The Kayode Fayemi Administration In Perspective (October 16, 2010-October 2013)

October 14, 2013

Dr Kayode Fayemi

In the course of hustlings in 2006 for the primaries of the then Action Congress which he won in December of that year, Dr. John Kayode Fayemi (JKF), now Governor of Ekiti-State, Nigeria, reeled out his plan of action espoused in the 8-point agenda. This included: Governance, Infrastructural Development, Modernizing Agriculture, Education and Human Capital Development, Health Care Services, Industrial Development, Tourism & Environmental Sustainability, Gender Equality and Empowerment. Dr. Fayemi equally won the gubernatorial election of 2007, but his mandate was stolen by the PDP that egregiously rigged the election.

JKF was in court for 42 months before his mandate was restored on October 15, 2010. On his inauguration on October 16, 2010, he reiterated his avowed commitment to the implementation of the 8-point agenda. The common notion about political office holders (otherwise called politicians) in developing countries is that they are not to be
trusted when they make electioneering promises. However, the situation is different in Ekiti State. Here, trust has gradually been restored in governance since the advent of the Dr. Kayode Fayemi administration. Ekiti people have realised that the man JKF, is a lot different from other politicians. He has kept electioneering promises.

He inherited a debt of 42 billion naira and many abandoned projects from his predecessor. The state ran on a paltry 109 million naira in Internally Generated Revenue and a meagre 2.5 billion naira monthly allocation from the federation’s account out of which 2 billion is expended on salaries and allowances.

But with careful planning, prudent management of resources and an avowed commitment to the welfare of the people, JKF has been able to deliver the dividends of democracy on a scale and quality that are unprecedented. In three years, Governor Fayemi has turned Ekiti State into a huge construction site.

The nooks and crannies of the state are literally filled with projects – completed, on-going and State Assisted Community projects as the case may be.

The change in the landscape is such that discerning observers say that JKF has done far more than all the governors of Ekiti State did in the 8 years preceding his administration.

He increased IGR from 109 million naira each month to 600 million naira by only blocking wastages. His method is novel and his style is inviting and fascinating. He is the first governor in the country to embark on a village square meeting for the sole purpose of knowing what each community in his state wanted government to include in (and, hence, what to exclude from) the budget. He started this in November 2011 when he undertook the tour of all the local governments where every town sent a representative to ask for at least three projects each community would like to be incorporated in the 2012 budget. At each meeting, he promised the towns that, at least one project would be granted for each town in the budget.

This promise has been fulfilled as every town has at least a project either completed or on-going. Among the most common have been requests for provision of pipe-borne water and boreholes, supply of transformers and repair of school buildings and fixtures. Indeed, a total of 183 secondary schools and 836 primary schools have been renovated and furniture provided; there is free education up to secondary school level while tuition fees were drastically reduced in the State University; 48, 000 laptops were distributed to students and teachers in Ekiti State while an additional 25,000 has been ordered. The renovation of schools and the distribution of laptops to students have yielded dividends beyond the imagination as manifested in the tremendous improvement in the WAEC result of the State this year (2013).

Unlike last year when mass failure was recorded leaving the state with only 23% credit  pass on the average, Ekiti State this year unbelievably recorded 66 percent credit pass. Ekiti State has distributed laptops to students before Jamb made its examinations computer based, which gave students from the State a good head start. Five mini-water treatment plants were commissioned while laying of new pipes to replace the old ones all over the State is almost completed.  In the interim, 167 modern water fetching points called (Eyiyato Fetching Points) have been constructed in various communities across the 16 LGAs to ameliorate hardship caused by water shortage. The governor in September 2013 signed into law the Water and Sanitation bill.

The percentage of water supply in the state now is 52 as against the 25% met on ground on assumption of office. The comprehensive approach of the JKF administration in solving water problem in the State has increased the rating of the Ekiti State as one of the best 2 in the water sector. 20,000 elders receive N5, 000 in stipends per month and another 5,000 is undergoing registration while the wife of the governor makes sure no elder in the State goes to bed hungry through her Food Bank Programme where the elders are served cooked food in special kitchens across the state; renovation of all general hospitals in the state and building of two new ones are on-going; while a total of 728.365 kilometres of both Federal and state roads have been constructed in the state in addition to the 81.2 kilometres that have been constructed in all Local Governments under the 5 kilometre road-per-local-government scheme. Altogether, a total of 902.565 kilometres of Federal, State and Local Government roads have been rehabilitated, re-constructed and constructed.

More than 90 percent of the roads have been completed while the rest are on-going. Women have been empowered and are now occupying many more visible public offices than ever before. The wife of the governor has brought relief to many mothers of triplets through her Multiple Birth Trust Fund where financial assistance and baby items are given to them and she has given financial assistance to women across the state through her gender empowerment programme. Transformers have been supplied and installed in many communities to boost electricity supply. Many communities which hitherto had no electricity in over 200 years of their existence – one example being Oke-Ako town in Ikole Local Government – were connected and linked to the national grid.

