#JKFeedback: Why Kayode Fayemi should continue his N549,000/month job in Ekiti – zebbook

Published:10 Feb, 2014

John Kayode Fayemi

John Kayode Fayemi

The Nigerian social media space is a volatile and very unpredictable community and those who saw N549,000 trending on the afternoon of Saturday 8th February would have had a hard time knowing where that figure came from. However, trending alongside this figure were the hashtag #JKFeedback and the official twitter handle of the Ekiti State Government @ekitistategov and keen observers were able to connect the dots.

#JKFeedback was an interactive session between Ekiti State Governor, John Kayode Fayemi, and prominent bloggers and activists from across Nigeria. Ogunyemi Bukola used the opportunity of the no-holds-barred discussion to ask the governor how much his salary is, and for the first time in Nigeria’s history, an elected public official declared his earnings. JKF, as he’s popularly called, said he earns N549,000 monthly without allowances as he lives in the government house and enjoys all the amenities for free.

That declaration threatened to overshadow other happenings at #JKFeedback, but what turned out to be the first truly independent assessment of any government by the Nigerian public was much more than that.

I got the email invite to participate in #JKFeedback from Funmi Ajala of the Digital Media Unit of Ekiti State. Taking bloggers and activists from across the country to Ekiti to assess JKF’s works initially sounded inappropriate. The people of Ekiti voted him, not us, and as such they should have the final say on whether their governor has performed well or not. The people of Ekiti do have the final say on this matter, but not the only say. Indeed, part of our job in Ekiti was to sample opinions of the people there on how well they think JKF has performed.

We got to Ikogosi Warm Spring and Resorts on Thursday, 6th February, and if anyone said you shouldn’t blow your own trumpet, Fayemi has not heard, or does not agree. Right there on the bed in each room were bags containing print materials detailing the achievements of his three and a half year old administration. On Friday, we went on a tour of Ekiti State, visiting 12 out of the 16 local governments in the state. We were taken to sites of completed and ongoing projects embarked upon by the administration, visiting schools, hospitals, dams and farms while assessing the quality of the roads and other infrastructure across the state. Saturday was the discussion proper, and the governor came three hours late and left earlier than he should have.

At his inauguration on October 16, 2010, Kayode Fayemi promised the people of Ekiti State to “democratize governance, modernize agriculture, improve on infrastructure, promote free and qualitative education towards the development of functional human capital, provide free health and social security to the disadvantaged sectors of the state, ensure industrial development, promote tourism and sustainable development and promote gender equality and women’s empowerment”. This 8-point agenda forms the basis of my assessment of his administration.

On the democratization of governance, two things stand out for me. One, Ekiti State senators pool their constituency project funds, N200 million each, to finance specific projects in the three senatorial districts of the state. N600 million every year for the past three years has ensured the execution of projects in tourism, agriculture and water provision, one of which is the provision of 1,700 hectares of irrigated land in conjunction with UNDP and FAO. I have not heard of any other state in Nigeria in which this is happening. Also, I am impressed by how diligently local governments have kept to the governor’s mandate of constructing at least 5km of roads every year. This has ensured the construction of at least 15km of local roads in each of the 16 local governments in Ekiti State since Fayemi became governor. Also, from our tour guide on Friday, to the commissioners who briefed us on Saturday, everyone had insight into the vision, and facts and figures on the achievements, of Fayemi’s administration.

On the modernization of agriculture, Fayemi said his vision is to “revive cocoa plantations to make Ekiti again a world leader in cocoa production; make agriculture contribute 50% of internally generated revenue; have 20,000 Ekiti youths trained and employed in mechanized agriculture by 2014.” I did not see a single cocoa plantation in Ekiti during my stay there, but records have it about 860,000 cocoa seedlings are being cultivated across the state. I visited cassava plantations and according to the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor, Egghead Odewale, the Youth Commercial Agriculture Development (YCAD) programme is in full swing but we were unable to get to any of the farm sites in which 250 young people under the scheme are employed. Agriculture equipment worth N57 million distributed to rice farmers, purchase to 20 tractors at N150 million, provision of micro-credit facilities to over 200 farmers are initiatives executed by the government.

On improvement of infrastructure, 902 federal, state and local government roads have been rehabilitated, each local government has constructed 5km of road every year for three years, and the state government has constructed about 1200km of roads since 2010. I should add that Ekiti State has arguably the best road network in Nigeria and in our tour of 12 local governments, we didn’t come across more than 3 bad patches of road while massive construction of bridges is ongoing in different parts of the state to replace the narrow and dangerous ones inherited by the Fayemi administration. Also, 100 transformers have been distributed to communities and N600 million have been goven to 176 communities to execute different projects.

