To reinvent a people with a positive mindset to own and revamp their economy on platforms that generate great industry and promotes a peaceful co-existence sowing the values of progress for Osun State, accountability in governance, a dedication to uplifting the socio-economic status of Osun people, and excellent leadership principles in their children ready to lead Nigeria and excel in internationally.
My name is Julius Olapade Okunola
I present my “Contract with Osun”.
The Seven Point Turn Around Agenda For Osun State
1. Full Payment of Wages and Government Accountability
Payment of all wages and arrears for all state employees will be the first item on my agenda as the Governor of Osun State. We consider it a crime against humanity and all morality to make people work and not get paid and in some cases for years. This is wrong.
In addition, it destabilizes our economy. when people have no money to spend, the economy is slowed, unemployment grows, and people suffer. Under my administration, we will enact a law with a very tough penalty against both the state government and private employers who fail to pay their employees. We will impose financial penalties for the benefit of the employees. I commit today that payment of all wages in arrears for all state employees will be the first item on my agenda on my first day as Governor of Osun State.
Accountability is key to good governance. I will introduce the first “Closer to You Government Services” in Nigeria. I will be the first Governor in the country that empowers local governments to take control of services provided to the people taking government and accountability closer to the people.
You may not understand that lack of good roads, clean water, and constant electricity are problems that people suffer because the government does not consult with them. There is too much power at the center of government which allows the government to override the will of the people. Hence, we are going to leverage the wisdom of the people in their localities through the local government officials, their trade unions representatives and similar social units to bring government closer to the people.
The administration of the government MUST change. We must work with the priorities of individual local government in allocating resources. It is the only way for the people to contribute to their own destinies and for government to prove accountability and increase operational efficiency.
We will decentralize our budgeting process. We will empower local governments to take responsibility for everyday services needs of their people.
We will provide budgets to local government to build water treatment and distribution facilities, allocate budget annually to LGA to build roads and fix roads, build power distribution grids through partnerships with investors. We will aggressively encourage off-grid alternative and renewable energy power sources to bring full electricity to all of Osun State.
When elected as your governor, I will ensure that every community, through their local governments has their fair share of access to good roads, clean water, and constant electricity.
- We shall drill boreholes where we need to and construct New Water Dams in the State.
- We will allow local governments to take responsibility for old dams like Ede Water Works, Ilesha Water Works, Ejigbo Water Works under state supervision and similar projects.
- We will explore modern solutions and technologies of renewable energy generation to ensure constant electricity and the power supply is made available to all the good people of Osun State, whether they live in the rural or urban areas and empower LGA’s to take active roles.
- We will train engineers and technicians that are administering the activities of Water Corporation to maintain and sustain our initiatives for the good people of Osun State.
2. Technology as A Tool for Economic Transformation
We will exploit modern technology to its fullest. Introduction of Internet services riding on the back of efficient renewable energy services is our innovative priority, our vision for transforming Osun State economy to deploy E-Government and E-Commerce tools to transform economic activities, especially digital economy in the state.
Technological transformation is high on our agenda. We are looking at this from three angles, including Digital Economy, E-Government, and Renewable Energy. We have identified partners committed to exploiting the potentials of our youth to the extent that ‘yahoo yahoo’ boys will become ‘Oroki Valley’ boys like the famous ‘Silicon Valley’ and run profitable organizations like companies called ‘Amazon or Facebook’. The youth in Osun State must begin to run profitable world conglomerates from within our state as prevalent in other parts of the world.
There are states in Nigeria where Internet services do not fail, there is no excuse for us not making that possible in Osun State. This is key to elevating our competitiveness in education, industry, commerce, agriculture, and tourism to mention a few sectors of our economy. Hence, it is a priority of our transformation agenda.
Let’s use E-government as an example. The possibilities include:
E-government is the use of information technology to support government operations, engage citizens, and provide government services. Main components of e-Government:
- E-services: the electronic delivery of government information, programs, and services often (but not exclusively) over the Internet
- E-democracy: the use of electronic communications to increase citizen participation in the public decision-making process
- E-commerce: the electronic exchange of money for goods and services such as citizens paying taxes and utility bills, renewing vehicle registrations, paying for various government services and fees, or government buying supplies.
