Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola has said the only way to stop insurgency is to create jobs for youths. He spoke at the weekend in Ilesa while receiving the BusinessWorld’s Most Innovative Governor Award. Aregbesola urged those in authority to create jobs for youths, adding that power is meaningful only when it is used to better people’s lives.
Explaining that power is nothing but responsibility, he said: “A sure way out of our national instability is the provision of jobs for youths, such as the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES). “Engaging alienated youths as we did in Osun will end the insecurity and terror unleashed on the nation by Boko Haram. This is why we made education our number one priority in Osun, as this is our passport to a secure future.” He hailed BusinessWorld for monitoring his administration’s programmes, adding that the award will motivate him to do more.
Economist and Founder of the Centre for Values in Leadership Prof. Pat Utomi said Nigeria needs strong institutions, rather than strong personalities. Utomi, who was the guest speaker, said only strong institutions can ensure good governance.
In his speech, titled: “Innovation in Governance: Regarding Good Government”, he said until a government serves the interest of the common man, it is not a good government.
Utomi said the country needs the kind of governance delivered by the Aregbesola administration, adding: “What Africa and, indeed, Nigeria need are strong institutions and not strong men. A strong institution has the capacity to provide good governance for the people. Lack of strong institutions is contributing to the stagnation of the nation’s fortune, both politically and economically.
“Therefore, our country is in bad shape because our leaders are not told the truth about their performance. Government has a primary duty of creating an enabling environment for the realisation of people’s dreams. A government that fails in this regard has no business being in power and does not deserve to be honoured.”
He described Aregbesola as a leader with a strong commitment to serve his people, hence his people-centred policies. Utomi identified the introduction of the e-learning device, Opon Imo, as a solution to poor teaching. He said: “We are impressed enough by Osun’s work to draw a Delta State development plan called ‘Aregbe x20’. If there are only two things a government must do, it will be education and health.”
The All Progressives Congress’ (APC’s) Interim National Chairman and Chairman of the occasion, Chief Bisi Akande, said: “This award does not surprise me because you deserve it. I am only waiting to come to Osogbo for the celebration of your victory at the August 9 election. Your work is a clear testimony that your victory is certain. It is an election we have won before the contest.”
Business World’s Chairman Daisi Omidiji said 12 states were considered in the Innovation Award Initiative, adding that two states in each of the six geo-political zones were closely examined for three months.
On how Osun emerged the overall winner, Omidiji said: “We came to this conclusion because of the turn-around projects embarked upon by the Aregbesola administration, which represent a tremendous improvement on what he met on ground about four years ago.”