Amosun presents Budget 2013 to the Ogun State House of Assembly
Amosun presents Budget 2013 to the Ogun State House of Assembly
ADDRESS DELIVERED BY THE GOVERNOR OF OGUN STATE, HIS EXCELLENCY, SENATOR IBIKUNLE AMOSUN FCA, ON THE SECOND ANNIVERSARY OF HIS ADMINISTRATION, HELD ON WEDNESDAY, 29TH MAY, 2013.
My dear good people of Ogun State, today makes it the 730th day since I swore to an oath to serve as the Governor of our State. First, we thank Almighty Allah for keeping and helping us in fulfilling our promises in the past two years. It seems like yesterday, but today, we have reached the half time of our four year mandate. On that note, l congratulate the entire good people of Ogun State for the celebration of yet another anniversary of our mandate. As usual, I feel obliged to render account of our stewardship to you all.
2. In these past two years, we have met challenges, we have also recorded successes. Just as we have created numerous opportunities for collective and individual development. You will agree with me that we have continued to achieve great strides in all areas of the 5-Cardinal Programme of our Mission to Rebuild Ogun State. These successes are attributed to God’s mercy and favour. Also importantly, they are results of the support and co-operation we have continued to receive from the good people of Ogun State. Our people have taken all in good faith, the challenges associated with the rebuilding process going on in the State. Some have had to lose lands, houses, shops, places of worship, and even homesteads. My dear good people of Ogun State, these are sacrifices we have to make not only for ourselves and our generation but to create a solid foundation for generations yet unborn. We as government and I as a person will not take these sacrifices for granted. We will continue to work hard to ensure we deliver all the projects on time even as we will take measures to ameliorate the attendant and associated inconveniences.
3. I must also state that we have been particularly thrilled by the enthusiasm of our people in embracing the on-going development process. We appreciate your understanding, patience and co-operation. What is particularly amazing is the fact that some of our people have also come forward to put up their properties as sacrifice for the on-going development. We are also excited by the support shown by our people to those whose properties are affected by the demolition exercise, heralding the construction of new roads. Some have had to provide shelter for displaced families while some have had to provide space for displaced traders. We have all shown our customary support to each other as the development process progresses. On our part, we appreciate the fact that no amount of monetary compensation can compare to the sacrifices you have all made. To all of you, we are eternally grateful and we say a big thank you.
4. This Government is all about you and you have demonstrated the fact that all of us in Ogun State are ready and, together, we will continue to march into the new frontier.
5. Fellow citizens of Ogun State, much more than the celebration of our second anniversary, it is also an opportunity for us to look back into the last two years and take stock. This will help us to map out new and better strategies for the future. Only last year, on the same occasion, l gave you a score-card of our first year in office. As trustee of your mandate, I therefore deem it proper that we return to give you a progress report of what we have done and achieved so far.
6. I will not want to be-labour you with our achievements within the first year in office. But you will agree with me that since the last anniversary celebration, further developments have taken place. Our dear State has witnessed a lot of transformation in all facets of its socio-economic life.
7. What we have continued to do is to demonstrate commitment and persistence in our approaches. In all the broad areas of our 5-Cardinal Programme, we continue to work on the structure, the system, organization, people and, most important, to allocate fund within available resources.