- E-management: the use of information technology to improve the management of government, from streamlining business processes to maintaining electronic records to improving the flow and integration of information
Implementing e-Government makes government more accessible to the people:
- We will place a lot of our information and service online for our indigenes to engage us 24/7.
- The government portal will synergize the communications and transactions between citizens, businesses and state employees for efficient and transparent delivery of services.
- We provide an interactive platform for feedbacks and communication with the public.
- Establish a call center to take public inquiries, provide information and accept/resolve complaints
We are going to leverage technology to the fullest to reduce the cost of governance:
- Online forms and applications
- Online records search/retrieval
- Online verifications
- We reduce waste by going digital in various ways
- We reduce time and cost of doing business with the government.
- When e-government is fully deployed, we can reduce the cost of administration and management of the state by about 40%. We transfer the savings to other critical areas for the benefit of the Osun indigenes.
We will use technology to checkmate and reduce corruption while ensuring transparency:
- Implement an online bidding system for 100% of government services and contracts. This will ensure that the most qualified with the best bid, not the most connected gets wins the bid.
- Implement a workflow system that moves processes and decision making faster through the executive, judiciary, and the civil service
- Automated audit system to eliminate human error and bias.
- Create a dashboard reporting syste
Therefore, I say that the provision of internet access throughout the state for seamless connectivity remains key that will spur economic activities including the digital economy in the state. I will continue to give more specific examples in the different sections of this document.
3. Restoring Our Pride of Place in Education
Osun state has always been a leader in the educational front. Shamefully, we now rank twenty-ninth out of thirty-six states in Nigeria. This is unacceptable, and we must turn this statistic around. We will provide international grade quality learning environment using two parallel education programs, the:
a. “No child left Behind” educational program focusing on school-age children and
b. “Education-to-Job” Program to take our young men and women off the street.
1. ‘NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND’ PROGRAM
An educational program which focuses on children of school age. No child should be left at home or on the street or dropping out of school, either because of work to support the family when they were supposed to be in school or are distracted with the wrong focus in life. To make this work we will create a program for Subsidized Day Care and After School Services for low-income families who meet the criteria and qualify as a low-income family. This way parents can go to work while the children attend school.
2. ‘THE EDUCATION – TO – JOB’ PROGRAM
Our second focus will be “Education to Job” program. We will our young men and women off the street. Young men and women of Osun should not go to school for the sake of going to school. We will create a job program with incentives for businesses who hire young men and women enrolled in the “Education to Job” program and at a mass scale. We want to give businesses a reason to hire, we will create financial benefit for hiring. Businesses create jobs better than the government. Therefore, my job is to empower businesses with financial incentives to create good-paying middle-class jobs.
We will strengthen these innovations with improvements in the current educational system making upgrades from primary to higher institutions of learning to provide modern quality learning environments by:
- Equipping Our Schools to international standards with computers and other essentials will be routine under my administration. We will utilize partnership resources to provide computers, appropriate school buildings, and furniture, books, and tools that will allow teachers to become more effective.
- Honoring Teachers: Osun State will create for the first time a teacher’s program that will match any other in the world. We will honor teachers, we will recognize and award performance. My office will set up a “special office” to have quarterly meetings with principals and teacher’s union leaders to discuss improvement of education in Osun State so we are the best and second to none.
- Public School Transportation: We plan to introduce the first public school bus system in the country to Osun, where safe transportation of our children to and from school will ensure every child makes it to school. Lunch must be a guarantee for every child that attend primary school indirectly empowering our farmers and the farming industry.
4. Access to Quality and Affordable Health Care for All
Our universal healthcare program will bring healthcare management firms to build international grade hospitals, provide ambulance services, outpatient services, home care services to run the best market-driven, and effective healthcare program in the nation.
Poor access to healthcare centers is responsible for under-development in Osun State. Sick people cannot produce or contribute to the social growth. Government is responsible for providing affordable healthcare infrastructures to its citizens, and our state should not be different.
