A SPECIAL ADDRESS BY THE GOVERNOR OF EKITI STATE, DR. KAYODE FAYEMI TO MARK THE 2ND ANNIVERSARY OF HIS ADMINISTRATION ON TUESDAY, 16TH OCTOBER, 2012On 16th October 2010, exactly two years today, I took the oath of office asthe democratically elected Governor of our dear State. This was a directconsequence of the judicial pronouncement of the Court of Appeal sitting inIlorin on 15th October, 2010 which ruled that I was the lawfully electedGovernor of the State in the April 14 2007 and the April/May 2009gubernatorial elections in Ekiti State.Dear Compatriots, the last 24 months have been eventful and exhilaratingin our quest to repair the damage done by the departing authority and atsame time re-start the clock of progress in Ekiti State. I am happy to reportthat the State is on the upswing and the light of development is shiningagain. Yet I must remind all of my cautionary statement in my inauguralspeech: that this would not be smooth-sailing, that the road will be roughand the climb will be steep but that this also represents the history of ourpeople - a history of continuing struggle.The last two years have also proved that the struggle has been worth thetrouble. Today, the State has successfully risen to address the criticalquestions of development and restoration of hope. Even though we cannotclaim to have reached the destination of our journey, we have nonetheless
moved away from the spot of stagnation of our recent history. The focus isclear, the direction is unambiguous, it is movement with motion. Hence thetheme of the celebration is Reclaiming The Trust of Our People, DeliveringThe Promise for Our People.Our administration recognises the power of trust as the necessary variableto implement our vision of unparalleled progress for our State within ashort period of time. This becomes a major starting point going by theexperience of our people with our predecessors which created anunderstandable measure of cynicism about government. We have torecreate the parameters to make people trust the intentions of governmentespecially those who have the legitimate mandate to represent the peopleand superintend over their commonwealth. This is not an easy task, but Ithank you, the good people of Ekiti State, for believing in us and showingus tremendous support everywhere we turn since we assumed office. Thepeople’s trust in the genuine intentions of this government has equallycreated in us the urge to do more with every sense of responsibility so asnot to disappoint the people. It has indeed compelled us to step upcompetence, openness, concern, and reliability in public conduct.THE BEGINNINGAll of us are living witnesses to the parlous state of affairs in our dear Statewhen we took office in October 2010. Over N40 billion was hangingprecariously on the State along with many uncompleted and abandoned
projects in all sectors. At that time, the State was collecting 2.8 billion nairamonthly from the Federation Accounts.At the time, there was a palpable loss of hope in the State among thecitizenry. Violence and all forms of criminal activities reigned supreme. Alsopathetic was the state to which governance was reduced. Everybody washelping himself to the slices that could be taken while acts of governancebecame thoroughly politicised in areas of resources allocation and locationof social amenities and public facilities.Today, the story has changed considerable. We have been able to restorethe core Ekiti values of passion, courage, integrity, character and honour;we have restored a measure of hope and confidence in Ekiti State.Based on our model of participatory governance, we have managed totouch all the sections of the 8-point Agenda, drawn as the Roadmap toEkiti Recovery blueprint is made possible because of our bottom-upapproach to development through our town hall/village square meetings toarticulate government programmes. Even though a few of the steps takenon critical issues have been unsurprisingly controversial, all of us in ourdeep inner recesses would appreciate that these are inevitable steps tomarch to our corporate place at the top. This is understandable because ofthe undignified don’t-let-us-ruffle-the-feather policy of our immediatepast administrations for cheap political relevance and acceptance. These,
as we all know, are cosmetic playboy style that neither helped us as anentity nor added any value to us as a people all the while.Without being immodest, our record of achievement in the past two yearsin Ekiti is better in quality and quantity than the previous seven and a halfyears. Many of our people have expressed surprise about where we got theresources to accomplish all these. My simple response has been thatplanning, prudence and total commitment to the Agenda have made allthese possible.So much has been said about the 8 Point Agenda of this administration.This is our articulated vision to renew Ekiti State. Saying that we havepursued this agenda vigorously is an understatement, evidence aboundacross the State to attest to the potency of the Agenda as a holistictransformation blue print.It is from the prism of the Agenda that I like to present to the good peopleof Ekiti State our score card, albeit, briefly as we celebrate the secondanniversary of this government, the inauguration of which you are all corestakeholders.GOVERNANCEWe recognise that good governance is the foundation of a developmentalagenda. This explains our regular interface with Ekiti people throughinteractive sessions. I have exemplified our trust in the people as the best
