BEING THE ADDRESS DELIVERED BY THE GOVERNOR-ELECT OF OGUN STATE, PRINCE (DR) DAPO ABIODUN, MFR, ON THE OCCASION OF THE INAUGURATION OF THE ECONOMIC TRANSITION COMMITTEE AND WORK GROUPS, HELD AT TCC RESORT, OGERE-REMO, ON WEDNESDAY, 17TH APRIL, 2019.
I heartily welcome you all to this occasion of the inauguration of the Economic Transition Committee and the Work Groups. This is a major milestone in our commitment to the Building Our Future Together Agenda, the central theme of my campaign manifesto and I sincerely appreciate all of you for hearkening to the call to serve our dear Ogun State by volunteering your time, expertise and experience for this important assignment. Posterity will adequately reward you for this selfless service with a honourable mention.
2. The importance of the task at hand cannot be over-emphasised. You are being called upon to elaborate on the campaign manifesto, identify and distil the pressing needs of the state and our people, recommend specific programmes and policies and develop a measurable and realistic roadmap, including identifying low hanging fruits, for implementation. The Terms of Reference for the Work Groups will be provided to guide the assignment. However, should there be a compelling reason to tweak any of the items, I believe the Secretariat will be favourably disposed to consider such adjustment.
3. I am confident that the main committee and the Work Groups are most suited to deliver the objectives of this assignment, what with an array of leading lights of our State in all fields of endeavour, rich blend of perspectives across professions, political affiliations, gender, demography, among others. While our non-partisan technocrats are expected to bring to bear on the assignment their rich, global and detached “outsider” perspectives, the professionals in politics and other political actors will provide context and knowledge of the environment to develop a Policy Document that is deep in concept, broad in scope, ambitious in vision but takes cognizance of the current realties. Equally important, it will enjoy the ownership and buy-in of the critical stakeholders, an important component of our commitment to inclusive government. In this regard, each work group should identify critical and relevant stakeholders and seek their input, as may be necessary.
4. Our vision is to provide good and focused governance that creates an enabling environment for sustainable economic development of the state that translates to significant improvement in the welfare of our citizens and their individual prosperity. In traversing the length and breadth of the over 16,000 square kilometres of the state during the campaign, I gained further appreciation of the vast natural resources spread across the state. These natural resources, coupled with the premier status of Ogun State as the intellectual capital of the nation, should make the job easy. The challenge here is to bridge the gap between the potentials and actual performance.
5. There is no gain saying that funding will be a major constraint, hence our recognition of public – private partnership as a veritable tool for funding in a manner that keeps the interest of the state paramount while delivering significant value to all the stakeholders. Therefore, the Work Group on Finance is enjoined to identify creative means of funding to support the realisation of the governance agenda.
6. There are two other issues that I believe are worth emphasising. First, the Transition Committee and the Work Groups are requested to come up with recommendations on Monitoring and Evaluation mechanism that will ensure that agreed initiatives are not only implemented, but there is a framework to track progress and ensure desired outcomes are achieved. As Larry Bossidy, co-author of Execution: The Discipline of Getting Done, once said, Strategies are intellectually simple; but the implementation is not. On our part, I want to assure that we are fully committed to this process and that the document that will emerge will not be used to decorate the shelf but will be diligently implemented.
7. The second point I will like to reiterate is that the government is a continuum. Therefore, the next Administration will continue the implementation of the ongoing projects that have a clear line of sight to upliftment of Ogun State and benefits to the people. I am hopeful that the incumbent government will provide to us timeously accurate information on all the ongoing projects in the state and the general state of affairs of our common patrimony.
8. At this juncture, I must acknowledge and appreciate an incredibly large number of people in and outside the state who have expressed a desire to participate in this exercise but cannot be accommodated because of the limited available slots. Your offer to volunteer your service is appreciated and has strengthened our resolve for good governance. I have directed that a database be developed and continually updated on the abundant human resources of Ogun State extraction across the globe for our Administration to tap into from time to time. The consortium of project management service providers and subject matter experts who have come together, at no costs, to provide their much sought-after professional services for this planning process deserves appreciation and commendation, and I so do.
9. Let me conclude by stating that I am conscious of the fact that the expectations from the next Administration under my watch are high and that people have become cynical of government and the political class in general. And the task is not made easier by paucity of funds. Nonetheless, the incoming Administration is determined to make a difference and provide leadership that earns the confidence of the people, a government that has character and can be trusted. We believe the Transition Committee and the Work Groups will make this task lighter with the outcome of your assignment that is expected ahead of 29 May, 2019. This will enable us hit the ground running without any delay.
10. On this note, it is therefore my pleasure to inaugurate the Economic Transition Committee and the Work Groups to the glory of God and service of Ogun State.
11. Once again, I thank you all most sincerely and wish you fruitful deliberations. God bless you all. God bless Ogun State. God bless Nigeria.
Igbega Ipinle Ogun, ajose gbogbo wa ni
Prince (Dr) Dapo Abiodun MFR
Governor-Elect of Ogun State, Nigeria
Wednesday, 17th April, 2019.