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Independence - Ondo State Celebrates Good Governance
Ondo state among the 36 states in Nigeria was created on 17 March 1976, by the then Head of State Late Gen. Murtala Muhammed and at such has been left in the hands of Military and Civilian governors.
The State has produced 18 successive governors including the present governor since its creation, from both military and civilian parastatal. The following were the military governors, Ita David Ikpeme, 1976-1978, Sunday Tuoyo, 1978-1979, Micheal Bamidele Otiko, 1984-1985, Micheal Okhai Akhigbe, 1985-1986, Ekundayo Opaleye 1986-1987, Raji Alagbe Rasaki, 1987-1988, Bode George, 1988-1989, Sunday Abiodun Olukoya, 1990-1992, Mike Torey, 1993-1994, Ahmed Usman, 1994-1996, Anthony Ibe Onyearubulem, 1996-1998, and Moses Fasanya, 1998-1999.
While the state was juxtapose in between military and civilian leadership, it has produced 5 civilian governors, who are Micheal Adekunle Ajasin (UNP) 1979-1983, Bamidele Olumilua (SDP) 1992-1993, Adebayo Adefarati, (AD) 1993-2003, Olusegun Agagu (PDP) 2003-2009, Olusegun Mimiko (Labour Party), Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu (APC) 2017 till present.
The citizenry of Ondo State are known for exhibition of a high level of political consciousness, which has led the successive leaders into contributing their various quota in ensuring that the state enjoy the dividend of good governance.
As Nigeria celebrates its 59th Independence, looking into Ondo state, it has acquired numerous feats as a state that worth celebrating. Especially with the advent of the incumbent governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN, who while taking his oath of office assured the people of “ hope, clear agenda of prosperity and a vision of life abundant” has effortlessly structured the state into an enviable society that inhabits Industrialization, infrastructural development, qualitative education, qualitative healthcare and social service delivery and rural development.
This tremendous act has scored Akeredolu high mark on the people’s scorecard. He proofed himself a man who is determined to work by changing the face of Ondo state in every sector.
The recent improvements recorded in education in the 18 local government areas in the state, is the renovation of five hundred and twenty (520) Primary Schools block with well-equipped computer laboratory class. The state government has also approved the construction of more 320 schools across the state.
Ondo state government under the leadership of Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN, has rewritten the economic history of the state for good through industrialization and partnership with foreign investors who are expertise in converting raw materials into finished products.
Little wonder why, the state is making aggressive waves in its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), which makes the state financially stable and thereby boosts domestic investment.
Ondo state significantly increased revenue generated within the state from N8.68 billion in 2016 to N10.93 billion in 2017 and N24.79 billion in 2018. The low IGR in 2016 suggests that the state could hardly cover her recurrent expenses and at such was unable to pay up her expenses and workers’ salaries. But the story changed when Akeredolu assumed power and cleared the backlog salaries without borrowing.
This present administration, has distinguished itself from the previous administrations with its outstanding massive road construction and rehabilitation across the three senatorial districts.
According to report from the office of Ondo State Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, in June, 2018, this administration approved N11.2 Billion for the commencement of the construction of approved road projects in the state.
And so far, numerous road project in the state has witnessed the effect of this development. Ranging from, Owo road from Emure junction to A-U-D and Ministry of Works down to Iyere junction, Isarun, Ifedore Local Government Area, some selected township roads in Ile-Oluji, Orita Obele -Ire Akari - Oke Odu – Ipinsa, the rehabilitation of Maronu, Ondo Road and Atibiti roads, Gaga, Oda community, all in Akure South.
The people of Akoko North East local government area, will never forget the administration in a jiffy. As the dreaded Oke Alabojuto hill that was associated with myth and therefore left unattended to claim lives and destroy properties, was brought down for 0.5Km road by Akeredolu’s led administration.
Also, various inter-communities roads such as construction of Lennon Jubilee-Solaco-Ugbe road, the dualization of Ikare Township road, construction of 3 Box Culverts and rehabilitation of failed portion of Owo- Ikare road has also received due attention by this administration.
The overhead bridge in Ore, the first of its kind in Ondo state championed by Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has scaled up unprecedented socio-economic activities in the state. Ore dwellers testify to upsurge of economic activities in the community, because of the governor’s commitment to delivering good road infrastructure.
The governor has also gone out of the way to ensure water security in the state through the introduction of “KAMOMI AKETI”, a water project initiative that is designed to solve the need of portable water supply across the 18 local government areas in the State.
This project has gained recognition for the state from the federal government, as a model state for its cost management. The federal government also plans to adopt the strategy for the ongoing PEWASH policy of boreholes rehabilitation across the federation.
Akeredolu taking cognizance of the place of Information Communication Technology ICT in governance, embarked on the quest to create an enabling ground through ICT for effective and proficiency in public service delivery as well as to transform the state into a technology and innovation hub in Nigeria if not Africa.
To accelerate the economic development of Ondo State, this administration went into partnership with American Tower Corporation (ATC), and erected a digital village furnished with state-of-the-art facilities across the 3 senatorial districts in the state.
The initiative is aimed at providing Computer and internet services to the rural dwellers to curb the rate of rural-urban migration and discomfort people undergo trying to access internet services as well as reducing unemployment in Ondo state.
The importance of Agriculture has never been undermined by this present administration, which procured and distributed 1,000 metric tons of fertilizer to various farm service centre in the state. So as to encourage farmers and boost Agriculture.
This gesture by the governor yielded positive result, as report by Consumer Price Index CPI/ Inflation report released by the National Bureau of Statistics shows that the prices of food items witnessed a decline in Ondo state while some other states across the nation battles with inflation in the prices of food.
Civil servants are not left out, as workers in Ondo state cannot hid their excitement over the mode of governor Akeredolu governance, who they described as viable and erudite governor who has not failed in one bit in fulfilling his promise, of pay workers’ salaries as and when due.
In the same vein, workers who are due for promotion are promoted in due time. So far, in this government, 16 deserving senior civil servants has been promoted to the position of permanent secretary.
The governor also approved N943 million as car and housing loans for workers as a way of motivation.
The unbridled desire of Akeredolu towards boosting the state economy through industrialization and has really paid off in the state economic growth and employment rate. As one of the established industries, Wee-Wood Afforestation company from China, inclined in combating desertification, encroachment and Land degradation, has presently, employed 1000 youths at Wee-Wood Nigeria, Limited Omotosho in Odigbo Local Government Area of Ondo State. which speak loud in the State
While on the other hand, Ondo-Linyi Industrial Hub, wood processing, Cassava- Ethanol Plant and textile company situated in Ore is said to generate 20, 000 job opportunities in no distant time.
Also to encourage farmers, Ondo-Linyi buys Cassava proceedings from local farmers in Ondo state which invariably increases the farmer’s standard of living as well as generating more funds for the Ondo state government.
BY GENEVIEVE ALOZIE