On October 16, 2022, Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji resumed his biggest job yet, the position of governor of Ekiti State.
Oyebanji is not a green horn on the job. In fact, He has served in varying capacities from Special Assistant to Chief of Staff and has Secretary to the Ekiti State Government; hence, he is not new to the business of governance.
By his emergence, his party, the All Progressives Congress and his predecessor, Dr Kayode Fayemi have equally broken the jinx of producing a successor.
However, Governor Oyebanji now has a huge task ahead of him. Famous amongst the complaints against his predecessor, is the state of roads.
On assumption of office, the people of the state will expect him, to within 100 days, fulfill his campaign promise of rehabilitating inter-city roads like Ikere- Ilawe, Ifaki-Awo, Awo-Ijero, Ayegunle-Ijurin, Itapa-Omuo-Ijelu among others.
It is expected that he will pile pressure on the Federal Government to ensure the prompt rehabilitation of the Ado-Akure road as well as the Igede-Aramoko and Efon road.
While the former administration has tried to justify the building of an airport, there are questions as to what does Ekiti intend to export? What is Ekiti’s Agro Unique selling Product? How do we justify the over 20 billion naira investment in the project? How do we ensure that the airport does not join the list of 8 of 13 inactive cargo airports in the country?
These are questions Governor Oyebanji will have to answer quickly, not by word of mouth buy by strategic thinking, partnerships and actions.
The last state of the state report by budgit shows that Ekiti ranks 18 on the ease of doing business out of 36 states. The state however needs to be able to generate over 100,000 jobs annually for the next four years to reduce the over 29 percent unemployment levels.
To fix this, Governor Oyebanji must supervise the quick implementation of promise to establish the “Enterprise Trust Fund” to provide grants and loans to young people in MSMEs. He must also review relevant laws, undertake certain infrastructure projects to make Ekiti an investment destination.
Power supply remains a key hindrance to our growth as a nation, Governor Oyebanji would be smart enough to see how Ekiti can generate power independently to support existing supply as it would boost existing business interests in the state.
Governor Oyebanji has to fulfil his promise to explore local content. To help institutions like the Ekiti state University and Bamidele Olumilua University of Education, Science and Technology grow – there should be a revamp of their curriculum. He should engage the institutions, for example, their engineering departments on consultancy of certain projects in the state. That way, it reduces cost, gives them further exposure and generates more revenue for the institution.
There’s a lot Governor Biodun Oyebanji should do, we can only hope that his head is calm enough to bear the pressure that comes with such heavy responsibility.