About two months ago, Oyo state received a 4-star rating as a ‘Well Qualified State to attract Foreign and Domestic Investors’ by the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC). Also, in the last quarter of 2016, the state moved up to the 4th position (from 26th) in rankings of the most investment-friendly states in Nigeria. As 2019 approaches, these examples above, are some of the major indices that validate the fact that Oyo state is set to become the face of sterling governance, if befitting leadership is elected into Agodi come next year.
Putting it mildly, Oyo state was a mess of itself in the few years prior 2011. An era of terse political instability, open brigandage and insecurity had practically beaten the Pacesetter state into a pulp, ensuring that sustainable feats of governance were far and in between, almost an impossibility. The state had suddenly started setting the pace from the rear in the comity of states.
It wasn’t then surprising, that the Abiola Ajimobi-led government that was sworn-in by 2011, identified achieving security, as the leading piece in its tripod agenda of restoration transformation, and repositioning. And to be fair, one can safely say that this outgoing administration has achieved that deserved stability, such that a foundation has been laid, a fundamental tone has been set to make Oyo state stand shoulder to shoulder with serious states in terms of modern development, accelerated industrialization and people-based governance.
Without the risk of sounding off, if it’s down to credentials and the practical experience needed to make Oyo leverage greatly from the stability it has achieved, the option of Joseph Olasunkanmi Tegbe is an apparent no-brainer amongst the names pitching interest to take over from Governor Ajimobi.
As a Harvard-trained governance and socioeconomic development specialist, who has had extensive and wide range experience, spanning about 30 years, in institutional transformation, sector and organizational reforms, strategy formulation, blueprint development and implementation; and most especially, in providing reform and advisory services to the Presidency, State Governments and International Agencies, the Oyo-born consummate professional seems cutout for the job.
For example, as an active member and consultant to the Infrastructure and Human Capital Development Policy commission of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), Joseph Tegbe developed the Infraco model that contributed to the transformation of Telecom sector, making it one of the most significant contributors to Nigeria’s GDP. He also masterminded the repositioning of the finance and accounts functions of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), blocking leakages and increasing their contribution to the nation’s purse.
In Oyo state today, the drift away from a huge dependence on money from Abuja has been identified as one of the next key steps to , and who else but this Tegbe who is revered both nationally and internationally for his mastery on how to make money. The renowned KPMG head has accrued a reputation for developing economic blueprints via his financial and economic advisory roles for state governments across the country.
Considering our state’s geographic and people expanse, its deposit of arable, mineral and tourism resources, Oyo is now rightly repositioned to vie as Nigeria’s macroeconomic nerve centre, if not Africa’s, and all we need is that experienced and professional leadership to enter this immediate future.
And in no small way, Olasunkanmi Tegbe has contributed to ensuring that Oyo state economic heavyweight remains a strategic state in the scheme of a wide range of things both in the southwest and in the nation as a whole. Apart from serving as both a backroom and frontline economic advisor to the present administration in Oyo state, Tegbe crafted the strategy that turned around the moribund Odua group.
Another key reason why Oyo state will thrive better with someone of Tegbe’s experience and expertise at the helm, is the need for our state to enjoy the endless gains of policy consistency from one government to the next. We can see the example in Lagos, a state that has enjoyed uninterrupted policies from progressive government for approximately 22 years. Thankfully, Joseph Tegbe is and has been a progressive, both at home in Oyo and at the national level. As said above, he has played a key part to the success of the outgoing administration, such that, he’s a good fit to strategically build upon these successes already recorded, in track of policy consistency.
Interestingly, as the people prepare to queue up to elect a new leader to govern them for the next four years, it is interesting to know that the conversation as moved away from the usual sentiments of political party affiliation or platform, zone of origin or who your godfather is. Now, the people just ask, “who can do the job best?”, and it is no shock that Tegbe has been ticking the boxes in the minds of people so far.
With this brilliant antecedents, it has therefore not been surprising that the Joseph Tegbe candidature has experienced growing acceptance among the people since it was announced. Just last week, a body of Oyo state professionals literally endorsed him to be next Governor of the state, this, is in addition to a collective clamor for his candidature from different public groups including youths, artisans and also members of the Oyo political class.
The cap could truly fit many, but the question we should ask is about who has the ‘HEAD’. Oyo state cannot afford to dance aback when it comes to leadership as we approach the election year. Any and every well-meaning Oyo state indigene will agree that for Oyo to achieve the many befitting and lofty heights, whoever must be put forward to succeed the incumbent must an almost apolitical professional who fits an upwardly-mobile, tested, cerebral and richly-resourceful description. Joseph Tegbe, who is currently a Senior Partner and Head of the Technology Advisory Services and Markets of KPMG Professional Services in Nigeria, suitably fits this description without doubt.
In summary, whoever mooted the idea of a Joseph Olasunkanmi Tegbe candidature to govern Oyo state in the next four years, deserves some accolades.
Abdulgafaar Adesina, an Ibadan-based Economist and a coordinator at the Tegbe Foundation, wrote from Oke-ado, Ibadan