Ogun: How governor stimulates prosperity through creativity

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Ogun: How governor stimulates prosperity through creativity

When the leadership of the Nigeria Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) concluded on the choice of Ogun State as the venue of their maiden week, and as well picked the Governor of the Gateway State, Prince Dapo Abiodun as the Patron of the Institute, little did they know that their resolutions were the best in content and in context.

The President of the Institute, Dr Ike Neliaku, while delivering his speech at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Kuto- Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, had informed the audience that one of the reasons behind the choice of Ogun State for the event was being the State of many firsts, ranging from civilization to education, politics, commerce and industry and many more, aside the fact that the Governor of the State in the last five years have provided exemplary leadership that directly touched the lives of his people.

He eloquently eulogised Abiodun for turning around the fortunes of the state through different initiatives, adding that the Institute over the past two weeks have been promoting the remarkable achievements of Abiodun-led administration in the State on their websites, which Neliaku described as a way of putting Ogun State on the global map.

In truth and indeed, Governor Dapo Abiodun, through genuine intention and clear vison to lead his people to the desired heights, as envisaged by the founding fathers of the State adopted distinct style of governance, in total departure from the old order of deception and political chicanery of the past administration, which regrettably impoverished the people and put the State in reverse gear of development until Abiodun came into the saddle in 2019.

Unarguably, Abiodun must have stumbled and carefully pondered on the inspiring postulation of the 35th American President, J.F. Kennedy, who submitted that: “Those who refused to participate in the politics of their environment end up being governed by their inferiors”, hence his unrelenting and consistent efforts towards the gubernatorial seat, amid suffocating and hostile political atmosphere.

This was coincidentally corroborated by one of the participants at the event on Tuesday, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, the Director General of National Orientation Agency, who represented the Minister of Information and National Orientation. Issa-Onilu, one time National Publicity Secretary of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) recounted how at different occasions he had travelled with Dapo Abiodun from Lagos to Abuja during the governorship struggle in 2019.

“As Publicity Secretary of APC at the time, I have had the reasons to travel with His Excellency severally to Abuja during the 2019 governorship election, and each time we travelled, he kept on saying when I get there; when I get there; I told myself, does this man understands what it takes to be a Governor. Today, I am very happy that the man has performed exceptionally well, he did not disappoint us”.

Such testimonies abound about the Prince of Iperu-Remo, the man who has tremendously brought a deep knowledge of financial management and coordination of the private sector to bear in the administration of the State, as he has constantly described himself as the Chief Marketer of the State.

In the first instance, one will wonder how a Chief Executive of a State suddenly became a Chief Marketer and of which product in particular?

“Ogun State is the Gateway to Nigeria’s prosperity, the industrial capital of Nigeria, and the educational capital of this nation. On assumption of office and in appreciation of our competitive and comparative advantages, we were very clear about our vision, which is to provide good and qualitative governance whilst creating an enabling environment for public private
partnership, which is fundamental to economic growth and individual prosperity of our residents.

“We realized this can only be achieved through our “Building our future” together mantra and our ISEYA development pillar where I stands for Infrastructure , S for Social Welfare and Wellbeing, E for Education and Human Development, Y for Youth Empowerment and A for Agriculture and Food Security; we have achieved significant milestones, covering substantial grounds across the state.

“We have prioritized the provision of the required infrastructure, by implementing our multimodal infrastructure policy in appreciation of the importance of the need to facilitate people to live, work and play in Ogun state with ease and utmost comfort. Some of you either came by road or rail and I am sure your experience was nothing but pleasant . That is possible because we deliberately closed our eyes on whether a road is a federal road or state owned.

“To date, we have constructed over 500 km of roads. Very soon, you will be coming here by air, this week, our airport will be approved for non scheduled flights, meaning that Chartered flights can file their flight plans and land at our gateway international airport and in another 2 weeks or less we will receive formal approval for scheduled commercial flights.

“I was sharing at the breakfast with private sector CEOs earlier that we will soon be establishing the Kajola dry container Port. I will not miss an opportunity to share with you that in the last 5 years, we have been very deliberate and intentional about strengthening law enforcement and provision of security by supporting our law enforcement architecture with funding, logistics and technology, which has today earned us the safest state in Nigeria, as there can not be socio economic development in the atmosphere of insecurity.

“We will continue to be proactive in implementing policies and initiatives to increase the ranking of Ogun State in the ease of doing business index, we remain the industrial capital of Nigeria with over 6000 industries and the investors destination of choice, the state with the most improved IGR, being no. 3 heading to no. 2, and the fastest growing economy in Nigeria.

“In the last 5 years, we have built over 4,000 affordable homes and still building as we target 10,000 homes by 2027, we have rebuilt over 1,000 schools and over 100 PHCs. Our commitment to energy transition and cushioning the effects of the petrol subsidy removal is clearly evident. We were the first state in Nigeria to deploy compressed natural gas (CNG) fueled buses, which has resulted in reduced transport fares .

“We are prioritizing ICT & digital economy and have launched and commenced the 5,000 km fibre optic cable, Ogun Digital Economy Infrastructure Project, which will provide digital internet access across the length and breadth of the state. We are repositioning our land administration and management by digitalizing our Certificate of Ownership issuance process. In the last three months, over 7,000 beneficiaries were issued our new 1-page double-sided C of Os.

“Our efforts have not gone unnoticed , as we bagged the Forbes Best of Africa award in industrial revolution and just to add to our list of firsts as mentioned earlier, permit me to add that we are the education capital of Nigeria, the no. 1 in cassava production, no. 1 in the production of poultry, no. 1 in non oil revenue and of course the religious capital of Nigeria”,  Ogun Chief Marketer unambiguously submitted at the NIPR’s maiden week.

Aside these indelible and fantastic accomplishments of his administration, perhaps, the greatest creativity the Governor has displayed was the manner he had revived the hitherto dying ADIRE market in Abeokuta, the traditional tie and dye business of the aboriginal Egba people.

At the time Abiodun resumed as Governor of Ogun State and in his painstaking investigation on how the microeconomic layer of the State could be strengthened to stimulate prosperity among the local populace, findings revealed that the influx of imported ADIRE fabrics from China, with low quality but lower prices have adversely affected the primordial ADIRE market, driving traders in droves out of the business.

As sensitive and proactive State Executive that he is, Governor Abiodun immediately moved into action and formulated a policy where every employee of government must at least put on the ADIRE attire once in a week with strict directive to buy only the local products.

Surprisingly, the ADIRE market immediately came back to life, as the policy injected a whopping 70,000 new customers into the business, raising demand higher than even the present quantity of supply, with resultant boom for the traders.

Obviously, responsible and responsive leadership goes beyond rhetorics and propaganda, it is evidently what Prince Dapo Abiodun is doing in the Gateway State.

All hail the Chief Marketer of Ogun State, Omooba Dapo Abiodun, CON.