The Immediate Past Governor of Ogun State Otunba Gbenga Daniel Replies the Ogun State SSG Bar Taiwo Adeoluwa in a ready-made….. On Ogun 2019 Governorship Platform.
Although I recently decided to be muted in most of the threads where I find my name, the need to inform will make me pass a few comments on our educational initiatives especially having noticed that our people genuinely need information.
The establishment of a University of Education was not part of our original master plan but when the opportunity came, we seized It and I feel proud today that it was done.
1. At the inception of our administration, we started upgrading the facilities in all our tertiary institutions without exception; OOU, MAPOLY, TASCE, Coll of Health Tech Ilese et etc and we did not stop looking after them till the end of our tenure. So the issue of abandonment and neglect of anyone of them is not correct. Please check the records, ask questions and be factual.
2. Sometimes in 2005 thereabouts the NBTE issues new guidelines and virtually discouraged NCE holders from teaching in Secondary schools. They were to be restricted to Primary schools.
In the same way, they also wanted professionally qualified teachers to teach in Secondary schools; for instance someone who has a BSc Physics may teach but the qualified teacher for Physics should study and get a B Ed Physics. That was the concept.It was then clear that for Ogun State to maintain its leadership position in Education, a University of Education becomes a necessity.
3. There were other reasons which got us to fast track the establishment. OOU with over 60,000 students was becoming too large to manage in one single campus. The infrastructure in the town was unable to cope with the influx, there were so many challenges of security within and around the town. etc etc
4. Since the state could not afford starting a university from the scratch the natural thing was to upgrade TASCE to TASUED. It was a lot of work, sleepless nights, I personally had to make various presentations to NUC in Abuja before we got the certificate to proceed. Kudos to the Late Prof Oyeneye, the pioneer ProChancellor and Prof Kayode OYESIKU, the pioneer VC. History must be kind to their pioneering and untiring efforts.
We also did not envisage that TASCE will not be allowed to co habitate with TASUED in Ijagun until NUC gave us a matching order that the two cannot cohabit on the same campus. We wanted to move TASCE to an old school in Yewa area but the consideration and convenience of transferring the staff to a far place,
made us to look for a place that is not too far from their various bases. Omu came in handy, apart from being my maternal homestead, it’s no more that some 20 mins from Ijagun on a good day. We found the premises of Omu Ajose Comprehensive High School appropriate, we then relocated the school and started developing the campus. Another sweat because there was no funds.
Our obligations to all the tertiary institutions together including the new ones we established; OOU, TASUED, MAPOLY, GIPI, Abraham Adesanya Poly, Adegbenro ICT Poly, ICT Poly, Sapade,
ICT Institute IGBESA was about 250m per month or N3b per annum. This I understand is the cost of 2 model schools, or the cost of expanding about 4km of a road.
I therefore believe we can afford the institutions if we accord education the right priority and pride of place.
I hope I have been able to communicate with our people.
7. Finally, let me admit that we did not have enough money to do all we wanted to do but we believed where there is a will there will always be a way. This was the credo with which we ran the state otherwise, it was more convenient to pay salaries and do nothing and the state would have remained a civil service state that it was called. Most great things started small. The great University of Ife started at a backyard in Sango behind UI, (Institute of Administra)
Meanwhile, With a sense of modesty and deep humility, we did all that any human being can do by way of job creation and industrialization. I am sure apart from the usual politicking opposition must be silently given kudos to our administration in these area. One fine day hopefully I will open up and remind our people. Somebody spoke of self recognition being the reason for establishing the various institutions. Which self recognition. None was named after me: University after Solarin, Ijebu Igbo after Abraham Adesanya, Sapade after ADEBUTU, ITORI after Adegbenro, IGBESA after OTEGBOLA. I have no relation working or schooling in any of them.
Public service is tough. If you do nothing it’s complaints, if you go something it’s criticisms. Looks like people who do nothing gets the least criticism anyway. We must rethink otherwise genuine public service will continue to dwindle.
Before I return to my mute mode let me make the following few points for posterity.
I am sure at the nick of time, probably in 50 years from now, the weight of these comments will be clear to our people.
1. No country can develop until infrastructural developments are in the hands of indigenes.
2. All the developed countries
in the world without any exception were developed by their people. Europe was developed by Europeans, America by Americans, China by the Chinese, Israel by the Israelites. And lately India by Indians.
2. Our country Nigeria and the rest of Africa will remain underdeveloped as long as we rely on foreigners to do our development for us, including getting the Germans to repair our Airport runways.!!! And we are clapping!!!.
3. I remain very proud of what OGROMA ( which started as Ogun Road Maintenance Agency, and progressed to Ogun Road Management Agency) did in terms of the way dilapidated roads in Ogun State were repaired and the roads and the bridges they constructed.
I feel proud with the dualization and reconstruction of Lalubu road in Abeokuta commissioned some 10 years ago without pothole to date and constructed at approx N50m per km.
I feel proud plying the 40 km dualized Abeokuta Sagamu road everyday all done by OGROMA at approx N50m per km. I travel across the length and breadth of Nigeria frequently and can testify that the road still remains one of the best in our country.
I felt proud when I drove into the campus of Olabisi Onabanjo Univ last week and saw the OGROMA constructed road still looking great 12 years later. Ditto for the TASUED roads etc etc
4. I submit that as Governor, we had to frequently patch the JULIUS BERGER constructed Sagamu-Ijebu Ode-Area J4 road as the road had become a death trap due to non maintenance.
5. I submit that I saw, with my own eyes, maintenance work being carried out even on many of the newly and most expensively built roads and bridges in our state.
6. In another forum I analysed the work we did repairing most of the buildings we inherited from previous administrations. Many of them were done by highly rated Israeli companies.
ASO Aso rock is probably the most prized building in our country today, and as a frequent visitor there once upon a time, I see the maintenance crew working there perpetually.
7. As an Engineer, I know that failure to clear drains and clear gutters of debris for free flow of water is enough to destroy the most expensively built roads. When roads are deliberately denied of maintenance and repairs, the result is straight forward to predict. MAINTENANCE IS THE KEY.
8. However, having said all these, I believe it was better to get our otherwise idle civil servants (OGROMA) fixing our roads and electricity as we did.
Maybe I should let our people know that the easiest way was to simply award contracts. Getting OGROMA was more tasking, more difficult.
Maybe one should remind our people that for the Sagamu Abeokuta dualization, we sent tenders out to various contractors. The minimum quotation was approx N9b at that time. OGROMA did it for N1.9b !!! in total. The State had no such money at that time so we agreed to be paying OGROMA N100m per month for 14 months and the job was completed. After the road settled approx one year later, they took additional N500m for final asphalt overlay. OGROMA in my opinion should receive state awards rather than what I am hearing.
All the great construction companies that we hear of started from the scratch. Most of us will not know that the giant JULIUS BERGER in Nigeria is not a very big player in Germany.
Yes OGROMA started small, no equipment,I remember we were picking abandoned tractors and bulldozers on the road and repairing them to start them up. The first roads were constructed at N20m per km approx. all that is required on most of these roads is to repeat the asphalt overlay. Even if that is what we need to do every 5 to 10 years, it’s sufficient and affordable as the foundation were already laid.
If OGROMA have been encouraged, Nigeria should have started breaking the yoke of indigenous development which is the sine qua non of real development in our nation. Until we grow our own foods, use our own furniture, ride our own cars, build our own houses, and construct our own roads, and encourage those who attempt to do it right, we are simply going no where. My heart bleeds for our nation.
His Excellency, Otunba Gbenga Daniel