The greatest cynic of the John Kayode Fayemi administration in Ekiti state would no doubt be shocked and stupefied by the massive transformation that had taken place in the state within just three and half years of the inception of the administration.
When he took over the mantle of leadership in Ekiti State on October 16, 2014, only his die-hard supporters nursed any hope of success because the state of economy was in comatose, social services were in deficit and infrastructure decay was frightening, and more importantly, the civil service which is the engine room of the government, was in a state of disarray and despondency.
Fayemi inherited a debt of N42 billion and many abandoned projects from his predecessor. The state ran on a paltry N109 million in internally generated revenue and N2.5billion monthly allocation from the Federation Account out of which N2 billion is expended on salaries and allowances.
With this situation, the Governor could practically achieve no tangible development with the meager resources from the Federation Account. This situation called for concerted efforts prompting Dr Fayemi to approach the capital market to source fund to tackle the infrastructure deficit which involved massive rehabilitation/reconstruction of both inter-and intra-township roads; unprecedented in the history of Ekiti State, suffice to that motorists and commuters now enjoy smooth journey to their various destinations in the state. This has endeared the administration to the people.
Firstly, the implementation of his eight-point agenda has assisted him in transforming Ekiti from a purely civil service state to industrialized one and that has opened up fresh vista for the turnaround of the state’s economy. Secondly, one good aspect of the Fayemi leadership is that he took the option of continuity deciding to complete the projects started by his predecessor, Engineer Segun Oni and this singular disposition saved the state a lot of funds.
The proceeds from the capital market were expended on the execution of legacy projects including the Funmi Olayinka Civic Centre, complete with museum, library and cinema; and state pavilion that would generate revenue for the state. The Ire Burnt Bricks Industry which has been moribund for over two decades was resuscitated and apart from the fact that it would generate revenue for the state it would also provide jobs for Ekiti youths.
Another legacy project is the new Government House which is nearing completion; a magnificent edifice and a beauty to behold. It would add to the aesthetic outlook of the state capital. As a matter of fact Ado Ekiti now wears the look befitting its status as a state capital.
Governor Fayemi embarked on verification exercise to ensure wage bill control; sanitation exercise of the local government and deploying NCE, degree holders in Education to the Universal Basic Education Board and the Teaching Service Commission where they would be relevant.
He took measures seemingly unpopular among the people such as fishing out ghost workers and lifting the standard of teachers so as to better the lot of students who are at the receiving end of shoddy performance of incompetent teachers.
Even though these exercise were seen as unpopular among the people as they were viewed unpolitical, however these actions portrayed the governor as a sincere leader who does not want to tolerate such situation for the sake of political expediency. An insincere governor would have waited for second term before taking such far reaching measures that could affect his re-election. Kudos to Governor Fayemi for proving his sincerity and honesty of purpose to Ekiti people.
Apart from giving laptop computers to students to enhance their knowledge of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), the education landscape in Ekiti State is adorned with beautiful school structures; the result of massive school renovation carried out by the Fayemi administration. The scale and scope of renovation is the first of its kind in the state.
In another trait blazing effort, Governor Fayemi introduced social security scheme for the aged who receive a monthly stipend of N5, 000 and this has greatly assuaged the suffering of the aged. He ensured participatory governance through regular interaction with the people to feel their pulse on actions or inactions of the government. This is done through town hall meetings with the various communities to get the people’s input in government policies and particularly, annual budget.
Under the Fayemi administration, the intractable problems of Ikogosi Warm Spring Resort had been solved and the place has been developed to international tourism standard. The resort has been attracting a lot of patronage from across the globe since while other tourist centres in the state are being developed.
Fayemi has earned the trust of the people by his performance and disposition to the welfare of Ekiti people, who have confidence in his ability and sincerity. He has been tested and proved and the people cannot afford to gamble with their destiny and those of generations to yet unborn.
The Governor’s wife, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, the Yeye Ajiseye of Ado Ekiti has brought to the front burner and championed issues of the girl child, and women emancipation. She ensured that all were given legal muscle by the state House of Assembly.
Ekiti Development Foundation (EDF), her brainchild, has empowered a lot of women through provision of loans. Market women associations got donation of buses while women received due recognition. It has never been this good for Ekiti women.
Governor Fayemi should be acknowledged as a pace setter who should be allowed to continue with his mission of transforming Ekiti and the people will be the better for it.
SODEINDE writes in from Ado Ekiti.