The Oyo State Governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, has advocated for the restructuring of the country and the decentralization of its economy, stating that this will afford all states the opportunity to develop their resources at their own pace.
Makinde stated this while receiving the University of Lagos Faculty of Engineering Alumni Association, which paid a courtesy visit to his office at the Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan.
The governor stressed that though restructuring may not be a total solution, it would address the major challenges facing the country.
“At the end of every month, we are all going to Abuja cap in hand and that has stunted our growth everywhere you turn to. Even, the issue of insecurity we are faced with and economic challenges.
“Yes, a restructured and decentralised country will not be fix-all (solution) but it will, at least, put us on that trajectory where we can start dealing with other issues at the local level,” he said.
The governor, who welcomed the UNILAG Engineering Alumni to Ibadan, further said “this is indeed a challenging period for us as a country across various sectors, education inclusive, and tertiary education cannot be left to the government alone. And it is also tied to our request for a restructured country.
“I remember in the late 70s my eldest brother was leaving secondary school and going to the University. 1977/78, you apply to various universities, you do their exams and then if you are qualified they put you in.
“And certain areas thought they were disadvantaged and what did we see, then we have JAMB for the entire country and then we started having grammar like ‘educationally disadvantaged’ and quota system’, ‘catchment area’ and all sorts of things, and what did that do for us? Basically it arrested growth in that sector.”
He told the Alumni Association that its objectives were noble by asking for past students to come and contribute to the school in form of endowments, adding that “your reach will determine what you will get.”
He stated that with the NUC and TETFUND, everything has become centralised adding that that is why many are asking for a decentralised structure for the country, “so that certain people can develop at their own pace without all of us having to go to Abuja, even in terms of the FAAC.”
He added: “So, I will accept to co-chair the committee with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and we will roll up our sleeves and ensure we raise funds for the faculty your target of N500m.
He also promised to activate the professorial chair he earlier endowed at UNILAG.
Governor Makinde added that his government has always remained receptive to the idea of collaborating with the academia and industries to engender development in the state.
He equally hailed the alumni association’s offer to showcase his government’s developmental efforts in Oyo State on its website.
“Thank you so much for the offer of showcasing what we are doing through the website of the UNILAG Engineering Alumni. We also try to encourage collaboration between the government and the industry and academia. “If we are doing good, tell us also so that we can become a little bit proud of ourselves, and if you also have things you feel the state can do in terms of collaboration on research, do not hesitate to send your request to us,” he said.
Earlier in his address, the National President of the Faculty of Engineering Alumni Association, Engineer Dideolu Falobi, who lauded the developmental programmes of Governor Makinde, described him as a good ambassador of the faculty and the institution at large.
He said the purpose of the visit was to familiarise and intimate Governor Makinde on some of the contemporary challenges facing the faculty as identified by the leadership of the faculty, and how all stakeholders would sit together and proffer solutions to the challenges.