A section of Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s office located in Abeere, Oshogbo was on Monday gutted by fire.
The fire which started at around 5:00 pm and was put out shortly after by firefighters from the Osun State fire service.
The governor was however not in the office during the fire outbreak.
The State government in a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Adelani Baderinwa said the fire was caused by a power surge which affected the air conditioner inside the governor’s office.
Baderinwa added it was a minor fire outbreak as no life or document was lost to the fire outbreak.
“Not a single document or equipment was destroyed and nobody was hurt. We reiterate that every document in the governor’s office is intact.
“It is not a serious fire outbreak.”
Baderinwa said the governor’s office was the only section of the state government secretariat affected by the fire.
He said it is regrettable that the electricity suppliers have been persistently unable to regulate the supply of power to meet the necessary standard.
He the electricity supplier to save this situation by conforming to the rules and regulations of electricity supply.
Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola says despite failure of concessionaire arrangement of proposed MKO Abiola airport the state government is committed to the success of the project.
The proposed airport which was awarded on October 26, 2017 for N69 billion under a concession arrangement with an indigenous company, AWOL International was estimated to be completed in eight months in Ido-Osun town.
The governor speaking on Friday during a programme tagged ‘Ogbeni Till Day Break’ in Osogbo, the state capital explained that all efforts will be channeled towards make the project successful.
Also, in a Tweet on his official handle, @raufaregbesola he expressed commitment to the project.
“The concessional arrangement of the MKO Abiola airport has failed but that project is dear to us and we are believing God, we shall complete it,” he said.
The airport project has not failed. It is the concessionaire that has failed. We are still fully committed to the airport project #OgbeniTillDaybreak
Speaking on the debt profile of the state, Aregbesola said the debt profile of the state is not as bad as being speculated.
Explaining details of the debt being owed by Osun State, the governor said that the N30 billion conventional loan, which the state took for capital projects would be fully repaid by 2019.
He urged the people of the state not to fear adding that the N11.9 billion Susuki Bond Loan was taken for the purpose of developing the state and it would also be repaid by 2020.
Aregbesola also promised his remaining 200 days in office would be full of developmental activities.
The Chief Executive Officer of AWOL Group of Company, Nurudeen Ogunlade during a press conference on November 2, 2017, said the proposed MKO Abiola airport would be completed within the period of eight months.
The Federal Government has called on concerned parties in the power sector to remain committed to their various roles in supplying and distributing power, to ensure that the sector functions effectively.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, who made the call, also warned that anyone who tries to sabotage government efforts in ensuring that citizens access reliable power supply will be dealt with accordingly.
The Minister gave the warning at the 14th Monthly Power Sector Operators’ Meeting, held at the National Control Centre in Osogbo, the Osun State capital.
He noted that the time has come for stakeholders in the sector, including the consumers to live up to the responsibilities of having steady power supply in Nigeria.
“After 60 years of electricity experience, nobody would believe that it is going to be ‘you work in the park, you make the change’. Mr President (Muhammadu Buhari) and the present government are determined to make the change, and it requires everybody to play their roles honestly, accountable and efficiently.
“Government is determined to enforce the law in the sector, including on itself; government is not above the law. The daily loses in the power sector are avoidable and they must be avoided. Every loss must be accounted for, or paid for whether by cash, by sanctions, or combination of both and law.
Burden Of Compliance
“This is a business and I have cause to say that in every business that is formally run, when loses occur, those who run the business pay for it either by losing their job, making refund or by resigning.
“We are heading in that direction, whether in the government or in the private sector. We will enforce every law and we will apportion it in every sector. We expect every stakeholders in the sector to work in accordance with the law.
“Let me say that the large part of the power sector is now in private hands. It is important to emphasise that the burden of compliance will shift to their side. Every complaint from customers must be addressed, you must be responsible to your customers, you must put yourself out there, you must show that you own the business and you are ready to serve.
“You have to be explaining to the public what the problems are, how long it will take and what to do. The consumers deserve the right to know what is happening, even when you are fixing the problem; it is comforting, inspiring and builds trust in service. I urge you to brace up.
“We all know the terms and conditions under which you acquire the business, you know what you contracted to do and what the consequences of failing to do it are. The regulators have stated it clearly that they have issued orders and placed emphases on compliance.
