Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, said on Friday that the vision of his administration is to make Oyo state the fastest growing economy in Nigeria within a short while.
The Governor, who stated this while addressing a two-day retreat for members of his executive council and senior aides , said that to achieve this end, his administration would leverage on agriculture value chain among others.
A statement by the Chief Press Secrwtary to the Governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa quoted the Governor as telling members of his cabinet at the retreat with the theme: "Taking Oyo State from Poverty to Prosperity (P2P)," held at the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, that his government was looking towards resounding successes in the four key pillars of the administration.
The statement named the four pillars of the government as including Health, Education, Security and Economic expansion through Agricultural value chain.
The statement further quoted the Governor as saying that he was aware of the magnitude of the responsibility bestowed on him and that he could not let the people of Oyo State down.
He promised to deliver on the vision he has for the state.
The Governor said: "Today, I have another chance to share my vision with you. With the number of times I have had to repeat this vision, I would not forget it even if I wanted to.
"And so today, I am going to be talking about the roadmap to prosperity in Oyo State.
“I have chosen to keep in clear focus, the four pillars of development upon which we are building the prosperity of Oyo State: the Economy, Education, Healthcare and Security. Permit me to restate my visions for these areas and to share with you what we have done so far to make these visions a reality. Indeed, visions exist in the realm of imagination. In keying into a vision, we are hoping that what we imagined will come to reality. "This is why in expressing visions, people often ask: What will success look like?"
Governor Makinde stated that successes in the four key areas of his administration would include making the Oyo State economy the fastest growing in the country; delivery of qualitative education that equip students for life after school; and making Oyo State safer and promoting qualitative healthcare delivery service.
“My vision is to make Oyo State the fastest growing economy in Nigeria. To achieve this end, we have to create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive. That is why one of the two Executive Bills we have so far, transmitted to the Oyo State House of Assembly is the Oyo State Investment Promotion Agency Bill. The bill is to initiate, promote and facilitate investments in the state.
“Policies alone cannot drive growth; we need to decide where to direct investment that will stimulate growth. Therefore, one of the sectors we will be leveraging is agriculture. I’m happy our Commissioner for Agriculture, Honourable Muyiwa Jacob Ojekunle, understands this vision and has made it his own. Already, we have entered into a public-private partnership (PPP) arrangement with agritech company, Farmcrowdy to commence a three-year plan working with 50,000 farmers to boost agribusiness in Oyo State.
“We have inaugurated and received economic reports from Oyo Ile Investors’ Forum, a non-governmental organisation. Our Commissioner for Commerce, Adeniyi Adebisi, is going through their recommendations, and the next steps are the implementation of the recommendations advised by the Forum. I must add that their recommendations are targeted towards growth. We agree that focusing on job creation, the integration of women into the real sector, taking practical steps towards increasing tax revenue and identification of potential investment opportunities will drive the economic development of Oyo State.
“Instead of increasing taxes, we will use technology and positive messages to get more people in the informal sectors to pay their taxes. When people see taxes used for their benefit, they are incentivised to pay,” the Governor said.
The Governor added that he was prepared to deliver on his vision for the state and bring about successes in the key sectors, saying: “Visions are spiritual, and they require mindfulness for a person to see them through. As our elders say, a dog does not eat the bone which is hung on its neck. In all my reflections, I remain keenly aware of the magnitude of the responsibility that has been bestowed upon me. I cannot let the people of Oyo State down. So I must take care of this “bone” you have hung around my neck. I will deliver this vision.”
Speaking shortly after Governor Makinde’s presentation, the chairperson of First Bank of Nigeria, Dr Mrs. Ibukun Awosika, in a presentation entitled Accelerated Development, urged government functionaries in the state to be real change makers, noting that they could make or destroy whatever the government was trying to achieve in transforming the state.
Earlier, the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs. Olubamiwo Adeosun, while opening the retreat, said the gathering, which had in attendance, Governor Makinde and his wife, Tamunomini; the Deputy Governor, Engr. Rauf Olaniyan and his wife; the Head of Service, Mrs. Amidat Agboola; the Chief of Staff, Chief Oyebisi Ilaka, commissioners, Special Advisers and Executive Assistants to the Governor, was to discuss how to achieve the roadmap for accelerated development of Oyo state as set out by the Governor.
She said that the essence of the retreat was also to find ways of taking Oyo State from poverty to prosperity( P2P).
She urged the participants to contribute meaningfully on how to achieve the target goals.