Gov Fayemi: 100 Days of Keeping Faith with Promises
The first 100 days in the life of a new government administration tend to be crucial and of symbolic importance as activities during this given period serve as a benchmark for a leader’s latent qualities, abilities and preparedness for governance.
By the same token, the potentiality of good governance and efficient service delivery should have been firmly established during these first 100 days in office through a combination of structured planning and strong political will of a constituted authority.
True to type, the opening stretch of the John Kayode Fayemi (JKF) administration, that is, the first 100 days in office had been of momentous significance in terms of laying solid foundation for critical infrastructure and speedy implementation of a veritable road map for sustained growth and development.
Guided by a strict precept of ethics and an uncanny sense of direction, JKF took concrete steps to keep faith with his campaign promises of making the overall wellbeing of ordinary, everyday people, the pivotal theme of governance in Ekiti State.
The thrust of these promises which were to make poverty history and restore the values of honour, decency, decorum and dignity among Ekiti people, are fully embedded in the administration’s four-pillar governance agenda of Social Investments, Knowledge Economy, Infrastructure and Industrial Development, and Agriculture and Rural Development.
To this end, the first 100 days was characterized by a flurry of government activity, the common feature being implementation of people-centred policies and programs that tended to ameliorate feelings of despondency and dejection among the citizenry and present them with a new lease of life. In short, and in JKF’s words, putting healing balm on a painful wound.
For example, shortly after assuming office, the governor’s first act of governance was the revocation of education levies introduced by his predecessor in office, and the declaration of free and compulsory education in the state primary and secondary schools, through an Executive Order, pointing out that this move will ultimately ease the financial burden on the largely poor parents, eliminate drop out as well as encourage enrolment.
Further to this was an immediate approval of N200m as car and housing loan for teachers, a gesture of appreciation to teachers who are considered critical stakeholders that are instrumental to the repositioning of education in the state. A further show of commitment to their welfare was the recommencement of payment of Rural Teachers Allowance and Core Subjects Allowance, which had so far benefitted 6,203 teachers in the state.
Reports also have it that government did not only pay WAEC fees for 13,000 SS3 final year students, but also purchased JAMB forms for 3000 out of the school Ekiti youths seeking admission into tertiary institutions.
These actions taken so far in the education sector were in fulfillment of some of the governor’s electoral promises, which are also in line with one of his Never Again narratives, ”…never again should we give up free and qualitative education for herculean fees and taxes levied on our school children…”
The determined effort of the JKF administration to reinstitute social safety nets that would uplift the vulnerable and deprived segments of the society who had a very slim chance of succor in the last four years, was yet another promise fulfilled, as provision for this purpose was well captured in the State’s 2019 Appropriation Budget with 12 per cent of the total budget allocated to its funding.
This implies that all the social inclusion and social investment policies and programs that were instituted during Fayemi’s first term, that provided massive youth employment, that gave voice to the rural majority through participatory governance, the social security scheme for the elderly, and much more, have been reactivated and up scaled to effectively address ravaging poverty and other social problems in the land. This is in conformity with the government’s ideological position which states that, “no individual in society should be left behind, but everyone should be supported to live out their dreams to the fullest in their youth, and have a dignified and comfortable retirement in their old age”.
Ending a four-year blackout in three communities of Erijinyan, Ipole Iloro and Ikogosi, locally known as Ekameta in Ekiti West LGA, was another promise faithfully kept by JKF, whose word is always his bond. As APC governorship candidate, he had pledged to do everything humanly practicable within the shortest possible time to restore public power supply to these communities that had been without electricity for four long frustrating years, if voted to power. The governor achieved this feat in less than 100 days in office to the relief and excitement of residents of these communities who have in turn vowed to vote massively for APC candidates in the forthcoming 2019 elections.
It is however not only the people of Ekameta communities that are very eager to vote massively for APC candidates in the approaching elections, but also the teachers, the civil servants, local government workers and pensioners, who are now enjoying prompt payment of salaries, salary arrears and allowances, car and housing loans, women and youths who would soon be gainfully employed through various empowerment programs already mapped out; the elderly whose social security scheme has been reinstituted, the rural majority who have once again become stakeholders and partakers as decision makers in the affairs of their respective communities through participatory governance and joint ownership of the Ekiti commonwealth initiative of the Fayemi government, and parents who do not have to pay school fees or education taxes anymore. They all cannot wait to vote big-time for President Muhammadu Buhari, the APC Presidential candidate, and Ekiti APC National and State Assembly flag bearers, mostly in appreciation of Gov Kayode Fayemi’s purposeful conduct of public affairs and shrewd management of public resources.
The 100-day accomplishments are indeed inexhaustible, but space constraints would not allow for mention of a host of others, like the recently signed strategic partnership agreement on Mobile Child Healthcare with a leading mobile technology firm in Dubai, which serves as a launch pad that sets in motion the revival of the state’s social healthcare schemes and delivery of world class healthcare services.
‘Gbenga Ogunremi, a Public Analyst, wrote in from Ado Ekiti