Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has urged that residents of the state and Nigerians to be thankful to God for surviving 2020.
He stated that though many Nigerians would describe the year as a tough one, God saw them through the various challenges that characterised the year.
The governor maintained that despite various events that set the state back economically, the state government was still able to record a huge reduction in infrastructure deficit.
Makinde said this in a 2021 New Year Address made available by his Chief Press Secretary, Taiwo Adisa, titled, ‘Let’s be thankful to God we survived 2020 – Makinde’, on Thursday.
He noted that though 2020 was characterised by drop in oil prices, which led to a huge drop in revenue from federal allocations and the attendant economic meltdown, the COVID-19 pandemic and the aftermath of the #EndSARS protests, among other challenges, residents of the state could still count their blessings.
He said, “Many would describe 2020 as a tough year. At the beginning of the year, the drop in oil prices led to a huge drop in revenue from federal allocations and attendant economic meltdown. In March 2020, many states in Nigeria had cases of COVID-19.
“This necessitated an interstate lockdown by the Federal Government. Although we did not effect a total lockdown in Oyo State, we were not spared the economic and social effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. A few months later, we faced mass protests by the youths and others who were angry about police brutality. Events after the protests also set us back economically.
“However, our 2020 is not defined by these events. Let me recount some of the blessings that 2020 brought us as a people.
“We continued working with our administration’s blueprint, the Roadmap to Accelerated Development in Oyo State, 2019-2023. And I am happy to report that we have continued to reduce our infrastructural deficit, slowly but surely.
“As at September 2020, we had recorded an Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of 25.6 billion Naira. And using the half-year figures, that represented a 26.4 per cent increase in IGR year on year.”