On the promotion of free and qualitative education towards the development of functional human capital, Governor Kayode Fayemi’s administration has renovated all the 183 secondary schools in Ekiti State and has procured and distributed over 30,000 Samsung solar laptops to students and 18,000 to teachers of senior secondary schools in the state. Also, Ekiti has the best pay package for teachers in public service in Nigeria while those in the rural area get 20% of the basic salary more. Bursary funds for students of higher institutions of the state has been increased from N5,000 to N10,000.

On the provision of free health and social security, we were able to visit the site of the new general hospital in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital and the Cancer Diagnosis Centre built in honour of Mrs Funmilayo Olayinka, the late Deputy Governor of the State. About N100 million has been spent on medical assistance to needy patients, and another N38 million on indigent patients and physically challenged people.

On tourism and industrial development, I first visited Ikogosi Warm Spring in 2006 as a 200 Level OAU student before going back there last year and then over the weekend, and I am impressed by Kayode Fayemi’s vision and tenacity in turning what was essentially a bush into one of the most exotic holiday places in Nigeria at a cost of N1.5 billion. We were not opportuned to visit any industrial site in Ekiti State during our tour.

On the promotion of gender equality and women’s empowerment, it was refreshing to know that under Kayode Fayemi, Ekiti State has made strict laws against domestic abuse and violence against women, the state has halfway houses, a family court and other support systems for victims of rape and other forms of abuse, while the rights of widows and the girl child are protected. Ekiti State is also the first, and perhaps still the only, state in Nigeria to maintain a register for sex offenders.

However, much more needs to be done. I am unimpressed by the state of primary health facilities in Ekiti and I would have expected Governor Fayemi to issue a mandate to local governments in this regard as he did with roads. I have it on good authority that a single doctor oversees 6 primary health facilities in Erijiyan and Ikogosi, and that doctor is there on youth service. There are cracks in the walls of the Funmilayo Olayinka Cancer Centre which was opened in October last year, suggesting shoddy work by the contractor.

Also, Governor Fayemi was defiant on the effective execution of his laptop initiative, but as Opemipo Adebanjo noted, there is a school in Erijiyan where the laptops are gathering dust in the principal’s office and the teachers claim they weren’t trained on the use of these gadgets, and the students do not know how to use Microsoft Word.

In agriculture, the development of irrigation sites at Ero, Egbe and Itapaji dams should be given more attention. More needs to be done about the vision of making Ekiti one of the world’s leading producer of cocoa. Also, more attention should be given to the production of cash crops like oil palm and cashew through YCAD. This should then roll into the industrial development agenda through the establishment of processing plants for agricultural produce. There are only 6 women in the 29 member state executive council, in a state where women are the majority. This is totally unacceptable and I hope the governor makes good his promise to Rinsola Abiola on correcting the imbalance in his second term.

I am not swayed by Governor Fayemi’s attempt at turning my purely economic question on the disparity between the state’s IGR and monthly salary expenditure into an ideological battle between socialism and capitalism. While I commend his efforts at increasing IGR by more than 400%, from N140 million in 2011 to about N600 million in 2013, I am worried that he has failed to balance welfarism with economic sustainability. The sad truth is that Ekiti State cannot pay its workforce and finance its welfare and social security programmes until Abuja credits its account with the monthly N3 billion allocation. I hope Governor Fayemi’s efforts at attracting investments into the state through the provision of tax breaks and other initiatives as stated in the Agusto Report yield positive results over the next couple of years to enable the state attain financial independence.

Egghead Odewale wouldn’t agree with me that Kayode Fayemi’s administration has focused more on infrastructure than any other item on its 8 point agenda but that is the reality I observed. I will take the positives from that by saying Fayemi, by the provision of good roads, has opened up Ekiti for economic development, especially through agriculture and tourism.

I am impressed by how prudent and transparent Kayode Fayemi has been in the execution of projects in Ekiti State. Contracts are awarded at very modest and verifiable amounts, an example being the laptop project in which each unit costs about N60,000. Also, while I await the confirmation of his pay slip, I salute his bravery in openly declaring his salary and that of his commissioners. And I hope he has not joined the league of corrupt Nigerian politicians who eat their yam with palm oil from public pots. It would be heart-breaking for some of us who see him as an exemplary leader in the rot prevalent in Nigeria’s political space.

Kayode Fayemi has done well over the past three years and I urge the good people of Ekiti to give him a chance to continue the good work he has started by voting him as their governor for a second term. I urge them to be vigilant and hold him accountable at all times. As he goes about his campaign, visiting cities, towns and villages in the state, he will make promises and commitments, and they must hold him to these from day one of his second tenure.

My name is Ogunyemi Bukola (@zebbook), and I endorse John Kayode Fayemi for a second term as governor of Ekiti State.

