Akeredolu Bags ‘Advocate Award Of Year’

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By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna

Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, has been conferred with an ‘Advocate Award of the Year” by the National Association of Social Workers (NASOW).

The association, honoured the Governor at its 37th Conference/General Meeting held on Friday in Lagos.

NASOW stated that the rationale for the award bestowed on the Governor was due to his numerous life-transforming projects and programmes executed by his administration aimed at uplifting the standard of living of people in the state.

Speaking at the conference, Gov. Akeredolu reiterated his administration’s resolve towards the betterment of people living in the rural areas in the state.

Akeredolu who is also the Chairman of the South-West Governors’ Forum, promised the residents of the state an enabling environment through the provisions of basic comforts in spite of the harsh economic situation in the country.

The governor who was represented by his Special Adviser on Rural and Community Development, Hon Kolawole Babatunde, said his government has been doing everything possible to mitigate the harsh effects of the economy on lives by investing in its diversification and improving macroeconomics to keep the nation afloat.

“Our government in Ondo State is being conscious of the fundamental objective of the state which is the provision of sustainable livelihood for her citizenry and we have been very deliberate in the crafting and design of impactful programmes for our people since 2017.

“The fact that your association (NASOW) noted some of the things we have been able to do in this respect is quite gratifying and heartwarming, and this will spur us to do more.”

He disclosed that his administration’s commitment to rural and social development was very clear from inception saying this is apparent in the creation of a full-fledged Directorate for Rural and Community Development in addition to the existing Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development.

The Governor said that the impact of his government had been significant in the health, educational and agricultural sectors, saying “our development agenda and plans gave prominence to rural and social development.”

He disclosed that “over 1,200 teachers were recruited about six months ago and were posted to our rural schools upon his specific instruction to fill the acute shortage of teachers in rural schools.

“In the area of Agricultural Development and Extension Services, particular attention have been paid to the needs of our rural communities. In the health sector, there is an average of three Basic Health Centres in each political ward in the state and these facilitate easy access to qualitative health care for our people.

He said over 200 projects have been executed by the Community and Social Development Programme (CSDP) during the life span of the present administration, while he also expressed the present administration readiness to ensure that the state is one of the 13 participating states in the Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project (RAAMP) initiative.

The Governor said, “the project was meant to transform our rural communities through the construction of 700km of community roads which would aid accessibility to our farms and from the farms to markets.”

He, however, said his government is conscious of the fact that there cannot be any meaningful development in an atmosphere devoid of peace and said his government has been giving priority to the security of lives and property of our people.

Akeredolu said: “In order to counteract the disruptive effect of criminals to our farming and business activities in our communities, our government established the Amotekun Corps, the Western Nigeria Security Network. I am happy to inform you that our Amotekun Corps have recorded outstanding results and the activities of these criminals have been nipped in the bud.

“In the same vein, our government have signed into law the Anti-open Grazing Law to prevent criminal herdsmen from using their cattle to destroy our farm produce.”

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