DIVERSIFICATION; AN INSIGHTFUL AND VISIONARY TECHNIQUE ADOPTED BY AREGBESOLA.
BY; AFOLABI ABDULMALIK OMOGBOLAHAN
From a chronological perspective, it is quite irrefutable to state that the state of osun has become a full-fledged adult. This is evidenced by her evolutionary history: From the 1991 to 2018, Osun is twenty seven years old.
Conversely,a twenty-seven-year old Nigerian is deemed an elderly and a seemingly experienced person.
The big question however is, in view of Osun’s evolutionary history (1991 – 2018) and her complex ethnographic composition, can we regard Osun as an achiever? The only answer to this question is an emphatic “Yes!.”
This is due largely to the incessant developmental projects which have been embarked upon by the amiable Governor of the state — Ogbeni Abdulrauf Adesoji Aregbesola.
It is in this background that this article looks foward to commending ways which the State of osun’s economy has been diversified which has quicken its recovery and repositioned the state toward its development.
With a vision “to make Osun the food basket of the South West”, Governor of the State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has so far achieved a lot in the vision he laid out six years ago when he took mantle of power on November 27, 2010.
A holistic agricultural policy taken by the government has placed the state on the green map of the South West in a space of 6 years; making it one of the major suppliers of agricultural produce to markets in Lagos and other South Western states.
Ogbeni Aregbesola also led an official government delegation to Germany in search of new insights on modern agriculture in order to further realise the dream of making Osun the food basket of the South West. Germany has in the past four years trained over 40 young people from Osun in modern agriculture techniques such as ‘40days Goat Fattening’ etc.
There are numerous facts on the agricultural sector in Osun, which include, but not limited to: Over 50,000 tonnes of cocoa exported annually, Over 16,000 jobs created for the indigenes of State of osun, Over 700km of rural roads built to reduce cost of transportation for farmers and increase access to markets, 30 bridges constructed, with access given to areas cut-off from civilization, Over 2.8 billion naira given to farmers as loans., Over 11,000 farmers have been supported with direct cash transfers, 5,000 farmers’ co-operatives registered, Over 71,000 farmers have benefitted from the Governments interventions.
Furthermore, talking about education sector, Aregbesola’s effort in developing Osun’s educational sector is second to none in the whole country.
Things seemed to have been hard for private schools in Osun as some of the schools proprietors and proprietress lamented over the sharp decline in the enrollment intake into the private schools in the state.
The decline which was described as artificial was said to have been the positive effects of education revolution of the present government in the state.
As it is, facts have emerged that the administration of Governor Rauf Aregbesola had not only taken the bull by the horn at revamping education sector, but has also refocused the people’s attention and interest to quality, qualitative and functional education through his various interventions that have attracted residents, particularly parents to resolve taking their children to public schools.
The Osun public school sector that had almost collapsed and failed prior Aregbesola’s government are now at the central point of reference in enrollment strength, leaving private schools at enrollment low ebb.
It was gathered that private schools in the state are gradually loosing students to public schools due to facilities which Aregbesola’s administration had put in place to advance public education.
Aregbesola is very famous with his O-symbol, several policies and people oriented have been rolled out and are still rolling daily. In the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme O’YES, various interventions to gainfully engage the Youths after their 2-year period were instituted in collaboration with other government programmes like O’YES, O’REAP, OYESTECH, O’HUB, to mention, but few.
The award winning Tablet of Knowledge, OPON-IMO, O’Calisthenics, O’Uniform, O’MEAL that has fed over 350,000 elementary school pupils for the past seven years which the President Muhammadu Buhari administration has also adopted into its own Social Investment programme and many more that is earning the state accolades nationwide and internationally.
The government through its passion and great zeal for excellence in all fields and ramifications ensured that 65 medical students of the Osun State University(Uniosun) who were hampered to continue with their clinical studies in the university due to accreditation issues completed their medical education in Ukraine with thorough and adequate intervention.
In the Health Sector, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola upgraded the nine state hospitals in the state with the state hospital, Asubiaro in Osogbo, he refined it to the status of a specialist hospital. Numerous interventions have been done in the realm of Free Eye Surgeries, Provision of Basic Drugs in health facilities, giving health grants, containing the break out of epidemics and the rest despite the daunting finances.
