It is often said in Yoruba land that ‘Ajoji owo kan o gbe eru d’ori, meaning the task of lifting a heavy load on ones head cannot be done by a single person. In other words, to achieve a particular mission in any aspect of leadership, one must be given needed support.
Now, in the case of Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, whose two years has been seen as unprecedented governance, there is no doubt that a few hands were on the deck to put the state at the most advantaged position, which we are seeing today. Some will call it team spirit, which is all about camaraderie, cooperation and collaboration.
Those who are familiar with the political activities and leadership style of the present administration would even be fast to admit that a number of political appointees have shown commitment and dedication to the assignments given to them to support the vision of the governor. They have been working well with others, regardless of their place within the organization.
Permit me to mention few of those who have contributed immensely to the progress of the current administration:
- Mogaji (DR) Akin Fagbemi- Executive Chairman (OYRTMA)
Undoubtedly, the administration of Governor Seyi Makinde identified traffic management and transportation as another key area to actualize his vision of making Oyo State the “economic hub” of Southwest with his Roadmap for Accelerated Development 2019-2023. The appointment of Akin Fagbemi as the Executive Chairman of Oyo State Road Transport Management took everyone by surprise. The question raised was how could a governor appoint someone who studied Food Technology to head an agency whose image was known for notoriety during the administration of late Abiola Ajimobi.
But what do we see now? Fagbemi has transformed the agency from ceasing traders’ wares to one of the popular agencies generating revenue for the government.
OYRTMA has its commands in all the five zones of the state. (Ibadan, Ibarapa, Ogbomoso, Oke Ogun, Oyo), and has completed its operational headquarters at Sanyo, Ibadan.
Officers and Men of the agency were on the ground during the ENDSARS protest to control traffic why the Police and FRSC left the highways.
Akin Fagbemi is one of the governor’s aides who is conforming with the body language of Governor Seyi Makinde. He works round the clock. He joins officers and men of the agency to control traffic everyday. The agency also launched its rapid response rescue unit to assist accident victims.
Fagbemi has repeatedly told who cares to listen that the state government will not ban activities of Okada in the state, since Makinde didn’t promise to ban Okada during his electioneering campaigns in 2019. He had said severally that the government will not further impoverish the people. His agency has embarked on regulation of okada and motorcycle riders in the state He keeps assisting people within and outside government in different ways. The revenue generated by OYRTMA is as a result of Fagbemi’s ingenuity and ability to think outside the box and the “omoluabi” ethos that has made him the first on the list. Have you ever seen OYRTMA officers engage in street fight on indulging in illicit acts? When was the last time it was reported or alleged that OYRTMA officers demanded or collected bribes from motorists? All these will never happen under the watch of Mogaji Akin Fagbemi.
- Otunba Segun Ogunwuyi – Director-General (OYSIPPA)
Who is Ogunwuyi? Hon Segun Ogunwuyi has been described by many as the pot that cooks the ‘delicious meal’. The former State and Federal lawmaker was initially appointed as the Executive Assistant to Governor Seyi Makinde on Investment before the creation of Oyo State Investment and Public Private Partnership in 2019 and he was named as the DG of the new agency.
Ogunwuyi, under the leadership of Governor Makinde, is turning around moribund assets/companies of the state, as parts of the vision to achieve an expanded economy across the entire state. Ogunwuyi, as an accountant, came up with the phrase ‘Alternative Funding Approach’, which has birthed some of the landmark infrastructures embarked upon by Governor Seyi Makinde. These infrastructures have placed Oyo State as the next destination for investors.
Some of the projects include the 21km Airport, Ajia road with Spur to Amuloko, Remodelling of Lekan Salami Sports Complex at Adamasingba, resuscitation of moribund Ijaiye Quarry Asphalt Plant, handling over of the Pacesetter Fruits Processing Factory, Oko at Surulere LG in Ogbomoso, 45km Saki to Ogboro, down to Igboho through Alternative Funding Approach.
Little wonder the governor publicly declared Ogunwuyi as his best aide as he equally described him as a future leader in Nigeria and Oyo state. Governor Makinde also empowered him as the undisputed leader of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ogbomoso.
