This Essay was Submitted by Stella Adesiyan-Eyenla
Good afternoon my people, the people of the state of Osun, the Land of Virtue. I appreciate you coming out to listen to me, may we always have reasons to celebrate.
The welfare of my people is my priority, even before the money or revenue of the state. I am ready to give it all it takes for my people to flourish and grow, that this would a source of amazement for other states and even countries. I will try my utmost best to improve the standard of living of my people to the peak because only then can the government itself get to the peak, after all, without the people, there is no government.
My plans for the state are in two branches, the People and the Land. If each of these is raised to their highest potential, the sky is our limit. South Korea is one of the top countries today, not because of its mineral resources but because of its human resources. If no one will help you, you must help yourself. In Osun State has large deposits of gold and other mineral resources, it has a rich cultural heritage, it also has hardworking people. Who should prosper if not us?
As to the welfare of my people, the first thing I will do is make sure there is stable electricity. Most of the businesses in the state fail because the cost of creating their own power supply is greater than the revenue. If you are assured that you will have light to perform whatever duties your company needs, your problem is half solved. Increased availability of electricity will also attract more industries. The welfare of the people is my utmost priority, after all, if a husband is wealthy it would reflect mostly on his wife. Therefore, If the people are wealthy, it would reflect on the State Government itself.
My government will finish building the dams at Asejire, which has been abandoned since the ’80s. We will be making our own power and even giving out once it is done. We will also harness Solar Energy to create electricity, particularly in rural areas. Once we have better power supply more businesses will move into the state of Osun. This will lead to the creation of jobs for our unemployed youths. Those whose businesses require standby power supply will be at an advantage, and losses suffered will be drastically reduced. Even, if you have a particular business you want to begin, but the cost of generating your electricity has been an impediment, now is the time.
My people, lack of good roads is a major problem affecting us all. We will work together with you to identify and reconstruct all faulty road networks so that we can lessen the stress of road travels and the risk of accidents. Also, all our rail systems which have gone bad will be renovated to a top-notch level and the system expanded so that intrastate travel by rail will be possible. This would lessen activities on the road and provide quicker and more effective, not to mention, a cleaner system of transportation. It would also be cheaper compared to the fuel vehicles use.
You see, Osun state is blessed with many resources, particularly Agricultural based. Every year, Agriculture brings us about 35% of the Gross Domestic Product and employs 70% of the populace. The road connecting rural to urban areas are so terrible that the only way to commute is by motorcycles. Once the rainy season begins, Commute is halted and whatever produce has been labored upon and harvested goes to waste. We are willing and ready to make sure this never happens again. Come rain, come shine, once the roads are fixed, the commute and transportation of goods will go on infinitely. The people of Osun will get products at a cheaper rate, since the supply will be higher, the farmers get to sell their produce and go home smiling while Osun’s Gross Domestic Product continues rising.
Many towns and villages have no access to clean water. In a research undertaken in 2019, about 33% of people in the country have no sustainable access to clean water. As we all know, water is life, we cannot survive without water. Through the Ministry of Water Resources, we will make sure clean water is accessible to all and sundry, whether in the towns or villages all over the state. Solar powered Borehole water tanks will be commissioned strategically across all urban areas and villages in this State.
Furthermore, too many of our people are dying from sicknesses that can be easily prevented, all because they cannot reach a hospital or the hospital available has no drugs to give to them. The infant-mother mortality rate has been increasing in Osun state and Nigeria generally while decreasing in other parts of the world. Everyone has a right to good and affordable healthcare. We will build more hospitals and equip them with everything needed, especially in the rural areas. Also, we will be setting up an insurance plan for the health services, even to the point when one might even be treated for free at the hospital.
Even so, the education of our children is paramount because they are the leaders of tomorrow. All they need to succeed must be given to them as and when due. Educational Supervisors will be employed who will go from school-to-school on a regular basis to see if all schools comply with laid down safety principles. Any school deviating from this would be sanctioned accordingly. Children must have a safe environment to learn. Public Schools in this state will receive a new lease on life. They will be raised to the standard of international schools academically, such that they will surpass their contemporary in private schools. A child with a good foundation can achieve anything, no matter if he is from a rich or poor home.
This leads me to the payment of salaries. All workers of this state will be paid as and when due. The Bible says “…The wages of a hired man are not to remain with you all night until morning”. If you work, why should you not be paid your due, from Civil Servants to Teachers and all others in the employ of the government, not excluding the Pensioners. Salaries would be paid on time, after all, good remuneration is a good incentive to work better.
We also intend to grant Tax Waivers and Holidays to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and Large Industries. Through this, we aim to help MSMEs gain traction and attract large industries into the state for production, thereby leading to increased employment opportunities for our youth and prosperity for the people.
The second branch of our agenda is the Land. This itself is divided to 3 phases- Agriculture, Mining and Tourism. Agriculture brings about 34.49% of the Gross Domestic Product yearly. If it is focused upon and maximally utilized by making farming easier for farmers and agricultural enthusiasts, through the provision of funds and seeds, agricultural technology and training on their application, and agreements with international organization as to the sale of this produce, it would inspire them to do more and once our people move forward, the state itself moves forward.
Osun state has so many resources. Not only is it filled with strong, hardworking people, it has several mineral resources all over from Gold to Tourmaline, Smoky Quartz and many more. Some of the minerals might not have a lot of monetary value but they can be used in other manners. I believe we are not exploring these resources and their advantages to the highest level. Still, it rakes in about 8.5% of the economy. We will work hard on discovering more mineral deposits, follow safety guidelines in the exploration and make these resources turn up a positive amount every year, even up to collaborating with international companies specializing in this industry to bring out the best and highest value possible.
Finally, the tourism sector of this state is in ruins. How can such places of great history of our people like the Osun Oshogbo shrine be falling apart? Osun has a rich history and what better way to show it off than earn money doing it. The tourism sector would be revamped while maintaining the original charm and properties.
In all, the welfare of the people in the State of Osun is paramount in the agenda of this government. We will make sure to take it to the highest possible level during our term in office. All these projects, where and as much as possible, at least up to 70% will be aimed at employing Osun indigenes. From the grassroots to the higher ranks, Osun indigenes will be working for the betterment of Osun State.