*Renders account of stewardship at State of the State address
*Signs five new laws
As his administration clocked one year on Monday, the Governor of Ekiti State, Biodun Oyebanji, assured the people of the state of a better future, having successfully laid a solid foundation for the socio-economic prosperity of the state.
He also appealed to the leadership of the trade unions to show understanding and be patient with government as it already addressing the economic situation triggered by the removal of fuel subsidy.
Oyebanji said he is incurably committed to fulfilling the social contracts he signed with the people of the state that he will deliver democracy dividends to them, adding that the welfare and wellbeing of the people would be prioritised.
Oyebanji disclosed this in Ado Ekiti, on Monday, while rendering an account of his stewardship on the floor of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, during the presentation of the ‘State of the State’ Address, to the lawmakers and stakeholders in the state.
Addressing the gathering attended by lawmakers , political and traditional rulers as well as top government functionaries, Oyebanji said he is not unaware of the agitations for salary review in view of the removal of fuel subsidy, “But I want to appeal to the leadership of trade unions to show understanding and be patient with me to properly review the situation as it unfolds before coming up to address the situation.
The Governor, who said he had carried out radical restructuring in the system to fortify the economy, added that he had created new Ministries, special agencies and boards, some of whom he personally chaired to spread to deepen groath and development and spread prosperity and progress across the nooks and cranny of the state.
Oyebanji posited that Ekiti State’s internally Generated Revenue has experienced upward movement, having tightened some of the existing loopholes being used to swindle the system, while the 2022 budgetary capital performance as of August, 2023 stands at 60.6%, with revenue performance pegged at 103%.
Oyebanji stated that a sum of N1.5 billion was distributed to equip and rehabilitate the 177 primary healthcare centres in the state to expand access to quality healthcare delivery, while he and his siblings are currently constructing a facility at Aramoko General Hospital in memory of his late mother.
To boost agriculture and attract youths into farming, thereby curtailing incidences of joblessness and crime, Oyebanji said his government is in the process of connecting the agricultural zone along Ipao-Oke Ako axis to national grid to propel the state to food security status.
He said the old Civil Service Commission building at the old Secretariat at Oke Ori Omi, had been reshaped and rehabilated to house a new Customary Court of Appeal, which he said gave Ekiti the leeway to have such hierarchy of court for swift and expeditious administration of justice.
To promote education regarded as the most thriving industry in Ekiti, Oyebanji said a total of 2,000 teachers, were recruited and deployed to primary and secondary schools in the last one year to undertake subjects that can bolster Ekiti’s ranking in public examinations like NECO and WAEC.
“Also, we have awarded contracts for the construction of two Model Schools in Ikere and Ikole, so that our children can have more access to education. I am elated that a teacher in Ekiti won the best teacher in Nigeria in 2023 , while the St Louis ,Ikere Ekiti won the best Public School in Nigeria for the second time. These are signs that our government is doing well”.
The Governor applauded Ekiti people for showing love and sharing in his vision and purposeful efforts to lift them out of poverty, while also appreciating his predecessor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi for entrenching government of accountability, the path he has been treading to promote progressive leadership in Ekiti.
Oyebanji, who saluted former Governors Niyi Adebayo, Ayodele Fayose and Segun Oni for their contributions to Ekiti’s progress, specifically recounted that the historic role played by Governor Fayemi and his wife, Bisi Fayemi in his emergence brought about intra-party exchange of leadership baton in Ekiti for the first time since 1999.
“In the area of infrastructure and industrialisation, my government has been aggressive in improving electricity supply and construction of access roads because these are the two most important factors in industrial development. As of now, towns in Gbonyin, Ayekire and Ekiti East have been reconnected to the national grid. We have also reconnected Erinjiyan, Ikogosi and Ikogosi Warm springs to national grid.
“We have energised towns like Egbe by connecting light from Ikare in Ondo State while we have connected light from Eruku in Kwara State to Ikun Ekiti. We are also mobilising contractors back to site to complete ongoing road projects like Ado-Iworoko road ,Ilawe- Igbara-Odo road, Ilawe -Igede road,Ikole-Ara- Isinbode road, Ado township road , among others”.
Handing down a verdict of excellent performance on the governor, after evaluating his exploits across his six-point agenda, the Speaker, Ekiti State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Adeoye Aribasoye, saluted the governor for running a “focused, inclusive, honest, dedicated, transformative , simple and purposeful governance”, that is passionate about the affairs of the common men.
Aribasoye said: “Your dedication, honesty, purposefulness, and unwavering commitment to development are now serving as a guiding light to all of us. Let me say that Governor Oyebanji has not in any way disappointed and wherever Dr. Kayode Fayemi is now, he will be happy that he has got a good successor.
“Under Oyebanji, we have witnessed transformative governance, dedication to duties, simplicity and respect for elders. I commend you for a job well done, because your relentless efforts have spurred a flame of success and uncommon transformation in our dear state. Today, our local government is enjoying financial independence and our chairmen have been advised to embrace financial discipline.
“In our continued support and collaboration, we want to assure you that this Assembly will foster cordial relationship with the executive arm in a way that will bring the interest of our people to the front burner. I want to say that the existing harmonious relationship between the executive and legislature is highly commendable, since the interest of the masses is our common goal”.
Earlier before the State of the State address, Governor Oyebanji had signed into law five bills recently passed by the state assembly. The short ceremony took place at the executive council chamber of the Governor’s office, was witnessed by all members of the state assembly.
The new laws are: Ekiti State Sports Commission Law; Ekiti State Lotteries and gaming Law; Ekiti State Development and Investment Promotion Agency (EKDIPA) (first amendment) Law; Ekiti State Electricity Power Sector law; and 2023 Supplementary Appropriation Law.