NEW YEAR BROADCAST DELIVERED BY THE GOVERNOR OF OGUN STATE, HIS EXCELLENCY, SENATOR IBIKUNLE AMOSUN CON, FCA, ON MONDAY 1ST JANUARY, 2018.
My dear good people of Ogun State, on behalf of your Government, I congratulate you on witnessing the beginning of another New Year. We thank and glorify God Almighty for seeing us through the year 2017. My prayer is that the Year 2018 will bring unrivalled development to our dear State and usher in good tidings for all of us.
2. Despite the challenges of the previous year, we are greatly encouraged by the signs of economic recovery that we can see in our nation, and indeed in our State. This was confirmed by data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) that indicates that Nigeria exited recession in the second quarter of 2017. As the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari,GCFR succinctly put it, “we will not relent in our efforts until the effect (of the exit of the recession) is felt in the lives of all Nigerians”.
3. I cannot, but thank the good People of Ogun State for their tremendous support that has contributed to the numerous achievements recorded by our administration over the past six and a half years. You are all indeed invaluable partners in progress, and this has manifested in the successes we have recorded in our State’s economic development.
4. My dear good people of Ogun State, by the special grace of God, the New Year will surely bring us accelerated development. The “Mission to Rebuild” Ogun State continues to gather momentum, and is yielding bountiful results across our State. As a trustee of your mandate, let me assure you of our unwavering commitment and unalloyed dedication to the successful accomplishment of our “Mission”. We will not relent in our efforts to ensure that we make a positive, inclusive, and lasting impact on the lives of our people.
5. To achieve this, the consolidation of the rebuilding mission of our dear State will be vigorously pursued this year, so as to ensure completion of all on-going projects. No doubt, these projects and the developmental strides have made our State to rise to the top tier, among the comity of States, and made us the pride of our citizens, both at home and in the diaspora. Even, our most ardent critics have come to the conclusion that Ogun State has carved a niche of excellence for itself in the delivery of good governance to our people with the stamp of “Ogun Standard” proudly imprinted on all that we do.
6. As the education capital of Nigeria, our dear State continues to blaze the trail. In May 2017, we successfully hosted a well-attended Education Summit in Abeokuta, which drew participation from domestic and international stakeholder groups. A 29-point communiqué was issued, which among others emphasized the need for increased investment in technical and vocational training, and I am happy to report that the implementation of the resolutions of the summit is already yielding positive results. Prominent amongst these is our collaboration with Samsung Heavy Industries of Korea (SHIK), resulting in the creation of the Ogun State Technical Institute at Idi-Aba, Abeokuta. This institution, previously and popularly known as Government Technical College, (a.k.a. Olobe), Idi-Aba offers courses in specialist areas of welding, electricals and spray-painting, with a bias towards the marine industry. In addition, we have ceded the Model College at Onijanganjangan for technical skills training, which will exclusively focus on Mechatronics and automobile engineering taking advantage of its proximity to our ultramodern mechanic village.
7. In the outgone year, the former Moshood Abiola Polytechnic was converted to a University; the Moshood Abiola University of Science and Technology (MAUSTECH), while a new Polytechnic, named Ogun State Polytechnic, has been established in Ipokia. Construction is already on-going at the permanent site of the Polytechnic, in Ipokia, and the pace of work at the site was recently commended by the members of the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), who were on an inspection visit to the Polytechnic. While MAUSTECH received the recognition of the National Universities Commission (NUC), the Ogun State Polytechnic has received accreditation by the NBTE, and both institutions will welcome their foundation set of students this year. It is our expectations that these institutions will blaze the trail for never-before offered science and technology programs, including but not limited to artificial intelligence and digital sciences. Let me therefore assure the good people of Ogun State that what seems to be the teething challenges, most especially as it relates to the staff and students, are currently being addressed, and our dear State will be the better for it.
8. My dear good people of Ogun State, in the health sector, we believe that prevention is always better than cure. The recent outbreaks of communicable diseases such as monkey pox and lassa fever have shown that our preventive measures are effective, as we did not record a single case in Ogun State. Despite the risks posed by our international borders, we commend the professionalism and commitment of our health personnel, and the cooperation of all our people for these positive outcomes. We should continue to be on guard by observing personal and general hygiene at all times, and respond to advice of medical experts. We have been more proactive and this has allowed us to make significant strides in ensuring the well-being of our people. Among others, we expanded and re-launched the Community based Health Insurance Scheme, tagged “Araya”, across the 20 LGAs and 37 LCDAs and have continued to provide free health care for pregnant women, children under 5 and the elderly.
