PDP GOVERNORSHIP ASPIRANT, BANJI OKUNOMO’s AGENDA FOR ONDO STATE
To ensure formation of a government that will guarantee equitable and reasonable participation of all the classes of people in the society including, Elders, Youth and Women in line with best practices in modern day democracy.
To provide a credible leadership that will develop the human capital potentials of Ondo State, create the enabling environment and aggressively pursue national resource mobilization and foreign direct investments to please our State on new pedestal of hope and development.
BANJI BEN OKUNOMO THRUSTS OF DEVELOPMENT POLICIES
Ondo State, with its large and extensive landscape, fertile soil and vast natural endowments, provide huge opportunity for poverty eradication, employment generation, wealth creation, enhanced livelihood for several millions of our people. Our land is wholly a belt of alluvial deposits that can sustain the growth of any crop found in the tropics and the utilization of its potentials will not only gurantee huge local farm incomes but will also spur the establishment of various agricultural industries in the state.
At the moment, our farmers are predominantly peasant primary producers, operating on a small scale and greatly constrained by the following factors:
b. Inaccessibility to credit facilities, technology and markets
c. High cost of agro inputs like fertilizers, improved seeds, feeds herbicides etc.
d. Post- harvest loses due to poor storage facilities.
e. Lack of agro-processing facilities. Eradication of these constraints is imperative to ensure the maximization of the benefit of our rich strategic agricultural placement.
Our administration will therefore provide solution to our agricultural problems in other to ensure massive food cultivation and develop agriculture into high profitable business venture in Ondo State.
Efforts of our Administration shall be geared towards assisting our small holder farmers to establish strong, autonomous and profitable farming enterprises all over the State.Specifically, the Administration shall embark upon the following programmes.
(I) PROMOTION OF FUNCTIONAL AGRICULTURAL COOPERATIVES
Our Administration, superintended by me, shall promote the establishment, in all the 18 Local Government Areas, of an Agricultural cooperative sector that is strong, autonomous, operationally independent and economically viable to provide employment to hundreds of thousands of our people and boost massive food cultivation in Ondo State. They shall be assisted, organized and mobilized to own various farm holding and effectively drive a robust agricultural economy.
Large track of lands in all the local government areas shall be created, cleared, developed and shall be parceled into economic-size farm holdings to be owned and managed by the agricultural cooperative societies.
To ensure the success of this initiative, the government shall establishment, train and empower autonomous specialized agricultural societies in the 18 Local Government Areas to provide special services to small holder farmers, agricultural cooperatives and large-scale agricultural farmers. These specialized groups shall be in 3 categories to wit: SPECIALISED AGRO-INPUT SUPPLIES/MARKETING COOPERATIVES
– To handle agricultural input supplies (fertilizers, agro- chemicals, improved seedlings, agro-feeds etc) to rural farmers at subsidized rate.
– To provide warehouse services and market linkage rural farmers.
a. SPECIALIZED TRACTOR AND FARM MACHINERIES COOPERATIVES
– To provide tractor and farm machineries services to enable farmers cultivate on a mass scale.
b. SPECIALIZED AGRO-ENTERPRISES DEVELOPMENT COOPERATIVES
– To promote the establishment and ownership of various agro- processing industries throughout the State.
These specialized agricultural services and organized agricultural group are designed to stimulate interest in farming to create employment opportunities and such high profits to all categories of farmers.
(ii) FACILITATION OF EASY ACCESS TO RURAL AGRICULTURAL CREDITFINANCE
Our administration shall improve and create new linkages to our farmers to have access to micro credit financial institutions in the country. We shall explore all available agricultural finance windows and fulfill our counterpart funding responsibilities to avail wide spread access to all agricultural financing options.
Government shall maximize the advantage of various agricultural schemes to procure agricultural credits for Ondo State farmers.
(iii) ESTABLISHMENT OF AGRICULTURAL PLANTATIONS.
Our Government shall take advantage of our vast fertile land to facilitate the establishment of plantations to be owned by cooperative societies, communities and interested individual farmers. To this end, we shall facilitate the funding and establishment of the following plantations in accordance with the areas of their natural occurrence and comparatives advantage:
a. Oil palm plantationsb. Cocoa plantationsc. Kolanut plantationsd. Cassava plantationse. Maize plantationsf. Other citrus plantations
(iv) PROVISION OF AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION SERVICES
Ondo State Agricultural Development Project (ADP) shall be reinvigorated with trained manpower to provide adequate extension services to all categories of farmers in the state with a view to enhancing their farmer techniques to ensure high agricultural outputs. Efforts shall be concentrated on the transformation of our famers’ mode of production and the utilization of appropriate technologies. We shall promptly fulfill our counterpart funding obligations to enable Ondo State ADP access all institution to effectively deliver on their statutory functions and facilitate agricultural development in the State.
