The Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has said his administration defied the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021 to record unprecedented achievements that have made positive impact in the lives of the people.
Dr. Fayemi said this and more in what is aptly his last New Year Statewide broadcast as Governor on Saturday.
Taking a retrospective look at what has been achieved since assuming office on October 16, 2018, the Governor said he is fulfilled that his administration has laid a solid foundation, raised the bar in governance and set a standard subsequent administrations would be assessed by.
Fayemi said he and his team have kept faith with the sacred mandate given by the electorate, adding that the state recorded significant development in the last three years.
Fayemi, aside giving an account of what his administration has been able to achieve in the past three years, also highlighted some goodies to be delivered to the people within the remaining months left for the administration.
Declaring 2022 as the “Year of Fulfilment” for the government and people of Ekiti State, Dr. Fayemi restated the determination of his administration to complete all ongoing capital projects, including the Cargo Airport, Ado-Iworoko section of Ado-Ifaki Road and renovation of township roads before he steps down from office in October.
Describing 2021 as the “most eventful in the tenure of this administration so far” despite the negative impact of COVID-19 and dwindling revenue, the Governor said the determination to faithful exercise the mandate given by the Ekiti electorate was the impetus behind the achievements recorded across the five-pillar agenda of his regime.
He said: “The year 2021 was the most eventful in the tenure of this administration so far, despite the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and our dwindling revenue base brought on by contractions in the macro-economic environment. In all respects, 2021 was a year of Consolidation.
“We are pleased to report some milestone achievements we collectively accomplished in the past year 2021, categorised according to our five priority areas or pillars – Governance; Agriculture and Rural Development; Social Investment; Knowledge Economy; and Infrastructure and Industrial Development.
“Through our Private Public Partnership in the Agric sector, we have attracted more than $300 million worth of investment to Ekiti State which is already generating employment and will still generate more direct and indirect employment in year 2022.
“We made significant progress with our legacy projects including the Ikun Dairy Farm with the delivery of 300 Jersey cows from the United States that have now been cross-bred with our local species. The facility is now producing 2,500 litres of milk per day and is well on track to achieve the target of 10,000 litres per day.
“We also hosted the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele and other dignitaries to launch the Ekiti State Rice Pyramid Scheme aimed at empowering our local rice farmers to boost production and create more jobs and opportunities in the agriculture value-chain in the state.”
The Governor disclosed that his administration has received a strong endorsement from the African Development Bank to boost the Ekiti Knowledge Zone project with the Bank approving a grant of $250,000 for the project, which will help attract investors and also create thousands of jobs.
Recognising the significance of 2022 as a crucial election year in the Land of Honour, Governor Fayemi pledged the commitment of his administration to do its best to hand over to a new government in October in a rancour-free environment.
The Governor said the 2022 governorship poll offered the Ekiti people another opportunity to prove to the whole world that they are a decent people.
He appealed to the stakeholders to refrain from acts that could stoke tension and plunge the state into chaos before, during and after the election.
He said: “Ekiti Kete, as you know, the year 2022 is an electoral year for us in Ekiti. Beginning from this month, political parties will be conducting primaries to determine their respective flag bearers. Later in the year on Saturday, June 18, 2022, we would be going to the polls to elect a new Governor.
“I would like to use this opportunity to implore us, one and all, to conduct ourselves as the truly honourable people that we are and avoid stoking divisions and bitterness amongst us.
“This election is another opportunity to reclaim our reputation as decent people and correct the negative perceptions we were once smeared with because of the ignoble actions of a few of us in previous electoral cycles.
“I also want to use this opportunity to especially appeal to the political elite in our State across party lines, to eschew the use of violence throughout the process, and avoid the use of inciting words, cyber-bullying, and all actions aimed at causing crisis in the State.
“On our part, we will do everything to ensure that we hand over to a new administration in a rancour-free environment.
“As you all know, we as mortals can only put in our best efforts, but power ultimately belongs to God who rules in the affairs of men, and it is His will that will prevail in our homeland.”
On the Ado-Akure road, which the Federal Government prevented the Ekiti State Government from constructing, Governor Fayemi lamented that the state government had completed feasibility study and impact assessment necessary for the project to take off before the Federal Government stopped and awarded it.
He, however said the state government would continue to collaborate with the Federal Government on the best way to fast track the completion of the dualised road.