A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State, Mr. Abisoye Fagade, yesterday decried the failure of the state governor, Mr. Seyi Makinde, to learn form the fiscal crisis necessitated by global economic meltdown.
Fagade, also the Founder of ‘Oyo Si Maa Dun’ Foundation, said the state was blessed with untapped gold mines waiting to be explored by any government that is ready to improve the economy and quality of lives of the residents of the state.
He made these remarks while speaking with newsmen in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital yesterday, lamenting that Makinde and his predecessors to the development of key sectors of the economy of the state.
Fagade pointed out that he thought that the present administration would take a cue from the ugly experience of 2015 when the state government found it extremely difficult to pay workers salaries due to cash crunch necessitated by global economic meltdown.
He said: “Nigeria at that time was badly affected because we had always run a mono-cultural economy which was crude oil sales-dependent. Meanwhile, some states such as Lagos and Ogun in the South West were able to weather the storm because they could fall back on resources coming from international trade opportunities.
“Overtime, a state like Ogun was able to plan ahead. Today, it is better for it. Details of how they do it cannot be shared here but I can say it unequivocally that Oyo can also boast of this same opportunities. The question is: why has it been difficult for successive administrations to look at this direction?”
He, therefore, observed that the enormity of comparative advantage in agribusiness, cultural tourism, road transport and other sectors of the economy, which Oyo has over Lagos and Ogun States cannot be overemphasized.
Just last week, Fagade explained that he attracted a good population of eminent personalities to Ibadan for the final burial programme of his late mother.
He added that most of these personalities, who came from within and outside the country and a good number of them later asked him questions about what excuse the previous governors and the current helmsman had not to develop the economy of the state.
The APC chieftain noted that most of them know what Oke-Ogun axis alone could offer the state in terms of improved economy if resources available there were properly harnessed.
He explained that some of these people could not understand why the state government failed “to partner the federal government and its agencies especially the Customs Service in the area of making places like Okerete, Saki, Igbeti, Kisi and Ilesa-Ibaruba hubs of international trade.
“It has also been established that the Oke-Ogun axis of the state would not have had to contend with the challenges of insecurity if the youths and other people of productive age therein had been fully assisted to establish themselves in agribusiness and commerce.
“Oyo has the largest land resources in the whole of southern part of the country but about 70 per cent of it are not being put into use as expected. Plantations, orchards, ranches, ponds, artificial lakes, resorts and many other viable business endeavours would thrive in most parts of the pacesetter state where the required land are in abundance.”
However, according to him, what is lacking is the readiness of the state government to create an enabling environment for private investment. In all honesty, we need someone who could coordinate a team of experts who would assist the state in this direction urgently.
He lamented that Ibadan “is gradually becoming uncontrollable due to influx of people from other axis of the state and beyond who abandon their natural settlement in search of better life and comfort since governments at both the federal and state levels have done little or nothing to develop their land.”