Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde has disclosed a plan to decouple the state Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism.
Makinde, who gave these indications in his official newsletter, dated 29th June 2023, said that the Ministry of Information will now be headed by one commissioner, while another commissioner will head the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
The decoupling, he said, would bring the number of Ministries in the state to 18 as against the 17 that existed during the first tenure.
He said the move is part of efforts to enhance the optimal performance of the existing ministries.
The governor equally maintained that his administration will focus on tourism as one of the key sectors that will drive the state’s economy.
Makinde, in the letter, further stated that he will put his cabinet in place in the next two weeks, saying that names of other commissioner-nominees will be sent to the House of Assembly for screening and confirmation.
The governor equally noted that in line with his promise, the Light-Up Oyo streetlights, which went off for a few weeks, have now returned to being active.
He explained that the project will, for the time being, continue to use diesel generators until it will finally fall back on the ongoing tribrid power system – the 11MW Independent Power Project (IPP, which is ongoing) as the main source of power, with gas generators and inverters as a backup.
The governor said: “For me, having sent the first batch of commissioner nominees to the Oyo State House of Assembly, I know I now have just about two weeks to send the names of the rest of the nominees and have my cabinet in place.
“This promise will be kept just as all other promises we have made to the good people of Oyo State.
“You may have noticed that the street lights are coming back on as promised. We will continue to use the diesel generators to power the street lights for now so that our people can get the benefits of this infrastructure while we work on finally moving them to the tribrid power system – the 11MW Independent Power Project (IPP, which is ongoing) as the main source of power with gas generators and inverters as a backup.
“One of the other things we are going to do is to ensure that all our ministries function optimally. As you already know, Tourism is one of the sectors that we will be focusing on during this tenure to drive our economy.
“We will be decoupling the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism. So, we will have the Ministry of Information headed by one commissioner, while another will head the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
“This means that under Omituntun 2.0, Oyo State will have 18 and not 17 commissioners. Some may think that we should be reducing rather than increasing the number of ministries, departments and agencies at this time in order to reduce the cost of governance. But, after due consideration, we believe that the benefits of these adjustments far outweigh the costs, and Oyo State will be the better for it.
“With this, the Commissioner for Culture and Tourism will be better able to oversee the Tourism Board and extract the value trapped in that agency, while the Commissioner for Information will focus on communicating the activities of government to the people through the various channels we have made available.”
In conclusion, the governor said that the next few weeks would be exciting for governance in the state, adding that before the next edition of the newsletter, some commissioners would have been sworn-in, while the appointments of Executive Advisers, Executive Assistants, Special Advisers and Special Assistants would also have been made.
He, therefore, charged the residents to keep praying for the state and the entire country, saying he believes that “we will overcome the trying times with the ‘Nigerian can-do spirit and trust in God.”