• Tue. Apr 23rd, 2024

INAUGURATION: What Ondo Gov, Aiyedatiwa told New Commissioners, Special Advisers (Full Speech)

Mar 1, 2024




It gives me great honour to be here this day to perform the constitutional responsibility of swearing-in these ably qualified and carefully selected sons and daughters of Ondo State as Commissioners, Special Advisers and the 16th Head of Service in our dear State. Today’s event marks a major milestone in the first leg of the last lap of the journey to the conclusion of our administration’s second term.

2. As you are aware, the last Executive Council was dissolved on Wednesday, 24th January, 2024 in exercise of the powers conferred on me by the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended. It is imperative to inform you that our decision to dissolve the last Executive Council was well informed, consequent upon wide consultations and in response to the yearnings of our people. The decision was devoid of neither political undertone nor misgivings. It was basically carried out in the overall interest of the State. As you can rightly observe, some of these Commissioners and Special Advisers have been with us since the beginning of our second term, others are fresh hands with proven core competencies in their chosen careers. All of these are geared towards enhancing our development trajectory.

3. Let me use this opportunity to convey my sincere gratitude to members of Ondo State House of Assembly under the leadership of the Rt. Hon. Olamide Oladiji for the speedy screening and confirmation of the Commissioner nominees. This is a testament of the abiding faith, mutual trust and good working relationship between the Executive and Legislative Arms of government in Ondo State. We assure you that your support and cooperation shall not be taken for granted.

4. To our new Commissioners and Special Advisers, I congratulate you on your new appointments and for being found worthy to be preferred from amongst thousands of other equally qualified individuals. I want to enjoin you individually to see this appointment as a call to service, to deliver more, in the delivery of good governance to our people. You must be dedicated, up and doing and focused in the discharge of the duties and responsibilities expected of your office. It is equally important that you see yourselves as servant-leaders and not lords in your respective MDAs. Kindly cooperate with your Accounting Officers. You are expected to work in partnership with them and ensure you are guided by relevant rules and regulations in the performance of your duties and responsibilities.

5. The entire State is looking up to you to bring to bear your wealth of experience, skills and competencies in your new assignments. It is no more news that our country is facing hard times economically and as a State, we are not immune to these challenges. As Commissioners and Special Advisers, you are coming on board at a very critical time. It, therefore, behoves you to come up with creative ideas and policies geared towards alleviating the sufferings of our people. We cannot afford to fail in this regard. This time requires us as political leaders to lead by example and be prepared to make necessary sacrifices by shunning ostentatious lifestyle. Let me use this medium to plead with our people not to mount undue pressure on these new appointees. We should let them perform their duties without let or hindrance or distraction.

6. Ladies and gentlemen, this event equally marks a new phase in the annals of the Ondo State Public Service which has unarguably been playing very vital roles in governance, especially since our Administration came on board in February 2017. As the hub of decision making, it regularly articulates and implements development strategies. It follows, therefore, that the public service is the engine of government, while the Office of the Head of Service can be described as the engine room of the Public Service. For this reason, I heartily congratulate the new Head of Service, Mr. Bayo Philip, on his appointment and subsequent swearing-in today.

7. Let me charge you to see yourself as an ambassador, holding the office in trust for public servants in Ondo State. Besides, you are to provide the required leadership for the entire public service and see your appointment as a call to service. The oath of allegiance which you have taken is very significant in many ways; one of which is higher commitment to ideals of service. You are, therefore, implored to put the interest of the State first in all that you do.

8. Having worked and garnered varied experiences in different capacities across Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), it is hoped that you will adroitly bring your wealth of experience to bear on your new appointment to further add value to our Administration, not only in terms of accountability but also in transparency. You are to ensure that the resources of the State are not misappropriated, while ensuring the continued optimal generation of revenue by the public service. I wish you the best of luck. Let me, once again, express our appreciation to the immediate past Head of Service, Pastor Kayode Olaniyi Ogundele for his services to the State. I wish him the best in his future endeavours.

9. Ladies and gentlemen, in spite of paucity of funds, our administration, since coming on board, has taken decisive steps towards placing the State on a pedestal of economic development and with a view to reducing the hardship of our people. As can be seen by all and sundry, contractors handling various road projects in the State are now back to sites, we have paid the outstanding January 2017 salary of our civil servants. We also released N1.2billion for the settlement of gratuity liabilities of 2014 State Pensioners. Our workers and pupils/students have continued to enjoy free shuttle buses to and fro their offices and schools every morning and evening, since the service was reintroduced in September 2023 not minding the prevailing economic situation in our land.

10. Furthermore, as part of our continued commitment to the educational development of our children, we approved the release of the sum of N550million for the payment of Year 2024 West African Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) registration fee for all suitably qualified public secondary school candidates in the State. These are some of the people-oriented programmes of our administration. We have also continued with the payment of monthly wage award of N10,000.00 only to our pensioners and N35,000.00 only to public servants in the State.

11. My dear people, our administration is not oblivious of the current economic challenges that we are facing in Nigeria especially the high cost of food which has led to high cost of living for our people. I wish to inform you that the Federal Government is working in synergy with State Governments by putting necessary measures in place to cushion the effects of this hardship. As part of these measures, Mr. President has directed the immediate release of about 102,000 metric tonnes of various grain types from the Strategic Reserve and the Rice Millers Association of Nigeria. It is our expectation that the positive effects of this decision will be felt across the country within the shortest time possible. On our own part as State Government, we have put in place the construction of rural access roads to farms across the three senatorial district of the State. You will recall that we recently flagged off the construction of the Oda Cocoa Board – Langbodo Rural Road in Ondo Central Senatorial District. Several of such roads would be constructed across the State in due course. Again, necessary modalities are being considered to set in motion the provision of various farm inputs for our teeming farmers. These measures are being emplaced with a view to increasing food production in our dear State.
Furthermore, in order to ensure the safety of lives and property of residents in our dear State, we have started the process of procuring more operational vehicles and gadgets, especially for the Amotekun Corps and other security agencies in the State. We all know that it is the responsibility of government to provide an enabling environment for residents to carry out their lawful businesses. To this end, we shall continue to support all security agencies with necessary tools and resources with a view to making our roads, farms and forests free from criminal elements.

12. Ladies and gentlemen, I want to seize this opportunity to appreciate our leaders, particularly our revered leader and President, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR for the support we have been receiving since taking over the reins of governance consequent upon the passing of our late boss and leader, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, SAN, CON. I cannot but continue to salute our late Governor for his commitment, dedication, energy and purpose which he deployed to governance during his time as Governor of Ondo State. Undoubtedly, he had laid a solid foundation upon which we shall continually build.

13. Permit me to use this medium to enjoin all political gladiators in the State on the need to maintain peaceful conduct as we begin to solicit votes from our teeming parties’ men and women ahead of the forthcoming gubernatorial primaries and ultimately the governorship election billed for November this year. Kindly endeavour to eschew violence, maintain good conduct at all times as well as keep a tight rein on our supporters. Ondo State is bigger than any individual’s political ambition.

14. Once again, I congratulate all the newly sworn-in appointees and their families for this well-deserved honour. I enjoin you to prove your mettle in your new offices and justify your appointments. It is my prayer that as we begin this journey together, God Almighty shall crown our efforts with resounding success and empower us to give the people of Ondo State impactful and purposeful governance.

15. I thank you all.

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