In this interview with SEYE OLUMIDE, a former member of Osun State House of Assembly, who represented Obokun State Constituency currently serving as Special Adviser to Governor Adegboyega Oyetola on Civic Engagement, Olatunbosun Oyintiloye, speaks on how the governor has changed the face-off between the government and civil servants in two years. He also speaks on how the government managed the aftermath of the #ENDSARS protests
How would you describe Oyetola’s performance in the last two years?
GOVERNOR Oyetola has committed his administration to make policies and programmes for improved citizens’ welfare. Upon assumption of office, he took it as a duty to implement priority projects, which directly touch lives, having considered the demands of the people during his ‘thank you tour’ as encapsulated in the DFID Citizen-Based Assessment Report.
Oyetola has brought changes in the areas of security, health, commerce, education, workers’ welfare and human capital development, among others, with a view to achieving his six integral action plans, namely: banishing poverty, hunger and unemployment, restoring healthy living, promoting functional education and enhancing communal peace and progress.
How true is the insinuation that the leader of APC, Bola Tinubu collects a certain percentage of the funds accruable to Osun State from Oyetola on a monthly basis?
This is an era of fake news and propaganda. I believe the mainstream media has a responsibility not to dwell on a fallacy. Asiwaju Tinubu’s biggest interest in every area of his influence is development, especially human capital, and that is why the former governor of Lagos State has done more than any average Nigerian politician in reproducing himself through building leaders. Tinubu has keen eyes for quality. He nurtures people and creates opportunities for them, which is the attribute of a great leader.
Without mincing words, there is no iota of truth in such conjecture, as it is just a mere figment of the imagination of those behind it. That subjective belief is not obtainable, especially in a ‘civil service’ state like Osun, with a few industries and which much relies on federal allocation, which is even not enough to pay wage bills to let alone capital projects. If not for the proficiency, shrewdness and financial discipline of the governor, the state wouldn’t have a stable and full payment of workers’ salary. You are aware that the governor has also lifted the embargo on promotion and conversion with annual salary increment, implementation of the minimum wage as well as numerous developmental projects. In the light of this revelation about the state’s meagre resources, one cannot but say the claim that APC national leader has been receiving a percentage from the state’s fund is just a blatant lie.
What has the administration done in building human capacity?
Investment in human capacity forms the fulcrum of Governor Oyetola’s administration. This is because of his conviction that human capacity development is the panacea to economic advancement. In view of this, the current administration has embarked on strategic programmes aimed at improving the living standards of the citizenry. Oyetola’s administration has fully committed itself to the development of human capacity through empowerment, vocational training, giving of loans and grants for business startups among others under the bipartite efforts of both the Ministry of Human Resources and Capacity Building and Ministry of Commerce and Industry. With the large number of people who have benefitted from the intervention programmes of Oyetola’s administration, it is no doubt that human capacity building is yielding positive results.
What is the relationship between government and civil servants in the state?
The relationship has been productive, cordial and awesome, at least, in the past two years. One of the hallmarks of Oyetola’s administration is improved workers’ welfare, which both the workers and populace appreciate unreservedly. Upon assuming office, the governor took it as a duty to restore prompt salary payment to the workers, as promised during the electioneering period. He did not stop at that; it included all necessary benefits due to the workers. This is the more reason why he is subtly referred to as Ore awon osise, meaning, workers’ friend.
What is the administration doing to productively engage the youths in the state?
Oyetola takes youth empowerment, as a priority because he recognises them as the strength and future of the state. He has continually sustained the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES), with not less than 20,000 youth empowered across the state. The administration has recently organised ‘Post-Covid-19 Recovery Plan’ with a specific focus on the youth. Through it, not less than 5,000 youth were empowered with requisite skills and necessary funding. Equally, payment of N500,000 to 3,634 youth and indigent citizens by the Federal Government have been facilitated with a view to having our youth economically and productively engaged for sustainable development.
To further give leverage for youth development, the administration has carefully packaged and unveiled a youth policy framework known as ‘4Es’, namely: Youth Empowerment, Youth Engagement, Youth Entrepreneurship and Youth Education, which is the state’s articulated action plan for youth development. The foregoing is in addition to N1.5bn, which the state government earmarked in the 2021 budget for the engagement of youth in agriculture, ICT, commerce, mining, culture and tourism, among others.
How is the government dealing with #EndSARS protests and the aftermath?
The #ENDSARS protests, which was largely dominated and driven by the youth, became a spectre that woke up the entire country. This emanated from the fact that the youth demography constitutes the largest chunk of our society and they strategically, through their strength, influence the social, economic and political dynamism in every polity. With this, Governor Oyetola who has always enjoyed massive supports of the youth and ensuring a better state where they will have enabling environment to harness and develop their potential.
What is the scorecard of Governor Oyetola in agriculture?
One of the resolves of Oyetola’s administration is to ensure an improvement in food security and sufficiency for the benefit of all. Although, it is work in progress, but aimed at achieving agro-economic development in the state.
Oyetola’s administration continues to support our farmers with requisite inputs such as fertilizer, agro-chemicals, seeds, and cassava stems, among others. The government has equally sustained the provision of high yielding, early maturing and disease resistant seedlings of cocoa, cashew, oil palm, etc, at subsidised rate. Equally, the Osun Broilers’ Out Grower Production Scheme continues to wax stronger. The scheme, which started with 12 farmers at the pilot phase, has now turned to a large programme with 106 participating farmers as we speak.
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