By Nimot Adetola Sulaimon
Governor Seyi Makinde has once again called for the restructuring of the country and the decentralization of its economy.
This, he said will allow all states to develop their resources at their own pace.
Makinde stated this while receiving the UNILAG Faculty of Engineering Alumni Association at his Secretariat office in Agodi.
In a statement signed by the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr Taiwo Adisa, the governor stressed that although restructuring may not solve the current problems completely, many of the challenges Nigerians currently undergo will be solved.
“At the end of every month, we are all going to Abuja cap in hand and that has stunted our growth everywhere you turn to. Even, the issue of insecurity we are faced with and economic challenges.
“Yes, a restructured and decentralized country will not be fix-all (solution) but it will, at least, put us on that trajectory where we can start dealing with other issues at the local level,” he said.
The governor also said “this is indeed a challenging period for us as a country across various sectors, education inclusive, and tertiary education cannot be left to the government alone. And it is also tied to our request for a restructured country.
“I remember in the late 70s my eldest brother was leaving secondary school and going to the University. 1977/78, you apply to various universities, you do their exams and then if you are qualified they put you in.
”And certain areas thought they were disadvantaged and what did we see, then we have JAMB for the entire country and then we started having grammar like ‘educationally disadvantaged’ and quota system’, ‘catchment area’ and all sorts of things, and what did that do for us? Basically, it arrested growth in that sector.”
He also told the visiting Alumni Association that its objectives were noble by asking for past students, such as him to come and contribute to the school in form of endowments, adding that “your reach will determine what you will get.”
Furthermore, he stated that with the NUC and TETFUND, everything has become centralized, leading to even more people calling for the country to decentralize “so that certain people can develop at their own pace without all of us having to go to Abuja, even in terms of the FAAC.”
“So, I will accept to co-chair the committee with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and we will roll up our sleeves and ensure we raise funds for the faculty your target of N500m.”
The governor went on to add that his government has always remained receptive to the idea of collaborating with academia and industries in developing Oyo State.
Makinde praised the alumni association’s offer to showcase his government’s developmental efforts in Oyo State on its website.
“Thank you so much for the offer of showcasing what we are doing through the website of the UNILAG Engineering Alumni. We also try to encourage collaboration between the government and the industry and academia.
“If we are doing good, tell us also so that we can become a little bit proud of ourselves, and if you also have things you feel the state can do in terms of collaboration on research, do not hesitate to send your request to us,” he said.
The National President of the Faculty of Engineering Alumni Association, Engineer Dideolu Falobi also lauded Governor Makinde’s development programs, describing him as a good ambassador of the faculty and the institution at large.
According to him, the purpose of the visit was to discuss challenges facing the faculty with Governor Makinde and discuss how all stakeholders would sit together and proffer solutions to the challenges.