Tuesday; January 1, 2019
1. Ekiti kete, I am delighted to join you this morning to celebrate the joy of the new season. The Year 2019, which we are all witnesses to, promises to be symbolic in all the facets of our lives, particularly in our quest, as an administration, to restore our values and dignity as a people.
2. It gives me great pleasure to joyfully welcome you to this new dawn. Indeed, this is the dawn of a new era for our State and our people. We have every reason to thank God for what He has done for us as a State and people.
3. Though we are not where we ought to be at the moment, definitely we are equally not where we used to be. We are, however, clear in our vision of a better tomorrow, a tomorrow that all Ekiti-kete will be proud of irrespective of religious background and political affiliations. In spite of the challenges of the past year, the Holy Book admonishes us to thank God in everything no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks, for this is the will of God.
4. Indeed, if we count the blessings and gains of the past two (2) months of our administration in the saddle, you will all agree with me that we are already out of the dark tunnel into the glowing light of fast economic recovery and speedy value restoration. This, indeed, is the least we can do for Ekiti people for their belief, love and trust in our ability to steer the course and put our State back on the path of prosperity, honour and peace.
5. While the path for a new beginning in Ekiti State was laid on July 14, 2018 when you freely elected me as your Governor, the manifestation of the restoration unfolded in earnest on the 16th of October 2018. There were wounds to be healed, frayed nerves to be calmed and dashed hopes to be raised. It was, therefore, inevitable for us to immediately hit the ground running. And we have, since, continued to soldier on carefully, but fearlessly and meticulously too, confronting our developmental challenges head-on.
6. Of course, there are many issues, sectors, projects and citizens’ expectations desiring urgent attention. The intolerance, decadence, rot, abandonment, hopelessness and misplaced priority that pervaded Ekiti land in the past four years has inevitably increased the thirst of Ekiti-kete for good governance and the dawn of good tidings.
7. While the past four-year was everything but desirable for Ekiti-kete, we owe a duty to ourselves to move on. According to Stephen Richards, “The true measure of success is how many times you can bounce back from failure.” In reaction to the dictate of the time, as a new government brimming with the burning desire to expediently turn the tide, albeit positively, we have mapped out various short, medium and long term interventions to bring succour to our people and restore lost values and dignity.
8. We held meetings with every sector and stakeholders involved in the Ekiti project, signed five Executive Orders, declared free education which culminated in the eradication of payment of all levies both at the primary and secondary school levels, including payment of fees for the 14,000 pupils that will take WAEC examination in 2019, constituted four visitation panels for stocktaking of major institutions and agencies, visited and assessed the damage done to the multi billion naira abandoned projects that litter Ekiti State.
9. It delights me to inform you that the various visitation panels submitted their reports two weeks ago and we have set in motion, processes that would aid speedy implementation of the recommendations arising from the findings of the panels.
10. To the glory of God, you are listening to my address today on the Broadcasting Service of Ekiti State (BSES). You will recall that BSES was shut in July 2018 by the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission due to flagrant violation of broadcasting regulations on the part of the handlers of the institution. The station was reopened after our intervention and commitment to the National Broadcasting Commission (NBS) to uphold the ethics of the broadcast industry.
11. We have also commenced extensive work on examining the state of government’s finances with a view to ascertaining the true picture of what we met on ground. The true picture of the State’s finance will be made known soon. More importantly, we have taken adequate measure to stabilize the ship of the state, and restore the confidence of all stakeholders in Ekiti State project.
12. We have also met and shared our vision of a business friendly state with the hierarchy of corporate organizations, multinationals and development agencies and the reception has been quite impressive. May I unequivocally inform you that some corporate organizations and donor agencies that fled the state at the height of its misrule and suffocating business environment of the past have not only started to return, but have also pledged increased investments and interventions in critical areas.
13. Just four days ago, I flagged off the Ero Dam treatment plant, rehabilitation and replacement of transmission main pipelines. You can be assured that with the huge resources we have committed to the water sector, the project beneficiaries in the nine (9) Local Government Areas of Ero Dam coverage will soon heave a huge sigh of relief, when uninterrupted potable water is made available to them. Equally, the rehabilitation of Egbe Dam is continuing apace and upon completion, should meet 85% of our water requirement in the State together with Ero Dam. Our small treatment plants in Efon-Alaye, Erinjinyan, Okemesi/Ido-Ile, Igbara-Odo and Ipole-Iloro should provide the remaining 15% coverage when fully in use.
14. As of today, many abandoned projects are receiving attention. Electricity has been restored to some areas that were in total blackout for almost four years. Contractors have been mobilized to return to the sites to complete roads or renovate many of the economically viable, but abandoned projects. I am glad to inform you also that all the ongoing projects of my predecessor are also receiving attention. There will be no abandonment of project on my watch.
15. In our quest to restore Ekiti State to its rightful place in the comity of States, I presented the 2019 Budget of Restoration to the House of Assembly nine days ago. The budget was tailored to meet your yearnings and expectations, and above all to speedily fill up the infrastructural gap that was created during the past four years of socio-economic and political wilderness.
16. The year 2019 promises to be a better and eventful year for Ekiti State and Ekiti-kete, because the judicious implementation of our Budget of Restoration will not only bring succour to Ekiti-kete, but it will also restore our values and dignity as a people.
17. We started on the right and solid footing. Ekiti state has returned back to life. Positive things are happening, salaries and pensions are being paid without delays, abandoned utilities are getting priority attention, peace is restored while the security architecture is being reconfigured to meet our expectations. Our people are happier and hopeful, unity of purpose is strengthened and things are shaping up gradually.
18. As a responsive Government, we are determined to improve the lives of our people and deliver on our promises. We are guided by the 4-point cardinal programmes of this administration, which are Social Investments, Knowledge Economy, Infrastructure and Industrial Development, and Agriculture and Rural Development. We are poised to restore the lost glory of Ekiti State and return it to its rightful place in the comity of States.
19. Ekiti State was one of the states rated with the best “Ease of Doing Business” in Nigeria by the World Bank during my first tenure between 2010 and 2014. Unfortunately we lost the status between 2015 and 2018 due to practices that were not in tandem with best business practices the world over. The good news, however, is that, efforts are being made now to regain the positive rating. The year 2019 must be used to right most of these wrongs and with your unflinching support, we are poised to push it through.
20. As the electioneering season approaches, we must play by the rules and avoid politics of bitterness. Such must be avoided at all costs if we are to live in harmony. Political discourse should be civil with decorum and in a constitutional manner. We should learn from the lessons of the election conducted in Ekiti State last year and draw encouragement from its’ outcomes which were adjudged to be free and fair, and violence free without any loss of lives.
21. As I conclude this address, let me reassure Ekiti-kete for the umpteenth time that my coming back to Office is not by accident; you are, undoubtedly, the instruments through which this divine mandate was given to us, and I promise to deliver the dividends of democracy for the benefit of all. It is on this note, therefore, that I assure that I am back as a healing balm on a painful wound.
22. Finally let me again express my heartfelt thanks to Ekiti-kete for your prayers and support, thus far. I am grateful to all residents and well-wishers of Ekiti State for your show of love and unwavering belief in the capacity of my administration to herald a new dawn in our land of honour. I draw my strength from this and it shall continue to nudge me on the path of truth and fairness in the service of our people.
23. I wish you all a Happy and prosperous New Year.
24. Ashe yi, shamodun o, Ekiti a gbe kete ra o!
Dr. Kayode Fayemi, CON
Governor, Ekiti State, Nigeria
Ado-Ekiti Tuesday; January 1, 2019
Last modified: January 1, 2019