The Ekiti State Commissioner for Public Utility in the immediate past administration, Mr Tunde Ogunleye dismissed critics’ claim that his ministry did not deliver its responsibilities. In this interview by DAVID WANDE, he speaks on the efforts of the administration at providing water and public utilities.
You just completed your duty as Commissioner for Public Utilities in Ekiti State, how was the experience in government?
Well, all the glory go to the Almighty God actually. I joined the government from the beginning, and I want to sincerely thank Governor Peter Ayodele Fayose for giving me the opportunity to serve. I started as the Special Assistant on general enforcement. And after a year, I was elevated to the position of commissioner in charge of public utilities in the state.
ALSO READ: Understanding the political drama in Ogun
So how much impact did your ministry have in that sensitive ministry?
When I assumed office, we had a lot of intervention programmes on water; The programmes included European Water III project for which the state is paying about N320 million counterpart funds so that there will be total rehabilitation of Egbe town. By the special grace of God and through the effort of the governor, we were able to pay the fund in full and the project has started since August 15, 2018.
Why was the government unable to pay salaries?
During Governor Fayose’s first term, he was one of the governors in the country that paid salaries on the 22nd of every month. We are all aware of the recession period in the country, which was not limited to Ekiti alone. As at when he assumed the government, the state’s debt was in billions, which was always deducted monthly from the state’s allocation. When such amount is deducted from the allocation, the government doesn’t have any option than to manage the situation accordingly. As at the time he was leaving office, Governor Fayose was owing four months’ salary only.
Are you scared that he is being invited by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) just after leaving office?
I can never be scared. Governor Fayose is very courageous and a very diligent man. I can tell you with every sense of honesty that I don’t have any regret working with him. You have to get it right and clear that the EFCC is an investigative agency; it is not a court of law. I can assure you that there’s no big deal in going to the EFCC. I want to give thanks to the Almighty God for serving and working with Governor Ayodele Fayose, and I don’t have any regret working with him. If the opportunity comes again, I will like to work with him in the nearest future. Ekiti is a state, which is bigger than everyone. Government is a continuous thing, and I wish the new administration success. We are back to working for the success of our party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) because there are enough assignments out there. We have to deliver our candidates in House of Assembly and House of Representatives as well as the Senate and the Presidency. The PDP which we know is the only party that can rescue us from this oppression.