Breaking News

Yoruba Nation: Governor Adeleke Takes Pre-emptive Security Measures, Appeals for Dialogue | Governor Adeleke Hails CCC Wonderland Shepherd, Abraham Olumide Gangbe, on His Birthday | You lied, Adeleke’s commitment to workers welfare unbroken, | Sexual Violence Against Women: Governor Adeleke Sets up Action Committee | Ilesa Accident: Governor Adeleke Approves Expansion of Ilbodi-Ilesa Road, Creation of Trailer Park | EID-EL-FITR: “KEEP PRAYING FOR US”, GOVERNOR ADELEKE TELLS MUSLIM FAITHFUL. | Governor Adeleke Mourns Late Royal Father, HRH, Olaoye Oyelayo | Governor Adeleke Felicitates Dr. Muyiwa Oladimeji on his Birthday | Governor Adeleke Tasks Ibadan Disco on Power Supply to Osun, Unveils Power Sector Agenda | IFRA PLAN – Osun Government Charges Contractors On Quality And Timely Delivery | Osun government begins dredging of waterways | Governor Adeleke Expresses Shock and Sadness over Tragic Ilesa Accident, Directs Transportation Commissioner to Investigate | Governor Adeleke Celebrates Ebenezer Obey at 82 | Governor Adeleke Enforces New Retirement Age for Teaching Profession | Governor Adeleke celebrates Hon. Moji Omisore on her birthday | Adeleke’s Spokesperson Says Governor is Fixated on Selfless Service, Punctures Opposition Lies | Easter / Eid-ul-Fitr: Governor Adeleke Recommits to Physical and Stomach Infrastructure, Commences Distribution of Rice | Governor Adeleke Condoles Oluwo, Iwoland Muslims Community Over Demise Of Chief Imam | GOVERNOR ADELEKE EXTOLS PRESIDENT TINUBU AT 72 | Senator Adeleke felicitates with Senator Ajagunla Olubiyi on his birthday

Breaking News

Yoruba Nation: Governor Adeleke Takes Pre-emptive Security Measures, Appeals for Dialogue | Governor Adeleke Hails CCC Wonderland Shepherd, Abraham Olumide Gangbe, on His Birthday | You lied, Adeleke’s commitment to workers welfare unbroken, | Sexual Violence Against Women: Governor Adeleke Sets up Action Committee | Ilesa Accident: Governor Adeleke Approves Expansion of Ilbodi-Ilesa Road, Creation of Trailer Park | EID-EL-FITR: “KEEP PRAYING FOR US”, GOVERNOR ADELEKE TELLS MUSLIM FAITHFUL. | Governor Adeleke Mourns Late Royal Father, HRH, Olaoye Oyelayo | Governor Adeleke Felicitates Dr. Muyiwa Oladimeji on his Birthday | Governor Adeleke Tasks Ibadan Disco on Power Supply to Osun, Unveils Power Sector Agenda | IFRA PLAN – Osun Government Charges Contractors On Quality And Timely Delivery | Osun government begins dredging of waterways | Governor Adeleke Expresses Shock and Sadness over Tragic Ilesa Accident, Directs Transportation Commissioner to Investigate | Governor Adeleke Celebrates Ebenezer Obey at 82 | Governor Adeleke Enforces New Retirement Age for Teaching Profession | Governor Adeleke celebrates Hon. Moji Omisore on her birthday | Adeleke’s Spokesperson Says Governor is Fixated on Selfless Service, Punctures Opposition Lies | Easter / Eid-ul-Fitr: Governor Adeleke Recommits to Physical and Stomach Infrastructure, Commences Distribution of Rice | Governor Adeleke Condoles Oluwo, Iwoland Muslims Community Over Demise Of Chief Imam | GOVERNOR ADELEKE EXTOLS PRESIDENT TINUBU AT 72 | Senator Adeleke felicitates with Senator Ajagunla Olubiyi on his birthday

