Economic transformation: We’ll take hard decisions in Oyo — Makinde
•Receives reports of committees on contract review, wrongful dismissal of civil servants, others
Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, on Wednesday, said that his administration will not shy away from taking hard decisions in order to set the State on a trajectory of sustainable development.
The Governor who also advised his brother Governors not to be caged by craving for second term, stated that service delivery to the people should be of greater importance to officeholders.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Taiwo Adisa, indicated that the Governor made the assertions while performing two separate functions in his office on Wednesday.
Governor Makinde, while receiving reports of seven committees set up by his administration to look into various issues, said: “I have seen people come to me and said I should not do some certain things or take certain decisions because of second term. Those that are interested in second term should wait, at least till 2022. For now, we should do the job the people have committed to our hands and do things that will place Oyo State on the path of greatness.”
Also, while receiving the Governorship Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kogi State, Mr Musa Wada, Governor Makinde advised office-seekers and governors not to allow themselves to be caged by the crave for the second term of office.
“The people are the sole determinants of the fate of the politicians. Fresh term, second term are all linked to what we have for the people. During the first term, you make promises to the people and once you start ticking those boxes, the people can always decide that they want you to come in first and later say they want you to continue,” the Governor said.
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In his speech at the Exco Chamber of the Governor’s Office, while receiving the reports of the committees, Governor Makinde called for ideas from the citizenry of the State to move the State to greatness, saying: “I want to say this publicly; some of us on this side of the table are not the brightest. No. We have just been blessed that God provided the opportunity for us and that’s why we value what you have to say. We value your contributions.
“Whatever we need to do on infrastructure, we need to target our economy. So, I want to implore anyone who has any advice for us should inform us because we don’t have any other place we can call home.”
The committees that presented their reports included the Investigative Panels on Ibarapa Polytechnic and Oke-Ogun Polytechnics; Committee on Dismissal/Retirement of Civil Servants between 2011 and 2019; Committee on Review of Contracts, Projects between 2017 and 2019; Task Force on Review of Operations at the Bola Ige International Market, Gbagi, Ibadan, among others.
The Governor, after receiving the reports, said that the Government will take immediate action on the recommendations, adding that the people should expect full implementation of the report within four weeks.
Governor Makinde made specific reference to the report of the committee on the wrongful dismissal of civil servants, noting that the Government will look into the recommendations of the committee and if they included bringing back some of the affected they would be returned to work immediately.
He said: “I want to say that we are not going to set up any further committee to review these reports but instead, we will go straight ahead to implement the recommendations, especially the committee that worked on the dismissed workers. This is because I believe that it is better for us to allow 100 guilty persons to go scot-free than to punish one innocent individual. I know you have done very well, looking at each individual and the issues that led to their getting dismissed. We will look at the report immediately and implement the recommendations.
“If you ask us to bring some of them back, we will bring them back almost immediately. So, I will set a time frame of four weeks for implementation of most of these reports.”
The Governor added that though the committee that was set up to look into the affairs of Local Government by the last administration was dragged to court, he said that his administration would soon clear the legal hurdles and get to the roots of how the councils were administered.
He said: “When we came in, we actually set up these seven committees and an additional one that is meant to look into the affairs of the local government and LCDAs.
“They went to court, got an injunction through the back door saying we should not be doing the review. I have not seen it anywhere in the world where you say to people that you want to investigate an issue and they say you cannot poke your nose into what is your own business. Well, I have bad news for them. Though we will obey court orders, it’s only a matter of time. We will eventually look into the issues surrounding the local government administration.
“The time frame for us to implement these recommendations will not be more than four weeks because nations are not built on wishful thinking. We have taken hard look at some of the challenges we are faced with. Bola Ige Market, for instance, I was there during the electioneering. This is a market that was built to be an international market. The market is dirty. The car park has been turned into something else and we also have different kinds of illegal structures there. By the way, my mother also has a store there. If any store is acquired illegally, it will be brought down because nobody is above the law, not even me.
“So, we will look at what you have written and what is very clear is, we have hard decisions ahead of us. And I give you the assurance that I will take those hard decisions.”