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My advice for Gov Makinde —Adeyemi


YOU are one of the key players in the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State. How did you feel when the party lost the state during the last general election?

It’s a known fact that without the collaboration and gang-up of other parties, there is no way any other party can defeat the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State. The indices are clear. A party that went into a national election and came out with nine House of Representatives’ members and two senators remain a dominant party. But during the governorship election, the other parties teamed up. This is not to say that there were no steps taken by the APC that was against the people’s wish. But reconciliation is ongoing to reposition the party to overcome our electoral challenges. I want to assure you that our party is on ground and we will show the people the stuff we are made of and in future elections, we will make a comeback. The party you are celebrating today was kicked out before.


How will you assess the administration of the Oyo State governor in the state so far?

I believe that six months is pretty too short to access a new government, particularly in a state like Oyo. Some of his policies are good so far; some are not too good. The prompt payment of workers’ salary is commendable. But a situation where a state governor makes pronouncement without proper information, only to cancel it the following day is not good, or a situation where the governor said that when a contract is awarded, certain percentage goes to the governor without proper check; for example, the Iseyin road contract was awarded by the Ajomobi administration for N7 billion and the governor said he heard that if Ajimobi awarded contract, a percentage goes to the governor, another percentage to the wife of the governor, etc. At the end of the day, he reviewed the contract to about N9 billion. Look at what happened on the circular road which is a joint project of experts to develop the first capital of the defunct Western Region. Unfortunately for our governor, he thought the road was being sponsored by the state governor. He went there and said he had cancelled the contract and they told him you can’t cancel the contract because it is not a government contract. They told him ‘we have gone this far, this is a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement. Will you give us back our money?’ Our governor needs to wait to be properly briefed and should not always rush to the press because it is not good for a governor to say one thing today and rescind it tomorrow. When a governor starts talking from two sides of the mouth, he will not be taken seriously.


Nigeria has returned to the January to December budget circle with the early passage of the 2020 budget Appropriation by the Ninth National Assembly? What difference do you foresee based on the new arrangement?

I want Nigerians to know that the era of playing politics with the development and economic growth of Nigeria by the National Assembly is gone for good. The ninth Assembly is focused and determined to partner the executive whenever it is necessary for development to take place. For no reason whatsoever will the legislature, especially the National Assembly be a hindrance to the progress of the country. Our job is to partner the Federal Government of Nigeria, especially the executive arm for the development of the nation. So, if the executive brings a budget to us now, it is our duty as legislature to scrutinise it and we have done this in good time without compromising the principles of separation of power. This was done so that the country can be operating a January to December budget circle. What we have done is to show commitment and national interest; to show to the world that for once, Nigerians want to get things right so that we all can benefit from it. I have high hope and expectation that, having done our part as legislators and sent it back to the executive who are the executioners of the projects, they will do the needful. Don’t forget that we will also go on oversight of the projects approved in the budget. We have done the first part of our job by passing the budget and sending it back to the executive. When they are implementing the budget, we will still go along with them in over sighting the implementation of the budget.


Some Nigerians perceive the ninth Assembly as a mere rubber stamp, especially when you look at the speed with which you passed the budget.

That section of Nigerians were at the receiving end when for seven months, the budget was not passed by the eighth Assembly. History beckons. If by doing our job in earnest to see to the growth and development of the people and their welfare is termed rubber stamp, I beg to disagree. Our duty is to support the executive in alleviating poverty and ensuring the growth of the economy of the nation. We are not elected to frustrate or play politics with the lives of Nigerians. That is not to say that we are now a rubber stamp. The era, where somebody will tell you that the budget is missing is gone. The era where for seven months, the budget is not passed, is that what you call not being a rubber stamp? Passing the budget on time so that it can be implemented for the benefit of all Nigerians, for schools to be constructed on time, for healthcare delivery to be implemented speedily and for the economy to grow and debt paid in time and workers paid on time, is that what you call rubber stamp? As long as this is done for the growth of Nigeria and for the welfare of the people, I don’t have any apology being part of it.


You are from a border community in Oyo State. Having interfaced with the members of your constituency, what is your position on the continued closure of the borders?

I support the decision of the federal Government to close the nation’s land borders. There had been lots of adulterated food items imported to the country and when you consume them, there is the risk of having a series of health challenges, including cancer. Again, you wonder how a country like Benin Republic should turn Nigeria to a dumping ground for imported rice, whereas its citizens are not consuming such rice because of the health implications. They import rice, collect the import duties and then smuggle them into Nigeria. How will our agriculture sector improve when we allow other countries to bring food items into Nigeria when we have the capacity to produce such items? How can our famers grow when we allow expired rice to be brought into the country? What was the level of success of the agricultural revolution embarked upon by past administrations in the country? During the former President Obasanjo’s administration, we had cassava revolution, as many farmers went to the farm to cultivate cassava. But, where did that take us? Don’t forget that the mover of any policy always has a high hope on its success. During the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, there was so much campaign for cassava bread. Nobody has seen one slice of the bread because of one factor or another. Under the president administration, there is a rice revolution and anything that will make the policy succeed, we will do it. We cannot be carrying out a rice revolution, while at the same time leaving open our borders for rice to be brought in again. You cannot probate and reprobate at the same time. Instead of farmers in Thailand to be smiling, let the farmers in my village and across the country smile by cultivating rice for local consumption. Later, we can think of exporting what is left. Some organisations claimed that Nigeria has become the poverty capital of the world. When the poverty capital of the world has now decided to close its borders, why are you complaining? Why are you begging us to reopen our borders? Do they want us to export poverty to their countries? From what is happening, you will know that even those neighbours that we assist are the ones bringing us down. The closure of the borders is a blessing in disguise to Nigeria because the policy will grow the economy, and Nigerians will, in turn, praise President Buhari for taking the bold step.


You moved a motion on the dormant Immigration Office in Oyo town. Can you expatiate on what you hope to achieve?

The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), in its own wisdom of expansion and operation exigencies, decided to have an office in Oyo town and this was approved and funds were provided for it. They came to the town and did the construction and the building is ready for use. What is left right now is for staff and equipment to be moved there to make it functional. The building has been completed since October 2018. As the representative of the people of the area, I have to get the attention of the government and the leadership of the Immigration Service to make the place functional. I am using this opportunity to draw the attention of the service to the need to make the office functional.


Did you make any attempt to get to the Immigration Service on the matter?

The community has sent emissaries to them. The Alafin of Oyo, His Majesty Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, has also exchanged messages with them on the need to put the office into use. The constitutional way of tabling the matter by the people is through the National Assembly. After this, I will follow it with lobbying.

My advice for Gov Makinde —Adeyemi
Tribune Online

source https://tribuneonlineng.com/my-advice-for-gov-makinde-adeyemi/

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