“We are what we repeatedly do; excellence, then, is not an act but a habit”—Aristotle
By Olusola Balogun
A new way of thinking being adopted as a standard mode of operation is on in Ogun State. It is called Ogun Standard. It is a new spirit of commitment to high standards; the attainment of excellence; the discovery of new boundaries and generally raising the bar that had always marked the Gateway state and her people out.
The apostle of that new thinking is Governor Ibikunle Amosun. It is the new way of thinking to lift the state to the new height of infrastructural and economic development promised by the governor.
Senator Amosun himself explained the concept while giving his stewardship recently: “Ogun Standard is not a slogan. It is not a catch phrase. It is not bravado. It is a firm undertaking to subscribe to the highest available standard in all that we do. It is a trademark of quality and excellence, a benchmark of attainment and most importantly, aiming for the very best. That is what our forefathers did.
“They refused to settle for the average or the most likely. Rather, they committed themselves to the very best possible. It is only that commitment that has provided enduring achievement in public administration.
“Until this very day, it is easy to identify infrastructural projects like roads and schools built by the administrations of the Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo or our dear Late Chief Olabisi Onabanjo, or our more recent leader, Chief Olusegun Osoba…. Interestingly, these leaders did not see the need to name projects after themselves; their projects speak for them even after several years of their selfless service. The depth of their attainments was sufficient to distinguish their efforts. It is that standard that I now wish to recreate and re-emphasise as Ogun Standard.
“Ogun Standard represents world class facilities with a high level of attention to detail. (It is embarking on) iconic projects and enduring programmes that will stand the test of time and outlive us. Ogun Standard is not about merely satisfying current needs with “quick wins”. It is about anticipating the needs of Ogun State for the next fifty years and beyond.
“I am convinced that it is only such a standard that will adequately prepare Ogun State for our future and those of the generations yet unborn”, the governor explained.
The concept of Ogun Standard, according to Senator Amosun, came to being upon recognition of the need to restore the lost glory of the state. He said, “Students of semantics will tell us that rebuilding is restoration to a former condition and whilst that is my mission, I recognized that old glory would no longer suffice.
“Ogun State’s lost glory was, in fact, defined by the continuous setting of new standards, by consistent pioneering in every field of endeavour. …It was that spirit of commitment to high standards…I therefore recognized that to truly rebuild this great state, I must undertake a complete redefinition of standards…”Senator Amosun explained.
Interestingly, it is the pursuit of that high standard that propelled the government to purchase 500 electricity transformers in one fell swoop for distribution to needy communities in the state. Before that event, the highest any state did was buying 200 transformers, while the largest number purchased by any government in Ogun was by the late Bisi Onabanjo who bought 150 transformers.
It is the pursuit of that standard that made the State government to import 13 state-of-the-art Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) for the use of the security forces and also 125 patrol vans equipped with communication gadgets to tackle armed bandits.
For both events, those in the know acknowledged their uniqueness. The acting Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, while receiving the APC’s said the gesture “is unique and unprecedented since he joined the Nigeria Police force”. The Minister of Power, Professor Barth Nnaji, equally expressed similar sentiment at the commissioning of the 500 transformers. He noted that the quantum of the transformer was uncommon especially. Uniqueness, outstanding and epoch-making; that is what Ogun Standard means.
But those are the only firsts that the governor is setting in the history of the state. The Six-lane Ibara-Sokori-Totoro road encapsulates many firsts. It has walk bridges, flower lane, flood lights, modern bus stops, relaxation Park as well as well channeled drainages. A classy flyover which would link Lalubu road with the new road is also in the works.
Instructively, the facilities on this road are to be taken for granted. They would be the norm in all the 24 roads that the Ibikunle Amosun government plans to construct within the first four years in office.
It is also in line with the new concept that the government decided to construct 26 new world-class model secondary schools aimed at ensuring that the products of these schools as well as other secondary schools in the state compete favourably with their peers anywhere in the world. The last time any new school was added to the existing ones in the state was during the regime of Aremo Olusegun Osoba. But to establish 26 new schools at once is historic.
It is the same spirit of excellence that made the government to put in place a rolling programme to ensure that each of the 236 wards in the state has functional Primary Health Centre.
The thinking is already permeating down the rank and file in the state public service that service delivery in Ogun must be world-class all the time. The concept of Ogun Standard is designed to reposition the state to its pacesetting glory.
* Olusola Balogun is a Media aide of Governor Ibikunle Amosun. He can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org