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COMMEMORATION OF THE NEW YEAR 2020

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Text of the Address by His Excellency Dr. Kayode Fayemi, CON
Governor, Ekiti State, Nigeria in COMMEMORATION OF THE NEW YEAR 2020 at Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, Wednesday, January 1, 2020

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COMMEMORATION OF THE NEW YEAR 2020

  1. 1. Page 1 of 9 Text of the Address by His Excellency Dr. Kayode Fayemi, CON Governor, Ekiti State, Nigeria in COMMEMORATION OF THE NEW YEAR 2020 at Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State Wednesday, January 1, 2020 1. Ekiti-kete, I am most delighted to rejoice with you this morning and joyfully welcome you to this new dawn. The dawn of a new year and the beginning of new accomplishments. 2. First, let us thank God for His grace and benevolence over us as a people, state and government. The outgone year, 2019, was far better than the year before it, 2018, and all indices point to the fact that this New Year, 2020, promises to be more eventful and glorious than the previous year. We, therefore, have many reasons to appreciate God Almighty. 3. Exactly a year ago, specifically on January 1st 2019, I addressed and assured you that as a new government, we have mapped out various short, medium and long term interventions to bring succour to our people and restore lost values and dignity. Without being immodest and with all sense of humility, I make bold 4. to tell Ekiti kete that we have kept our words.
  2. 2. Page 2 of 9 5. To the glory of God, Ekiti is fully back in the leadership of the comity of States and we are making deliberate and concerted efforts to build the state of our dreams. We are indeed walking the talk in the best interest of Ekiti-kete by judiciously implementing life changing programmes and projects. We are guided by the 5-point cardinal programmes of this administration, which are: Enhancing good Governance, entrenching Social Investments, promoting Knowledge Economy, Infrastructure and Industrial Development, and Agriculture and Rural Development. GOVERNANCE 6. As a government we are conscious of our obligations to the public service and Ekiti-kete in general. We doubled our efforts at redefining good governance in Ekiti State by restructuring, strengthening and empowering the public service to function more effectively. With the new set of Commissioners and Special Advisers, we reviewed governance in the State and agreed on our agenda for development. Each Ministry/Department/Agency then agreed on a performance evaluation template with the Governor to be monitored by the Office of Transformation, Strategy and Delivery. The year 2019 was definitely better than the previous year for our public servants. Their salaries were regular and they could plan their lives in a more productive manner. Over 1000 retired public servants collected their gratuity both in the State and Local Government Service in 2019 as we increased monthly Gratuity to #100m from #10m in the previous administration. Our ultimate aim is to ensure that all retirees receive their gratuity shortly after retirement. We started paying the new minimum wage in October 2019 and I promise Ekiti kete that this will extend to all categories of workers beyond grade level 6 as soon as the current negotiation on consequential adjustment is completed. In our deliberate effort to improve service delivery in Ekiti State and to strengthen the public service, we are injecting about three thousand (3,000) fresh minds into the public service – teachers, health workers and civil servants. We are doing this, not because of any
  3. 3. Page 3 of 9 significant improvement yet in the income accruable to Ekiti State, but because we owe a duty of making life easier and more meaningful for our people. SOCIAL INVESTMENTS 7. We are mindful of the fact that a healthy, motivated and socially secured people are the greatest assets of any state. In pursuit of this, we have successfully revived and strengthened all sectors of our social investments to serve the best interest of Ekiti-kete. Our social investment scheme has been restructured and expanded to function on a more sustainable and larger scale. There is Owo-arugbo and also Ounje-Arugbo which is the brainchild of the wife of the Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi. We are also continuing our partnership with the Federal Government on the Home Grown School Feeding programme, N-Power programme, Market/ Trader Moni for SMEs, AGSMEIS in addition to our Free Education programme up to SSS III which include payment of WAEC examination and grant in aid to schools and our free health programme for the vulnerable segments of our population. Ekiti remains a leader in immunisation in the country as we seek to extend universal basic health care provision across the State via our health insurance scheme. There is something for everybody now within our social investment platforms. KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY 8. Education is one of the identified areas that needed urgent and immediate attention when we assumed office. So far, we have taken concrete steps to return good and qualitative education to its place of glory in Ekiti State by eliminating fees in our primary and secondary schools, improving infrastructure, providing teaching aids, employing more teachers and improving teachers’ welfare and conditions of service. We are upgrading Ekiti State Technical Colleges to global standard with the support of the World Bank to boost technical education. We have also been religious with the prompt and regular payment of subventions to all