Category: News

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sambo-VP-612x300
Sanusi recently noting that the Osun State Government successfully issued a sub-sovereign Sukuk worth N10 billion for building public schools and the issuance was oversubscribed said  “The issuance which was oversubscribed and had a full up take by the originator shows the buoyancy of our capital market and its need to take up new alternative instruments,”.
Following the efficacy of Islamic finance  in attracting liquidity, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Debt Management Office (DMO) and the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) are exploring ways to use Sukuk to build airports, railways and refineries.
Speaking at the National Conference on Islamic Banking and Finance in Nigeria, yesterday,  in Abuja, the CBN Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, said that, in view of the potentials of Sukuk to develop economies in building infrastructure, the CBN in conjunction with other sister institutions like the Securities and Exchange Commission(SEC), ICRC, DMO have assembled a technical team to explore the prospects of alternative modes of finance and set out the procedures for using the modes in the development of infrastructure.
He stated  that the  team have identified potential projects that could be financed by sovereign and sub-sovereign Sukuk.
“These projects include upgrade, maintenance, repairs and new construction of roads and highways; upgrade, renovation and new construction of airports, rehabilitation of the rail line and the building of a new rail line and railway stations. Part funding for the construction of the planned three refineries and mass housing and light rail for some states in the federation,” he said.
This, he said,  is in addition to the role that Sukuk issuance serves  in  deepening domestic capital markets.
Sanusi noted that the Osun State Government successfully issued a sub-sovereign Sukuk worth N10 billion for building public schools and the issuance was oversubscribed.
“The issuance which was oversubscribed and had a full up take by the originator shows the buoyancy of our capital market and its need to take up new alternative instruments,” he said.
To further underscore the importance of Islamic Sukuk, the governor hinted that the Prime Minister of United Kingdom,  David Cameron, announced the plan to make London not just a capital for Islamic finance to the western world, but one that will stand alongside Dubai and Kuala Lumpur as one of the great capitals of Islamic finance, anywhere in the world.
“The UK plans to do this through the issuance of an Islamic bond Sukuk worth 200 million GBP by the UK Government which it intends to do as early as next year. It also plans to create an islamic index on the London Stock Exchange for Shariah-compliant securities to attract more islamic investors.”
“The UK is embarking on this plan despite the fact that it is a non-Islamic country which illustrates what we have been saying that Islamic finance, though based on sharia, is a financial product with clear goals and it is accessible to all,” he said.
SUN NEWSONLINE

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ENVIRONMENTAL

ENVIRONMENTAL

The Bi-monthly Environmental Sanitation Exercise scheduled for Saturday, 9th November, 2013, has been postponed, due to National Examinations Council (NECO) examinations holding on the same day.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Environment and Sanitation, Hon. Bola Ilori disclosed this in Osogbo.

According to Ilori, the postponement was due to the National Examination Council (NECO), Mathematics’ examination expected to hold on same day.
On the school re-classification programme of the Aregbesola administration, Ilori applauded the courage of conviction and determination of the governor to turn the education sector around for the future of the state.
According to him, with the comprehensive overhaul of the system, the O’ School concept, the introduction of Opon Imo [Tablet of Knowledge] and other reformatory steps taken by government, students in Osun schools have been given an ”unfair advantage” over their peers in public schools across the country.
He called on the critics of the education policy to avail themselves of the information available in the public domain on the direction of government, noting that in a knowledge-driven world that we now live in, all hands should be on deck to ensure Osun produce students who can compete globally instead of looking at all issues from the prism of politics.
Ilori, charged the people to go about their normal activities and ensure that they keep their environment clean despite the postponement of the environmental sanitation.
BIOREPORTS

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coat of arms

coat of arms

The State of Osun House of Assembly under the leadership of the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Najeem Salaam have confirmed the appointments of the officers of the State House of Assembly Service Commission and the State Civil Service Commission after two separate motions were moved.

 Motion to confirm the appointments of the Chairman and members of the State Assembly Service Commission was moved by Hon. Afolabi Atolagbe representing Ifedayo State Constituency and seconded by Hon. Ademola Ajiboye representing Ila State constituency, while that of the State Civil Service Commission was also moved by Hon. Afolabi Atolagbe and seconded by Hon. Babatunde Komolafe representing Atakumosa East and West State Constituency.

The State House of Assembly Service Commission has as its chairman Hon. Hassan Olawuwo (Ifelodun) while members include; Hon. Goke Awotunde (Oriade), Hon. Amos Akjndiya (Olaoluwa) and Hon. James Fasakin (Orolu). Others are Hon. Olagundoye Adegboyega (Ife South), Hon. Kunle Kudaisi (Olorunda) and Alhaji Adegboyega Afolabi (Boripe).

Also, the State Civil Service Commission has as its Chairman, Alhaji Lasisi Olawale (Osogbo) while members include Prince Oluwole Oyebamiji (Egbedore) Alhaja Samrat Bolanle Alabi (Irewole), Prince Awobiyi Robert Ayodeji (Atakumosa East/West) and Mr. Popoola Gabriel Onaadepo (Ifedayo).

Speaking after the confirmation, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Najeem Salaam commended Governor Rauf Aregbesola for taking time to select people with a wealth of experience and impeccable character to man the affairs of the two important commissions.

While appreciating the contributions of the honourable members of the State House of Assembly towards moving the state forward, the Speaker said every effort will be made to give autonomy to the State Assembly Commission in the discharge of its duties.

OSUN NEWS PORTAL

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Osun Government Promises To Give Corps Members Welfare Priority

 

corpersThe Government of the State of Osun will continue to make the welfare of its CORP Members’ top priority.  This was stated today by the Governor, State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, at the swearing-in ceremony of 2013 Batch ‘C’ set of corps members deployed to the state.

