#Features

Aiyedatiwa laying solid foundation for development

The impacts of Governor Lucky Orimisan Aiyedatiwa in 75 days in office

On Tuesday, the Governor of Ondo State, Hon Lucky Orimisan Aiyedatiwa, hosted leaders of the All Progressives Congress, APC, to officially inform them of his intention to seek the nomination of the party ahead of the coming governorship election in the State.

What was meant to be a meeting later turned into a rally as the declaration of Mr. Governor received an overwhelming acceptance of the people. The Governor has set the ball rolling.

However, permit me to share with you what the last 75 days have been like for Governor Lucky Orimisan Aiyedatiwa. On Wednesday, December 27, 2023, His Excellency was sworn into office as Governor and since that moment inside the Cocoa Conference Hall of the Governor’s Office to this day, Mr. Governor has not rested for a day, working day and night to confront the challenges of governance occasioned by the sudden change in leadership and to lead the Sunshine State forward by building on the foundation of development already laid.

Just a few days after his inauguration, the Governor signed the 2024 budget into law. The implementation of the budget has been centred on promoting infrastructural development and prioritizing the welfare of workers in the State. In keeping with this promise, Mr. Governor has continued to give premium attention to issues affecting workers, earning the tag of a workers-friendly governor.

Now, workers in Ondo State receive their salaries promptly and on or before the last day of the month. Not only this, N35, 000 wage award has been paid monthly to workers as palliatives while pensioners get N10, 000 wage award, aside the regular payment of their pension dues. The Governor has also paid about N2billion in gratuity to retired workers in the State.

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In January, the Governor paid the January 2017 salary arrears of the workers (after seven years) and in March he paid three months salary arrears of the staff of the Rufus Giwa Polytechnic Owo. This came just two months after he approved the release of N850million to the institution to shore up its subvention. Workers in the State also enjoy the free shuttle buses to relief them of the cost of transportation to and from work every day.

While Mr. Governor is promoting the welfare of workers, he is also focusing his attention on providing employment opportunities for the teeming young people in the State. Just last month, the Governor approved the release of employment letters to 165 newly recruited staff of the Ondo State Internal Revenue Service (ODIRS). About 100 health workers were also recruited by the Civil Service Commission while the process is currently ongoing to recruit additional 600 health workers.

Mr. Governor has also approved the recruitment of hundreds of new teachers for our public primary and secondary schools. This is just as the free shuttle transport (buses and boats) for school pupils is running effectively well, in addition to the ongoing process of rehabilitating hundreds of public primary schools in the State. Tertiary institutions are not left out too as Mr. Governor recently approved N1billion for the construction of a new Senate Building for the University of Medical Sciences, Ondo and another N1.2billion for the completion of abandoned projects at the Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa.

In infrastructure, in January, the Governor directed all contractors handling road projects across the State to mobilise back to site and since then, all those projects have been progressing steadily. Those road projects include Oda road dualisation, Ijoka road dualization and the Irese/Shagari Flyover in Akure, the State capital. This is in addition to the approval given by the Governor for the rehabilitation of 60km of selected roads across the State.

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Last month, Mr. Governor performed the groundbreaking ceremony of the construction of rural roads across the State. The first phase of the project cuts across the three senatorial districts of the State at Oda-Cocoa Board-Langbodo in Akure South LG in the Central; Ode-Omi-Ebute Iyara in Irele LGA for the South and Ifira Akoko-Afo in Akoko South East LG for the North. This is just as the Ministry of Infrastructure last week flagged off filling of potholes on major roads in the State.

The Governor is also working hard to restore Akure, the State capital, to its old status as one of the cleanest state capitals in Nigeria. Towards this end, the newly launched Operation Keep Ondo Clean initiative has recorded significant improvement in the waste management in the State in general and the State capital in particular. The Operation Flush initiative is also being rebranded to ensure that channelization is carried out well ahead of raining season to prevent incessant flooding.

Mr. Governor has also been engaging all the relevant stakeholders in the State to hear their views and to carry them along in the scheme of things. From traditional rulers to religious leaders, from labour leaders to market leaders, from party leaders to youth and students’ leaders, Mr. Governor has interacted with a wide range of opinion leaders in the State and the engagement is still ongoing.

In between all of these, Mr. Governor also gave a befitting State burial to his predecessor in office, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and is already fulfilling his promise to sustain his predecessor’s legacies. As testified to by the family, Mr. Governor did not only give the needed support to the Akeredolu family, he also attended all the burial activities held in Ibadan, Akure and Owo.

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It is tough enough to run a State without having any period of transition or planning, but to do this in an election year is almost an impossible task. Those of us who have been privileged to work with Mr. Governor have seen, firsthand, how much sacrifice he has been making in running this State in the face of economic and political challenges. We have seen how he ends a marathon meeting with people at 8pm at the Government House and then heads back to the office to attend to files or how he holds meetings at home till 3am, then heads to office by 8am or how he attends church service on Sunday in the Government House Chapel, then heads to the Presidential Lodge to meet with people, then heads to the office to attend to governance.

It is easy for those not facing responsibilities to present themselves as better equipped. Despite the barrage of political attacks, concocted lies and blackmail coming from those eyeing his seat, Mr. Governor has remained focused and undaunted. In the last 75 days, Mr. Governor has proven that he is well equipped and prepared to deliver for the people of Ondo State.

Prince Ebenezer Adeniyan,
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Ondo State
March 12, 2024.

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