By ADEWUMI ADEMIJU Ado Ekiti
A former governor of the old Ondo State, Evangelist Bamidele Olumilua has said Ekiti State is yet to attain the expected growth planned for her at creation in 1996.
Olumilua made the statement while speaking to reporters in his home town, Ikere Ekiti, on Independence and 20th year of creation of the state.
The former governor, who explained he was not very popular at the time of the creation, being the governor at that time, said “the people thought that I was not saying they should create Ekiti, because I was governor of Ondo.
“I kept on telling them that Ekiti is one of the best combination in creating areas of governance. Ekiti has its own grace and gift Ondo has his own grace and gift. When we combine that, you get an answer to most of the problems.
“When we start from the sea, we reach on to the savannah. About three or Four types of forestation. At the sea end there, they have what is called hard wood.
“In Ekiti, we have Iroko. In the northern part, they don’t have that one.
“If we use what we have to the extent of what we are given. We would be one of the richest states in this country. We are the second largest producer of bitumen in the world. Canada has the largest.
“In Ekiti forestation, there is paper/ wood. Ekiti can produce newsprint This is not imagination. There is cement industry in Ekiti, but nobody cares to anchor the grace. If we were working on bitumen alone, making roads, everybody will depend on us.
“Bitumen comes pure as it is from the soil. Minerals are in Ijero,but nobody is working on it We have virtually everything, there is vegetation,wood soil We have not been able to anchor what we require to get what we want”
Olumilua however declared that was no end to the race yet, saying “we keep growing, until we get to a level where we have confidence.”
It would be recalled that Ekiti State was created, in 1996 (20 ago) during the late General Sani Abacha’s regime.
Olumilua in his assessment of different administrations so far in Ekiti, said: “I don’t rate them because they face different situations, different confrontations. For instance, this is another time now, about 26 states can’t pay their civil servants, it has never happened before.
“Problems come at a particular time to confront anybody who is in office, and you keep on trying to find a solution. They face different challenges at different times. Can I begin to compare myself with Papa Ajasin? What did you do and what was your plan? That’s what we can say. What did you achieve? ”
On Ekiti as a Fountain of knowledge, Olumilua explained that “God is the fountain of knowledge. To say fountain of knowledge means arrogating too much to oneself is arrogance. How much do we know?
The former governor, in his words on the Economic Recession said “It doesn’t just happen in a day, the Recession comes gradually, either you are over spending what you have or you are misusing what you have. Our attitude and orientation come to play in this matter.
“No investment in building factories and produce things that we exporting. What we are importing is more than what we are exporting. The central bank is suggesting that if we have opened the market up, things would get better.’
He explained that a standard couldn’t be set without understanding what went on, arguing that it’s known all over the world that the country had the most expensive legislatures- Senate and the House of Representatives.