Why Oyo won’t ban okada – Makinde’s aide, Akande – TrendyNewsReporters

Why Oyo won’t ban okada – Makinde’s aide, Akande


The Special Assistant to the Oyo State Governor on ICT, Mr Bayo Akande, speaks to OLUFEMI OLANIYI about the ICT initiatives of the Seyi Makinde’s administration

How is the administration of Governor Seyi Makinde deploying technology to solve problems in governance?

Governor Seyi Makinde’s  administration has been very technology-focused and he has been using technology to address problems. When we got here what we met on the ground was a green-field situation as regards ICT and we had to start from the ground up. ICT from government perspectives falls into two areas and that is government to government relations and, of course, government to citizens or how government can help to improve the lives of citizens using technology.

ICT can also be used to improve government administration within the secretariat and this led us to do a bunch of things. One of such things is productivity tools. We procured over 1,480 computers for civil servants in Oyo State and everybody was provided with an official email address and was trained in Microsoft and digital skills. We have just started creation of business process automation, which is complete digitisation of defined approval process.

Of course, there are other areas where ICT is helping, especially when it comes to areas of transparency and engaging the people about what we have done. We created Oyo State web portal, which is a website that has information on all MDAs in Oyo State. It was voted the Best State Website of the Year in the country in 2021. The awarded was given by the South-West Digital Awards. Recently, we were doing a survey of the page and we found out that in the three years of Engineer Seyi Makinde administration, we have produced over 600,000 pages worth of information. This is undoubtedly the highest by any administration and only Kaduna State came second with 128,000 pages.

We have also done something like Oyo State Job Portal and we are revolutionising how jobs applications are made. We have processed almost  800,000 job applications. This has removed the issue of nepotism to a large extent because the governor instructed that people must be hired on merit.

We also have Open Contracting Data Standards Platform where information on every single Oyo State contract awarded will be in the public domain. You can see the contractors, the contract sum and other information on the platform.

What have you done about identity management?

We have begun the Oyo State Resident Registration exercise which is the programme to register and to know the identity of every resident of the state. The governor is aware that good policy decisions cannot be made without accurate data and that is one of the major reasons for this. For good resource deployment and allocation, one needs to have accurate data and this will help also in the area of security.  We are dividing this into sub-sectors. For example, we have started registration of okada (commercial motorcycle) riders.

Some states have banned operation of commercial motorcyclists due to the escalating insecurity in the country. Why is Oyo not considering this?

This was considered but His Excellency, being a compassionate leader, said instead of banning them and taking away their means of earning legitimate livelihoods, we should register them. With this, we will give them numbers and customised jackets. We will just regulate them and keep them in business because we will know who they are by the registration.

How many of them have you registered so far?

We have registered over 11,000 okada riders, as we speak. We are going to complete the registration before giving them numbers, ID cards and the customised jackets.  We have also done attendance management and verification exercises for all university staff and as well as the civil service.

The influx of okada riders from states like Lagos State is expected in Oyo State especially with the extension on the ban of okada. Will this influx of riders not worsen security situation in Oyo State?

The most important thing to the governor is not to deny these people, who get their daily bread from the business, the opportunity to make legitimate livelihood. Outright ban may be counterproductive and the situation will be worse. But we are aware that some unscrupulous persons are among these people seeking their legitimate means of livelihoods. The reports of these people are all over the country. The governor came up with the idea that we should regulate them instead of banning them. With the regulation, we will take their biometrics. The okada owners will be registered and their biometrics will be taken, the same thing with the riders, so it will be easy to trace them and know whoever among them that commits any crime. For example, if an okada rider wearing number 232 jacket is sighted engaging in a criminal activity or anything illegal, once the number is entered into the system, his identity will be shown and we can track such. This will help to remove the bad eggs and the good ones will continue to make a honest living.

Will this registration be extended to those who have motorcycles for private use?

Yes, it will. All residents of Oyo State will be registered, irrespective of the job they do. How we will utilise the data will depend on the category each person falls into.

The state is said to be registering cattle breeders as well. How many of them have you registered?

We are not restricting this to a sector. It’s for everybody, the civil servants, artisans, those in the transport sector, as long as you live in Oyo State, we want to know who you are, what you do and where you live, among other information. That will help us to serve the people better.

What has been the people’s response to this innovation?

The response has been very positive. We are currently located in each of the local government secretariats in the state as well as some other offices. The response has been overwhelmingly positive. I may not have the actual number of people registered already but I can say that we already have hundreds of thousands of people in our database. We have been positively surprised by how much people have keyed into it. We are happy that the people also know that the governor is a serious-minded person and when he says he will do anything, he will get it done.

 What is the population of Oyo State now?

We have a figure we were told by the population census but the registration we are doing is to answer that question scientifically. We will know how many people are residents in the state after that but we don’t have the answer now. The exercise is still ongoing. In a year from now, I will have a scientific answer to that question. We are doing many other things and recently the governor inaugurated robotics  at LAUTECH, which is one of its kind and this is in a bid to bring Oyo State students to the international standards.  You can study robotics intelligence and stuffs like that.

 In what way is the state deploying ICT in the agric sector?

Yes we are doing that and an example of what we did in the sector is the biometric registration of farmers and getting the GPS coordinate of their farms as well. That will serve two purposes: it will identify who these farmers are and this will help to know who the state is giving inputs to. Also, it brings the people in the sector closer to the resources they can use. For example, an average farmer may not be able to go to the bank to get a loan because of stringent Know Your Customer requirements, which they may not be able to meet up with. But if Oyo State has done full biometric registration of the farmers and getting a QPS of the farms, we would have helped the banks with the KYC and make somebody who was not loan-worthy to become loan-worthy overnight. That will help the farmers to boost their production capacity.


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