Governor Seyi Makinde’s Speech at the 2nd Circularity Africa Conference held at the University of Ibadan, Oyo State

Governor Seyi Makinde Speaking at the 2nd Circularity Africa Conference

Let me start by thanking you for the opportunity to be part of this event—the Second Circularity Africa Conference. One thing stands out for me here. This is the fact that you have effectively married two aspects of governance that are close to my heart – education and a sustainable environment.

As you may already know, education is one of the four pillars of our Roadmap to Accelerated Development in Oyo State, 2019-2023. We believe that an educated population is definitely key to sustainable development. And this is why for the past two budgetary cycles, we have done more for education.

We have consistently allocated over 20% of our budget to education. Aside from that, we have removed one of the major barriers to education in Oyo State: the payment of fees. Every child in Oyo State has access to free education. We are also ensuring that they have qualitative education. This is why we just recently completed the recruitment of 5,000 teachers qualified teachers into the public school system.

Additionally, we are tackling the issue of proximity of students to schools, especially in rural areas. We have been consistently paying our Universal Basic Education Commission’s counterpart funding.  With these funds, we are building and rehabilitating schools all over the state.

So, when you drive around Oyo State, modern school buildings are becoming the norm and not the exception. And I must tell you that we are seeing results. We are making sure progress in reducing the number of out of school children and improving the quality of education in the state. One of the statistics that we recently received is that we have helped over 40,000 children get back into class in the last year.

I did say earlier that the event organisers brought together two aspects of governance close to my heart. So far, I have talked about education. The other is the sustainability of our environment through waste management.

When we got into office, there was a waste disposal system on the ground but it did not meet our standards for a sustainable approach. I tasked my then Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, the late Honorable Kehinde Ayoola, for a better system based on our campaign promise of a waste to wealth initiative. And so, he came up with the Clean and Green Initiative which our present Commissioner, Dr Idowu Oyeleke is building on. There are various components of the Clean and Green Initiative. We have the waste removal bit recently launched after we completed the rebuilding and refurbishment of the former Awotan Dumpsite now Landfill. We are monitoring developments in that regard to tweak things up to work even more effectively while also rehabilitating and upgrading the Ajakanga Dumpsite.

We also have the recycling leg in tandem with the theme of this conference, “Enabling Green Businesses and Circular Economy in Africa.” Our plan is that inorganic waste will be recycled. Presently, non-degradable materials are collected from the landfill for recycling, while investors have been engaged to generate fertilizer and electricity from the organic component.

But we also apply the principles of the circular economy beyond the environment sector. For example, we have the ongoing ‘Light Up Oyo’ Project Phase 2. We decided to remove the old infrastructure and replace them with newer technology that promotes more efficient energy management. But we did not just discard the old infrastructure. We relocated them to less critical areas.

Our vision is to continue to redeploy existing conventional and solar installations that are not as bright or efficient as the Light-Up Oyo infrastructure to areas with less economic activity, security challenges and traffic. So, nothing is going to waste. I believe this is what the circular economy is all about.

We are also constantly looking for more effective and efficient ways of doing things and avoiding waste. So, this is an open invitation to all participants of this conference that our doors are always open. Come with your ideas and let us work together.

Let me commend the organisers of this event for putting up a good show. Although I was not here to welcome you, I am sure you got a taste of the traditional Oyo hospitality. I also hope that you come again. We are always ready and willing to welcome everyone to Oyo State. By God’s grace, next time you are here, you will see even more developments in the state that will make you encourage more people to host their events and conferences in Oyo State.

Thank you for having me.

God bless you.


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