Sunday 2nd October 2022

Category: Government

Debt Portfolio: Stop misleading citizens with ignorant narratives – Osun DMO warns Bolorunduro

Osun Debt Management Office (DMO) has cautioned former Commissioner for Finance in Osun, Dr Wale Bolorunduro, to desist from misleading the public with wrong narratives with respect to the State’s debt portfolio.

The DMO said Bolorunduro should be reminded that he served as Commissioner for Finance for only three years in an administration which completed two terms of eight years, hence he lacks full knowledge of what really transpired under the administration.

This was contained in a release by the Director-General, Osun DMO, Dr Tunde Adejumo, in response to Bolorunduro’s position published in a weekly local newspaper, “The Osun Defender”, last week.

The Director-General stressed that there was no need for the State’s total debt stock to become a subject of argument when there is a Federal repository of debts stocks in the country, explaining that the Federal Debt Management Office (DMO) keeps records of all borrowings by both the Federal and State governments in the country.

The release read in part: “On the issue of the State’s monthly loan repayments, and monthly loan deductions from the Statutory receipts, these are verifiable details from both the offices of Accountant-General (AG) of the Federation and Federal Ministry of Finance (FMoF). Therefore, the unending narratives on Osun State’s Debt Stock and loan repayments from the former Commissioner of Finance, in our view, are mischievous and needless.

“Concerning the State’s total debt portfolio which Dr. Bolorunduro thinks is secretive (as it was during his time in the State’s ministry of finance), as usual, our office actually has nothing to hide. According to our records, the State’s total debt portfolio inherited by the current administration was truly well over =N=200billion.

“On the issue of deductions from the State’s monthly statutory accounts, and fund applied so far for loan repayments by the current administration, as at November 2018, monthly direct deductions for repayment of the State’s loan was =N=2.61billion.

“This excludes other deductions from the State’s IGR for internal loans’ repayments. This amounted to over =N= 130million. Following the full repayments of the State’s =N=30billion Bond and =N=11.4billion Sukuk in 2019 and 2020 respectively however, direct deductions from the State’s monthly revenue had reduced to =N=1.8billion, while indirect deductions (from the State’s IGR) for loan repayments subsists.

“Total deductions from the State’s statutory revenue for the month of January 2022, appropriated recently was =N=1,836,968,138.03 (One billion, eight hundred and thirty six million, nine hundred and sixty eight thousand, one hundred and thirty eight Naira, three kobo) only, against a Gross statutory allocation of =N=1.46billion. This can be verified officially from the appropriate agency of the FGN as earlier indicated. I hope our egg-head Doctor could now see that the State government’s claim of negative statutory receipt from the Federation account for the referenced month actually adds up contrary to his insinuation.

“For avoidance of doubts, we wish to add that till date, the current administration has applied over =N=70billion for the State’s loan repayment. This excludes amount applied for part payment of the Domestic non-borrowing debts such as Pension and gratuity, contractors’ arrears, etc, inherited from the immediate past administration.

“While claiming full knowledge of the State’s financial affairs inclusive of the State’s level of exposure during the preceding administration, Dr. Bolorunduro perhaps needs to be reminded that he served as the State Commissioner for Finance under the last administration for only a period of three years ending in November 2014. One therefore wonders why he keeps claiming to be a registry of all the financial transactions during the whole eight-year tenure of the immediate past administration.

“Whereas, we are not unaware of his usual clandestine moves and antics in breaking through the State’s firewalls, it will be advisable for him to be sure of his figures at least. It would be recalled that our office had earlier raised concern on his usual contentious statistics and tenuous narratives about the financial affairs of the current government in the State.

“In his referenced publication, the former commissioner, also made an assertion that monthly loan repayment ordinarily should be met from the State’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). As fiscally logical as this argument sounds, it is quite astonishing that this was not the case when the self-acclaimed financial guru was in charge of the State’s finance. As a matter of fact, the State’s IGR was at best, only about 25% of the State’s loan repayment throughout his three-year tenure as Finance Commissioner in the State”, the release read.