“If anyone is in doubt about the rights and obligations under the privatisation programme, I urge that person to seek proficient professional advice as soon as possible. We will enforce the contractual terms on the privatisation of the power sector,” Mr Fashola stated.
Energy Theft Is A Serious Offence
He also urged consumers to support the effort of the Federal Government in achieving stable power supply in the country.
“Consumers who demand service are also expected to change their ways, they must be prepared to pay for what they use. They must understand that energy theft is a serious offence and they will be punished. They must also stop assaulting the service providers.
“We have reports of consumers and customers going to vandalise assets and facilities of service providers, all of these must stop. They are matters of criminality and we will enforce the laws on them.
“Those who damage power assets are economic saboteurs and government will not relent in its commitment in using the law to checkmate that. Government will have no reservation at all in applying the whole sanctions. This why we are regulators and we will ensure service,” the Minister said.
On his part, the Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, acknowledged the improvement in power supply and commended the Federal Government’s move to address the challenges in the sector.
The Federal Government has assured that it will approach the capital market to secure bonds for the repayment of cumulative debts incurred by states on the rehabilitation of federal roads in their respective domain.
The Minister for Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, made this known during a visit to the Osun state Governor, Rauf Aregbesola in Osogbo, the state capital.
Fashola who is on a five state tour of Ekiti, Ondo, Osun, Oyo and Ogun states to assess positions of Federal Government projects, stated the ministry’s readiness to partner with state governments in order to ensure an infrastructural revolution in the country, as promised by the Buhari-led administration.
On power generation, he further stated that the Federal Government has approved the expansion of the Osogbo transmission station which should bring relief in power provision to the state and its environs.
He added that there has been an improvement in power generation across the various power plants in the country with the major challenges bearing on transmission.
Aregbesola on the other hand, thanked the minister for his visit to the project sites in the state.
He also seized the opportunity to solicit the assistance of the Federal Government in the construction of the Ilie -Ikirun -Ifelodun bridge to help assist residents in the area, particularly in creating ease for the farmers to transport agricultural produce to the towns,
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, has set up a Truth and Reconciliation Committee to look into causes of the recent communal clash that occurred in Sabo Area, in Ile ife.
Addressing journalists in Osun State, President of the Ife Progressive Forum, Awowoyin Lawrence, said the committee is also expected to come up with ideas to prevent a future occurrence of such mayhem.
The leader of the Hausa community in Ile Ife, Mahmud Madagali, who is a member of the reconciliation committee, spoke on the helplessness of his people in the aftermath of the crisis.
Affected communities have been receiving relief materials to cushion the effect of the crisis.
The lawmaker representing Osun East Senatorial District, Senator Babajide Omoworare, also visited some victims of the clash who were left behind.
According to Senator Omoworare, “what we have done in the interim is to assure both the Arewa community and the Yorubas in Sabo area that we are interested in peace and we are doing everything to get peace”.
He explained that the clash was caused by an altercation between a Yoruba woman and a Hausa man on Tuesday, and was consequently brought under control on the directive of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi.
The DCP said the incident left many homeless while goods worth millions of Naira were destroyed.
Osun State Governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, has described the former national Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Bisi Akande, as an exemplary leader whose courage in public service has helped Nigeria in so many dimensions.
In a press statement by Aregbesola’s spokesman Mr Semiu Okanlawon, the governor said Nigeria’s political history would be incomplete without adequately chronicling the eminent roles played by Mr Akande who was also a former Governor of Osun.
The Governor said Chief Akande brought transparency into governance, adding that his tenure as governor of Osun is mostly remembered for the selfless service to the people and the courage he brought into governance.
“Chief Bisi Akande is a democrat of no small status when the history of democratic struggles in Nigeria is written. He was one of those who fought to ensure that the military retreated to the barracks and he never looked back while the struggle lasted.
“His emergence as the Governor of Osun in 1999 proved to be one of the best things to have happened to our state. Since the creation of Osun, his administration was the first to give a sense of direction to the future development plans for the state.
“He might have encountered challenges along the line, but it is worthy of note that Mr Adebisi Akande demonstrated uncommon courage in handling state matters as long as they mattered to the future survival and growth of the state.
“Today, history has proved Mr Akande’s actions in office as very painful but courageous,” the statement read.
He added that “in saluting the courage of this eminent elder statesman, we must not fail to recognise his roles in the conception and actual formation of our party, the APC.