The Governor who was represented by the Commissioner for Youths, Sports and Special Needs, who also doubles as the Chairman, NYSC Governing Council in the state, Hon. Stephen Kola-Balogun promised to make the corps members’ stay in the state an enjoyable one.
He enjoined the corps members to join hands with the State Government and participate actively in programmes such as healthcare delivery, enlightenment on MDGs, adult literacy among many others.

Earlier in his address at the event, the Chairman of the NYSC Governing Council in the State, Hon. Stephen Kola-Balogun represented by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Youths, Sports and Special Needs, Comrade Biyi Odunlade observed that the orientation programme is to instill perseverance, discipline, endurance and peaceful co-existence in the corps members.  He therefore charged them to be of good behaviour while in the state.

OSUN NEWS PORTAL

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Forum 332 endorsed Aregbesola – 1a

Forum 332 endorsed Aregbesola - 1a
The entire body of lawmakers at local governments in the State of Osun under the umbrella of Forum 332 have endorsed the governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, for 2014 governorship.
In his speech, the Forum 332 Coordinator, Mr. Yinka Olayiwola, said their decision was informed by the performance of the governor virtually in all spheres of the state’s development.
The Forum, which encompasses all 332 wards in the whole state, said the state has never experienced exemplary political and economic reforms and transformations until the advent of the Governor Aregbesola administration. According to the forum spokesman, the focus of the administration hinges on road network, rural integration and massive infrastructure development which have made lives better at the grassroots.
“The conscious objective of this administration is urban and rural integration development as witnessed through the powerful road networks across all the local government in the State of Osun. This has made our lives at the grassroots better than ever before and the local government turned around by the governor is a milestone. The entire 332 councillorship candidates under the Forum 332 hereby support and endorse the second term of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola as the Governor of the State,” Olayiwola said.
He promised that the Forum 332 is at all times ready to support and transform the vision of Ogbeni’s administration into reality. The group then presented three Toyota Sienna vehicles to the campaign structure as a demonstration of their commitment to the governor’s second term in office.
In his response, Aregbesola commended the Forum for its continued support and belief in his government. He said within three years, his administration has enthroned peace and security which in turn has engendered development.
“We have spread the tentacle of development to all nooks and crannies with our programmes such as youth empowerment, school feeding scheme, welfare for the highly vulnerable old people, road construction and provision of other social amenities. As elections draw nearer, I want all of you to go back to your constituencies and mobilise for support,” Aregbesola said.
He warned people in the state not to sell their voter’s card, which they will use to exercise their civic rights, urging them to protect their votes as well.
The APC Chairman in the state, Elder Lowo Adebiyi, said the governor’s good performance informed his endorsement for second term. He advised the Forum to also perform their responsibilities in their own sphere of influence as the governor is doing in the state.
Adebiyi warned that APC is not a party known for violence and thuggery, assuring that the party has come to salvage what was an already bad situation before the Governor came in.

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Forum 332 endorsed Aregbesola – 1a

Photos from the Presentation of Support Vehicles and the Endorsement of Governor Aregbesola for a Second by the ‘Councillorship’ Forum 332 at Freedom Park, Osogbo the State of Osun, on Tuesday 05-11-2013

From right, Governor State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola; his Deputy, Mrs Titi Laoye-Tomori; Chairman, All Progressive Congress (APC) Osun chapter, Elder Adelowo Adebiyi; Secretary Osun APC, Prince Gboyega Famodun and others, during the Presentation of Support vehicles and Endorsement of Governor Aregbesola for Second term running by the Councillorship Forum 332 at Freedom Park, Osogbo the State of Osun, on Tuesday 05-11-2013

From right, Governor State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola; his
Deputy, Mrs Titi Laoye-Tomori; Chairman, All Progressive Congress
(APC) Osun chapter, Elder Adelowo Adebiyi; Secretary Osun APC, Prince
Gboyega Famodun and others, during the Presentation of Support
vehicles and Endorsement of Governor Aregbesola for Second term running by the Councillorship Forum 332 at Freedom Park, Osogbo the
State of Osun, on Tuesday 05-11-2013

Governor State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola (4th left); his Deputy, Mrs Titi Laoye-Tomori (3rd left); Secretary to the State Government of Osun, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti (2nd right); Chairman, All Progressive Congress (APC) Osun chapter, Elder Adelowo Adebiyi (2nd left); Secretary Osun APC, Prince Gboyega Famodun (left); State Chairman, Councillorship Forum, Mr Yinka Olayiwola (right) and others, during the Presentation of Support vehicles and Endorsement of Governor Aregbesola for Second term running by the Councillorship Forum 332 at Freedom Park, Osogbo the State of Osun, on Tuesday 05-11-2013

