Eminent Economist and Founder, Centre for Values in Leadership, Prof. Pat Utomi, has said that Nigeria is in dire need of strong institutions such as those being built in Osun under the administration of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola rather than strong personalities.
This was even as the Governor of the state suggested that engaging the alienated youths as done in Osun will end the scourge of insecurity in the country.
Both Utomi and Aregbesola spoke at the weekend in Ilesa, Osun, southwest Nigeria, at the BusinessWorld Newspaper Award presentation to the Governor as the Most Innovative Nigerian Governor in First Term.
Utomi who was a Guest Speaker at the event observed that what the nation needs are strong institutions and not strong men, saying only a strong institution can provide good governance for the people of the country.
The Don who titled his speech “Innovation in Governance: Regarding Good Government” said until government serves the interest of the common man, it is not a good government.
He pointed out that the kind of government the country need to progress is what Governor Aregbesola is offering the people of the state.
He said Aregbesola’s commitment and excellence in governance is not in doubt as the performance on group bear clear testimony to his focused administration.
According to him, “What Africa and indeed Nigeria need are strong institutions and not strong men. A strong institution has the capacity to provide good governance for the people.
“Lack of strong institution is what is contributing to the stagnation of the nation’s fortune both politically and economically.
“Therefore our country is in bad shape because our leaders are not told the truth they need to know about their performance in government. Government has a primary duty of creating conducive and enabling environment for the realisation of people’s dreams and aspirations.
“Government that fails in this regard has no business being in power and it doesn’t deserve to be honoured to continue in power”.
He described Aregbesola as a leader with strong commitment to serve his people hence the people-oriented and people-centred policies he introduced in the area of education, health, infrastructure development.
He identified the introduction of the innovative e-learning device, “Opon Imo” as solution to poor teacher quality which has hitherto contributed to the slow growth of education, noting that the tablet has thus contributed to rise in enrolment figures in the state as well as eradicating deficiency in teaching method.
“We are impressed in Osun’s Work enough to draw a Delta State development Plan called ‘Aregbe x20’. If there are only two things a Government must do, it will be education and health. This is why I am impressed in what Governor Aregbesola is doing in education in Osun,” he said.
In his own remarks, the Interim National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Chairman of the occasion, Chief Bisi Akande, said that the award actually demonstrated that Aregbesola is one of the best governors in the country.
He noted that the award is not coming as a surprise because the positive transformation of Osun under the administration of Aregbesola is visible for all to see.
According to him, “This award in no way surprises me because you deserve it. I am only waiting to come to Osogbo for the celebration of your victory at the coming August 9 election, your works in the state is a clear testimony that your victory is certain. It is an election which we have won before the contest”.
Earlier in his address, the Chairman of BusinessWorld Newspaper, Mr. Daisi Omidiji, pointed out that a total of 12 states were considered in the innovation Award Initiative, two states in each of the six geo-political zones of the country were closely examined over a period of three months.
Omidiji added that it was from this effort that the State of Osun emerged as the overall winner, saying some of the factors that enhanced the decision was the turn-around projects embarked upon by the governor.
“We came to this conclusion because of the turn-around projects embarked upon by the Aregbesola administration which represents a tremendous improvement on what he met on ground about four years ago,” the chairman of the newspaper said.
In his appreciation remarks, Governor Aregbesola charged people in authority to create jobs for youths, saying this is the only sure way of ending insurgency and terrorism currently unleashed on the nation by Boko Haram.
The Governor said power is meaningful only when it is used to change the life of the people, adding that power is nothing but responsibility.
In his words, “A sure way out of our national instability is the provision of jobs to the youths along the OYES scheme in Osun.
“Engaging the alienated youths as we did in Osun will end the insecurity and terror unleashed on the nation by Boko Haram.
“This is why we made education our number one priority in the state as this is our passport to that secured future”. The governor pointed out.
He commended Businessworld for its careful monitoring of his administration’s people-oriented and people-centred policies and programmes.
Aregbesola added that the award will serve as elixir for his government to do more for the people of his state.