ADO- EKITI – Keeping faith with his electioneering promises, Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi has demonstrated strong commitments aimed at taking the state to a greater heights ,even in the face of some daunting limitations.
In spite of the fact that Ekiti is in the bottom of the ladder in the Federal Allocation and Internally Generated Revenue Drive in Nigeria ,the Fayemi’s administration is contending with huge debt bequeathed to it by the immediate past Ayo Fayose-led government of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the avalanche of abandoned or uncompleted states projects.
Fayemi had substantially tackled the intra party crisis arising from the last Governorship Primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC) where 33 gladiators participated.
The representation of the various interest groups and political blocs with APC was a clear sign that the governor is actually committed to genuine reconciliation and ready to carry everybody along.
His first task in office was to restore the confidence of both local and international business partners ,many of who had left the state during Fayose’s tenure. Banks ,International Organizations as well as other Private Investors who have closed their offices in Ekiti between 2014-2018 have since returned for business and partnership with the state.
The governor had given indication that his government will complete the repayment of the N25billion took from Capital Market eight years ago.
Dr Kayode Fayemi, during his first tenure obtained the bond to finance some legacy projects in the state.
But the bond had remained a subject of controversy as the immediate past governor Ayo Fayose claimed that the money was mismanaged.
Fayemi said contrary to the position canvassed by the Fayose-led government that his administration plunged the State into needless debts, which would be defrayed till 2036, the funds were judiciously expended on landmark projects that were of immense economic gains to State.
Fayemi who said that the first tranche of N20 billion had already been defrayed said the repayment of the remaining N5 billion would be completed next year contrary to 2036 claimed by Fayose.
The governor spoke in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday while hosting a team of officials from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), who visited the State to assess projects executed with N25 billion bonds taken by Fayemi from capital market during his first term in office.
He explained that the funds were expended on the construction of eleven road projects across the three senatorial districts, Ikogosi warm spring resort, Ire Burnt Brick, Ekiti Liaison office in Lagos, Adunni Olayinka Civic Centre, Ekiti Parapo Pavilion, and Oke Ayoba Governor’s lodge, among others.
The governor has also promised to recruit hundreds of unemployed youths into gainful ventures .
Since the youths forms 65percent of the state’s population, Fayemi assured of rolling out huge opportunities for them in Agriculture and other sectors .
The latest of such laudable effort at winning the confidence of international corporate organization is the commitment got by governor Fayemi from the African Development Bank(AfDB) in the area of infrastructural development and Agriculture .
Yinka Oyebode,Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to governor Kayode Fayemi made available to newsmen gave details of the AfDB’s intervention to Ekiti .
The statements said , Ekiti State government team led by Fayemi is currently meeting the AfDB President, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina at the organisation’s headquarters in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire .
“Other projects which the AfDB is willing to support are the Ekiti Airport, the Ekiti Knowledge zone (a smart city to promote knowledge economy) and the agriculture processing zone project, all geared towards improving infrastructure and socio– economic development of the state.
Speaking at the meeting, Governor Fayemi, who is also the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), said his administration decided to seek AfDB’s support for the projects that are crucial to the infrastructure and industrial development of Ekiti State so as to improve the fortune of the state, reposition it as a destination of choice for investment and create jobs.
Specifically, he said Ekiti State needed to upgrade its infrastructure and invest in agric business, which will in turn provide jobs for its teeming population of youths, which he put at 75 percent of the state’s total population. He added that setting up a smart city to promote knowledge economy is also crucial to the administration.
Governor Fayemi said: “These are our local priorities. If you can support us, it will enable us to do some other things through our own limited resources.
“We have aligned our priorities to the AfDB’s priorities which apply to us, such as lighting up Africa; Feeding Africa; Industrialise Africa etc. All these apply to us as our plan is to make Ekiti a destination of choice for her citizens and all those who will like to live, work and invest in the state.
“To achieve this, we need to invest heavily in infrastructure. We want to fix the roads, have our small cargo airport that will aid agriculture and open our landlocked state to domestic and international markets and ultimately create jobs that our state urgently needs for its vibrant and educated youth population.”
The AfDB President said the bank is excited about the plans for job creation, especially for the youths and the plans to improve the stock of infrastructure. He said the menace of kidnappings and banditry in the country would be arrested with more investments and job opportunities for the youths.
Dr Adesina said government must find a way to create jobs for the teeming population of unemployed youths, in order to secure the future of the country.
The governor has also facilitated the engagement of 5000 by World Bank in partnership with Ekiti State Government for Community Service .
The youths ,who are within the age range of 18 and 45 are engaged through the World Bank sponsored scheme called Youths Employment and Social Support Opetation (YESSO).
YESSO, is a community development programme where temporary jobs were provided for youths in form of labour intensive activities involving cleaning of public utilities like; roads, buildings, palaces , drainages, among others.
Speaking with newsmen during the launching of the programme at Ifaki on Thursday, the Coordinator of the programme, Mr. Kolawole Omoyeni, said under Dr. Kayode Fayemi’s first tenure, this welfare programme was tagged Ekiti Youth Volunteer Scheme.
He said: “It was meant for youths who are certificated, having Ordinary National Diploma and above. They were given temporary engagement and were being given ten thousands Naira monthly.
” World bank came to support states who are having such programmes and since Ekiti has the scheme on ground, the bank considered Ekiti, public welfare is another target of the programme, and this time it is basically targeting youths from 18 to 45 years of age who are not certificated, that is, not having at least a school certificate.
In another development, Governor Fayemi has hinted that the controversial multi billions new Oba Adejugbe Market would be ready for commissioning in October .
The Information Commissioner, Mr. Muyiwa Olumilua, who disclosed this to journalists said the all important project would ready for use as the Executive has approved it as one of the projects to be given prompt attention .
Speaking further on the Oba Adejugbe market, the Commissioner for Works, Mr. Sola Adebayo, said : ” the facility is 70 percent completion and we want to commission it during Fayemi’s first year in in office .
“The contractor has been mandated to deliver by September ending. We have done a lot of amendments by removing some structures therein. We have a local content law that will make the indigenes participate in the contract and allocation”, he said.