My Charge; Commissioner for Regional Integration and Diaspora Relations - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE



Wednesday, December 15, 2021

My Charge; Commissioner for Regional Integration and Diaspora Relations

                •Bamidele Ademola-Olateju

The Daily Crucible | Published  Tuesday, December 14, 2021

By Bamidele Ademola-Olateju

As the Commissioner for Regional Integration and Diaspora Relations, this is an historic opportunity to recreate the spirit of the pre-1966 Western Region and reignite the renaissance which was so beneficial to the western region and Yorubaland. The governor has assigned me to an important portfolio of all. I have always believed, without the economies of scale to be obtained from the integration of the western region no meaningful development will take place in a deformed, misinterpretation of federalism. From this moment, this time in history, I will play my own  role in developing Ondo State, the Yoruba and Nigeria. 

Carrying out any assignment, even a mundane chore, successfully, begins with defining the function, followed by interpretation and the setting of targets interwoven with timelines since there is a fixed tenure. The Italian philosopher Antonio Gramsci who reached his apogee in the nineteen - twenties noted that politics is about shifting the territory of the debate in the direction of one's own position. In the context of the portfolio of Regional Integration, my focus will be directed at enervating a synergy to trigger off and unleash the locked potentials of the economies of scale of an economically integrated southwest region working in tandem and extracting the necessary synergy with the skills, exposure to international best practices and capital of the indigenes of Ondo state and the region in the diaspora.

The diaspora is important to the sustainable development of the southwest. The relationship had been synergized before, when there was a Western Region Agent - General a sub - ambassador based in London in the nineteen fifties and the sixties, we must go back to the spirit of that which saw tremendous advances. In the situation of the uncertainties of today Omicron, changing terms and patterns of trade the benefits of regional integration interwoven with the positive contributions of an immensely enterprising diaspora must be a priority driven "with the fierce urgency of now".

To ensure Defined, Measurable, Validated and Repeatable processes, I will set fixed targets to ensure that policies are not just romantic day dreams but are projections to be transferred into reality. The issues of the paucity of the availability of long term capital to lay the foundation for sustainable development will be prioritized. This is the only way to exploit the demographic bulge leading to widespread youth under and unemployment with the underlying social issues entailed. Capital must be built up from within a regionally integrated economy linked with our diaspora, multilateral agencies, donors and international finance capital. New forms of financing must be explored as well as the exploitation of the new technologies unleashed now with the licensing of 5G spectrums. The age of jealously guarded fiefdoms is over now in the face of the need to use the economies of scale of regional integration interwoven with the positive contributions of the diaspora to make a breakthrough.

A new day beckons; the governor of Ondo State understands the fierce urgency of now, his expectations will not be dashed. Centuries ago Aeschylus observed that, "some men think of things that have happened and ask themselves why? For myself I think of all those things that never were and then I ask myself why not?" We must face the debilitating consequences of the missed opportunities of the past and ask ourselves why not? By doing so, crises will be turned into an opportunity for an advance. 

With a determined gait, I start. With focus and determination I will bring in, a new lease of ideas, to grow, and cement my Governor's legacy.

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