Many more communities have been opened up through the construction of rural roads and culverts. Hundreds of Ekiti youths are engaged in commercial agriculture under the Youth Commercial Agriculture Development Programme (YCAD). Some 117,000 farmers have been registered to benefit from the ADP programme; Ekiti State has both the largest productivity (yield/Ha) and cultivation. Yield is above national average at 15T/Ha (national average is 12T/Ha). Ekiti also has the largest expansion in cultivation in the country last year, with the addition of over 1,150Ha by YCAD Programme alone. The gains of YCAD have started manifesting as Ekiti State has the highest yield in cassava in the country in 2013.

Harvesting of cassava is currently going on and this will continue for the next 400 days as 1, 500 hectares of cassava are ready for harvest! This has created daily jobs for our youths. As regards rice, 750Ha was cultivated under the Rice Expansion Programme, where government supported farmers with 100% input for production. This year’s operation is aiming 3,000Ha and government has started the 600 million naira irrigation project under which Ero and Itapaji dams will make available 1,700 hectares of irrigated land. This is the joint constituency project of the 3 Senators representing Ekiti with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Food and Agricultural Organisation. (FAO) This is on-going. Irrigated land from Itapaji dam will serve Iyemero and Gede farm settlements while that of Ero dam will serve Ikosun, Igogo and Ewu farm settlements.

To restore cocoa to its original position as the main cash crop in the State, 150,000 cocoa seedlings have been distributed to 15,000 farmers out of the 500,000 seedlings approved for year 2013. Over 2000 school children and infants in Erijiyan were administered with 137,442 doses of Praziquantel pill to prevent Schisostomiasis, water borne disease prevalent in the area.
About 400,000 Ekiti indigenes have been treated under the free health mission programme of the administration during the seven editions held while the free health programme of the government has taken care of the health needs of about 48% of the population covering, children under 5 years, pregnant women, the disabled and elderly above 65 years. Another brand of the free health mission is the Ilera Laafin which takes the mission to the palaces of the traditional rulers and their chiefs. More than 130 million naira has been expended on the health care needs of indigent patients for various operations and provision of artificial limbs by the government.

The Funmi Adunni Olayinka Diagnostic and Wellness Centre was established for early detection of cancer related ailment to prevent avoidable death. Recently, the Ministry of health conducted free medical screening for breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men. 18 General Hospitals are currently undergoing renovation across the state while two new ones are under construction. The giant strides of JKF in the health sector has increased antenatal attendance from 15,254 in 2010 to 79,104 in 2012, reduction of infant mortality rate to 98 per 1000 the lowest in the country (National average is 189 per 1000) while maternal mortality has dropped to 250/100,000 (National average is 545 per 100,000) making Ekiti and two other states certified as having met the 2015 MDGs health goals.

The Ire Burnt Brick which has been moribund for the past 21 years has been resuscitated by the government and has been commissioned. The company has the capacity to produce 20 million bricks in a year and will employ about 200 workers. The erstwhile moribund Road Materials and Aggregates Company (ROMACO) in Igbemo-Ekiti has been resuscitated. The company has the capacity of employing about 500 workers of all cadres.

The Ikogosi Warm Spring Resort has undergone stupendous transformation within one year. The roads leading to the place from all directions have been tarred. The landscaping has been done; new chalets have been constructed while the existing ones have been renovated. A 1000-seater amphitheatre is completed while the whole place has been redesigned. The swimming pool is new with the warm spring water directly piped into the pool and the whole area of the warm and cold spring has been transformed to accommodate small huts for family relaxation. A long stretch of pathway made of strong plank of teak wood has been constructed right from the chalets to the warm spring area. The scenery is so natural and picturesque that it has made the resort a world class tourist centre.

Team JKF has paid the due attention to sports too. The Oluyemi Kayode stadium has undergone transformation to complement the new urban status of Ado-Ekiti. The pitch of the stadium is world-class and it has hosted many football leagues across the country. The urban renewal of Ado –Ekiti with reconstruction of all township roads with walkways, beautification of the city and erection of streetlights, has given the town a new look befitting of a state capital while the same renewal of other towns, such as Ijero, Ikole and Ikere are on-going..

There are 130 towns and villages in Ekiti State. In effect, there is no town that is not home to (or site of) at least one project –whether completed or on-going. In impacting well on the rural communities, Governor Fayemi utilised maximally, the advantages of the State government’s partnership with the Ekiti State Community and Social Development Agency, (EKSCIDA) which has executed 305 projects in all communities in the State. To bring development to the rural areas, he created the Ministry Rural Development and Community Empowerment. There is a total of 781 completed projects, 558 on-going projects and 134 State Community projects initiative. Altogether there is a total of 1, 473 completed and on-going projects from October 2010- October 2013.

According to the Human Development Report (2012), Ekiti State is described as the most conducive environment to live, for long and healthy living with a life expectancy average of 55 years more than the National life expectancy average of 50 years. Ekiti has the lowest infant and maternal mortality rate and the lowest HIV/AIDS infection rate in the country. The State has the highest pupils’ enrolment in relative to Nigeria’s population and it has the least out-of-school children (less than 2%) in Nigeria. It is perhaps because of the listed achievements that earned Governor Fayemi the award of the ‘Governor of the year’ by the Leadership Newspapers on September 18, 2012. All these were confirmed in September 2013 when the United Nations invited the governor of Ekiti State to its session on the basis that his State has met many of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). This will not surprise many as his 8-point agenda is fashioned after the MDGs.

