“I've achieved all my 1st Year goals as the Speaker of Ogun State ” -Rt Hon. Olakunle Oluomo - SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE MAGAZINE


Wednesday, June 17, 2020

“I've achieved all my 1st Year goals as the Speaker of Ogun State ” -Rt Hon. Olakunle Oluomo

With 20 bills passed into laws, 15 resolutions made,  training and welfare programs for members carried out within his first year, The Speaker, Ogun State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Olakunle Taiwo Oluomo says he has  Success Story to tell because he achieved all his goals for the first legislative year. In this exclusive interview he reveals the secret behind his success and exposed a lot of things you will like to know. Excerpts:

By Charles Segun Adegbite

SPMWhen were you sworn in as the Speaker of Ogun State House of Assembly?

Oluomo: On 10th of June 2019.

SPM: How did you feel that night when you realised you have become the No.3 Citizen in the State?

Oluomo: Well, don’t forget I had been here as a floor member before and later as the Deputy Speaker. So, it was just a step forward for me because I had been close to the position. It was just a day of thanking God for me; that He gave me the grace to become the Speaker after being the Deputy Speaker, which in most cases is rear for a lot of people to achieve.
The feeling in me was that of appreciation to God, considering what I went through before winning that election. It was a day of thanksgiving for me.

SPM: How did you feel looking at the politics you were involved in before you eventually emerged as the Speaker?

Oluomo: It was tough in my area because my former political leader didn’t want me to return to this Assembly. I told him I wanted to move to the House of Representatives in my federal constituency. And he felt otherwise, that it should be somebody else. And I said OK, if you are not allowing me to go, then I should be able to return to the House since there is no law stopping me from contesting as many times as I wanted, as long as my people vote for me.
And he said No. And I said Okay, you are not the one that will sit me down. It is the people of my constituency that can say “Yes or No. And that was our point of departure. I said okay if you don’t want me, let me meet my people. And let the people decide.
So, on my own I went on to obtain form and got myself ready for the primary election. The long and short, it was tough, but I thank God that the whole things ended well for me.

SPM: Did you set up some goals for yourself to achieve immediately you were sworn in or you simply relied on what your colleagues would present as their collective goals for you ?

Oluomo: Well, yes, of course. I have been there for eight years. I knew what and what were left undone. Naturally I had some ideas of mine which I could not implement unless I’m the Speaker.
So, immediately when I became the Speaker I went into all these.
1) The training of my Staff and my members: Which I did.
2) Welfare package for my Staff; like giving them soft loans. Setting up a Mimi market for them where they could buy households material at cheaper prices than they buy in the open markets.
3) Making sure my members are well taken care of. These were my agenda..
4) To ensure we are very robust in law making activities.
That is why In the last 12 months we have passed 20 Bills into laws and 15 Resolutions that have had good impact on the lives of the people of Ogun State.

SPM: What were the challenges you faced.

Oluomo: The challenges I see is this. I realised that if you want progress for your State, you need to be diplomatic in handling the matters of the State. If you keep on quarrelling with the Executive every day, then you are trying to put the State on fire. And, I as a person, I don’t want to hear the name of Ogun State in the news for any bad reasons. Because of that, what I did was to use diplomatic and persuasive ways to get the Executive to work within the content of the law. And my members too, for them to work within the contents of the law, so that if you know your boundaries and I know my boundaries within the purview then there will be no room for any quarrel.
It is only when you want to do what is unlawful that I will quarrel with you. It is only when my members too want to do things that are unlawful that you can say look you are going beyond your boundaries.So, I try to make a balance.

SPM: Can you mention some of the bills you have passed that have really impacted the lives of Ogun State people positively?

Oluomo: I will mention just few. For instance, before the advent of the 9th Assembly MAPOLY(Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta) was in comatose. We had to make law to bring it back to life. And that impacted fully on the lives of the people. This is because ordinarily a generation of students would have been rusticated. A generation of the staff of the higher institution would have been thrown into the labour market. But we were able to save all of them through that law.
Then, Ogun State Security Trust Fund(Amended) Law. The issue of security is of great interest in Ogun State. By passing the bill into law on the amendment of Security Trust Fund Law, the State was able to access a lot of funds that culminated in the governor purchasing those vehicles, bikes, e.t..c. for security purposes. If not for that law, that wouldn’t have been possible.
We also put in place Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency Law, which is a way of attracting investors to Ogun State; among others.
Within the legislative year we also passed into law a Public Private Partnership Law which helped the State in getting opportunities of bringing well-to-do people to come and invest their money in developing infrastructures in Ogun Stat. And one of the examples is the Epe/Ijebu-Ode Road that the government is doing now. It’s in partnership with the private sector.
Don’t forget that we have passed the Amotekun Bill also, which is to enhance the community policing in Ogun State. And so many others like that. In a nutshell, we have passed 20 bills into laws.

