Being the remarks by His Excellency Seyi Makinde, Executive Governor of Oyo State, at the flag off of the construction of the Oyo State Government and Shell Nigeria Gas Ltd Gas Project on Thursday, November 16, 2022.
Yes, we promised Omituntun, and we are delivering Omituntun.
Back in 2019, when we came into office, four years seemed like such a long time to many people. But we knew how short four years would be because of how much work we had to do. Our infrastructure deficit was huge. At the same time, resources were dwindling.
Yet, we kept in clear focus the task of ensuring that Oyo State lived up to its moniker, “Pacesetter State”. We knew that to engineer a modern Oyo State, we must engage the private sector and development agencies.
And now, look how far we have come!
We have run very inclusive governance. Whether in Ibadan, Ogbomoso, Oke-Ogun, Oyo or even Ibarapa, you can point to state government projects in your zone. In fact, I have made it a point that when I meet people who say they are from Oyo State, I ask them where in Oyo. Once they name it, we can match their zone with a project.
Not to worry, we will soon officially flag off our campaign, and then we will talk about all we have done to change the economic landscape in Oyo State.
Today, we are here to add another milestone to our achievements as we flag off the Construction of the Oyo State Government (OYSG) and Shell Nigeria Gas Ltd (SNG) Gas Project. This project is for constructing a Pressure Reduction & Metering Station (PRMS).
Through this project, we will create a new gas distribution infrastructure network in Oyo State. This infrastructure will deliver gas to industrial, manufacturing and commercial companies. It will also serve new emerging industrial corridors and industrial parks/zones, Independent Power Projects, and provide stable power generation for industrial and residential use within the state.
People might ask, how much is Oyo State spending on this? Well, the project will be funded by SNG on a Build, Own, Operate, and Transfer (BOOT) basis. SNG will transfer the infrastructure to Oyo State after 15 years.
One thing we have always done is to ensure that all our projects are interconnected. For example, when we said we would drive our economy through agriculture, some people thought we would start buying fertiliser and other inputs and distributing them to phantom farmers.
But that was the old way of doing things. We chose instead to take the infrastructure approach. Instead of handing money to people, we built the roads they needed to link our farming communities to markets. We also attracted big businesses willing to work with our farmers as off-takers. While at the same time subscribing to donor-assisted agricultural programmes. And so, we linked agriculture to road construction and rural development.
With the flagging off of the construction of gas infrastructure, working with Shell Nigeria Gas Ltd today, we are taking the same approach. Attracting big businesses means jobs. Oyo State can now boast of hosting another international business. So, if they tell you that no business has come into Oyo State since Seyi Makinde became governor, you can point to this one.
Beyond that, this infrastructure is linked to our ‘Light up Oyo’ project.
Of course, people keep asking, why not solar-powered street lights? They think that because sunlight is free, the infrastructure to run solar-powered lights is also free or cheap. But when you ask them what happened to the solar-powered lights of past administrations, they have nothing to say.
And so, for the ‘Light up Oyo’ project, we are using a more efficient tribrid power system. Right now, we are installing gas generators, and the gas infrastructure is already being installed. And like we Christians say, “all things work out for good”.
I want to thank the management of Shell Nigeria Gas for choosing Oyo State. When we signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for this project in 2020, some people may have thought it was just one of those “audio” MoUs. But now we are seeing the physical manifestation of the project. We have already developed a Gas Masterplan for the entire state that will make gas available in all zones. We have been told that first gas will be delivered within 15 months from the PMRS being constructed here.
By God’s grace, we will come back here to commission the project. Because we are confident that the people of Oyo State will give us four more years as we upgrade to Omituntun 2.0.
And now, we will proceed to officially flag off the construction of the gas project to the glory of God and for the benefit of the good people of Oyo State.
Thank you and God bless you.
November 17, 2022