ov. Biodun Oyebanji of Ekiti has urged the people of the state to look forward to 2023 with great hope and expectations for overall development and positive turnaround in all sectors.
Oyebanji stated this on Sunday in Ado-Ekiti in his first New Year speech as the State’s Chief Executive.
The governor expressed the hope that 2023 would be a “year of giant lift for Ekiti”, calling for support of the people to make the dream a reality.
He also assured the people of the state that they would witness massive improvement in security, infrastructure and government services as never seen before.
Oyebanji expressed optimism that 2023 would be a glorious year of strong beginning for the government and people of the state.
He congratulated the people for making it to the new year in spite of the numerous challenges and threats, saying that, “the miracle of daily existence in good health itself is a grace that must never be taken for granted,”.
The governor reiterated his commitment to his administration’s six-point agenda of youth development and job creation, human capital development, infrastructure and industrial development, agriculture and rural development, arts, culture as well as tourism toward turning around the fortunes of the state in the new year.
He said his administration was working hard to give Ekiti the desired face-lift which was evident in the aggressive pursuit of road infrastructure renewal in Ado-Ekiti metropolis through ongoing rehabilitation of major and nodal roads.
Oyebanji also said his administration had spiced up massive deployment of street lights under the “Light-Up Ekiti Initiative” which would be replicated in other towns and villages in the new year.
He said commendable transformation was ongoing at Ikogosi Warm Spring Resort which had been concessioned to a private company to rebuild, expand and manage, describing it as “Ekiti’s most iconic tourism springboard for the tourism potential of the state,”.
Oyebanji expressed the confidence that the resort and nearby Arinta Water Fall would be back in the international tourism site in 2023, bigger and better.
He promised that his administration would also embark on the development of other heritage sites in the state.
The governor disclosed that his administration was liaising with critical government agencies to facilitate access to cheaper funds to support the growth of Small and Medium Enterprises with the vision to ensure that artisans, market women and private sector players were linked up with cheaper funds to support their businesses in 2023.
He thanked traditional rulers, religious and community leaders for the critical roles they played at all times.
He craved for their continued support and cooperation in 2023 as the people of the state look forward to more opportunities for assistance and cooperation in moving the state forward.
The governor, who explained that his campaign manifesto anchored on six pillars was carefully designed to position the state for peace and prosperity, also reiterated his commitment to the development agenda based on his conviction that they signposted Ekiti’s path to progress.
He explained that both the Supplementary Budget and the 2023 Budget already passed by the State House of Assembly had been projected to reflect the six pillars and their actualisation and thanked the state legislators for their cooperation.
Oyebanji noted that the passage of the supplementary budget had empowered his administration to urgently intervene in some critical infrastructural renewal while the 2023 Appropriation Law assented to two days ago would help the government to hit the ground running from the first day of the year.
He urged the people of the state to look forward to more Investments in education and knowledge economy which, he noted, the state had comparative advantage.
Oyebanji described investment in the health sector as also critical to ensure a healthy populace as well as other sectors of the economy.
“In the New Year, we will expedite effort on this and ensure all our health facilities at all levels are accessible, available, affordable and in good shape.
“We want to jealously preserve our record as the state with the highest life expectancy rate in Nigeria.
“We will continue to strengthen our primary, secondary and tertiary health system to keep this trophy.
“Government is deeply concerned about the exodus of our health and medical professionals to other climes due to obvious present challenges.
“I am, however glad to assure them that government will look into the issues with a view to reversing the trend in the New Year,” the governor said.
Describing the last 75 days of his administration as exciting, Oyebanji appreciated Ekitis at home and abroad for their enthusiasm and cooperation since his assumption of office.
“I am deeply touched by their show of love and solidarity through pieces of advice, prayers, suggestions and constructive criticisms,” he said.
Oyebanji appreciated the people of the state for electing him to serve as their governor and his predecessors for being a source of encouragement to his administration.
He appealed to politicians from different political divides to allow peace to reign and play politics of maturity during the forthcoming general elections while putting the overall interest of the state at heart.
The governor also used the opportunity to canvass for massive votes for the All Progressives Congress, (APC) Presidential candidate, Asuwaju Bola Tinubu and the party’s, National and State House of Assemblies candidates in the coming general elections.