It is no longer news that there are certain people ‘Concerned Citizens’ that appear to have an issue or issues with the Agribusiness setup in Oyo State. These people have taken aim at the DG of the Oyo State Agribusiness Development Agency OYSADA in some recent online publications which I have been following keenly since my outburst about the agency in an online publication on my Instagram account on 3rd Decemeber 2022.
Certain claims have been made online via different news platforms such as westerdailynew.com and oyoecho.com requesting the State government to set up a panel of enquiry to look into the activity of the agency headed by Debo Akande. One will wonder what these detractors stand to gain as the election is over and Gov. Seyi Makinde has won his second term. So why now, why OYSADA, why not any other ministry or agency?
OYSADA on their own part have since come out fighting with different articles to defend their position and to discredit the articles from their detractors which indeed confirmed to me that something must really be going on. Blogs such as goalpoacher.com, flowerbudnews.ng and oyotruth.com have since been employed to not only respond but fire back.
As a neutral observer who has been following the various articles on the OYSADA/Agribusiness topic from afar since some friends who went on the so called training in Nassarawa returned back without any serious form of engagements at neither of the state owned farm settlements or some sort of empowerments. There are so many aspects of this whole issue that is confusing and should be laid bare.
On the side of the so called ‘Concerned Citizens’, what exactly are they after, what do they stand to gain? They have claimed that there is mismanagement in OYSADA, what proof or evidence do they have? The must provide details. On the OYSADA side, the DG claimed that 600 out of 3300 youths from YEAP have been empowered, OYSADA should provide the names of these 600 and how they were empowered. This information will kill off the rumour being peddled by their detractors regarding this project.
The DG talked about the management staff in an article by Adewale Owoade “Gov. Makinde places Oyo State a step ahead of others on agribusiness development”. He clamed that IITA was responsible for funding the management staff of OYSADA, and that OYSADA decided to make do with two management staff even though it has the statutory powers to recruit more staff. This is where this gets tricky, is the DG saying OYSADA has only two management staff? This needs to be cleared. Why is IITA funding OYSADA staff, does IITA have shares in OYSADA or are they just helping the State out for free. Then who are the two management staff and who appointed them and when? The DG has left so many more questions unanswered.
Simple research into the staffing of OYSADA shows that the secretary of the organisation is a civil servant and there are several directors that are also civil servants. Are these not management staff, and are they being paid by IITA? The Western Daily News published a report on the 1st of April 2023 and mentioned a Mr. Peter and a Miss Gift, are these two people the management staff being funded by IITA? Who are the people giving their sweat and blood for the project to succeed? Are there people working for free in OYSADA? Are the pictures posted in the Western Daily News really from the Centre in Awe? If not the OYSADA must file an official compliant with the NUJ.
The Oyo State Independent Monitoring Group’s (OYSIMG) investig ative unit also need to provide information on the detailed and thorough investigation they conducted. What is being alleged has to do with mismanagement and misappropriation of funds, so the question is, did the investigators go through the financial records and contract award records of OYSADA, did they physically visit all the sites under the supervision of OYSADA for example Saki, Fashola, Awe. Who invited OYSIMG to carry out the investigation? Why not invite the Oyo State Anti Corruption Agency (OYACA) for accountability, credibility, and transparency?
AN ADVICE TO THE DG: To clear this issue the DG should showcase the work done in AWE, SAKI, FASHOLA for the public to see. Also, whenever the DG is representing OYSADA he should hold such meeting on an OY SADA site instead of IITA. This will shut his detractors up permanently. Further investigation is being done on this topic. It is important to ensure that the government of Gov. Makinde is not distracted from its good work. However, it is important to ensure that all the above is cleared up and facts are separated from rumours.