Related Posts

Recent Posts

BREAKING: Wife of Nigeria’s Central Bank Governor, Emefiele, Kidnapped.

We have learned that a group of heavily armed kidnappers yesterday abducted Margaret Emefiele, the wife of Nigeria’s Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele.   A source close to Mr. Emefiele told our correspondent that Mrs. Emefiele was kidnapped along the Benin-Agbor Road. Our source disclosed that the kidnappers have made contact with their victim’s husband, adding that they were demanding a huge sum in ransom.   Mrs. Emefiele’s kidnap represents one of the most high-profile kidnap cases in 2016   Our effort to reach the...

EFCC Opposes Fayose’s Request For N5 Billion Damages

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has urged a Federal High Court sitting in Ado Ekiti to reject Governor Ayo Fayose’s request for N5 billion damages over the freezing of his personal bank accounts at Zenith Bank. The anti-graft agency through its counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, at the resumed hearing of the suit on Friday urged the court to strike out Fayose’s further affidavit in response to its (EFCC’s) affidavit filed without leave of the court. The...

New Jersey Train Wreck Shocks Nation

A commuter train crashed into one of the busiest train stations in the New York area during the morning rush on Thursday, killing at least one person, injuring dozens of others and creating a scene of chaos and destruction, the authorities and witnesses said. The crash occurred around 8:45 a.m., when a commuter train slammed into the Hoboken Terminal building, Jim Smith, a spokesman for

Ayade To Buratai: We Need Heavy Military Presence In Cross River

Governor Ben Ayade of  Cross River State on Wednesday demanded heavy presence of the military in Calabar, in order to sustain peace in the state. He made the appeal when the Chief of army of  staff COAS, Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai paid him a courtesy visit in Calabar. Represented by his deputy, Prof Ivara Esu, Ayade applauded the COAS’s sterling leadership qualities, describing him as a delight in Nigeria’s Armed Forces.

Putin Signs Decree To Draft 152,000 Men Into Army By Year-end

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree to draft 152,000 young Russians into the Russian army before the end of the year. Government spokesman said on Friday in Kremlin that the military draft would be carried out from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31 concerning Russian citizens aged 18-27 who are not in reserve and are subject to the military draft under the law. He said that in accordance with the law,...

FG To Disburse N200m Each To 8 States To Empower Women

The Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Aisha Alhassan, said N200 million would be disbursed to eight pilot states each through the National Women Empowerment Fund (NAWEF) to empower women at the grassroots. Alhassan said this during a media briefing on the take-off of the National Women Empowerment Fund (NAWEF) and the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) in Abuja. She said the eight pilot states are Adamawa, Borno, Yobe, Nasarawa, Jigawa, Akwa...

Tight Monetary Policy Will Help Stabilise Naira, Attract Foreign Investors- World Bank

The World Bank has sanctioned Nigeria’s tight monetary policy environment, saying it would help stabilise the naira, strengthen real interest rates, and encourage a return of international investment in the economy. The Bank also stated that Nigeria’s exchange rate adjustment which was effected in June this year, coupled with the modest improvement in oil prices would help boost the country’s oil revenues in naira terms. This, in turn, should enable the federal and state governments...

I Will Continue To Blame My Predecessors For Nigeria’s Woes– Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday said despite the criticisms of many, he would continue to blame his predecessors for Nigeria’s woes. He said passing the buck, which people have been frowning at, was important in order for Nigerians to know what went wrong with the country. Buhari spoke at an event tagged, “The Conversation: An evening with creative youths,” held inside the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The event, attended also...

Egyptian Lawmaker Ridiculed For Proposing College Virginity Tests

An Egyptian member of parliament is facing ridicule for saying that universities should perform virginity tests on female students. Elhamy Agina reportedly told an Egyptian newspaper on Thursday that virginity should be a prerequisite for admission to university. He argued that it would help to end the practice of unregistered “customary” marriages that appeal to Egyptian youths who cannot afford formal weddings.“Any girl who enters university must be examined to prove she is a maiden,”...

How Abba Moro, Others Cut Cost Causing NIS Recruitment Tragedy– Witness

Despite raking in about N1 billion from sale of forms, only N45 million was released for the conduct of the tragic 2014 immigration recruitment exercise, a witness told the court on Friday Tabugn Sylvanus, a retired Director and Secretary of the Board of the National Immigration Service, NIS, said N201 million was actually required for a proper conduct of the exercise. Mr. Sylvanus also told the Federal High Court that a last minute adjustment made...