- Only 25% of Osun State has qualified doctors, another 30% of the State has no Comprehensive Health Care centers (CHC).
- Some local governments have 2-3 times Primary Health Care than others.
- Poor road infrastructure also means that you cannot readily get medical help in neighboring local governments, which creates a life or death situation in emergencies.
As the governor of Osun State, I will make sure, that the average citizen of Osun State has access to the same quality of healthcare that our politicians and their families enjoy overseas. Having lived overseas myself, I can tell you that all the luxurious oversea services that our politicians pay exorbitantly to get are our everyday opportunity for the common man in the developed countries. This is what I intend to replicate in Osun state by:
- Building world-class hospitals and equipping them with state of the art technology that will be able to help the health challenges of every indigene of the state without having to travel to India, London or the U.S for the same service.
- I will work out an alliance between our hospitals here in Osun state with doctors and health experts overseas, to train for us capable manpower to handle our hospitals.
- I will ensure that every major community and local government headquarters have well equipped and competent clinics that can provide first responder services to any emergency and most major issues, without long distant referrals.
- I will ensure that we develop a brand of healthcare delivery services in Osun state that becomes a model for our country Nigeria. This is doable and workable.
- I will also ensure that a collaborative network and alliance is forged with all major NGOs and not for profit organizations within the state to help with health awareness creation and enlightenment on how the good people of Osun state can maintain healthy lifestyle and longevity.
5. Dedication To Job Creation for Economic Empowerment in Commerce and Industrialization
I will encourage the development of entrepreneurial skills through flexible skill acquisition training and educational programs to empower those of a working class to be able to start a business of their own. And provide easy access to flexible micro-finance schemes to encourage investors to come to Osun State, and to take advantage of technology to explore more job creation opportunities through ‘Webpreneur’ or the concept of Digital Economy.
It is disturbing that Osun state contributes 19% to national unemployment and underemployment. Every able-bodied and working-age person in the state must gainfully be employed or empowered with skills to pioneer his/her own business.
When am elected governor of this state,
- I will encourage the development of entrepreneurial skills through flexible skill acquisition training and educational programs that will empower the average youth, graduates and those of a working class to be able to start a business of their own.
- I will make available easy access to microfinance schemes with flexible policies that make it easy for the average person with good business proposals to be able to access the financial capital required to start up his business and contribute to the economy of the state.
- We will expand our local and indigenous production plants, factories and internal revenue generation operations to be able to absorb more people to work in every local government.
- We will be revisiting the harnessing of our abandoned natural resources in the state like cocoa, etc. and revive and expand the industries that run them to be able to put more people to work in the state.
- We will open opportunities for investors to come to Osun state by creating a conducive environment for them, removing bureaucratic bottlenecks so that they can create job opportunities for our own indigenes within the state.
- We will maximize employment opportunities by making policies that favor the employers of labor to stimulate growth and expansion that will result in more employment in the state.
- We take advantage of technology to explore more job creation opportunities using the concept of Digital Economy called NETPRENEUR. Here we will empower adventurous youths of Osun state with IT skills that enable them to provide technological services that greatly priced and in need today.
- We will position the unemployed to earn income on a worldwide scale, in different online professions:
- Mobile Marketing
- Web Development
- App Development
- Social Media Integration
- Graphic Design
- Article and Proof Reading
6. Empowerment Through Agricultural Development
We will prioritize our agriculture and agro-allied infrastructural development to ensure that Osun State farmers can farm all year round, store their produce and market them competitively.
Osun State is blessed with a very huge opportunity for agricultural development which should serve as a means of sustainable economic development. Osun State has a population of over 3.4million people, and over 1 million of this population is practicing one form of agriculture or the other in either large scale or small scale.
Presently, many of our graduates now create employment for them-self through agriculture by practicing animal products such as poultry farming, snail farming, rabbit rearing, piggery and other forms of profitable agricultural practices on a small scale. The question is how do we encourage this intelligent young men and women? We can develop a plan to encourage and develop this entrepreneurial spirit in our young people by doing the following:
- Introduction of soft loan for production purpose with the very minimum interest rate possible. This way, more youth will be encouraged to go into agriculture and in the long run, we will begin to have excess production.
