In a bid to move the state forward and bettering lives of the citizens, Oyo State Governor, Engr Seyi Makinde has sought partnership with the United States of America on Agriculture, Health and Security sectors.
The governor, while receiving the new United States Consul General, Mr. Williams Stevens, who paid him a courtesy visit at the Executive Council Chamber of the Governor’s Office, Ibadan, on Monday said that Oyo State will strengthen its partnership with the United States to deepen a mutually-beneficial relationship on security, business, entertainment, technology and good governance, among others.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, indicated that the governor was represented by his Deputy, Barr. Abdulroheem Bayo Lawal.
According to him, Oyo State government is looking forward to using the opportunities and mutually-beneficial partnerships between the state and the United States to better the lives of Oyo State residents and create an atmosphere where businesses can thrive.
He said: “You are all welcome to Oyo State. I am really happy that this visit is not about what we can do for you but about what we can do together to move the nation, particularly Oyo State, forward. So, thank you so much for that preface.
“Oyo State, under this administration, has four major pillars; Health, Security, Education and Economic expansion through Agribusiness and I am happy that even if you put us on a scale of measurement, we have scored more than 70 per cent.
“But we are not resting on our oars, as we believe we can do better. Through your assistance and help, we believe we can move the state forward.
“We really place high premium on agriculture. We also have a comparative advantage in land capital. So, there is no amount of enterprise on land that we cannot accommodate.
“Also, for us here, we know security is key and we have really deployed greater percentage of resources into security development. We have put in place, since the inception of this administration, an outfit called Amotekun. It will complement the efforts of our conventional security outfits – Police, DSS and others that are national in nature. “Amotekun is domesticated, localised and goes into the nooks and cranny of our communities to ensure our environments are safe.
“You must be aware while coming that people are talking about banditry, kidnapping along the stretch of Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. But Oyo and Ogun State government are putting arrangements in place to ensure that the stretch of the road is safe. As we speak, I can assure everyone here that the corridor is fully being secured by the collaborative efforts of the states involved.”
The governor equally commended the United States for its efforts in fighting HIV, stating that Oyo State has been working hard to reduce the prevalence of the virus.
Earlier in his remarks, the United States Consul-General, Stevens, said his country was poised to improve economic relationships and bilateral trade and work together with Oyo State to combat crime, while also partnering to prioritise Agriculture, Health, and Security among other initiatives.
He praised the government of Oyo State for setting the pace in the areas of healthcare delivery, among others, adding that the state’s parameters on HIV prevalence are already ahead of some countries.
Stevens added that the United States will partner with Oyo State and the Federal Government in combating trans-national crimes and ensure the security of lives and properties of residents, which according to him is key to creating a conducive environment for businesses to thrive.