Governor of Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke has unfolded his policy inspiration and passionate commitment to poverty alleviation and the overall growth of the State through localized and grassroots -oriented Infrastructure.
Speaking at the 2023 annual lecture of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) held at Osogbo over the weekend, Governor Adeleke represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Hon Teslim Igbalaye stated that “infrastructure is not just a panacea to security challenges facing the nation, it is the potent key to address the poverty crisis and other questions of under-development.
“Any government that is serious about positive upliftment of the citizenry must focus on infrastructural growth. It is not an optional choice for elected or appointed leaders. The fastest route to tackle poverty, address under-development and secure the state is a seamless multimodal connectivity, closing the urban-rural gap, opening business opportunities and empowering the citizenry as productive economic operators”, the Governor declared.
While asserting that good governance is best delivered by people oriented leaders when sectoral professionals are integrated and energized in the governance process, the Number One Citizen of Osun state posited that infrastructure development is the lifewire of societal transformation, calling for “close synergy between the political leadership and sectoral professional groups as policy development and design alongside implementation are joint enterprises which must be inclusive of all stakeholders.
“I am of the firm conviction, as several experts have observed, that infrastructure is more than just transport or communication facilities. It is the cord of connectivity that links all arteries of the society and the economy. From Osun to Bayelsa to Borno back to Sokoto, the reason we are functioning is the octopus word , infrastructure.
“I will therefore assert here that infrastructure is not just a panacea to security challenges facing the nation, it is the potent key to address the poverty crisis and other questions of under-development. Any government that is serious about positive upliftment of the citizenry must focus on infrastructural growth.
“It is not an optional choice for elected or appointed leaders. The fastest route to tackle poverty, address under-development and secure the state is a seamless multimodal connectivity, closing the urban-rural gap, opening business opportunities and empowering the citizenry as productive economic operators.
“In specific terms, about the nexus between infrastructure and security, the evidence and manifestation are many. A well built transport network enhances tracking and enforcement of law and order. A developed communication system demobilized would be criminals. Business prosperity reduces motivation for criminal conduct. A well linked town and village enhance equality in wealth distribution.
“I may not quote any authority but my experience supports my assertion that infrastructure deficit is mostly synonymous with poverty – endemic society. In fact, the difference between a developed and developing society is the level of infrastructural development. Any leader genuinely interested in lifting the citizenry out of the poverty circle must therefore prioritize development of transport, communication and allied facilities. Whether that goal is achieved through sole public investment or public private partnership is immaterial.
“As your elected Governor in Osun state, I have put that maxim into operation. Being an apostle of grassroots development, infrastructural growth is the cardinal principle of this administration. I however ensure a proper mix of investment to boost the local economy through local sourcing of personnel and materials. You may have read about our approach to project implementation which emphasizes direct labour, localisation and spending small to achieve much. You are aware of several ongoing and completed road projects. We are rebuilding bridges and culverts as we are re-connecting inter and intra-town transport facilities.
“Our administration also took a giant leap in the area of communication by launching the Osun Broadband Fibre Optic project. The cable laying is ongoing across the state, signaling eventual widening of internet connectivity for Osun state. The broadband project was achieved through the waving of payment of Right of Ways in exchange of free internet access for Osun schools, health centres and government institutions.
“When Osun state is fully interneted, crime bursting and control will become seamless. Unmasking of criminal hotspots is fast tracked. Law enforcement agencies uniquely interface with the populace, thereby reducing the rate of crimes. Our administration is implementing a comprehensive digital infrastructure agenda. Our target is a settled, safe and secured society.
“Ladies and gentlemen , Osun suffers a severe form of infrastructure deficit. Let me cite an example of the water sector. The water pipeline networks servicing our various towns were laid in the 70s and early 80s. Most of the water works have become inoperable. I am happy to announce to this distinguished audience that our administration has commenced the re-laying of the water pipeline networks covering Ede, Iwo,Osogbo and Eko Ende. Massive rehabilitation of the water and transport sector is ongoing”, Governor Adeleke explained.
He expressed the readiness of his administration to partner with NSE in the drive to develop Osun state,calling on the NSE and other professional groups to accept his offer to be partner in the building and development of Osun state.