DIRECTOR GENERAL, Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission, Mr Seye Oyeleye has noted the imperative of governors-elect of Oyo, Ogun and Lagos and lawmakers-elect across the six states of the South West to embrace the DAWN’s ultimate agenda of regional integration.
Oyeleye made this call in his remarks at a roundtable conference of the Majeobaje Movement and other Yoruba movements held in Ibadan, on Sunday, against reservations that regional integration dilutes the powers of governors.
With Mr Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Mr Dapo Abiodun (Ogun) and Mr Babajide Sanwoolu (Lagos), billed to be sworn-in as governor on May 29, Oyeleye urged the governors-elect to tie their agenda around the several benefits of states coalescing as a region.
Some benefits of regional integration, according to Oyeleye, included putting the states in good stead to collectively negotiate for opportunities as a bloc, attaining self-sustenance, enhancing Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) through the harmonization of taxes and levies within the region which will help prevent tax evasion and avoidance.
He added that regional integration promotes economies of scale that reduces transactions cost, the high cost of governance, promotes knowledge and experience-sharing among member states, creates opportunities for pursuing joint infrastructure, improves ease-of-doing business and deepens market for goods and services.
Oyeleye consequently tasked the incoming governors to continue from where the outgoing chief executives will stop on the regional development integration programme.
Commenting to the discourse, consultant obstetrician and public affairs analyst, Dr Tony Marinho, tasked the DAWN Commission to cascade the agenda down to schools so that the young and old in the region begin to understand the benefits of subscribing to regional integration.
Noting declining fortunes of states of the South West in education, agriculture and health, he charged Yoruba movements and groups to begin to put governments in the region on their toes through a regular and thorough evaluation.
In his own contribution, Publicity Secretary, Afenifere Renewal Group, Mr Kunle Famoriyo described as baffling the increasing rate of poverty and unemployed youths as problematic to peaceful coexistence in the society.
Also speaking, Coordinator Majeobaje Movement, Mr Muyiwa Bamgbose stressed that a collective approach to issues in the region was beneficial and would fast track development.
Bamgbose also noted the need to reconcile and galvanise various aggrieved groups in the last election towards the desired course of uplifting all states of the South West.
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