8. For instance, towards the fulfilment of our Affordable Qualitative Education Programme, we adopted the following approaches: Free education to all Public Primary and Secondary Schools with abolition of tuition fees and all forms of levies. We allocated between 22 and 25% of our annual budget consistently to education in line with UNESCO’s recommendation; N3.2 billion was expended on the purchase of free textbooks, exercise books and other instructional material distributed to all Public Primary and Secondary School Students. We also invested N120m on Bursary, Scholarship and grants to 10, 770 students of Ogun State Origin ranging from N100,000 paid to students in the Law School to N10,000 each to pupils with special needs in primary schools. A total sum of N5.44b was paid as monthly subvention to all our State owned Tertiary Institutions since 2011 till date. In addition, a sum of N112m was spent to offset the 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 Junior School Certificate Examination fees. We paid Registration and Science Practical Fees for NABTEB (NTC/NBC) Examination for students of Government Science and Technical Colleges; and disbursed running cost / grant for 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 academic sessions to our Public primary and Secondary Schools as and when due. Some other initiatives which we have undertaken to ensure qualitative and affordable education are: Payment of N1.1billion as WASC Examination fees for all final year students in Public Secondary Schools since 2011 till date; Introduction and underwriting of cost of Unified Terminal Examination; development of Education Data Base and Portal. We have also produced Identity Cards free of charge for Public Primary and Secondary Schools and Technical Colleges Students; Reduced school fees payable in State-owned Tertiary Institutions; and Paid End-of-Course Examination fees for all final year students in Public Science and Technical Colleges from 2011 till date. The construction of 15 of the proposed 28 model colleges spread all over the 20 Local Government Areas in the State is on-going and we want to ensure that they are ready to admit students in the next academic session beginning next September.
9. Our good people of Ogun State, we must thank God again because, all our efforts have continued to yield positive and grand results In all our schools. Total enrolment in our Government-owned Primary and Secondary schools for the 2010/2011 and 2012/2013 academic sessions indicates that the figure increased from 728,146 to 893,917, an increase of 165,771 or 18.54%. The breakdown is as follows: Primary enrolment increased from 406,897 to 506,002, meaning we have provided education opportunities to additional 99,105, a 19.58% increase, and Junior Secondary now has additional 38,796 (18.16%), up from 174,820 in 2011 to 213,616. The figure in the Senior Secondary School follows the same trend. We now have 174,299 students as against 146,737 or an increase of 27,562 or 15.81%. The increase in enrolment is also accompanied with a positive increase in the achievements of our students in Public examinations. In 2010, 11.4% of the total number of students presented for SSCE made five credits including English and Mathematics. That rose to 18.3% in 2011, 19% in 2012, and we expect that it will continue to rise from year to year. This means more of our students will be eligible for tertiary education. With this development, we are building a solid foundation for the production of high calibre manpower needed for the socio-economic development and industrialization of this great State. Our intervention is not limited to primary and secondary schools, let me remind you that between last year and now, we have cleared all the backlog of about 46,000 graduands of Olabisi Onabanjo University who graduated over eight years and could not have their convocation. The University itself is under-going comprehensive reforms which will make it the best in the country.
10. In our Health Sector, we continue to renovate existing Health Institutions, while we build new ones. We have shown more concentration in the area of preventive medi-care. Towards this end, we ensured that all our health facilities are provided with necessary equipment and drugs, while the personnel continue to undergo training and re-training. We have concentrated on re-building and equipping our primary health-care centres because they are the closest to majority of our people. 100 of them have so far been renovated. We are building new medium level hospitals. We have just completed the first one which will serve as model in Abeokuta and this will be replicated in all the nine Federal constituencies. A few weeks ago, we took delivery of medical equipment worth $2 Million (USD) and we have started installing them in our public health facilities. To address the deficit in manpower in the health sector, we have recently employed additional 780 medical workers.
11. Our story has also been that of positive development in the impact analysis of our health sector reform. Today, 89.9% of our pregnant women now attend ante-natal clinic. This is an increase from the past years. Our child mortality rate has fallen from 21 in every 1,000 (21/1000) in 2011 to 14 in every 1,000 (14/1000) in 2012. This is a 33.3% decrease from the trend before the commencement of our Administration. From 617 cases of confirmed measles in 2011, we recorded a drop to 431 in 2012, which represents a 30% decrease. Waterborne diseases such as Guinea-worm, and others like Polio have zero reporting rate, while others like diarrhoea, pneumonia and hypertension continue to report percentage decrease in their disease burden. This is an indication that our people are healthier.