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We’re repositioning civil service for improved productivity – Oyetola

… inaugurates Osun Civil Service Commission Board

The Governor of Osun, Adegboyega Oyetola, on Friday inaugurated the Chairman and Members of the Osun Civil Service Commission Board.

The Governor reassured his Administration’s commitment to repositioning the civil service for optimum performance, noting that workerrs’ welfare and well-being remained non-negotiable.

Governor Oyetola had earlier appointed members of some Boards across the Ministries, Departments and Agencies as well as parastatals as part of efforts to further strengthen the structures and expand the delivery of dividends of democracy to the good people of the State.

Speaking at the swearing-in ceremony held at the Multi-purpose Hall, Local Government Service Commission, Oyetola said the appointment of the new members into the State Civil Service Commission Board was aimed at further strengthening the Commission for effective and efficient service delivery.

The Governor who described civil service as a critical institution of government noted that his Administration considered civil servants as partners in progress and stakeholders in the Osun Project.

He said the inauguration of the new members of the Commission was to further strengthen the role being played by the civil servants in the implementation of the programmes and policies that are tailored towards the realization of his Administration’s Development Agenda for the State.

According to him, by its role and configuration, the civil service is a critical institution of the State and remains the backbone of the government. He said the civil service assists the government to formulate and implement policies and programmes that affect the socio-economic lives of the populace.

“Today’s inauguration of the new Chairman and board Members of the Osun State Civil Service Commission, therefore, signals our resolve to reposition the State’s civil service for improved service delivery, reinvigorate the business of good governance and to better serve the interest of our people”, he added.

The Governor charged the newly-sworn-in appointees to see their appointment as a call to service to the people and the State.

He implored them to work hard and conduct themselves in a manner that promotes public confidence, saying “it is imperative that you avoid any act that is capable of calling your integrity into question.

“To this end, I charge you as Board members of the State Civil Service to approach this new assignment with all sense of commitment and diligence, and make transparency and performance your guiding principles.

“It is incumbent on you to ensure due process and abide by the extant laws of the civil service in the areas of appointment, promotion and discipline.

“You must not sacrifice merit on the altar of political, ethnic or religious consideration or sheer favouritism.

“In the same vein, you must champion reforms that will ensure higher productivity and optimum efficiency in the civil service. You should endeavour to work as a team.

“Permit me to use this medium to appreciate all our hardworking civil servants in the State for their dedication to service, as well as their cooperation, understanding and support for our Administration since we came on board in 2018.

“We shall continue to count on your support as we forge ahead in our commitment to implement critical infrastructure and impactful programmes across the State in line with our Development Agenda.

“I want to reassure you that our government will continue to prioritise the welfare of workers and pensioners in the State”, Oyetola assured.

Speaking on behalf of other members, the Chairman of the Commission, Mr. Osunro Femi, lauded Governor Oyetola’s administrative acumen and dexterity that had brought development to the State across sectors.

The Commission Chairman who promised that the committee would discharge their responsibilities diligently and with the fear of God said, “We hereby accept to serve in this capacity as we have seen that the Governor has assembled a team of sensible people to man the Commission.”

“The Civil Service is a reservoir of experienced people. We will help to restore the Civil Service to enviable stage like it used to be because, so far, Mr. Governor has been rendering effective good governance in Osun. We pledge to render essential service and justify the confidence which he has kindly reposed in us”, he added.

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Oyetola reaffirms commitment to strengthen ties among govt’s arms

… inaugurates Osun House of Assembly Service Commission

The Governor of Osun, Adegboyega Oyetola, on Thursday, inaugurated chairman and members of Osun House of Assembly Service Commission.

He reiterated his Administration’s commitment to strengthening the existing bond of unity, love and togetherness between the three arms of government in the State.

