“Osun Has Been Transformed Into One Of Nigeria’s Largest And Most Vibrant Economies” – PWL

94c241200d6ca11b222be2340ae5dafa_LAbiodun Agboola, national coordinator, People’s Welfare League (PWL), has said that governments at all levels must ensure that their policies and programmes positively impact on the lives of citizens.

Agboola said that PWL was not interested in the claim by some state governments of fantastic figures and statistics of achievements that do not reflect on people’s lives.

Speaking with Business Day SUNDAY in Osogbo, Osun State capital, the PWL coordinator, said the group was made up of professionals who are concerned about impact of governance on citizens.

He explained that the organisation has been in existence for a long time now and that its focus was basically to make sure that there was good governance in the country.

Agboola told our correspondent that the recent two-day economic summit in Osogbo, the focus of which was on economic development was “for government to present the economic masterplan of the state.”

According to him, “They were able to showcase that during the sessions. We had government officials present to the whole world facts and figures about the economic development in the life of the current administration in the state of Osun. The second aspect is the academic angle to it, where eminent scholars told participants the economic theories as they affect the masterplan, and the most interesting aspect is the involvement of the beneficiaries- indigenes of the state of Osun. They formed the bulk of the panel of discussants. They also spoke on the impact of these economic masterplan in their lives.

We want to move away from mere paper work where we start to depend on figures and statistical claims by government; we want to actually see the direct impact of some of the ratings in the lives of the people of the state. That is why we decided to bring people from various sectors of the economy to speak.”

Assessing the performance of the current administration in the last three-and-half years, Agboola said: “This administration has really performed wonders because there have been witnesses to the clear differences between what has happened in the life of the present government and what transpired in the administrations before it. This is not the first time we are doing this. We have had time in the past to analyse different administrations’ performances, we found a lot of flaws we complained about, but such flaws were never rectified.

But when we now discovered that this administration in the last few years it came on board has been able to embark on projects that caught our attention. So, we said there’s a need for us to organise the summit to be able to hear from the direct beneficiaries. At the end of the day, government will be able to know the areas they have done well and where they need to cross their t(s) and dot their i(s).

“It is also afforded the indigenes of Osun to move closer to government because we have created a forum to come together to be able to ask government officials relevant questions that affect their lives.”
Reacting to question on how his group’s activities would help to shape the coming election in Osun, the PWL national coordinator said: “Having presented the situation of things in the state of Osun to the people, in terms of the quantum leap the administration has made, indigenes are now in a better position to make up their minds whether or not to return the administration in power. But we are saying that re-election is usually based on an administration’s achievements.

The people should decide what happens in terms of who to vote or otherwise.

“As the state enters the phase of electing a new chief executive on August 9 gubernatorial election, there is the need to showcase the level of transformation witnessed so far under the Aregbesola administration as benchmark for future rating of whoever will mount the saddle. That also informed the hosting of the summit this time around.”

Agboola further said: “Osun has been transformed from a backwater, agrarian state into one of Nigeria’s largest and most vibrant economies through a masterful plan that combines prudence, strategic focus and mass talent mobilisation. The latest testament to this fact is the Renaissance Capital’s recent description of Osun as Nigeria’s 7th largest economy even though the state is 34th on the revenue allocation table and there is need to discuss the merits and security of these outstanding economic gains. That was the crux of the summit.”