Governor Gboyega Oyetola of the State of Osun was on Thursday confered with the Business Day Newspaper Best Governor of the Year 2020 Award.
The award was presented to him at a colourful event held both virtually and physically at the Congress Hall of Trancorp Hilton, Abuja, by the revered emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, who was the Royal Father of the Day.
At the event, where former Nigeria’s Military Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, spoke as the Special Guest of Honour, Oyetola’s emergence, according to the organisers, followed the assessment carried out by its 2020 States Competitiveness and Good Governance Awards Committee.
The organisers said the committee reviewed the transformation the Governor had brought to bear on different sectors in Osun, including health, education, security and inclusive governance since his assumption of office in 2018.
“The Award Committee which is made up of eminent Nigerians reviewed the pragmatic and tangible transformation the governor brought to bear in the governance of Osun above his peers in the country across all segments including Health, Education, Security and Inclusive Governance since you became the governor.
“These are seen as a manifestation of good institutional transformations, creation of friendly business environment, expanding opportunities and a shift towards socio-economic development of Osun,” the Managing Director of Business Day, Dr. Ogho Okiti said.
Responding, Oyetola, who was accompanied by the wife, Mrs. Kafayat; his son, Femi; and some political functionaries from the State, said he was humbled by the recognition.
He said if the administration’s modest efforts at giving its best to Osun people in the most-challenging two years in the country have earned it the highly-coveted award, it is an invitation to do more and surpass its accomplishments in the two years ahead.
“Our people are the reason we are in government and are at the centre of all we do as an Administration. We came into office on the platform (mandate) of Ilerioluwa (God’s Promise), which is undeniable but comes with responsibility. As expected, God performed His own side by giving us electoral victory, thus compelling us to fulfil our own portion of the pact, which we anchored on our Development Agenda.
“This award is therefore a product of two years of fidelity to the content of our mandate, the Development Agenda, which involves provision of adequate, qualitative and equitable services to the people across sectors and the employment of creativity and probity in an economy in tatters, to power the Agenda.
“While the creativity slant includes collaborating with development partners, encouraging and developing our personnel, the probity leg involves prudent management of our resources, plugging wastages and cutting excesses to fund our projects and programmes,” the governor added.
He said although he had spent two years in office, he had barely 12 months to work in the real sense.
Oyetola said once men of honour and integrity are in the saddle, it is possible to provide services to the people and build sustainable economy and development in the public service, the inherent challenges, including bureaucracy and paucity of funds, notwithstanding.
“The uncertainties of eight months of litigation in respect of our mandate, the challenges of six months of lockdown occasioned by Covid-19 pandemic and about one month of EndSARS protest which left us with less than 12 months of governance by the time we were marking our two years in office have proved this strategy to be foolproof and have not deterred us from being faithful to our pact with the people.
“In these 12 months, we have touched virtually all sectors of the economy. We are building new roads, most of which were last touched before the creation of the State; we are building and rehabilitating hospitals, including 332 PHCs at a go, one per ward; we are diversifying our economy by investing heavily in Agriculture, Mining and Culture and Tourism; we are building and rehabilitating schools and we are also investing in our youths by equipping and arming them with skills for a better tomorrow. Additionally, we have also been paying salaries and pensions as and when due in the last two years despite our dire economic situation.
“Our Administration is working tirelessly to set Osun on the pathway of sustainable economic revolution. This development agenda is what we have termed ATM – Agriculture, Tourism and Mining. These are the sectors where we have comparative advantage in view of the presence of resource deposits and potential,” he added.
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