AWOLOWO SPEAKS!!!

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AWOLOWO SPEAKS

*** Please read the letter below, by Chief Awolowo requesting for an education loan from Chief Timothy Adeola Odutola on March 25, 1943 , (the richest Ijebu man in those days) and promised to pay back by 1955. It is fascinating, long and interesting. ****

~ LETTER:

Dear Mr. Odutola,

I think it will be an exceeding saving of time and more business-like if I avoid all sweet preliminaries and go straight into the object of this letter and say that I am writing to ask you to be good enough to lend me a sum of £1,400 (One thousand and four hundred pounds) free of interest for twelve years.

It is a staggering figure! More staggering indeed does it become, when it is realized that I, who am asking for this loan, have nothing in all the world to give as a security for this money, excepting my good faith and my brains which again are of value only so long as I continue to breathe the breath of life!

Nevertheless, I here proceed to outline in brief why i want this big loan from you. And I hope you will be kind enough to sacrifice some time to go through what I have to say, even though, in the end you might find yourself unable to do me this grand favour.

One great ambition of mine since my boyhood days is to be a lawyer, a politician and a journalist, rolled into one. I cherish politics and journalism as a career, and I desire advocacy as a means of livelihood. For you will agree with me that a politician or journalist who has no money with which to support himself and family comfortably, is like a blade which has no razor.

Now, at one time, I was on the verge of making enough money with which I could proceed to England in order to pursue the object of my ambition; but I suffered a twist in my fortune, and I crashed. Ever since, I have tried without success to recover lost grounds, financially. But spiritually and intellectually, I have made appreciable advance in spite of towering difficulties, all of which have now been surmounted.

As you are aware, I have just passed the intermediate Bachelor of Commerce Examination. Next year, I am taking the final B.Com. Having a degree is not my goal; I hate to be a government or mercantile employee. Otherwise, there are opportunities for me here and there to get a suitable and well paid job under government or one of the mercantile houses. As you know, however, once I become an employee of government or a mercantile establishment that is the end to my career as a politician and journalist. I have therefore resolved that under no circumstances will I take up such employment.

That is just by the way. I am now thirty-four years of age. After careful thought, I have come to the conclusion that if I could raise a loan free of interest sufficient to cover expenses, I should go to England, this year and within three years, I should qualify as a Barrister –at –law, and also obtain with Honours the LL.B Degree of London University. In addition this degrees apart from giving me good backing as a solicitor and Advocate will help me immensely as a politician and journalist.

But where on earth could i get the money? Who in Nigeria today could give £1,400 free of interest to help his fellow-man? J. Henry Doherty, Esq., of illustrious memory who did the like to many successful Nigerians is no more. But after meticulous, shifting and weighing, I hit upon you.

I have no doubt whatsoever in my mind that out of the bounty with which providence blesses your grit and efforts as a businessman, you can well easily afford to advance such a sum of money. I have no doubt too that as a young and progressive man you will be quite happy to give the money for the pursuit of the project for which I desire it.

But then, could you take this risk?

That is the question. As I have said before, I have no security for this loan. Moreover, I want it free of interest. So that you stand to gain absolutely NOTHING in the whole transaction, except the satisfaction that by helping me to achieve my ambition you are indirectly or even directly helping Nigeria or even Africa.

This risk becomes greater when it is borne in mind that I might die in the course of my studies or immediately after, so that, since I have no security or surety, you stand the chance of losing not only the money but also the satisfaction which you may cherish that you are contributing to the uplift of Africa. It is indeed a great risk; the greatest any man ever embarks upon.

But, this is a big BUT, if I live, as I have no doubt I will do, you will not only get your money back in full, but you will, to the end of your days, have cause to rejoice that you have done one of the most outstanding and most philanthropic acts any human being ever does. Among other things, I shall make excellent use of the money while in England by breaking records in my examination. On my return to Nigeria, I shall strive to be one of the foremost advocates, politicians and writers in West Africa, and while I do all these, I shall make it a point not only to pay your money back in full, but also to repay your kindness and generosity towards me in every way I can.

All the same, it is a big risk! So, Sir, I like you to think seriously about it, and see if you can take it in the interest of a young man who has brain, industry and determination to back his ambition, but lacks the money. I know we have never been close friends, but I have a shrewd idea that you may take the risk and help me.