“Mr Akande demonstrated an uncommon agility and vigor in all the activities leading to the successful birth of our party. Today, Nigerians can heave a sigh of relief from the 16 years of misrule that the PDP represented”.
Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, has described a section of retired workers who addressed themselves as Internally Displaced Pensioners (IDP) in the state as bunch of ingrates.
Aregbesola spoke at the weekend when another section of pensioners held peaceful procession in Osogbo, to demonstrate their support to his government and assured him of their unalloyed loyalty.
He said his administration gave priority attention to retired workers and multiplied money for payment of pension by five times and paid as and when due until November 2014 when recession set in.
Aregbesola reiterated that his government borrowed as much as 25 billion Naira from banks to pay workers’ salaries and pension and stop it when it could no longer cope with the huge wage and pension.
About 3,000 members of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) under the aegis of Triangular Group of Pensioners lauded Aregbesola for paying the arrears of their pension up to December 2016.
Governor Aregbesola who justified his love to workers and retired ones explained that Osun state is the only state in the federation that implement 142% pension increment approved by the Abacha military regime, adding that between 2015 and 2016, his administration had paid N9.6billion to retired workers alone.
“We implemented 142% increase in pension which other rich and buoyant states including Lagos has not implemented. No state government has paid as much as we have paid pensioners in Osun. We paid 9.5 billion to pensioners alone.
“We shall never experience IDP in Osun. We will keep praying for those states where there are IDP camps to overcome their problem because it is not a good thing to be displaced in one’s state. I can assure you that a better day has come.
“Our Pensioners would be well catered for. Their gratuities would be sorted out once there are resources to do so. Just bear with us and show understanding for now.
“The workers and pensioners are on my priority lists, In fact, we made N12 billion in Osun in 2016 and I paid N20.4 b to workers and pensioners alone. And that notwithstanding, we are working and there are infrastructural development all over the state.
“We are building schools and we are constructing roads across the state. We are doing our best within the available resources. Our opponents should stop playing dirty politics with this pension issue,” Aregbesola explained.
Earlier, the NUP Chairman, Prince Rotimi Adelugba said the pensioners were grateful to Aregbesola for his magnanimity and cautioned other retired civil servants in the state not to play politics with the issue of the payment of the pension by the state government.
He said: “The state government set up a committee headed by a veteran labour leader and former President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Hassan Sumonu to fine-tune the issue of salary and pension payment in the state and suggest the best approach to the salary and pension issues in the state.
“The committee comprised leaders of labour unions in the state and after a comprehensive analysis of the financial situation of the state, the committee proffered a way forward and we all saw reasons to accept the recommendation of the committee in the best interest of the generality of the workers, pensioners and the good people of our dear state.
“We all agree that the state government should not downsize because we didn’t want any worker in the state to be sacked. Therefore, the only option we had was to agree with the modulated salary scheme in which the junior officers from level 01 to level 07 would get their full salary but the senior staff from level 08 and above would be earning half of their salary and the same thing applicable to the pensioners.
“It was agreed that the modulated salary would be revisited once the economy of the state improves and that was exactly what Governor Aregbesola did recently when the modulated salary scheme was reviewed upward. The Governor has never reneged in this arrangement but some retirees allowed politicians to use them to embarrass the state and that was unfortunate”.
“Though, we also need the money but we realised that we must show understanding since we also know the financial status of Osun State government. The state government has paid up our pension up till December 2016. We are aware that the payment of pension gulp N9.4 from the coffers of the state government and this is commendable.”
He said the retirees in the state want more from the state government and urged the Governor to sustain the payment of their monthly pension.
He also urged the Governor to create special units in all state hospital where senior citizens including the pensioners would be attended to when they need medical attention.
He condemned the action of some pensioners who claimed that they set up Internally Displaced Pensioners camp whereas they were not displaced. He warned that such action could send a wrong signal about the state.
He said NUP sympathised with Nigerians who are in IDP camp in some Northern states and prayed God to give them succour.
“We also commend our dear Governor Aregbesola for his love for the workers and the pensioners in the state.
“The Governor paid the backlog of the arrears of 142% of pension increase to eligible pensioners. We are grateful to Governor Aregbesola for jacking up the monthly pension bill from N200 million to 600 million,” the NUP chairman said.
The retirees terminated the procession at the Nelson Mandela Freedom Park and held special prayers in Islamic and Christianity ways.
