By special request, here is Keeping With Governor Abiola Ajimobi
Few days ago, an indigene of Ibadan who is currently in New York reached out to me asking for updates on what the state government under Governor Abiola Ajimobi has been up to. He claimed scandals are more popular than the affairs of the government and I agree. So, this morning, I want to do a quick rundown on the significant developments achieved by the state government in very recent times.
Anti-land grabbing bill signed into law
Individuals that violate this new law are liable to a 15-year jail sentence.
Forcible seizure of any landed property across Oyo State or an attempt to do so, otherwise known as land grabbing, has become a criminal offence that attracts a maximum of 15 years imprisonment or a fine of N500,000 or both.
This is one of the provisions of the new Real Properties Protection Law, 2016, which the Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, signed into law, at the Executive Council Chambers, in Ibadan, on Friday.
Part of the law reads, “Any person who, without lawful authority, uses or threatens violence for the purpose of grabbing any real property for himself or for any other person commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment of 15 years or a fine of N500,000 or both.
“Any person who encroaches on any real property commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for 5 years or a fine not exceeding N500,000.
“Any person who is on any property as an encroacher and having with him any firearm, dangerous or offensive weapons commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for five years.
“Any person who offers for sale any property knowing that he has no lawful title to the property or authority of the owner or sells a property knowing that that he has no lawful title to the property or that the property has been previously sold by him or his privies is liable upon conviction to imprisonment for 5 years.”
At the ceremony, the governor said that the law was meant to protect the rights of property owners and to stop the nefarious activities of land merchants who willfully and violently seize people’s land.
Ajimobi said, “We want to use this opportunity to allay the fears of property owners and investors across Oyo State that it will no longer be business as usual. Where there is no law, there is no offence, but now we have a law in place.
Ajimobi wants 2018 Census to be error-free
The Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi, has enjoined the National Population Commission (NPC) to take note of the peculiar nature of the rural communities and ensure that necessary modalities are put in place to guarantee an objective and fair 2018 census.
Adding that any error will undermine the integrity of the exercise.
This declaration was made during the flag-off of the 3rd phase of the Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD) for the 2018 population and housing census at Igbeti Town Hall, Olorunsogo Local Government.
The Governor who was represented by the State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matter, Mr. Bimbo Kolade, emphasized that the issues of population and housing census are important tools in social and economic configuration, noting that they are important indices on the development chart that reveals the potency for economic activities as well as guide developmental initiatives.
It was stated that the census figures returned for Oyo State over the years, did not appear to give a fair reflection of the demography of the state, adding that Oyo State has a large expanse of land area with considerable population.
The NPC was then urged to guide against error of omission or commission.
“If a state is under-enumerated or the tools for demarcation processes are mismanaged to give wrongful indications, it would affect the integrity of the final census figures.
“It also has debilitating effects on the development planning and resources to be made available for the well-being and the development of the State.”
The Governor appealed to the stakeholders and people of the State to cooperate with the enumerators by allowing them to move freely, give them access to their buildings/housing units and respond to their inquiries during the demarcation to a fruitful exercise.
Youth Alliance partners with OYSG on jobs creation
A multinational youth entrepreneurship group, G20 Youths Entrepreneur Alliance (YEA) has promised to work with the Oyo State Government to create employment opportunities for the teeming youths in the State.
The Director General, Citizens Enterprises, Mr. Jean-Louis Gregoire, who led the Youths Entrepreneur Alliance members on a courtesy visit to the State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi said the group was in the State to foster sustainable ways that would help to set up youths empowerment schemes to reduce poverty among the young ones.
According to Gregoire, “Our objective is to look into how to set up the mechanism that will provide mass employment opportunities through entrepreneural-driven schemes.
“We would be taking from the pool of young undergraduates in the universities to benefit from the scheme and they would be empowered through entrepreneurial education, easy access to start up funds for small scale businesses.”
Gregoire said the empowerment scheme would be what he called ‘top-down microeconomic scheme’ which he believed would cater for 85 percent job creation in the first quarter of commencement year.
He went further to say that female-youths would be specially focused in the programme as females, according to him played prominent roles in family building.
