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‘Osun government will not indulge in borrowing’


Osun State Commissioner for Works and Transport Remi Omowaiye spoke with TOBA ADEDEJI on how Governor Adegboyega Oyetola is tackling the infrastructure challenge in the state.

What is the achievement of this administration, so far?

By God’s grace, we’ve achieved a lot and we have surpassed our expectations. As the commissioner for works and transport, I can tell you categorically that we have done a lot in the infrastructural sector, but more importantly, we have prudently manage the finances of the state, and that has given rooms for us to meet a lot of yearnings of the electorate. We’ve been pay full salary of workers promptly and regularly. We are revitalising the health sector, we promised when we came in that we are going to do 332 primary health care centre, one per ward. As I speak today, we have done 300 and revitalize them.

Are the primary health centres equipped?

Yes! We ensure that they are fully functional, and we stock them with drugs. The salary payment for health workers was improved and was reviewed upward. We also ensure that the funding to regularly maintain these health facilities are released promptly.

Can you highlight some of the ongoing projects in the health sector?

We are doing general hospital in Ejigbo. We have completed general hospital Ifetedo. When we came in, monkeys used to go to accident and emergency wards in Asubiaro, today those wards have been repaired, we have done the laboratory, we have done the central store. We are building a 120-bedded capacity ward, which is like 70 per cent completed, we are doing a 30-flats doctor quarter in the state hospital, Asubiaro. We have renovated the children’s ward, you also know that during this period, we had an outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, we use a lot of isolation centres.

Any other area of focus by this administration?

Commerce is key to this administration. The biggest market, which is Atakunmosa market, is been rebuilt. That market got burnt in 2015. Dagbolu international dry port was flagged off and there is going to be a massive road network within the Dagbolu business hub.

What about the road infrastructure?

We are doing a lot of township roads and roads connecting major towns together because we realize that there is no way the economy of any city can grow without good road network and there is no way people can do trans-state business if the road linking towns together are bad. Ede, Ejigbo, which is about 22 kilometres, is 80 per cent completed. We just awarded Ejigbo township road. We have done Oke Gather road, Ede. We want to complete that road so that people who are coming from Ilorin/Ogbomonso and Ogun state can come in through Ejigbo. We are doing a road that traverses through Ife north which is the biggest project in the history of Ife North and it will be completed by November. Alekuwodo road network was very terrible before we came in but now we have fixed over five roads. The Ilesha roundabout, Irojo, Sabo expressway, about 4KM have been completed, the Ada/Igbajo road which is 13.5KM will be ready for commissioning by November end. Klebe Iragbiji road, construction is on-going which is about 16km. Aagba township road is ongoing. We are doing quite a lot of road but more importantly, we are collaborating with the Federal Ministry of works to get our federal roads to fix especially the Iwo/Osogbo road and other roads in Osun West.

Gbongan/Akoda road, we have remobilised the contractor back to the project. Osogbo/Ila-Odo and Oba Adesoji Aderemi circular road work is ongoing. Ona-Baba-Ona work is ongoing. A portion of Ilesha to Stadium almost 4KM had been done. We have not abandoned any project we inherited from the past administration.

What was the greatest challenge that was faced by this government during the COVID-19?

We have a lot of issue with funding because we did not prepare for it. We are stretch financially, however, the governor was able to manage the situation. We built isolation centres, increased sensitisation and lockdown when necessary. At the peak of the Coronavirus, we are part of the few states that meet the NCDC standard of having at least 350-bedded isolation centre.

How far have Oyetola’s government gone in repaying the debt you inherited from Rauf Aregbesola’s administration?

I can tell you that we have paid over N40 billion so far.

Considering all the projects that this administration is carrying out and the lean resources of the state, is Oyetola administration considering borrowing like its predecessor?

What we will continue to do is that we will continue to manage the resources at our disposal and whatsoever we need to do to ensure we provide the dividend of democracy without overburden our people, we are going to do it. So far, we have not to borrow money, we are judiciously managing the resources we have.

So, the administration is not considering borrowing?

As I said, we are not going to overburden the economy of the state. If it requires that we need to borrow, we will not overburden the state because we are mindful of the fact that, we must not do what will make the generation coming to place a curse on us. If we have to borrow, we are going to ensure that we are project-specific, and we are going to ensure that it is reasonable. Looking at those things we have done, we have recorded a lot. We looked at our cash flow and we have made lots of sacrifices to ensure a good life for our people, we may not be making so much noise about it. Anything we need to do that is lawful, legal without putting an unnecessary burden on the economy of the state, that is what we are going to do.

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