Gov Abiodun Oyebanji of Ekiti state has disclosed that since he assumed office, he is still yet to buy one official car for himself.
According to him, when he was sworn in as governor, he decided to earn the trust of the people and prioritise their needs above personal conveniences.
The governor said since his assumption into office, he has cut down on unnecessary workshops and travels that are not beneficial to the state, saying in one year, he has travelled outside only once.
During an interview with Daily Trust, Oyebanji said, ”I was elected to serve the people, so it is not about my convenience or comfort. I still believe that leaders should make sacrifices, and because I am conservative.”
The Ekiti governor, who said he was still using cars left behind by his predecessor, said when he took over the state, he decided to run it like his company, so whatever won’t benefit his personal company, won’t either for the state.
While speaking about the finances of the state, he said, ”Well, with respect to what I met on the ground, there is no state that will not be indebted, but the question is: What are the debts spent on? So, it is not an offence for a state to owe money, but what do you owe money on?
”There are a lot of capital projects going on in the state. We know that the state resources may not be enough. It is even better for you to do all these things by taking out a loan than to wait because of the rate of inflation. And has there been manna falling from heaven? Well, in fairness, there has been an improvement in what comes to the state.
”I see Ekiti State as a company, so before I make any decision, I will ask myself what would be the best decision if it were my company.
”We have run an austerity government for the past year. My style of leadership is servant leadership – the people first. We have stopped unnecessary workshops, frivolous seminars and travelling that will not add value to the state. As the governor of this state for close to a year, I have only travelled out once, and it was the UNDP that sent me to Kigali.
”We have changed the focus of governance. We have not owed salaries. Yes, at times, we take overdrafts to pay salaries. We put N2.5 billion aside per month to pay salaries because I don’t want to owe workers’ wages. We are dealing with arrears of gratuities. We have paid CONHESS to local government staff and provided resources for local governments to function. I have spent a year in the office and have not bought an official car. I am still using the one left by my predecessor.
”I was elected to serve the people, so it is not about my convenience or comfort. I still believe that leaders should make sacrifices, and because I am conservative, most of my colleagues will check themselves before bringing any frivolous file to my table because they know that you have to put the people forward.”