Governor State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola (4th left); his Deputy,
Mrs Titi Laoye-Tomori (3rd left); Secretary to the State Government of Osun, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti (2nd right); Chairman, All Progressive
Congress (APC) Osun chapter, Elder Adelowo Adebiyi (2nd left);
Secretary Osun APC, Prince Gboyega Famodun (left); State Chairman,
Councillorship Forum, Mr Yinka Olayiwola (right) and others, during the Presentation of Support vehicles and Endorsement of Governor Aregbesola for Second term running by the Councillorship Forum 332 at
Freedom Park, Osogbo the State of Osun, on Tuesday 05-11-2013

From right, Governor State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola; his Deputy, Mrs Titi Laoye-Tomori; Chairman, All Progressive Congress (APC) Osun chapter, Elder Adelowo Adebiyi and Secretary Osun APC, Prince Gboyega Famodun, during the Presentation of Support vehicles and Endorsement of Governor Aregbesola for Second term running by the Councillorship Forum 332 at Freedom Park, Osogbo the State of Osun, on Tuesday 05-11-2013

From right, Governor State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola; his Deputy, Mrs Titi Laoye-Tomori; Chairman, All Progressive Congress
(APC) Osun chapter, Elder Adelowo Adebiyi and Secretary Osun APC,
Prince Gboyega Famodun, during the Presentation of Support vehicles
and Endorsement of Governor Aregbesola for Second term running by the
Councillorship Forum 332 at Freedom Park, Osogbo the State of Osun, on Tuesday 05-11-2013

From right, Governor State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola; his Deputy, Mrs Titi Laoye-Tomori; Chairman, All Progressive Congress (APC) Osun chapter, Elder Adelowo Adebiyi and Secretary Osun APC, Prince Gboyega Famodun, during the Presentation of Support vehicles and Endorsement of Governor Aregbesola for Second term running by the Councillorship Forum 332 at Freedom Park, Osogbo the State of Osun, on Tuesday 05-11-2013

From right, Governor State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola; his Deputy, Mrs Titi Laoye-Tomori; Chairman, All Progressive Congress (APC) Osun chapter, Elder Adelowo Adebiyi and Secretary Osun APC, Prince Gboyega Famodun, during the Presentation of Support vehicles and Endorsement of Governor Aregbesola for Second term running by the
Councillorship Forum 332 at Freedom Park, Osogbo the State of Osun, on Tuesday 05-11-2013

Governor State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola (right) acknowledging cheers from the State of Osun Councillorship Forum 332, during their Presentation of Support vehicles and Endorsement of Governor Aregbesola for Second term running by the Forum at Freedom Park, Osogbo the State of Osun, on Tuesday 05-11-2013

Governor State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola (right) acknowledging
cheers from the State of Osun Councillorship Forum 332, during their
Presentation of Support vehicles and Endorsement of Governor Aregbesola for Second term running by the Forum at Freedom Park, Osogbo the State of Osun, on Tuesday 05-11-2013

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2014-AREGBESOLA

2014-AREGBESOLAHow time flies! It’s just like yesterday that the ebullient governor of the state of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola was sworn in as the duly-elected governor of the state in the 2007 governorship election having eventually won the protracted battle to reclaim his stolen mandate at the Court of Appeal, Ibadan late 2010.
Come November 26 it will be three years exactly that Ogbeni Aregbesola assumed responsibility as the governor of his state. Three years on the good people of Osun state have had a taste of good governance in unprecedented term. Virtually all sectors in the life of that state have witnessed transformation such that today the people are happy that they did not waste their mandate by voting Engineer Aregbesola as their governor in the last gubernatorial election. Their expectations are being met as dividends of democracy are being delivered on their doorsteps like never before.
No doubt the state of Osun has undergone a fruitful democratic sojourn in the last three years under the able leadership of Ogbeni Aregbesola. In the past three years since the responsibility of steering the ship of his state fell on him it has been a different ball game entirely as governance has moved from the pedestrian, zero result level – as obtained during the lacklustre Oyinlola era – to an unusual, creative and focused level with its accompanying profitable results for the good people of Osun. We are of the belief that any sane mind cannot but agree that correct assertions are being made here.
As we are about entering election year this paper sees it as a matter of duty to start reminding our people about their responsibilities. And their responsibilities include registering to vote, voting right and monitoring their vote. They did it in 2007 and today having got value for their vote under Ogbeni Aregbesola’s administration the onus is on them to ensure that the status quo remain. And the status quo can only remain by their support i.e they should continue to give their total support to Ogbeni Aregbesola. They have been supporting the government no doubt. The coming election will however offer them better opportunity to express their support in practical terms. That is when the governor himself will be able to know that the people really appreciate the fact that he has been working for them.
Practically the people of Osun can only express their support for Ogbeni Governor by returning him with their vote. By doing this they must have voted right. And to vote right means to continue to enjoy dividends of democracy (at least) for another four year term. It’s important this is done so as to consolidate their gains. Of course no one will like to eat his food with bitter or saltless soup. To do that will be totally unpalatable. Having tasted a working government it won’t augur well for the state to allow mediocre politicians of yesterday with blurred vision to come back on stage. In fact, that will not only be counter-productive, it will basically be disastrous for the state and its people as those who had nothing positive to showcase for the luxury of power they enjoyed for almost eight years cannot come now to sweet-tongue us about having any good plans for the state. Ask them; if truly they had good plans, why didn’t they execute it while in power? This is an obvious case.
Thus as it is obvious that these plotting-to-come-back politicians have nothing to offer so is it also obvious that the future of Osun is assured with Ogbeni Aregbesola. As a leader he has been tested and he has passed. He is therefore a tested and trusted candidate. He has not let the people down and for this he deserves to be re-elected. For the good work to continue in the state of Osun the power is in the hands of the people and we are very much optimistic that they will not misuse their voting power.
OSUN DEFENDER