SPM: The Special Adviser to the Governor, Prof Joseph Odemuyiwa made mention of a bill on technical education, what’s it all about?

Oluomo: We have passed the bill into law. Ogun State Technical and Vocational Education Board Law. We know there are some money hanging somewhere all over the world for Technical Education. But any State that doesn’t have such law wouldn’t have access to such money. And this law now brings our artisans at par with those who go to technical schools, because the law stipulates that they can be certificated by government after undergoing training and retraining programmes. And you can have access to funds to train them, so that when you see a bricklayer, you know that this is a certified one. When you see a welder you will know that this is a certified welder, because apart from learning from the roadside, they have the opportunity of getting the government training alongside, to show that they are certified by government.
You know that in those days, we used to have Trade Test Certificate. We are trying to have something like that. If you learn from outside, government will give you the opportunity to learn from their approved experts.

SPM: The Executive Order on financial autonomy for state legislature and judiciary which President Buhari signed into law recently, how did you perceive it?

Oluomo: I think Mr President had to sign the order to compel the governors in Nigeria to obey the constitution. The (Nigeria ) Constitution as amended in Section 121(3) already stated that the money belonging to the legislature and judiciary should be given to them.
Most of the governors refused to implement it. So, Mr President set up a committee, which was made of the judiciary, legislature, the governors and those who are supposed to know. And they all came up with a report that each state governor should go and implement it. But when they refused to pay the money, the President then made an Executive Order that okay if you refuse to pay let the legislature and the judiciary be taking their money from the federal allocation. That’s what it is all about. And that is good for this country because the legislature and the judiciary will be able to perform very well without having to be waiting or begging for funds from the executive.

SPM: In the last one year have you been able to take your fellow lawmakers on parliamentary tour to see the way things are done in the developed world?

Oluomo: Yes. It’s part of what I said I will do. And we have done that. Last year, I took my members on international tour. We were in London in the British Parliament for training section. On our way back, we were in Dubai for another international training.

SPM: Which of the goals you set for yourself when you became the Speaker have you been able to achieve. Which were you unable to, and what hindered you from being able to achieve them?

Oluomo: I thank God, to the glory of God, there’s hardly any goal I set for myself that I have not achieved. I said, I wanted my members to be trained and they were trained. I said I wanted my Staff members to be trained and they were trained. I said I want my staff to have access to soft loans. And I got that available for them. Not that by the 20th of the month, any of them would not have money and they will go and borrow in the next room.
I promised them that I will set up for them a Mimi Shop where they can buy items at the cheapest prices and it happened. And I said there is going to be smooth running of the House, and it happened; because I was able to carry everybody along. I made sure I’m always in the office.
So, I should just be thanking God that I met my targets and goals of running the House peacefully, without rancour, among my members, despite the fact that we are made up four political parties; or among my staff and even the executive.

SPM: What would you point out as your success secrets.?

Oluomo: Let me just tell you the truth. I got it from late Chief Obafemi Awolowo. It is the principle of Trust in God and Spartan Self Discipline. That’s my secret.

SPM: What would you regard as your major challenge.?

Oluomo: I don’t have any challenge because I have experience as a legislator. I’ve been in the politics of Ogun State for at least eight years.
The people I met with, we have been together in one party before, discussing; or even as opposition party members. For instance, people in the APM(Allied People’s Movement) we have been in the APC (All Progressives Congress) together before.
Those that are members of ADC( African Democratic Congress) one of them had been here before as a member of PDP (Peoples Democratic Party).
The fresh ones, we have been meeting in the political rallies before, during our campaigns. For me, I treat everybody as one because I see the political parties as vehicles through which we were brought here.
As I used to tell my friends, some of us came in an 18-Seaters Urvan Bus, which brought 15 of us here. The APM members came in a 8-Seaters Sienna Bus, which brought seven of them. The ADC members came in a car that brought three of them. There is one that came with an Okada(motorbike). He came alone(…laughs).
All of us are now in the same destination. So, we work together. And there is nothing to worry about.

SPM: What is your advice to Governor Abiodun?

Oluomo: I advice him to be fair, just and equitable. Just as he uses to say, be fair, just and equitable. And finally I want the Governor to rule with the fear of God and obedience to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

SPM: You’re a prince and the Governor is a prince. Was it by coincidence that both of you princes emerged as the heads of the executive and legislative arms of government in Ogun State?

Oluomo: In the life of any man, there is no coincidence. If it is by coincidence, you can choose where you were burn. It’s God that brought us together. Don’t forget that the Speaker I succeeded too, is also a prince.
The advantage I had over the rest is that I’m a prince that reigned with my father. My father reigned while I was a young man. Not that my grandfather or great grandfather was a king and I didn’t witness the reign. No! I witnessed and reigned along with my father as a prince. Before my father passed on, I lived and moved about as a prince whose father was on the throne

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