Wale Afolabi is the immediate past Justice Commissioner and Attorney-General in Osun State, in a no holds barred interview with ADEOLU ADEYEMO of the New Telegraph newspaper, commended Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola on the massive infrastructural development in the the state of Osun despite its dwindling resources.
In fact, he noted that the only thing people are blaming Ogbeni Aregbesola for is that, he put so many projects on ground which he cannot even pay for now.
“So many contracts have been completed that people see.”
“About 200 kilometers of roads that we did for Local Government have almost been completed, nobody complained.”
Read excerpt from the interview below. Enjoy!
You were in Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s cabinet, what is your assessment of his administration so far?
Ogbeni is a fantastic phenomenon in Osun state. I am happy to answer such question. I have been in government before now and I know the way it is. When Ogbeni came on board, he came with vision and passion. The only thing people are blaming him for is that he put so many projects on ground which he cannot even pay for now.
Don’t forget that but for the drop in the allocation, when he awards contract, he doesn’t pay immediately. He spreads payment for 36 months. For the fact that there was 40 per cent drop in allocation, look at the oil problem that we have now, as a matter of fact, they don’t even know that last month it was about 24million that was given to Osun state because by the time they took our deductions and loan, there was nothing to pay salary and the installment payment of some of the contract. Don’t forget that so many contracts have been completed that people see.
About 200 kilometers of roads that we did for Local Government have almost been completed, nobody complained. Like I said, it is only when people see something that is negative that they cry about it. Schools are being commissioned on daily basis.
These are projects that he started and he is commissioning them. Just recently, they commissioned Anthony Udofia Elementary School and he is commissioning so many high schools too. So, it is only when people see something that is negative that they complain about.
By and large, he said he will complete these projects and I am praying that he will complete all the projects. By the time he finishes all those projects, you will see another Akande in our land. You know Bisi Akande did his best for this state. He laid a solid foundation for the state. If you look at Aregbesola, he is working along the path. I am sure with the support of the people, he will succeed.
What is in a tax that the state government has been appealing to residents to comply with?
Yes, tax payment is a legal issue. There are so many people on the street that are not paying tax. There are so many people doing business that are not paying tax. What Aregbesola is saying is that, we are going to pursue it vigorously now.
It is not only him, look at the Federal Government, they said they are going to pursue tax payment vigorously too. By the time the oil money was coming very well, we all slept off. Now that we know that the oil money is not something we can depend upon, that is why government is now looking at tax payment.
So, it is not a new thing that he is talking about. If this man has been working very well before the fall in oil price, of course he will do well. I have confidence in him. He is a man that will do well. Therefore, I want to appeal to the people to pay their tax.