It is also important to note that the governor has been able to restore peace to the state through tremendous financial and material support to security agencies which has enhanced their operations.  A new army base has just been established in the State.  Crime has been reduced to the barest minimum where you can walk at 2am under bright streetlights in the State capital without any fear of attack as police and other security agents patrol the streets 24 hours. The inauguration of the Peace Corps (800 personnel have been recruited in the first phase) in October 2013 as part of the activities marking the 3rd year anniversary is to encourage community policing and further consolidate the current peace that prevails in the state.

The SAMSUNG Awards for governor Fayemi as the best Governor in Africa that has invested in Education is a further testimony to the attention he has paid to that critical sector. The “ZIK Leadership Award” which he bagged in 2013 is a further testimony of how he has turned the fortunes of Ekiti State around in a positive way. The London Economist report about governance in Ekiti State has this to say, “Better governance is creeping beyond the metropolis. When your correspondent e-mails the governor of Ekiti state in impoverished central Nigeria he gets a reply within minutes, with the entire cabinet copied in and being told to assist with a visit. After a six-hour drive north, seven interviews across the capital, Ado Ekiti, are arranged in the space of a few hours. Cabinet members are mostly foreign-educated and highly motivated and have private-sector experience. A new employment agency sends out job advertisements by text message. All secondary-school pupils are getting free laptops with solar panels. All civil servants, including teachers, are tested annually”.

The official twitter handle of the Ekiti State Government- @ekitistategov has the highest number of following among the states that have account on the social service in Nigeria; it has 11,624 followers as at September 30, 2013 and it is a platform where the government keeps its citizens aware of its programmes. Its facebook fan page – is also the one with the highest following, 17,099 fans while the official web portal: has traffic of 442,741 visits, 1,209,894 page views, visits from 134 countries including United States, United Kingdom, India, Canada and Nigeria. It is ranked 2nd on Alexa as the most visited, most updated and interactive State government digital channel in the world after Lagos.The governor knows the importance of a knowledge based economy and he has embarked on a venture of making Ekiti the Sillicon Valley of Nigeria through Information and Communications Technology.

This has started with  laying of fibre optics around the State. This would enable High Speed internet access to homes and offices at affordable price, wi-fi hot spot around many business areas in the state, telephone call services, video conferencing, and cable TV on demand and safe city security cameras.

It seems all segments have been touched. The computer for students has touched the students such that you find students in the remotest village with a laptop, the Job Volunteer scheme has touched the teeming population of unemployed youths (11,000), the social security for the elderly has touched our elders,(20,000 and another new 5,000 undergoing registration) and the food programme has ensured they would not go to bed hungry; the MDG empowerment project (Conditional Cash Transfer) has touched our young but vulnerable widows and single mothers. Traditional rulers have also benefitted from the Fayemi’s largesse as all of them were provided with brand new vehicles.

In the area of infrastructure, massive construction of roads has impacted positively on commuters with the propensity to expand the life span of vehicles. 25 township roads in the State capital has been constructed while many communities have been linked with good asphalt roads. This has restored investors’ confidence in Ekiti State. The free health mission has benefitted many lives including the Ilera Laafin for the traditional rulers, while the free health programme has taken adequate care of the vulnerable segment of the society such as children, pregnant women, the elderly and the physically challenged.

Farmers have benefitted immensely from new incentives in agriculture while the interest of our youths has been drawn into commercial agriculture through the YCAD.  Artisans have been empowered in various ways. Apart from the projects in each town, Community Development Associations were touched by the State Assisted Community Projects initiative where a total sum N300 million naira was distributed to 82 communities. The money was meant to assist the communities complete many of their projects which have been stagnant for years due to lack of funds. Another phase of the initiative would hold in Ikere-Ekiti on October 17, 2013 where another 300 million shall be distributed to another set of communities as assistance for their projects.

This then is an overview of the scorecard of the Dr. Kayode Fayemi administration in the 36 months from October 16, 2010 to October 16, 2013. You think it’s incredible? Well, you are not alone. One of the journalists who went round the state to cover the second year anniversary of Team JFK thought much the same. He says that at present, no other state in Nigeria has the volume of on-going projects as does Ekiti. He also wonders how Governor Fayemi has managed to achieve this feat, given the parlous state of the economy and Ekiti’s rather low earnings from the federation account. You – the reader of these lines – need not agree with the journalist’s comparative slant. And you may even wear your cynic’s lenses.

But once you have pored over the verifiable hard data in this write-up, you are not likely to deny that JKF has been working so well, that Ekiti has made remarkable progress under Governor John Kayode Fayemi’s watch. And that all Ekitis can do no less than to Just Keep Faith!

By Hakeem Jamiu

Last modified: October 14, 2013

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