Our mission is to transform our agricultural production status from peasantry to modern agricultural establishments capable of generating huge employments.
(v) LIVESTOCK AND FISHERY PRODUCTION
Our Government will enhance the capacity of our livestock, Poultry and Fish farmers to ensure their large scale production in the State. We shall provide financial linkages to these categories of farmers to ensure wide scale development.
(vi) FACILITATION OF AGRO-INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT
With expected high post harvest yield from our Agricultural development efforts, the Government shall create enabling environment for the establishment of various agro-processing industries in the State.
The government will also create financial linkages and conductive investment environment for willing investors to establish ago- processing industries in any part of the State.
(vii) CREATION OF MAR KET ACCESS
In order to enjoy high returns on sales of their produce, the government will assist farmers through education, ICT and the formation of specialized marketing units to obtain directs links with producers, exporters, commodity market etc.
2. POVERTY ERADICATION
Poverty situation in Ondo State is very alarming. Poverty in Ondo State was reported to endemic and is rated to be worst.
To stem this tide and reposition the State for economic recovery and development, our administration will focus due attention to the creation of an enabling environment for the establishment of private enterprises for employment generation, wealth creation, poverty eradication and value re-orientation.To achieve this, the administration shall;
a. Establishment skill acquisition centers for human capacity development cutting across the (3) Senatorial Districts.
b. Facilitate micro-finance Access for the establishment of community owned small and Medium Scale Industries.
c. Establish a special Scheme for the organization and mobilization of the populace for mechanized agricultural cultivation throughout the state.
d. Facilitate the establishment of community/cooperative owned plantations (oil palm, cocoa, Kolanut, Maize and Cassava) etc. throughout the state.
e. Facilitate micro-finance Access for Agricultural development.
f. Facilitate the Establishment of community owned Agro-Processing storage facility etc.
g. Create market Access for the sales of Agricultural goods.
h. Provide qualitative education, potable water, electricity, health facilities, access road etc.
I. Facilitate development of mining capacities of our people to exploit the huge solid minerals deposit in the state.
j. Establish solid mineral processing factories.
I firmly believe that with the vast array of our bountiful solid mineral deposits, rich agricultural land and the enhancement of the capacity of our human resources, the creation of enabling environment , we have the capacity to attract the establishment of various industries, build a prosperous economy, combat poverty and provide basic social and economic services to our people.
OBSTACLE TO OUR INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT
Inspite of the huge economic potentials of the state, our industrial development has been hampered by:
a. Lack of enabling environment or industrial layout with development infrastructure like electricity, water, roads etc.
b. Lack of bold economic programmes.
c. Poverty and incapacity of our human resources.
d. Absence of aggressive trade initiative and global investment drives.
We shall embark on aggressive investment drives to direct world attention to the bountiful investment opportunities prevalent in Ondo State and attract the influx of direct foreign investments and domestic resources mobilization.
The administration will enter into series of trade negotiation and business partnerships with local and foreign investors for the establishment of industries which will utilize our abundant solid mineral deposits.
Upon resumption of office, we shall engage the services of the consultants to embark on feasibility studies, and architectural design of Ondo State Trade centre and Commodity Market.
ACTIVATION OF THE PROPOSED OLOKOLA FREE TRADE ZONE TO ONDO STATE FREE TRADE ZONE
The proposed Olokola free trade zone will be converted to Ondo State Free Trade Zone because there is no need to get additional land from any neighborhood state. As such, we won’t involve any other state and it will be achieved easily as Ondo State free trade zone because we have enough land and the Atlantic Ocean only passed through Ondo State. This will also eradicate unnecessary rivalry.
As part of practical measures to boost the economy of the State, in my time as governor, the Ondo State free trade zone and Sea Port development would move away from theoretical framework to practical reality.
The free trade zone shall draw investors within and across to meet the industrial revolution agenda of the new government.
We shall establish a public-private partnership framework to fund the establishment of the Trade Centre.
The administration will vigorously pursue the completion of various on- going Federal Projects in Ondo State. All stakeholders that have contacts and influence that will facilitate the completion of the on-going federals projects shall be encouraged to assist us.
4. INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT
Whereas the core thrust of the administration’s objective/policy implementation is the establishment of the robust state economy that is built on the wheels of a vast empire of industrial concerns and driven by the private sector, it is imperative that the administration accords top priority to the provision of adequate physical infrastructure in Ondo State.
Our efforts in this regard shall be focused on the followings:-
a. Federal Roads, Bridges And Rail line. We shall exert consistent pressure on the federal government to rehabilitate Federal Roads and Bridges.
b. States Road: The administration will consolidate the effort of the previous administration on repairs and rehabilitation of roads in the state. We shall appropriate a enough funds to ensure that all major roads across the Senatorial Districts are rehabilitated. All on- going road construction and rehabilitation shall be completed before new ones are awarded except where it is desperately imperative.
c. Water Supply
Our administration will ensure that all broken-down rural and semi-urban water facilities are rehabilitated and put to use. More boreholes and hand pumps shall be provided to communities across the state to ensure potable water supply to areas that have notyet beingcovered.
We shall fulfill all our counterpart contribution to the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) programme to utilize this window to provide more communities with potable water supply and other infrastructure across the state.
We shall intensify lobby on the Federal Ministry of Water Resources to ensure that Ondo State has fair share of the Federal Government’s Water Supply Programme.
Electricity supply is critical to the development and growth of the State economy.
Again,commendationmustbegiventotheremarkableeffort of the past administration which has resulted in the great improvement of our energy situation.However, many communities in the state are yet to be connected to the National Grid. To stimulate economic growth and massive private sector industrial investments in the State, efforts shall be made to further improve electricity supply situation in the state and ensure the coverage of communities that do not presently enjoy it.
More capital contribution shall be made to the Power Holding Company of Nigeria to improve the quality of electricity will currently enjoy in Ondo State.
We shall tackle the following factors that impede educational growth in Ondo state.
A. Infrastructural gap.b. Unsatisfactory learning environment.c. Inadequate qualified teachers.d. Lack of continuous training of teachers.e. Lack of ICT in our educational curricular.f. Inappropriate monitoring and evaluation mechanism.g. Examination malpractices.
We shall embark upon the following measures to provide qualitative education to our citizenry
We will adhere to UNESCO standard of allocating atleast 16% of State budget to education in order to ensure availability of adequate funds for educational development in Ondo State.
2. BRIDGING OF INFRASTRUCTURAL GAP
The administration will provide more classrooms, administrative blocks, laboratories, toilet facilities etc. for schools in the state. On-going projects in this sector shall be completed and dilapidated or ageing structures shall be rehabilitated.
3. EMPLOYMENT OF MORE TEACHERS
We shall continue to engage the services of more qualified teachers especially in core subjects of science and mathematics to reduce the teacher/pupil ratio and improve the quality of teaching in our schools. We shall provide incentives to teachers in science, mathematics and technical courses.
4. TRAINING AND RETRAINING OF TEACHERS
Government shall focus attention on continuous professional training and retraining of teachers to improve on their teaching skills and adapt to modern techniques.
5. INCULCATION OF VALUE ORIENTATION
To stem the tide of indiscipline and anti-social behaviors in our schools, we shall inculcate value re-orientation and moral education in our educational curricular.
6. INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICT)
Government shall introduce ICT into the educational curriculum of all public schools in the state
7. MONITORING AND EVALUATION
In order to ensure effective monitoring and evaluation capacities of our education supervisors, we shall provide them with adequate funds and logistics as well as continuous on-the job training.
8. RE-INTRODUCTION OF BOARDING SCHOOL SYSTEM
Government will seriously consider re-introducing boarding school system into our educational schools in order to instill discipline, enforce and monitor appropriate learning behavior of students in our Secondary schools. Educational curriculum and learning environment can be monitored effectively in boarding schools.
9. PROVISION OF EDUCATION EQUIPMENT
We shall ensure that our educational institutions are provided with adequate teaching aides and equipment to facilitate learning.
10. TERTIARY EDUCATION
Government will provide adequate funds and educational equipment to uphold the delivery of qualitative education as well as increased physical development ( more buildings and maintenance of existing structures) in all our tertiary institutions.
Encouragement shall be given to lecturers to embark on continuous research works and further studies.
11. BURSARY ALLOWANCE FOR STUDENTS
We shall ensure that payment of Bursary allowances to students in our tertiary institution is enhanced, maintained and released promptly.
Every effort in development is meaningless except appropriate measures are taken to ensure a healthy society. This is because life and development is predicted on health and good living. Government will pay prime attention to the provision of health care and medical services at low cost and close distance to the people.