They offered prayers for Osun State and Nigeria and sought the intervention of God on the economic recession that has bedevilled the nation in which Osun state was not exempted.
The Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola says Nigeria will move beyond the challenges of economic recession in 2017 to fast track a better standard of living for Nigerians.
Governor, Aregbesola made this known in Osogbo, the Osun State capital during his new year message at the Freedom Park while celebrating the new year with some residents.
The Governor Rauf Aregbesola and some other notable sons and daughters of the state chieftains in the state, joined others to usher in with great musical performances, comedy and fireworks display the year 2017.
The governor said the government at all levels, particularly the Federal Government must engineer a financial plan to return the country back to economic winning ways.
The Osun state governor also embraced Nigerians not to lose sight of the change they voted for few months back by rallying round the government of the day and perform their civic responsibilities. “We are on the path of re overt. We are moving away from recession into the phase of recovery. This recovery will lead to growth and growth will lead to consolidation. And all this will happen this year.
But what remains for all of us? Those who are employed must be efficient to increase their productivity.” He further stated that those without work must go back to the land, cultivate it for food production most especially, and cash crops.
“We must earn more money generally. All of us must earn more money and we must reduce our consumption of imported goods. When we do this individually, it will result to the conservation of our resources, effective use of those resources and creation of wealth for all. ” the governor explained.
Osun state Governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, has been asked to release the management of Fakunle Unity High School to the Old Students Association for proper maintenance.
The national president of the association, Honourable Remi Ibrahim, made the demand when members of the association visited the newly built school along Ikirun road, Osun State.
Governor Aregbesola, during the restructuring and reclassification agenda of his government, had demolished Fakunle Comprehensive High School, along Gbongan/Ibadan road, a situation that generated reactions by former students of the school.
However, happiness came the way of the old students of Fakunle when the Governor recently, announced that the newly built school along Ikirun road would be named Fakunle/Unity High School to sustain the name of the demolished school.
When the old students went on a tour of the school, they expressed their satisfaction with the sustenance of the name “Fakunle” which they have been agitating for, assuring the governor of their readiness to work with the government to bring the greatness of the school back.
According to Honourable Ibarahim, “the school is beyond our imagination. I cannot describe it. We are happy with what we saw in the classrooms, hall and the playing field.
“We thank the Governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, for fulfilling his promise. Though we are very bitter in the past, because, if you are taking something from somebody and you don’t let the person know what you are replacing for him, there is likely going to be reaction and that is what we have done in a polite manner.
“We didn’t hate the Governor but, because we didn’t know where he was going then, that is why we disagreed. What he has done has rubbed off our bitterness. We thank God for what he has done. God will continue to make him prosper”.
Speaking on the efforts of the association to complement that of the state government, Ibrahim said the group would hold talks with Governor Aregbesola on their plan.
“We are going to discuss with the Governor. If he wants to give it to an outsider, we are going to come in. If he can allow us to manage it, we are ready for it. We don’t want this edifice destroyed. We are ready to take over. We are ready to support the Governor on any step that would make Fakunle be great like it was.
For the second year running, the Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, has failed to personally present the state budget before the House of Assembly.
A budget of 138.2 billion naira was formally placed before the lawmakers for perusal and approval by the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, Segun Olorunsogo, at the Osun State House of Assembly in Osogbo, southwest Nigeria.
The 2017 budget, tagged: “Budget of Recovery”, is over three billion naira less than the 2016 budget of over 141 billion naira.
Governor Aregbesola, however, sent a letter to the House announcing that the budget would have a capital and recurrent expenditure of 62 billion naira and 75.8 billion naira respectively.
He said that the state expects to fund the budget through recurrent revenue of 105 billion naira and capital receipts of 33 billion naira in the 2017 fiscal year.
On the implementation of the 2016 budget, the Governor admitted the poor implementation of past budgets, blaming it on global oil crisis and national economic gloom.
He said his administration’s failure in public finance management has been revealed through the poor performance of the budget of the outgoing fiscal year.
Although the budget was received by the Speaker of the Assembly, Najeem Salaam, the opposition in the House swiftly reacted to the poor implementation of the outgoing fiscal budget.
A member of the Peoples Democratic Party, Representative Dipo Eluwole, noted that the crisis in the education sector was a significant example of the failure of past budgets in the state.