By Omeiza Ajayi – Abuja

Osun state Governor, Gboyega Oyetola has hailed Nigerians for their resilience and contributions to national development since independence, saying while Nigeria may not have attained some of its developmental projections at independence in 1960, the country is however not stagnant as it has made some incremental progress.

He expressed optimism that the current trajectory of governance at the federal level could turn around the fortunes of the country and restore its lost primacy.

Gov. Oyetola spoke yesterday in Abuja at a brief interface with journalists on the occasion of his 67th birthday.

“I think by any standard, we have moved. We may not have attained the level that we are thinking of as a nation, I think we are moving. Comparing us with other nations that had attained the same independence as ours may not necessarily be too good enough because you are not too sure of what they have.

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“We could do better given the level that we are now, particulary the efforts that have been put into running the affairs of the country by the present administration of President Muhamadu Buhari. I think we are moving. We are not stagnant.

“We are challenged. For instance, the issue of security is a big challenge but that is not only peculiar to Nigeria, we have the challenges in other parts of the world. But what is important is for you not to give up. I believe we are making progress, we may not be at the level which we are expecting as a nation but we are not stagnant. Nigeria is moving forward”, he stated.

On governance in his state and how he has been able to overcome the past challenge of meeting its financial obligations to workers, the governor said with his years of managing human and financial resources in the private sector, he has had no problem paying the salary of workers.

“There is no magic. It is a question of defining your priorities, getting them right. I also believe that workers deserve their pay. Don’t forget that I came from the private sector background. I employed people in my company. As a matter of policy, there was no time I didn’t pay their monthly salary. So, I decided that moving forward, I must of necessity make the payment of workers salary a priority.

“God has been quite kind. I look at my cash flow and define my priorities right. So, there is no magic, it is a question of creativity and setting your priorities right. There is no magic in finance. It is nothing extraordinary but my background has actually helped me to able to look at some of these issues and define what I need to do at any point in time”, he stated.

The governor also thanked God for his benevolence all through the years, saying he feels good at 67.

“First of all I want to thank you almighty God for sparing my life over the years till to date and for giving me very good health. I must thank my family too for taking good care of me. I think is the grace of God, we should give the almighty God the glory for been able to attain 67. I am very healthy. I have no problem with my health. So we thank God”, Oyetola said.

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