Oyo State governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, has brought his private sector experience to bear in developing the state, former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode has said.
Fani-Kayode, who stated this while addressing newsmen in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, after completing a tour of major projects being undertaken by the Makinde-led administration, said that the governor has made progress at a "remarkable and extraordinary pace."
The former Minister noted that despite the fact that Governor Makinde has only been in office for a little over one year, the developmental activities of his administration point to greater things to come.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, indicated that Fani-Kayode, who arrived Ibadan a couple of days ago, was taken round some projects completed and embarked upon by the administration, including the ongoing remodelling of the 44-year-old Lekan Salami Stadium, Adamasingba, Ibadan; the Oyo State Security Trust Fund-controlled Security Control Room, which harbours the City Watch Project; the ongoing 68-kilometre Moniya-Iseyin Road project; the Infectious Disease Centre, Olodo.
Other projects visited included completed and newly-constructed School Buildings by the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Primary Health Care Centres remodelled by the Makinde administration, the Farmers' Academy, Awe and the 10,000 capacity silo project, among others.
Addressing the press after his tour of the projects, Fani-Kayode, who clarified that his tour of projects in PDP-controlled states across the country was of his volition, commended Governor Makinde for what he has been able to achieve within a short time and despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said: “One thing I appreciate is, despite the fact that Governor Makinde has been in office for just over a year, and you look at what has been done, what you see is the beginning of greater things to come.
"And you see that what has been done within seven or eight months, minus COVID-19 months, activities of governance have been remarkable and extraordinary. We really need to know that they are not joking here and that they mean business.
“The concept, ideas and pace at which the work is being done is awesome. By December, people will see a lot of remarkable structures all over the place here. I know Ibadan very well and I know that what he is doing is to transform the infrastructure situation in this state and bring it to the 21st century standard.
"It’s a very adventurous project and he is doing it all over the state, because we went to Oyo, Ogbomoso and a number of other places and I can see what he is trying to do. He is bringing his private sector knowledge and experience into the public sector. And whenever that happens, it really does work very well. I saw it in Akwa-Ibom and Cross Rivers states. It is really a good combination when you have that.
“You may not see the final product now; a lot of people are still criticising some of his actions. But you can see what he has started and, if he continues on that path, I have no doubt that he will achieve his objectives. By the time he finishes in four years, I can assure that Oyo State will never be the same again."
The former Minister, who maintained that he shared the vision of Governor Makinde as highlighted in his discussion with the governor, that Oyo State should be the real heartbeat of the Western Region given the role the state has played in Yoruba history, also used the occasion to commend the governor's media team.
Speaking on the purpose of his visit, Fani-Kayode stated that he is on a fact-finding mission, adding that he is not disappointed with what he has seen so far, as, according to him, the evidence of good governance on the ground matched the adulations being accorded Governor Makinde across the country.
He said: “About three weeks ago, I travelled to a few states and it was a wonderful experience. And now, I decided to come back to my base; South-West. I have been here for the past few days basically trying to see the work that has been done by the governor, who is a good friend of mine. The government of this state is well-liked and respected all over the country and I can confirm that from all my travelling.
“I am here on a fact-finding mission. It is one thing to hear about the good things that the governor is doing and it is another thing to come down and see for yourself so that when you write or comment, as I often do, you do that on knowledge and not hearsay.
"So, I am glad to be here and treated so well. I was not sent by anybody. I am doing this on my own and I am glad to be doing it.
“We have been through many places. One of the places we visited was Oyo State Security Trust Fund, headed by former Commissioner, Fatai Owoseni. It has CCTV control. We saw the great work he is doing. We went to the dumpsite at Awotan in Ibadan, which is the conversion of waste to power and the activities of the site have generated more direct employment.
“We also went to the 10,000 silos project at Awe in Oyo, which has the capacity to store grains for 12 years. We went to the Farmer’s Academy in Awe, which is involved in tomato production in mass quantity and would be developed at the site and would bring employment to so many youths in the area. It is a work in progress.
"We went to the ongoing new Akesan Market project in Oyo Town itself, which is a very remarkable project. We also touched the Adamasingba stadium and I saw what they have done in a matter of a few weeks. By the time it is done, it will be a pride of the whole region.
“We also went to two of the four ultramodern terminals being constructed. These will help reduce traffic in some areas within the city and improve the aesthetic view of the state. I don’t have to tell you the implication of having such modern terminals in the heart of a city like this. It will completely change many things. People will be able to move around easily. It is a laudable project.
“We also went to the isolation centre in Olodo, a 100-bedded capacity centre. It has been equipped. It won't actually be an isolation centre anymore but will be deployed as a health facility and so on and they are doing that in various parts of the state. I went there and we saw everything. We also saw the Airport road which will help open commercial development in the state. It is a bye-pass to decongest traffic in some areas of the state.
“Also, the Iseyin-Moniya road is a remarkable achievement simply because it will enhance the accessibility of farmers and agriculture production in the state.
“So, all I can say is, I am very impressed and I believe strongly that if he continues this way, Oyo would be a very different place in a matter of years.”