12. The fulcrum on which the Mission to Rebuild our dear State rests is Agriculture. It offers opportunities for wealth creation for our citizens, mass employment, stem rural-urban migration, enhance the quality of life in our rural areas and industrialisation of our state through the value chains. Our Agricultural Development Programme has, therefore, received a boost. The approach in this sector is to ensure sustainable development which include: resuscitation of our farm settlement scheme with the commencement of a Model Farm Estate in Owowo in Ewekoro Local Government. Provisions have also been made for the replication of similar projects in the other two Senatorial Districts of the State; Rehabilitation of three (3) government owned fish farms located at Ilaro, Odeda and Ikenne has been completed. Presently, fish production activities on these farms have commenced. We have also rehabilitated the State Government Central Feed depot at Kotopo. The essence of this is to stabilize the cost of livestock feeds in the market. We have also disbursed agricultural loans to over a thousand farmers in the State under the Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme. This is in addition to the procurement of sets of Agricultural implement and equipment which include: 4 CAT bulldozers; 30 MF 275 Xtra tractors; 33 Baldan Disc Ploughs; 15 Baldan Disc Harrows; 2 Baldan Rotary Slashers; and, 2 Baldan 4 Row–Planters. In order to ensure that these equipment are easily accessible to our farmers, we give a ten percent (10%) subsidy on the hiring rate.
13. I am happy to report that Ogun State is now the industrial hub of the nation, with the largest number of industries, and a preferred choice destination for investment. Our investment drives have started yielding benefits. Today, Ogun State is not only open for business, it is in business. It is no gain saying that our State records the highest number of Presidential visits, not to settle rifts or for crisis management, but, for economic gains, that is, commissioning of manufacturing industries. Since we began our investment drive, 123 reputable companies have shown their readiness to locate their manufacturing outfits in our State. Out of this number, 32 are already on ground at different levels of operation, while 27 have fully commenced operations. What is more appealing is the fact that we have continued to receive support from different local and international agencies for the promotion of our industrialization programme. Prominent are the Bank of Industry (BOI), the German Technical Cooperation (GIZ), UNICEF, WHO, and World Bank which recently endorsed our Public Finance Account System. The German Technical Cooperation (GIZ) has chosen our State as a focal State and sited its office in Abeokuta. Our operational systems have regained the confidence and endorsement of our development partners, donor agencies, and other international institutions.
14. A major enabler of enhanced standard of living for our people is provision of affordable and decent shelter and conducive environment. This is not just a key element of our 5-Cardinal Programme but it will also enable us leverage on our proximity to Lagos, the commercial capital of the country. Our border towns provide shelter for those that the limited housing opportunities in Lagos could not accommodate. However, we know that there is need to ensure orderly development to avoid creating shanties and slums. Therefore, our Housing and Urban Renewal effort is receiving intense focus. We have initiated projects in all areas of the sector that will begin to manifest shortly, ranging from development of housing estates, opening up of areas to spur economic development to planning of large regional City Centres and towns. For instance, four new housing estates (Abeokuta, Ijebu-Ode GRA extension, Agbara and Sagamu) are underway. To fast-track the development of the new estates and other housing projects as well as to provide a legal framework to give investors comfort, a new agency, New Towns Development Authority is being created. The bill is currently under consideration by the State House of Assembly.
15. We are determined to ensure that our major towns wear new look befitting of modern cities. This informed the recent creation of the Ministry of Physical Planning to work with other related government agencies to ensure compliance with building and town planning regulations. These efforts have started manifesting in clearing of slums and shanties along Lagos – Ibadan expressway and other such locations.
16. There has been noticeable difference in the level of cleanliness of our major cities and towns. We matched our desire for a sustainable environment with the required investments in equipment for waste collection and disposal, manpower, and enforcement mechanism. Mobile courts have been introduced to try environmental law offenders and we have embarked on education and enlightenment of our people, to create the necessary awareness on the need to preserve our environment. Very soon, Environmental Marshalls will be inaugurated.