Among other priorities, we shall:
a. Engage the services of more Doctors and health workers
b. Provide primary health care services in all communities through out the state c. Provide drug revolving fund to ensure the provision of essentials drugs in all our health care centres.
d. Ensure that our hospitals and laboratories are provided with basic equipment to aid adequate health care delivery services.
e. Consolidate on the present degree of routine immunization exercises.
f. Expand the training of traditional birth attendants.
g. Accord priority to capacity building of health workers and provisiuon of obstetrics equipment to primary health centres.
h. Provide health care and treatment support for women and children to improve maternal and children health status.
I. Implement the special action plan for women and children to improve maternal and children health status. j. Expand awereness effort, health education and treatment initiative for HIV/AIDS, TB etc.
k. Establish feedback mechanism for monitoring and evaluation of diseases control programmes.
l. Adopt the National Health Insurance Scheme in the state to enable indigenes of Ondo State enjoy the benefit of the programme.
Adequate shelter is one of the basic needs of humanity and it is vital to good health and productivity. I am fully conscious of the daunting challenges of housing as a result of the upsurge in population and the estatablishment of numerous Government agencies and privste institutions. If given the mandate, government will accord top priority to the provision of decent accommodation to public servant and will facilitate the development of private estates and personal housing. In addressing the challenges of housing, we will:
a. Empower Ondo State Investment and Property limited to establish Housing projects all over the state for sale on owner- occupier basis to civil servant and on cash and carry basis to interested members of the society. Encourage private sector participation in Housing through the provision of urban land and Housing infrastructure.
As a catalyst to private sector housing development, especially in our cites, government will open up access road, Provide waters, electricity etc. to under developed areas.
The state of our environment has a direct bearing on the health of the people. It is therefore incumbent on us to ensure a clean, safe and sustainable clean environment in Ondo State to curtail the spread of diseases and ensure sound health of our citizenry. In order to facilitate a sustainable clean environment in Ondo State, Government will focus on the following:
a. The evolvement of Master Plan for Selected cities in Ondo State to control physical development, environmental sanitation etc.
b. Equip the state environmental sanitation agency to maintain a clean environment, promote environmental education, regulate, enforce and monitor environmental situation in the state.
c. Provision of enough funds to control erosion and soil degradation in Ondo State. d. Strengthen and enforce all environmental laws to scale up environmental protection and ensure a safe environment.
e. Vigorously pursue development assistance for capacity building, infrastructural facility, establishment of artificial plantation etc.
9. WOMEN AFFAIRS
Women constitute a mojor segment of our population and their contribution to our economic is enormous but are yet to be adequately integrated administrative and policy making process.
Women empowerment and the improvement of their social educational, health, economic and political status is paramount to ensure all round development. The government will therefore, focus attention on building capacity of our women for full involvement in our policy formulations and implementations.
We shall domesticate all international and national laws and conventions that protect the rights of women, formulate and implement policy that will actualize their adequate engagement in our economic, political and administrative sectors.
Through our skill acquisition programmes, women will be endowed with technical abilities to establish peculiar enterprises to earn meaningful livelihood.We shall ensure that widows and orphans benefit substantially from the state poverty alleviation programmes.
Girl-child education and safe motherhood programmes will be adequately funded and sustained.
We shall ensure that our development programmes especially in agriculture and small scale industrial development take special cognizance of the role of women and we shall facilitate their access to micro-credits for productive investments.
10. YOUTHS, SPORT AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
The youths are the reservoir of energy and talent of the society and are a critical resource to development. The degree of their orientation, conducts and roles determine, to a large extent the direction and the development of the society. They must be properly oriented, mobilized, empowered and provided with means of livelihood. If they are allow to drift, unemploy, indiscipline and morally bankrupt, they will constitute threat to peace and development. We shall, therdfore, be committed to the implementation of a sound youth development policy aimed at the sustainable productive engagement of our youths and the maximal utilization of their creativity and ingenuity. This shall be done through:
a. Establishment of various entrepreneurial and skill acquisition program to equip our youths with appropriate skills and business acumen to earn meaningful livelihood.
b. Establishment of small and medium enterprises development agency to promote the establishment of small scale industries throughout the state.
c. Create finance access for our youths to establish and own various enterprises in agriculture, mining, small scale industries Housing, marketing, etc.
d. Institute a sensitization programme on youth mobilization for productivity, personnel development and value re-orientation.
e. Provide easy access to full and functional education as well as educational scholarships.
f. Wage a sustainable campaign against drug abuse, cultism prostitution, etc.
b. SPORTS AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
In order to develop sport in Ondo State, we shall: Provide good sporting fscilities and encourage local government council to do same.
