EKITI: THE PROPOSED AIRPORT, IMPLICATIONS, BENEFITS AND THE WAY FORWARD – CONGRESSMAN BIMBO DARAMOLA

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First and foremost, let me say I am writing this because all through last night (20th-21 October 2019) I kept tossing around on my bed. The much needed sleep took a flight .

Why? Over the past two weeks I have been greatly disturbed because of emerging realities vis a vis my beloved state

More importantly I am disturbed because my comments again will be interpreted by those who need to earn more epaulettes o their shoulders using me and my comments as the basis, those with ebbing relevance, those who need attention boost, will have another substrate to feast on, i.e bimbo is attacking Governor fayemi, Bimbo is not in APC and all the Bimbo this, Bimbo that, a la carte meal will be served hot.

So to put this up, I had ro struggle with this and my conscience, I wrote this piece and deleted, started again and corrected severally so that it does not come as an attack on Governor Fayemi, his administration, and APC, because that is not my intention. Little minds discuss people.

I know the cheapest thing for the latter day “JKFtokantokan” people is to latch on everything and give it closet interpretation of, oh its sour grapes, he needs attention, oh he is sulking because he did not get ticket blab bla.. well does it bother me? For where! I don comot for that lane.. allow me to flex.

But I owe myself this obligation as a “small” opinion leader, but equal joint stakeholder with the same amount of equity and stake in Ekiti state development, wellbeing and wellness project  and so it is a duty call for me to at least bring up what I may feel need to be given a second look by the administrators of our state at this time

In any case, I was in the strategy group for 8 years anyway, member transition committee in 2010, and the Governor knows I will always say what I feel may be worthy of being considered without fear and not keep mute because I want to be loyal!

Real loyalty is telling the truth, not “all correct sir”

I hold no grudges and no beef

Governments and Governors will come and go but that entity, people and geographical expression known as Ekiti will remain, like St paul I think said..” on this foundation I have built, let everyone be careful how he builds on it

In whatever we do today, let us be moderated by today’s realities and future imperatives, indeed these twi indices are the basis on which modern developmental agenda are premised upon.

No state or nation state can run on knee jerk approach rather  coordinated, realistic and factual, steady and well thought out steps

I am an Ekiti man first and foremost before becoming a politically conscious person, and a member of a political party, and of course political parties will always come and go, where are UPNs, NPNs, SDPs, NRCs, CAN today? But Ekiti is still there

The political party is therefore a vehicle to access power and power not for the sake of it but to impact lives of people.

I have bothered to say all these so my motive for pointing out these will not be misconstrued, though I know it will still, but after all said and done I have my conscience to please and almighty God to account to for my actions and inactions.

This is the backdrop against which I measure my present actions and measured all my actions when I had the opportunity to serve my constituency as member house of representatives and I did my little bit

So being out of government regardless of circumstance will not dim the obligation to show care and concern for what I believe may be  good or worthy of being looked at again, after all our state anthem say OHUN A BA JO RO NI .. OHUN A JO RO NI LEYE.

Ekiti we are informed has a huge debt overhang which is not exclusively from the present administration, and this is reality that has stunted development of infrastructure and manpower

I am scared and attempting further exposure to more loans regardless of how soft the conditions may be, may put us further in a dire strait

I appreciate the efforts of the present administration to turn around the  fortunes of the states in quick turn around time but realistically limited, nut any exposure to any loan that is not tied to short term regenerative projects will be counter productive, my thought.

I honestly think the idea of the Ekiti Airport may be good in the long term but in short  run and granted our parlous and perilous financial situation need a second look, particularly when it does not appear like things will change anytime soon

Airports are great investments! He prospect, but there must be justification in tangible terms, either for cargo or human, today I am not too sure that there us any compelling business consideration that will sustain the investment into an airport in ekiti. At least as at now and in minimum of five years, no airline will fly empty planes to appeal to sentiments

How many airlines fly into Akure today? Most times flying with a quarter of the capacity and today the cost of ticket, th passengers are complaining aloud at about 50 thousand naira

When Overland started, it was being subsidized by ondo and Ekiti states to sustain it, and today I think arrangement has collapsed, are we going to do that to keep the proposed airport with our present economic reality in the state?