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Chief (Mrs) Grace Tomori-Laoye, Dep Gov and Commissioner for  Education, Osun State

The Osun State deputy governor who also doubles as the Commissioner for Education in ‘The State of Osun’ spoke to some journalists on the rationale behind the reforms in the state.

What is it about the reforms in the education sector in Osun State?
WE  have through the O’meal programme addressed absenteeism and stunted growth noticed in the children of Osun State.
Daily, it costs about N14.9 million to feed the children . We however  do not mind as we are sowing into the future of these children. The O’meal programme has also impacted positively on our economy  as all we use are purchased within the state . We empowered people to go into farming to  produce most of these things. We spent N3.6 million naira last session . We trained women as food vendors to ensure  they ensure the height of cleanliness to avoid food poisoning. They are also allowed  to feed  their own families from  the prepared food so as to ensure quality . We also give them transport allowance. They serve as local caterers during weekends to those with socials events. We gave them interest free loans to purchase  cooking utensils and rent shops where the O’meal vendors banner are displayed. They are quite happy with it. This food is of the quality that a rich man will give his children, so they are doing well.
We have also provided free school uniforms. Most of them, came to school with tattered clothes,   Buba and sooro but the Governor decided  to change all that.
Since Adire is the major cultural clothing used by  the Yoruba, and here in the State of Osun, we are known to be the best producers of Adire. We do  it to promote our culture and ensure the kids are properly kitted to school.
Having addressed the infrastructural decadence with the provision of state  of the art schools, we  provided library and sporting facilities  for that age group , food to make them mentality fit, and also good school uniforms, we know that for our elementary, there will be no problem.
Some of the uniforms are however fading, so how do you plan to replace them? Also on the controversy that broke up with the reclassification , have you  resolved or  you are still dialoguing?
We are dialoguing, and we have been telling our people that the reform is to ensure we have a positive impact on the educational system I am happy that our people have seen the positive impact of some of the things we are doing. They know and love the programme of this government but its natural for people to resist change, especially for things that they have not seen been done before, or promises that they are used to not being kept over the years. Its natural for them to react  the way they reacted, so we have been dialoguing with them. From the antecedent of this government since it came on board, you will realise that we don’t make fake promises.
As regards the fading uniforms you observed , we have also done so and  we are changing the ones for the middle school which has faded. The first set was given out free but subsequently, we have arranged for our youths, about 10,000 from all the local governments to engage in the production of these  uniforms through the Omoluabi garment factory that we have , through a PPP arrangement set up in Abere. The arrangement is to train youths, some, who had been tailors, do not need training, but others will be trained by the private firm we are partnering with to sew the uniforms. We have also regulated the prices of the three basis uniforms, they are then sold in Red Shops created all over the state. These shops are owned by women selling them. The women have been encouraged  to form cooperatives, they collect the uniforms without paying, sell and then make returns since they may not be able to afford making deposits. The Red Shops are in the local markets.
The uniforms are fading because we gave them just one set, and then advised them to buy, but you know parents, will try to play smart, waiting for the end of the year before they purchase. But  some, whose parent have purchased a second set now have new uniforms. However because of those selling and adultrating our uniforms, what we have change it to, its impossible to adulterate it.
Without the reclassification, couldn’t your reforms still have been achieved? Could you not have retained  the primary–secondary structure and then renovate, build and provide the meals with the old structure. Also the issue of population, some of the classes have as many as 50-60,  is that not too large?
In line with the best global practises and especially from where we copied it, Nigeria was using the British system when I was in school, my children went through the American system introduced in 1982, the way it is done, which I pray we will attain here, is to put children of the same age bracket in the same classes. It has a big advantage and psychologists will say it does not augur well to group kids of different age groups together. That is why we have reclassification.
We have put kids of the same age bracket like in the elementary kids school, we have children between ages 6-9. They can relate effectively and work well together. Another reason is that in the US, where we copied it, they run what we run now and it has positively inspected on the educational programme in that country which we also want to achieve. Another thing is the mushrooming of schools which makes the very scarce resources of the state to be overstretched which has not helped the state.
For instance in the elementary schools before we came on board, each school was being given a paltry sum of  N200 before we came on the board. This government  reviewed it to N400 per child. There were 1,238 elementary and 587 secondary schools. We had more schools than many states that are bigger than us. Some of the schools had maybe 28 kids and some, 400 kids some had 28 kids and 18 teachers while others had 900  students and six teachers. There was that disparity and inconsistency in policy. The reclassification is to have graded schools.
Its also to afford children of poor people access qualitative education and state of art educational materials  which hither to they may not be influential enough to access. The schools are distributed  all over the local governments in the state. N25m has so far seen expended on the grants by the current administration as school grant per annum. Basic things are now available in the schools.
That why for the high schools, we have deployed Opon imo. For this year in the high schools, there are 44,560 kids registering for the SSCE. We have 100,038 students in all our high schools and they will all get Opon imo as it is cheaper than buying books which they may not be able to afford. We are also going to give the about 14,000 teachers I have. When we came, we had barely 5,000 teachers. These are all part of the reforms. 14,890 teachers have seen recruited since we came on board.
Another problem was that PTAs were running the administration of schools before we came on board. They had employed some teachers too but we took over all PTA teachers. We absorbed them and presently, we are recruiting teachers. There has been a major improvement. The population issue is because we are still constructing the schools, as the schools get completed, we will keep reducing the number in a class. If you had gone to the rural areas you would have seen classes having as much as 120 students with some sitting on the bare floor. We have been buying and still buying furniture.
Early childhood learning?
We as a government encourage the private schools to run the early childhood education. For us, we believe children should be nurtured by their parents until they are ready to commence elementary school. For parents who can afford or require it, we encourage them to go to the private schools, but we are not encouraging nursery or kindergarten education.
THE NATION