- Provision of incentives on animal feeds through subsidies to registered practicing farmers.
- Introduction of agricultural extension services to our farmers in the remote rural villages who do not have access to new skills and technology. Many years ago, Osun State used to have a branch of the government called Osun State Agriculture Development Program (OSADEP). It is time to re-introduce program like this, in a more vibrant and efficient manner that reflect the 21st-century agriculture development needs.
- Provision of storage facilities is vital for sustainable agriculture and our economy; therefore, my government, if elected will ensure that our farmers are not afraid of overproduction. When foods are produced in excess it lowers the cost of living, hence, we will make plans to buy these excess productions from the farmers to process and export to other parts of the country. This way the farmers are happy, and the government also generates income in the process.
- Doing this successfully will, therefore, require that the government build a very good scientific based storage facility for storing of our agricultural produce. In the 21st century, there should be the availability of any crop product all through the year, if the government makes adequate provision for a good storage facility. When there is a shortage in other states, Osun State can open its storage and import to every part of Nigeria and generate substantial income to fund its capital projects in the process.
DEVELOPMENT OF THE AGRO-ALLIED INDUSTRY
Developing our agro-allied industry is very crucial to solving the problem of unemployment in Osun State. Considering the population of those directly or indirectly practicing agriculture, our agricultural by-products can be developed into other products.
For example, the best soap products are known to be made from the cocoa pod while the best fertilizer is known to be a product of the animal dumps. Hence, it is vital for this administration to partner with industries across the globe, who can invest in Osun State and convert our agricultural byproducts into more beneficial products that can serve our people. And reduce our dependence on importation.
Following this approach will provide over 25,000 jobs in Osun State over the next 8years and thereby lowering our rate of unemployment in the state significantly, we can buy cheaper and get better results on the use of such indigenous products following these approaches. To achieve this, we must do the following:
- Partnering with both local and foreign investors to develop our agro-allied industry
- Spending more on research e.g. crop production, Animal production etc.
- Encouraging our people to go into profitable farming and providing incentives to encourage such approach.
- We must encourage commercial farming by proving mechanical equipment to willing farmers.
- Tractors such as Plough, Mower, Harvester and all other commercial agricultural equipment can be purchased by the government and lease out to farmers at subsidized rates that will not put too much stress on the farmers. This will allow for more production and a better lifestyle for our farmers.
- My government will also encourage the relevant importation of such agricultural equipment by individual investors within the state and to lease them out to farmers at a regulated price, that way farming becomes easier and we can have many of our youth to become proud farmers.
7. Tourism and Recreational Centers
Developing new tourist attractions centers across the state to international standards and build standard parks and recreational facilities across local government areas where people can refresh themselves.
Osun state is rich in our Yoruba culture and history. It is the birthplace of the Yoruba race. Our land is blessed with several natural and man-made tourists’ attraction centers which if they are well developed and upgraded to international standards, will serve a greater economic purpose and image enhancement for our great state of Osun.
When elected Governor of Osun State, I will improve on the gift of nature to this state by:
- Developing new tourist attractions centers across the state that are of international standards
- Build standard parks and recreational facilities across local government areas where people can refresh after daily labors which is part of life.
- Improve and renovate our existing cultural and natural hills, waterfalls, and historical tourist centers to world-class standards like the Erin-Ijesha Waterfalls, the Osun-Osogbo Sacred Grove, the rich heritage of our great ancient city of Ile Ife, Ife Museum Ile-Ife, Osogbo arts and metal works among the various parks, golf courses and similar attractions springing up in the Living-spring state.
This contract executed through the governing principles of PADE will usher in Real Positive Change for Sustainable Development transforming Osun people from the mindset that accepts poverty as a way of life and who remembers their enviable socio-cultural and economic heritage, but corporately returns peace and prosperity as a people with of a joint heritage.
Pade Okunola for Governor of Osun State of Nigeria