judges of our activities in government by keeping them abreast ofgovernment’s activities. For instance, prior to the preparation of the 2012budget, we toured the 16 Local Government Areas in the State to know theneeds of all the communities. Subsequently, we integrated these into theState’s budget. Shortly before the commencement of the activitiesmarking the second anniversary, I just concluded another round of villagemeetings in preparation for the 2013 Budget. This we intend to sustain notonly to prepare for budget but to biannually appraise our budgetperformances. The fact that we run an effective, responsive andrepresentative government, can be further seen in the establishment of theSocial Security Programme for the aged. The social security scheme wasannounced the day I took the oath of office though it actually commenceda year after because of the need for planning and enumeration. Thiscomforting safety net for the elderly is now a reference point not onlynationally but also in the West African sub region. With a strong legalbacking which makes its sustainable we have been paying a monthlystipend of N5, 000 to all registered elderly people in the state who areabove the age of 65. Over 20, 000 senior citizens are benefitting from thisprogramme.INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENTIn fulfilment of one of our promises to connect all parts of Ekiti State bymotorable roads on assumption of office, we embarked on massive road
construction projects across the state. There are 20 on-going projectsinitiated by the State Ministry of Works and Transportation. Another 25road projects which the Ministry inherited were taken over and are atdifferent stages of completion. As we celebrate this second anniversary, nofewer than ten of the roads had been commissioned and many morebefore the end of the year. The jinxed Ado-Iworoko-Ifaki-Road which,when inherited by this administration, had gulped 80 percent of contractsum with less than 20 percent completion witnessed a turn-around. Fromthe less than 20 percent completion level that we met it, it has nowreached 80 percent completion.Our urban renewal initiative is also key as regards the beautification of Ekiticities. The State’s capital is our first point of attention. Rural electrificationand water supply and community development have also received a lot ofattention moving us nearer the establishment of optimum communities inall our local governments. The efforts in all these areas have eased theburden of life and living for millions of the residents of the state.AGRICULTUREOur ambition is to make Agriculture – or Agricbusiness the highestgenerator of revenue for the State, revive cocoa plantations and makeEkiti, and by that token, Nigeria, the world leader again in cocoaproduction. To us modern agriculture should be a hub of economicactivities capable of boosting internally-generated revenue and serve as the
creator of massive employment. We have thus put in place policies andprogrammes to change the agricultural sector in the State. For instance,the Youth-Commercial Agricultural Development Programme (YCAD),launched in April 2012, is to generate 20, 000 jobs for the youths. Already,150 new youth commercial farmers have benefitted from 1,500 relatedjobs from this programme. In addition to cocoa, we are also focusing ondeveloping the full value-chain of Cassava, Rice and Oil palm. There areseveral other initiatives that we have embarked upon in the area ofagricultural transformation which will cumulatively revolutionise not onlythe agricultural sector but also the overall economy of the state,particularly the attraction of Commercial Agricultural players in large scalefarming and processing.EDUCATION AND HUMAN CAPITAL DEVELOPMENTToday, free education for primary and secondary schools declared on 16thOctober, 2010 has been firmly rooted. The on-going school renovationproject in which more than half of all the public secondary schools arebeing given a face-lift is considered by many as unprecedented. Besides,we have an irreversible commitment to ensuring that every student in oursecondary schools has a computer of his or her desk, while also creatingspecial initiatives for physically-challenged students and a sports academyfor gifted youths. By the end of this year, we would have distributed33,000 laptops to students and 18,000 to teachers, as well as sporting
equipment worth millions of naira to Secondary Schools in the State. Weare equally making similar significant strides in all our tertiary institutionswith core concentration on capacity building and infrastructuraldevelopment.HEALTH CARE SERVICE DELIVERYThis government has continued to provide free medical services forchildren, pregnant women, senior citizens and the physically-challenged inEkiti State since the last two years. We have also established healthcentres in all localities, while increasing the immunisation coverage in thestate, strengthening the State Ambulance Service, expanding medicalassistance to needy patients across the state, and bolstering the State’scapacity for effective healthcare delivery.Our success in health care services is positively recognised in the lateststatistical indices which the Federal Ministry of Health released recently.Ekiti State now has the highest life expectancy in the country and one ofthe lowest maternal mortality and child mortality index whilst also attainingthe lowest HIV prevalence in the country.INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENTOur government has successfully created technology and industrial parksfor small- and medium-scale enterprises, established micro-credit facilitiesand developed agro-allied and solid mineral sectors of the local economy.