- Dr Debo Akande – Executive Adviser on Agribusiness and OYSADA DG
In the past one year, Governor Seyi Makinde’s administration has focused on expanding the economy of Oyo State using agribusiness as a driver. As a result of the efforts, the Internally Generated Revenue of Oyo State increased by 42.23% year on year; the second-highest growth of all 36 states in Nigeria. Also, the efforts towards ensuring food security are yielding results. Oyo State recorded the lowest food inflation rate in Nigeria in February 2021. Dr Akande has shown that he has capacity to actualize the vision of Governor Seyi Makinde through agric revolution. Relocation of Oyo State Agribusiness Development Agency (OYSADA) headquarters to Saki is another feat achieved.
Also, apart from the Oyo State Agribusiness Development Agency (OYSADA), Saki – Remodelling and upgrade of the existing facilities and construction of guest chalets, Fasola Agribusiness Industrial Hub, Fasola, Oyo – Construction of an agrotourism destination with agro-industries, resort facilities and farms (ongoing), He has also influenced, in his capacity, Oyo State-IITA Agribusiness Incubation Park Centre, Aawe, Oyo – Upgrade of former moribund RCDC into an agribusiness hub with farms, processing plants and residential facilities for training youths among others.
- Governor Makinde’s Media Team is led by the Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Taiwo Adisa and Mr. Jide Ajani, the Special Adviser on Media. And a few other appointees, who have been able to work cooperatively with the two media giants mentioned above to consistently put the image of the governor in good shape include: Special Assistant on Print (Moses Alao); Special Assistant on Broadcast (Bosede Sodiq); Special Assistant on New Media 1 (Tunde Momoh), Technical Assistant on New Media (Mayowa Okekale) and Fasasi Ismail (Press Officer to Governor).
Sometimes, the appointment of top journalists as media aides has, however, been a cause for concern regarding what is so special about the jobs to warrant the appointees abandoning the newsrooms for government houses.
Indeed, Governor Seyi Makinde, has appointed excellent professionals as his media aides, and every Tom, Dick and Harry Knows they are excellently performing their duties. The last time I checked, they are known names in the industry and are personalities whose careers and reputation are not blemished. The media team has been performing their special tasks professionally as the go-between their principal, the media and the general public.
The Chief Press Secretary, Taiwo Adisa, according to residents of the state, has become a nightmare to oppositions in the state with his professional conducts while featuring on any broadcast medium.
The team is doing beyond responding to enquires and issuing statements but adding public relations role, which media management is just one aspect of it. They know when to write, speak and address matters, especially in this new media age when a single slip can go viral. This is one of the reasons for the soaring popularity of GSM and his description as “symbol of good governance and a role model.”
The media being managed now by the media team is not only the traditional media but the ‘gateless’ new media platforms where virtually everybody is a ‘journalist’ and commentator.
The first half of the administration is gone with wonderful performance and we hope to experience greater things in the second half of Governor Makinde’s government.
- Hon Kunle Yusuff MON – Senior Special Assistant to Governor Seyi Makinde on SDG
Like a phoenix, Kunle Yussuf is uncowed as the undisputable vanguard of progressive politics, irrepressible personality and an icon whose unconditional service and time-tested leadership inspires hope in the youths in Akinyele/Lagelu Federal constituency. All the the four cardinal agenda of Governor Seyi Makinde revolves round the Sustainable Development Goals.
These include: Health, Education, Security and Economy. After his appointment as the SSA on SDGs, his first assignment was how to bolster the relatively unknown office at the state level. The popular MON started sensitization programmes in all the 33 LG and 35 LCDA on the needs assessment in each of the council just to get the priorities right and the programme was largely successful.
On education, over 170 projects have been executed and completed. 58 water projects were done in some communities.
On health, the state government has embarked on the renovation of 299 primary health centres across the state.
On agriculture, the STEP programme embarked upon by the government as well as various agricultural policies of the government are done to eradicate hunger and take the people out of poverty to prosperity.
Governor Makinde, no doubt, must be lauded for placing MON in an office that is dear to focus of his government.
Oyo State, under the Makinde led administration, is already taking steps to translate the ambitions articulated in the 2030 Agenda into tangible outcomes for the people. Kunle Yusuff had ensured that the State begins with integrating the SDGs into the international visions and plans and has been able to assist people within and outside government.
