Akin Ogunbiyi: My Vision is to Build an Economically Sustainable Osun State – THISDAY Newspapers

Dr. Akin Ogunbiyi, Founder/Group Chairman, Mutual Benefits Assurance PLC, is the governorship candidate of Accord Party in Osun State. In this encounter with THISDAY in Osogbo, Ogunbiyi, who describes himself as a “venturer,” unveils and throws more insights on his vision for the state if elected governor in the July 16, 2022 polls
Osun State which was created on August 27, 1991, presents a puzzling paradox in its over 30-year existence since it was curved out of Oyo State. Though, blessed with huge human and material resources like arable farmland covering over 9000 kilometres, mineral deposits, tourist sites, aquatic habitat, the state remains in the backwater of underdevelopment.
For instance, Osun State ranks third in the list of most indebted states in Nigeria, with over N200 billion debt overhang; receives a lean N1.7 billion monthly allocation from the Federation Account (due to deductions) and gThe resultant effect of the state’s huge debt burden and low revenue generation is that, successive administrations struggle to meet only their recurrent expenditures with very little funds left for capital projects.
With very few viable capital projects which come in form of future investments, Osun State is, today, the state of low productivity, unemployment and poverty.
The patriotic bid to change this sad narrative of economic downturn in Osun State has propelled Dr. Akin Ogunbiyi, an accomplished technocrat, entrepreneur and founder of Mutual Benefits Assurance PLC, to throw his hat in the political ring as the governorship candidate of Accord Party, in the July 16 ,2022 election.
 Ogunbiyi who began his electioneering campaign after his inauguration in Osogbo in April 2022, has now intensified his meet- the- people -campaign across the state.
And anywhere he visited, Ogunbiyi echoed the message of hope, assurance and his conviction of value-added leadership he intends to rigorously pursue if elected governor.
Ogunbiyi has also been consistent in amplifying that he won’t be a governor who will not add value in terms of enhanced productivity and empowerment; that he will re-engineer the economy to become more viable and  buoyant, a far cry from its  present comatose state. He said that as an entrepreneur of repute, who has nurtured the Mutual Benefits Assurance PLC into a conglomerate in past 25 years, spanning insurance, real estate, banking, oil and gas, agriculture, manufacturing, etc, he was ready to replicate that same feat in Osun State.
The lle-Ogbo-born and Obafemi Awolowo University, lle-Ife graduate of Agricultural Economics who described himself as ‘’a venturer who is always looking for opportunities to create and deliver value”, believes that he will approach leadership from an entrepreneurial and revenue -generating  mindset, and not just to  sit down and depend solely on monthly  federal allocation.
He affirms: “We must strive to end Osun State economy rallying around three services – civil servants, teachers and peasant farmers.”
Ogunbiyi who has unveiled his blueprint, promised to work in tandem with his Accord Party’s philosophy and manifesto, which is anchored on “corporatism, popularism and capitalism.”
He told journalists: “If elected governor, l will first and foremost, work to guarantee security of lives and property in the state. Since security is the main purpose of government, we will rejig the security architecture in the state to ensure better results.
“I am a transformational leader and l intend to replicate this in Osun State. By this, l mean l will pursue a policy of functional education and healthcare. Greater emphasis will be laid on education and health care services, because the two remain the bedrock of sustainable human development.
“We will invest on these two sectors to ensure sound minds, healthy and wealthy citizenry. We will also create jobs for our teeming but now largely idle youths. We will also do this by creating an enabling environment to will Osun State an investment-friendly state. If elected governor, l will also initiate and sustain an agricultural revolution in the state by utilising our vast arable land, not only to attain food security, but to generate huge revenue from the sector. We will make soft loans available for small scale farmers to produce food and crop crops and by so doing, provide jobs for many Osun youths.”
Ogunbiyi who harped on his resolve to tame rural-urban migration, promised to pursue massive infrastructural development in the rural areas and concentrate his envisioned agricultural revolution among the rural populace.”
He continued: “We will unleash our energies and resources to boost industrialisation in the state by maximizing the benefits of our vast mineral resources – gold, kaoline, lron ore, Talc, columbite, etc. located in different parts of the state.
“We will intensify the mining of these deposits at a commercial level that will be beneficial to the state. We won’t play politics with such revenue -yielding ventures or enter into deals that will short-change the state.
“We will also assist artisans, women groups and youths through skill acquisition and soft loans to enable be self-sustaining and become employers of labour.”
The governorship candidate further shed more lights  on his intended  programmes in the tourism sector, saying: “Osun State is one huge tourist site and such centres include Osogbo grove, ljesha waterfall, Erin annual Olojo festival in lle-lfe, among others.
“We will also pursue our tourism sector development by upgrading facilities at such sites and ensuring more private partnership, aimed at boosting revenue.”
On how his campaign message of a new dawn is being   received by the teeming Osun State’s voters, the frontline governorship candidate added: “My message of a new dawn is sinking into the consciousness of our people. Moreover, l am a house hold name in Osun State and beyond. Apart of Mutual Benefits Assurance, which has become a global brand, my instituted Aribiewe Foundation has continued to touch many lives across the state. The Foundation has assisted many people, families and communities.
“It has also awarded scholarship to over 100 students in secondary and tertiary institutions, in Nigeria and abroad. Many Osun indigenes see my philanthropic gestures as a selling point for my candidacy; they also believe that l am one person keen on offering selfless service to Osun State
“The people’s perception of me is evident given the fact that, everywhere l go, there is always a mammoth crowd and widespread excitement, which is visibly expressed by the warmth reception l receive, be it  in palaces or campaign grounds. “The people’s message is clear: They are in dire and urgent need for a new leadership in the state.”
To collaborate Ogunbiyi’s position, a middle-aged civil servant in lfe who simply identified himself as Adefemi, said: “l believe Dr. Ogunbiyi is the man to beat in the coming Osun State governorship election. He is a man who has a clear vision of where he wants Osun State to be in the next few years. He equally understands what purposeful leadership is all about. He is every inch prepared for the job; he is different from all others who don’t have a clear vision of what they want to do.
“With the crowd that fills his campaign grounds, the talks around the state is that Ogunbiyi is the most prepared and equipped for the governorship job. We all show he is most suited for the position. Ogunbiyi is unlike others who just want power first before thinking of what to do. He is already set to hit the ground running once elected.”  


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