Ogun State Governor Prince Dapo Abiodun says political appointees should be ready to work, as the stage is now set for his administration to deliver dividends of democracy to the people.
Governor Abiodun stated this at a 2-Day Executive Council Strategy Session with members of his cabinet, on the theme: ‘Building Our Future Together’, held at Ogere in Ikenne Local Government Area, saying, it was time to impact positively on the lives of the citizenry.
“It is time to work. It is important to gather, to explore and formalise various opportunities in the implementation of ‘Building Our Future Together’ agenda and utilise the advantage of abundant resources available in the State.
“Your creativity and experience have started to manifest positively in your various Ministries, Department and Agencies. You are to partner and ensure the development of the State and increase prosperity of our people, irrespective of age, gender, political affiliations and locations”, he said.
He said as an administration, committed to an all inclusive governance, it was important that all parts of the State were represented in decision making and processes, noting that the retreat would serve as a platform to exchange ideas and come up with improved and more practical approaches to implementing government’s agenda to the people.
The Governor, who reeled out his achievements and plans for the State, disclosed that Ogun and Lagos were on the verge of obtaining approval from the Federal government for the construction of the Abeokuta- Ifo- Lagos road, adding that the Ijebu-Ode-Epe road would be constructed to provide alternative route to the Lagos- Ibadan Expressway.
He revealed that the State has been made the headquarters of Southwest Anchor Borrower’s Programme, while two educational institutions had been designated to serve as centres for artisans’ training.
While explaining some of the interventions made in various sectors, the State’s helmsman said renovation had been carried out in primary schools in each of the 236 wards, with renovation of health facilities, setting up of Ogun TECHUB, and rehabilitation of township roads, among others.
In her remark, the Deputy Governor, Engr. Mrs. Noimot Salako-Oyedele, noted that the event was a parley, meant to brainstorm on the policy framework of the administration and come up with possible ways to achieving them.
Presenting a Paper titled, ‘Effective Governance and Policies in a Sub National’, the Guest Speaker and Executive Vice-Chairman, Ibadan School of Government and Public Policy, Prof. Tunji Olaopa, observed that, for meaningful development to take place in the State, the administration must develop a change management programme to deliver its vision and strategy, indicate programme points, sequence and phases.
He said it was imperative for the administration to involve relevant stakeholders in governance, improve on ease of doing business, get Civil Service on a performance mode by employing the productivity and reward approach, result based budgeting and evidence-based performance, as well as engage citizens’ participation, especially the youth through the social media.
Speaking on a topic, ‘Overview of the Nigerian Macro-Economic Environment: Key Implications for Ogun State’, the Chairman, Nigeria Economic Advisory Council, Dr. Doyin Salami and a renowned financial expert, Mr. Bismarch Rewane, observed that lack of fund has contributed to the slow pace of development in the country.
They argued that for the State to witness any meaningful economic development there must be concerted efforts to reduce cost of governance by 15 percent, rehabilitate bad roads, refurbish and build modern health facilities, develop partnership with the private sector, as well as encourage vocational and technical trainings.
They were also of the view that the State would get more funds to execute its developmental programmes by taking Bond, refinance existing debts with cheaper and longer maturities, source for cheap funds and focus on what the State has comparative advantage on, enjoining the administration to, “spend much, but spend smartly”.
Others who spoke at the retreat included, the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Olatokunbo Talabi, who took the participants on the topic; “Understanding Key Roles and Responsibilities within the State”, the State Head of Service, Mrs. Amope Chokor, introduced the Civil Service structure, while Commissioner for Finance and Economic Adviser, Mr. Dapo Okubadejo, spoke on the administration’s agenda, ‘Building our Future Together’, and the development pillars and key priorities for the next four years.