TEXT OF ADDRESS DELIVERED BY SENATOR YAKUBU OSENI AS THE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE SENATE PRESIDENT, VERY DISTINGUISHED SENATOR AHMAD LAWAN AT THE COMMISSIONING OF 85KWP SOLAR HYBRID MINI-GRID IN UPAKE, AJAOKUTA LGA OF KOGI STATE ON THE 19TH OF AUGUST, 2019.
- In the Name of Allah, the beneficent and most merciful. Allah is the sustainer of life and giver of power to whoever He wishes no matter how forceful the machination of mortal beings. We are gathered here today to witness this life-changing event because Allah has destined it to be successful right from inception to implementation phase.
- My greetings to our esteem Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, His Royal Majesty, Dr Ado Ibrahim and other Royal fathers here present, members of both state and federal legislative arm, top Kogi State Government functionaries, the Executive Director of the Rural Electrification Fund, Dr. Ohiare Sanusi, members of the fourth estate of the realm and my ever loyal and dogged constituents, I greet you.
- I bring greetings to you all from my boss, the President of the 9th Senate, Very Distinguished Senator Ahmad Lawan who is supposed to be here in our midst but unavoidably absent as a result of very urgent and pressing national duties.
- May I at this juncture formally announce to you my fellow constituents, that our Senate President, whom I represent here today recently found me worthy of chairing Senate Committee on ICT and Cybercrime. Indeed, Kogi Central has found her voice in the national political sphere as a result of your decisive choice of my humble self in the last general election. I thank you all for the mandate.
- When we cast our mind back to activities that led to the formation of the All Progressives Congress (APC) before 2015 general election, you will discover that Nigerians were tired of reckless mismanagement of public treasury, pandemic and systemic corruption, flagrant abuse of government power, wanton insecurity and deliberate neglect of rural communities like Upake and the likes.
- The All Progressives Congress using 'change' mantra was ushered in to the central seat of power by Nigerians to immediately carry out reformation on our failing government institutions and economy. We thank God, the story has so far been changed for good.
- The Buhari-led administration hit the ground running after inauguration in 2015 to alleviate the sufferings of Nigerians through various agencies and Social Investment Schemes. One of those Federal Government agencies, the Rural Electrification Fund which is charged with the responsibility of mitigating the sufferings of the rural dwellers in the area of electrification is headed by our very own young, energetic and visionary son, Dr Ohiare Sanusi. We thank God the young Doctor, since his appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari as the Executive Director of the Rural Electrification Fund has been a worthy ambassador of Kogi Central. Today, we are all gathered here to commission one of the electrification projects he initiated and executed.
- From the available records, the multi-million 85KWP Solar Hybrid Mini-Grid that we are here to commission was initiated in 2018 and now completed within shortest possible time. The Mini-Grid is to provide 24 hours uninterrupted power supply to 2,976 people and 38 business outfits in Upake. What a wonderful feat we have achieved through our son.
- Electricity is an essential amenity and with the installation of this solar hybrid mini grid, I can see the positive change that will happen in the lives of all the indigenes of Upake. Our women will be able to process their cassava in a more efficient and productive manner while our fishermen can preserve their fish now that they have reliable electricity. I believe transformation of a state must begin at the grassroot and no other initiative that can greatly impact lives in our communities than provision of stable power supply. I look forward to seeing similar projects being installed in other communities of this constituency and the state in general.
- I want to plead with the people of Upake to take full responsibility of the project and support the project team and developer in every way possible. This power plant will serve you, your children and your children’s children if you treat it as your own and protect it. I believe that the developer will train the young people on how to care for the solar panels, they will hire local labour and much more. Please seize this opportunity to change your way of life and serve your community.
- Therefore, I urge the Rural Electrification Agency to continue to work hard to fulfil its mandate in providing electricity access to the unserved and underserved communities across Nigeria. While Upake can now boast of stable power supply, there are still so many rural communities in need of electricity. Therefore, I am thrilled to hear that many more communities will benefit from the Rural Electrification Fund and other REA initiatives.
- Upake community has suffered decades of neglect and during my electioneering campaigns, I did promise that if given the mandate, the story of the community will change for better. Therefore, I am excited to announce to you that with the short time I have spent in the National Assembly, I will soon perfect necessary and workable legislative machinery to rehabilitate some of the dilapidated roads that link the community to the neighbouring towns.
- In no distant time, the road that links Obabara to Aganebode and bridges will receive attention. Also, I am aware that Upake and neighbouring communities are majorly agrarian, therefore, construction of Ogodo, Uhuovene, Apamira, Upake and Obangede roads will not be delayed so that our people can conveniently convey their agricultural products to the market. We are hoping to achieve these by partnering with relevant Federal Government agencies to bring speedy development to our people. What Kogi Central need now is action and not vain rhetoric or noise making.
- It is on this note that I call you to once again throw your support for the candidate of All Progressives Congress in the forthcoming gubernatorial election in the state. APC has people-focused policies and programmes and this Mini-Grid is one of them and there are many more to come.
- Governor Yahaya Bello has demonstrated beyond doubt that a departure from old order where few people held the state to ransom is needed to set the Confluence state on the path of robust socio-economic development. To achieve this, we need a detribalized and courageous leader who believes in human capital development as against personal aggrandisement. This is exactly what Governor Yahaya Bello represents. Together, we can rewrite the history of our dear state.
- Thanks for listening and God bless you all.
Dr Yakubu Oseni,
Senator, Kogi Central.
19th August, 2019.