Oyo: Open Salawu elevated to position of DG, heads strategic agency

Oyo: Open Salawu elevated to position of DG, heads strategic agency 

Khalid ABRAHAM

Engr Muftau Open Salawu, a top notch in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has been appointed as Director General of a strategic agency, newly created by the Oyo state governor, Engr Seyi Makinde.

The new agency, Oyo State Project Monitoring Agency Bill of 2024, was signed into law by Governor Makinde, Thursday, after it was passed by the Oyo State House of Assembly.

Governor Makinde signing the bill Thursday under the watchful eyes of top functionaries of his government. Engr Open Salawu is third from right

Until now, Engr Open Salawu was Executive Assistant on Project Monitoring to the Governor.

The state’s helmsman wrote on his Facebook wall (Seyi Makinde), “We believe that project monitoring, being an important part of project execution should not be on a disjointed basis.

“This new agency will work to ensure that Oyo State gets value for public funds spent on projects.

“In my remarks, I thanked members of the Oyo State House of Assembly for their collaboration with our administration to ensure that the Oyo State Government continues to deliver good governance to our people.”

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During the ceremony earlier, Governor Makinde disclosed that his administration met a Bureau of Public Procurement and Governor’s Monitoring Team on ground when it came on board in 2019, noting however that there was no value for money paid on projects.

He thus expressed his desire to leave a legacy of strong institutions “so as to ensure that the state continues well into the future.”

He said, “People ask me what will be my legacy? Our legacy will be the institutions that we are able to create to ensure that Oyo state will continue well into the future to enjoy good governance.

“We do not want strong men or strong governors but strong institutions that will stand the test of time. So, this is one of the institutions that are being created.”

Speaking about project monitoring, Governor Makinde remarked, “We must extract value for the people of the state. So, this is one institution that will ensure that values are extracted for our projects in terms of schedule and quality.”

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The governor lauded the House of Assembly for demonstrating togetherness and working hand in hand with the executive to ensure that the people of the state have value for their money.

“Let me use this opportunity to say thank you to the House. It is a demonstration of the togetherness between the legislature and executive arms of government. This is Oyo state and this is how we will continue to operate,” he added.

Speaking earlier, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Adebo Ogundoyin, said the House was excited about the Bill, stating that the Assembly is confident that the agency will work in partnership with the Assembly, as project monitoring is part of the lawmakers’ oversight functions.

He commended Governor Makinde on the new agency, which he described as an extra layer of protection to ensure that projects are delivered to time and with utmost quality.

The Speaker submitted, “We, as a House, are excited about this. The only thing we are concerned about is whether this agency will be usurping the function of the House but knowing the kind of government we run and the partnership we have, we believe that we will work hand in hand, especially with the Chairman of the Committee, as long as the directive of His Excellency is clear.

“We look forward to working together in a way that will not usurp the duty of each other. I am sure that this is an extra layer of protection for the contracts awarded and we are working on the same page to ensure that quality projects are delivered in good time.

“So, we are excited by the prospects of working together in cooperation with the executive on this matter.”

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Directly under the supervision of the governor, the agency has the power to conduct periodic inspection of all projects in the state, undertake quality control inspection, to ensure compliance with the terms of the contract, issuance of certificate of completion on all projects, examine the book and other machineries used by a contractor in the performance of a contract.

Where occasion demands, the agency can conduct an investigation into the award of any contract to ascertain the integrity of the process, inspect and enter any premises where a contract is being executed.

In attendance at the signing ceremony were the Deputy Governor, Barr. Bayo Lawal; Secretary to the State Governor, Prof. Olanike Adeyemo; Chief of Staff to the governor, Hon. Segun Ogunwuyi and the Head of Service, Mrs Olubunmi Oni.

Others were the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Abiodun Fadeyi; Commissioner for Justice, Barr. Biodun Aikomo; Commissioner for Works, Prof. Kehinde Dahud Shangodoyin and the Commissioner for Special Duties, Alhaja Faosat Ajoke Sanni.

Open Salawu, who is Babalaje of Ogbomosoland, holds Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering. He is registered with COREN, and is a Fellow Nigerian Society of Engineer (FNSE), Fellow Nigerian Institution of Civil engineers (FNICE), Fellow Nigerian Association of Technologist in Engineering (FNATE), Member Nigeria Institute of Management (NIM), Chartered Institute of Waste Management UK. (CIWM) and a Justice of the Peace.

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