GNI 2019 Manifesto Agenda Launch and Guber Declaration

GNI 2019 Manifesto Agenda Launch and Guber Declaration

The State Chairman of our party, State Secretary, members of the State Executive Committee, the Director General and other Directors of my Campaign Organization, Political associates, members of different organized bodies and unions, other levels of invitees, Gentlemen of the press, ladies and gentlemen.
I welcome you all to this occasion which in my estimation is novel in our dear state; for it is the first time that any gubernatorial candidate will publicly launch a manifesto document and state a compendium of plans for the people. In our search for true nationhood and an egalitarian society, we have arrived at a stage whereby the electorate – who are the focus of government – must begin to see, feel and envisage the ideas that their future leaders have; and the shinning possibilities within.
In a short while from now, I will be presenting our suite of programmes that will power the Greater Ogun State Agenda; which we have diligently called, “7 Steps to Abundance”. However, it is appropriate to contextualize where we are coming from, where we are now and where we should be as a state. Between 1976 and now, Ogun state has evolved in terms of socioeconomic and physical growth having progressed from the rustic civil service state to an emerging hub in the West African sub-region.
Yes, we have taken huge leaps forward, but we are still punching below our weight in terms of development and exploitations of our inherent potentials. The core of the conversation around development is about the economy and how it is managed for the welfare of the people – and to this end, the state is still largely restrained and remains a bundle of possibilities.
In terms of human capital development, we always scored first, even though that is no longer the case – despite our early exposure to education – a situation that earned us the reputation as arguably the most educationally advanced state in the Nigerian federation. Ogun has also been a prominent feature in the political evolution of Nigeria as our foremost patriarchs shaped a veritable foundation for the creation of future stars; however, statistics from recent years have shown noticeable decline and truly the dreams of our founding fathers have not been fully realized; forty-two years after creation.
In my view, the fundamental aim of governance is about development, and I believe it is about creating an environment in which people can develop their full potentials and live a healthy, happy and productive lives in accord with their belief and interests; but this can only be sustained if it meets the needs of the present, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
I also believe that economic growth and social infrastructure are only means to an end. That end is human development; and as they say, the end justifies the means. Therefore, if what leaders, especially at state levels do is to concentrate on awarding contracts to build physical structures but fail to relate this to the effect on the people today and in the future, then such have only embarked on a medley of misdirected activities.
Arguably, Ogun state is one of the most blessed states in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, notably for its uniqueness and evolution. Bounded on the west by the Republic of Benin, to the south by Lagos State and a 20 kilometer stretch of the Atlantic Ocean, to the east by Ondo and Osun States, to the north by Oyo State.
The location is good, the weather is conducive, the soil is fertile, topography is favourable, resources abound across its geography and is blessed with talented human resources. The opportunities for growth are without bounds and the potentials for sustainable development are limitless.
We boast of a landmass of 16,762km2 that is both arable and fertile to grow a variety of economic and non-economic crops that grow all year round. Tropical rainfall starts within the third month of the year and ends around November for the dry season and harvest. In terms of topography, it has high lands to the north and lower lands to the west. We are uniquely located such that the entire south of the state is contiguous to the coastline of Lagos (Nigeria’s economic hub) while the same scenario replicates itself in the east via (Ogun waterside) that is bordered by the Atlantic. Ladies and gentlemen, all these are significant signposts of our abiding possibilities.
“If these potentials inherent within us have been vigorously and sincerely pursued in the last few years, devoid of politics and vendetta, the socio-economic development of the state would have been long established and the quality of life of our people would have been substantially elevated”.
But then, what is our current reality at this time? The public narrative in Ogun state today is that of despair at least within the majority. I see the precarious reality of our environment littered with increasing poverty, heightened insecurity, poor social and physical infrastructure, inadequate social services and ballooning unemployment.
I see lack in the midst of plenty, I still see people drinking water from sources worse than I experienced at growing up several years back. I still see clinics without drugs, taps without water, homes without toilets, schools without roofs, high maternal mortality, children dying from avoidable communicable diseases, communities without decent roads and many more relics of underdevelopment. “In all of these, I see the palpable failure of leadership and bad governance at all levels and conspiracy of pliable followers”.
Today the fortunes of Ogun state is reversed and good governance have taken a backseat. There is official deception, misuse of taxpayer’s monies and bad governance. Our public finances is broken as basic principles of fiscal sustainability are not adhered to. With deficits and debt servicing on the rise, there is also reduced revenue and high deductions of federal allocations.
Compared to our population, Ogun state received N14,343 per person, with IGR contributing approximately 74.08% to total revenue in 2017. In that year however, the state’s recurrent expenditure projection of N102billion was higher than the actual revenue received. What this shows is that Ogun’s debt is slowly assuming proportions at a pace that should worry the custodians of the common purse and even the masses particularly.
With an external debt overhang of $107.5million as at December 2017 (up from $103.4million in 2016), coupled with an increase in domestic debt that rose from N58.38billion in 2013 to N106.53billion in 2017 (totaling N140billion as at 2018), Ogun state’s debt servicing costs will create big dent in future revenue prospects and may hamper future developmental plans because domestic debt servicing is accelerating at 18% every year. What this indicate is unsustainably high executive financial mismanagement.
Away from the numbers that is at best precarious at the moment, their negative social and economic impact on the people is even more shocking. Running an economy should be about the people and where a state incurs debt, it ought to be tied to projects and programmes that significantly enhances the people’s welfare and also has capacity to regenerate income for the state.
Today, very important sectors of our socioeconomic life are in shambles and decrepit state – education, healthcare and rural development particularly rural roads. A visit to most of our Primary healthcare centers, comprehensive healthcare centers and even the general hospitals – will reveal a shocking decay; where there are no infrastructure and even personnel. A situation where a local government has just one doctor, serving as administrator and at the same time as clinical officer! Our teaching hospital at Sagamu that was adjudged the second best as at 2002 is now a mere consulting clinic, no infrastructure while the best hands there have fled to greener pastures; you can visit the place!
Secondary health care in Ogun state is in shambles as our facilities are dilapidated structurally and functionally. No basic equipment for usage, No emergency preparedness etc

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