He will perform excellently if he gets bigger appointment as he understands what governance and administration entail.
Now, let me highlight few other recent Developments on Oyo State SDGs:
• Completions of 148 Projects in 13 various primary Schools in 13 Local Government.
• Execution of 58 Motorised Boreholes across 33 Local Govt and some LCDA.
• Reactivation and Strengthening Development Partners and Donor Agencies relationships with Oyo State.
• Setting- Up SDGs Technical Desks Officers in all the 33 Local Government for Domestication of SDGs Concepts in Oyo State.
• Launching and Inaugurating of Oyo SDGs Secondary Schools Club for grassroots awareness and catch them young for Developmental Purposes.
• Training and Awarenessc of all the HLAs in Oyo State for alignment SDGs of 2030 Global Agenda, most especially administrative relationships with Oyo State SDGs and NISER, University of Ibadan Centre for Sustainable Development and Technical University for SDGs Policy.
- Asiwaju Seun Fakorede – Commissioner for Youth and Sports – As a gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Oyo State in 2019, Engineer Seyi Makinde promised the teeming youths of the state that he will appoint one of them, clearly an under 30 years of age as the commissioner for youth, sports, if elected as the governor of the state in the governorship election slated for March in 2019. After his assumption of office, Governor Makinde did as promised, though his nomination was greeted with criticisms from many, not because he is not qualified and competent but could disrupt the zoning arrangements in existence in the Oyo South Senatorial District.
Although Fakorede had a slow start but the present records have placed him above his predecessors in the Youth and Sports Ministry. He is fortunate to be serving under a sport-loving GSM, which has brought Fakorede to the spot light.
Under his watch, Oyo State Youth Agency committee was constituted and inaugurated.
On the 14th April, Honourable Commissioner for youth and sports paid a working visit to Foko, Agbeni and Agbokojo where he met youths in the communities. Thousands of youths within the communities were so glad to see a government official within their environment as this happened to be the first time a Commissioner for youth and sports will pay a working visit to the area.
At the flag-off of the remodelling of Lekan Salami Sports Complex, Fakorede stated that the event was going to be the beginning of a new era for sports-loving people in the state, as they were about to witness an important occasion where the sport is being given a rebirth and a new lease of life in an effort to retrieve the past glory of the state in sporting activities.
He decried the poor state of facilities of sports infrastructure in the state and needed urgent renovation, completion and promised remodelling of each of them one after the other, a development which has started in the state.
Also, the Makinde led government, through Fakorede, rewarded the 242 athletes of the state, who participated in the 2018 National Sports Festival, held in Abuja with N39 million. Pity they were not paid by the Ajimobi administration.
At the just concluded EDO 2020, Team Oyo State finished sixth at the NSF, scoring 31 gold, 30 silver and 42 bronze.
It is now on record that during Fakorede’s stint as Sports Commissioner, the administration of Governor Seyi Makinde embarked on the renovation and upgrade of five mini stadia in the five zones that make up the state namely: Olubadan Stadium, Ibadan, Dubar Stadium, Oyo, Ebedi Stadium, Iseyin, Saki Township Stadium, Saki, Soun Stadium, Ogbomoso, Ibarapa Stadium, Igboora.
- Nureni Adeniran – Executive Chairman, SUBEB
The Executive Chairman, Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Dr Nureni Aderemi Adeniran, said though the year 2020 was challenging because of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the commission can still point at some significant achievements.
Highlighting achievements of the board, the SUBEB chairman said the commission met 54 projects on ground but completed 41, adding that five of the remaining 13 projects at varying degrees of completion were already being put to use by pupils.
Dr Adeniran said notwithstanding COVID-19, Oyo SUBEB also successfully completed five model schools, renovated 57 blocks of classrooms, distributed sports equipment across primary schools in the state, as well as printed posters for creation of awareness on COVID-19.
Among the achievements recorded by the board, was also the introduction of reading and writing for pupils in primary schools in the state following policy formulation and enactment by the board, and with the supervision of the state Ministry of Education.
No matter how remote a school is in Oyo State, the SUBEB chairman will always be there. He engages in regular monitoring of schools in the state, which is a plus for him.
