Being the Remarks by His Excellency Seyi Makinde, the Executive Governor of Oyo State, at the Commissioning of the Newly Constructed Oyo State Government Lodge, Abuja, on Wednesday, May 24, 2023.
A warm welcome to everyone here today who could come out to join us as we commission the newly constructed Oyo State Government Lodge at Asokoro Abuja. I want to especially thank His Excellency Prof Yemi Osinbajo SAN GCON, the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, for honouring us with his presence to commission this project. He has shown himself a man who does not care about partisan politics. As you know, His Excellency is of the All Progressives Congress, while I am of the Peoples Democratic Party. But he did not allow this difference to affect him.
Let me convey the greetings of the good people of Oyo State to His Excellency and thank him for his service to our dear country, Nigeria.
Two questions that most people have asked each time a conversation about this project comes up are: Why do we need an Oyo State Government Lodge in Abuja and the second is, why now? Well, I will answer both questions in my remarks.
The first question: Why do we need a Government Lodge in Abuja? This is akin to asking why Nigeria needs an embassy in countries where Nigeria has diplomatic relations. Abuja is the seat of government in Nigeria. Now and again, States visit Abuja to carry out governance activities. Many people would be aware of the monthly FAAC visits. But beyond that, there are several other monthly visits by government officials. Given the frequency of these visits, in the long run, having a government lodge in Abuja is more cost-effective than paying for accommodation and lodging each time.
The second question: why now? As Prof Dahud Shangodoyin has mentioned, we did not want to wait until the FCT demolishes the structure because it was dilapidated or for being a nuisance to the Asokoro landscape before we take definite action. The project had to be prioritised because the time had come.
And what a beautiful project it is, befitting the status of Oyo State as a pacesetter state and providing suitable accommodations for any liaisons that we would have to carry out in Abuja, especially in our drive to attract more investments to our dear state in the next four years.
We shall be proceeding with an inspection of the facilities soon, but from what I have seen so far and the assurances of the contractors, the project is well done and fit for purpose.
As I promised during my swearing-in ceremony in 2019, our administration will build on the programmes of past administrations that were structured properly and will be beneficial to the masses. We have run the affairs of governance by this mantra. This is why, for the past four years, one of the key features of infrastructural development in Oyo State has been reviving moribund facilities.
We did it at Ijaiye when we revived the Pacesetter Quarry and Asphalt Plant and handed it over to private investors. Today, that plant is running and providing value to the benefit of the good people of Oyo State. It creates employment opportunities for our people. The output from that plant is also used in road construction within the State.
We did it again at Saki, where we rehabilitated the former OYSADEP headquarters, and it now serves as headquarters for the Oyo State Agribusiness Development Agency (OYSADA). Additionally, a few other ministries and agencies are using the facilities as their operational base in Saki, bringing further development to that town.
We also did it in Adamasingba, where we rehabilitated the Lekan Salami Sports Complex. The main bowl of that facility is now world-class and can now host international events after decades of neglect.
We are doing it at Fasola. That once moribund farm settlement is now hosting an agribusiness industrial hub. We were proud to showcase this accomplishment at our recent investor summit in London as proof of concept. Right now, Fasola Agribusiness Industrial Hub is fully subscribed.
So, we will continue to take decisions that will reduce our infrastructural deficit in Oyo State. Anywhere we find a structure from which we can extract some usefulness to the benefit of the good people of Oyo State, we will do it.
During my campaigns, I promised to continue to work for the good people of Oyo State till the last day of our present tenure. It is five days to the end of this tenure, and we have not stopped working. Let me use this opportunity to say to you, expect more. It is not over yet.
Let me, at this point, yield the microphone to His Excellency, the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, as he delivers his remarks, after which we will proceed with the commissioning of this newly reconstructed Oyo State Government Lodge, Asokoro Abuja, to the glory of God and the benefit of the good people of Oyo State.
Thank you, and God bless you.