January 1, 2023

….Restates commitment to developing State with six-pillar agenda

Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Biodun Oyebanji, has urged the people of the state to look forward to 2023 with great hope and expectations for overall development and positive turnaround in all sectors.

Delivering his first New Year speech in his new capacity as the State’s Chief Executive, Oyebanji expressed the hope that 2023 would be a “year of giant lift for Ekiti”, urging the support of the people to make the dream a reality.

Oyebanji assured the people of the state that they would witness “massive improvement in security, infrastructure and government services than we have ever seen” adding that 2023 promises to be a glorious year of strong beginning for the government and people of Ekiti State.

He congratulated the people of the state for making it to the New Year in spite of the numerous challenges and threats noting that the miracle of daily existence in good health itself is a grace that must never be taken for granted. He thanked God for berthing in 2023 despite the odds of the past years.

The Governor pledged his commitment to youth development and job creation, human capital development, infrastructure and industrial development, agriculture and rural development, arts, culture and tourism in the New Year to turn around the fortunes of the state.

He said his administration is working hard to give Ekiti a new face which is evident in the aggressive pursuit of road infrastructure renewal in Ado Ekiti metropolis through ongoing rehabilitation of major and nodal roads spices with massive deployment of streetlights under the Light-Up Ekiti Initiative which would be replicated in other towns and villages in 2023.

Oyebanji said commendable transformation is ongoing at Ikogosi Warm Spring Resort which has been concessioned to a private company to rebuild, expand and manage describing it as “Ekiti’s most iconic tourism springboard for the tourism potential of the State.”

He noted that he is convinced that the resort and nearby Arinta Water Fall will be back in the international tourism site in 2023, bigger and better as his administration would also embark on the development of other heritage sites in the State.

The Governor also unfolded plans to bring more agripreneurs to the State that would lead to the full realization of the thinking that led to the establishment of the Ekiti Agro Cargo Airport noting that his government’s long term goal is to make Ekiti the foremost entity for agro-allied export to the international market in the course of the year.

Oyebanji disclosed that his administration is liaising with critical government agencies to facilitate access to cheaper funds to support the growth of Small and Medium Enterprises with the vision to ensure that artisans, market women and private sector players are linked up with cheaper funds to support their businesses in 2023.

While thanking traditional rulers, religious and community leaders for the critical roles they play at all times, Oyebanji craved for their continued support and cooperation in 2023 as the people of the state look forward to more opportunities for assistance and cooperation in the New Year.

The Governor who noted that he campaigned on a manifesto anchored on six pillars which have been carefully designed to position the state for peace and prosperity, reiterated his commitment to the development agenda because of his conviction that they signpost Ekiti’s path to progress.

He explained that both the Supplementary Budget and the 2023 Budget already passed by the State House of Assembly have been projected to reflect the six pillars and their actualization thanking the state legislators for their cooperation.

According to him, the passage of the Supplementary Budget has empowered his administration to urgently intervene in some critical infrastructural renewal while the 2023 Appropriation Law assented to two days ago would help the government to hit the ground running from the first day of the year.

While describing the last 75 days of his administration as exciting, Oyebanji appreciated Ekitis at home and abroad for their enthusiasm and cooperation since his assumption of office noting that he was deeply touched by their show of love, and solidarity through advice, prayers, suggestions and constructive criticisms.

Oyebanji appreciated the people of the state for electing him to serve as their Governor while also appreciating his predecessors in office, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, Mr. Ayodele Fayose and Dr. Kayode Fayemi and other prominent citizens whom he said had been a great encouragement to his administration I whatever ways their support were sought.

The Governor also urged the people of the state to look forward to more investment in education and knowledge economy in which he noted the state has comparative advantage while investment in health is also critical to ensure a healthy populace.

He said: “We will keep investing in our schools to make them globally comparable and competitive. To this end, we are working with different international partners, especially, World Bank’s IDEAS and AGILE programmes and other initiatives which have seen our schools receiving funds for renovation, training, equipment and infrastructural upgrade as well and digital and innovation development funding for both formal and informal educational system.

“More importantly, we want to aggressively pursue the Ekiti Knowledge Zone agenda which hopes to create a smart city where technology, science and creativity become the currency of exchange. We want to create an innovation and knowledge incubation ecosystem where our young people can hone their ICT competence and creative ingenuity.

“To achieve this, multipronged engagements are ongoing with investors, content creators, power providers and other stakeholders. Our hope is that in 2023, we will have begun the journey into creating a new economic landscape where knowledge is the black gold.”

He added: “Similarly, our secondary health facilities are all undergoing serious upgrade and retooling so as to be able to functionally respond to the health needs of our people. For us, sound health and access to health facilities are central to wealth creation and prosperity.

“In the New Year, we will expedite effort on this and ensure all our health facilities at all levels are accessible, available, affordable and in good shape. We want to jealously preserve our record as the state with the highest life expectancy rate in Nigeria, we will continue to strengthen our primary, secondary and tertiary health system to keep this trophy.

“Government is deeply concerned about the exodus of our health and medical professionals to other climes due to obvious present challenges. I am however glad to assure them that Government will look into the issues with a view to reversing the trend in the New Year. We appreciate their enormous sacrifices and will be willing to see to how things can be made better.”

Oyebanji also appealed to politicians from different political divides to allow peace to reign and play politics of maturity during the forthcoming general elections while putting the overall interest of the State at heart.

The Governor also canvassed support of the Ekiti people for the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed and the party’s National and State House of Assemblies candidates saying their election would aid the implementation of our policies and programmes in the State.

Last modified: January 10, 2023

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