No doubts I will like to fly into Ado Ekiti on my personal trips home, just as it will be for other Ekiti sons and daughters, coming home, and parents and students of our prized institution, ABUAD. (A big congratulations to Baba Afe and ABUAD on the occasion of her tenth convocation) but this goes beyond my preferred and personal guarantees of comfort and convenience but what is the short, medium and long term implication on the financial situation of my state.

I am inclined to think the present administration will be commended and saluted for wanting to pick up the  gauntlet to fix the road from Ado Ekiti – Akure (ondo state ) I really do not think Dr fayemi alone shoud fix it, his counterpart Governor of ondo state both of the APC extraction should come together as a matter of priority and fix that road in the interest of all

Ado –Ekiti to akure can be returned to 30 -40 minutes trip that it used to be growing up

If a little investment is put into fixing this road and turned into a good dual carriage we would have spent less compared to having to go borrow to fund and finance an Ekiti Airport.

If we do this we will be killing two birds with one stone , we would have saved our state additional debt over hang that will become a huge albatross on the neck of succeeding administrators of our states when the present one would have taken a bow, two the airport that we want to borrow to fund will serve less than 18 percent of our very rural population, but fixing the ADO-AKURE ROAD will serve more of our people commuting between that route on daily basis for economic and social activities.

What the privileged class will have to bear is 40 minutes driving time  and sharing the good road with us the  less privileged, in any case they will be in their lexus 450s ! So not much scenic view, appreciate our picturesque landscape dotted by the Olosuntas driving through ikere Ekiti.

Now I must also commend the Governor for signing into law the projects continuity bill,  though I have not seen the fine prints, the intention is noble to prevent abandoned projects, but the projects that will be passed over must be projects well thought out and not phantom, that will do us a great  deal of good in turning around the fortunes of our dear state.

With this law in place the stage is set for this administration to start thinking of a long term development agenda for the state, a plan that will be robust , coordinated, intergrated, systemic and pragmatic.

This law just signed is visionary, and the next chapter is what are the developmental issues that must quickly be on the front burner infrastructure wise? Social? Economic etc.

Prime  Minister lee Kwan Yew  transformed Singapore from underdeveloped third word to first world because of a robust workable developmental agenda that has kept Singapore in reckoning till this day long after he has gone .

Pau kagame is fast doing that today with Rwanda. We can do that with Ekiti, there will be Ekiti after Governor Fayemi,, and that should be of interest to all.

About two weeks ago the flooding that took over parts of the states and leading to the loss of homes, properties and I am told a life, should not be allowed to happen In another year from today, with a short term developmental agenda that takes care of that reality, because flooding most likely will get worse in the years ahead with global warming realities.

So there must be a strategic mapping of flood plains and path that can be worked on with a ring round drain duct and channel and path way to avert that in future. This will feature in the developmental agenda.

The two bridges that were affected two weeks ago causing major discomfort need immediate attention than the airport so that our state capital does not get submerged in the future, indeed the road fro ijigbo to ijan can go into the same  consideration like the proposed thought for the ADO-Ekit _AKURE road , though federal road too, nut we cannot afford to continue to imperil the lives of our people, who commute daily on this road. This is a road that does not do great credit to our prized institution ABUAD, founded by our foremost patriot. This is a major imperative.

Lastly the present administration came into government to restore our values “ will also do well to take on that frugality part of our values, by ensuring that the little that is available is stretched for maximum value to the benefit of all in short, medium and long term and this can only be done where we are constrained to cut our cloth according to our peculiar realities and to put in place very quickly a systemic developmental plan to boost the local economy, this is a must do NOW, the promasidor -ikun diary is in the right direction, but a lot more opportunities sure do exist, the N100 revnues projection around each okada rider will definitely not fit the vision of Ekiti state  that we desire to compete and do well in the 21st century

The time is rie for a more pragmatic review of the way into collective greater future as Ekitis

The stage is set for our own Lee Kwan Yew

A greater Ekiti is possible

#congressman #bimbo #Daramola

@23rd October  2019

#Abuja Nigeria

 

 

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