The outgoing Osun State Governor, Gboyega Oyetola, has disclosed that he judiciously managed the state’s resources and led a people-oriented government during his four years tenure.
He said he cleared N97 billion out of the inherited debt and was leaving office over N14 billion in the state’s treasury.
Oyetola, in his farewell message made available to journalists on Sunday, maintained his tenure was a testament that there could be no substitute for a pro-people government in a democracy.
He boasted that both local and international organisations had applauded the sustainable development and participatory governance he enthroned.
He said, “Let me reiterate here that in this first tenure, we were able to take care of the fears and evil of fiscal indiscipline and lack of implementation, which hamper projects and services in the nation’s public service. This can be seen in the myriad of people-centered and masses-focused projects we delivered for the use of the people of the State in this first term.
“We proved that infrastructure and economic development are doable in a depressed economy and that stagnated development in a struggling economy is a product of intellectual laziness, dearth of creativity, shortage of innovation and lack of political will.
“We also restored the lost glory of our civil service and ensured that workers’ salaries are not only promptly paid but continued to pay minimum wage despite the devastating effect of COVID-19 pandemic. We stood tall among comity of states in the fight against COVID-19.
“We also resolutely defended and prioritised the welfare of workers and pensioners. For this first term, we expended over N50 billion to cater for our senior citizens to settle their pensions and gratuities. We remitted the contributory pension as and when due, and we were at the same time reducing the backlog we inherited from the previous administration. By and large, we were able to stabilise the economy of the state under our leadership.
“We never toyed with the security of our people as we cooperated with other States in the South-West to set up Amotekun to support the conventional security agencies in order to further secure our state.
“We also launched the Osun Youth Policy Document to take care of the present and future of our younger generation, just as we injected over N2billion into the economy through the Osun Microcredit Agency to empower our market men and women.
“From a little above 10 billion in 2018, we have been able to grow the State IGR N20billion, just as our performance in the World Bank’s States’ Fiscal Transparency, Accountability, and Sustainability has continued to earn us accolades and financial benefits.
“In 2018 before we came into office, Osun was placed 32nd on the fiscal sustainability index, finishing just ahead of Taraba, Plateau, Adamawa, and Kogi states. However, by the latest ranking in 2021, we have climbed to 19th place on the index, as we are now ranked 13th out of 36 states of the federation. As we end our first term, rest assured that Osun is more stable economically than we met it, in 2018 and it remained the most peaceful state in the country under our leadership.
“For four years, we did not take any bank loan facility. But we benefited from the N3billion monthly intervention from the federal Government to all the states for six months to cushion the effect of deductions of budget support facility and salary bailout accessed by the previous administration, just as we have paid N97 billion from the total debt we inherited in 2018.
“We are leaving behind cash of over N14 billion. In addition to the N14 billion cash, another N8 billion is being expected between December and January from our performance in SFTAS and the IGR. Also, another Seventy-Two million Dollars will come to the State soon from RAMP 3, NG-CARES, Nigeria for Women Project and Ease of Doing Business. These are earned, based on performance. And we have indeed performed to earn them. It was part of the same performance that earned us the award of Best Governor on Efficiency of Public Expenditure and TOP Performer on Domestic Revenue Mobilisation by the World Bank’s States’ Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability, SFTAS, recently.
“We have gone this length to let you know that Osun under our leadership was sustainable. It was done through fiscal discipline and personal sacrifices.”