Akin Ogunbiyi: My vision is to build an economically sustainable Osun State
Dr. Akin Ogunbiyi, Founder/Group Chairman, Mutual Benefits Assurance PLC, is the Accord Party’s candidate for governor in Osun State. In this encounter with THIS DAY in Osogbo, Ogunbiyi, who describes himself as an “entrepreneur”, reveals and throws more information on his vision for the state if he is elected governor during the polls of July 16, 2022
Osun State, established on August 27, 1991, presents a puzzling paradox in its more than 30-year existence since it was split from Oyo State. Although endowed with enormous human and material resources such as arable land covering over 9,000 kilometers, mineral deposits, tourist spots, aquatic habitat, the state remains in underdevelopment.
For example, Osun State ranks third in the list of most indebted states in Nigeria, with an over-indebtedness of over N200 billion; receives a meager monthly allowance of 1.7 billion naira from the Federation account (due to deductions) and the resulting effect of the huge state debt burden and low revenue generation is that the Successive administrations struggle to meet only their recurrent expenditures with very little funds left over for capital projects.
With very few viable investment projects in the form of future investments, Osun State is, today, the state of low productivity, unemployment and poverty.
The patriotic attempt to change this sad narrative of the economic downturn in Osun State prompted Dr. Akin Ogunbiyi, an accomplished technocrat, entrepreneur and founder of Mutual Benefits Assurance PLC, to throw his hat into the political ring as a candidate to the governorship of the Accord Party, in the elections of July 16, 2022.
Ogunbiyi, who began his election campaign following his inauguration in Osogbo in April 2022, has now stepped up his meet-the-people campaign across the state.
And everywhere he went, Ogunbiyi echoed the message of hope, assurance and his belief in value-added leadership that he intends to pursue rigorously if elected governor.
Ogunbiyi has also been consistent in amplifying that he will not be a governor who does not add value in terms of improved productivity and empowerment; that he will reorganize the economy so that it becomes more viable and dynamic, far from its current comatose state. He said that as a successful entrepreneur, who has grown Mutual Benefits Assurance PLC into a conglomerate over the past 25 years, covering insurance, real estate, banking, oil and gas, agriculture , manufacturing, etc., he was ready to replicate the same. feat in Osun State.
The Ile-Ogbo native and Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife graduate in agricultural economics who described himself as “an adventurer who is always looking for opportunities to create and add value” , believes that he will approach leadership from an entrepreneurial and income perspective. -generating mindset, not just sitting around and depending solely on the monthly federal allowance.
He says, “We must strive to end the economy of Osun State which rallies around three departments – civil servants, teachers and peasants.”
Ogunbiyi, who unveiled his master plan, promised to work in tandem with the philosophy and manifesto of his Accord Party, which is rooted in “corporatism, popularism and capitalism”.
He told reporters, “If elected governor, I will work first and foremost to ensure the safety of life and property in the state. Since security is the primary goal of government, we will revamp the state security architecture to ensure better results.
“I am a transformational leader and I intend to replicate this in Osun State. By this I mean I will pursue a policy of functional education and health care. on education and health services, as these two elements remain the foundation of sustainable human development.
“We will invest in these two sectors to ensure healthy minds, healthy and wealthy citizens. We will also create jobs for our numerous but now largely unemployed young people. We will also do this by creating an enabling environment to make Osun State an investment-friendly state. If elected governor, I will also initiate and sustain an agricultural revolution in the state using our vast arable land, not only to achieve food security, but to generate huge revenues from the sector. We will make soft loans available to small-scale farmers to grow food and agricultural crops and in doing so, provide jobs for many young people in Osun. »
Ogunbiyi, who stressed his determination to tame rural-urban migration, vowed to pursue massive infrastructure development in rural areas and focus his envisioned agricultural revolution among the rural population.
He continued, “We will unleash our energies and resources to boost the industrialization of the state by maximizing the benefits of our vast mineral resources – gold, kaolin, iron ore, talc, columbite, etc. located in different parts of the state.
“We will intensify the exploitation of these deposits to a commercial level that will benefit the state. We will not make politics with such revenue-generating enterprises or enter into agreements that will harm the state.
“We will also support artisans, women’s groups and youth through skills training and soft loans to enable them to be self-sufficient and become employers of labour.”
The gubernatorial candidate further shed light on his planned programs in the tourism sector, saying, “Osun State is a huge tourist spot and such hubs include Osogbo Grove, Ljesha Waterfall, the annual Erin Olojo festival in lle-lfe, among others.
“We will also continue to develop our tourism sector by upgrading facilities at these sites and securing more private partnerships, aimed at increasing revenue.”
On how his campaign message of a new dawn is being received by the many voters in Osun State, the frontline gubernatorial candidate added, “My message of a new dawn is sinking in the consciousness of our people. Moreover, I am a well-known name in Osun State and beyond. In addition to Mutual Benefits Assurance, which has become a global brand, my instituted Aribiewe Foundation has continued to touch many lives across the state. The Foundation has helped many individuals, families and communities.
“He has also awarded scholarships to over 100 students in secondary and tertiary institutions, in Nigeria and abroad. Many Osun natives see my philanthropic gestures as a selling point for my candidacy; they also believe that I am a person willing to provide selfless service to Osun State
“People’s perception of me is obvious given that wherever I go there is always a huge crowd and a general excitement, which is visibly expressed by the warm welcome I receive, whether in palaces or in the countryside. “The message from the people is clear: they urgently and urgently need a new leadership in the state.
Collaborating with Ogunbiyi’s position, a middle-aged civil servant who simply identified himself as Adefemi said, “I believe Dr. Ogunbiyi is the man to beat in the next election for office. Governor of Osun State. He is a man who has a clear vision of where he wants Osun State to be in the next few years. He also understands determined leadership. He is every inch prepared for the job; he is different from all the others who don’t have a clear vision of what they want to do.
“With crowds filling his campaign ground, talks around the state are that Ogunbiyi is best prepared and equipped for the governorship. We all show he is the best fit for the job. Ogunbiyi is different from others who just want power before thinking about what to do. It is already ready to start once elected.