The Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has reiterated that his administration will remain focused and not distracted in its commitment to turn around the fortune of the state for good among states in Nigeria in spite of the calculated efforts of his government’s adversaries.
The governor stated this at a parley with the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN) on their 42 Annual General Meeting in Osun which held at the Government House in Osogbo, the state capital.
He noted that at this critical stage of the economy of Nigeria, all hands must be on deck to ensure that the problem of the ailing economy is solved rather than making a governor the symbol of salary default.
It was a gathering of Nigeria’s best advertising minds which had come for the parley with the Governor as part of the programme rounding off the two day AGM.
Aregbesola while speaking on the state of the nation, noted that it is unfortunate that the country is finding herself in the present position of the economy, adding that the situation must be seen by all as a national problem and not that of Osun.
He pointed out that he will not be distracted in the provision of conscious social welfare programmes for the people of the state, saying under his administration, Osun is the state with the highest development index in the country according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
Aregbesola also added that Osun is next to Niger state in the area of poverty reduction index of the statistic made available to Nigerians by the National Bureau of Statistics, Abuja in 2012.
He said, “As horrifying as the picture our opposition have been painting to you of our people, I am sure that with your physical presence, you would have noticed that all what they are saying do not reflect in the faces of the accommodating people you see around.
“You will have also noticed that Osun is one of the best places to be in Nigeria. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, an agent of the Federal Government, Osun is the state with highest development index in Nigeria in 2012.
“The Bureau equally said we are next to Niger in poverty reduction index and we would have been above Niger state because the large chunk of Niger’s rating was influenced because of their boundary with Abuja and others.
“Conscious social welfare programmes that our administration has put in place such as our Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES) that has impacted on 40,000 youths is so profound that World bank is ready to partner with any state in the country on our model.
“We have also embarked on feeding our school children through OMEAL programme. The programme has increased school enrollment, it has also employed 3,009 women who cater for the feeding of the kids”.
Aregbesola described people who condemned the Airport project embarked upon by the state as ill-informed, saying on the strength of the historical relevance of the project alone, it should have earned his administration kudos.
He regretted that many who comment and condemn his government over the airport merely look at the surface without looking at the abundant opportunities that lay ahead for the state.
He said, “To those who condemn our initiative of the airport, I want to tell them that the history of aviation in this part of the world started from Ido-Osun. And the construction of the airport did not even start with our administration but the one before us. With this and the historical issue, it behoves on us to continue with what the previous administration started.
“It will not take time to develop the airport to aircraft maintenance hub in Africa. We only have just three aircraft maintenance hangers in the whole of Africa. We need not go to Europe or America to get the aircraft in Africa maintained.
“All we need to attract that business is to develop the facility that we have in Ido-Osun. We have signed an agreement with two hanger operation knowing that aircraft maintenance business is a money spinning investment”. He stressed.
Speaking earlier, the President of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria, Mr. Kelechi Nwosu, commended Governor Aregbesola for patronising only qualified advertising agencies in promoting the initiatives of the state.
He noted that Osun is a nice place to be with the accommodating people of the state and a lot of tourism sites to visit.
He noted that the choice of Osun as the venue for the 42 Annual General Meeting was informed by the peace enjoyed in the state and that many of the association’s icons are from the State of Osun.
Nwosu added that the Association will continue to provide support as branding experts and communication specialists to expand and deepen peace in Osun.
He said, “We thank your Excellency for your kind support to our association and members by patronising only qualified advertising agencies.
“We also will continue to provide support as branding experts to your state to expand the peace and prosperity your state has been enjoying.”
Chairman of the AGM, Organising Committee, Mr. Tunji Olugboji, in his remarks, applaud the state’s heavy investments in the critical sectors such as security, education, health and youths engagement.
He said with these, the Osun environment remains attractive to those who would change the fortune of its people.