  4. 4. Page 4 of 9 our tertiary institutions and we graduated our first set of Medical Doctors in 2019. Equally, the White Papers on the Visitation Panels set up for our tertiary institutions are being implemented with the aim of improving quality and enhance the smooth running of the institutuions. We are poised to build and improve on these successes. The essence of our knowledge economy focus is to establish a direct causal link between knowledge production and wealth creation. Our partnership with a range of development and scholarly institutions is poised to turn Ekiti State and its knowledge assets into a Smart State for the attainment of a productive knowledge economy. INFRASTRUCTURE & INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT 9. We are working assiduously to resuscitate our moribund investments through Public Private Partnership (PPP) and also attract fresh investments. As a government, we are stepping up our efforts to bridge the huge infrastructural gaps to facilitate industrial development in Ekiti State. As of today, most of the economically viable but hitherto abandoned projects are being brought back to life. I am equally assuring you that all the ongoing and new projects for 2020 will receive adequate attention to ensure delivery within the stipulated time. On Monday, January 13, 2020, I shall flag off four major roads that are critical to industrial + agricultural development - Oye-Ikun-Otun, Aramoko- Erinjiyan – Ikogosi, Agbado – Isinbode-Omuo and Ilupeju-Ire-Igbemo roads. This is in addition to the on-gong work on the Ado New Iyin Road, repairs in Ado township and commencement of the Ado Ekiti Ring Road, the Ado Ekiti Agro-Airport and repairs of other critical arteries in the State. The year 2020 budget of deliverables bears eloquent testimonies to our deliberate and honest quest at providing good road network and improving the enabling environment for business concerns in Ekiti State. On water, work is almost nearing completion on Ero and Egbe Dam rehabilitation and additional work will commence on Ureje and Itapaji Dams. Equally, pipelines conveying the water to various homes are
  5. 5. Page 5 of9 currently being installed and water meters will follow suit apace with other water sector improvements. We are confident that the State will witness a comprehensive return to the supply of pipe borne water and a reduction in water borne diseases. 10. On power, we know this remains a challenge for our population. Whilst we are working with BEDC on the improvement of supply and distribution of electricity in the State, we are also working on a more permanent solution with the support of AfDB towards the improvement of transmission and the generation of independent power in the State via renewable vehicles. These are all tailored towards the enhancement of our infrastructural and industrial development in ensuring that Ekiti becomes a destination of choice for investments. AGRICULTURE & RURAL DEVELOPMENT 11. It is a known fact that we are blessed with grossly underutilized arable land. As a government, we are working on how best to explore these untapped God given natural resources and maximize the potential through the promotion and sustenance of agribusiness and solid mineral development as the mainstay of our economy. We are on course to lifting Ekiti people out of poverty to the path of prosperity by empowering our farmers and entrepreneurs in the agriculture, solid minerals value chain. Already, Promasidor Nigeria Limited has effectively taken over Ikun Dairy Farm to enhance the maximization of its full potential in a public private partnership. We have also restructured and expanded our rice and cassava programmes through partnership with key private sector players like Dangote Farms, Jumlar Rice Limited and Stallion Rice who are all setting up rice mills in the State in 2020 and a number of cassava mills are also coming up – Promise Point, FMS Farms and Krest Farms are pioneers here. More brownfield and greenfield investments in agribusiness are being planned in palm oil and cocoa sector, and we are sure they will manifest in year 2020. In addition, we are embarking on the
