(By Tosin Makinde)
“Since inception of his administration in 2009, the governor has left no one in doubt of his intention to drastically bring down the rate of unemployment among the state youths. One approach he has used is in the establishment of farm settlements. More than 1, 500 young men have benefited from the scheme. Currently, there are three of such farm settlements in the state. There are other areas the government has been engaging the youth to bring down the unemployment.“
“ALL children in Ondo State have the right to go to a modern school with world class learning facilities. We want to achieve zero level of infant and maternal mortality in Ondo State. All graduates in Ondo State shall be gainfully employed. Our market women and men must become economically viable and trade under conducive environment.” These and more are some of the lines from the mouth of the Governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko at any function where he had the opportunity of explaining the kind of governance he wants to implant in the Sunshine State.
Fifty-two months after, how has he fared? Has he been able to provide jobs for all the unemployed youths in Ondo State or will he be able to do so by 2017 when he vacates the Alagbaka Government House? Is he on ground to reaching his target of achieving the zero-level of unemployment he loftily talks about?
What of the zero-level infant and maternal death rate in Ondo State he envisioned? Is it possible to achieve that during his tenure? The programme he has put in place, are they enough to bring the vision to fulfillment? The modern Neighbourhood Market is shaping the urban landscape in Ondo State, how far can they reshape the lives of the market men and women in the state? How many can the government build that will hit the target the governor dreams of?
Education is no doubt one of the major planks of this government, what with the Mega School project that is aimed at providing world-class, modern educational facilities and environment for learning in Ondo State. To acheve that target of ensuring that all children in the state attend school of that class, there is need for a huge replication of the Mega School; can he achieve that before 2017?
This article is not about praise singing on what is happening in Ondo State. It is about the way governance should be in this country regardless of the individual or political party in power whether it concerns the social, economic, or political development of our country as the focus of governance.
No doubt Mimiko is a man of vision who has brought vigour and resilience into governance, and a style of governance that can be referred to as conceptual governance – a system of governance that sets an example on the way governance should be.
First, Mimiko’s concept of education is manifested in the Mega Schools. With the establishment of the schools in some senatorial districts, it is a new dawn for education, one that is worthy of emulation by other states. The plan is to take the schools to other districts.
Replicating the schools in all the 18 local government areas of the state will, predictably, cost the state a fortune. Even if the schools do not go round before the tenure of the Mimiko administration is over, for the mega school concept to achieve its objectives, succeeding administrations, regardless of political affiliations, will need to tap into this noble education idea. It is what before long will make Ondo State the pride of the nation in the area of education in the modern sense and one to emulate in educational infrastructure.
It is in health the governor and the state have received much commendation for, the Mother and Child and the Safe Motherhood programmes are concepts so unique in conception that if well managed and sustained can drastically cut the level of infants and maternal deaths in the state and, by extension, Nigeria, which accounts for the second largest maternal deaths in the world.
The few Mother and Child hospitals available in the state are offering what have been described as world-class health services free of charge It is hoped that this like mega schools will be established more widely so that those in need of the services will not all have to come to Akure. If well supported by donors and sustained by next set of administrations after Mimiko will make the state live up to its appellation as truly the Sunshine State that lighten the path for other states and countries in Africa to follow in the provision of quality health services.
Since inception of his administration in 2009, the governor has left no one in doubt of his intention to drastically bring down the rate of unemployment among the state youths. One approach he has used is in the establishment of farm settlements. More than 1, 500 young men have benefited from the scheme. Currently, there are three of such farm settlements in the state. There are other areas the government has been engaging the youth to bring down the unemployment.
The new concept of governance includes the building of modern motor park, establishment of micro-credit loan scheme that allows for flexible and liberal repayment terms. He caps his concept with a monthly worship session, dubbed Praise Night.
From all indications and economic pointers, Ondo State since 1999 has become one of the fastest growing in this country. Each administration has come up with its best to develop strategies programmes to quickly develop the state. It is hoped that leaders will put aside individual, political and ethnic differences and embrace any concept and approach which is aimed at making the Sunshine state a truly front runner. The Sun must keep shining in Ondo State.
• Makinde is a freelance journalist
“Opinion pieces of this sort published on RISE Networks are those of the original authors and do not in anyway represent the thoughts, beliefs and ideas of RISE Networks.”