Revitalize inter-college games and competitive sports in our educational institutionsIntroduce local government Sports competitionFacilitate full participation of our sports men and women in all national sports competitions.
Workers will constitute active agents in development process. We shall take measures that will enhance more conducive working environment and foster effective workforce for good service delivery. We shall inculcate in pour workers, a work ethic that encourage discipline, diligence, hardwork and honesty.
In order to ensure good service delivery, we shall, among other programmes, undertake the followings:-
a. Embark on continuous capacity building and career developmentof work-force through seminars, workshops and in-service training.
b. We shall promptly pay staff salaries and allowance as well as their annual increment as at when due.
c. Workers are assured of their career progression through timely promotions and appropriate remunerations.
d. We shall settle all debts that may be outstanding infavour of workers to enable them receive commensurate remuneration for their labour.
e. Gratuities shall be paid to workers at the point of retirement to enable retirees live comfortable retirement life. Pension and gratuity sinking fund shall be established to provide fund for the settlement of outstanding gratuities and pension of retirees.
12. PEACE AND SECURITY
The pursuit and establishment of peace and security is cardinal to our efforts in development and productivity. Our programmes to attract foreign direct investment, establishment of large, medium and small scale industries as well as increased infrastructural development would be meaningless if peace and security of lives and properties cannot be guarantee.
We shall establish a stakeholders administrative strategy which will galvanize and consolidate all shades of opinions and contribution from elders, women, youth etc and integrate them into our policy formulation and implementation. Tradition rulers, community organizations and family units shall be involved in the maintenance of peace and security and value re-orientation.
We shall develop the potentials of our youths and engage them in productive enterprises to earn good livelihoods and give them hope for a better future. We shall, thereafter, clamp down on thuggery, violence and all anti-social behaviors.Government will assist the police and all security agencies with logistics, vehicles etc to exterminate crimes and violence in the state.
13. CULTURE AND TOURISM
I consider culture as the sum total of our values, beliefs attitudes, customs and patterns of behaviors. In order to reshape our perceptions and attitudes, Government will consider cultural re-orientation as a vital pillar of our social and economic development.
We shall provide ethical re-orientation and higher standards of integrity in public life to eradicate corruption and strengthen our Peoples’ confidence in Government. Value re-orientation shall be inculcated in our educational curricular. We shall empower our traditional councils, village heads, community associations, NGO’s and Vigilante groups to cub thuggery, violence and all anti-social behaviors.
Tourism, today, has become a major earner of foreign currency and increased internally generated revenue source to many countries and societies. It is also a catalyst and harbinger of several employment opportunities and heightened social and infrastructural development. Ondo State host very many tourism destinations which would be of great interest and “ great pull” to the international community and our local Nigerian community if properly developed and propagated.
We will begin the process of developing Ondo State’s tourism potentials with a view to seeking partnerships or collaboration with interested local or foreign tourism agencies in order to mobilize resources to the state, create employment through tourism and shore up our internally generated revenue.
We shall establish Parks and Recreation Centres, develop our forest resources and Games Reserves, identify and develop our historical relics and national monuments as well as our entertainment and hospitality industries to attract influx of tourists, visitors and hosting of national conferences, seminar etc. in Ondo State.
Effective dissemination of information from government to the people and vice versa is vital to good governance. Inadequate information breeds suspicion, misunderstanding and falsehoodin the society.
The people reserves the right to know what government is doing on their behalf and government must take cognizance of their opinions and dispositions while formulating policies and executing programmes. Government will therefore, facilitate free flow of information to and from ourpeople.
Through stakeholders, we shall synergize various inputs and contributions from the different segments of our society before formulating policies and executing programmes of government.In order to galvanize free flow of information in Ondo State, the thrust of the information policy of my administration shall be tailored to achieve the following:
a. Institute effective information and feedback channels to relatewith various sectors of our polity and leaderships periodically on major government policies and programmes.
b. Establish effective rural information channels to ensure adequate conveyance of government information to the people.
c. Fully equip the state Radio Station for effective performance and adequate reach of the state and coverage of government activities.
d. Ensure that ministries and government agencies are connected to the internet.
e. Facilitate information and communication technology (ICT) education in the state as well as the full coverage mobile communication services by ISP providers.
Provide adequate facilities, equipment and personnel to the state Newspaper Corporation to enable it function effectively as a viable news media.