By Prince Adetayo Adekunle
The Governor of Osun State, Mr. Gboyega Oyetola, has hit the ground running. As the Chief of Staff in the immediate past administration of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, he is certainly not a “new face” in the scheme of things.
It is trite knowledge that the fad amongst our governors is going on incessant foreign trips under the guise of seeking foreign direct investment. The outcome of such money gulping trips is largely debatable. But then, it appears that there is a new Sheriff in town, at least for now in Osun. Governor Oyetola seems to be in absolute concurrence with the Yoruba axiom of “ile latin ko eso rode”. For the sake of non Yoruba readers, ” ile latin ko eso rode” simply means “charity begins at home.
The new Osun helmsman’s first port of call was at the Abuja headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, where he was received by the Minister, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) who is a former Governor of Lagos State. According to news reports, the meeting was essentially centered on the State of Osun’s infrastructural development. In practical terms, the governor requested for the intervention of the Federal Government on the completion of some major federal road projects in the state. The roads listed include but not limited to Iwo-Osogbo, Osogbo- Ilobun and Osogbo- Ilesa Roads. The Minister promised to look into the request as the federal government is about to kickstart the process of constructing 365 roads nationwide wide.
It is also very important to note that upon assumption of office, the governor inaugurated a Committee on Health Improvement which he is personally chairing. This partially explains his visit to the Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole, who incidentally is a worthy indigene of Osun. The Minister expressed keen interest in partnering with the new Osun administration to develope what he called “a model healthcare system that every other state in Nigeria would emulate”.
Continuing, the Minister also disclosed that through Save One Million Lives Initiative, Osun State has won $20 million which would soon be released to the governor to kick start the improvement of healthcare system.
Prof Adewole further said that Osun State is also one of the pilot states to benefit from the Basic Healthcare Provision Funds. Basic Healthcare Provision Funds is a special intervention to improve healthcare delivery system at all levels.
From the foregoing, it is evident that the governor has started well. Aside the immediate gains inherent, visits of this kind would also guide policy direction. As the governor prepares for yet another round of similar impac-making visits, I cannot but wish him the very best. It is hoped that other governors will take a cue from His Excellency, Mr Gboyega Oyetola by looking inwards for solutions rather than waste taxpayers money on unnecessary globetrotting.
Adekunle, an advocate of a good governance, is a postgraduate student at the University of Ibadan. He can be reached via [email protected]