On this assumption, therefore, I proceed to the next and last stage of this letter.

I shall not require the whole £1,400 in a lump sum. To start with, you will help me pay a sum of £208-13s-3d to the Inner Temple. I have already received an application form from this Inn of Court; and from the details forwarded, I gather that the sum of £208-13s-3d will cover all the cost of training as a barrister, examination fees excluded.

When I am ready to sail, you will advance me a sum of £100 to cover passage, provision for my family and any other incidental expenses (NOTE: If I got torpedoed on the way, you would certainly lose this £100 but you will recover the £208-13s-3d).

At the same time you will remit to a London Bank the sum of £491-6s-9d. It is out of this amount that I shall pay the university fees for LL.B course and for special courses in political science and journalism, when I land in England. This is to say, the initial advance will total £800.

At the end of the first year, provided I make satisfactory progress in my studies, you will give instruction to the bank to honour all cheques from me drawn on this account. There will be an arrangement to be signed by me on my return.

On my return, I shall require TWO years within which to establish a solid practice and build a good reputation. After these two years, I should commence to pay at least £200 per annum either in monthly, quarterly or annual payments. So that in seven years after the first two years, I should pay back the whole sum of £1,400. That will be TWELVE YEARS from the time you help me to pay this in April or so this year, then I should be due to pay the whole of £1,400 by April 1955.

Now, as you yourself will see, this is the farthest limit within which I can pay the money. It may be possible for me to pay the money within THREE to FIVE years of my return. As a matter of fact, the sooner I pay it off, the better. But it is much better to be on the safe side in a matter like this. It is no making promises now which will be difficult to fulfil in future. On the contrary it is better to mention a period of twelve years and pay within SIX or EIGHT years than to mention FIVE YEARS and fail to pay within TEN years. Personally, I prefer that I should fail to get the loan under theses unattractive but sure conditions, rather than succeed in getting it under attractive but precarious conditions.

Now, this is all I have to say. You have my request before you, and the reason why i make the request. It is left for you to decide whether it is worthwhile to take the risk of helping me in the manner outlined above or not.

If you do me the great favour, not only myself and all that are mine, but also God and Africa will be grateful, I shall have no cause whatsoever to grumble or to blame you, FOR THE RISK IS GREAT.

Since this is a very selfish request, I enclosed herewith a self addressed stamped envelope to be sent under a registered post.

Obafemi Awolowo.

Merciful God!

* Chief Odutola refused him of the Loan, Awo could not travel that year. He buckle up his lace and by August 14, 1944 (one year later) he travelled to England, became a Barrister at law and was called to the Bar in November 1946. Amazingly, by 1954 (A year to the time he promised to pay Chief Odutola the Loan ) , Chief Awolowo was already a Premier in the Defunct Western Region and already giving out Scholarship to over 200 undergraduates (First of its kind in Africa).

I find it a great pleasure, to replicate the full version of the Awoistic dedicatory letter, following a stiff request by friends that the Nigerian Youths need to see and digest
*copied*

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Ogun 2019 Governorship Platform!!!

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Ogun 2019 Governorship Platform!!!

The Immediate Past Governor of Ogun State Otunba Gbenga Daniel Replies the Ogun State SSG Barrister Taiwo Adeoluwa in a ready-made….. On Ogun 2019 Governorship Platform.

