Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo on Wednesday said that it is too early for him to be talking about a second term in office.
Mr Makinde made this declaration while speaking during the kick-off of the second phase of the ‘Light-Up Oyo Project’ in Ogbomoso town.
The governor, while speaking, also used the occasion to fire a warning salvo at opposition politicians in the state, saying they have nothing to offer.
Mr Makinde said the same opposition politicians who have been posturing about 2023 were roundly rejected by the people in 2019, stating that such politicians have nothing to offer by trying to distract him with talks about 2023.
He asked them to calm down, as, according to him, it is too early to start talking about his second term.
Mr Makinde stated that even if he decides not to seek re-election in 2023, the state will not fall into the hands of charlatans anymore.
“Let me sound this: if I will not seek re-election, I am sure that Oyo State will never, again, be in the hands of charlatans. So, calm down. It is even too early to start talking about a second term. Some parties that do not have even one councillor are saying that they will send me out of the Government House in 2023,” he said.
He added that the second phase of the Light-Up Oyo Project was awarded at the cost of N28.3 billion.
He said that the project is expected to cover 223.8 kilometres of roads across all the zones of the state, commending the state’s Bureau of Public Procurement for saving the state over a billion Naira after it vetted the original proposal.
He added that the second phase of the Light-Up Oyo Project is expected to be completed within nine months, noting that the first phase in Ibadan is already at 87.5 per cent completion
He stated that the phase one would have been 100 per cent completed but for the COVID-19 pandemic which stopped a number of expatriates from making it to the country.
Mr Makinde stressed the importance to the economic expansion and security enhancement agenda of his administration, stating that with the coming on board of the project, residents will feel more at peace to carry out economic activities in a more secure environment.
“It gives me great joy to be here today to flag-off the second phase of the Light-Up Oyo Project. The project is dear to this administration as it ties-in with two of the four pillars of our roadmap to accelerated development in Oyo State (2019-2023). And the two, which are tied together, are security and economy. The light-up will also do us good as far as security is concerned in this area.
“LAUTECH is at the heart of the economic activities in Ogbomoso land and we want the students and those who have businesses in LAUTECH to be able to move between here and the town. That is why this road is economically important.
“When we began this journey in September 2019, the first phase was expected to cover Ibadan alone. It was even called Light-Up Ibadan, leading some to erroneously think that only the state capital will eventually enjoy street light but this is Light Up Oyo State.
“I learnt that those who came to meet you to vote for them, and which you ignored, said this project was their own. And I said we gave it to them but my administration will execute it.”
Mr Makinde said there is a need to revive commercial activities of business owners in the state due to the losses experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I have requested for their contact numbers and we are going to engage them and see what we can do.
“What this means is, economic activities can be carried out here for a long period. Who says we cannot have 24-hour restaurants, petrol stations and other businesses in Oyo State as it happens in other cities worldwide? These developments start with basic infrastructure such as street lights.
“When we started, the naysayers said we cannot sustain it for three months because we won’t be able to sustain the funds we use in purchasing fuel. But it has been there and we have not gone bankrupt.
“There is a secret I have been keeping all these while but I must say it now. The lights used are energy-saving and also the cost of maintenance is low. When they brought the proposal to me, of course, we didn’t have IPP. So, we have to power it. We intend to use gas generators and they are still working on it. Majority of them will be powered by the contractor who will be financing the project with their own funds, we will commence refunds after each 50 kilometres of road has been illuminated.
“So, there is a moratorium of one hundred and twenty (120) days before repayment commences. Also, we have entered an agreement with them that payment will span over a period of 84 months, that is seven years.”