Inaugurating the board members at the Local Government Service Commission, Government Secretariat, Abere, Osogbo, Governor Oyetola, said the appointment of new members to man the Commission, was aimed to further entrench the ties between the executive and legislative arms of government in the State.

The Governor noted that the executive under his watch, had enjoyed unparallel cooperation with the other two arms of government in the State, with each working dutifully to fulfill its constitutional mandates without undue interference.

According to him, the result of this is that government is able to offer exceptional service delivery to the people without undue distraction.

He said: “In the House of Assembly, we have found a worthy ally that is aptly supportive of our Administration’s commitment to building a robust economy that is alive to improving the quality of lives of our teeming citizens and sustainable development.

“We are, therefore, expectant that with your appointment and working with the leadership and members of the House, you shall further strengthen institutional structures of the Assembly and make them fully supportive of the onerous legislative functions of our distinguished legislators.

“I have no doubt whatsoever that you will succeed in this endeavour and make the Osun State House of Assembly a model of excellence.”

The Governor tasked the newly inaugurated board members to discharge their duties with the fear of God, integrity and high sense of diligence as the State is expectant of much coming from them.

Speaking on behalf of other members, the Chairman of the Board, Hon. Abiodun Awolola, promised that they would serve the State to the best of their abilities and wisdom.

“It is a privilege to be appointed and given the opportunity to serve at this capacity. We thank Mr Governor for the confidence reposed in us to serve the State. We equally thank Mr Speaker for giving us room to work together as members of the State House of Assembly Service Commission.

“We are giving you the assurance that we will not let you down and we are ready to bring our experiences to bear to move the State forward in general and the House of Assembly in particular. We will continue to align with your policies and programmes designed to uplift the State and bring democratic dividends to the people of Osun.

“We are resolute to continue to support your Adminstration to actualise its dreams. We have the assurance that we will not have the difficulties in carrying out the assignment because we are pleased in your Adminstrative prowess, as a workers-friendly Governor”, he added.

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My administration will always support women – Gov Oyetola

… as Osun launched gender equity, social inclusion policy

The Osun State governor, Mr Adegboyega Oyetola, has said his administration will continue to provide opportunities for women to express themselves within the political space.

The governor stated this at the 2022 International Women’s Day ceremony and the launch of the State Gender Equity and Social Inclusion Policy in Osogbo.

Oyetola, who was represented by his deputy, Mr Benedict Alabi, said it was a call to action for women, without subscribing to any limiting sentiment or fear, to actively engage and participate in the political process in order to influence inclusive decision making.

He urged women not to be satisfied being mere tools for political patronage but they should be encouraged and reach for positions of authority, through which they will be able to deploy their innate passion and expertise in delivering good governance to the teeming citizens.

“While I urge our women to be inspired by this year’s theme, and rightfully seek to assert their roles as critical stakeholders in the political space, I urge my male counterparts to jettison, in the interest of our collective prosperity, biases that have consistently shut the door against the interest and participation of our women.

“At the same time, I would like to particularly challenge our women to courageously deepen their participation and appropriate the strength of their numbers for political bargains and to challenge the status quo”, Oyetola said.

In her address, the wife of Osun State governor, Mrs Kafayat Oyetola, said women should not expect to be gifted governance and political participation just because they are of the female gender.

Mrs Oyetola advised women to develop themselves and be women of content, character and capacity for them to be recognized in the nation’s political arena.

Speaking on the theme, of International Women’s Day,  #BreakTheBias, Mrs Oyetola noted that the theme can only be achieved if women individually and collectively work together to break every form of bias against the female gender.

“This is the time to break every form of bias, stereotypes and discrimination against women. If we are to evolve a state that guarantees sustainable development and better tomorrow, we must break the bias and make our women active stakeholders in political, economic and social decision-making processes. This need is no longer debatable. Countries that are making progress have taken this for granted”, she said.

