Hon. Folorunsho Joseph Akerejola, the chairman of Akoko-Edo Local Government Area of Edo State is an epitome of hard work anchored on his resolute faith and commitment to the service of mankind.
As an aggressive motivator, he always demonstrated extra ordinary competence by articulating ideas, vision, values and strategies to move Akoko-Edo forward. A shining example is the infrastructural development he brought to the nooks and crannies of his local government.
As a grassroots mobilizer, he provided jobs for the youths and motivating packages in order to take them off the street.
Today, his reputation as a blessing to the people of Akoko-Edo has soared to an unbelievable height with his name on the lips of every town and villages in his political dormain.
ENCOMIUM Weekly had a phone chat with him recently on his achievements so far and much more.
Let’s have an insight into your achievement for the first one year in office as the chairman of Akoko-Edo L.G.A of Edo State.
Within the first 12 months I resumed office, I have been able to touch all the facets of Akoko-Edo, ranging from infrastructural development and Agriculture.
I have been able to renovate some dilapidated schools, built new ones, provided tables and chairs for the schools that lacked them. I have also built some health centres, rehabilitated and re-designed some.
On the agriculture aspect, I have been able to empower a few people who were ready to invest. The local government has a poultry farm within the local government staff quarters. During the last Xmas, many of our staff bought chicken directly from the agric department at a highly subsidized rate.
My administration has provided light to almost every town and villages within the local government. At present, it is only one or two villages that are yet to have light. I have worked so hard to provide step down transformers to the people of Akoko-Edo.
Before my coming, there was epileptic power supply in the local government headquarters, but today, it has become a thing of the past. Every street now has light, because of the step down transformer I provided for the power sector in the local government.
What level of co-operation do you enjoy from your constituency?
The people of Akoko-Edo are peace loving and this has motivated me to come to their aid any time they calls on me.
Infact, I enjoy support from religious and traditional rulers and political leaders in my constituency. I also enjoy cooperation from the civil servants. When I came into office, I discovered that the account and treasuring departments needed to be relocated and also to be given a face lift and this has been done, but we are only waiting for the staff to take over because it is ready for them.
How would you describe your relationship with your state governor, Comrade Adams Oshiohmole?
I enjoy a robust relationship with the comrade governor. There is this cordial relationship based on the affinity from the party level to the state level.
As a result of this, the comrade governor has mandated all the local government chairmen to emulate him to complement his efforts at developing the state.
From my achievements so far within the first one year in office, you can see that I am the direct replica of the comrade governor. Therefore, there has been a cordial and robust relationship between my local government and Edo State Government.
Can you give us an insight of some laudable projects you have embarked on since your resumption of office?
The administration block in the secretariat that has been in existence for 30 years is now undergoing renovation, re-designing and reconstruction.
Like what the state government is doing, we have 10 wards in our local government and all the schools within the wards are renovated, while new ones are built. Class rooms are provided with chairs and tables while the floors are titled and marker boards provided.
Moreso, the issue of incessant power outage has become a thing of the past in the local government as a result of the provision of step down transformer for the people.
It is interesting to say that the traditional ruler in the local government now has peace. There were weeks or even months I will be on peace mission to settle those crisis.
At Igarra zone, I built 30 low cost stores for the people, and at Ibillo I built 60 of those stores that are ready to be occupied while 30 such stores were built in Ososo. This infrastructural development has direct impact on the economy of my people.
How do you generate funds for the development of this local government?
I am a grass roots man, who has lived all my life in Akoko-Edo. But before I became the chairman, I had been involved in trift and loan where I generated money that I gave to motor bike riders and market women to boost their business. Till date, the trift and loan business is still in existence.
Yes, to answer your question on how I generate money to carry out those projects. “Every statutory allocation that comes to the local government, I made sure there is one or two capital projects to execute from the statutory allocation, just the same way I account for the excess from the allocation given to the local government. It comes quarterly and I thank God I have always used it to the best of my ability for the benefit of my people. I have executed more than 31 projects spread across the 10 wards in the locality between of June- and September 2013.
Is your local government endowed with mineral resources?
We have solid mineral resources yet to be tapped. We have lime stone at Egbughere Sasaro axis and gold at Bekuna, Ojirami and Dangbala axis. Those are yet to be tapped, while the lime stone at Egbeghere is being tapped at a low quantity.
– TADE ASIFAT