COVID-19
  • The Oyo State Governor held his quarterly media chat on Saturday, December 21st, 2019
  • The chat was held by the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo state (BCOS)
  • Phone lines were opened for Oyo residents to call while the chat was live-tweeted
  • The Governor talked about Oyo state finances, Security, Healthcare, Education, and more

Fresh off his win at the Supreme court just three days ago that affirmed his election victory as Governor, Seyi Makinde held his quarterly media chat where he spoke at length about a range of governance matters in Oyo state. The chat was hosted by the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo state (BCOS) with phone lines opened and the Q & A live-tweeted on the Governor’s handle @seyiamakinde.

Governor Makinde discusses a range of pressing governance matters

Cost cutting has allowed Oyo state pay salaries

When asked the secret to how Oyo state has been able to pay salaries, the Governor said he had to cut costs. He not only still drives his personal car, he did not approve new cars to be purchased for the officials in his administration. Considering the uproar over the Nigerian Senate choosing to spend N5.5bn on new cars despite the state of the nation’s finances, this was a prudent and necessary decision by the Governor.

TRACKING COVID 19

Oyo state had over 60 bank accounts which he consolidated into one

Said the governor:

“We decided to prioritise the needs of the people of Oyo State. Oyo State had over 60 bank accounts, I asked the Accountant General to consolidate into one account. The total was N6 billion. The IGR has gone up a bit, because we have blocked the loopholes but we will do more.”

Oyo state didn’t spend any money on Christmas decorations

Governor Makinde said the following:

“Oyo State government didn’t spend 1 kobo on the Christmas decorations. It was funded by the usual ‘Christmas gift’ to the governor, that was what we used to pay for the Christmas decorations so it cost government nothing.”

Governor Makinde discusses a range of pressing governance matters

Implementing the new Minimum wage in Oyo state presents a fiscal challenge

On the matter of implementing the new minimum wage, Governor Makinde stated the reality of the situation for Oyo state:

“We have cut out a lot of wastage, to enable us fund everything which we have been paying for. On minimum wage, we set up a committee yesterday that will engage with labour. We have been open with incoming funds, and been transparent about government expenditure.

If we adopt the minimum wage, we know how much we need to pay for this but do we have the means to do it and at the same time carry out all the developmental works in Oyo State? We promised good governance and we are surely working on delivering that to all residents.”

Too many Primary Healthcare Centers (PHCs) in Oyo state. Consolidation needed

The Governor said there are about 600 PHCs in Oyo state with many of them not fit for purpose. He said the benchmark for performance in delivering proper healthcare is the Oranyan PHC, located in Ibadan. His plans include consolidating the PHCs and making sure there is at least one functional Center per ward in the state. He also stated his plans to make health insurance more effective.

 

Street Hawkers in Oyo state are human beings that need to make a living

An Oyo state resident called in to the media chat to complain about Street hawkers and asked how the Governor planned to remove them. His response was as follows:

“Street trading will not be eradicated overnight. some of them are breadwinners, and that is their main source of income. I agree it’s very dangerous. Our position is, we can’t chase them off the street without an alternative.

The ones removed from Ojoo, were moved to the Akinyele trailer park. At scout camp, we reduced the rent for stalls and ordered installation of electricity, toilets etc. we have to be careful we don’t take away their means of livelihood without offering alternatives.”

Other matters

The Governor also spoke at length about providing education and jobs in Agriculture for the youth of Oyo state, beefing up Security and reducing crime during the festive period, transportation and housing, opening up the State to more investment, the refuse disposal structure in the state, and other issues.

13th month salary and celebrating the Governor’s birthday which is on December 25th

Ending the media chat on a lighthearted note, the Governor informed Oyo residents that his birthday is on December 25th (he will be 52) and they should buy Chickens and Turkeys to celebrate it in their homes along with him. He also announced that Civil servant 13th-month salaries would be paid by December 28th.

 

‘WE HAVEN’T BOUGHT A SINGLE OFFICIAL CAR’

Makinde told the residents of the state via the chat that he still uses his private car, and has not bought any car for any state official.

“When we started, Oyo State’s finances were in a bad state. At the moment, I still use my personal car. We have not bought any car for the officials, this will cost billions,” Makinde said.

‘OYSG DIDN’T SPEND 1 KOBO ON CHRISTMAS DECORATION’

For the first time in recent history, a good number of residents and visitors to Ibadan appreciate heavy Christmas decorations at Iwo Road, the major connecting road between traffic from Lagos to northern Nigeria, and many other parts of the state.

Makinde, however, stated that the decorations came at no cost to the state government.

“Oyo State government didn’t spend 1 kobo on the Christmas decorations,” Makinde said.

“It was funded by the usual ‘Christmas gift’ to the governor, that was what we used to pay for the Christmas decorations so it cost government nothing.”

‘STREET TRADERS ARE BREADWINNERS, WE WON’T CHASE THEM’

Asked what his government will do to hawkers who roam the state to make a living, Makinde said some hawkers are breadwinners, and his government will not get them off the roads without alternatives.

“Street trading will not be eradicated overnight. some of them are breadwinners, and that is their main source of income. I agree it’s very dangerous. Our position is, we can’t chase them off the street without an alternative.

“The ones removed from Ojoo, were moved to the Akinyele trailer park. At scout camp, we reduced the rent for stalls and ordered installation of electricity, toilets etc. we have to be careful we don’t take away their means of livelihood without offering alternatives.

“Dealing with the issue of street trading requires careful planning and implementation by the government.”

‘WE WOULDN’T BECOME ANOTHER LAGOS’

Speaking on transportation, Makinde said Oyo will not become another Lagos.

“On transportation, we have been extremely lucky. We do have a good road network, we just need to maintain it. We need to attract more people to our state,” the governor said.

“I don’t see the current influx of people into Oyo State as a challenge; I see it as a huge opportunity to grow our economy. The dry port, rail network and the Circular Road are good opportunities to kick start the real estate sector.

“Yes, it will present a few challenges but there is an assurance it won’t turn to another Lagos. We will recreate infrastructure similar to Ikoyi but with value for money.”

‘OYO AND OSUN PLANNING LAUTECH DIVORCE’

Makinde said his government is in talks with the State of Osun government to have a divorce on the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH).

“The term of reference is clear; to get a ‘divorce’ from Osun State regarding ownership. I believe the members of the committee are up to the task. We are not being unreasonable, we are negotiating with Osun on this. Not making unreasonable demands,” he added.

“Our stand on LAUTECH is in the interest of the parents, students and staff. We were given an overwhelming mandate by the people of Oyo State both in the gubernatorial and House of Assembly elections so we cannot claim lack of political will.”

‘ONE PRIMARY HEALTHCARE CENTRE PER WARD’

The billionaire governor and engineer said the state has about 600 primary healthcare centre (PHC) which are not fit for purpose, and his government is planning to have.

“There is stress on the General Hospitals because of lack of facilities in the PHCs. Oranyan PHC is the standard we will use for all PHCs in Oyo State. We have about 600 of them but most are not fit for purpose.

“I spoke to the people running it, instead of having 600, let’s rationalise them. We will start by ensuring 1 per ward is fully functional. We are working making healthcare insurance more effective, once this is completed, we will have more resources to deploy to address this.”

The governor also spoke on increased IGR, closing about 60 bank accounts operated by the last administration, and celebrating his birthday.

“Anywhere you are on Christmas day, please celebrate my birthday. Buy chicken and turkey and celebrate. We will be paying the 13th-month salary for civil/public servants by the 28th of December,” he said to the people.

Makinde turns 52 on December 25, 2019.

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