From Fred Itua, Abuja
President of the Senate Ahmad Lawan has lamented the recent wave of insecurity across the country. He said it has taken an alarming dimension with murders, kidnappings and wanton attacks on public property becoming daily events nationwide.
Lawan spoke at an event where the Governor of Osun, Mr Adegboyega Oyetola, was named the Blueprint Newspapers’ Governor of the Year 2020.
The governor was presented with the award by the Estu Nupe, who doubled as the Royal Father of Day on the occasion, Dr Yahaya Abubakar, at the Blueprint Impact Series Awards, held in Abuja.
This comes a week after the governor won the Champion Newspaper’s Man of the Year and Governor of the Year 2020 awards.
Lawan, speaking on insecurity, said: ‘While Government is forthright and unrelenting in its efforts to contain the security challenges, the crisis is certainly being aggravated by people cynically projecting our ethnic, religious, cultural and geographical diversities as the primary cause of political instability and social insecurity in Nigeria.’
On the ongoing constitution review exercise, the Senate President disclosed that the National Assembly had received hundreds of memoranda from across the country and many bills proposed for consideration.
According to him, the exercise seeks to strengthen Nigeria’s democratic institutions such as the Legislature and the Judiciary at the national and sub-national levels, the local government system, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and Civil Societies.
He explained that the move would check abuses and strife responsible for holding back the development of Nigeria’s economy and polity.
Speaking with reporters shortly after receiving the award, Governor Oyetola, who was represented at the awards ceremony by his Deputy, Mr Benedict Alabi, appreciated the management of Blueprint Newspapers for the honour, which he said was ‘in recognition of the firm and productive partnership between our administration and the Good People of Osun.’
The governor dedicated the award to the people of the state, saying ‘the honour will further motivate us to serve our people better and build a truly prosperous state.’
Oyetola said transforming the state’s economy sustainably and providing the good life for the people of Osun are the only reasons he and members of his administration are in government.
He stated further: ‘Our administration assumed office 30 months ago with a clear-cut, holistic developmental agenda targeted at the revitalisation of our economy and setting it on the sure footing of sustainable progress.
‘Despite the constraints caused by the five months of post-election litigation during the first year and the six months lockdown during our second year, we have remained exceptionally focused on delivering value to our people.
‘For instance, our quest for the transformation of our economy led us to the hosting of the Economic and Investment Summit shortly after assuming office. The event provided us with an opportunity to share our Development Agenda with the organised private sector and to enlist their support in our journey to redefining the socio-economic climate in the state.
‘So far so good, the gains are trickling in with an increasing number of investors birthing in the state. Some of the most notable gains of this initiative are the Ultra-modern Aluminium Factory in Ede, the Osun Ethanol Bio-Refinery Factory located in Ayekale and the International Trade Centre/Industrial Hub and Inland Port at Dagbolu Dry Port where construction work is ongoing and which promises to significantly change the business narrative in Osun and adjoining states.
‘We are also working hard towards ensuring less dependence on the federal allocation. The strategy we are deploying is to capitalise on our comparative advantage in the sectors of agriculture, tourism and mining. As such, we have begun vigorous reforms in these key sectors alongside others, with a view to repositioning them for optimal performance.
‘In the health sector also, we are already implementing perhaps the most ambitious intervention ever done by any state government in the history of our country. The intervention programme involves a total rehabilitation of Primary Health Centres across all the 332 wards in Osun – one per ward.
‘We have equipped them adequately with drugs and all the requisite medical equipment to aid the provision of the best healthcare possible. We have also followed this with the rehabilitation of nine general hospitals, among other notable interventions in tertiary healthcare.
‘Our modest progress in infrastructure development is also worth mentioning. Since assuming office, we have been able to construct over 300 kilometres of roads, alongside other rehabilitative interventions. Although within the limit of our income, this would really appear like squeezing water out of the rock, we are undeterred all the same.
‘Prosecuting these projects under these dire economic situations has been made possible owing to our alternative funding strategy, underscored by our private sector partnerships and the values of probity, transparency, accountability, and financial prudence that have defined our administration.’