As govt says pensioners in Diaspora’ll be screened online

Makinde approves N800m counterpart funding for water, sanitation, hygiene
Governor Seyi Makinde

By Adeola Badru

Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, on Tuesday, approved the payment of N800 million counter funding as contributions to the Oyo State Rural Water and Sanitation Agency.

In the same vein, the governor approved an online screening for pensioners who are in the Diaspora and unable to be physically present at the ongoing screening exercise in the state.

This, was as the state government also said, it has forwarded a bill to the state’s House of Assembly on restructuring the fire agency in the state by changing it from being a unit under the Ministry of Public Works and Infrastructure to a full-fledged agency under the Governor’s Office.

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The decisions formed parts of the resolutions reached the 21st state Executive Council Meeting, held at the Agodi Government House Ibadan.

While briefing Governor’s Office correspondents, the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr Wasiu Wasiu Olatunbosun, said the decisions were reached after thorough discussions and deliberations among council members.

Olatunbosun was accompanied by his counterparts, including, Adeniyi Farinto (Budget and Economic Planning), Seun Fakorede (Youth and Sports), Seun Ashamu (Energy), and the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde, Mr Taiwo Adisa.

Speaking on the counter fund, Fakorede said: “After consideration and deliberation at the exco, the government approved N800million as counterpart funding and contribution to Oyo State Rural Water and Sanitation Agency. The counterpart funding is meant to attract a total of N2, 967, 700,000 from the Federal Ministry of Water Resources.”

“This fund is required to provide for the implementation of partnership for expanded water supply, sanitation, and hygiene in 20 out of 33 local government areas in the state as contained in the Oyo State Investment Plan and submitted to the Federal Ministry of Water Resources.”

“The project will work towards sustainable improvement of the water supply, sanitation, and hygiene worse situation in urban small towns and rural areas in the state in order to better serve the needs of our people.”

In his remarks, the Commissioner for Energy Seun Ashamu said: “The council considered and approved a bill to be forwarded to the State Assembly which repels the erstwhile Oyo State Fire Services law and to replace it with an Oyo State Fire Services Agency law.”

“What that does essentially is that it is replacing what was once a unit under the Ministry of Public works and infrastructure and creates a fully-fledged agency under the Office of the Governor to deal with all fire issues in the state.”

“This became expedient because of some of the incidences of fire that the state has witnessed in recent times. So, the agency in essence is to coordinate the activities of fire authorities across the length and breadth of the state.”

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“It is to extinguish and stop the spread of all fires while advising the government on the risk associated and things that can cause a fire in the state. The bill has been forwarded to the State Assembly for consideration.”

Olatunbosun, while explaining the rationale behind the online screening said, pressure has been on the government to consider the pensioners who are locked down outside the country in the wake of the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus.

He said: “The Council also approved the screening of pensioners who are outside the country and could not get back to the country for the physical screening. The Governor who is the Chairman of the Council has instructed the Consultant to screen those pensioners online through a video call.”

“So, the pensioners in the diaspora have been on our neck for a while pleading with the Governor to look into their case and the action of the governor has shown that he is a governor with a human face.”

“Recently, the governor also approved the payment of the gratuity of Mr. Bamidele, a director of finance at the Oyo State Water Corporation and this is also coming to show his concern at taking good care of the people of the state,” he disclosed.

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