17. Land is very central to any development effort. The Bureau of Lands and Survey has, therefore, been restructured to make it more efficient with transparent and accountable operations. We are about completing the implementation of the Geographic Information System (GIS) with full automation of Land Administration. This will pave way for the mapping of the entire State, facilitating easier access to land for local and foreign investors..
18. Certainly, one area that is very obvious to the residents and visitors is the Rural and Infrastructural Development Programme. This is because of the visible nature of the work being done. As I speak, there are construction projects going on in every Senatorial District of our State. We are either building schools or health facilities. If we are not rehabilitating old roads, we are constructing new ones. Indeed, Ogun State is being correctly described as a huge construction site.
19. In this sector, over 400km of rural roads have been opened up in the 20 Local Government Areas of our State. This is in addition to our major road projects. We have already completed the six-lane Ita-Eko-Sokori-Totoro road and Grade Separation (Flyover) Bridge at Ibara Roundabout, Abeokuta, which is the first of its kind by any Administration in Ogun State. That road and the flyover signpost what we now refer to as the Ogun Standard, which is the prototype of its kinds, spread all over the State. It is also our belief that our “Ogun Standard” roads will be a reference and measurement of the quality of work done elsewhere in the country and beyond.
20. The following are on-going projects: Sagamu / Benin Express Junction-Oba Erinwole Junction; Ilishan / Ago-Iwoye road; Moshood Abiola Way; OGTV–Brewery road; Ilara/Ijoun/Egua/Oja Odan/Ilase road; Ilo /Awela; Mobalufon – Ejinrin Road; Ojere-Asero; Abiola Way-Muda Lawal Stadium; Magboro road; Moriamo – Olorombo; Lafenwa-Ayetoro; Ofada/Mowe/Ibafo Road; and Construction of flyover at Lagos Garage along Folagbade Street and Mobalufon junction along the Sagamu – Benin Expressway. All these are in addition to the various other roads and bridges being constructed / rehabilitated through direct labour. The numerous construction works have generated thousands of jobs for professionals, artisans, suppliers, food vendors and other related workers.
21. All our programmes from Agriculture to Industrialisation and Infrastructural development are deliberately targeted towards providing gainful employment to residents and boosting the local economy. It is also our belief that as more of our people are gainfully employed, our society will be rid of criminals. As a matter of fact, security is not only an issue of guns and bullets. It is also a situation of economic initiatives. It is for this reason that we have embarked on these inter-related approaches to provide employment to our people.
22. To date, we have directly employed 12,504 people into the Public Service as Civil-Servants, Teachers, Medical Workers, Staff of the Inland Revenue Service, Sports Council and as Junior Staff. Also, additional 31,509 people have benefitted from different forms of empowerment programme aimed at creating new entrepreneurs in our State. Furthermore, members of 435 Commodity Groups, Community Development Councils, Co-operative Societies and Community Associations benefitted from soft loans and empowerment schemes aimed at enhancing their businesses. The direct employment and empowerment schemes form the twin approach in realising our Employment Generation Programme.
23. In order to adequately cater for our rural dwellers, we upgraded the former Bureau of Water Resources and Rural Development to a full-fledged Ministry of Rural Development. Through the activities of this Ministry, we have been able to complete the construction of solar-powered borehole water scheme in rural communities spread all over the three (3) Senatorial Districts. Motorised boreholes were also provided in some areas in the State while inter-township electric connection of ITC (HT lines) of 3.55km from Ogun to Lagos was carried out at Ode-Omi, Water-Side Local Government. We also distributed electric 500 Nos. transformers with the aim of achieving multiple objectives. First, to provide an avenue to bring electricity where there was none and to help boost available electricity in other places. We intend to use it to promote investment and industrial development in different parts of our State. We believe this will provide and promote the ambience needed for the development of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in connection with our Administration’s empowerment programme.
