It was a sunny afternoon on February 24, 2009 as the people of Ondo State turned out in their numbers, not minding the harsh sun, to witness the epoch inauguration ceremony of Dr. Olusegun Mimiko as the executive governor of Ondo State. It was a new ray of hope for the citizens, seven years down the lane, let’s evaluate Mimiko’s “I Will Work For You”.
Truth is, no Government all over the world would be perfect, for in fact, this is one of the reasons why Government came into existence and why it would remain a continuum.
Despite the remarkable achievements recorded by the Obama Administration ending two wars, hunting down Osama Bin Ladin adding over 9 million jobs and unemployment dropping below historical median the government is faced with bombings on American soil, racial discrimination and host of other national issues. Likewise in Europe the argument is if the door should be shut against the emigrants coming in from war torn Syria. Syria itself is battling with a ravaging civil war.
Nigeria today is working out dropping oil prices with the attending consequences being bore by every facet of our economy, which is a direct result of running a mono-economy.
In November 2015 during the 49th Bankers Dinner in Lagos the CBN governor Godwin Emefiele explained that there was a sharp decline in foreign exchange reserves as it dropped from $37b in June 2014 to $30 in March 2015, this explained the inability of state governments to pay salary and it is not relatively a state problem but a National issue as the Federal Government is even struggling to pay workers salary.
Mimiko’s government has been plagued with the inability to pay workers salary in the past few months, neighboring state with higher Federal Allocation and Internally Generated Revenue like Edo state owes some Local Government workers 12 months’ salary. Ondo state is one of the few states in the federation that is paying their active workers and pensioners’ monthly allowance at the same time.
If truth be told, there are visible things an ordinary man can see on the street that the present administration has been able to put in place to help live better and that does not correct the wrongs but it gives room to help indigenes to see that a better decision was made back then than the former decisions and to also make us give our best to the upcoming election.
We are now faced with a more daunting question, when the allocation was on the rise what did the administration do with it? Then one is quick to draw up answers from the archive, Mimiko paid Ondo State Workers Christmas/New Year bonus for two years when he assumed office, the administration sanctioned the payment of 22,000 minimum wage, there was revitalization of the health care sector, urban renewal, jobs and wealth creation through the activities of Ondo State Wealth Creation Agency (WECA).
The Urban Renewal initiative of the Mimiko administration gave room for major towns like Owo, Ondo and Ikare road dualisation project, these towns have been virtually neglected by previous administrations with Akure the state capital their major concentration. Mimiko elevated the Akure metropolis to a mega city with the dualisation of the tiny Arakale Road to ease the traffic congestion of the ever busy Oba Adesida road, the beautification projects and the ever lit up street light gave the capital city a different facelift.
There was a massive revitalization of the health sector in the state, the Caring Heart Mother and Child hospitals in Akure and Ondo made safe delivery possible in Ondo State, cesarean section (CS) done at no cost and pregnancy ceased to be a death sentence in the state, the free health care embarked on by the Mimiko administration cannot be matched as there is nowhere in the world where health care is delivered at no cost. The number of Consultants in government hospital increased astronomically from under 10 to over 150 in the state. The Medical Village which houses the University of Medical Sciences, Gani Fawehinmi Diagnostic Centre, Kidney Care Centre and Trauma Centre has repositioned the state as home of quality healthcare, where other major teaching hospitals refer their cases.
Therefore, indigenes of Ondo State must do better by looking inwards to select the right candidate to build on the unquantifiable achievements recorded by the Mimiko led administration government.
This article was first published on Gleetz Magazine June 2016 Edition.