Home Opinion OPINION: The Miracles Seyi Makinde Must Perform | Koye-Ladele

OPINION: The Miracles Seyi Makinde Must Perform | Koye-Ladele

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With the elections settled, the gaze of everyone is cast on the next 4 years. Youths, Students, Civil servants, market women and men, traders and artisans, pensioners, politicians and all other categories of eligible and ineligible voters that make up the population of Oyo state look forward to the next 4 years of government and expect to see the dividends of democracy.

The people have made their decision at the poll favoriting the candidate of the PDP or coalition(which the APC gubernatorial candidate described as a gang up) and the next 4 years of governance would be for the Incoming Governor a time to do two things.

The Incoming Governor Seyi Makinde first has to fulfill his campaign promises and the second thing he has to do is to surpass or equal his predecessor in office. These two demands are placed on him the first by his honor with which he promised to do these things at campaign and the second task of surpassing his predecessor falls on him because his rise to office was based on a campaign against the incumbent Governor which capitalized on his Senatorial ambition and flaws in office to wrest the state from the APC.

The issues with which the PDP campaigned included the stoppage of fee payment in Public schools, the elevation of 32 Kings alongside the perceived slight of the office of the Olubadan, failure to complete some road projects amidst other issues.

The most pressing concern is the funding of the programmes envisaged by the incoming administration. How does Governor Seyi Makinde plan to get the funds for all the “free” he has promised?

Perhaps due to his philanthropic reputation, the Incoming Governor has led himself into believing running a state would be as easy as running a private philanthropy and so he believes a lot of these “free” can be replicated at state level. Also, people believed in his “free” manifesto because he has a reputation in philanthropy. However, it is time to wake, a state is not a philanthropy. It is a structure run on funds, people, infrastructure and combination of several other resources in order to improve the overall welfare of the people.

The Federal Government has just increased the minimum wage, before the increment of the wage, the incumbent Governor Abiola Ajimobi claimed he was using the entire Federal Allocation to pay recurrent expenditure like pension and salaries. Oyo state spent 63. 6 billion as wage bill in 2016 for example. With an increase in the wage payable, one wonders where state funding will come from to perform the functions of government.

The increment of the minimum wage means the state needs to raise more Internally Generated revenue if it would be able fund the new wage and also carry out projects successfully.

The Abiola Ajimobi administration has carried out projects in transportation such as commercial transit, widening road networks, urban face-lift, beautification at certain areas. These projects need to be either matched, improved upon or surpassed by the administration that has promised several frees and will need to pay increased salaries or face the wrath of civil servants but at the same time would be requiring more revenue.

The problem of Nigerian federalism does not help as states have less control over local resources and rely on the Federal Allocation. The pressure for constitutional reform to that effect has not yet materialized nor does it look promising. One wonders then how the Engineer plans to stop relying on Federal Allocation within 6 months.

According to the data published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) it revealed that in 2016(which is the year with the most available statistics) with 30 states reviewed, minus Lagos, the 30 states generated N515.61 billion internal revenue which is just one-third of the N1.479 trillion they spend on workers remuneration annually. States in Nigeria are not economically viable.

The main alternative to the Federal Allocation is the Internally Generated Revenue asides the unadvisable option of loans. Attempts at increasing the Internally Generated  revenue of the state have not really shown much promise.

Having considered the issue of funding for all the “free” that the incumbent has promised especially free education with a removal of fees. It is pertinent to consider afterwards the political issues that the coming administration faces.

The nature of Oyo politics is peculiar. Issues ranging from the traditional institution system to the powerful union of road transport workers, LAUTECH, subventions to tertiary institutions within the state such as Tech U, EACOED, SPED, Polytechnic Ibadan etc. There are several political challenges to be addressed by the Governor-Elect upon assumption of office, these challenges no matter how he attempts to solve them will leave those unsatisfied with grudges.

The issue of the traditional institution is very delicate and it is difficult to see how it would be resolved without someone or group having their interest affected. The beneficiaries of the Kingship upgrade have to either be reduced to lesser Chiefs which would provoke them or they are left as Kings which may not please the Olubadan. The issue is in court anyway.

Another pressing issue is the problem of NURTW which the Incoming Governor must addressed. The group has proven very violent on several occasions and it would be a danger to return the state to that era of violence. One wonders how the elements within the NURTW who worked for the emergence of the PDP candidate would be rewarded without the disruption of the present hierarchy in the Union that supposedly has its loyalty to the APC structure.

Avoiding a violent power tussle in the road workers Union is not only necessary but it is also important as the present incumbent Abiola Ajimobi administration achieved this goal and the Incoming must maintain it. The era of people dying and terror spreading across the state must not reoccur.

The problem of LAUTECH is also there arising mainly from over 5bn in debts owned by the sister owner Osun state. Oyo presently only owes a bit over 1billion. A miracle to get this school functional without closures would be needed as LAUTECH was among the main issues used to oppose the present administration. One needs to see the magic wand the PDP intends to wave over the issue.

Oyo state has also dropped terribly low in the WAEC ranking competing for the least positions with states that are going through insurgency. The state presently stands at 26 position in WAEC and has more than 400,000 out of school. What’s the magic the PDP and Seyi Makinde intends to do in the next 4 years that will reduce the figures out of school and take the state higher on the WAEC ranking?

Other issues exist including the child mortality rate, illiteracy, bursaries to tertiary institution students(an agitation I pushed alongside other students while I was an officer in Federation of Oyo State Students Union last session), completion of ongoing projects, maintenance and operation of transport vehicles purchased by the outgoing administration, development of Oyo education and construction of more schools to cater for population increase, construction of roads and bridges, cleaning of waste(an area where the attempt made by the outgoing regime has been overshadowed by the enormous volume of waste), encouraging youth entrepreneurship amidst other issues.

It is common knowledge that our economy is not in the best condition. It is common knowledge that the promises of the PDP may have gone overboard. However, having taken office, Governor Seyi Makinde must perform these miracles.

These are the miracles Seyi Makinde must perform.

 

Koye-Ladele Mofehintoluwa writes from Obafemi Awolowo University. He is a Law Student. A Civil Rights Activist. A Public Policy and Economic Analyst. A public commentator, Legal opinion contributor and Opinion essayist with several reputable print and online media such as Premium Times (Campus Reporter), Sahara Reporters, Lawyard.NG and several other outlets. He can be reached on

koyetolu@gmail.com.

Twitter @Koye_tolu

LinkedIn: Koye-Ladele Mofehintoluwa

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