24. Another area where we have continued to expend energy and funds is in Security. Despite the fact that the Security Agencies belong to the Federal Government, we have continued to expend funds and other resources in order to ensure security of lives and properties of our people. As part of our effort in this direction, our Administration purchased and released 13 State-of-the-Art Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs), 200 Security Patrol Vans fitted with security and communication gadgets and other security implements. We also set up a joint Military-Police Task Force-OPERATION MESA, which got the approval and backing of the Federal Government, leading to the release of an additional detachment of Mobile Police Officers in addition to soldiers to beef up the manpower. This is in addition to setting up of the Ogun State Security Trust Fund which is saddled with the responsibility of assisting the Government to raise fund to combat crime.
25. In all these, we appreciate the fact that though it is our duty to formulate policies, but there is another segment of the population that will drive it, and that is the Public Service. Apart from our direct employment into the Public Service to inject fresh hands and energy, we also ensured capacity development of our Public Service through various local and international training and re-training programmes. It is on record that for the past two years, the State Public Service has experienced tremendous and significant improvement in the area of productivity, efficiency and professionalism.
26. In fact, l must place on record that the Ogun State Public Service has continued to be a strong pillar of support and a major stakeholder that has contributed immensely to the successes we have recorded in the last two years. If you like, you may say that the improved efficiency and proficiency are major achievements of our Administration that have continued to rub off on other aspects of socio-economic development in our State.
27. However, as Government and as a people, we must appreciate the fact that all the successes we have recorded are results of our joint resolve to walk this path hand- in-hand to greatness and glory. It is, therefore, important that the good People of Ogun State continue to support us, pray for us, and come up with improved and workable recommendations through which we can take our dear State to the desired heights in order to fulfil the dreams of our founding fathers.
28. Our good people of Ogun State, we must remain undaunted in our resolve to move Ogun State forward in the face of all challenges. It is also important that we realize that whatever inconvenience we go through now in the course of fast- tracking our development efforts and the fulfilment of the Mission to Rebuild our dear State are just temporary. All these inconveniences will eventually turn to gain for all and sundry. I, therefore, appeal to all our people, whose properties and businesses are affected by this development projects, that these sacrifices are not just for ourselves but to provide a solid foundation for generations yet unborn. I have no doubt in my mind that when the history of this State is written, our names will be written in gold. We must also take ownership of all these projects that we have put in place. Our people must protect and guard them as we do our most valuable assets.
29. I want to use this medium to thank the Principal Officers and Members of the other arms of government- the Legislature and Judiciary. You have all demonstrated the needed commitment and dedication to the development of our State. Even within the purview of separation of powers, you have shown that the three arms of government can independently inter-relate for the collective good of our State and improving the lives of our people. I thank you.
30. The same level of appreciation is what I extend to my Team in the Executive arm, both political office holders and career officers, all of whom we have travelled this path together. You have all shown resilience and commitment to the purpose and pledge that we made to our people.
31. It is also important that we remind ourselves that in spite of the level of the successes we have recorded, our dear State is still a work-in-progress. Therefore, as we continue in our journey, we may have to re-align our strategies in order to meet the realities of the current circumstances. We must, therefore, continue to join hands in whatever position we find ourselves for the good of our State and for the improvement in the lives of our people.
32. I must not forget members of the Press, Civil Societies, Labour Unions and all other stakeholders for the positive roles you have all continued to play in the fulfilment of our Mission to Re-build Ogun State. Finally, let me thank our Royal Fathers, Elders, Clerics, and Opinion Moulders for your support and cooperation.
33. As an Administration, let me reiterate our commitment to the fulfilment of our electoral promises. We know that Government is all about the people, and we shall continue to hold your interest at heart.
34. Once again, l thank the good people of Ogun State. I congratulate all our people as we join hands to celebrate the second year in office. May we continue to celebrate more as our State progresses in this continuous rise to glory.
Long Live Ogun State!
Long Live Federal Republic of Nigeria!
35. I thank you all for listening and God bless.
Omo Ogun, Ise ya
Senator Ibikunle Amosun FCA
Governor of Ogun State, Nigeria
Wednesday, 29th May, 2013.