  6. 6. Page 6 of 9 construction of one thousand (1,000) kilometres of rural roads to aid and enhance agribusiness in Ekiti State with the support of the World Bank Assisted RAAMP initiative. As a government, we have set ourselves ambitious targets. Our vision is to grow agribusiness; improve the value chain; open farm to market access roads; and invest in youth participation in the sector. 2019 HIGHLIGHTS 12. The outgone year 2019 significantly re-established our determination, as a government, to improve the lives of our people and restore their confidence in the desirability of government to fulfil promises. 13. For the first time in many years, Ekiti State budget was signed into law in December, beckoning the expeditious and expedient execution of our budget effectively from today, January 1st. We have successfully restored normalcy to our budgeting process and we promise to sustain this global best practice. 14. Just yesterday, I inaugurated the elected chairmen of our various Local Government Areas to strengthen good governance and deepen democracy at the grassroots. Our newly elected leaders have been given the marching orders to deepen the connection with the grassroots and improve community and rural development. 15. Indeed, the year 2019 was significantly remarkable in many ways. We recorded uncountable visible successes and experienced few hitches. A significant hiccup was the negative impacts of the raining season on our infrastructures. As a government we reacted to the negative impact with immediate palliative measures but permanent solutions to the identified problems have been captured in this year 2020 budget of deliverables. In this regard, we successfully won the bid to participate in the multi billion, World Bank supported, NEWMAP for erosion control and watershed
  7. 7. Page 7 of 9 management and we are also focussing our energy on improving a range of climate action initiatives on the environment in the State. SECURITY 16. The primary assignment of every responsible government is the security of lives and property of the citizenry. I have personally kept a close watch on the security situation within and around Ekiti State, and I can assure you that as a government, we are leaving no stone unturned to ensure safety of lives and property in our dear State. Ekiti remains one of the safest places to live, work and conduct business in Nigeria. The fact remains, however, that criminality cannot be totally eradicated even as we are working meticulously at reducing it to the barest minimum in Ekiti State, and the evidence is there for all to see and acknowledge that we are making steady progress. Since we are not an Island, we are also working with neigbouring States to strengthen our security architecture. On January 9, 2020, the Western Nigeria Security Network known as Amotekun shall commence operations in all the six States in our zone and Ekiti is very active in this initiative which will go a long way in securing the people and protecting the State. 17. Henceforth, I urge our community leaders or groups not to allow themselves to be used to spread fake or unsubstantiated news with a view to setting the residents against themselves or destabilizing the peace of the state. We must encourage our people to report any strange signal or incident, but we must resist the temptation to resort to self-help at any time. 18. I enjoin you all to stay calm and hopeful as we build on the moderate but visible success so far recorded after restructuring our security architecture. I urge you to have faith in the ability of the government to secure your lives and property, and avoid any action that can trigger unnecessary and avoidable rancour amongst our people.
  8. 8. Page 8 of9 CONCLUSION 19. Ekiti-kete, the journey to restore our value, dignity and honour as a people continues, and we are not distracted as we soldier on. We are resolved to build a state in which the resources are utilized for the benefit of all. We are on this mission together, and I assure you of our firm commitment to the ideals of a safe, secure and prosperous Ekiti State. The resources may be limited, but our resourcefulness and creativity are unlimited. 20. I am grateful to Ekiti-kete, at home and in the diaspora, and all well- wishers of our government for their belief in our capacity to turn the tide, albeit positively, for the generality of the people. I sincerely appreciate your support and collaboration in year 2019, and look forward to same in 2020, and beyond, even as I hope you will intensify your prayers, support, encouragement, criticism and suggestions to enhance our performance. In all this, I also encourage all to join us in our quest to block all leakages and improve on the internally generated revenue in the State. 21. I can assure you all that we are making steady, visible and sustainable progress in all areas as we move from potentials to actualization. This year promises to be better as we are set to witness rapid improvement on our infrastructures to accelerate our economic recovery and make life more meaningful and comfortable for our people. We are hitting the ground running immediately with the inauguration of laudable projects in the next few days. Please come along, as we jointly actualize the Ekiti State of our dreams. Happy new year to you all. May the year bring bountiful blessings to us all. 22. Ashe yi, sh’amodun o. Ekiti a gbe kete ra o! Dr. Kayode Fayemi, CON
  9. 9. Page 9 of 9 Governor.

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