In her remark, the wife of the late former governor of Oyo State, Mrs Florence Ajimobi, encouraged women to stand firm to ensure gender equality in the political sphere.

Earlier in an address of welcome, the Osun State Commissioner for Women and Children Affairs, Mrs Bukola Olaboopo had advised women to take proactive steps to break the gender biases at homes, offices, religion and culture.

The highlight of the programme is the launching of the State Gender Equity and Social Inclusion Policy which further accentuate the determination of the present administration to make Osun a better place for men and women to live together and improve their living conditions.

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Osun Food Support Scheme: We’ve shown capacity to sustain good initiatives – Govt

The Government of Osun has reaffirmed its commitment to sustaining the monthly Food Support Scheme initiated to cushion the effects of the national economic downturn on vulnerable citizens of the State.

The government disclosed that nothing would stop the initiative as it was committed to championing the welfare and general well-being of the people particularly the vulnerable segment of the populace, saying the positive feedback received from the beneficiaries have justified its noble intent.

It further disclosed that over 300,000 vulnerable households had benefited directly while many had also benefitted indirectly since the inauguration of the Scheme.

This is even as the government flagged off the 10th edition of the scheme and commenced immediate distribution of the food items to the beneficiaries.

Addressing journalists shortly after the flag-off which held at the open ground of the Local Government Service Commission, State Government Secretariat, Abere, Osogbo, Governor Oyetola said the administration had impacted positively on the lives of beneficiaries of the scheme.

Oyetola who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Prince Wole Oyebamiji, said the responses from the beneficiaries had justified the noble intent of the government to run participatory and all inclusive governance where democratic dividends would be seen and equally felt by the citizens.

Governor Oyetola said the scheme had in the last ten months of its inauguration, contributed to the economy of the State and general welfare and well-being of the vulnerable citizens who are the direct beneficiaries.

“Sincerely speaking, the feedback has been quite encouraging, the people of the State have displayed high sense of appreciation to our wonderful work in the area of infrastructure development and especially in the area of food support, the feedback we are getting is a well done job and they are appreciative of it.

“As you all know, this is the 10th edition of the programme and by implications, over 300,000 family units of vulnerable citizens and households have been fed and benefitted through this laudable initiative and they are saying it is a promise fulfilled.

“I can assure our people that this promise will continue as long as we are in government. This is not done because we are in election year, we have been doing this in the last ten months and I can assure our people that nothing will stop this.

“We have proved our capacity and capability to ensure the sustenance of this scheme contrary to what some people were saying that we won’t be able to sustain it, but today, we have proved them wrong.

“We are not unmindful of the local industries that are into food productions, for instance, last month, we distributed Ofada rice locally produced and sourced from our local farmers and by next month, we are looking at another local food that would be distributed to the vulnerable citizens.

“This is to encourage local entrepreneurs because our focus is to grow local productions, improve on our productivity and support agro-allied industries to grow for the overall development of our dear State”, he added.

Also, the Commissioner for Regional Integration and Special Duties, Hon. Lekan Badmus, lauded the Governor for placing the scheme on his priority list.

Badmus disclosed that the market approach adopted to further strengthen the distribution of the foods had earned the government applause as beneficiaries were excited and prayed for its continuity.

“As we all know, during the official flag off of this Scheme, Mr. Governor actually mentioned that the programme will run throughout his tenure in office. And to actualise this, Mr Governor has actually shown capacity and genuineness, and you will agree with me that foods are being shared among the 30,000 vulnerable citizens in the State on monthly basis.

“We have actually reached out to over 50 markets in six Federal Constituencies in addition to the social register adopted for distribution and the feedback has been very encouraging as many of the beneficiaries have lauded the government on the initiative.

“In developing this further, Mr Governor has also emphasised on local contents which we have been doing and we are looking at the possibility of getting more local staple foods as part of efforts to boost the economy of the State, encourage local entrepreneurs and farmers in particular.

