SPEAKERS at Osun stakeholders’ conference held in Osogbo agreed on the need for fresh strategies to increase the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR)-base to strengthen its economy.
They commended Governor Rauf Aregbesola for his zeal in raising development, particularly in infrastructure, education, health, agriculture and environment, noting that he was not to blame for workers’ salary arrears, which they blamed on the drastic shortfall in the state’s federal allocation.
Aregbesola had briefly set the tone for the discussion when he urged participants to be frank in their contributions and not turn the forum into a political platform for mudslinging.
He said that what the government required was such input from the public that would provide leeway for new ideas to raise economic development, as the present situation demanded critical assessment and suggestions on how the state’s comatose economy could be revived to bring governance back on course.
His predecessor, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, praised his courage in coming plain on the state’s financial situation, noting that the conference was imperative if the present generation must have a decent answer for the future generation on the woeful economic situation. “We must contribute our quota by providing good suggestion that would have considerable impact on how to wriggle out of the present mess,” he said. “We cannot afford to leave the challenge to the state government alone because Osun belongs to all of us.”
The conference, organised by Osun Legislative Forum (OLF) to sensitise indigenes on the state of affairs and enlist their contributions to assist government’s effort to overcome its financial challenges and fulfill its obligations, drew participants from across political divides.
Those present included the first Secretary to the State Government/Head of Service, Inaolaji Aboaba, and former Chief of Staff, Air Chief Marshal Oluseye Petinrin.
Also there were the governorship candidate of Alliance for Democracy, Sunday Fajinmi, Alafe Aluko, traditional rulers, former attorney general and commissioner for justice, Gbadegesin Adedeji, and National Assembly members from the state, among others.