“The very essence of leadership is that you have to have vision. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.”
-Theodore M. Hesburgh
It is no longer news that the present administration in Oyo state, led by Engr. Seyi Makinde, has shown special interest in the Oke Ogun region more than any other governor or government since the inception of the present Democratic dispensation.
Many may mistake his definite attentiveness for the region as solely for political consideration. However, Makinde is looking beyond politics. He wants to elevate the region to becoming an Agribusiness destination in the state and country at large, to the benefit of Oyo state.
No doubt, “GSM” ( as the governor is fondly called ) has recognized the region as the economic hub that will and can sustain not just the state, but the country if her potential in human, Agricultural and mineral resources are fully harnessed.
Oke Ogun, situated in the Oyo North zone of the state, is a region with a lot of possibilities. Sadly however, even with all her mineral and human endowments, the region has consistently suffered neglect. Thankfully, the huge doses of empty lip service from successive administrations, has since ended with the arrival of Makinde.
Governor Makinde has taken the bull by the horns to ensure that the region brings to birth her embryonic possibilities. He has taken immediate steps to address the core needs of the region within the first two and half years of his administration.
Some of these include, but is not limited to, provision Good Roads, Manpower development through quality Education, Upgrade and Rehabilitation of Medical Facilities, Urban development to mention but a few.
It is practically impossible to succeed in agriculture without good roads. You can not plant thousands of hectares of Maize or Cassava when there are no good roads to transport the produce to where they are needed. Bearing this in mind, Makinde’s first assignment was to reconstruct the all-important 65km Ibadan- Ijaye- Iseyin road.
This road is very vital as it links the 10 local government areas in Oke Ogun to the state capital. The reconstruction of the road has not only made life easier for the people, it has also positively impacted and boosted the economic activities of the region. Also under construction are the Saki-Ogboro-Igboho road and the Oyo-Iseyin road. The Iseyin – Ogbomosho road is presently receiving attention too. All these are geared towards easing the transportation of farm produce and humans.
Agribusiness is not limited to sowing and harvesting, it is much more than that. It comprises the processing and value addition of farm produce. This holds huge potential for employment generation as it can provide employment for the teeming population. However, the enormous human Capital in Oke Ogun requires training. To get this training, there should be an educational facility close by, hence the governor’s decision to set up a faculty of Agriculture And Natural Resources at the Ladoke Akintola University with the campus in Iseyin, committing 700 million naira as take off grant. Indeed, God has blessed Oyo state with a foresighted governor.
To further ensure ease of doing Agriculture- related businesses, Governor Makinde established the Oyo State Agribusiness Development Agency, OYSADA . This agency is in strategic partnership with IITA, Africa Development Bank ( AfDB ) and others. The OYSADA is headed by Dr. Debo Akande, a seasoned professional. Guess where the headquarters of this very important agency is located ? Yes, Saki in Oke Ogun !
In developing a conducive business environment, it is not enough to create good roads and have world class educational institutions. What is also paramount is a good environment so as to stem rural-urban migration. The Makinde administration is ensuring that rural development is receiving the desired attention. To this extent, hospitals and schools in the region are being equipped and rehabilitated.
The “Light Up Oyo” project has greatly impacted the Night economy in the region positively. This is something that was hitherto unheard of. Like wild fire, the project has captured most towns in Oke Ogun and we can now have an economy that never sleeps.
The governor has also empowered the OYO Rural Water And Sanitation Agency ( RUWASA )with state-of-the-art facilities to ensure that rural areas have access to portable water. The agency is headed by the very experienced and highly qualified Hon. Najeem Omirinde, who incidentally is from Oke Ogun.
Mini stadiums are being set up or upgraded to ensure that the region’s sports talent are identified and harnessed.
Makinde has simply proven that there are still honourable men in politics who keep their word. Barely moving out of the second gear, he has left a big impression in the minds of sons and daughters of Oke Ogun. GSM has engendered trust between himself and the people. They know him and can see that he is keeping to his promises.
All Governor Makinde is doing now is making Oke Ogun attractive for investors. With all that has been put in place, all is about set for Agro-allied companies and other players in the Agricultural value chain industry to set up shop in the region.
With Governor’s Seyi Makinde continuous stay in office beyond 2023, Oke Ogun is in for better days ahead. One can only urge them not to lose the opportunity Seyi Makinde is presenting. Who knows when next the state would have a governor who is so committed to the development of the region as Seyi Makinde has been.
Another four years for Engr Seyi Makinde at the helm of Oyo State will bring the region even more closer to the promised land.
Seyi Makinde’ Le kansi!!!