“Initially people were scared on how we are going to finance and sustain this, but Mr Governor has been able to show his financial prowess in ensuring that this has been successfully and it is my firm belief that this is going to be sustained for as long as we are in government”, he added.

In attendance were Commissioner for Commerce, Cooperatives, Industry and Empowerment, Dr. Bode Olaonipekun and Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Regional Integration; Special Duties, Mr. Samson Owoyokun and Coordinating Director, Ministry of Regional Integration and Special Duties, Mr. Kunle Falode, among others.

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Severance package: Osun govt clears the air

The government of the State of Osun has debunked rumours making the rounds that it withheld the severance package of some former political office holders in Councils to punish them.

Recall that Osun government recently announced the release of severance package to former elected officers in local government councils, whose tenure ended February 5, 2021.

However, rumours emerged following the payment, that the payment of some officers was withheld because of their loyalty to a former governor of the state, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.

In a statement signed by the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Prince Adeleke Yekeen Adebayo, Osun government described the insinuation as a deliberate conjecture meant to mislead the public on activities of the government.

“It is correct that the severance packages of some political office holders in councils were withheld until they get clearance from the Ministry of Local Government based on the fact that there were issues, they needed to clarify on their spending while they were serving.

“Such issues vary from council to council and I don’t think that should generate problems, because some officers have shown up and have been cleared. Some were asked to wait until the allegations against them are proven either correct or wrong.

“I believe those who do not have anything to fear or hide should be bold enough to show up and state their cases, rather than attaching political colourations to it.

“So, the case at hand has nothing to do with Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola or Governor Gboyega Oyetola. It is purely the policies that we have set out in the ministry that must be complied with. Attaching it to Aregbesola’s loyalists is deceptive, mischevious and deliberately designed to score cheap political points and gain undeserved sympathy”, the statement read in part.

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Osun to feed 570,000 vulnerables via Food Support Scheme – Oyetola

…. No government has embraced us like Oyetola – Ohaneze Ndgbo

The government of the State of Osun has said that a total of 570,000 poor and vulnerable citizens across the 30 local government areas of the State would have been reached by the end of the first phase of the Osun Food Support Scheme.

Speaking during the flag-off of the Osun Food Support Scheme, Governor Adegboyega Oyetola said the scheme would run utill the end of his administration and targeted at impacting 30,000 poor and vulnerable citizens, including youths, widows, the aged and people living with disabilities across the State.

During his welcome address, the Chairman of the Osun Food Support Scheme who is also the Commissioner for Regional Integration and Special Duties, Mr Olalekan Badmus, lauded Governor Oyetola’s welfare initiative, saying that by the end of the first phase of the initiative, the government would have impacted 570,000 the poor and vulnerable people in the State.

Responding to the gesture of the government, representatives of the different beneficiary groups lauded Governor Oyetola’s commitment to the welfare of citizens, adding that he had displayed inclusiveness in his governance model.

Kehinde Onitiju, the Chairman of People living With Disabilities, and the Senior Special Assistant to the Speaker of Osun State House of Assembly on disability matters, described Oyetola’s administration as one that has never failed to cater for the needs of People with Disabilities since inception.

Reverend S. O.  Fayemi, the Secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria, described the initiative as not just a rarity, but an astonishing initiative, adding that it is indeed a testament to what the Bible says that when a righteous man rules, the people rejoice.

Ishola Marouf Olawale, Grand Mufti of Osun State, speaking on behalf of the Osun Muslim Community, described the initiative as the fulfilment of another of Oyetola’s promise, adding that Oyetola had never neglected issues of welfare and security of citizens.

Also, Chief Chinaka Bennett, Secretary-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, appreciated Governor Oyetola for making Osun livable for other ethnic groups, Bennett said that the Igbo community had never felt embraced in the manner Oyetola has embraced them.

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