N450 Billion Allocation to Ondo – Has It Been a Waste?
The accusation of Four hundred and Fifty billion naira wastage of Ondo State funds against the Agagu administration not only has great intrinsic merit, but patriotic instincts; and it deserves an objective analysis. I am therefore happy to take this opportunity to reprise it.
Characteristically the accusation came from the well-oiled propaganda machine of the opposition Labour Party and by Jove they may be right after all. May be, if it were a Labour Party/Mimiko government, or my prudent self, we could have spent it differently.
It is safe to assume that the N450b being referred to is the total revenue accrual to Ondo State government since Dr. Agagu assumed office in May 2003, till date, a total of 5 years.
In the education sector, amongst others, Agagu has wasted another N100b constructing over 2,000 blocks of State of the art classrooms in primary schools all over the State. This in fact is the most annoying form of waste and I am sure the Labour Party shares this opinion too. What is the need; why not leave the dilapidated government schools built over 50 years ago to collapse, since there is high surge of private schools now. Whoever cannot cope with the archaic state of government schools can leave, at least there are other options (private schools of course).
I am also dead sure the Labour Party does not see the need for the upgrading of the Adekunle Ajasin University at Akungba Akoko and the establishment of the new University of Technology in the southern senatorial district. This is another wasteful spending.
AAU can at least do with its former glorified secondary school status, why waste over N20 billion on facilities and buildings? Why must Agagu emulate Awolowo in building one of the finest (to date) Universities in Africa (OAU)? Can’t the students attend lectures in the mushroom classrooms the institution inherited? Or to use the local parlance na building we go shop? And if there is any need for the establishment of a new University at all, it should have been cited in Ondo town, then that will not be a waste.
I recommend the advert for everyone to read. That is, if you believe in the saying that no one can assess somebody so well than his close pal. Now see how Agagu wasted billions on the health sector. Establishment of General Hospitals in all the Local Government Headquarters, establishment of two Specialist Hospitals in each of the three senatorial districts, maternity/clinics in all the two hundred and three wards in the state, Festival of Surgery (free) etc. What a waste!
The Labour Party had accused the Agagu administration of wasting several billions in constructing bridges and roads in the riverine area. These are total waste they argued. And guess what, alternatively the Labour Party propagandist says the Agagu government should have done, because the Federal Government is not forthcoming and Ondo State Government is so buoyant, the Agagu government should have embarked on the dualization, from the Ilesha, the Lagos/Ibadan/Ife/Ilesha expressway straight to Benin.
We can go on and on reprising this wastage syndrome. What of the new modern Akure Stadium, is that what Akure needs now?
Since the creation of Ondo State, Akure, the State capital has been without an modern stadium, yet to the Labour Party, for Agagu daring to put his name in eternal gratitude book of the Akure people, just like Awolowo did when he built the Liberty Stadium for the Western region, he has committed a sacrilege, and he should be hanged for the sin of wastage. Well I have been cracking my head on how alternatively the money should have been spent. What of the Akure/Erekesan market? This also is a waste. The numerous poverty alleviation schemes, the skill acquisition centres, micro credit Agency loans.
My God, this Agagu sure does know how to waste money, and he will go down in the history books, or perhaps, the Guinness Book of records as the person who wasted Government funds to contribute most meaningfully to the growth and infrastructural development of Ondo State and to become the best Governor Ondo State has had till date. And bet you, I am in love with that style of waste and so do the good people of Ondo State as well.