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Reforms In Osun Aimed At Achieving Transparency – Bolorunduro

Excerpts from an interview with the State Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Wale Bolorunduro, as he spoke on the benefits of the Sukuk bond and the economic implications of the school merger and re-classification of schools into elementary, middle, and high schools. 
Dr. Wale Bolorunduro
Sukuk is a financing option like a bond, it is a means of raising long term funds under fixed returns in which interest is not allowed, rather it allows investors to participate with the sponsor in raising funds. Apart from the name, it is not different from the conventional bond.
Since it is not different from conventional bond, why Sukuk?
Sukuk has a structure which allows government to give part of its assets to the special purpose vehicle required to raise funds, the vehicle is also owned by government, provide and build schools in which the schools are given back to government, because of the additional comfort that government is providing. The price is cheaper; the price is now the return that will be paid back to investors. The investors feel comfortable in the sense that it is not like the conventional bond; the purpose is known with certainty because of the special purpose vehicle.
The special purpose vehicle is a public company with article and memorandum of association. Also, because the object of the company is known, investors are sure that their money will not be diverted to something else. This makes government to be more transparent and in the final analysis it enables sponsors to achieve cheaper rate. Osun under Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola was able to get N11.4 billion at the return of 14.75 percent at the time rate at the money market was at 25 percent and even interbank rate, which is the rate at which banks lend money to one another, was about 25, 30 and even went up to 40 percent for some days at that period and we were able to attract investors at 14.7 percent return. It was that structure that enables us to attract that investment at that fixed rate; so, if interest rate goes up to 30 or 40 percent in the future, we are not affected. But I want to make it clear that apart from Sukuk which is the name or nomenclature, we are not under any religious jurisprudence or covenant but the structure open spaces for additional investors who will not want their funds go to vanity objectives.
Majority of the investors and asset managers companies that invested are headed by Christians. The bond is regulated only by capital market authorities, which are Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), Nigeria Stock Exchange. If by tomorrow we find a Christianity financing nomenclature whose structure will allow us to raise cheaper funds within our borrowing limit, we will take it, for us, we know what we want to achieve, we know the kind of structure that suits us, we know our needs, we want to be transparent and that is what we are doing with the bond.
Not quite long ago the state raised N30bilion bond from the capital market and now N10billion Sukuk, tell us what you intend doing with this funds or what you have done with it.
Let me tell you, when Mr. Governor took over the mantle of leadership, he came up with a programme codified as six integral action plans. What we did in the finance ministry was to elevate the plan to 50 feet above the ground. The plan is meant to banish hunger, reduce unemployment, banish poverty, promote healthy living, restore peace and harmony, and fix the education sector. We came up with medium term expenditure framework; all the capital expenditure and critical/mandatory expenditure over the next seven years had to be considered.
The next to be considered was the fiscal strategy, we looked at revenue and expenditures of government over a seven (7) year period. The central point is the Internally Generated Revenue, and we had to benchmark the IGR penetration ratio. Osun, under the previous PDP administration, was below national average and South West zonal average. The strategy of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola was to move quickly above national average; so it was moved from 300m monthly to 600 million within the first year without introducing new taxes, and at that level it was above national average and close to regional average. Then, it was taken to one billion and now it is over one billion.
