Hon. Adedapo Lam Adesina is the lawmaker representing Ibadan North East/South East Federal Constituency at House of Representatives. Despite his busy schedule during the festive period, budget track team (Budgit) caught up with the young lawmaker and in the course of the encounter, he spoke extensively about his activities as a public servant, especially his role in the 2017 budget to ensure that people from his constituency are not neglected. He also used the opportunity to shed more light on his achievements so far in the last two and a half years as well as why it is necessary to track the budget. Parrot Xtra’s KUNLE GAZALI monitored the interview. Excerpt:
Can you introduce yourself and tell us the constituency you represent?
My name is Adedapo Lam Adesina, I am fondly called Omo Oloore by those who love me. I represent the extremely good people of Ibadan North East and South East Federal Constituency in Oyo State. Ibadan North East and South East Constituency is the heartbeat of Ibadan, where we have the like of Mapo as the capital of Ibadan. So, for me I represent the most indigenous local governments in Oyo State.
How do you nominate the projects you do for your constituency or do you just take decisions on what to do and where to do them?
Thank you, the way I nominate my projects, I have a very cordial and extremely good relationship with community development councils in the two local governments that make up Ibadan North East and South East Federal Constituency. What we do is that they have their monthly meetings at the end of every month, the one of South East Local Government is held at Mapo, while the one of North East Local Government is held at the council secretariat in Iwo Road.
If I am not around I send people there to represent me, this is where we put together some of the projects we push forward for the constituency at the National Assembly. Also, I have a very cordial relationship with youth associations within my constituency, who also nominate projects, there is also good relationship between us and the market leaders, they advise on the projects we should put together as well. They are the people I represent and that I owe them explanation on what to do and how and where to do them as far as projects are concern.
What challenges you do encounter in the course of executing all these projects?
It has been quite challenging because first and foremost, like I said Ibadan North and South East Federal Constituency is an indigenous constituency and the expectations are very high, especially when they see that you are doing very well. People believe that when you are doing well that means you can do better, and I agree with them.
It is good to challenge our leaders especially when you see that they can do better. It is quite challenging for me every day when I see a lot of people coming with requests when they hear about a project you have done somewhere, other communities will start writing letters making request that they also want to benefit, and we don’t have a choice than to try our best to ensure that we improve on our performance.
So far, what can you point to as part of the achievements you have recorded in the last two years or thereabout?
Well, to God be the glory, the little we have been able to achieve since our inauguration in 2015 include 21 water projects scattered all over the constituency, even though, one cannot say one is situated in a particular ward. I have 24 wards in my constituency and there are some wards that are very big and need more than one water project. I hope and pray that before the end of my four-year tenure, I will be able to, I should be able to and I should have been able to cover all the 24 wards. Aside that, we have done empowerment projects from which a lot of people benefited, I can say that all associations, all communities, party members, youth associations and market associations nominated people who are beneficiaries, there are lists available for cross check. Also, over 600 market men and women have benefited from the 2015/2016 grant zonal intervention I facilitated.
Also, we have been able to build toilets; there is one at Fowl Market (Iso Adie) at Molete. Also, to ensure we contribute our quota towards sports development, we are on the verge of completing a mini football pitch at Oke’Badan High School, Oluyoro, it is slow because it is a project being funded from my own personal resources, not a constituency project. We also have a football competition being organized in my name every year to engage the youth who are interested in the game of football. In education, in order to assist students of various tertiary institutions within my constituency, over 500 of them have benefited from bursary award, a project I personally funded as well. We also have been able to organize two editions of quiz and debate competitions, where all primary and secondary school students in my constituency participate, and every year, a minimum of eight schools win computer sets and financial assistance. All of the students who participated are given writing materials, school bags and some other things. Recently, we gave scholarship support to three distinguished primary and secondary students, while over 5,000 students in both primary and secondary benefited from the writing materials we distributed.
On the issue of health, just of recent we had our first Free Health Mission in which over 1500 constituents benefited. This was not just ‘Know Your Health Status’, it was free health that drugs were dispensed at the same spot after the doctor might have attended to the person. On social amenities, there is a community within my constituency, Ode Aje, where they did not have electricity supply for more than seven years, we have been able to supply transformer to the community, and they have power supplied to them as I speak to you.
On employment, about 40 youths have been employed as staff in my constituency office and they get paid every month. These and some others we could not remember now are what we have been able to achieve so far.
Are there any projects you have pushed or you are pushing in the 2017 budget for the benefit of the people in your constituency?
In 2015, you know I was inaugurated in June, so, I was not the one that put the budget together that year. In 2016, we did not have a single project for my constituency, but in 2017, we have the following, under health we have renovation and rehabilitation of two Primary Health Centres, the people involved have come to inspect the place but as I speak we have not heard from them since that time.
Also under the Ministry of Education, we have the construction of a block of three classrooms with VIP toilet to be constructed at IMG School, Eleta. I think they are in the bid of awarding the contract to the contractor, I am hoping to hear from them very soon. Under Works, Power and Housing Ministry, we have three 300KVA transformers, but we have not heard anything from the ministry. Also, under Ministry of Youth and Sports, we have the supply of sporting kits. Like I stated earlier, I have a challenge with them, I would be very careful not to allow anybody to tarnish my image. My name is important, I can never do anything that will tarnish it. I have spoken to the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, and he has done very well. He had spoken to the contractor to make sure that he does a thorough job because I will not allow anybody to bring substandard sporting kits to my constituency. So, as I speak to you they have awarded the contract but it is being delayed because I am being very careful with whatever is to be done. So also, on water project under the Ministry of Water Resources, we have three hand pump water projects in 2017, and the three have been awarded. As we speak, they have dug two and one has gone through survey. The project is being slowed down because I don’t want hand pump anymore, the ones I have done in the past were not reliable. So, I have spoken to the agency to look for ways to change them to motorized water projects, which they have agreed. I believe in the next few weeks or a month, we would have the three water projects put in place. So, those were some of the projects we put together in the 2017 budget for my constituency, it was not there in 2015, it was not there in 2016 but it is there in 2017 and I pray that it is funded.
What will be your parting words and advise in overview of everything you have highlighted so far?
Thank you so much, let me start from you, it is a very good thing to track budget but it is also very important to sensitize the people to know that it is not everything we put in the budget that is funded, so that people would not be misinformed, so that they will not start looking for budget and start to criticize people over nothing. So, it is only the projects that have been funded we should be pushing to the people to track. There is also the need to advice people to lessen the pressure they are putting on their leaders, because if we reduce the pressure it will make us to realize and discover those that are really ready to serve the people and those that are there for their selfish interest.
So, we should reduce the number of calls and text messages asking for financial assistance for burial ceremony, there is no way that you expect somebody to give you all of that that he will not steal your money. If you want truly that our country should progress, we must also as followers do the right thing, this will enable us to engage and challenge our leaders if they fail to do the right thing. I implore you to always sensitize and re-orientate the people that the change we are all screaming and crying about begins with you and I, it is not only to the leaders alone.