9. In the same vein, economically-disadvantaged women who register for Araya are also eligible for our “Gbomoro” Programme. Pregnant women receive a transport allowance when they visit antenatal clinics and they receive further allowances as well as MAMA kits when they give birth in Government-owned health facilities. This Scheme has already made a significant contribution to safe deliveries among this disadvantaged group of women. As a result, our women are four (4) times safer during child-birth in Ogun State, compared to the national average. Our child mortality rate is also 5 times better than the national average.
10. Other interventions include our focus on healthcare workers and upgrading of PHCs and hospitals that have continued to have positive impacts on maternal and new-borns health, with an increased rate of attendance at antenatal clinics and of deliveries, by skilled birth attendants. In 2018, our people should look forward to more interventions to ensure their well-being and sound health.
COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY
11. In the Manufacturing Sector, Ogun State has continued to live up to its billing as the investment destination of choice. In the 2014-2016 collated data of the Manufacturing Association of Nigeria (MAN) for newly created manufacturing investment established in the country, Ogun State alone attracted 70% share of the total foreign direct and local investments in Nigeria. Our investment portfolio as a State is over 140 new industries, some of which have individually invested between a minimum of $200million and in excess of $2billion in the last six and half years. This has continued to create direct and indirect jobs for our people.
12. The year 2017 has seen many new industries coming on board, ranging from the manufacturing of household materials to security equipment to automobiles, not only to complement our Administration in our developmental strides but also to continue to leverage on the comparative advantage that our dear State offers. In the coming year, our Administration will continue to provide an enabling environment for investment to thrive in the State, and also strengthen our One-Stop-Shop centre. It is our belief that the various interventions and integrated approaches in other sectors, especially, infrastructure, energy, rail and airport, will further enhance the Ease of Doing Business in our State, and thereby attract more investors.
INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT AND URBAN RENEWAL
13. In keeping with our Administration’s mission to rebuild Ogun State, the following constructions were undertaken in 2017:
Construction of 357.11km of brand new Ogun Standard roads;
Rehabilitation of 3,125km of Roads throughout the three Senatorial Districts;
A total of 16 Fly-Over Bridges to resolve traffic conflicts on the Ogun Standard Roads were constructed in the Three Senatorial Districts; and
A total of 13 Bridges were constructed over various rivers in the Three Senatorial Districts of the State, while several others are on-going in the State.
14. With these significant achievements, we must also be ready to cater for the increased population arising from the influx of people, who are coming to benefit from the several advantages that our dear State offers. It, therefore, means that there will be an increasing demand for infrastructure and other Government services. This implies that, while we continue to put in place legacy projects, we will continue to transform the socio-economic landscape of our dear State; we remain unwaveringly committed to maintaining our position as the industrial hub and the education capital of Nigeria.
15. My dear good people of Ogun State, as I said at the commencement of our Administration, our plan was to put in place world class amenities and infrastructure, that will not only enhance the quality of life of our people, but will also attract investors to the State. For this reason, the following projects, amongst others, have been earmarked for 2018:
Construction of an additional 100km of brand new Ogun Standard roads;
Rehabilitation and maintenance of additional 5,000km of Roads across the State;
Construction of 25 Ogun Standard Semi-Urban Roads spanning a total distance of 293.34km throughout the State; and
Construction of another 171 Ogun Standard Rural Feeder Roads spanning 1,283km in all the 20 Local Government Areas and 37 Local Council Development Areas in the State.
16. As these roads and flyovers are meeting the immediate and future needs of our people, we believe that it will further enhance the unfolding industrial revolution in our dear State. In the same vein, our Administration has constructed and commissioned new ultra-modern shopping malls in the State capital. More of these shopping malls are to be replicated in other urban areas and cities across the three senatorial districts in our dear State this year.
17. With the increasing population of our State, we need a means of transportation that will accelerate the movement of goods, people and services in large quantities. We believe that an inter-modal transportation network is essential for maximizing economic growth. The development of strategically-placed railways and an airport is integral to Ogun State’s development plans. Already, plans have reached an advanced stage for the construction of our Light-Rail. The first phase of the Ogun Light Rail Network is approximately 102.3km and consists of two lines:
Abeokuta (Panseke) – Sagamu Interchange – Sagamu Town (49.8 km)
Ogere Town – Sagamu Interchange – Berger (52.5km).
18. Additionally, the Federal Government has committed funds in the 2018 budget for the development of an airport at Wasinmi in Ogun Central Senatorial District, and land-clearing work at the site has already begun. This strategically located international airport will be used for passenger and cargo transportation, serving as an alternative to Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos. The airport will strengthen our State’s position as an inter-modal logistics hub for the West African sub-region, promoting commercial activities around the State. It will support our aspirations to be an exporter of high value agricultural produce, enhance our State as a recreation and leisure destination, and allow us to offer greater flexibility to private investors across Nigeria and beyond.
