The leadership roles of Governor Oluwaseyi Abiodun Makinde of Oyo State in the state, zone and national level of his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), are legendary. No less was his role in the G5 Governors’ group and, recently, in the nation’s polity. They played significant roles in ensuring that the ethos of democracy were not only sustained but were displayed.
On assumption of office, Governor Makinde did not hide the fact that he had come to work hard for the development of the state and in the best interest of the people. Under “Omituntun 1.0”, he rolled out various programmes ranging from the economy, security to health and education.
The governor, a trained engineer, has always maintained that he joined the PDP not for personal gains but for the development of the state by finding lasting solutions to the array of problems facing it.
Makinde may have four pillars upon which the “Road Map to Accelerated Development in Oyo State, 2019-2023” is based, but that does not mean that other sectors of the economy have been ignored. Achievements in the listed sectors have contributed to the overall growth of the economy. In 2020, Oyo State was one of the top five states in Nigeria that experienced year-on-year growth in internally generated revenue (IGR). In real terms, the state added over N1 billion monthly in IGR.
In the area of the economy, Governor Makinde’s administration has, for the third year in a row, prioritised growing the economy of Oyo State to move the people from poverty to prosperity. With agribusiness as the major driver of the economy, Oyo State has attracted private investments of over N27 billion in agribusiness alone in the past three years.
The governor has continued to invest in infrastructure development to keep up with the growing population. This is creating jobs in both the formal and informal sectors.
In addition, the Makinde-led administration has injected funds into the Oyo State economy by regularly and consistently paying the salaries of the state workers and pensioners.
It is, therefore, not surprising that a United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) research ranked Ibadan as the second fastest-growing city in Africa. Industrialisation, urbanisation, and economic activities were cited as reasons for the growth.
In the past one year, the Makinde administration has been carrying out road projects that improve access to rural feeder roads. The 12km Apete–Awotan–Akufo Road which leads to the Akufo Agribusiness Hub (previously a farm settlement), the 34.85km Oyo–Iseyin Road which leads to the Fasola Agribusiness Hub, and the 45.3km Saki—Ogbooro–Igboho Road are being reconstructed, while the 76.67km Ogbomoso–Fapote–Iseyin Road is being constructed.
To ensure safe, adequate and efficient transport infrastructure that can sustain the social and economic development of the state, the governor has, in the past one year, embarked on the following projects: vehicle transition areas, construction of four modern bus terminals strategically located at the exit and entrance points of Ibadan, Iwo Road, new Ife Road, Challenge and Ojoo, construction and rehabilitation of roads and bridges, and junction improvement to decongest traffic within major cities, construction of general gas flyover, Challenge/Felele junction improvement, dualisation of 9.7km Saki township road, inclusion of road furniture such as traffic signals, lay-by road marking and zebra crossing.
The construction of the Fasola Agribusiness Industrial Hub is at advanced stage and businesses like Chief Quails Limited and SWAgCo Limited have already started producing crops there, while FreislandCampina WAMCO Nigeria has signed an MOU for livestock production.
The Oyo State Agribusiness Development Agency (OYSADA) has been collaborating with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) to train youths at the Oyo State-IITA Youth Agribusiness Incubation Park Centre, which currently hosts 100 youths who are undergoing training. This commenced in the governor’s second year in office and is ongoing.
In the past year, the Oyo State government has approved the expansion of the Start Them Early Program (STEP) in additional six schools in all geographical zones in the state. STEP introduces agribusiness development to secondary school students in Oyo State and is facilitated by the Oyo State Agribusiness Development Agency (OYSADA) in partnership with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA).
In the previous years, preparations were finalised for the launch of the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone (SAPZ) which is backed by the African Development Bank (AfDB). SAPZ will commence in a 300-hectare facility in Atan community in Akinyele local government area