Gov. Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun, has emerged as 2021 DAAR Communications Outstanding Leader in Public Service and Citizens’ Welfare.
Oyetola was presented with the award at a ceremony on Monday night, attended by prominent Nigerians, including former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, lawmakers, politicians, clerics and traditional rulers.
Presenting the award, Mr Steve Omojafor, a former Chairman of Zenith Bank and an alumnus of University of Lagos (UNILAG), said that Oyetola, also a UNILAG alumnus had to contend with so many obstacles on his way to becoming Osun governor.
“Today, we are honouring Nigerians who have contributed immensely to the country’s development in one way or the other,” he said.
He said that DAAR communications had been able to positivity impact on Nigeria’s landscape and beyond, while leveraging on the experience of its founder, Chief Raymond Dokpesi.
Omajafor added that the place of the organisation in the country’s broadcast history was secured.
He lauded Oyetola’s achievements in office, adding that he had made UNILAG alumnus proud by what he had brought to bear in Osun in terms of fiscal discipline and good governance.
According to him, the Osun governor was given the award because of his outstanding performance and achievements, especially in the area of citizens’ welfare.
Receiving the award, Oyetola described it as an endorsement of the current All Progressives Congress (APC) led administration in Osun under his leadership.
He assured that the State Government would continue to live up to its billing as a responsive and responsible administration.
Oyetola said that having been in the private sector for many years, he came into political scene with a strong resolve to apply private sector results-oriented principles to fill the gap in governance to ensure that the people enjoyed democracy dividends.
“In Osun, the people are at the heart of what we do, our workers for example get their salaries in full as and when due.
“We may not be that buoyant, but we pay minimum wage. We pay pensions and gratuities regularly just as we are paying the arrears we inherited.
“We have restored the car loan scheme to our workers and they also enjoy our intervention in the sector among other welfare packages.
“Through the Osun Insurance Health Scheme, our workers contribute just 1.5 per cent of their basic salaries, while the government pays 3 per cent, making it 4.5 per cent as premium to enjoy quality healthcare services,” Oyetola said.
He added that the government had embarked on rehabilitation, reconstruction and revitalisation of 332 primary healthcare centres across the state to ensure easy access to healthcare services at the grassroots.
The governor said that over 300 of the healthcare facilities have been completed and put to use, while the rest were at various stages of completion.
“We enroled the vulnerable, including the aged and people living with disabilities into the Osun Health Insurance Scheme at free premium to enable them enjoy quality healthcare services.
“We feed 30,000 vulnerable persons on monthly basis through the Osun Food Support Scheme. We will soon be rolling out other specific support programmes for the elderly and widows before the end of 2021.
“We have provided loans and credit facilities to our people, including women and youths, so far, over 18, 000 Osun youths have been empowered through various schemes,” Oyetola said.
This, he said, included loan disbursement to enable youths and others in the state start new businesses and boost existing ones.
Oyetola said that the government inaugurated 350 Amotekun Corps and recruited 750 vigilantes, including hunters across all Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state to further enhance the security of lives and property.
He commended the DAAR Communications for the award and dedicated it to the people of Osun.
“The Osun people gave me the platform to prove that it is possible to run a state in a depressed economy without necessarily inflicting additional pains on the people,” he said.
Mr Tony Akiotu, DAAR Communications, Group Managing Director, in his address, took the guest through the journey of the outfit which started 25 years ago.
He said that the birth of AIT was to fill a void in the communication channel not just in Nigeria, but in the entire Africa.
He added that the DAAR Award was a celebration of excellence and the best among the best, saying that it was not organised to make money.
Chief Raymond Dokpesi, founder of DAAR communications thanked Nigerians for their support over the years, adding that the journey had been tortuous but fruitful over the years.
He expressed happiness that a number of radio stations came up after the AIT.
Dokpesi lauded former military president; retired Gen. Ibrahim Babangida for taking the bold step by deregulating the broadcast sector, noting that without the decision, there wouldn’t have been AIT.
He also commended former Gov. James Ibori of Delta, former Gov. Peter Odili of Delta and Mr Mike Ozekhome among others for their encouragement and support over the years.
“We took Nigeria outside the world and pioneered 24 hours broadcasting in the country,” he said.
The award was put together to honor men and women within and outside Nigeria who had distinguished themselves and had in one way or the other contributed to Nigeria’s development and had inspired others to greater heights.
It was part of events marking DAAR Communications 25 years of existence and the company is the owner of African Independent Television (AIT) Ray Power and Faji FM Radio Station.(NAN)