Speaking as the chairman of the recently concluded 2-day Osun State economic summit tagged Orisun Aje 2014 with the theme ‘Crux of Osun Economic Developmental Master Plan: Analyzing Radical Economic Paradigm Shift’, Comrade Sumonu noted that the rapid physical transformation of the state landscape through the government’s infrastructure renewal plan as well as the creation of various employment generation and wealth creation programmes are solid indications of a people-centered disposition of the government.
The one-time president of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) praised the Aregbesola administration for its dogged commitment to the faithful implementation of his six point manifesto aimed at creating a more prosperous economy for the state.
According to him, ‘Osun State has been greatly transformed. When my tenure as secretary-general of OATUU ended, I had the choice of staying back in Accra, Ghana or coming back to Nigeria to live in Abuja or Lagos. However when I visited Osun , the transformation was so massive that it struck me in a big way and I have chosen to live here ever since then’.
‘I support all developmental initiatives that are people oriented and bring about development. Any government that has a pact with the people must honour and fulfill that pact for such government to remain a darling of the people. From the large turnout of the people at this event, it is clear that the people have keyed into and desired the wholesome success of the Aregbesola administration. It could be safely said that the current government in Osun is a people’s government’, he observed.
The Labour icon advised other governors and even the federal government on the need to study and adopt the Osun state template for socio-economic development .He added that the unemployment rate and poverty level in various regions of the country were growing unabated despite huge resources allocated to solving the problems.
” This is the type of approach the whole country needs. The federal government and other states must put politics aside and see how it is possible to replicate Osun’s pragmatic approach to employment generation and wealth creation all over the country. Nigeria will be the better for such selfless consideration’, he noted.
In a keynote address delivered at the summit, the Governor of the State of Osun, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, described the current positive growth of the state’s economy as a pointer to deliberate and strategic application of good governance in an environment that was once a typical picture of an economy in total decline.
He said although his administration met a State groaning under heavy pains of rising unemployment rate and critical decay of public infrastructure, the tide, however, changed with application of ingenious people friendly economic strategies backed with selfless desire to change the fate of the poor economy.
Governor Aregbesola added that with clear vision, efficient structuring of the state transactions, credible management of the State project financing and strategic private-public partnership, the state has been re-positioned as the state with the lowest poverty index in Nigeria according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) latest ranking of states in the country.
Comrade Abiodun Agboola, Chairman of People’s Welfare League (PWL), the non-governmental organization that initiated the summit, observed that the group will make the event an annual ritual as a way of acting as an independent body to review activities of government within the public domain.
He noted that, ‘PWL as the third of eye of the public has elected to shoulder the responsibility of bringing the stakeholders together in order to assess the situation of the last 40 months in line with our tradition.’
The 2014 Osun Economic Summit had in attendance a broad-based representation of stakeholders in Osun economic milieu such as representatives of key civil societies, trade unions, cottage industry owners, community-based organizations, business promoters, banks and allied organizations as well as professionals.