Governor of the State of Osun, Mr Gboyega Oyetola said his administration would continue to prioritise the interest of students in the state and make them compete with their peers anywhere around the world.
The governor gave this assurance at the inauguration of the 2020 newly-elected executive of the National Association of the Osun State Students (NAOSS) held in Osogbo on Wednesday, January 15.
Represented by the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Prince Adebayo Adeleke, the governor said his resolve to give student attention was based on his belief that they are future leaders and have roles in building democracy and good governance.
According to him, for democratic governance to thrive, students must get engaged in elements that grow it and be at the forefront of fighting against all devices that stall democracy and good governance, adding that his administration has strategies in place for them.
While hailing the Osun students for being part of the movement to grow democracy and governance, the governor stressed that more is expected from them to be able to project themselves in a manner that is in tandem with Omoluabi ethos.
He said: “For as long as democracy is about number and youths constitute over 60 per cent of the nation’s population, students deserve to be regularly groomed in democratic issues for sustainable governance and development.
“For democratic governance to thrive, students must get engaged in elements that grow it, including registering for election, voting at elections, encouraging others to do so, organising events that grow democracy, and be at the forefront of fighting against all devices that stall democracy and good governance.
“Therefore, our administration regards students as the strength of the state and we have emplaced strategies to take care of their interests. We are renovating school buildings, providing instructional materials and honing the capacity of teachers at all levels, while we are also supporting our tertiary institutions to ensure quality education for our students.
“We are regularly paying the salaries of teachers and releasing the allocations of our tertiary institutions to make them function properly.
“We believe that when we give our students the best education, they will reciprocate the gesture by providing the service and ideals we need to grow and nurture democracy and good governance.
“We are also building institutions, cutting costs, plugging wastage, eliminating corruption, training staff on the ideal of transparency and enthroning good governance”, the governor stressed.
Earlier in his address, the President of Association, Comrade Teslim Salahudeen has promised the governor and everyone present that it’s new dawn in the student unionism in the state.
He said the era of violence has gone, while intellectual engagement to increase the capacity building and overall welfare of the students in the state will be the Hallmark of his administration.
Highlighting his five-point agenda, Salahudeen said his administration will strive to improve the welfare of the students, academic excellence, security, entrepreneurship spirit and also hunt and nurse to limelight, talents in the state.
The Chief Whip of the Osun Assembly, Honourable Tunde Olatunji said, while the government is making efforts to build the capacity of youths, youths must also be determined to make impact in building the nation, noting that they remain the greatest asset of the country.
Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Yemi Lawal assured that the government would collaborate with students and carry them along in decision making, with a view to guaranteeing the required development.
The Commissioner for Inter-Governmental Affairs, Taiwo Akeju and his counterpart for Women and Children Affairs, Olubukola Olaboopo tasked the student to remain focus, particular in their education and make impact in the development of the state and Nigeria in general.
In her message, Commissioner for women and children affairs, Mrs Olubukola Olaboopo encourage the ladies to always be ready to take mantle of leadership.
While giving his royal blessings, the royal father of the event, Oba Almaroof Adekunle, the Olufon of Ifon-Orolu, assured the incoming administration of total support to achieving its agenda.
He said he will work with other stakeholders to ensure that the Association has a secretariat as soon as possible.