MTN Allegedly Lays Off Over 4000 Contract Staff

MTN Nigeria laying off Contract Staff without been paid their full salary. No gratuity, no pension, no thank you mail to people who have spent at least 5 years to like 14 years of their life. They did the worst last week by telling them to do photocopy of their ID cards and return the main ID'S with the staff left with a sheet of paper without been paid and still expected to work. They also harassed the contract staffs...

75,000 Children Could Die In Nigeria In 2017 – UNICEF

U.N. Children’s Fund warns that about 75,000 children will die next year in Nigeria. The horrible prediction is based on famine-like conditions created by Boko Haram if donors don’t respond quickly. The Fund stresses that’s far more than the 20,000 people killed in the seven-year Islamic uprising. Arjan de Wagt, nutrition chief for UNICEF in Nigeria, notes that the severity of malnutrition levels and high number of children facing death make the humanitarian crisis confronting northeastern Nigeria perhaps the worst...

UNILAG Shut Over Students’ Protest

The authorities of University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, have ordered the closure of the gates of the main campus at Akoka due to protest by students. The aggrieved students were said to be protesting against the rustication of some members of the students' union. The rusticated students were leaders of the students body that led a protest in April over poor electricity and water supply in the community, and the difficulty faced by a large number of students living off campus...

Jumia Nigeria Is Launching Jumia Local To Sell Made-In-Nigeria Products

Jumia Nigeria is marking Nigeria’s 56th independence day anniversary this year by introducing an online store dedicated to products made in Nigeria. They’re calling it Jumia Local and the official launch is this Saturday, October 1, 2016 . Jumia Local is Jumia’s way of supporting local entrepreneurs and brands that manufacture or assemble their products in Nigeria. Merchants on the site will be able to sell their products on at 0% commission, and their products will be promoted through Jumia’s...

2face Becomes ‘Violence Free’ Ambassador

Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, has appointed pop singer, 2face innocent Idibia, ace comedian, Gbenga Adeyinka 1st and entertainment entrepreneur, Cally Ikpe as the ambassadors of his new initiative, Violence Free World. The revered monarch disclosed this on Thursday at his palace. “I want to stress that you should understand that this role you are given should not be taken with a pinch of salt. You have all shown exemplary acts in the...

Oshiomole has given Edo state a worthy successor – Timipre Sylva

Former governor of Bayelsa State and All Progressives Congress candidate in the last governorship election in the state, Chief Timipre Sylva, has congratulated Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, Governor-Elect Godwin Obaseki, and the people of Edo State on the victory of APC at the 28 September governorship election.   In a congratulatory message on Friday in Yenagoa signed by his media adviser, Mr. Doifie Buokoribo, Sylva specially praised Oshiomhole for “a worthy cause to deliver a worthy successor to the...

FG to Pay States On Rehabilitated Roads – Fashola

The Federal Government is set to pay states that have used their resources to rehabilitate federal roads in their areas. Speaking Thursday in Katsina State, Minister of Power, Works, and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, said President Muhammadu Buhari has assured to pay the debt. Fashola, who was speaking at the 22nd meeting of National Council of Works, said a committee was set up under his leadership and recommendations have been made to the government on...

Edo Elections: My View – Inibehe Effiong

It is clear from the just concluded gubernatorial election in Edo State that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has devised an intelligent policy in order to uphold the integrity of elections and the Card Reader. INEC has resorted to cancelling results from polling units where the total votes cast exceeded the total of voters accredited by the Card Reader. This practically leaves those opposed to credible elections with the aid of the Card Reader with a fait accompli. By...

Again, SSS Fails To Produce Dasuki In Court.

The Federal Government has again failed to produce the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, before an Abuja High-Court for trial. Mr. Dasuki is accused of money laundering and corruption. He was charged along with five others before Justice Peter Affen, and was granted bail. He was re-arrested and kept in custody of the State Security since December 2015. Others being prosecuted along with the former NSA include a former Director of Finance in the Office of the NSA, Shuaibu Salisu, a...

Oil Prices Surge 6% After OPEC Cuts Production For First Time Since 2008

The world's leading oil nations - known as Opec - have struck a landmark deal at talks in Algeria that sees the countries agree to cut output and lift prices. Oversupply has been dogging the world's oil markets and hopes are that the first deal between the nations since 2008 will mark the end of the 'dumping' strategy previously favoured by the organisation's members. Immediately after the deal was agreed oil prices rose, with Brent Crude - the international benchmark -...

Edo Election outcome, Chief Don Etiebet Speaks.

This is a great achievement of the PMB administration. With good elections like this the road to enduring democracy, good governance, progress, development, peace and unit is constructed as politicians would now go to the people to get that one vote that can be decisive and so attain to them in office, not “godfathers”.   I’m so happy seeing the results of this election in Edo. With all the hype, tension and acrimonies there was no violence, no deaths and no...