One of the areas where the present administration has received so much accolades is in Road Construction, one which has earned the Governor the name, ‘ONA BABA ONA’, which connotes the Extraordinary Architect of Road Construction. In the last seven years, major roads have been built with the government rehabilitating, reconstructing and putting in place new ones. The efforts on Road Construction has been felt so much more with over 300 kilometers of township roads cutting across all the 30 local governments, 33 local council development areas, 2 area councils and 2 administrative offices.
Still on roads, 222km of rural roads have been done with support from World Bank and the French Government under Rural Access and Mobility Project RAMP that now connects the state together. Major roads also like the Gbongan-Osogbo road under construction with the Chief Bisi Akande trumpet interchange bridge, November 27 Interchange connecting two divisions of the Oba Adesoji Aderemi East Bye Pass, the dualisation of Osogbo/Ikirun/Ila-Odo, Kwara State boundary road and the very strategic, Ola-Iya/Asubiaro/Ita-Olokan Road that has just been completed.
Another beautiful thing is that not just that roads are constructed, the roads are of immense quality with thick bridges that can stand the test of time for decades. In the history of the State of Osun, it is the Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola administration that will construct a road that has in it 7 big bridges within 7 years. That is unprecedented you”ll agree with me.
In commerce, Market Men and Women are incorporated into government’s programmes and policies. About 33,000 residents of the state have been empowered through the Osun Micro-Credit Agency, an agency of government that provides soft loans for small scale business owners in the state. Aside this, modern international markets like the Ayegbaju, Aje and Dagbolu International Market(s) which is still in focus have in a great deal transformed the state’s commercial sector. The Dagbolu Infrastructure Market which is still in focus is to be one of the foremost warehouses in the country. The newly introduced Standardized Weigh and Measures to promote efficiency, prudence and restore Trust into Trade activities is also an addition.
On Security, Osun is the 13th safest in the federation with much more focus on ridding the state of crime. There is also the relative peaceful disposition between farmers and herdsmen that has plunged several parts of the North to serious danger with the committee put in place by the present administration. Businesses especially in the hospitality realm are springing up, The cocoa industry in Ede is being revived. The GDP has improved tremendously with Small and Medium Scale Enterprises given the opportunity to rise.
On Sports, Aregbesola has done a lot, especially on football, He rehabilitated and reconstructed Osogbo’s stadium, which makes is better by far, compared to how it was.
The State of Osun especially Osogbo, the state capital has been reformed physically. With the beautification efforts put in place by the current government, the state now looks cleaner, neater and beautiful. One of such is the Nelson Mandela Freedom Park, Osogbo, a former den of rascals that has turned to a beautiful amusement park that becomes a destination for birthdays, picnics and relaxation.
This write-up would not be complete without the support of the Civil Servants who have shown unequalled commitment to the course of the state. They have in hard times shown their doggedness to the course of developing Osun and making our State great. Despite not receiving full pay, they are avowed, diligent to duty. The State will never forget this sacrifice made when the nation’s economy nosedived which did not hinder the development vision of the visioner per excellence, Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola.
The government also appreciates the section of Pensioners who believe in this dream of rebranding our state while calling on those who keep condemning government every time to see reasons why Aregbesola has taken time with much more Efforts to transform our state. Government is indeed committed to fulfilling all financial obligations when the state’s economy improves.
What Aregbesola has done in the last seven years is worthy of note and indelible as Osun in the next three to four decades will continue to savour what this man has been able to do. His successor will not have to reconstruct the roads, schools, bridges and other infrastructural projects he has done, they will have no other option than to build on the Existing Legacies and Mirror In the Future.
Truth be told, at this juncture, you’ll agree with me that Aregbesola’s diversification is unarguably an insightful and brainy technique.
In conclusion, all stakeholders must bear in mind that there is nothing an individual, a state, or country can do successively without functional education. It is quite remarkable that Aregbesola obviously did a lot in this sector, and didn’t jettison other sectors, he diversified constructively.
In view of this therefore, To this, it behoves that Aregbesola’s diversification of the economy by revamping not only the Agriculture sector but also other sectors such as sports, commerce, and above all, education. By so doing, Osun, in no distant time, has cease to be a developing state and become one of the developed states in the country.
About the author: Afolabi is an award winning writer who hails from odo otin local government — Ìnísà in the state of osun, He’s a Student of Law at the University of ilorin, He’s the Current GENERAL SECRETARY of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF OSUN STATE STUDENTS, Unilorin chapter. He can be reached via Afoguarantor11@gmail.com; 08148777171