By James Bamgbose
The present tranquillity in Osun governance atmosphere emerged from the July 16 2022 Gubernatorial election, followed by the swearing-in of a new Governor on November 27, 2022. He resumed office with his clear 5-points agenda which are Adequate provision for workers’ welfare, salaries, gratuities and pensions; boosting the state economy by Business partnering and support for SMEs; Osun funds serving Osun people through homegrown infrastructure policy; People-focused social policy through skill-based education, affordable healthcare state security and social support; Agro-based industrialisation for wealth and job creation for youths and women. The man who is to steer this ship for the next four years was no other than His Excellency, Senator Ademola Jackson Nurudeen Adeleke.
Governor Adeleke’s tenure has marked a paradigm shift in governance, despite attempts by detractors to undermine his efforts. His swift achievements earned him the moniker “Mr. Performer” within a year in office.
In 2023, Governor Ademola Adeleke achieved significant milestones that have had a profound impact on the development and economy of Osun State focusing on infrastructure, community empowerment, healthcare, and welfare initiatives.
These achievements have not only transformed the physical landscape of the state but have also had far-reaching economic benefits, positively impacting the lives of the citizens.
One of the key accomplishments of Governor Adeleke’s administration in 2023 is the extensive rehabilitation and reconstruction of over 90km of intercity roads across all 9 Federal constituencies in the state. This initiative has not only improved connectivity but has also enhanced economic activities by facilitating the movement of goods and people within and beyond the state.
The launch and subsequent deployment of optic fibre across Osun State marks a significant leap forward in the state’s technological advancement. Osun State witnessed the launch of a comprehensive optic fibre deployment program. This technological infrastructure investment is crucial for enhancing communication networks, promoting digital inclusion, enabling businesses to thrive in the digital age, and fostering economic growth through improved access to information and online services.
Also in a bid to empower communities and vulnerable groups, Governor Adeleke in 2023 launched a project that provided grants totaling N389,542,466.00 to 50 communities and 13 vulnerable groups. These grants were aimed at implementing various micro-projects tailored to the specific needs of each community, thereby promoting grassroots development and inclusivity.
On workers’ welfare, in a move to boost the morale of civil servants and pensioners during the economic situation of the nation, Governor Adeleke commenced the payment of wage awards in December 2023. This timely action demonstrates a commitment to honouring labour agreements and ensuring the financial well-being of workers and pensioners during the nation’s current economic state.
Also recognizing the importance of healthcare access for retirees, Governor Adeleke demonstrated his commitment to ensuring access to quality healthcare for senior citizens. Governor Adeleke successfully enrolled 23,000 pensioners into the state health insurance scheme. This initiative not only provides much-needed healthcare coverage but also alleviates the financial burden on pensioners, thereby improving their overall well-being.
Additionally, Governor Adeleke prioritized the welfare of pensioners. In 2023, Governor Adeleke’s administration ensured the prompt payment of about 28 billion Naira as pension and gratuities to pensioners of all categories. This commitment to honouring financial obligations to retired civil servants reflects the administration’s respect for the contributions of senior citizens to the state’s development.
On infrastructural investment, Governor Adeleke launched a massive N100 billion infrastructure plan covering road construction, healthcare infrastructure, clean water provision, and school rehabilitation across all areas of the state. This ambitious plan is poised to elevate the state’s infrastructure to world-class standards, attracting investments and fostering sustainable development.
These are just a few of the laudable accomplishments of Governor Adeleke’s vision to significantly contribute to the development and economic growth of Osun State. Others include the provision of portable water for 332 wards across the state; Imole Surgical outreaches, an outreach that provided free surgeries to over 50,000 citizens of the state, commencement of the University of Ilesa with an approval of courses by NUC amongst other things.
After a critical evaluation of the achievements of this Government since its first day in office to her 100 days in office till date, the vital question of “how was he able to achieve these despite the humongous debt burden passed to him by his predecessor, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola?”.
The only answer to this question and other questions in the mind of Osun People concerning the ways and manners the Governor has administered the state within his first year in office despite various anti-people policies the last administration set for the state, especially in the financial status of the state.
Governor Adeleke’s unwavering commitment to fulfilling his promises to his people and prioritizing the welfare of government workers has earned him recognition as a leader who puts the interests of his people first. As Osun State continues on this path of progress, Governor Adeleke’s legacy of inclusive and sustainable development is set to leave a lasting impact on the state’s future.
James Bamgbose writes from Igbajo, Osun State and can be reached via mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By James Bamgbose