Although I recently decided to be muted in most of the threads where I find my name, the need to inform will make me pass a few comments on our educational initiatives especially having noticed that our people genuinely need information.
The establishment of a University of Education was not part of our original master plan but when the opportunity came, we seized It and I feel proud today that it was done.
1. At the inception of our administration, we started upgrading the facilities in all our tertiary institutions without exception; OOU, MAPOLY, TASCE, Coll of Health Tech Ilese et etc and we did not stop looking after them till the end of our tenure. So the issue of abandonment and neglect of anyone of them is not correct. Please check the records, ask questions and be factual.
2. Sometimes in 2005 thereabouts the NBTE issues new guidelines and virtually discouraged NCE holders from teaching in Secondary schools. They were to be restricted to Primary schools.
In the same way, they also wanted professionally qualified teachers to teach in Secondary schools; for instance someone who has a BSc Physics may teach but the qualified teacher for Physics should study and get a B Ed Physics. That was the concept.
It was then clear that for Ogun State to maintain its leadership position in Education, a University of Education becomes a necessity.
3. There were other reasons which got us to fast track the establishment. OOU with over 60,000 students was becoming too large to manage in one single campus. The infrastructure in the town was unable to cope with the influx, there were so many challenges of security within and around the town. etc etc
4. Since the state could not afford starting a university from the scratch the natural thing was to upgrade TASCE to TASUED. It was a lot of work, sleepless nights, I personally had to make various presentations to NUC in Abuja before we got the certificate to proceed. Kudos to the Late Prof Oyeneye, the pioneer ProChancellor and Prof Kayode OYESIKU, the pioneer VC. History must be kind to their pioneering and untiring efforts.
5. TASCE
We also did not envisage that TASCE will not be allowed to co habitate with TASUED in Ijagun until NUC gave us a matching order that the two cannot cohabit on the same campus. We wanted to move TASCE to an old school in Yewa area but the consideration and convenience of transferring the staff to a far place,  made us to look for a place that is not too far from their various bases. Omu came in handy, apart from being my maternal homestead, it’s no more that some 20 mins from Ijagun on a good day. We found the premises of Omu Ajose Comprehensive High School appropriate, we then relocated the school and started developing the campus. Another sweat because there was no funds.
6. Funding:
Our obligations to all the tertiary institutions together including the new ones we established; OOU, TASUED, MAPOLY, GIPI, Abraham Adesanya Poly, Adegbenro ICT Poly, ICT Poly, Sapade,
ICT Institute IGBESA was about 250m per month or N3b per annum. This I understand is the cost of 2 model schools, or the cost of expanding about 4km of a road.
I therefore believe we can afford the institutions if we accord education the right priority and pride of place.
I hope I have been able to communicate with our people.
7. Finally, let me admit that we did not have enough money to do all we wanted to do but we believed where there is a will there will always be a way. This was the credo with which we ran the state otherwise, it was more convenient to pay salaries and do nothing and the state would have remained a civil service state that it was called. Most great things started small. The great University of Ife started at a backyard in Sango behind UI, (Institute of Administration)

Meanwhile, With a sense of modesty and deep humility, we did all that any human being can do by way of job creation and industrialization. I am sure apart from the usual politicking opposition must be silently given kudos to our administration in these area. One fine day hopefully I will open up and remind our people. Somebody spoke of self recognition being the reason for establishing the various institutions. Which self recognition. None was named after me: University after Solarin, Ijebu Igbo after Abraham Adesanya, Sapade after ADEBUTU, ITORI after Adegbenro, IGBESA after OTEGBOLA. I have no relation working or schooling in any of them.
Public service is tough. If you do nothing it’s complaints, if you go something it’s criticisms. Looks like people who do nothing gets the least criticism anyway. We must rethink otherwise genuine public service will continue to dwindle.

