By Toba Adedeji
Veteran Yoruba movie actor, Taiwo Hassan, popularly known as ‘Ogogo,’ recently burst into the minds and views of people again after a long time. The spotlight wasn’t a function of a new cinematic experience, but a regurgitation of a scene from an old flick, which probably resonates more with emerging realities on the Nigerian streets.
The viral scene had ‘Ogogo’, in his characteristically humourless and pensive tone, engage the phrase “gbogbo wa la ma je breakfast,” to preach life’s affordance of fortune to every human, although within differing time zones.
It is not illogical to be apprehensive in a world that economists have posited that human wants are unlimited, but the resources to satisfy them are limited.
In a place like Osun State, where the monthly allocation coming to it from the federation account is not only analogously little, but subject to mammoth deductions aimed at liquidating financial commitments of yesteryears, it is not groundless that citizens are on tenterhooks about the possibilities of the government ‘cutting soap for them’ in the form of dividends of democracy.
But, in a little over two years of his administration, as governor of the state, Adegboyega Oyetola has made bold statements about the possibilities of dividends of democracy penetrative the nooks and crannies of the state. There is hardly a sector of Osun’s economy that the gentleman governor has not touched.
There is scarcely a ward in the state that Oyetola has not impacted through actions that resonate with the needs of citizens. The 332 wards across the state can boast at least one highly functional health facility, thanks to Oyetola’s revitalisation of Primary Healthcare Centres, PHCs, across the wards. Oh, he also revitalised General Hospitals.
Oyetola saved a number of public facilities from outright ruin under his revitalization scheme. Some of the PHCs that had previously been overtaken by monkeys and other animals, according to reports, have been put back in shape and are already delivering values to the people of Osun.
As part of efforts at ensuring that the vulnerable in the society also have access to qualitative healthcare, Oyetola not only released take-off grant for Osun Health Insurance Scheme, OHIS, but also paid about N477 million as premium for the enrolment of vulnerable citizens of the state into OHIS.
At the local government level, there is scarcely any of the existing 30 local government areas of the state that Oyetola hasn’t impacted. Recently, Oyetola flagged-off the Osun Food Support Scheme, OFSS, by which he now feeds 30,000 vulnerable citizens, comprising 1000 persons systematically drawn from each local government, on a monthly basis with effect from March 2021.
At the federal constituency level, there is scarcely any of the 11 constituencies that Oyetola hasn’t either opened a new road or reconstructed existing ones that had become death traps.
Salvaging bad roads across the state, for Governor Oyetola, was not a matter of ostentation, but of bringing economic and social relief to the people of the state. It was a matter of empowering rural farmers, for instance, to facilitate easier movement of their goods to the markets, mostly in the urban areas.
At the level of children, Oyetola has prioritised and paid purposeful attention to the education sector, with the aim of making education more qualitative and functional in the state. With high-grade educational policy review and other strategic initiatives like the Smart School Initiative, SSI, Osun children are coasting in a 21st century-compliant learning environment, among other advantages.
The youths have also enjoyed dividends of democracy under Oyetola’s administration in scintillating and epoch-making fashion. Oyetola’s youth empowerment, youth engagement, youth entrepreneurship and youth education agenda, has seen him string a number of youth-centered policies and actions like dedication of two percent of 2021 budget to youth entrepreneurship and skills upgrade, that will focus on ICT, mining, empowerment programmes, trainings and other related areas.
Oyetola has also flagged-off business concerns that will provide huge job opportunities for youths, like the Dagbolu International Trade Centre, DITC, and the Ethanol Bio-Refinery Factory, EBRF.
The colouration of the state’s civil service has changed significantly in the recent history of Osun. Aside sharply departing from the practice of paying modulated salaries to workers, which was in force before his assumption of office, Oyetola lifted the ban on the promotion and conversion of workers since 2012, and in addition, implemented the Federal Government’s newly approved minimum wage.
Even the senior citizens are not left out in the matter. Retirees who have had to endure the strains of unpaid pensions over the years now have their hopes renewed by a leader who sympathises with their plight. Oyetola, since inception of his administration, commits not less than N708 million every month to offset pension arrears and ensure that the welfare and wellbeing of retired civil servants isn’t thrown into jeopardy.
The thread goes on, but the denominator remains constant, that Oyetola keeps ensuring equitable distribution of dividends of democracy in his administration.
And so, whether you are a teacher or a farmer, a civil servant or a business owner, MSMEs especially, a rural dweller or urban dweller, student or professional, and even regardless of affiliation or ideological subscriptions; the antecedents of the helmsman in just a little over two years call for calmness, because with Oyetola, nobody is left behind; everybody is at the dining table, for breakfast, for lunch, for supper.