Posted By Dansu Peter
FOURTEEN states in Nigeria including Bayelsa, Bauchi, Enugu, Lagos, Katsina, Ondo, Sokoto, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Kebbi, Anambra, Benue, Delta and Zamfara have demonstrated their willingness to imbibe the model used by Osun State government in its social protection programmes.
Top officials from the 14 states who spoke at the study tour of social protection programmes of Osun State government said the Aregbesola has succeeded in affecting the lives of the downtrodden positively and that the model he used would be adopted in their respective states.
The study tour which was organised by the United Nations Children Fund, (UNICEF) sponsored the study which provided the opportunity for commissioners, Permanent Secretaries, heads of Services and other bureaucrats from the 14 states to study the model used by Aregbesola in ameliorating the suffering of the deprived in Osun.
After the study tour, Kebbi state Head of Service, Mr Abubakar Udu Idris, Sokoto State Commissioner for Health, Mr Shehu Balarabe Kakale, Zanfara State Commissioner for Education, Mr Moukhtar Muhammad Lugga and Benue State Permanent Secretary for State Planning Commission, Mr James Agbo lauded the Osun state government for its social protection programmes.
Also, the Special Adviser to Rivers State Government on Social Investment Programmes, Mr Allwell Ihunda and the representative of Federal Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget, Dr. Samson Ebimaro said the Osun model on social protection would be replicated in their states.
Mr Abubakar Udu Idris, Mr Shehu Kakale, Mr Moukhtar Muhammad Lugga, Mr James Agbo, Mr Allwell Ihunda, Dr. Samson Ebimaro and other top officials of other states that participated in the study tour described Osun State Governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola as a symbol of service to the course of human development.
Addressing the participants, the Director General of the Office of Economic Development and Partnership in Osun State, Dr. Charles Diji Akinola explained that the social protection programmes of Osun has indeed helped to ameliorate poverty and improved the well-being of the citizenry since Aregbesola became governor.
He said the state had been further encouraged by the supports from agencies locally and internationally, saying the contribution of UNICEF in consolidating and solidifying the initiatives of Osun government on its life-long human and capital development projects remains commendable.
"About two years ago, Osun Government had collaboration with UNICEF on the need to strengthen the state’s social protection programme. Today, the visit of the leadership of the UNICEF to Osun is a demonstration of the robust relationship, between the organisation and the state. The idea behind this partnership is to consolidate on the Osun's social protection programmes, which has been the central concern of this administration.
"13 of these projects would be discussed and shared with the visiting team from the states. We have been encouraged with what UNICEF had done in ensuring a mutually-beneficial partnership," he said.
Speaking during the study tour, the Chief of Field Services and Operations, UNICEF Nigeria, Dr. Annefrida Kisessa-Mkusa expressed her delight over what she described as true example of good governance in Osun State.
She applauded Aregbesola's sense of commitment and passion to humanity, describing Osun social protection programmes as one of the best in the country. She noted that the social intervention initiatives of Aregbesola’s administration have been assessed to be one of the most impactful, beneficial and rewarding.
She said "I have visited about 15 to 20 states in Nigeria and since I have been visiting, I have not seen a leader like Aregbesola with rare passion for people's welfare. I have seen your passion to banish poverty, banish hunger, restore healthy living, and promote functional and quality education for your people among others. I have seen your passion to develop your people and your state. I am really proud of your achievements because I have seen your indelible legacies in all sectors.
"With what I have seen, it is clear that Osun has shown that education is the key to development. Your programmes are no doubt centred on the people as your social protection projects are designed to better the lives of your people, especially the less privileged, vulnerable and downtrodden.
"All these have direct impact and reflection of your initiatives like O'MEAL, O'YES, O'HUB, O'REAP, O'AMBULANCE, among others as we all attested to during the course of this visit. I am also happy because all the achievements of this state are properly and accurately documented. I have seen that Osun has genuine statistics and data base for all its programmes.
"I have seen rare difference in governance in the case of Osun because, since I have been visiting states, Osun is the only state where sanitation takes precedence in the activities of the government as everywhere I have visited was clean and streets tidy even more than some of Abuja streets.
"Osun is a place I will like to be. I am very impressed with the quality of Osun Social Protection Programme. This shows the quality of Aregbesola's leadership. It shows that Aregbesola is a very good leader and a symbol of service to humanity. I have come, I have seen and I have many memories to talk about.”
Also, UNICEF’s Chief of Field Services, Akure, Dr. Tejinde-Singh Sandhu, asserted that in all practical sense of it what good governance is and how it could benefit the people.
He said; "Osun government had demonstrated what government and good governance is all about as this was reflected in the passion of Governor Aregbesola to humanity, saying he has not seen “In any state in Nigeria where government caters for its citizens from cradle to grave as is being done by the Aregbesola-led administration in Osun."
While speaking, Governor Aregbesola expressed gratitude to all representatives of the visiting states and the leadership of UNICEF in Nigeria.
He said, "I thank you all for choosing Osun and for identifying with our successes in supporting our people. Our mission is to provide better quality of life and advance the general welfare of our people.”
"It is our belief that this partnership will be sustained in furtherance of our collective efforts to enhance the condition of living of our people”, he said.
|From right - Governor State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Chief, Field|
Services/Coordination (UNICEF), Dr. Annefrida Kisesa Mkusa, Chief of Field
Office, Akure (UNICEF), Dr. Tejinder Singh Sandhu , Representative of
Ministry of Budget and National Planning / Federal Government of Nigeria,
Dr. Sampson Ebimaro and Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Dr. Olalekan Yinusa at the Opening Plenary of the State of Osun Social Protection Study Tour of United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) at Aurora event Center in Osogbo.
|From right - Director General, Office of Economic Development and|
Partnerships and Coordinator, Osun Rural Entreprise and Agriculture
Programme, Dr Charles Akinola, Governor State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf
Aregbesola, Chief, Field Services/Coordination (UNICEF), Dr. Annefrida
Kisesa Mkusa, Chief of Field Office, Akure (UNICEF), Dr. Tejinder Singh
Sandhu, Representative of Ministry of Budget and National Planning /
Federal Government of Nigeria, Dr. Sampson Ebimaro
at the Opening Plenary of the State of Osun Social Protection Study Tour of
United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) at Aurora
event Center, Osogbo
|Governor State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola (7th right), Chief, Field|
Services/Coordination (UNICEF), Dr. Annefrida Kisesa Mkusa (6th right),
Chief of Field Office, Akure (UNICEF), Dr. Tejinder Singh Sandhu (7th
left), Director General, Office of Economic Development and Partnerships
and Coordinator, Osun Rural Entreprise and Agriculture Programme, Dr
Charles Akinola ( 2nd right), and others at the Opening Plenary of the
State of Osun Social Protection Study Tour of United Nations International
Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) at Aurora event Center, in Osogbo