Before I return to my mute mode let me make the following few points for posterity.
I am sure at the nick of time, probably in 50 years from now, the weight of these comments will be clear to our people.
1. No country can develop until infrastructural developments are in the hands of indigenes.
2. All the developed countries
in the world without any exception were developed by their people. Europe was developed by Europeans, America by Americans, China by the Chinese, Israel by the Israelites. And lately India by Indians.
2. Our country Nigeria and the rest of Africa will remain underdeveloped as long as we rely on foreigners to do our development for us, including getting the Germans to repair our Airport runways.!!! And we are clapping!!!
3. I remain very proud of what OGROMA ( which started as Ogun Road Maintenance Agency, and progressed to Ogun Road Management Agency) did in terms of the way dilapidated roads in Ogun State were repaired and the roads and the bridges they constructed.
I feel proud with the dualization and reconstruction of Lalubu road in Abeokuta commissioned some 10 years ago without pothole to date and constructed at approx N50m per km.
I feel proud plying the 40 km dualized Abeokuta Sagamu road everyday all done by OGROMA at approx N50m per km. I travel across the length and breadth of Nigeria frequently and can testify that the road still remains one of the best in our country.
I felt proud when I drove into the campus of Olabisi Onabanjo Univ last week and saw the OGROMA constructed road still looking great 12 years later. Ditto for the TASUED roads etc etc
4. I submit that as Governor, we had to frequently patch the JULIUS BERGER constructed Sagamu-Ijebu Ode-Area J4 road as the road had become a death trap due to non maintenance.
5. I submit that I saw, with my own eyes, maintenance work being carried out even on many of the newly and most expensively built roads and bridges in our state.
6. In another forum I analysed the work we did repairing most of the buildings we inherited from previous administrations. Many of them were done by highly rated Israeli companies.
ASO Aso rock is probably the most prized building in our country today, and as a frequent visitor there once upon a time, I see the maintenance crew working there perpetually.
7. As an Engineer, I know that failure to clear drains and clear gutters of debris for free flow of water is enough to destroy the most expensively built roads. When roads are deliberately denied of maintenance and repairs, the result is straight forward to predict. MAINTENANCE IS THE KEY.
8. However, having said all these, I believe it was better to get our otherwise idle civil servants (OGROMA) fixing our roads and electricity as we did.
Maybe I should let our people know that the easiest way was to simply award contracts. Getting OGROMA was more tasking, more difficult.
Maybe one should remind our people that for the Sagamu Abeokuta dualization, we sent tenders out to various contractors. The minimum quotation was approx N9b at that time. OGROMA did it for N1.9b !!! in total. The State had no such money at that time so we agreed to be paying OGROMA N100m per month for 14 months and the job was completed. After the road settled approx one year later, they took additional N500m for final asphalt overlay. OGROMA in my opinion should receive state awards rather than what I am hearing.
All the great construction companies that we hear of started from the scratch. Most of us will not know that the giant JULIUS BERGER in Nigeria is not a very big player in Germany.
Yes OGROMA started small, no equipment,I remember we were picking abandoned tractors and bulldozers on the road and repairing them to start them up. The first roads were constructed at N20m per km approx. all that is required on most of these roads is to repeat the asphalt overlay. Even if that is what we need to do every 5 to 10 years, it’s sufficient and affordable as the foundation were already laid.
If OGROMA have been encouraged, Nigeria should have started breaking the yoke of indigenous development which is the sine qua non of real development in our nation. Until we grow our own foods, use our own furniture, ride our own cars, build our own houses, and construct our own roads, and encourage those who attempt to do it right, we are simply going no where. My heart bleeds for our nation.

His Excellency,

Otunba Gbenga Daniel

NEW YEAR BROADCAST DELIVERED BY THE GOVERNOR OF OGUN STATE, HIS EXCELLENCY, SENATOR IBIKUNLE AMOSUN

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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.

EDUCATION
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.

HEALTH
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.

TRANSPORTATION
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.

AGRICULTURE
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.

HOUSING
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.

SOCIAL INTERVENTIONS
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.

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
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

Ogun Assembly Passes Bill Upgrading MAPOLY to Varsity of Science and Tech

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By Modupe Gbadeyanka

A bill to convert the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic (MAPOLY), Abeokuta to Moshood Abiola University of Science and Technology has been passed by the Ogun State House of Assembly.

The bill titled ‘HB No. 10/OG/2017- A bill for a law to provide for the Establishment of Moshood Abiola University of Technology and for matters of Administration and Discipline of Students Connected Therewith’ was passed on Tuesday by the state lawmakers.

Also passed yesterday was the bill to create the Ogun State Polytechnics at Ipokia, which was titled ‘HB No. 11/OG/2017- A bill for a law to provide for the Establishment, Incorporation, Constitution and Functions of the Ogun State Polytechnics, Ipokia and for other matters Incidental Thereto or Connected Therewith.’

The bill seeking the conversion of MAPOLY to a university had an amendment to its name which now reads “Moshood Abiola University of Science and Technology”, in the process, clause- to – clause reading and adoption of the bills was done before the members of the House by Mr Victor Fasanya.

Mr Fasanya, who is the Chairman of the House Committee on Education, Science and Technology, after presenting reports of his committee to his colleagues, moved the motion for its adoption.

He was seconded by Mr Oyenuga Olufowobi and Mr Olusola Bankole.

When the bills were put up for voice votes, those in favour of the adoption won and the House subsequently passed them.

Speaker of the House, Mr Suraju Ishola Adekunbi, directed the Clerk to send clean copies of the bills to Governor Ibikunle Amosun for his assent.

