The Oyo State governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, on Thursday reiterated his administration’s determination to continue to make businesses thrive in all the nooks and crannies of the state.
He made the remarks while receiving the management and governing board of Dominican University, Ibadan, led by its pro-chancellor and former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, at the Courtesy Room of the Governor’s Office, Secretariat, Ibadan.
Makinde said that following his administration’s efforts to upgrade the Ibadan Airport, more airline operators would commence operations in the airport soon.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted the governor as stating that his administration will partner Dominican University to improve the educational system of Oyo State.
He equally assured that the government will look into the demands of the university.
He said: “First, let me thank you for your support during my election. The Catholic community supported me 100 per cent and I know where the university is. I have had meetings and I believe it is the Teachers’ Institute that is located around that place. So, I have taken the road before and I am sure we need to do something and we will.”
The governor promised to look into the institution’s request for a review of taxes imposed on it by the state’s Board of Internal Revenue, saying the matter will be resolved in a win-win manner.
“Yes, I am aware of the fact that you are a non-profit making organisation and, for you to have chosen Ibadan, Oyo State, as the first place to establish a university on the continent of Africa, the least we can do is to give you the support.
“When the vice chancellor was talking, he said education will develop a healthy mind and the hospital will ensure that the healthy mind resides in a healthy body.
“The third pillar of our administration is that the healthy mind in the healthy body operates in a secure environment. When that happens, the sky will be the starting point to explore economic opportunities.
“That is why the four pillars of our administration are Healthcare delivery, Education, Security and Expansion of our Economy.”
Speaking further, Governor Makinde maintained that his government would continue to do everything possible to ensure that businesses thrive in the state, noting that the recent efforts by the state government to upgrade the Ibadan Airport have begun to yield positive results.
“The former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, said he will be flying to Abuja in the Air Peace Airline this morning and I said that the singular act of introducing competition removes the cost of travelling between Ibadan and Abuja from N80,000 to 30,000 now. So, you don’t need to go to Lagos.
“You can get N30,000 flight here. More competition is coming, as more airlines will start operating from this place. So, the options will really become multiple for us.”
The governor had, while responding to the request of the University for the restoration of about 40 hectares of land it lost to the Lagos-Ibadan Rail project, assured that his administration would support the university to recover the lost hectares of land.
He added that the state-owned Akufo Farm Settlement was equally affected by the rail project and the Circular Road, stating that his administration has been operating an open-door policy and that it will find a lasting solution to the challenges of the Dominican University.
He said: “If you go round that environment and you see the land where you want to carry out that expansion, you can come back to us and we will give you approval. But I know that NUC also has a minimum requirement, in terms of hectares of land that you need to have to meet its certification.
“We are aware of this. People have been coming to me; other universities wanting to meet the NUC requirements. We got the approval to set up a satellite campus of LAUTECH at Iseyin and they gave us those conditions for us to meet as well. Just like you rightly mentioned, this is a partnership and we will also want to be a partner,” the governor added.
Earlier, the vice chancellor of the university, Professor Anthony Akinwale, commended the Makinde-led administration for making education and healthcare two of its topmost priorities, adding that with Governor Makinde at the helm, Oyo State is in good hands.