The national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has stated sacrifices he made for peace to be restored the All Progressives Congress in Ondo State.
By Osagie Otabor, Akure
Tinubu confessed that he made himself available when some APC leaders in Ondo State sought to reach him before the party primaries to raise questions regarding Governor Oluwarotimi.
The former Lagos Governor said he didn’t make himself unavailable to hurt or insult anyone but because he knew the depth of character and the high quality of the Ondo APC leaders.
He spoke in Akure on Saturday where he commissioned the newly built edifice of the Ondo Internal Revenue Service.
Tinubu stated that true to his estimation of Ondo APC leader’s principles and political astuteness, they reached out to each other and worked together toward the continuance of progressive governance in the state under the banner of the APC.
His words, “I thank God that such a number of excellent and wide leaders are in our party. As such, Governor Akeredolu is the first among equals which means all of you must continue to dialogue and the door of consultation must remain open that our governor in his second term can rely on our collective wisdom to bring even more improvement to the state.
“Today, we have a united All Progressives Congress in Ondo. United toward achieving victory in the governorship election. United in the developmental work that must be done after the election.”
Tinubu said Governor Akeredolu has done more than talk development as well as dedicated himself and his administration to bringing development to the state.
He said Akeredolu has recorded several laudable projects including the Ore Industrial Hub, progressive agricultural empowerment amongst others.
The former Lagos Governor said Akeredolu would not have achieved such successes without the proper collection of taxes.
Tinubu stated that the withholding of allocation to the Lagos State by Obasanjo made challenged his administration creativity to be self sustaining and made Lagos now the fifth largest economy in Africa.
According to him, “Governor Akeredolu is to be commended for leading the state along this intelligent path of the agricultural revolution. As such, you should repose even greater confidence in him. There is no doubt that Ondo State will be better for it at the end of the day. He has also embarked on important social welfare programmes.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the wisdom of his viewpoint for we must do more to improve our public health system. Your governor has pledged to establish an efficient system where all the people in this state will be given clear access to basic health care. If we are truly intent on forming a progressive society, the government must lead the way in providing fundamental health care to those who cannot afford it themselves.
“But these laudable projects and ideas can only be realized in an atmosphere of unity of vision and action. Indeed, the governor cannot push forward nor can the state advance if there are division and dissension among us. Unity and adherence to collective purpose are hallmarks of progressive politics. Our ability to place the public welfare above our personal ambitions is what differentiates us from the political regressives who would rather that the general welfare suffer so they can fulfil their personal whims and wishes.
“As progressives, we must carefully tend to our bridge of unity. We must never allow it to break. We entered politics and governance to serve the people and this purpose should always bind us in ceaseless fraternity and togetherness. All true progressives must work towards this fertile unity and sustain that unity. With it, we can achieve the great things we see for this state and this nation. We can build a progressive society for ourselves and our children. Without that unity, we will forever be in a blinding fog, so much so that we will be fighting friend and foe alike because we will be too confused to know the difference between the two. This is no path to greatness. It is the path to stagnation.
“Lets us commit ourselves to progressive unity to bring forth a progressive society. There is no other way for this nation to go. We must bring all our people back under the same progressive tent. Our creed is one of public service. This service is blind to region, religion, ethnic group, or place of origin. We seek prosperity, safety, hope, and the tranquil enjoyment of life for everyone, for all Nigerians. No one is to be denied. No one is laid low or shunted aside. No one is to be broken. Those who have been broken or forgotten are to be welcomed and care for. Those in need are to be comforted and helped. This is what the APC is and what the APC shall always be.
“For us as progressives, tribalism, and sectionalism are not part of our working vocabulary. Those are the words of yesterday. We all must work together and forge ahead as one if we are to attain the country’s overall development goals.”
Governor Akeredolu said the new revenue house was built by civil servants in the state through direct labour.
Akeredolu said he appointed the Global Revenue Consultant to fortify the use of ICT in IGR which changed the narratives without the introduction of new taxes or extra burden on our citizens.
He said he increased the IGR from between N600million and N700million monthly to N1.5billion on monthly basis in 2018.
His words, “In 2019, we improved to N1.76billion on monthly basis and in the first quarter of 2020 before COVID-19 pandemic, we were able to further increase a monthly average of N2.2billion.
“In another unprecedented development, we recruited and trained over 400 young graduates as Tax Officers to bolster ODIRS workforce. These new staff are the ones seated over there.
“ODIRS has relaunched and reenergized the collection of Land Use Charges across the State and has been able to generate and share more than N400m between the state and LGAs between 2018 and 2019. ODIRS has also partnered with the 18 LGA Chairmen to collect Radio and TV licenses on their behalf. All the funds go to the Chairmen with only a small percentage retained as cost of collection.
“The idea of a new building complex was conceived to provide a conducive environment for Tax Payers and for Tax Administrators to discharge their duties in a manner that would enhance the capacity of officials. This dream has become a reality today. We have constructed and completed a new Revenue House Complex for Ondo State Internal Revenue Services on 12,000 square meters of land. There are five main structures in the complex. It will be my pleasure to you all round to see each of them.”