Home Opinion 2020: Prioritizing Oyo State Economic Problems Beyond Salary Payments | Mujib Dada-Qadri

2020: Prioritizing Oyo State Economic Problems Beyond Salary Payments | Mujib Dada-Qadri

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Oyo State Executive Governor is undoubtedly very handsome and not just handsome, he will arguably be ranked the cutest of all governors in Nigeria presently except with a fierce “contest” with Professor Ben Ayade who is also a very handsome Governor of Cross Rivers State. What attracts the writer apart from the handsomeness of the Governor is also the “handsome start” he has given Oyo State since he emerged. The State has a population of over five million residents coupled with intimidating force of 65% informal sector being oiled by the “civil servants”, some will call it “civil service economy”. The Governor smartly saw not just the political juice in Oyo State civil servants but also the “Economic impacts” they will drive in the state if well “oiled”. He applied a sort of “skeletal expansionary monetary policy”, fueling the civil servants with prompt payments of salaries and also “oiling” the pensioners with deserved wages concurrently. These moves are indeed smart, handsome and deliberate of the Executive Governor but “shall man leave by bread alone especially when all are not lovers of flour or wheats?”.
 Fundamentally, Governor Seyi Makinde saw the lapses of the previous regime especially when it concerns neglecting the local economy which is heavily dependent on “civil service juice or milk”. But if we are to save Oyo State, uplift the people from poverty in true sense, make the economy richer and reinvent the pride we once had in the 60s, we must look beyond being a “civil service economy”. Empathically, “salary payment as gracious as it sounds is not the most glorious thing”.
Interestingly, it will be opined by some observers especially the political class that the Governor has just started  and so we are just seeing “gudu gudu”, “Yaaya mefa” will surely surface. Irrespective of that political opinion, a conscious reminder must be awakened to “ginger” all parties concerned that the “battle is beyond  prompt salary payments”. Though, in the absence of perfect diligence. I will be reminding the leadership class of Oyo State of some vital economic agenda that must be neglected or else they are not ready for the “business of prosperity but tokeness”. The proposed priotised economic problems are provided below; The most strategic of all these economic problems is:
(1)”food insecurity”, with the latest revival of the farm settlements in Oyo State, we should be witnessing progress in food security and affordability in Oyo State making it possible for garri to sell for “120Naira per Congo” or even cheaper coupled with affordability of other food staples which we enjoy production advantage.
(2) The economic menace of chronic unemployment spreading from the urban areas to the rural areas where most of our youths have now been forced into “Okada riding” with no hope for skilled labour or employment, the state should just imagine the “closure” of “Yale and Sumal industrial companies” in Ibadan city, there is need for alternative employment Programmes to cater for especially Young school leavers.
(3) Lack of support and organisation of the informal sector/SMEs, the informal sector contributes 65% of Oyo State GDP with no hope or sustainable support, “fleshing” that sector with flexible credit scheme is even more impactful on the economy than just focusing on civil servants only because they are the most active but most unprotected branch of the economy, many of them seek solace in “head torturing loans in popular microfinance banks with killer interest rates and short-term repayment plan”.
(4) Social infrastructures especially roads and pipe-borne water supply, the latter which has been long abandoned, the road infrastrutures are getting so “hellish” in Ibadan developing urban areas especially. A lot of roads linking these new sites in Olomi, Olunde, Oleyo, Ayegun, Amuloko, Adamawa, Arapaja and so many developing areas are becoming unbearable.
(5) Revolutionizing IGR sources, i deliberately rank this as part of the top problems because the demands are higher and 2billion Naira monthly IGR cannot fairly address most of these problems as the challenges have grown fatter beyond that of the previous regime. The Government revealed that 4billion Naira is the monthly IGR target for 2020 but i urge them to be more creative and aim above that.
 Conclusively, the above mentioned Economic problems are not the only existing problems but the most strategic and imperative for this administration to truly prove to the world that they are the most tactical administrators in 2020. Most importantly, if these top economic problems are attended to especially in 2020, we can now boast of “uplifting Oyo State out of poverty, out of civil service only Economy and making other challenges less scary”. The writer of this piece deliberately chose to identify the problems but will surely recommend alternative solutions to the above mentioned problems in subsequent write-ups.
Mujib Dada-Qadri (CABALLO) is a Lawyer and Policy Analyst.
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