The people of Ogun East Senatorial District have urged the state government to place more emphasis on the provision of good roads, rural healthcare, education, agriculture and employment generation in the 2020 budget of the state.
The people gave the advice at a town hall meeting to generate inputs into the State’s 2020 budget, held at the Bisi Rodipe Centre, Ijebu-Ode on Thursday.
In their separate contributions, various stakeholders stressed the need for the Prince Dapo Abiodun-led administration to focus on providing free and qualitative education, health care, good roads, employment for the youths and support to farmers to produce more food.
Speaking at the meeting, Oba Sikiru Adetona, the paramount ruler of Ijebuland, represented by the Dagburewe of Idowa, Oba Yinusa Adekoya, called for the rehabilitation of Ijebu-Ode-Epe, Ijebu-Ode-Alagboun- Ketu-Epe and Ijebu-Ode-Idowa-Ibefun- Itokin roads, while Chief Rodipe, called on the government to declare a state of emergency on roads in the state, particularly in Ijebuland, as most roads were in a deplorable condition.
A former commissioner in the state, Chief Falilu Sabitu, called for the reinforcement of security in Ogun Waterside Local Government Area to arrest the spate of kidnapping and other crimes, while efforts should be geared towards reviving the Olokola Deep Sea Port and rehabilitation of schools as well as provision of adequate teaching staff in the area to bolster the quality of education in the area.
Representative of Physically Challenged People, Mr. Keshinro Olaitan, called for the establishment of a ministry to oversee the affairs of the disabled, while representatives of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, the League of Imams and Alfas and Foundation of Muslim Women, FONWAN, called for the reintroduction of adult education and the need to inculcate morals in school children to address decadent in the society.
Other stakeholders like the students’ body, transport unions, hunters, among others, made inputs on what they consider relevant to them in the budget.
Prince Abiodun, in his response, appreciated the people for their robust contributions and suggestions, saying that the meeting was in line with his administration’s policy of inclusiveness and to achieve a strategic allocation of resources to projects that would have impact on the people.
“It is important to carry the people along when making decisions that affects them. This meeting is a symbolic representation of our commitment to inclusiveness, people-centered and participatory governance,” he said.
The Governor said as a responsible, responsive and focused government, his administration decided to take the meeting to the doorsteps of the people to reduce the stress of having to travel to Abeokuta, noting that this would afford women and youths, who form the higher population, the opportunity to have their inputs in the budget.
“By giving opportunity to our women and youths to contribute to the budget, it would enable us achieve Goals 10 and 17 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which is to reduce inequalities and partnership for goals,” the Governor noted.
On healthcare, Prince Abiodun said his government appreciates a healthy population and as such, is placing emphasis on rural healthcare facilities as well as revamping the existing General Hospitals across the state.
According to him, most of the General Hospitals are already undergoing facelift with the provision of state-of-the-art facilities.
In the same vein, he said emphasis is being placed on rural health centres in each local government in the state to take care of health challenges of the people.
On roads construction, Prince Abiodun said that although, this is capital intensive, the government would, within available resources bequeath good roads network to the people.
He said that the Public Works Corporation is already working on some roads in all the local government areas of the state.
The governor, who stressed the importance of gainful employment for the teeming populace noted that one of the ways his government plan to address joblessness was through the recently created job portal.
He noted that thousands of people have already registered with the portal, while some have already been gainfully employed.
Abiodun added that the job portal is also available for the many businesses and companies operating in the state to recruit their workforce
He noted that similar meeting would held in the other two Senatorial Districts to make it inclusive to rekindle hope, awaken confidence and thereby strengthen the bond between the government and the govern.