The African Union Economic, Social and Cultural Council (AU-ECOSOCC) has commended the Osun State Government for meeting the requirements set by the African Union Agenda 2063 Programme for infrastructural development in Nigeria.
The AU noted that each of the Osun social protection projects is in-line with the four key-critical sectors like education, transport and road networks, information and communication technology of the African Union.
This was even as the AU honoured Governor Rauf Aregbesola with an award of excellence in good governance and physical infrastructural, capital and human developments in the state.
The leadership of the AU-ECOSOCC gave the commendation on Saturday during a courtesy visit to Governor Rauf Aregbesola after the completion of the organization’s three-day Agenda 2063 Advocacy Project Inspection Tour of Osun, at Government House, Osogbo.
The organization commended Osun infrastructural development, saying it seconds to none in the country.
The AU-ECOSOCC Representative in Nigeria, Dr Tunji John Asaolu, lauded the Aregbesola’s government for paying adequate attention to details of the African Union as reflected in the various developments the state had witnessed in the last seven and half years of his administration.
Asaolu who was accompanied by the AU-ECOSOCC Head of Secretariat in Nigeria, Ambassador Chinwe Maduke; the Ambassador of Antigua Barbudi in Nigeria, Ambassador Wallace Williams and AU-ECOSOCC Attaché, Mrs Kamsi Onyeuche, said Aregbesola has breathed light to governance through his monumental achievements.
He described the Osun infrastructural development as unprecedented in the history of any state in Nigeria and Africa, saying Osun had recorded giant strides worthy of emulation.
Asaolu said the organization is proud on the Aregbesola’s achievements in all sectors, feats he described as unprecedented in the history of the state, Nigeria and Africa.
The AU-ECOSOCC official said the present administration in the state has justified the mandate and confidence reposed in it by the people of the state as seen in the efforts of the state to socioeconomic prosperity to Osun.
He contended that the state under the leadership of Governor Aregbesola has taken the lead in human and capital development as effected in the achievements the state had recorded over the years.
Asaolu who said the team were in the state to understudy, inspect and assess the good works of the present administration, acknowledged the Aregbesola’s government for meeting up with the international standard, specifications and expectation in all his projects particularly on the roads, schools, health, security among others.
He affirmed that Osun has followed to the letter the details of ensuring that her projects are not only pro-masses or African-focused but also impactful in the lives of the citizenry.
The AU official described Osun as a model in social investment programmes, adding that the state has justified the essence of her existence as a constituted institution and entity.
“The agenda 2063 is a continental framework and road-map for a prosperous Africa that is based on inclusive growth and sustainable development and we have to commend the Aregbesola’s administration for keying in to the actualization of the continental dreams of the African Union.
“The State of Osun has justified the essence of governance in all aspects of the economy be it roads, schools, hospitals, security, agriculture and other social intervention programmes.
”With what we have seen in terms of infrastructural development which encompasses roads networks, state-of-the-art schools, ultra-modern health facilities, state-of-the-art security hardware and apparatuses, support for the elderly, among others, are testimonials to difference Osun government had made in governance.
“Though we are here on inspection tour to confirm, understudy and assess the performance of the present administration in all areas of the economy, but so far, we are convinced by the monumental achievements made by this administration.
“We have seen infrastructural edifices designed all over the state to make life comfortable, abundant and worthy of living for the people of the state, this is a thing of joy for Osun, AU and the entire world as we congratulate Mr Governor for working towards implementing and fulfilling the Africa we want in our agenda 2063 which is the classic project of the African Union.
“Leadership is about the service rendered to God and humanity, this is exactly what we have discovered during our visit to Osun as the visit has cleared any doubt that this administration has not done anything.
“By our assessment and evaluation, we have found out that each of the Osun projects met the requirement set by the African Union 51 Programme for Infrastructural Development in Nigeria (PIDA) which are the projects that spread across four key-critical sectors like education, transport and road networks, information and communication technology.
“Mr Governor is being honoured today with our prestigious award, first of its kind, in recognition of his attention to details paid on the various legacies in the infrastructure networks which his government had installed in the state in a way that can be seen as a standard and benchmark for other states with the African member states.
“The legacies of your infrastructure development are clearly written on marble as innovative and authentic, though we are not surprised of these giant strides based on Mr Governor’s earlier political occupation when he was once the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructural Development in Lagos State, a position that adequately prepared him for this task.
“It is on record that Mr Governor was one of the great pioneers of model infrastructure in Lagos that made Lagos to be one of the inclusive summer cities in the world today.
“The AU-ECOSOCC Nigeria is proud to bestow her award on Mr Governor for his sterling quality which had proven him to be seen as a man of great vision and foresight, exceptional model, urban planner, pace-setter and pan-Africanist.
In his remarks, the Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, expressed profound gratitude to the leadership of AU-ECOSOCC for extending their hands of fellowship to visit the state.
Aregbesola said the visit and the award must be appreciated in view of the negative campaign against the good works his administration had recorded in the last seven and half years.
He described the visit as a testimony and vindication to the choice taken by his administration to turn Osun to cynosure of all eyes in the socioeconomic and political circles as against the sensational views of political traducers.
Aregbesola described as a thing of joy the legacies recorded by his administration which had attracted AU and other international organizations despite the mischievous and discrediting picture painted of the state by mischief makers.
The Governor explained that his administration has registered and invested infrastructure in the minds of his people as his government had built infrastructures that are not only enduring or impactful but that will last long.
According to him, “Your visit is a clear testimony to the fact that our administration has democratized governance, brought succour to our people in various forms and as well breathed life to where is lacking.
“We have built a huge population of virtuous people as our investment on social protection programmes has introduced our people to modern way of living”, he added.
Earlier, the AU-ECOSOCC Head of Secretariat, Ambassador Chinwe Maduke said the organization is not in any way disappointed but flabbergasted on the achievements of the Aregbesola Administration in the state.
While hinting the gathering on the purpose of the award bestowed on the governor, Maduke rated Aregbesola “as a round peg in a round hole” for the international honour.
“It is our joy as officials of African Union to commend the state for being focused and determined towards ensuring that the dividends of democracy are extended to the people, particularly the poorest of the poor, regardless of their socioeconomic status, political, religious and ethnic differences.
“Our visit to some of the state-of-the-art schools, hospitals, roads and lot more built by the Aregbesola’s administration shows that Osun has secured a better future for the people of the state.
So, we commend Mr Governor for his visionary and charismatic leadership quality which he had diligently displayed to take Osun out of the slums.
“As an international organization, we are proud of him, we are proud of the state, her people and the good works the state had witnessed over the years as we are ready to take a sample of these laudable achievements as prototype for others”, Maduke stressed.