THE Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, CON, on Saturday, berated the decision of the Osun State government to convert the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) funded Skills Acquisition Centre built in Iragbiji by the Federal Government into a soccer base.
The former Osun State Governor disclosed that he believed that the Federal Government would take measures to correct the anomaly, saying it was ridiculous that a government could conceptualise such idea in the first place knowing full well the purpose for which the centre was built.
This is even as the Aragbiji of Iragbiji, Oba Abdul-Rasheed Ayotunde Olabomi harped on continued communal unity, peaceful cohabitation and development among Nigerians.
Speaking at the 32nd Iragbiji Day Anniversary, held at Oke-Iragbiji Grammar School, Iragbiji, Oyetola said it was unheard of that a centre purposely built to equip and empower the teeming youths with different technical skills would become a football campground in whatever disguise.
The erstwhile Osun Governor said: “It is ridiculous that the state government could think of converting a centre that is meant for youth development into a soccer base.
“As we all know, this is a project that is meant for our youths to acquire different technical and vocational skills thus promoting entrepreneurship and youth development. Turning the Centre into anything outside this is a disservice to the purpose it was meant for.
“As a person, I don’t have any problem with football, I love football but we won’t allow a project that is purposely built to cater for youth development in the area of entrepreneurial skills acquisition to become a football base for whatever reason.
“This is a project that we fought for and facilitated while in government for the benefit of youths in the state and anything short of what it is meant for is anti-development.
“I have taken it up already and I want to assure you that very soon, something will be done in that regard”.
Speaking on the concerted efforts to turn around the the Federal Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy under his watch, Oyetola noted that security had been beefed up across waterways in the country in a bid to ensure their potential are fully explored and actualised.
According to him, the ministry is committed to ensuring adequate security in all the coastal areas as part of efforts to attract more investments in the maritime sector.
Oyetola who averred the readiness of the ministry to set up Coastal Guards to complement the efforts of the existing security apparatus, implored the citizens to continue to support the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu towards actualising the lofty pro-masses policies and programmes put in place by the government.
He also noted that it is imperative for community at different levels to see genuine development as a collective effort.
“It is evident that development doesn’t just happens, it requires genuine effort from all and sundry and I want to believe that supporting government in this regards would go along way.
Earlier, the Aragbiji of Iragbiji, Oba Abdul-Rasheed Olabomi applauded sons and daughters of the ancient town for their unflinching support, cooperation and avowed commitment to advance the cause of the town.
He expressed profound gratitude to the sons and daughters of the town and the lovers of Iragbiji for their generous donations for the growth and development of the town just as he assured that the funds would be judiciously used for the goodness of the town.
Highlight of the occasion was the donation of about N200million by invited guests including friends and political associates of Oyetola towards the development of Iragbiji.