Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, has emerged Ripples Nigeria Governor of the year 2019.
The Oyo State Governor emerged after a painstaking analysis of the performances of Nigerian governors based on a monthly Nigerian Governors Ranking that started in August 2019.
He emerged in the Top 5 Governors list four of the five months the ranking was conducted, making him the most top five-ranked governor in the country. With notable steps in advancing education, transparency, anti-corruption, internal security, constructive engagement with the people, and responsive governance, Governor Makinde made repeated appearances on the rankings.
In setting up its agenda in August 2019, the Editorial Board of Ripples Nigeria had noted, among others, that a monthly ranking of Nigerian governors had become necessary to advance the cause of good governance in Nigeria. It promised to hold leaders, especially elected ones, accountable on behalf of the people. It also reckoned that, though governance remained a daunting task, some helmsmen had shown exceptional capacity, even in the face of lean resources, to better their societies while others had appeared as laggards.
The Board also noted that, through these special publications, it would engender a competitive spirit between and among the governors and ultimately drive our nation toward the path of lifting its citizens from abject poverty to prosperity.
The rankings have two categories —Top 5 and Bottom 5. Makinde beat close contenders such as Governor Bello Mattawale of Zamfara State, Babagana Zulum of Borno State, Malam Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State, and Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State to the overall first position.
August Ranking (Read here)
For the month of August, the Ripples Nigeria Ranking of Nigerian Governors noted that “Governor Seyi Makinde made a blistering start as the governor of Oyo State and may likely become the poster boy of Nigerian Governors if he continues in the current form”.
True to prediction, Makinde left no one in doubt that he meant business.
From publicly declaring his assets running into several billion, a feat largely alien to Nigerian politicians, Makinde went ahead to refuse taking monthly salaries, electing to donate the same to pensioners in the state. He has also continued to use his personal vehicles as official ones and refused to approve the purchase of new cars for officials of the state government in a bid to cut the cost of governance in the state.
Aside from this, the first-term governor also took steps to sanitize the state by banning the activities of the highly violent transport unions in Oyo and restoring sanity to the environment by coming hard on illegal structures defacing Ibadan, the state capital.
Another of the early steps taken by him, that set him aside among the pack, was the appointment of a 27-year-old as a commissioner, endearing him to the youth segment of the populace and ensuring an all-inclusive government.
October Ranking (Read here)
Education has largely remained one of the focal points of Governor Makinde since he assumed office.
The provision of a N1.5 billion counterpart funding that enabled the state access an equal amount of funds from the UBEC/FGN fund totaling N3 billion, used for the rehabilitation/provision of classrooms and furniture, has paid off for the state as several public schools have benefited from this.
The above, combined with an order by the governor for the recruitment of teachers look set to give education a new lease of life in Oyo State.
For the agricultural sector, the governor was able to secure the approval of the state House of Assembly to access the N7.6 billion CBN loan for agriculture. The money, according to the state government, is to be used in converting the two farm settlements in Eruwa and Akufo areas of Ibadan to farm estates for the purpose of enhancing the Agriculture Value Chain.
This, it is expected, would help enhance the state’s internally generated revenue if well harnessed.
November Ranking (Read Here)
Governor Makinde took concrete steps in the month of November towards combating the menace of corruption in his state and by extension, the country, with the prompt signing of a bill establishing the Oyo State Anti-corruption agency, setting in motion the battle against wanton stealing from the public purse in the state.
The bill clearly domesticated the laws establishing anti-corruption agencies such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt and other related offenses Commission (ICPC). This is, no doubt, an indirect call to action on other state actors to do the needful.
December Ranking (Read Here)
Governor Makinde, once again, in December made the list of Top 5 governors in the country on account of his approach to governance. He showed that governance needs to have a human face when he promised and went ahead to pay, government workers in Oyo State 13th month salary, a practice largely found in the private sector.
In rewarding the efforts of civil servants in the state, Makinde gave them reasons to be encouraged and more committed to reviving the engine of governance.
In choosing the Oyo State Governor as the Nigerian Governor of the year 2019, the Board of Ripples Nigeria takes special notice of Makinde’s visionary and inspirational leadership, his sacrifices for the common good and prudence in the use of public funds.
Call to Action
While we admit that these rankings do not cover the entirety of governance in the states, and also acknowledge that they may not be a sure pointer to how these governors would end, we make bold to say that the rankings provide reasonable grounds for the assessment of these holders of the people’s trust. Therefore, the rankings must be seen as an opportunity, by both the leaders and the led, to promote improved governance. The governors must now begin to implement better policies and programmes for the people, while the people must now actively demand better standards. We are watching!