GOVERNOR Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State Tuesday swore-in his 39 member executive council, comprising Commissioners and Special Advisers, thus inaugurating the team that would accompany him in what he called “our home run.”
On the list of the commissioners are an Associate Professor of Economics, Olalekan Dauda Yinusa; a Doctor of Law, Ajibola Basiru and a former Senator, Mudasiru Hussain.
Aregbesola announced that he as well as his deputy, Mrs Grace Titi Laoye-Tomori, were dropping their portfolios in works and infrastructure and education respectively for new entrants into the cabinet to allow for more effective policy coordination and supervisions.
At the inauguration, which was held at the parking lot of Bola Ige House in Osogbo, the governor said the inauguration was long overdue, but for dire constraint of funds, adding that Osun was not insulated from the financial challenges that the country had during the Peoples Democratic Party-led administration in Nigeria.
According to Aregbesola, “I congratulate all the appointees for being considered worthy of service to the government and people of our dear state and for scaling the hurdle of screening.
“Many of you served in the first term; the rest are fresh hands. Of course, this is long overdue. It should have come up immediately after my inauguration on November 27, 2014. As you all know, we were hamstrung by dire constraint – principally financial.
“Our second term coincided with the onset of a national economic disaster. The first on account of a purported daily theft of 650,000 barrels of crude oil under the watch of the immediate past PDP national government. This is curious and improbable.
“We must note that 650,000 barrels of crude oil is the equivalent of 65 super tankers each laden with over 300,000 metric tons of crude oil. By the way, a super tanker is about 450 metres long, the equivalent of four and a half football fields.
“Indeed, 27 states and the Federal Government were unable to pay salaries of workers. It might interest us to know that the government of Goodluck Jonathan, according to his Finance Minister, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, had to borrow N476 billion from commercial banks to be able to pay salaries in the last four months of his administration”.
He said, “What we have done during the special time occasioned by the emergency period we faced was to play a delicate balancing act between the three categories. Painfully, we came to an understanding with the workers on a realistic schedule of payment.
“We also continued with our programmes and critical social intervention albeit on a reduced scale. Lastly, we have good understanding from the political class on the need for them to make sacrifice as we defer appointments and cabinet formation. Our traducers, rather than reasonably comprehend the situation went to town to harp on the non-composition of cabinet but in the process expose their own ignorance.
Speaking on behalf of newly sworn-in cabinet members, the new Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Dr Surajudeen Ajibola Bashir, described the delay in the constitution of the cabinet by Mr Governor as a sign of courage and commitment to good governance, stating that Aregbesola had exhibited high sense of commitment to raise the bar of governance in the last six years of his administration.
He said the new cabinet would leave no stone unturned at ensuring unflinching support and cooperation with the present administration in the state, just as he assured the people of the state of the readiness of the new cabinet to consolidate on the legacies built by Aregbesola-led administration in the last six years.
The New Executive Council at a Glance
1) Ismail Jayeoba Alagbada: Commerce, Co-operatives, Industries and Empowerment
2) Miss Mobolaji Akande: Human Resources and Capacity Building
3) Kolapo Alimi: Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs
4) Mrs Mofolake Adetohun Adegboyega: Empowerment and Youths Development
5) Mr Emmanuel Kunle Ige: Agriculture, Food Security and Youths Engagement
6) Dr Surajudeen Bashir Ajibola: Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice
7) Mr Bola Ilori: Regional Integration
8) Hon Idiat Babalola: Commissioner for Federal Matters
9) Hon Biyi Odunlade: Social Affairs Special Needs
10) Wasiu Kolawole Omotunde-Young: Education
11) Mudasiru Hussain: Cabinet Matters
12) Oguntola Mudasir Toogun: Special Duties
3) Idowu Michael Korede: Environment and Sanitation
14) Alh Bola Oyebamiji: Finance
15) Mr Adelani Baderinwa : Information and Strategy
16) Mrs Latifat Giwa: Women Affairs
17) Engr Remi Omowaiye: Innovation and Technology
18) Dr Rafiu Kusamotu: Health
19) Engr Kazeem Aderemi Salami: Works and Transport
20) Dr Dauda Yinusa: Economy, Planning and Budget
21) Dauda Adebiyi: Home Affairs
22) Akintunde Akinajo: Lands and Physical Planning