The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, on Wednesday, applauded the giant strides of Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State on the implementation of various infrastructural projects across the State.
He gave the commendation during the official commissioning of the Oyo Governor’s Lodge located at Asokoro District of Abuja.
The occasion was witnessed by diginitaties including the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola as well as Senators and Members of House of Representatives from Oyo State; Oyo State Chief Justice, Justice Iyabo Yerima; former First Lady of Oyo State, Chief Mrs. Mutiat Oladoja, Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja, Olubadan of Ibadan, Magajis and other Oyo State Traditional Rulers as well as Yoruba Chiefs across the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Osinbajo said: “Let me commend you for ensuring the completion of Governor’s Lodge here in Abuja, and most importantly, I also take this opportunity to congratulate you on the very many infrastructural projects that you have undertaken in Oyo state.
“I recall, I was in Ibadan just this last week, and I was taken round by the Secretary to the Government of the state where we were commissioning a new project. And I recall you and I had spoken a number of times by the various things that you were doing in Oyo state, many of which are not even included in the brochure we are seeing.
“So, well done indeed. This building has joined the legacies of the continous improvement in the live of Oyo State and, of course, Nigeria, and it is a point to greater possibilities for our collective betterment.”
“Let me also congratulate you on the fresh mandate, which the people of Oyo State have given you and I pray you will succeed marvellously in this Omituntun 2.0 beginning on Monday.”
In his remarks, Governor Seyi Makinde who doubles as the Vice Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), said the reason for Oyo State Government Lodge in Abuja is because Abuja is the seat of government in Nigeria as the building will serve as accommodation for government officials on government assignment to the nation’s capital.
Governor Makinde said his administration did not wait till the FCT administration demolished the building because it was dilapidated or being a nuisance to the Asokoro landscape before government took definite action.
In his words: “I want to specially thank His Excellency, Professor Yemi Osinbajo SAN, the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, for honoring us with his presence to commission this project.
“Well, he has shown himself as a man who does not care about partisan politics. As you know, His Excellency is of the APC while I am of the PDP but he did not allow this difference to affect him coming for this important occasion.
“Let me use this opportunity to convey the greetings of the good people of Oyo State to His Excellency, and thank him for his service to our dear country, Nigeria. I know the time is winding down but the mandate is still alive till the midnight of the 28th of May, 2023.
“Two questions most people have asked each time a conversation about this project comes up are why do we need an Oyo State Government Lodge in Abuja and why now? On the first question, Senator Buhari said that out of the whole lodges, he slept here. Maybe I should just take that as an answer. So, this is akin to why Nigeria needs an Embassy in countries where Nigeria has diplomatic relations. Abuja is the seat of government in Nigeria. Now and again, state visits Abuja to carry out governor’s activities that in Nigeria of today, most states are dependent on federal allocation and there is monthly FAAC meeting. But beyond that, there are other several visits by government officials and given the frequency of this visit, in the long run, having a government lodge in Abuja is more cost-effective.
“The second question is why now? Well, as the immediate past Commissioner for Works, Professor Sangodoyin mentioned, we did not wait until the FCTA demolished the structure that was standing here because it was dilapidated or for being a nuisance to the Asokoro landscape before we took definite action. The project had to be prioritised because the time had come.
“And what a beautiful project it is, befitting the status of Oyo as a Pacessetter State and providing suitable accommodation for any liaisons we will have to carry out in Abuja, especially in our drive to attract more investments to our dear state in the next four years. From what I have seen so far, the project is well done and fit for purpose.
“As I promised during my swearing-in, in 2019, I said our administration will build on programmes of past administrations that were structured properly and will be beneficial to the masses of Oyo State. We have run the affairs of governance by this mantra and this is why, for the past four years, one of the key features of infrastructural developments in Oyo State has been reviving moribund facilities. We did it Ijaiye, we revived the Pacesetter Quarry and Asphalt plant and handed it over to private investors. Today, the Plant is running and adding value to the benefit of the good people of Oyo State.
“So, we will continue to take decisions that will reduce our infrastructural deficit in Oyo State. Anywhere we find a structure from which we can extract some usefulness to the benefit of our people, we will do it. It is about 5 days to the end of this tenure and we have not stopped working.”