…holds town hall meeting on 2023 budget
The Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun, on Tuesday, said his administration would construct more motorable roads in the Ogun West Senatorial District to ease the movement of people and goods in the axis.
He noted that the axis with over 400 foreign and local industries deserves more attention in terms of infrastructural development, reiterating that his government would redouble its efforts at ensuring that the district is given priority in the scheme of things.
Abiodun stated this while declaring open the Yewa/Awori Division Town Hall meeting on the 2023-2025 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and the 2023 Budget, held at Ilaro.
He acknowledged the deplorable condition of roads in the senatorial district, but pleaded for patience, noting the state government was working to address the situation.
“We cannot deny your pains, especially as it concerns mobility on some roads in this division. The major challenge about these roads is their ownership. Yewa/Awori Division hosts some of the major federal roads that traverse our state. That brings to the fore some of the challenges of our federal system.
“People who commute on the roads are not interested in the ownership structure of the roads. They geo-locate their pains, stress and strains at the location where these are felt – which is this state. This is understandable. Again, I plead for your continued patience, understanding and fortitude. Let me reassure that we are equally anxious as you are to get these roads fixed.
“We are not sleeping on them. While we still await the Federal Government’s approval on the transfer of the reconstruction of Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta, we are daily on that road to fix the failed portions. As a stop-gap arrangement, you would have seen the Ogun State Public Works Agency (OGPWA) undertaking daily palliative works on these roads so as to make them passable”, he said.
On steps taken to repair some of the major roads in the axis, Governor Abiodun stated that Mike Adenuga had agreed to reconstruct the 64-kilometre Ota-Idiroko international road through tax credit.
He added that the state government would continue to improve the public-private partnership to identify necessary funding options for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of major roads in Ogun.
Speaking on some projects executed in the Senatorial District, the governor disclosed that over 198 classrooms had been renovated in five local government areas, just as construction of housing estates had commenced in Ilaro and Ayetoro, while plans are on for the commencement of other housing projects within the division.
He added that his administration has embarked on the digital transformation of key processes and revenue lines in order to improve the process and collection efficiency, while steps were taken to broaden revenue scope and block leakages, thereby boosting the Internally-Generated Revenue (IGR) of the State.
“As a Government, we will not turn away from the methodical and strategic approach towards the formulation of policies and implementation of programmes across all parts of the State. Our aim is to consolidate on the global best practices in Public Financial Management (PFM) reforms that we embarked upon since 2019”, the governor noted.
He said the state’s economy is on a sustainable path due to the various policy reform initiatives introduced by the administration, adding that fiscal policy thrust was based on providing an enabling business environment for private sector investments and partnerships through improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the state’s key processes, which include land acquisition, business registration, among others.
The town hall meetings, the governor emphasized, are emplaced to offer an opportunity to interface in a consultative dialogue meant to decide the direction of governance and development process that directly concerns the people, saying all observations and suggestions would be considered and incorporated into the 2023-2025 MTEF and next year’s Appropriation Bill.
“Today, more than ever before, I look forward to a robust engagement – an incisive, deep, frank and hold-no-bars discussion with the people of Yewa/Awori Division. This, we believe, will make us reach more of our citizens and residents as we strive to be inclusive in order to deliver a truly “People’s Budget”, Abiodun submitted.
The Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Olaolu Olabintan, in his presentation, said 65 projects were executed across the state with 85 percent of inputs from the people included in the 2022 budget.
He affirmed that no part of the state was excluded in project execution as the Yewa/ Awori section had a fair share just like the rest of the zones.
Speaking, the Olu of Ilaro, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle while appreciating the governor for the quality of work done on the Ilaro-Owode road, called on the government to pay attention to Ipokia- Idi-Iroko, Imeko-Ijoun, Rounda-Ayetoro-Imeko roads, while work should be expedited on the Imasayi- Igan-Ikoto-Ayetoro road.
The traditional ruler also called for the reactivation of the Ogun State p
Polytechnic at Ipokia-, while efforts should be geared towards making the state an oil-producing, as the Tongeji Island was endowed with abundant crude oil deposits.
The Olota of Ota, Oba Abdulkabir Obalanlege, appreciated the governor for his efforts on roads, but called for intervention for the General Hospital and the revival of the Gateway Hotel, Ota, as it is now becoming a hideout for criminals.
Former deputy governor, Alhaji Salimot Badru, who spoke on behalf of women, called for more English, Mathematics and Religious Studies teachers for schools in the rural areas, while a community leader, Chief Muftau Ajibola, called for the expedition of work on the Ilaro-Owode road.
The meeting was attended by various stakeholders including traditional rulers, community leaders, market men and women, trade unions, students and artisans.