Dr. Kunle Akindele serves as the Special Adviser on Health Matters to the Osun State governor and is a former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state. In his interview, he discusses the nation’s current state and its impact on Osun.
How do you view the recently constituted federal cabinet?
Akindele expressed his view on the federal cabinet, emphasizing that it lacks new faces and comprises long-standing politicians who have held various positions for decades. He noted that former governors have been appointed to key ministries without adequate consideration of their suitability for those roles.
The appointment of a former Rivers State governor as a minister surprised many, and it might be perceived as a reward for undermining our presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, in the last elections.
I’m not expecting much from this cabinet; it appears to be recycling old politicians instead of tapping into the potential of younger Nigerian professionals.
Is the PDP effectively functioning as an opposition party?
We are working on strengthening our party, but we need to be cautious since we are awaiting court judgments. Many of our members are unhappy about recent events, but the PDP remains united.
Akindele contributed to the selection of the present Osun State governor.
How do you assess his performance?
The current governor has exceeded our expectations. He has revitalized Osun’s economy, reduced crime rates, and ensured timely payment of salaries and pensions. Foreign Direct Investments are coming into the state, particularly in healthcare, agriculture, solid minerals, and aviation.
The education sector is witnessing positive changes, and we’re actively pursuing initiatives to enhance Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) through these investments, Akindele noted.
What improvements would you like to see in the health sector?
Akindele highlighted their efforts to rejuvenate primary healthcare centers in Osun State, ensuring they meet required standards. He noted that the previous administration received a grant for their upgrade, which had disappointing results. Additionally, they are investing in medical equipment and organizing free medical and surgical outreach programs.
Our goal is to reduce medical tourism and create a conducive environment for healthcare professionals. Additionally, we’re collaborating with international donors like WHO and USAID to develop the health sector.
Regarding palliatives for fuel subsidy removal, how is Osun handling it?
A committee has been set up to coordinate the distribution of palliatives in Osun State. We have a track record of efficiently distributing relief goods, and we’re ensuring these palliatives reach the intended recipients.
Do you foresee issues with palliatives expiring in warehouses as during the COVID-19 period?
Osun State is an exception; we have a history of promptly distributing relief goods to our people. We’ve received palliatives from the federal government, and they are being distributed accordingly.
What’s your view on the diversion of local government funds by some governors?
Akindele pointed out that the National Assembly has tackled this problem, and he urged state assemblies to do the same to ensure local governments get their rightful allocations. In Osun State, he emphasized that there are no problems with local government fund allocation, as they consistently receive their allocations as mandated by the constitution.
Developing local governments is crucial for grassroots development and overall impact. There are no hindrances in ensuring these funds are properly allocated.