As I sign this revised budget, it is a good time to reflect on one issue that has plagued our budget implementation over the years—the issue of poor budget performance. We make robust presentations of plans that mostly end on paper because the funds are not available to implement them. When you have an annual budget performance of about 30%, you will understand why we keep having stagnation in economic growth. Or how else will you explain an IGR average of about N1.8 billion in the past four years?
One of the challenges that agribusiness is facing is that in most parts of Africa, when we talk about agriculture, the picture that comes to the mind is not a young man sitting in his office looking at a computer. It is an older man or woman, back bent, tilling the soil with a hoe or attacking weeds with a cutlass. And this is why initiatives such as STEP are important.
Our elders say when a woman marries two husbands, she is in the best position to tell which of the two have given her a better bargain. Nigerians in the southwest have had an opportunity to compare years of rule by the two major parties and a few smaller ones. When you feel their pulse, you will see that they are now gearing towards choosing people and not parties. This is the opportunity that we now have before us. An opportunity to show that the PDP, as it is now, has an ideology backing it.
GOODWILL MESSAGE AT THE NIGERIAN BAR ASSOCIATION-SECTION ON BUSINESS LAW 14TH ANNUAL BUSINESS LAW E-CONFERENCE
Aside from the digitization of the courtroom, we need more rooms so that more sessions can sit at the same time, and justice can be accessed quicker. I have learnt that we only have thirty-four courtrooms and a good number are in a dilapidated state. We have to renovate these rooms.
Although this Act was domesticated in Oyo State in 2006, the court where this law was to be enforced was not established. We all know what happens when a law is made but the architecture for enforcement is non-existent.
And so, in flagging off the upgrade of this headquarters through renovation and expansion of existing facilities, we are taking the first step in establishing that Oke-Ogun will be known not just as the food basket of Oyo State but as the seat of agribusiness in Oyo State.
We are well aware that even though we did not effect a total lockdown in Oyo State, many small and medium scale enterprises have suffered and are suffering because of the partial lockdown. Therefore, an injection of funds as we are about to do will serve to revitalise the economy.
If there is one thing that the COVID-19 pandemic should have taught us, it is that we have to get our house in order. Little did we know that in our lifetime, there would be any sickness that will force everyone, no matter their social class to depend on our local healthcare facilities for any chance at survival. With the Infectious Disease Centre at Olodo and more ongoing upgrades to healthcare facilities in Saki, Ogbomoso, Igbo Ora and Awe, we are in a better place, healthcare-wise, than we were a year ago.
So, in revitalizing the PHC service system, we are starting with the strengthening of a minimum of one PHC per ward. Therefore, we are focusing on renovating and equipping 351 PHCs in the state, for a start. We started with the PHC in Oranyan and used that as a standard for the subsequent renovations.
Seven years is a long time for anyone who put in work to wait to get paid their benefits. Such payments should ideally come immediately on retirement. It is indeed disheartening that the previous administration did not do what they should, when they should.