ENERGY AND WATER
19. We are also aware that there is an increasing need for energy to support the allocation of electricity from the national grid, and to meet the energy demands of our industrial growth. It is for this reason that our Administration has conceived and developed the Lisabi Power Plant at Onijanganjangan while we are currently engaging other investors to build additional power plants across the State. In 2018, these power plants will come online to further boost energy supply across our dear State, and will definitely improve our water distribution network. We are also collaborating with the French Development Agency (AFD) to reconstruct the barrage at Arakanga, Abeokuta. We are equally working in partnership with the Federal Government to revive the abandoned Ota water project.
20. Let me use this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR for outlining a strong and consistent vision for agriculture in Nigeria. His articulation of this vision – “of a country that grows what it eats and produces what it consumes” – and his commitment to walking the talk has inspired, guided and energized the entire country. In line with the national policy on self-sufficiency and reducing the over dependence of our national economy on crude oil earnings, we embarked on a revolutionary Agricultural Programme, tagged, Agro-Politan Development Strategy. This strategy provides multiple opportunities in Agriculture and Agri-Business. It emphasizes the localization of the entire value-chain that Agriculture offers, namely: Plant-Process-Store–Package–Market and Sell. This will ensure that millions of our citizens will be engaged in the Agricultural value chain and will be able to prosper wherever they are. The MITROS rice project is one of the positive outcomes of this strategy. The results of this investment brought about the newly established MITROS RICE that was recently launched into the market. Apart from being a source of direct and indirect jobs for our teeming youth, it also boosts production and reduces the pressure on foreign exchange spent to import foreign rice into the country.
21. I am happy to inform the good people of Ogun State that, the MITROS RICE mills will produce a vastly-improved brand of Ofada Rice, which will be marketed nationwide and, even outside the shores of Nigeria. The Mills will also produce parboiled rice with the same world-class quality that the Ofada Rice is produced with in standardized packaging in 1 kg, 5kg, 10kg, 25kg and 50kg bags and will bear the MITROS Stamp of quality.
22. The next phase of the Rice project will involve rolling out these rice mills across the LGAs and LCDAs. Milling capacities will differ at each site, but large mills will be established in major towns such as Mowe, Ibafo, Ota, Ijebu-Ode, and Sagamu. With this program, we encourage our farmers to plant with confidence, as they no longer have to go far and wide to mill their paddy as the government is already standing-by to off-take all paddy produced in Ogun state at a fair market price. Our target is to produce 1.44 million bags per annum from each of the large processing centers. Of the 20 processing centers to be established, 10 of such will produce 720,000 metric tonnes or 10% of the 7 million metric tonnes national production target by 2019. We have launched MITROS rice at an introductory price of N25,000 per 50kg bag of Ofada and N11,500 per 50 kg bag of parboiled, with the aim of bringing these prices significantly down, and making rice once again affordable to the average family.
23. As we have seen the Rice Pyramids in 2017; we will see many more ‘pyramids’ in other areas such as cassava, horticulture, cotton, cocoa, cashew, oil palm, fishery, and livestock – and strengthen the infrastructure necessary for this transformation.
24. Our plans for cassava are ambitious, knowing that Ogun State is home to the largest number of Cassava industries in Nigeria. Every household consumes garri, or lafun, or some other cassava derivative, yet there is insufficient supply. In 2018, our 2000 hectar cassava cluster at Owowo will be established, guaranteeing year round supply to both industries and households alike.
25. On Fruits and Vegetables, we are set to establish 3 state of the art fruit and vegetable parks, housing greenhouses, tunnels and open field cultivation across the 3 senatorial districts of Ogun State. These parks will produce tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and cabbage, and incorporate packaging and cold chain hygienic transportation to ready markets at home and abroad.
26. Other initiatives under agriculture in 2018 will include:
Commissioning of 1000 Earthen fish ponds in Odeda in Ogun Central, Imasayi in Ogun West and Ikenne in Ogun East
Commissioning of 6 pen houses of 10,000 bird capacity commencing with Odeda
Full deployment of already procured equipment – bulldozers, planters, harvesters, e.t.c, for the use of our farmers to alleviate the high cost of land-clearing.
27. Let me also state that the collaborations and partnerships with the multi-lateral agencies, such as the World Bank, IFAD-VCDP, FADAMA, GIZ, SASAKAWA, and IITA, are highly appreciated and will be consolidated upon this year. These collaborations have contributed immensely to the successes we achieved in 2017. We thank them for their support to our administration. We appreciate the increasing participation of the private sector and look forward to more of such partnerships and collaborations.
