Faced with current economic realities in Nigeria, the state of Osun has said it has resolved to come up with new strategies that would help it navigate through the financial challenges while sustaining all its development programs.
A communique issued at the end of a three day retreat held in Iloko Ijesa, in Oriade Local Government Area of the state, said the government was compelled to review its programs with a view to executing its various development programs within the context of the ongoing economic crisis in the country.
In the communique signed by the Chief-of-Staff to the Governor, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, participants at the retreat identified the need to reduce the cost of governance, increase internally generated revenues and drive investments to the state as vital to the continued growth of the state.
The communique said the state is on the verge of unveiling what it called “a competent and capable cabinet” which is expected to be identified and inaugurated soon.
It said the in-coming executive council of the state would be expected to work in conjunction with dedicated civil servants of the state for implementation of these plans.
The communique said participants at the retreat recognized the urgent need to put in place clear action plans that would put the state on a good footing among its peers in the country despite the biting economic hardship.
Highlighting the current global economic hardship, the communique added that Osun is not alone in the economic difficulties just as participants noted that the dwindling economic fortune will affect all tiers of government, including their business partners.
The communique stated, “Osun has been at the forefront of innovation in governance and it is one of the few states in the country with commendable development statistics.
“The state has made massive investments in physical and human infrastructure in the last five years. In 2013, Osun had the lowest unemployment rate in the country and the second lowest poverty rate.
“Osun’s Youth Empowerment Model and School Feeding Scheme influenced the World Bank’s YESSO programme and the All Progressives Congress (APC) National School Feeding goal respectively”.
It noted the commitment of the Rauf Aregbesola administration to delivering on its development initiatives to the people of the state, stating that Osun will institutionalise performance-driven governance.
It stated further, “The role of humans in economic development must not be overlooked, so it is important to leverage on the human resources of the state to generate ideas, establish enterprises and create much-needed goods and services.
“If we can get 40 percent of the population to be productive and generate surplus value, we will generate enough revenue to be comfortable. The aim of the Repositioning Osun for Prosperity (ROPE) initiative is to achieve increased IGR by employing creative means to widen taxpayers base and supporting enforcement action”.
It said that the repositioning of the state will reduce the cost of governance by strengthening the state’s public financial management system and ensure compliance with International Public Sector Accounting Standards.
It added that the new era that Osun is entering will increase investments in the state by attracting investors for short to medium term investments in agriculture, tourism, solid minerals, and strengthening the Public Private Partnership framework.
It also identified performance-based governance with the setting up of appropriate mechanisms and frameworks to track performance in Millennium Development Agencies and government policies as benefit of the new initiatives.