Ekiti State Governor, Mr Biodun Oyebanji, on Monday appealed to Ekiti people not to put undue pressure and demands on the newly appointed commissioners and Special Advisers, stressing that such could prevent them from coming to their constituencies regularly as true representatives of the people .
Oyebanji also declared that his government had expended a sum of N213 million to lift 2,600 indigent citizens from poverty under social investment component of his administration within the last 100 days.
He also said that over a hundred project spread across the state were executed between April and July, stressing that the state Independent Power Project (IPP) is due for commissioning next month.
The Governor revealed these in Omuo Ekiti, headquarters of Ekiti East Local government Area, while giving account of stewardship at a stakeholders’ engagement programme marking his 300 days in office.
Addressing the crowd at the well- attended programme held at MIMS Civic Centre, Iludofin, Omuo Ekiti, Oyebanji stated that his government is currently building two model schools in Ikole and Ikere Ekiti to complement the four magnificent structures earlier constructed in Ado Ekiti by the administration of Dr Kayode Fayemi.
Dispelling the fear being nursed by some concerned citizens that the new appointees could slow down his pace performance with their politicking, the Governor said the new appointees are coming with additional values to the government, adding that rather than slow down the pace of work, the public should expect greater level of performance.
“The new commissioners are coming from different background and diverse level of expertise. We are still going to do much more than what we have done . If we can do all these in eight months without full cabinet, we should be able to do times two of these in four years.
“My cabinet members must hear this, our people said I am doing well because my Commissioners, who are politicians have not been brought on board. But I want to say that they don’t have any other choice than to do well. But don’t put unnecessary pressure on them. We should know that political appointment is a position of responsibility.
“When pressure is put on them, they will be dodging and would not want to come home. But these cabinet members are ready and willing and they have the fire power and experiences to do well. I have implicit confidence in them that they can only join us and deliver for our people.
“We must know that we contested the last election and won with APC as a vehicle and our members need to be very careful to remain in government. They must not take our people for granted or misbehave to them”.
In the area of security, Oyebanji rued the reported cases of kidnappings around Imesi-Ode-Omuo axis, saying the Amotekun Corps had been restructured to rise to the occasion of ensuring peace and security across all the towns in Ekiti. He urged traditional rulers to collaborate with the Amotekun Corps and other security agencies in the state to rid the state of criminal elements.
Oyebanji who thanked former Governor Kayode Fayemi for laying a very good foundation upon which his administration is building on, assured that he would strive hard to surpass the achievements of the Fayemi administration, adding that that would be the only way he can vindicate him(Fayemi) that he had made the right choice in backing him.
Giving an explicit breakdown of the fund expended on social security, Oyebanji said his government spent a humongous sum of N96 million on 600 persons under Ekiti State Livelihood Grant component, and N117 million benefited from the Ekiti State Cash Transfer Unit to salvage the poorest of the poor from excruciating poverty.
He said he has released a cummulative sum of N800 million to tertiary institutions as subvention arrears, while he paid N400 million to defray outstanding obligations to State Universal Basic Education Board contractors.
“Aside the 2,600 that benefited from our cash transfer grants, we have registered 1,326 beneficiaries into the Labour Intensive Public Works, with N12,500 monthly stipend. We also distributed N24m to victims of disasters in Oke Ako and Ijesa Isu Ekiti.
“We have distributed N50m worth of relief materials to beneficiaries through the Federal Government Special National Economic Livelihood Emergency Intervention Programme. These are intended to make lives easy for our people”.
In a bid to expand the scope of food production for Ekiti to ascend food security status, the governor revealed that his government has rehabilitated 43.4 kilometre of roads in six local governments besides distributing subsidised farm inputs to 2,279 to farmers.
“My government has supported 1,566 farmers with both production assets and small scale processing equipment likewise providing 25% subsidy tractorisation to farmers”.
In the area of infrastructure and industrialisation, known as the backbones and pivots of any economy , Oyebanji said his government would be strategic in reconstructing and rehabilitating roads, assuring that only roads with high proclivities to drive his prosperity agenda will be accorded attentions.
He posited that the 3.5MW Independent Power Plant project is at completion stage and would supply power to government offices and hospitals and tertiary institutions in Ado Ekiti and suburb, adding that this would rectify the epileptic power supply being experienced in some sections of the state .
“We are reconnecting Ikogosi , Erijiyan and Ikogosi Resort Centre back to the national grid to enhance the state tourism corridor. We need a sum of one billion naira to reconnect Ayekire , Ekiti East Local governments and their LCDAs after 10 years of darkness as well as Agriculture Processing Zone at Ikole back to the national grid.
To control incidences of flooding and wreckage of buildings and other valuable property, Oyebanji said his government had dredged waterways at Oreremope community, Ureje-olaoluwa, Basiri-Olorunda, Omisanjana and other susceptible areas in the state.
Dignitaries at the event include: Ekiti State First Lady, Dr Olayemi Oyebanji, Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Chief (Mrs) Monisade Afuye; Speaker, Ekiti State House of Assembly, Rt Hon. Adeoye Aribasoye; Head of Service, Engr Sunday Akomolafe, Commissioners, traditional rulers, farmers, driver unions, market men and women, students, among others.