The DG said, “this top-down microeconomic scheme will lead to the creation of 85 percent jobs in the first quarter of the starting year and our major focus would be the female-youths that will give multiplier effects to the society.
“We so much appreciate the gesture of Oyo State government for bringing forth so many programmes to help the youths overcome poverty and be self-sustaining”
In his remark, Governor Abiola Ajimobi said his government had done so much to alleviate the sufferings occasioned by unemployment in the State, saying that youths were trained and provided with materials needed to set them up in business.
Ajimobi lends support to FG school feeding program
The Oyo State Government has reiterated that the Federal Government initiated Home Grown School Feeding Program will continue in the state, saying that recent challenges being faced are due to logistic problems from the initiator of the programme, FG.
The State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Professor Adeniyi Olowofela said in a statement on Monday that Federal government has been contacted and they have assured that the challenges will be resolved this week.
Olowofela stressed that the Federal government pays directly to the food vendors engaged to prepare meals for the pupils, noting that Oyo state Ministry of Education, Science and Technology has the supervisory role which it has been performed dutifully.
He explained that the payment of N72m for the first two weeks which was from Monday, January 30th to February 10, 2017, was paid to 60% of the engaged vendors while the remaining 40% of the vendors have issues with their Bank Verification Number (BVN), account not matching with names, wrong account details among others.
The Commissioner further pointed out that the state government has reached out to the federal government to inform them that payment for the current two weeks has not been paid and the Federal government has reassured that vendors will be credited this week and the hitch delaying payment will be finally resolved.
Olowofela therefore allayed the fear of pupils, vendors, parents and the general public that the program will resume immediately payment is made saying, “Both the federal and state government are much committed to the program and the development of our children. We should all understand that there are problems associated with financial payment at times. We will like to remind the general public that the programme is part of the federal government social investment initiative and money is paid directly to the vendors.”
Order secured to release Oyo local government allocations
In a swift move to prevent the crippling of the operations at the grassroots level and to avoid hardship for the local government workers in the State, the Oyo State Government has secured a variation order which allows all monies and allocations meant for the 33 local governments in the state to be paid directly to them.
The state commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Toye Arulogun said in a statement on Sunday that Justice John Tsoho of an Abuja High Court gave the variation order in a ruling on February 7, 2017 in suit FHC/ABJ/CS/16/2017 between 15 Baales from Oyo Town and Oyo State Government and nine Ors on the conduct of local elections in the 33 LGs and 35 local Council Development Areas (LCDAs).
Arulogun explained that the variation order by the Abuja High Court expressly states “It is hereby ordered that following the understanding reached by the learned counsel representing the Principal parties on the divide as communicated to court, order 4 on the drawn up order of this court dated 20th January, 2017 is varied as follows: that there shall be no more Warehousing of monies and or allocations meant for the 33 Constitutionally recognized Local Governments in Oyo State by the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th Defendants.
“That such monies and or allocations shall be released directly to the said Local Governments as constitutionally mandated and that this matter is adjourned to 22nd March, 2017 for Report of Settlement,” the commissioner noted.
Arulogun recalled that there was a previous ruling of January 20, 2017 restraining the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC) from conducting local government elections earlier scheduled for February 11, 2017 and one of the interim orders of the court directed the 2nd (Accountant General of the Federation), 3rd (Central Bank of Nigeria) 4th (Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal Commission) and 5th. (Federal Ministry of Finance) defendants to warehouse into an interest yielding account, all monies and or allocations belonging to the distorted 33 constitutionally recognised local governments in Oyo State, pending the determination of the Motion on Notice.
He stated that the warehousing of the LGs monies and allocations would have affected the welfare of the people, payment of salaries and the development of the grassroots, stressing that the variation order was a relief from the ambush for the local government allocations and monies.
The commissioner pointed out that the time frame between now and the next adjourned date will give the plaintiffs and defendants ample time for out of court settlement, adding that the state government would do everything humanly and constitutionally possible to resolve the impasse stopping the conduct of the local government elections.
Arulogun restated that it is a misrepresentation of facts for some individuals and groups to insinuate that the state government orchestrated the suit in order not to conduct local government elections, reiterating that the election will hold as soon as all the legal impediments are removed.
Content culled from OYSG official medium page