Ekiti State governor, Biodun Oyebanji, has identified agriculture, tourism, digital technology, entertainment and sports development as critical to the job creation initiatives of his administration.
This is just as he disclosed that over N31 billion has been injected in terms of salary, gratuity and pension payments to rejig the state economy in the last 200 days he assumed office as the chief executive officer of the state.
Oyebanji added that his government has paid a staggering sum of N6.2 billion as a subvention to the state’s tertiary institutions geared towards strengthening the citadels of learning and making them competitive nationally and with their contemporaries in other climes.
Governor Oyebanji who stated these in Ido-Ekiti, Ido/Osi Local Government area, at a stakeholders engagement marking his 200 days in office asserted that his government has neither disappointed nor dashed the hope of the Ekiti populace in the last seven months of the administration.
He explained that aside from the payment of salaries, pensions and deductions regularly, another sum of $80 million from the African Development Bank (AfDB) would be injected into the local economy to create more jobs for the youths through the Ekiti Knowledge Zone that has just been granted Free Trade status by the Federal Government.
The event was attended by critical stakeholders like traditional rulers, traders, labour leaders, transporters, academia, politicians, community leaders, representatives of Parents Teachers Associations, among others.
Oyebanji further disclosed that the Independent Power Project started by the immediate past administration of Dr. Kayode Fayemi would come on stream in July to give uninterrupted power supply to government offices, institutions and streetlights in Ado Ekiti describing the amount being spent on diesel monthly as “unsustainable.”
He stated that a sum of N700 million has been approved to pay the gratuity of retired state workers and N200m for the local government retirees by May ending, while a grant worth N200 million has been distributed to 3,500 beneficiaries.
Reeling out the breakdown of the financial commitments he has made to solidify the economy, he said; “On State salary, N11.28bn has been paid, local government; N11.42 bn, state pension; N4.2bn, LG Pension; N3.70 bn, State gratuity; N200 million and LG gratuity; N235 million.
The Governor added that 500 Ekiti youths are undergoing training under the Ekiti Digital Economy Initiative to assist them in unleashing their potential and transforming their knowledge into wealth.
In the area of tourism, Oyebanji said his government has been investing heavily in Ikogosi Warm Springs Resort Centre, which he achieved through strong collaboration with the private sector to make the tourist attraction site more economically beneficial.
To propel investment and local business, Oyebanji promised to reconnect Ayekire, Ekiti East and Gbonyin local governments which have been in perpetual darkness for over a decade to the national grid within the next two months.