The Vanguard Newspaper has presented a nomination letter to the Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu for the award of the Governor of The Year 2019.
The Deputy Editor of the newspaper, Mr. Adekunle Adekoya who led other members of staff to the Governor’s Office, Alagbaka, Akure, said the Board of Editors of the establishment sat and examined the performance of the Governor for the award.
According to him, the newspaper found that despite dwindling allocation and scarce resources, the Governor has been able to spread developmental projects across the three senatorial districts of the state.
Adekoya said:”We are here to formally present a letter nominating the governor for the Award of Governor of the Year 2019. We didn’t pull this out of the air. It’s an annual programme of Vanguard Newspaper where the Board of Editors start examining the performances of key public figures and players in the private sector.
“The 2019 was very challenging and the search for people deserving our award was very hard. But despite the challenges we were able to identify key performance. In the south western part of the country we noticed Arakunrin, we know the profile of Ondo State. It’s in the public domain. Despite the dwindling allocation and scarce resources, the Governor has been able to spread projects across the state.
“Apart from that, we noticed that this present administration inherited backlog of salaries and pensions. What we are trying to achieve is to showcase the prudent management of scarce resources. This is not an open report, we are just highlighting a few of your achievements.
“Let me also say that no one from Ondo State influenced us on this , it’s out of our own volition. In fact, if anyone has influenced us , we won’t be here at all. So, we have now come here to formally present the letter and also formally invite the Governor and his wife and the members of the executive coucil to the programme holding on Friday March 20, 2020 at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos State.”
Responding, Governor Akeredolu thanked the Newspaper for taking time to see the work his administration has done and also deemed it fit to honour him with an award.
Arakunrin Akeredolu said:”When I got to know about this, I was surprised. My team at the Ministry of Information told me that there are some of your representatives that have gone round to assess our work. I knew from there that this is a serious thing. So many people brought letters for awards that I rejected but I know Vanguard is a very serious publication.
“I can assure you, if we have tried to influence you , you won’t be here. Whether in the confine here or outside in public, we will continue to praise God . The work that we have done , it’s God who have made this possible. There is no contractor that we have given money to start work. They must have done it up to 30 percent before we would look for fund to pay them. Most of our contractors and most of the works we have done, we have done it that way.
“When we got here , our IGR was between N700 million to N800million, today is over N1.5billion monthly. You spoke about how we have paid workers’ salaries and cleared backlog of salaries and pensions. It will take me time to owe workers because I believe they are entitled to their wages. And if we have some crisis they will know and they will understand.
“The NLC here has done so much and they are understanding. When they come, we show them, give them our books. We are still owing them one month and we will pay very soon. We should be able to do better , but we are limited. The state will get more funds when we have more industries.