…..marks 200 days in office with stakeholders engagement
The Ekiti State Governor, Mr Biodun Oyebanji, has disclosed that his government has injected over N31 billion in terms of salary, gratuity and pension payments to rejig the economy in the last 200 days he assumed office as the state’s Chief executive.
Oyebanji added that his government has paid a staggering sum of N6.2 billion as subvention to state’s tertiary institutions geared towards strengthening the citadels of learning and make them competitive nationally and with their contemporaries in other climes.
Governor Oyebanji stated these in Ido -Ekiti , Ido/Osi Local Government area, on Friday, at a stakeholders engagement marking his 200 days in office. The 100 days of governance, had earlier been marked with a similar stakeholders engagement in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti Central Senatorial District in January.
At the occasion attended by critical stakeholders like traditional rulers, traders, labour leaders, transporters, academia, politicians, community leaders, representatives of Parents Teachers Associations, among others, Oyebanji asserted that his government has neither disappointed nor dashed the hope of Ekiti populace in the last 200 days.
The state’s Chief executive, said the stakeholders engagement, which is designed as a “state -of -the -state address” was a fulfilment of his covenant with the citizens to render account of stewardships every 100 days in office across the three senatorial districts in alternate order.
Oyebanji explained that aside the payment of salaries, pensions and deductions regularly, another sum of $80 million from the African Development Bank (AfDB) would be injected into the local economy to create more jobs for the youths through the Ekiti Knowledge Zone that has just been granted Free Trade status by the Federal Government.
The Governor identified agriculture, tourism, digital technology, entertainment and sports development as critical to the job creation initiatives of his administration.
Oyebanji disclosed that the Independent Power Project started by the immediate past administration of Dr. Kayode Fayemi would come on stream in July to give uninterrupted power supply to government offices, institutions and streetlights in Ado Ekiti describing the amount being spent on diesel monthly as “unsustainable.”
He stated that a sum N700 million has been approved to pay gratuity of retired state workers and N200m for the local government retirees by May ending, while grant worth N200 million has been distributed to 3,500 beneficiaries.
Reeling out the breakdown of the financial commitments he has made to solidify the economy, he said; “On State salary, N11.28bn has been paid, local government; N11.42 bn, state pension; N4.2bn, LG Pension; N3.70 bn, State gratuity; N200 million and LG gratuity; N235 million.
The Governor added that 500 Ekiti youths are undergoing training under the Ekiti Digital Economy Initiative to assist them in unleashing their potentials and transforming their knowledge to wealth.
“We also disbursed a total of N70m to help the poor and N77 million as business support grant. In total, a sum of N31 billion has been injected into the State’s economy as salary, pension and gratuity from October, 2022 to May, 2022, apart from other social intervention programmes and loan disbursement to workers” .
The Governor disclosed that he has taken giant steps to curtail incidences of brain drain in the health sector and redundancy in the civil service, by gradually defraying outstanding allowances for doctors, other medical staff and the workers in general.
Oyebanji added that the government had carried out 7,949 metres of channelisation and dredging in areas suspected to be critically prone to flooding and erosion in Ado and Ikere Ekiti, to curtail unwarranted loss of lives and property to stormy rainfall .
On infrastructural development, Oyebanji, said his government has completed the Ado-Ilawe-Erinjiyan road, while aggressive works are ongoing on Ikole , Ado township roads, while other inter-city access roads across the state are enjoying attention to make them motorable.
He added; “All the roads we are going to construct are ones that will bring prosperity. Those that will boost trading, farming and ease the movement of farm products to the market centres. We will be strategic by targeting our agricultural belt”.
In the area of tourism, Oyebanji said his government has been investing heavily on Ikogosi Warm Springs Resort Centre, which he achieved through strong collaboration with a private sector to make the tourist attraction site more economically beneficial.
To propel investment and local business, Oyebanji, promised to reconnect Ayekire , Ekiti East and Gbonyin local governments that have been in perpetual darkness for over a decade to the national grid within the next two months.
Oyebanji said his administration would change the face of agriculture by motivating farmers into commercial farming, while impetuses like land preparation policy, while also distributing inputs like fertilisers, seedlings and other farm implements to farmers at subsidised rates.
Cataloging his achievements in human capital development, he said the government is gradually decentralizing the insurance policy to the local areas so that poor masses can access treatments in health centers at little or no cost.
“We have released a sum of N1.2 billion to Ekiti State Universal Basic Education as a matching grant for the 2022 UBEC fund to initiate capital projects in our schools. We have recruited 1,300 teachers to fill vacancies in our primary schools, while a sum of N6.2 billion has been released as subvention to our tertiary institutions”.