28. Without doubt, our State has witnessed a remarkable increase in economic activities with an attendant increase in human population in the last six and a half years. As a pro-active Government, we have mandated and empowered the relevant Agencies to frontally tackle the housing challenges and provide Affordable Housing to our indigenes and non-indigenes alike.
CULTURE AND TOURISM
29. Our dear State has continued to attract national and international attention through the African Drums Festival. The Drums Festival which is an annual event in Ogun State, has taken a life of its own with global interest and attention, placing it on the world tourism calendar. The intention of our Administration is to use the African Drums Festival as a tool to promote our culture as well as tourism in our dear State.
30. In addition to this, we also plan the construction and renovation of tourist sites in honour of Chief Hubert Ogunde, Alhaji Haruna Ishola and Madam Birikisu Sungbo in Ogun East, the Kuti family, Ayinla Omowura, S. Aka, and Chief Ebenezer Obey in Ogun Central as well as Jossy Friday and Vasco Dagama in Ogun West to attract visitors and boost the Internally Generated Revenue of the State.
31. In all of this, we appreciate the roles of our Kabiyesis as the symbols of our rich cultural heritage. The Year 2018 will usher in a more conducive ambience for our Kabiyesis to continue to play their important roles as symbols of cultural values, through whom we will continue to harness the potentials of our cultural heritage for a better society.
32. Let me seize this opportunity to specially thank and appreciate the Federal Government under the able leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, for the many social intervention programmes including but not limited to the Home Grown School Feeding programme and the N-Power Graduate Employment Programme, that till date, continue to provide employment and create jobs for our teeming youth.
33. The State Ministry of Special Duties will continue to work with the Presidency to ensure that the two (2) new schemes – the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) and the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) take off fully in our dear State this Year.
34. We want to thank all the good people of Ogun State who have organized themselves into Community Development Associations (CDAs) and Community Development Councils (CDCs). They have continued to be an avenue for advocacy and enlightenment of people on Government programmes and policies. The CDAs and Cooperative Societies have grown in numbers; currently we have 8,556 CDAs and 11,240 Cooperative Societies spread across the three senatorial districts of our State.
35. My dear good people of Ogun State, it is important that we remind ourselves that despite the successes we have jointly recorded, we are yet to reach the final destination of the journey that we started on 29th May, 2011. We must continue to walk hand-in-hand to take our State to greater heights. We cannot afford to rest on our oars, we must continue to gird our loins as there is still much more work to be done.
36. 2018 will definitely bring us greater and accelerated development. But it also means we must be more prepared than ever before to challenge ourselves to further develop our State. As a democratic government, we will continue to welcome genuine suggestions and recommendations from within and outside the State. Let me also say that we welcome constructive criticism from people who have sincere love for our dear State and its people. The Rebuilding Mission is a job for all of us.
37. As we go into the New Year, let me restate our unreserved commitment and unalloyed dedication to the successful accomplishment of the “Mission to Rebuild” Ogun State. We will leave no stone unturned in developing Ogun State and improving on the lives of our people. Our eyes are firmly set at finishing high; finishing strong and finishing well.
38. As we celebrate this new year, let us use the opportunity of this festive period to reflect on the journey before us. We must map out improved and more workable strategies for better achievements. Without doubt, our tomorrow will be better than our today.
39. I must extend our appreciation to our Royal Fathers, Religious leaders, Party leaders and Elders, Banks, Development Partners, non-Governmental Organisations, Civil Societies, Professional Bodies, Trade Associations, Community Development Associations, the Private Sector, our dedicated and committed Public Servants, our loyal Party members, Labour Unions, Students, members of the Press, and all well-meaning groups and individuals for their unalloyed support and cooperation in the just ended year. While thanking you all for the support and cooperation extended to our Administration in the last six and half years, we solicit for more and assure you that we will continue to justify the confidence you have in us.
40. I cannot end this address without mentioning the contributions of members of the two other arms of government – the Legislature and Judiciary – in our collective Mission to Rebuild Ogun State. They have been worthy partners and together we will continue in our quest to bequeath a lasting legacy to the good people of Ogun State.
41. Once again, on behalf of the Government of Ogun State, I wish you all a happy, prosperous and fulfilling 2018. It is my sincere prayer that God in His infinite mercies will continue to be with us all.
42. I thank you all for listening and God bless.
Long Live Ogun State!
Long Live Nigeria!!
Senator Ibikunle Amosun CON, FCA
Governor of Ogun State, Nigeria
Monday, 1at January, 2018