Cost cutting has allowed Oyo state pay salaries
When asked the secret to how Oyo state has been able to pay salaries, the Governor said he had to cut costs. He not only still drives his personal car, he did not approve new cars to be purchased for the officials in his administration. Considering the uproar over the Nigerian Senate choosing to spend N5.5bn on new cars despite the state of the nation's finances, this was a prudent and necessary decision by the Governor.
Oyo state had over 60 bank accounts which he consolidated into one
"We decided to prioritise the needs of the people of Oyo State. Oyo State had over 60 bank accounts, I asked the Accountant General to consolidate into one account. The total was N6 billion. The IGR has gone up a bit, because we have blocked the loopholes but we will do more."
Oyo state didn't spend any money on Christmas decorations
Governor Makinde said the following:
"Oyo State government didn't spend 1 kobo on the Christmas decorations. It was funded by the usual 'Christmas gift' to the governor, that was what we used to pay for the Christmas decorations so it cost government nothing."
Implementing the new Minimum wage in Oyo state presents a fiscal challenge
On the matter of implementing the new minimum wage, Governor Makinde stated the reality of the situation for Oyo state:
"We have cut out a lot of wastage, to enable us fund everything which we have been paying for. On minimum wage, we set up a committee yesterday that will engage with labour. We have been open with incoming funds, and been transparent about government expenditure.
If we adopt the minimum wage, we know how much we need to pay for this but do we have the means to do it and at the same time carry out all the developmental works in Oyo State? We promised good governance and we are surely working on delivering that to all residents."
Too many Primary Healthcare Centers (PHCs) in Oyo state. Consolidation needed
The Governor said there are about 600 PHCs in Oyo state with many of them not fit for purpose. He said the benchmark for performance in delivering proper healthcare is the Oranyan PHC, located in Ibadan. His plans include consolidating the PHCs and making sure there is at least one functional Center per ward in the state. He also stated his plans to make health insurance more effective.
Street Hawkers in Oyo state are human beings that need to make a living
An Oyo state resident called in to the media chat to complain about Street hawkers and asked how the Governor planned to remove them. His response was as follows:
"Street trading will not be eradicated overnight. some of them are breadwinners, and that is their main source of income. I agree it's very dangerous. Our position is, we can't chase them off the street without an alternative.
The ones removed from Ojoo, were moved to the Akinyele trailer park. At scout camp, we reduced the rent for stalls and ordered installation of electricity, toilets etc. we have to be careful we don't take away their means of livelihood without offering alternatives."
The Governor also spoke at length about providing education and jobs in Agriculture for the youth of Oyo state, beefing up Security and reducing crime during the festive period, transportation and housing, opening up the State to more investment, the refuse disposal structure in the state, and other issues.
13th month salary and celebrating the Governor's birthday which is on December 25th
Ending the media chat on a lighthearted note, the Governor informed Oyo residents that his birthday is on December 25th (he will be 52) and they should buy Chickens and Turkeys to celebrate it in their homes along with him. He also announced that Civil servant 13th-month salaries would be paid by December 28th.