The introduction of ‘Learning on Air’ as well as ‘open house’ in the state public schools as achievements of the commission in the past two years.
Oyo SUBEB also organised training on management of COVID-19 for head teachers, which he said prepared them for the management of COVID-19, noting that the board also distributed Information Communication Technology (ICT) materials in four primary schools with adequate security measures. He added that the federal teachers’ scheme programme of SUBEB also took place in 2020.
With support from the Senior Special Assistant on Better Education Service Delivery, Hon Sunday Adeyanju, the enrolment in the state primary schools has increased in the years under review.
Dr Adeniran, particularly, thanked the Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde, for giving the board the much-needed support, which he said ensured successful execution of projects by the board.
- Barrister Bayo Lawal – Executive Chairman, Oyo Housing Corporation
Barrister Bayo Lawal had served as Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Oyo State. He was the ADC candidate for Oyo North Senatorial District in the 2019 general elections. His appointment by Governor Seyi Makinde as the Chairman of Oyo State Housing Corporation was applauded by residents of Oke Ogun. Has the Chairman of the Corporation, three groundbreaking events have been recoded so far.
Governor Seyi Makinde laid the foundation stone of the N1.5 Billion Bodija Premium Estate.
Bayo Lawal explained that the Bodija Premium Estate will comprise 45 housing units consisting of six (6) units of 2-bedroom flats in 4 blocks; twelve (12) units of 3-bedroom flats in 4 blocks; fifteen (15) units of 3-bedroom terraced houses; and twelve (12) units of 4-bedroom semi-detached duplexes.
Other features of the estate are to include Club House, Gym, Swimming Pool and Children’s play area, quality infrastructure drains, roads, security house/access control and alternative power supply, water, sanitation and waste disposal systems.
Secondly, Oyo State Governor, Engr Seyi Makinde, Flagged-off the construction of 360 Housing Scheme at Ajoda New Town Estate, Egbeda, Ibadan which is estimated to cost about N2.5b through Public Private Partnership with the State Government providing 13 hectares of land for the project.
The Governor in his address made it known that the project is in fulfillment of a part of his campaign promises as contained in the Roadmap for Accelerated Development in Oyo State, 2019-2023 which has the promise of facilitating a private sector driven housing scheme through variants of public- private partnership (PPP) initiatives.
The three hundred and sixty (360) housing units which will cost N2.5 Billion is made up of
2-bedroom semi-detached houses;
3-bedroom semi-detached houses and
3-bedroom detached houses.
- Barrister Ayodele Adekanmbi – Executive Assistant to Governor Seyi Makinde on Disability Matters
Barrister Ayodele Adekanmbi has reiterated that the administration of Governor Seyi Makinde is sympathetic and considerate with people’s challenges.
Adekanbi is special breed, a rare gem who has been able to champion the cause of those living with disabilities in the administration of Engr Seyi Makinde. No administration in the history of Oyo State has been able to priorities the welfare of people with disabilities, more importantly, Makinde’s administration has given disabled people sense of belonging in governance. Remember each LG and LCDA in Oyo State is a member of the caretaker committee. Governor Makinde and Ayodele Adekanbi have consistently told those who care to listen that “there is ability in disability.
Oyo State Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM) recruited and distributed appointment letters to People Living With Disabilities (PLWD) engaged in teaching jobs in the state.
The 150 newly recruited teachers were presented their appointment letters at a brief ceremony held at the commission’s Agodi-Secretariat Office, Ibadan.
Aside from the 150 news teachers, an additional 50 People Living With Disability were also engaged in non-teaching service jobs under the recruitment exercise by the state government.
- Dr. Wasiu Olatunbosun – Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism
Without mincing words, (wayse) as he is fondly called by his colleagues and admirers, is capable and competent. He toured all zones in Oyo during the outbreak of the dreaded global pandemic to sensitize citizens and residents on safety precautions. Wasiu has also visited some tourist centres in Oyo State with the view to figure out how to improve the state’s internally generated revenue.
His best so far has been the resuscitation of the Ministry of Information online radio (Aloore). I implore the Hon Commissioner to align himself with journalists.
- Prof. Dahud Kehinde Sangodoyin – Commissioner For Public Works, Infrastructure and Transport
He has made his mark when he was at the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology before he was redeployed to the Ministry of Establishment and Training. He has continued to perform at the super-ministry he is now.
