By: Abubakar Shuaibu. A
It is a longstanding tradition worldwide, whether in government establishments or corporations, for heads of governments or Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) to promptly appoint a Secretary of State at the beginning of their tenure. This position is widely regarded as critical for expediting government policies and programs, including providing leadership, maintaining order, ensuring economic security, delivering public services, and offering economic assistance, among other responsibilities.
The role of the Secretary to the Government holds significant influence in the functioning of the government. Recognizing this, His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello CON, the Executive Governor of Kogi State, also known as the White Lion, has carefully selected a highly capable individual to assume this crucial position.
Mrs. Folashade Arike Ayoade, a Ph.D. holder in Biochemistry and the first Fellow of the Mycotoxicology Society of Nigeria, has been chosen by Governor Yahaya Bello to serve as the Secretary to the Government of Kogi State (SSG). Hailing from Ifeolukotun, Yagba East Local Government Area of the State, she has proven herself as a diligent and accomplished professional.
Since her appointment in 2016, during the commencement of Governor Yahaya Bello’s first tenure, Mrs. Ayoade has played a pivotal role in the numerous achievements of the present administration. The office of the SSG has been instrumental in facilitating the successful collaboration between the government and various Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) to provide essential public services to the people.
To fully comprehend the strategic synergy between the office of the Secretary to the Government of the State and its collaboration with MDAs, it is crucial to highlight the office’s task of facilitating government policies and programs. This ensures the effective delivery of public services and the overall progress of the state.
The office of the Secretary to the Government of Kogi State serves as the primary Secretariat of the State Government. Its main role is to implement government decisions and policies effectively.
These responsibilities encompass the following:
- Preparing and distributing agendas for the State Executive and Security Councils, State Tender Board, and the State Intelligence Committee.
- Drafting memos and other correspondence on behalf of the government.
- Compiling the activities of various government departments for the Governor’s approval and during the transition of power.
- Processing correspondences from government departments, communities, associations, and other entities.
- Issuing appointment letters to political office holders.
- Monitoring and coordinating the implementation of government policies and programs in alignment with the New Direction Blueprint of the present administration.
- Evaluating the performance of commissioners on behalf of the Governor.
- Handling requests for duty tours and medical treatment of government officials abroad.
So, how do these objectives contribute to the well-being of the people under the leadership of Governor Yahaya Bello?
In the Kogi State Government New Direction Blueprint Vol. 1, page Xiii, His Excellency, the Governor, stated in the FORWARD:
“The Kogi State New Direction Blueprint, which you now hold, is an amplification of ideas that my Campaign Team consolidated during our brainstorming sessions. Upon assuming office, we engaged the expertise of the New Direction Blueprint Team, a group of consultants, to assist us in developing a comprehensive plan.”
By presenting these objectives in a more professional and engaging manner, it highlights the significance of the Secretary’s office in implementing government decisions and policies effectively. It also emphasizes the alignment of these objectives with the well-being of the people under Governor Yahaya Bello’s leadership.
I am pleased to commend the team for their exceptional work in matching my campaign promises and constructing the necessary technical infrastructure to deliver on them. The team has done an outstanding job of expanding the raw data provided and capturing the aims and aspirations of the entire population of Kogi State through empirical evidence from social research.
To effectively address the identified needs, we have categorized them into five thematic areas: Education for All, Health and Wealth, Job Creation and Youth Employment, Infrastructure and Utilities, and Productive Public Service and Pension Reforms. These areas serve as convenient platforms from which we can unload the comprehensive NEW DIRECTION Blueprint and launch action plans on a turnkey basis. It is important to note that these focus areas are interconnected and touch upon the work of all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies of Kogi State.
Furthermore, Mrs. Folashade Arike Ayoade, Ph.D, who is eager to fulfill the mandate of her office and facilitate the implementation of the New Direction Blueprint, has expressed her unwavering commitment. She is dedicated to ensuring that the dreams and aspirations of His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello, for Kogi State are achieved swiftly and comprehensively. Her office has already processed one hundred and eighty-eight (188) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and Contractual Agreements on behalf of the State Government, in line with the dictates of the Blueprint.
In conclusion, I would like to emphasize the professionalism and efficiency with which the SSG’s office has operated. They have diligently processed instruments seeking the State Executive Council’s approval, demonstrating their dedication to delivering promptly and effectively.
In a similar vein, her office successfully processed 507 memos to the State Executive Council. These memos were aimed at expediting action on the five Thematic Areas of the New Direction Government. Notably, the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on “Health is Wealth,” signed by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) on behalf of the State Government, outlined several key initiatives:
- The Ministry of Health will remodel and upgrade 10 General Hospitals.
- The completion of the Diagnostic, Imaging, and Comprehensive Laboratory Centre in Lokoja falls under the purview of the Ministry of Health.
- The Ministry of Health will oversee the construction of a Clinic for the School of Nursing and Midwifery in Obangede.
- A new hospital complex for the Central Reference Hospital in Okene is set to be constructed.
- The Ministry of Health will also undertake the renovation and remodelling of the old Hospital for the Central Reference Hospital in Okene.
To evaluate the progress made in achieving the goals set by Governor Yahaya Bello’s New Direction Government in the Five Thematic Areas of Education for All, Health is Wealth, Job Creation and Youth Empowerment, Infrastructure and Utilities, and Productive Public Service and Pension Reforms, as outlined in the Blueprint, it is evident that significant strides have been made. These accomplishments serve as a testament for those who may have doubted the government’s commitment to the well-being of the people of the state. Moving forward, it is crucial for successive administrations to build upon these achievements and continue working towards the betterment of the state’s populace.