REMARKS AT THE FLAG-OFF OF THE REMODELLING OF THE LEKAN SALAMI SPORTS COMPLEX, ADAMASINGBA, IBADAN

Experts all over the world have predicted that there would be a period of economic hardship post-COVID-19. In fact, if you have been following the news, you would have heard about a few countries that are already heading towards a recession. So, this is the right time to make decisions that will cushion the effect of the pandemic on our economy. We must double our efforts to put the infrastructure in place that will support the growth of IGR in the state.

And this is why we are here today, to flag-off the remodelling of the Lekan Salami Sports Complex, Ibadan. This is another step in the right direction, positioning Oyo State to attract investments. I hear some people are already saying we should slow down. But I am here to tell you that this is not the time to even think of slowing down. Our administration is here to grow Oyo State and to make sure everyone in our beloved state feels the real dividends of democracy.

Oyo State has had a rich sporting history. Back in 1963, the first World Boxing title fight in Africa was held here in Oyo State. We were able to host that fight and benefit from all the tourism revenue because we had the facilities to do so. And so, we are remodelling this sports complex now, so we can to reap the benefits in IGR. If there was a call for cities to host a national sporting event today, can Oyo State boast of having the facilities?

The total contract sum for the remodelling of the Lekan Salami Sports Complex is Five Billion Five Hundred and Eighty Million, One Thousand One Hundred and Fifty-One Naira, Sixty-Two Kobo (₦5,580,001,151:62k). This project will be funded using the Alternate Project Funding Approach (APFA). The contractor will use his own money to fund the project and then we will repay over 29 months.

The contractors, Messrs Peculiar Ultimate Concerns Ltd, have given us the assurance that the project will be completed in 12 months. By God’s grace, in the next 12 months, coronavirus would have left us, and we will have the opportunity to sit here, in this stadium, fully remodelled and watch my team the 3SC beat their opponents, live! So Messrs Peculiar Ultimate Concerns, 12 months is 12 months. No delays and you have to do a quality job that the people of Oyo State will be proud of.

On a lighter note, they said Messrs Peculiar Ultimate Concerns does not have pedigree. You people are not on the internet. Please go to the internet and show them your pedigree.

Let me end my remarks by sharing a proverb with you. Our people say you cannot aspire to take a chieftaincy title and at the same time, say you will not get into a fight. Is it not self-deceit to wish for something without being prepared for the struggle it demands? We cannot attract investors without the right infrastructure. If we are telling people to leave wherever they are and come here, we should be able to give them what they are benefiting there and even more. We can keep saying Oyo State is ready for business, but without the right infrastructure in place, they will tell us they like our policies, but they want to see better facilities.

So, we will continue to do everything in our power to ensure that whenever investors come calling, we are ready to receive them and make them stay. That means matching our policies with action. We have already told them there will be no multiple taxation and that we will not wake up and impose random taxes on them, they can see that is true. We have also promised that they will not spend hours in traffic, we are keeping our promise by investing in road construction and rehabilitation. We also have to match the tourism and recreational facilities that they have in other places.

On that note, I now flag off the remodelling of the Lekan Salami Sports Complex, Ibadan, to the glory of God and for the benefit of the good people of Oyo State.

~ Governor Seyi Makinde, August 13, 2020

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