Friday, June 9, 2023 10:07 am
By Folorunso Fatai Adisa
Building upon a legacy of progress, Governor Dapo Abiodun emerges, like a resolute phoenix, to ignite a second term that will transcend the triumphs of the first, shaping Ogun State into an oasis of prosperity and boundless opportunities. With unwavering determination and a steadfast commitment to the well-being of every citizen, Governor Abiodun stands poised to propel Ogun State into a new era of transformative growth. Harnessing the collective aspirations and untapped potential of the state, his visionary leadership will forge a path towards sustainable development, where innovation thrives, infrastructure flourishes, and every individual is empowered to achieve their fullest potential. As the dawn of this second term beckons, a bright horizon awaits, beckoning Ogun State to embrace its limitless possibilities under the astute guidance of Governor Dapo Abiodun.
Four years ago, the people of Ogun State placed their hopes and expectations in the capable hands of Prince Dapo Abiodun. They longed for a leader who would guide the state towards progress, development, and the fulfillment of its true potential. Today, as we reflect on the past, it is with a sense of grand euphoria that we can feel the Governor’s Midas touch resonating throughout every corner of the state.
In a world that rewards performance, Governor Dapo Abiodun has proven that he is a leader who delivers on his promises. He believes, as Helen Keller once said, that together we can achieve so much more than we can alone. His administration has been dedicated to improving the lives of the people, contributing to something greater than themselves, and making a positive difference in the state of Ogun. Let us take a moment to highlight some of the remarkable strides made during his first term.
The undeniable facts speak for themselves, and the Governor’s hard work has earned him numerous accolades and recognition. Most recently, he was honored with the “Forbes Best of Africa’s Governor in the Industrial Revolution” award, a testament to the significant progress made in the state’s industrial sector.
Right from the start, Governor Abiodun prioritized tackling the issue of unemployment in the state. In August 2019, he launched the Ogun Job Portal, a groundbreaking initiative that addressed the unemployment crisis by connecting young people with business owners. Through this online platform, the government successfully matched thousands of applicants with employment and empowerment opportunities in sectors such as education, security, and agriculture.
As a result, over 10,000 youths have been empowered and recruited into various sectors, including the teaching internship scheme called OgunTeach, the Ogun State Environmental Protection Agency, the health sector, the Fire Service, and the Amotekun security architecture in the South Western region of Nigeria. Additionally, 400 youth artisans in trades such as building, electrical work, and plumbing were employed in the State Ministry of Housing’s direct labor initiative, leading to the construction of over 1,700 affordable housing units across the state. Furthermore, the administration successfully integrated 2,000 ASCON entrants into the Ogun State Civil Service, ensuring they received their long-overdue salaries.
Governor Abiodun understands the critical link between security and development. In his first 100 days in office, he revitalized and restructured the Security Trust Fund, which now receives and manages donations from the private sector. This committee has effectively mobilized resources for the training and retraining of security personnel, leading to a strengthened security architecture in the state. Security measures have also gone digital, with the deployment of drones and advanced technology for surveillance and crime prevention in line with the demands of the 21st century. The Governor has fostered collaboration between security chiefs, donated patrol vehicles and motorcycles to support local vigilantes and hunters, and secured police aircraft for monitoring the state.
Education is the lifeblood of any nation, and Governor Abiodun recognizes its paramount importance. His administration launched the Ogun State Teaching Experience Acquisition Channel (Ogun TEACh) in March 2021, a two-year paid intervention program aimed at filling teaching positions in public primary and secondary schools as well as technical colleges across the state. Without discrimination, 5,000 interns were hired across the state’s 20 local government areas.
The Governor’s impact on education goes even further. He successfully resolved inherited crises in the tertiary education sector, breathing new life into institutions such as the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic and the Tai Solarin College of Education. Today, classrooms, hostels, restrooms, offices, stores, and computer rooms have been built in various schools, and the yellow roof revolution has extended to schools and healthcare facilities throughout the state. Over 100 primary healthcare centers have been rehabilitated, equipped, and staffed, ensuring access to quality healthcare for the people.
Governor Abiodun’s transformative efforts extend beyond education and healthcare. He has prioritized infrastructure, rural development, commerce, agriculture, and youth development, recognizing the vital role of investment in driving economic growth. To this end, he established the Ogun State Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency, which has been instrumental in attracting investors to the state. Over 500 entrepreneurs have received capacity building support, empowering them to access financing and scale up their businesses. The government has also provided empowerment opportunities worth N100 million to over 2,500 rural women, fostering economic growth and gender equality. The launch of an online portal has streamlined land acquisition processes, enabling the issuance of Certificates of Occupancy within 30 days. Additionally, the Ogun State Land Administration and Revenue Management System (OLARMS) has revolutionized land administration in the state. The ambitious Digital Economy Infrastructure Project, which includes laying 5,000 kilometers of fiber optic cable and establishing Tech Hubs across the state, positions Ogun to become Nigeria’s future Silicon Valley.
Infrastructure development has been a key focus of Governor Abiodun’s administration. Recognizing the dire state of roads within communities, he established the Ogun State Public Works Agency (OGPWA) to simultaneously rehabilitate roads in all 20 local government areas. Moreover, he has taken the commendable approach of embracing and completing projects that were abandoned or left incomplete by previous administrations. Under his leadership, 400 kilometers of roads have been rebuilt, including major expressways such as the Ijebu-Ode-Epe expressroad, Sagamu-Interchange-Abeokuta expressroad, and Ilaro-Owode-Yewa road. Attention has also been given to federal roads, ensuring smoother no transportation across the state. In rural areas where caterpillars had not been seen for decades, countless roads are being rehabilitated and reconstructed, bringing newfound connectivity and development.
The crown jewel of Governor Abiodun’s infrastructure initiatives is the Ogun State Gateway Agro-Cargo International Airport. This state-of-the-art facility will serve as a crucial cargo and passenger hub, connecting the heavy industries between the Lagos-Ogun corridor and the Agbara Industrial Layout. With its strategic location away from the notorious traffic gridlock of Lagos, the airport is poised to become a gateway for the export of finished products and the import of raw materials. This visionary project is expected to create 25,000 jobs and stimulate economic growth. Already, test flights have commenced, and a Special Agro-Processing Zone (SAPZ) has been inaugurated, further enhancing the economic potential of the airport.
These are just a few of the remarkable achievements that the Prince Dapo Abiodun-led administration has accomplished, reassuring the citizens of Ogun State that their votes were not in vain. Under his effective and development-oriented leadership, the people of the state have experienced peace and progress. As we look to the future, we can only anticipate even greater outcomes in the years ahead, including Governor Abiodun’s second term. With his proven track record and unwavering dedication to the welfare of the people, he is undoubtedly the leader who will continue to steer Ogun State towards a prosperous and thriving future.
Finally, in the face of unwarranted opposition and futile attempts to challenge the legitimacy of his re-election, Governor Dapo Abiodun stands firm, undeterred by the naysayers. Like honey, his remarkable performance in office has naturally sweetened the lives of the people of Ogun State. The critics must come to terms with the fact that his undeniable achievements have won the hearts of the electorate once again. As the journey towards another term unfolds, it becomes evident that his sterling leadership, coupled with the undeniable will of the people, will prevail against any reproach.
Folorunso, Fatai Adisa writes in via [email protected].