Saturday, December 21, 2019 3:20 pm
Oyo State Governor, Oluseyi Makinde, on Saturday, 21 December 2019 alleged that the eight- year- administration of his predecessor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, was characterised by corruption.
He listed the various malpractices to include budget padding, mismanagement of funds, kickback syndrome, inflation of contracts’ fees, lopsidedness in projects management, award of contracts to their cronies and re-awarding of projects at double the price, among others.
Makinde, who made the allegation while speaking on a live programme of the Oyo State Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State tagged ‘Live chat with GSM, a quarterly session with the Oyo State Governor’, said, “If I should talk about the finances of Oyo State as at the time we came on board, some people will not be able to walk on the streets. Up till date, we have not bought vehicles for the office holders.
“If we are to buy official vehicles for myself and other office holders, we will not spend less than N3 billion and we cannot afford that now. Up till today, I am still using my personal cars in office. Our priority is to the people. We prioritise what we can do to the people who gave the opportunity to serve them.
“On May 6, 2019, three weeks to take over, the last administration withdrew N5.2 billion and spent it to remain N19, 000 by May 29. Soon, those involved will have to explain how they spent the money to the people.
“When I resumed, I was scared. The government was running over 60 banks accounts. So I asked for all the balances of the accounts. A particular account has N300 million, and another has N20 million. I asked the accountant general to prune the accounts down and put all the money in one account and which came to about N6 billion”.
“When we assumed office, some people came to me and said that this is how they share money. I said don’t share the money to me. Let us use it to better the lives of the people of the state. IGR has gone up a bit because we have blocked loopholes.
Let me also reveal this. We did not spend government money on those Christmas decorations that you see everywhere. Normally, at the end of the year, people and corporate organisations give gifts to the governor. So, when they came, I called my people and told them that these gifts should be channeled towards beautifying the state instead.
“So, we used the gifts to do those Christmas decorations that you are seeing. If we continue to be prudent, all will be well and things will go round. It is because we cut off the wastage, that is why we are able to do some of the things we are doing”.
Speaking specifically on things he has done and other things to be done, Makinde said that because he enjoyed free education of the former governor of the state, late Chief Bola Ige, he considered it imperative to ensure that students are given free education.
“I enjoyed free education during the era of Uncle Bola Ige. I have the opportunity to do the same thing. Free education is sustainable if we can block all the loopholes where money is leaking and wasting. Whatever we can realise after blocking the loopholes will go to education because when you educate people, you have liberated their minds.
“We are making the School Governing Board better. We will retain it. We want to get more interest to join and ensure that money meant for education is well accounted for.
“We have given subvention out and we will continue to give subvention every term and at the end of each term, they will give account of how they have spent the subvention we have given them. In our budget, a big chunk is allocated to education because if we get education right, it is a means of securing the future”, he added.
On Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, LAUTECH, the governor reiterated the determination of the state to own it solely saying, “The mandate we have given the committee we set up on LAUTECH is, please go and get a divorce for us. The marriage between Osun and Oyo State on LAUTECH is not working”.
Speaking on the First Technical University, Tech-U, Makinde pointed out that as at the time he was talking, the ownership of the institution was opaque, adding that his administration is trying its best to get it right on the institution.
On the deplorable state of the primary health care in the state, he said that his administration is working assiduously to upgrade over 350 primary health care facilities to a laudable standard: “When we resumed, I commissioned the health centre situated at Oranyan and that is the standard to be used for the others.
We have over 600 primary health centres in the state. These health centres only exist in name because they are not functional.
The person in charge has been asked to rationalise it and if it is only one we can upgrade in a ward, fine. There are some private individuals who have come to us asking us to allow us to manage these health centres.
After the government may have funded 351 health centres, others can be allocated to the private individuals. We are reorganising health care insurance”.
On electricity, the governor assured that before the end of his tenure in 2023, there would have been a functioning independent power plant for the state.
As regards the issue of minimum wage, Makinde disclosed that he has set up a committee to engage labour adding, “If we are honest and open, everything will be okay and fine. I can assure you that it is a new thinking between the government and labour and other stakeholders that will hinge on development”.
He also promised that the civil servants wrongly sacked by the last administration would soon resume work in the state, saying that the head of service was finalising necessary procedures on it.
Also speaking on waste management, he said that the withdrawal of the license from the waste management company was due to the fact that the company was holding the government to ransom, and that there is a need to overhaul the process of waste management and disposal.
He declare that a new architecture of waste management would soon be unfolded in the state, assuring that soon the state would overcome challenges coming from waste management.
Regarding Oke-Ogun television, the governor disclosed that N300m has been allocated for the project in the budget of next year, assuring the residents of the region that Oke-Ogun television will become functional on or before July 2020. He also promised the people of the area that more will be done to develop the Oke-Ogun area.
Reacting to street trading, he pointed out point blank that street trading cannot be eradicated in the state for now explaining, “We cannot eradicate street trading overnight because it is the means of livelihood for some people.
“Some women use whatever they get from street trading to sponsor their children in school up to the university. For us to send people out of the street, then we must provide alternatives that will be conducive for them to operate. These alternatives must have necessary infrastructure. This is what we have started to do around Ojoo. We have traveled abroad. They did not get to where they are in one day. Things should be organised and it takes careful planning and implementation”.
Governor Makinde, who berated the Senator Ajimobi led administration for not completing the Orita Challenge-Akala Road linking Apata, said that his administration will complete it to ease traffic jam around the area of Ibadan, assuring further that more access roads would be provided in the state capital.