AN OPEN LETTER TO MY COUNTRYMEN I

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AN OPEN LETTER TO MY COUNTRYMEN I.

I write as one of you. I write because the times are precarious. I write to wake up a curiosity that by Jove may ignite a peaceful ethical cum moral revolution in the land.

Countrymen it saddens me each time I read the plethora of divisive thoughts and opinion blaming our woes on a section of the nation. It traumatizes the carapace of my mind to see educated, learned and otherwise schooled persons preach messages that are pro-south and anti-north and vice versa.

We have a common oppressor, we are the victims of the Northern and the Southern Political class, we are pawns in the chess game of the Nigerian political elite who employ religious and sectional jargons when they appear shortchanged in sharing the spoils of power.

Spare a thought for the victims of the pre-colonial struggle, for those who fought for the independence of this nation, for the victims of the Nzeogwu revolution, for the victims of the revenge coup of July 1966.

Spare a thought for the victims of the pogrom in the North in 1966/67 and the victims of the 1967-70 civil war, what about the victims of the Maitasine uprising, remember the victims of the June 12 struggle and the many victims of the various struggles against injustice in our nation. Yes, when we do spare a thought for the many tragic mementos of our evolution and remember that the Northerners and the Southerners alike have been the victims of the collateral damage that an unpatriotic ruling elite throws up, we may well begin to address issues rather than religion or tribe, issues rather than region or section and issues rather than creed or clan.

The truth is that until this raging confusion the Northern and the Southern elite have been in cahoots in the plunder of Nigeria. Yes, when the Oil wells were shared the Southern elite didn’t oppose it because they got a few.

(To be contd).

Prof. Chris Nwaokobia Jnr.
Pin:33175219
Pin:27169311

#BringBackOurGirls
#NigeriansUnitedAgainstTerror.

20 passengers,7 Crew Members Abroad Ill-Fated Associated Airlines Aircraft

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20 Passengers, Seven Crew Members Aboard Ill-Fated Associated Airlines Aircraft
The plane operated by Associated Airlines which crashed shortly after take-off on Thursday at the Mafoloku area of Oshodi in Lagos State had 20 passengers and seven crew members on board, a press release by the Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Oduah has said.

In the statement signed by her special adviser on media – Joe Obi – the minister said a few dead bodies have been recovered while some persons pulled out from the wreckage have been rushed to the hospital.
The full statement:
“An Embraer aircraft operated by Associated Airlines with Reg No SCD 361 enroute Akure from the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos, crashed shortly after take-off at about 9.30 am local time. The plane had 20 passengers and 7 crew members on board.

“Emergency rescue operations commenced immediately by a combined team of Fire Service and security personnel. Some persons pulled out from the aircraft have been rushed to the hospital while a few dead bodies have been recovered. The rescue operation is still on-going.”
The plane is believed to have been chartered to convey the remains of former Ondo State governor, Dr. Olusegun Agagu, who died last month to Akure where burial arrangements have already begun since Monday.
The late Agagu’s corpse was reportedly accompanied on the ill-fated flight by some members of his family, associates and officials of the Ondo state government.
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An Average Igbo Person Silly Mentally

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An Average Igbo person silly mentality…

Listen to this Omo Ibo, Igbojionu Uchenna …
“FFK and your myopic supporters, TAKE IT or LEAVE IT
Igbo are co owners of yoruba land, Lagos in particular. There nothing you or any of your illiterate supporters can do about it. It has come to stay.

Fashola knows the value of the igbos that is why he appointed of us a Commissioner. NO IGBOS, NO LAGOS.

The history of Lagos will not be complete without giving kudos to Ndigbo who made the city what it is today.

We are everywhere developing and running the economy of every state.

Yorubas, if you are just getting to know how powerful we are, then it is too late. Am amazed when some people who say we should go and develop South east. I dont blame them becos they don’t travel nor do they take risk like we Igbos do.

South east is well developed. Far more developed than south west combined.

FFK, I used to think u are a human being. I never knew u are such a big disappointment. No wonder, obasanjo butted you out of office. U are only trying to make urself relevant but you have made urself a fool and very unpopular”.

Omo Ibo in Lagos
Today at 1:41am
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