By ANDREW ESSIEN ABUJA
As Nigeria marks its 61st independence, Osun State Governor, Gboyega Oyetola, has praised Nigerians for their resilience and contributions to national development since independence.
Gov Oyetola who said the nation may not have attained some of its developmental projections since independence in 1960, it was however not stagnant as some incremental progress has been made.
Speaking with newsmen in Abuja, Oyetola who turned 67-year on Wednesday, expressed optimism that the current trajectory of governance at the federal level could turn around the fortunes of the country and restore its lost primacy.
When asked on his magic for regular payment of salary in the state, Oyetola said: “There is no magic. It is a question of defining your priorities, getting them right. I also believe that workers deserve their pay. Don’t forget that I came from a private sector background. I employed people in my company. As a matter of policy, there was no time I didn’t pay their monthly salary. So, I decided that moving forward, I must of necessity make the payment of workers’ salaries a priority.
“God has been quite kind. I look at my cash flow and define my priorities right. So, there is no magic, it is a question of creativity and set your priorities right. There is no magic in finance. It is nothing extraordinary but my background has actually helped me to able to look at some of these issues and define what I need to do at any point in time,” he stated.
On this year’s 61st independence anniversary, the governor said “I think by any standard, we have moved. We may not have attained the level that we are thinking of as a nation, I think we are moving. Comparing us with other nations that had attained the same independence as ours may not necessarily be too good enough because you are not too sure of what they have.
“We could do better given the level that we are now, particularly the efforts that have been put into running the affairs of the country by the present administration of President Muhamadu Buhari. I think we are moving. We are not stagnant.
“We are challenged. For instance, the issue of security is a big challenge but that is not only peculiar to Nigeria, we have the challenges in other parts of the world. But what is important is for you not to give up. I believe we are making progress, we may not be at the level which we are expecting as a nation but we are not stagnant. Nigeria is moving forward”, he stated.
The governor also thanked God for his benevolence all through the years, saying he feels good at 67.
“First of all, I want to thank you, almighty God, for sparing my life over the years till to date and for giving me very good health. I must thank my family too for taking good care of me. I think is the grace of God, we should give the almighty God the glory for being able to attain 67. I am very healthy. I have no problem with my health. So we thank God,” Oyetola said.