Gboyega Oyetola, the governor of the srate of Osun has said the state will explore mining and agriculture in the face of dwindling revenue and the need to pay workers’ salaries amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Nigerianjournal gathered .
Oyetola stated this while responding to questions during a webinar organised on Friday by a law firm, Ayodeji, Babajide and Lekan Partners, with the theme, ‘COVID-19 and Governance: Mistakes Made, Lessons Learnt and the Future of Governance in Nigeria.’
Asked how he intended to ensure salaries were paid amid the pandemic, he said, “There is no doubt COVID-19 has led to dwindling revenues. What is important is for you to be creative. We are diversifying. You cannot be looking at tax alone. We are diversifying into mining and agriculture.”
The governor highlighted that a major challenge the state had observed was the “numerous unmanned borders in the country,” which he said allowed access to the state.
He, however, added that since the Western Nigeria Security Network, popularly known as Operation Amotekun, was brought in to complement the efforts of the regular security agencies, there was no case of people sneaking into the state.
Other panellists at the event were a former Attorney General of Ogun State, Mrs Abimbola Akeredolu (SAN); and a former member of the House of Representatives, Dayo Bush-Alebiosu.
Akeredolu, in her remarks, expressed the belief that one mistake that was made in the response of governments at all state levels where lockdowns were declared was not making legal practice an essential service.
She said, “It was a great disservice and I wonder what the attorney generals were doing except they were not carried along”.
Bush-Alebiosu stated that, in order to build public sectors, including the health and educational sectors, there was the need to open up the country, saying, “I also feel that even when the government builds public utilities, they should be managed by the private sector.”
The former lawmaker added, “There is a need to gain the trust of the people to make them see reasons why they should stay in or return to Nigeria.”