The objective of the fiscal strategy is to optimize resources and maximize revenue. This means Osun will be re-engineering its revenue, which is what the state has been doing and it includes automation of revenue, etc. The state is now focusing on tax audit and tax audit is to recoup taxes owed years back. Also, Ogbeni Aregbesola’s administration has blocked leakages in areas of salary payment expenses, pension and gratuities. His reform programmes has attracted the World Bank, which is helping the state under state and local government governance reform and I believe this will lead to supports in the near future. Now, the funds realized from Sukuk will be used to build specifically state of the art schools with bigger classroom capacities and state of the art infrastructures, laboratories, etc.
The state under Governor Rauf Aregbesola plans to spend N36 billion over the medium term to develop the education sector. N5 billion has already been committed by government while the N11.4 billion realized through Sukuk will also be used for the same purpose, which means the state has N16 billion presently. We are building 100 elementary schools, 50 middle schools and 20 High schools in different locations over the next two to three years.
The state chapter of Christians Association of Nigeria (CAN) has kicked against the education reform and alleged that Governor Rauf Aregbesola wants to Islamise the state, what is your reaction to this?
Governor Aregbesola has no plan to Islamise the state; what he is doing is to uplift the quality of education in the state, which before now was near a total collapse, especially with poor performances of students in both internal and external examinations. The present reform is the outcome of the education summit of February 2011 under the Chairmanship of Professor Wole Soyinka. In the past, classrooms were crowded, funding of education was poor, and there was lack of instructional materials and high school fees in tertiary institutions. These are what the reform is trying to correct.
The schools are divided into elementary level which comprises pupils from ages 6 to 9, which corresponds to primary one to four. The middle level, from primary 5 to JSS 3, of ages 10 to 14, classified as grades 5-9, and the high school level age range will be 15 and 17 years, corresponding to senior secondary school to be known as grades 10-12 and this has not contradicted the universal basic education, which stipulates 9 years under basic education. So, in realigning the high schools, it is a situation whereby rather than having 200 students in one school and having 300 in another school, the state will put them in the bigger school that has much bigger space. The population of the students in public schools in the State follows UNESCO standard. Government will provide school buses where there are needed for them.
In reclassifying the schools, the ministry of education was mindful of religious differences and avoided classifying muslim public schools with Christian public schools despite the fact that they are both funded with public funds. There is no need for Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to raise alarm.
Then the peculiarity of the state now, according to demographic distribution, released by the National Population Commission (NPC), shows that between the ages of 0 and 17 years, Osun has more boys than girls, so having single sex schools limits capacity and it is constrained by demographic reality.
What is the economic implication of the merger and reclassification of public schools?
The essence of the re-classification and merger is to optimize resources and take advantage of economy of scale rather than having two (2) schools within the same block. You can have them together and consolidate your resources. These are some of the things the new education reform addressed, especially the needs and fiscal strategy, rather than spend N2 million in one place and another N2 million in another within the same block as running cost. N3 million can be spent in one place and achieve quality purpose in one location within the same sphere. The elementary school remains a school within the neighbourhood.
DAILY INDEPENDENT