We have also established the Fountain Holdings Limited which managesthe investment portfolio of the State and represents the Government inPublic-Private Partnerships. The Ekiti State Enterprise Development Agencycharged with encouraging, promoting and coordinating investmentactivities in the State has continued to successfully stimulate economicgrowth in the State. I am happy to inform you all that today, two moribundindustrial infrastructures - Ire Bricks Factory (dead in the last 21 years) andOdua Enterprise Centre (formerly Odu’a Textiles – equally comatose in thelast 23 years) have been resuscitated. The new initiative is expanding theState’s resources, provide numerous job opportunities, encourage newskills acquisition by workers and ultimately enlarge the middle class in theState.TOURISMI encourage you all to visit the hub of the state tourism corridor in Ikogosito behold the massive investment of this administration in tourism. Theintention of government is for the State to attract the tens of millions ofpeople engaged in rural tourism annually around the world and make it themost attractive destination for relaxation and holidays not only in Nigeriabut also in West Africa. It is a known fact that we are blessed with some ofthe most picturesque natural landscape, including beautiful mountains, andalluring valleys. At the moment, the Ikogosi cold and warm spring touristresort is undergoing an unprecedented turn-around, including the
redesigning of the whole landscape with the construction of villa chaletsand an amphitheatre. The first phase of this new-look Ikogosi touristcentre which has now been commissioned will attract both national andinternational tourists.GENDER EQUALITY AND WOMEN EMPOWERMENTThe government deliberately embraced Millennium Development Goals(MDGs) of promoting gender equality and women empowerment.Consequently our administration is the first in Nigeria to sign into law theGender-Based Violence (Prohibition) Bill. We are also the first state todomesticate the National Gender Policy. Various women focused initiativeshave played crucial roles in promoting gender equality and women’sempowerment. We are closely monitoring the progress of ourdevelopmental efforts to ensure that they all help in closing the gender gapand empower women by providing access to social, economic and politicalopportunities.THE INTER-CONNECTIONS OF THE AGENDAEssentially, we have endeavoured to link governance with infrastructuraldevelopment, and establish a connection between education and humancapital development and gender equality and women empowerment andtie all these with the need for a healthy population. The modernisation ofagriculture has also been connected to the massive push for industrial
development. Related to all these is the creation of tourist attractions, notonly to provide an economic niche for the state, but also as places ofrelaxation for a healthier and more enlightened citizenry that has greateropportunities for better income and better living.May I reiterate my declaration at inauguration on 16th October 2010, “Wemust be honest and admit that attaining greater heights in Ekiti State willrequire more than just government. There is no magic wand about it. Itwill require a renewed sense of responsibility from each of us. Yes,government must lead, but each of us must do our part in rebuilding thisbeloved state of ours.” But my State of the State will also not justconcentrate on what we have done, it will equally dwell on the continuingchallenges that we face. The greatest of this remains our commitment tothe core values of integrity and honour in the Land of Honour. We will notget tired of drumming this up at every opportunity until we restore theforces of character as the beauty of our land (iwa lewa). Some of ourmaterial challenges will not be easily overcome, but we have what it takesto have the ultimate victory in all fronts.As we provide leadership, I seek the cooperation of all and sundry to joinin the task of rebuilding the State. We are lighting the candle for ourpeople to find the pathway. There are many tasks ahead and we still havea long way to go in Ekiti State. However, I am convinced that we have laid
the foundation for the creation of an enduring democratic, prosperous andgreater Ekiti State where poverty will become history.I, today, reaffirm, along with members of my administration to stand forjustice and equity; to redouble efforts at building a State that would be apride to all. My sacred social contract with the people of Ekiti State willcontinue to be renewed to meet the expectations of the common man.I congratulate all Ekiti Ketes on the milestones achieved so far and wishyou all better years ahead.Ekiti a gbe a o.Thank you and God bless.