3000 educational levy imposed on each pupil of the public schools in the State by his immediate predecessor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi. He also declared that his monthly salary would be used to augment the salaries of the pensioners in the State and equally pledged to ensure prompt and regular payment of salaries of civil servants working for Oyo state. When it also appeared that the peace of the State was being threatened, he proscribed all the activities of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in the State. Media reports also have it that within his first 100 days in office, he had pledged to earmark 10 percent of the state’s budget towards the development of education sector in the State. Governor Seyi Makinde within his 100 days in office have begun implementation of plans to revive the state owned Quarry and Asphalt plant located at Moniya- Iseyin road to be able to perform to its full potential. This will complement the effort of the government on providing a good road network across the state. Also, Engr. Seyi Makinde on 10 July, 2019 sent his second Executive Bill through his Special Assistant on Legislative Matter to the State House of Assembly. The Bill named ‘Oyo State Financial Crime Commission’ was targeted to ensure accountability of public funds and to be able to prosecute any public officer found guilty of fund mismanagement.
When it comes to education in Oyo state, Oyo state has witnessed massive application and enrollment for the entrance examination into JSS1 and SSS1 as a result of the free education directive by Seyi Makinde. Seyi Makinde have also provide desks and tables for CKC Primary School, Odo Ona in other to ensure availability of conducive environment for learning. Oyo state under his watch in 100 days have paid certain amount in order to access UBEC education grant to foster development in the education sector of the state.
It can be freely said that Education is now absolutely free in Oyo state. What about the agricultural sector? Various steps have been taken within the 100 days in office to revive the economy of the state through agriculture. Seyi Makinde have met important stakeholders in Agricultural sector on ways to leverage on the agricultural power of the state such as the Royal Thai Embassy. The recent Agribusiness strategic planning retreat held at Port Novo in partnership with IITA highlight the gigantic steps to be taken by the government in Agribusiness. The Governor have also put out plans to revive the abandoned 1000 metric tonnes of silo in Oyo
Unlike previous government, prompt salary payment has been in practice in Oyo state under the leadership of Engr. Seyi Makinde. In 100 days in office, Engr. Seyi Makinde have paid 5 month salaries to the state workers. He has also in 100 days paid Pensions of the senior citizen since resuming office and donating his salary to the Primary School Teacher Pensioner Board. He also approves gratuity of 1,000 pensioners from primary schools and local government areas, who retired between 2010 and 2012.
In matters of security, Seyi Makinde have appointed seasoned professional as Special Adviser on Security Matter in order to ensure the maximum security across the state. Engr. Seyi Makinde have hosted the leadership of various security agency such as the Nigeria Army Division 2 and the Operation Burst on strengthen the security of life and property in the state. Also, Seyi Makinde hosted South West Security Summit organized by DAWN commission where plans to be implemented to foster security in South West were drawn. He recently just approved the procurement of 100 units of Kia Rio 1.4 Executive Automatic Transmission vehicles for the various security agencies in Oyo State and exercise books for state owned public schools.
Engr. Seyi Makinde in the last 100days in office have shown that governance is a continual process by retaining all the previous administration policy that are beneficial and important to the development of the state. He has also put measures in place to correct the anomalies of the previous administration such as setting up a Committee to look into the case of the sacked civil servant in the state.
May God help his Excellency to continue in this right path.
LAWAL, Luqman [Lawluq], a concerned Oyo state student writes via firstname.lastname@example.org