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STUDENTS

Commissioning of Salvation Army Sch-5Resumption to schools for the new term by students and teachers in Osun State witnessed some form of uproars from a section of missionaries in the state, who accused government of illegally taking over their schools; disrupting the order with which they were being run, and that as a result also affecting negatively the future of their students.
It took days before normalcy could return to some of these schools especially in Osogbo, Ilesa, Iwo,Ile- Ife, among major towns in the state.
The Baptist Convention in particular, had cried foul, saying the government’s decision to turn single- sex schools to mixed-sex, especially in Iwo, and the Baptist Girls High School, Osogbo, now Osogbo Baptist High School, could neither be in the interest of the school nor that of the church.
Their grouses, apart from the takeover and merger, had also included the reclassification of school system in the state, which unlike the usual primary and secondary school classifications, now has elementary, middle and high school classification systems.
The classification, according to the state government, was not an after-thought, but part of the recommendations of a three-day education summit of stakeholders and experts in the global education system under the chairmanship of the Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, who gathered in the state in 2011 to rebuild the state’s hitherto collapsing education sector.
According to the state’s Deputy Governor and Supervising Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Titi Laoye-Tomori, the classification took into cognitisants the ages and mental response capacities of the pupils, which she claimed led to the three groups of ages six-nine, 10-14 and 15-17 for the elementary, middle and high school category, respectively.
With the new categorisation, Mrs. Laoye-Tomori noted that not only the academic needs of the pupils had been taken into considerations but also their extra-curricular activities, including the infrastructural facilities in those schools.
She noted that the experts’ research activities had revealed that pupils in the ages between six and nine behave similarly and respond to lessons the same way and so could be better handled in the same environment and by the same categories of teachers, who she said deserve special form of on-the-job trainings.
As regards the alleged abrupt merger of schools, the deputy governor explained that Osun State, with just a little above three million people had too many mush room schools with dilapidated infrastructure and unevenly distributed teachers.
She said the situation was worse in the rural areas where less than six teachers attend to more than 300 pupils while in some communities, there were more than 18 teachers attending to less than 60 pupils. She decried the overcrowded classrooms and dearth of teaching and learning facilities leading to more students sitting on bare floors to receive lessons.
To address the inequalities and the decay in the infrastructure, the deputy governor explained that the state was not buoyant enough to keep “too many substandard school structures” scattered all over the state, and therefore, developed the more expansive state-of-the-art model structures that could accommodate more students and provide enabling environment for adequate teaching and learning.
However, contrary to the outcry that followed the merger, investigations revealed that from Iwo to Osogbo, Ilesa, Ejigbo, Ede to Ife, among others, both students and teachers, who savour the beauties of the new and improved teaching and learning environment, took a swipe at the old conditions of learning and praised the new administration for what they described as a right step in the education sector for the state.
At the Christ African Church Middle School, Gbodofon, Osogbo, James Adedayo said the experience in his new school could not be compared to where he was studying before, saying the new set of furniture, the provided marker boards, among other basic amenities including toilets, water, have made learning at the  middle school easier than before.
Similarly, at the Baptist High School, where government had recently renovated the dilapidated structures and provided basic needs such as water, the students who are now males and females were seen receiving the new set of furniture of plastic chair and lockers as they beam with smiles.
The atmosphere in Ejigbo was not different as students relived their experiences of the new atmosphere where investigations revealed that the state’s policies of free school uniforms, books and the distribution of “Opon Imo,” otherwise known as tablet of knowledge had erased the hitherto sense of inferiority complex, inequalities and oppression among students and thereby enhanced friendship.
Some of the teachers who spoke to National Mirror including Mrs. Modupe Daniel at the Christ African Church Middle School, Osogbo and Mrs. Fasilat Ajiboye of Saint Michael Elementary School, also in Osogbo, commended the state government for making teaching a worthwhile experience for them.
While the students of the recently inaugurated Salvation Army Middle School, Alekuwodo, Osogbo could not hide their check about the serenity, beauty and facilities at the remodelled school, the experience at some of the elementary schools visited where pupils were served free meals, revealed the readiness and eagerness of pupils to learn.
According to Mrs. Ajiboye, who teaches Grade II pupils, no single day passes without new students approaching the school for enrolment. She added that classes were usually filled to the brim whenever free eggs are being served with rice, and this was corroborated by one of the caterers, Mrs. Eyinade Adebisi, who added that as one of the 3,007 caterers employed by the state, the experience has been more than awesome.
When she was asked about some of the challenges raised by critics of the new school systems such as distance and the fear of sustainability, among others, the deputy governor explained that all the issues raised had been addressed by the government including relevant legislations by the legislative arm of the government which would make their reverse a near impossible step to take.
She also added that the issue of distance was already taken care of as the new high schools would have hostel facilities with free school buses distributed around the states to run the routes.
“One thing we must understand is that this administration does not just dabble into any project except it has been properly fathomed with adequate researches and findings done and the merits and demerits appraised.
So, like all our projects, the education sector has witnessed a big turnaround with a large chunk of our income being invested in it because the governor knows very well that no state can grow beyond the capacity of its schools.” Continued, Laoye-Tomori said, “This administration has employed more than 14,000 teachers since assumption and more would still be employed.
The governor has vowed not to stop until students of Osun State can compete favourably with their counterparts in the developed countries. But the beauty of government’s efforts so far is that we are already seeing the results with enrolment increasing by the day.”
Corroborating the deputy governor, Chairman, Osun School Infrastructure Development Committee, Otunba Lai Oyeduntan, explained that each of the elementary schools would accommodate about 900 pupils and are being located in the neighbourhoods to address the fear of distance.
He said a total of 37 model structures were already being built across the nine federal constituencies in the state and would be delivered latest this December, after which the next phase would commence.
He said the methods of building the infrastructure, which he noted included the use of the traditional sands and blocks for the high school, the composite brick method for the middle schools and dry construction method involving light framed metals for the elementary schools, have taken into cognisance the end users and their needs. He therefore called on all the people of the state to support and cooperate with the Aregbesola’s administration so as to jointly move Osun State to the next level.
NATIONAL MIRROR

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