Dr Kayode Fayemi, the newly sworn-in governor of Ekiti State, has said the state is indebted to the tune of N170 billion which he said were loans taken by former Governor Ayodele Fayose administration to undertake some projects.
While he assured that “this challenge would not impede his government from delivering dividends of democracy to the citizens,” he also promised to restore the N5,000 monthly stipend for the poor elderly people of the state to ensure a social safety net for the poor and vulnerable in the society.
Fayemi made the disclosure on Tuesday, after an elaborate swearing-in ceremony held at Ekiti Parapo Pavillion in Ado Ekiti, where President Muhammadu Buhari also told Nigerians that he was prepared more than ever before to guarantee performance and good governance.
Governor Fayemi said in his speech on the occasion after the oath of allegiance and oath of office were administered to him by the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Ayodeji Daramola, that he would hinge his administration on four pillars.
The four pillars, Fayemi said were infrastructure and industrial development; agriculture and rural development, social investments and knowledge economy.
Among other things, he would restore the N5,000 monthly stipend for the poor elderly people of the state to ensure a social safety net for the poor and vulnerable in the society.
He said all the finances of the last administration shall be reviewed but not in a vindictive manner, saying this became imperative to ensure that the culture of prudence and financial propriety were brought to bear in the governance of the state.
According to him, the state had been indebted to the tune of N170 billion which he said were loans taken to undertake some projects through the last administration, but he assured that this challenge would not impede his government from delivering dividends of democracy to the citizens.
Fayemi said: “In the last four years, Ekiti was governed by a rudderless, inept and egregiously corrupt government, which was led by those who deceived our people through the instrument of stomach infrastructure.
“In this context, never again will Ekiti slip into the hands of those who knew nothing about governance, never again shall we allow our school children to pay taxes, never again shall we abandon the burgeoning resources at Ikogosi Warm Spring to waste, never again shall we allow our judiciary to debased by draconian government and never again shall the most educated state like Ekiti be Apostle of Stomach Infrastructure that has made us a laughing stock.
“In our quests for economic rejuvenation, our government shall invest heavily in youths in commercial agriculture, because Ekiti is basically agrarian, and we will reactivate community-based projects, tap into our tourist potential and ensure the security of local and foreign investors.
President Buhari, who was represented at the event by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, said Fayemi as a former member of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), had been worrying him about the development of the state.
Buhari said he was expecting with the hope that Ekiti voters would support his reelection bid in 2019, saying he had a lot to offer Nigerians if given the opportunity to be reelected.
He said: “I know Dr Fayemi very well, he has always cherished anything that has to do with the development of this state. As Ekiti governor between 2010 and 2014, he instituted some laudable projects that impacted positively on the lives of the people and this pavilion was one of them.
“I know that he will do what is right to justify this mandate. I charge him not to relent in his efforts to serve Ekiti with passion, commitment and candour.
“FG has given supports to states in the areas of bailouts, budget support , ecological funds and paris club refund, of which Ekiti was a beneficiary.
“We have extended the standard rail project to Ekiti and the construction of the Federal Secretariat will soon be completed. The FG is also planning to dualise Ado-Akure road and reconstruct Ado-Ikare road for the use of our people. We have also built another 133KVA power source in Ekiti that will be commissioned soon.
“As of today, 11,000 Ekiti indigenes are benefiting from the N-power programme of this administration.
“We are confident that Dr. Fayemi will help cover the lost grounds brought by past administration. From today, you will begin to have a new breath in Ekiti under the present government.”
Governors at the event include governors of Ogun, Ibikunle Amosun, and his wife Olufunke; Oyo, Abiola Ajimobi and his wife, Florence; Kebbi, Atiku Bagudu, Kaduna, Nasir El-Rufai, Lagos, Akinwumi Ambode; Ondo, Rotimi Akeredolu, Bauchi, Mohammed Abubakar.
Among the dignitaries at the ceremony include: Former Lagos State governor and leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu; Chief Bisi Akande, National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, a former Senate President, Chief Ken Nnamani, Ex-APC National Chairman, Chief John Oyegun and former Ekiti State governors, Chief Niyi Adebayo and Bamidele Olumilua.
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