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 Business News:
May 03, 2014

Nigeria: IBADAN CITY -

 The Isiaka Ajimobi-led government has again displayed sordid creativity in its latest \"fool-the-people\" campaign. After almost three years of extremely poor performance with little ambition, the government is seeking a shot in the arm that would otherwise give life to a dying administration.

 In an advertorial, titled \"The Harvest of Peace in Oyo State\" published by some national dailies in the last one week, the government, as usual, tried to pull a fast one on the people through falsehood and deception.

 In the derisive advertorial, the government insinuated that certain companies, mostly supermarkets and eateries, were in the state because the state government had put things in place through a deliberate effort to attract them.

 Nothing can be farther from the truth. Most of the companies listed in the advertorial were already doing business in the state before the present government came to be. They are in Ibadan because expansion is inevitable for them. These businesses are run by forward-looking executives who know what they are doing. Unfortunately, we cannot say the same for those in charge of Oyo State. Shoprite, KFC, STONE COLD, DOMINOS AROMA etc, are in other states of the Federation. They are in Oyo State as a natural reaction to the expansion of their businesses not because the Ajimobi-led government did anything extra-ordinary to attract them. That said, however, one is left to wonder why a state government would spend millions of Naira celebrating Ice cream, Pizza and laundry outfits, whose combined staff strengths will definitely be less than one hundred while thousands of young and educated people are unemployed.

 To further demonstrate that the advertorial was a concoction imbued with mischief, AGRITED Ltd, a company that has been existing in Oyo State for almost forever, was also listed as one of the supposed ‘Harvests of Peace’ of Ajimobi administration.

 Governor Ajimobi has junketed about ostensibly to attract foreign investment to the state. These were at huge cost to the taxpayer. If all what he has to show for his trips are Ice cream and Pizza eatery investors, then, we have further confirmation that Oyo State is indeed in the wrong hands.

 With this laughable and ridiculous admission by the All Progressives Congress (APC) government in Oyo State, Senator Ajimobi has finally settled any argument as to which state in the South-west is the citadel of mediocrity.

 Ajimobi could have been pardoned for his deceit and fraud if the state had never witnessed a sincere commitment to industrialization in the recent past. For sake of clarity, it was in the same Oyo State, during the crisis-ridden Rasidi Ladoja’s administration that we saw Mahindra Tractor Assembly plant berthed at Eleyele. We saw the revival of the old and glorious Leyland Motors. There was also a PVC pipes manufacturing factory and Red Blocks manufacturing factories at Erunmu and Omi Adio, all these investors  were later chased away by agents of satanic hegemony that has been holding the state back and which Ajimobi now romances in his insatiable quest for transient power.

 There was also a 4,000 acres Pacesetter Farm being operated by the state then. This is aside the Dry Port at Erunmu, which promised to engage between 2000 to 3000 workers. None of these fancied the attention our globe-trotting governor ‘from the corporate world’, who is only excited by the establishment of eateries and bakeries.

 Our ‘corporate governor’ did not also see the negative effects of his newly found investors on local eateries and efforts of master-bakers in the state. Surely, surely, Oyo people have seen those actually protecting and promoting their investment and those running it aground to create space for friends and cronies from the corporate world.

 Oyo State has arable land for agricultural purposes. She is endowed with young, educated human capital and various mineral resources that the government can develop through partnerships with reputable firms that will create thousands of jobs.

 Sadly, our lazy and party-loving administrators would rather prefer to reap where they did not sow.

 As designed by God, the state is naturally well endowed. The governor has traveled abroad more than 80 times in search of foreign investors since his assumption of office. It is, therefore, a crying shame that a state blessed with both human and natural resources, that gets billions of Naira monthly from the Federation Account, and over Two Billion Naira in IGR would roll out the drums to celebrate the emergence of a few retail supermarkets, Ice Cream shops, a Laundry outfit and a Pizza parlor as its achievements. Is

this not embarrassing? How can a state government be celebrating the opening of shops, whose staff strength cannot even be said to be a pinch when compared to thousands of youth seeking employment in the state?

 Is it not a shame when a state government glories in achievements that ordinarily should be the exclusive preserve of the local government authorities? Very soon, Ajimobi and cohorts will bask in the glory of attracting Barber shops from Europe and America. With these, the governor’s

industrial revolution would have been completed. How comical! What a hopeless situation we have found ourselves in Oyo State where less-than-average performance is celebrated by the emperor of the state.

 Again we see obvious reasons to agree with the masses who are disenchanted with Senator Abiola Ajimobi’s government. The government is clueless as to what to do to meet the yearnings of the people. Undoubtedly, this is a government that has failed to deliver on electoral promises but rather embraces mediocrity with so much aplomb.

 The people, with eagerness, await 2015 the year of redemption from a government that has lost focus and become hindered by its very limited scope to governance.


OMOLERE OMOETAN writes from Awotan Ibadan.



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