WHEN Governor Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, SAN, was sworn-in as the sixth executive governor of Ondo State on February 24, 2017, the nation's attention was shifted to the Sunshine State, with the expectations about "continued change" rising among citizens.
THE expectation was high largely because when the Governor was the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), he transformed the constituency, having built a befitting secretariat for the body in Abuja.
AKEREDOLU had campaigned for his new position on the promise of surpassing the successes recorded by his predecessor in office. This was evident in his numerous speeches before, during and after the elections.
IN his speech at his inauguration on February 24 titled "Journey to Redemption", he told the citizens of the state that he came with a clear mind and an honest heart to serve and give the very best of his ability to restore hope and happiness to the people of the state.
HE added that the mission of his administration was to lead a patriotic, highly inspired and competent team to rescue the ship of the state. He pledged not to renege on all promises but break the barriers to honest leadership.
THE foundation laid by Aketi in the last 100 days has heightened the already spiraling expectation from the public. The new approach to governance has galvanized the populace and attracted attention not just nationally but among development partners and other interest groups.
THE people of Ondo State and those having the interest of the state in their hearts have been co-opted and their inputs sought in efforts to improve the lot of the people. A priority to him at the moment is institutional reform. He has repeatedly said that when the institutions are on sound footing the journey will be smoother.
THE introduction of State Integrated Financial Management Information Systems (SIFMIS) within 100 days in office is a good omen that will refocus, reshape and give good name to civil servants in Ondo State.
SIFMIS was introduced to shore up the state's Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), block financial loopholes within the system, increase the speed of civil servants' activities and create more time for strategic and value-adding activities in the service.
SIFMIS was also introduced to create intelligent and multi-dimensional reports for better management oversight, assist the state government towards quicker decision making and enable civil servants to key into the project for capacity utilisation.
HIS commitment to workers welfare has been commended. He has paid salary as at when due since assumption of office on February, even some months owed by the previous administration have been paid.
ARAKUNRIN in his speech promised the people of the state a brand-new day and, just three-month on the saddle, people are showering encomiums on his ingenuous approach to road construction.
THE communities hitherto left behind by development and those crying on daily basis for attention but neglected by successive administrations have been attended to by the present government.
PEOPLE are smiling over their roads from Abusoro community in Akure South Local Government to Opasorun and Okelisa Communities in Idanre Local Government Area. They are glad over the Adegbola bridge construction project in Ikare Akoko and the one at Isakunmi and Odoruwa communities in Akoko North East Local Government Area.
THE people living along Jubilee-Ugbe cried over their road nearing completion, having suffered and gone through harrowing experiences over its former neglected state.
AT Ifon in Ose Local Government Area, the Olufon shouted for joy, while his subjects could not hide their feelings after sighting the contractor coming to open up a road construction project in the area.
THE 50-kilometre road construction project linking Ondo State with Lagos State shows the determination of Governor Akeredolu to invest in the economic development of the state.
IN his 100 days on the saddle, Akeredolu has kept faith with the people with a determined effort to develop Ondo State and place it among one of the best three in Nigeria.
THE Governor has also reinstated the lecturers sacked by the previous administration in Adekunle Ajasin University for political reasons. The families that had been hitherto dehumanised are now happy. In addition, the administration has put in place a technical committee on Olokola Free Trade Zone to reactivate and revamp the abandoned trade zone.
THE revamping of the trade zone has shown the present administration's commitment and determination to rebuild the state.
THE Wewood project in Omotosho is another achievement scored by the present government. This will boost the economy of the state and provide employment for teeming youths.
GOVERNOR Rotimi Akeredolu's mission to attract foreign investors to tap into cocoa, bitumen, crude oil and palm oil production is already yielding results, as countries like Australia, Algeria, Britain and United States are showing interest.
ANOTHER area where the Governor, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu shows promise are the creative ways he and his team are using to manage the hitherto demoralised and highly politicised civil servants in the state. He has proven to the entire world his readiness to positively impact on the general well-being of Ondo State citizens.
HIS performance in this short period stands out beyond the expectation of the people of the state, thus demonstrating his capability to deliver the dividends of democracy as promised by him.
OTHER achievements within his 100 days in office include his recent interface with potential investors, forming a stronger partnership to develop all the critical economic sectors as well as showing total dedication to making agriculture an alternative and assured source of income for the state.
THIS shows his seriousness and dedication to put the state in the front-burner of development.
GOVERNOR Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu's vision to develop all sectors in the state without bias and favouritism has also resulted in the settlement of the crisis in the state House of Assembly. The crisis which has been on for several months was settled without plunging the state to political crisis.
IN our view, the greatest achievement of Arakunrin administration in the first one hundred days in office is setting the tone at the top.
HIS body language, statements and actions have shown clearly that corruption will not be tolerated, and appointments will be based on character, competence and professionalism.
THE greater challenge facing the administration is not what it has done in the first one hundred days but what it will do in the next one hundred days. Governor Akeredolu has promised to constitute a cabinet of men and women of quality, one that would break barriers of stagnation.
THE kind of people to be appointed will determine whether his administration will be able to deliver on its campaign promises. This is going to be a tough decision, as the citizens have formed opinion already on some kind of people.
ULTIMATELY, Ondo State people look forward to the transformation of the change mantra into a strategic plan. It is expected that the new administration will formulate a strategic plan that will galvanise the state into greatness and correct the notion of it being a civil service state.
THE blueprint anchored on JMPPR is a comprehensive policy document that identifies the priority areas of the state, the resources available and how to achieve the programmes.
THE blueprint should be put in white and black for the people of the state to read on daily basis and follow with great diligence.
Finally, Ondo State people want to see the immediate reform that the administration will put in place to govern and not rule. In this regard, public administration reforms will be the key.
IN the next few months, the administration will be preparing its first budget and laying it before the state house of assembly.
CITIZENS want to see the change in the process of plans, policy and budget. Moreover, citizens want to see integrity plans to promote transparency and accountability in the public service.
THE tone that appears to have improved services will wear away unless it is backed with comprehensive reforms to address the issues of cost of governance, effective budgeting, policy-making architecture, public finance management and civil service reform.
ALSO, the government needs to organise capacity building programmes for public office holders so they can keep abreast with the vision and mission of the administration.