The Bureau of Communication and Strategy in the state of Osun on Sunday said Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s determination to wean Osun from the culture of dependence on Federal Allocation was behind the haste with which his administration embarked on key programmes which have been lauded in and outside Nigeria.
The Bureau, through a statement by the Director, Semiu Okanlawon, said the government’s approach to agriculture, industrialisation and tourism and massive infrastructure provision were driven by the clear possibility that the sole reliance on the Federal Government for states’ survival would one day throw the country into an economic quagmire of immense proportion.
Assuring that before the end of June, workers would be paid their salaries, the statement said from the onset, the Aregbesola administration had set out to ensure that it energises the economy in such a way that proceeds from the economic activities and taxes from thriving companies in Osun would drive the economy and not the reliance on allocations from Abuja.
Mr. Okanlawon statement explained, “The dream has not gone awry and it is a clear vision that Osun must be on its feet, self-reliant and be a reference point in Nigeria. The race to ensure development within the first term of Aregbesola was informed by the fear of what is happening now.
“Aregbesola wanted an Osun that is self-reliant. That Osun, almost two decades after its creation, could not boast of tax-paying companies speaks volume about the magnitude of the works that awaited the Aregbesola administration.
“But he did not shy away from this task of industrialisation. Within his first term, his government had caused investors to bring up companies such as the Omoluabi Garment Factory, Osogbo, Adulawo/RLG Technology company in Ilesa.
“Just last month, a leading telephone line company, Airtel, came to establish partnership with the Adulawo/RLG company. These are aside the various agro-allied companies which have benefited from the growth schemes of the Aregbesola administration throughout the state.
“The government has also commenced aggressive drive for the development of the solid mineral sector with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with an Australian mining firm, Andalusian Mining Industry.
“It was in the same vein that the idea of an airport for aircraft maintenance was conceived.”
The statement reminded all that Aregbesola had said repeatedly that only a lazy administration would accept the tag of Osun as a “civil servant” state as excuse for not developing initiatives for industrialisation.
“To accept that our state must continue to survive on the meagre inflow through what goes to the civil servants alone is to accept that we would continue to depend on external forces for our survival.
“We must work hard to give our people many choices. If you want to work in the civil service, it must be the choice that our people make on their own volition and not that there are no other choices regardless of their education, qualifications and expertise.”
The statement cited the instance of Lagos which today can pay its workers timely and still continue its development works.
“People must not forget that Lagos, in 1999 when former Governor Bola Tinubu took over, was generating a paltry sum. It was the ingenious interventions and immediate provisions of infrastructure that lured investors in to create various opportunities for the people and made tax administration much easier for what is now today’s Lagos. This feat can be repeated in Osun and other parts of Nigeria.”
The statement added that those making gains out of the criticism of Aregbesola fail to ponder over these facts adding that in spite of the lingering crisis, the administration will not loose focus.
The statement added the governor has come clean on the state of the finances of the state to ensure that nothing is hidden and to assure the people that despite the precarious situation, he is determined to restore the state to the era where his government paid salaries on the 25th of every month.