- Barrister Olasunkanmi Olaleye – Commissioner For Education, Science and Technology
Students enrollment in public schools has increased, over 40,000 out of school children have returned to classrooms. It has been reported that Oyo State has improved significantly at WAEC and NECO ratings. The safety model adopted by the Oyo State Government at public schools during the pandemic was later adopted by the Federal Government and other states which opposition in the state had earlier kicked against. Olaleye is actualizing the vision of Governor Seyi Makinde on education.
- Hon Dare Adeleke – Executive Chairman, Pacesetter Transport Service
Hon Dare Adeleke is an ally of Governor Seyi Makinde who contributed in no small measure to the electoral victory of the incumbent governor. As the chairman of the Pacesetter Transport, the Oyo State Executive Council on October, 2020 approved the procurement of 106 mass transit buses to enhance intra city mobility and complement its fleet of buses. Hon Dare Adeleke was also instrumental to the victory of Taofeek Arapaja as the National Vice-chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party in the Southwest zone.
- Hon Bolanle Sarumi – Senior Special Assistant to Governor Makinde on Diaspora
Hon Bolanle Sarumi was a governorship candidate at the 2019 general elections in Oyo State. Members of the PDP that were aggrieved following Makinde’s decision to appoint as aide, have lauded her sterling performance. Her first major assignment was the repatriation of Peace Buasri who was put up for sale by her Lebanese boss. Sarumi told journalists in Ibadan that Peace Busari and 28 others arrived Nigeria in August, 2020.
Similarly, Hon Bolanle Sarumi told journalists that Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde had approved funds for the repatriation of another batch of 55 Oyo state citizens trafficked to Lebanon and other countries.
Also, Sarumi ensured that all the repatriated Oyo citizens were empowered, the records are there for everyone to verify.
She embarked on a massive campaign against human trafficking and urged media houses to support the government in its quest to end human trafficking in the state.
She has held series of meetings with all Travel Agencies in Oyo and urged them register with the state government to be able to monitor their activities with the aim of identifying those unregistered agencies who indulge in trafficking.
- Hon Kazeem Bolarinwa – Special Assistant to Governor Makinde on Youth and Sports
Hon Kazeem Bolarinwa has been described as an ambassador of the youths in Governor Makinde’s administration. His group, “Deliver Oyo” played prominent role in the 2019 general elections across the the state. Aside his position as Special Assistant on Youth and Sports, Governor Makinde also named him member of the Environmental Taskforce to ensure the “Clean and Green” initiative of the Oyo state government. The Taskforce committee was inaugurated immediately the Governor announced the suspension of the Oyo State Waste Management Board. Bolarinwa led committee ensured that Ibadan was kept clean before the Governor lifted the suspension of OYOWMA board.
As SA Youth and Sports, he has embarked on different empowerments and skills’ acquisition programmes. He facilitated the Elumelu entrepreneurial programme for over 150 youths in Oyo state. I have lost count of his achievements. He should keep blazing the trail.
- Hon Victor Olojede – Special Assistant on Students Affairs
As young as Hon Victor O!ojede is, he is an astute politician. He was a candidate for the State House of Assembly in 2019. He has been able to use his office to bridge the gap between the government and students in Oyo state. He assisted Governor Makinde in the distribution of COVID-19 palliatives to all students’ association. Governor Makinde secured the sole ownership of LAUTECH for Oyo State, Makinde also established LAUTECH campus in Iseyin. Governor Makinde slashed LAUTECH tuition fee by 25%. He increased the subvention of College of Agriculture, Igboora by 20%. The current administration in which Victor Olojede is actively involved, has upgraded Emmanuel Alayande College, Oyo to a degree awarding institution. History will be kind to Governor Makinde and his aide, Victor Olojede.
- Toby Oyewumi – Special Assistant on Sports Development
Hon Toby is another youth who sets the pace and the hold the ace.
The first half of the administration is gone with wonderful performance and we hope to experience greater things in the second half of Governor Makinde’s government not without cabinet reshuffle. He doesn’t need to retain those commissioners who are just enriching themselves for 2023.
Segun Kehinde writes from Ibadan.