Sulaiman Kazeem (Opomulero)
24 March, 2019

Firstly, it is conspicuous that Osun State has one of the lowest internally generated revenue in the committee of Nigerian States and that the monthly Federal Allocation the State receives has been unable to cushion the effects of the poor economy on the people of the State. This piece is poised at discussing the economy of Osun State - the failure of past leaderships of the State, from 1999 till date, and how the people themselves have also contributed to the present situation in the ‘State Of Virtue’.

In brevity, the economy of Osun State is one of the poorest in Nigeria, civil servants in the State have been receiving modulated salaries and the level of infrastructural development in the State does not commensurate with the monthly federal allocation and the huge debt on the State. Inarguably, the inability of the State’s leadership to meet its full obligations and responsibilities to the over bloated workforce is due to the unwillingness of the leadership and lack of strategic plans to revive the economy and to pull the people out of abject poverty.

In fairness to past leaderships of Osun State, it is important that we make a clear comparative of how they met the economy of the State, the state of infrastructure – Basic and Social amenities, their efforts to increase the performance of the economy - adopting economy stimulating models, and most importantly the status of the economy at the dusk of their stewardship. Unfortunately, this piece shall discuss it at a glance, because it is extremely difficult to x-ray the economy of the State, taking to the fact that none of past leaderships of Osun State was interested in running an ‘open government’ – where the people are well informed of the actual financial status of the State from the dawn of a new government to transition of another government.

Almost everything to include quarterly stewardship – state of the State, budget execution, debt profile, salaries and allowances of public office holders, allocations for infrastructural and human capital development, and monumental looting of State funds were all buried in secrecy.

Inarguably, Osun State has never been on the frontlines in the committees of States with robust economies and strategic planning to attain greatness, not even during the early post-colonial era and under military rule. The State has always taken the back seat and struggle for survival – because of the generational vacuum created by leaderships that lacked the political will to turn the fortunes of the State around and claim a place among frontiers of other prosperous States, and also the unwillingness of the people to drive the economy by themselves.

Hypothetically, Osun State was not designed to compete and become great – this became evident immediately after her separation from the old Oyo Empire, but there are others in this category who have surpassed Osun State through their dedication to growth and development. In Osun State, the case is different – the past leaderships did a little and waited for the monthly federal allocation which often times ended up in the coffers of certain individuals.

To be continued.

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