Group Queries Adeleke Over N2bn Palliative Fund, Advises Tinubu To Allow Importation Of Food


A civil society group, The Osun Masterminds (TOM) has asked the Adeleke-led administration to explain how it utilized the sum of N2billion and thousands bags of rice and maize every state of the Federation received from the Federal Government to provide palliatives for their citizens.

The group also asked the federal government to make temporary and permanent plans that may include importation of food (starting from the reopening of our borders) in the short term and massive investment in local food production, as a long-term measure.

These requests were made on Monday, February 26 by the executive director of the group, Prof. Wasiu Oyedokun-Alli while addressing newsmen during a press conference in Osogbo.

Oyedokun-Alli while addressing newsmen also expressed concerns over the continued closure of Osun courts despite the announcement by the governor that Osun State Governor had reached a compromise with JUSUN.

Read the full statement:

We welcome you to the second edition of our monthly state of the state address for the year 2024. It is again noteworthy that we have stayed consistent with our resolution to be the conscience of our democratic governance, through engagements and timely criticism that is expected to help government at all levels take the right decisions.

The challenges in the country are biting harder and making life difficult for Nigerians at all levels. The cost of goods in particular, is making a mess of the income of the average Nigerian and this, unfortunately, is leading to eradication of the middle class. These realities sadden us and we will make a few suggestions to the Federal Government.

Back home, we will also be offering counsel to the Osun State Government in areas of governance that we have found the current government deficient. We only hope that our suggestions are received in good faith and acted upon.

This address will briefly address the issues we have identified for the month of February 2024 and proffer solutions where necessary.

Inflation and the Economy

We have keenly followed the efforts by the Central Bank of Nigeria to stabilize the Naira and stem the current tide of inflation. We find some of the steps commendable and can see for ourselves that there is a marked improvement in the exchange rate in recent days.

However, to make the improvements permanent, the Central Bank must firm its monetary policy and be a lot more deliberate in its efforts to end speculation and sharp practices in the forex market. Commercial Banks must be keenly monitored to ensure that we do not return to the days of Forex hoarding that created a needless Forex scarcity in the past.

To secure our long term prosperity however, the Federal Government must now stimulate export and local manufacturing, including local refining of our crude oil. We must end our rent-seeking and improve on our supplies to the global market to truly earn Forex. If we fail to do this, we will be back where we started in no distant time.

We owe it a duty to ourselves to ensure that we play better in the global market and reduce our over-reliance on imports, which has put pressure on our Forex earnings over the years.

To arrest the skyrocketing price of commodities, the Federal Government must make temporary and permanent plans that may include importation of food (starting from the reopening of our borders) in the short term and massive investment in local food production, as a long-term measure.

Government cannot stubbornly insist on disallowing food importation when we obviously are not producing enough to feed ourselves. Let us gradually phase out food importation, not attempt a drastic end to it. We understand the need for self-sustenance in our food production, but it is a journey that must be gradualized and planned within the context of our current realities.

Reduction in the size of the Civil Service

We received with mixed reactions, the news of the FEC’s decision to fully implement the Oronsaye report, in a bid to reduce the size of the Federal Government and cut costs. The Oronsaye report submitted in 2012, provides a practical approach to cutting cost of governance through the optimization of the Civil Service.

We agree in totality that the Nigerian Civil Service is over-bloated and there are indeed many Agencies with very similar roles. However, we think that reducing cost of governance should not only be through the Civil Service, we must also reduce cost of governance through the Public Service.

As we reduce government expenditure through reduction of the Civil Service, we must also reduce government expenditure through drastic reduction of the population of Political appointees. There are more than three thousand (3,000) Legislative Aides in the National Assembly alone, for example. We already have too many members in the National Assembly, the number of Aides they have then makes it even worse.

We must take this initiative of reducing cost of governance further by merging Ministries to reduce the number of Ministers, drastically reducing the number of Aides of political appointees and elected office holders, reducing the number of Special Advisers and Senior Special Assistants to Mr. President, reducing the population of Statutory Boards and lastly, reduce drastically the financial reward for political office.

When we make political office less financially attractive, we all will go back to the drawing board as a Nation and get productive. This is the only way we can grow.

Palliative Distribution in Osun State

Some months ago, we queried the Osun State Government’s approach to the utilization of palliatives received from the Federal Government and its own palliative plans at a time when other States are looking for ways to ease the pressure of subsidy removal on their citizens.

For clarity, every State of the Federation received two billion Naira (2,000,000,000) from the Federal Government to provide palliatives for their citizens. States also received thousands of bags of rice and maize, to be distributed to their citizens. This is in addition to the increase in statutory allocations to States since subsidy was removed.

The questions we continue to ask the Osun State Government however, include how has the Osun State Government utilized the two billion Naira it received? Stubbornly insisting on adding the sum to its 100 billion Naira Infrastructure plan is diversion of fund and it is as criminal as it is inhuman.

We are also asking what the State Government’s additional palliatives are. Other States of the Federation are taking critical steps to reduce the hardship on their people. What is Osun doing? Provision of Imole De Buses is not palliative to the generality of Osun people.

We are also asking the Osun State Government, what it is doing with the allocation windfall it is receiving from the Federal Government. When times are easier, Government should be seen taking deliberate steps to plan for tough days. What are we doing with the increased figures we receive today?

We are also asking the Osun State Government, what is the State’s Agricultural Production plan? What is Osun State doing to achieve food sufficiency here in the State? Where is the Osun State Commissioner for Agriculture at a time like this? What is his Ministry doing?

The Osun State Government, under Sen. Ademola Jackson Nurudeen Adeleke, must answer these questions and clarify what it is doing to ensure the State’s short and long term prosperity.

Continued Closure of Courts

Almost two weeks after the Governor announced that the State Government had reached a compromise with JUSUN, the Courts in Osun remain closed. This is lending credence to the suspicion in some quarters, that the Osun State Government is indeed behind the problem, using the impasse to cripple the Justice System in the State, as a proxy war against the State’s Chief Judge.

Whatever the true intentions of the State Government are, continued closure of the Courts cripples administration of Criminal Justice and protection of innocent citizens, and this is not acceptable. The Courts must open now! Whatever politics is being played behind the curtains must stop immediately so we can allow this critical arm of government perform its functions.

Mining Issues in Osun.

The rise in illegal mining highlights fundamental social, institutional and structural problems in Nigeria’s governance system. It reveals the prevailing socio-economic problems in the region, especially the inadequate responses to poverty and poor service delivery by the government to the people involved. The youth in particular have limited income-generating opportunities, and this is where the sponsors of illegal mining recruit their labour force.

The involvement of foreign corporations in illegal mining is another sign of poor govenance.

We have not forgotten so soon the calamity that befell the people of oyo state in recent time and with the rate of illegal mining in Osun, we can’t say God forbid.

We challenge the state government to profile the miners in Osun and ensure that dynamites are not carelessly handled to forestall the occurrence of Oyo in Osun.

Illegal miners often front for politically connected individuals who collaborate with foreign nationals and corporations to sell gold. The mineral is rotinely smuggled and while we do not accuse anyone just yet, profiling of miners in the state will be of great help.


The Osun Masterminds remains committed to the development of Osun State and Nigeria, and we shall continue to put government and its actors to task in this regard. We are partners in progress and we will not at any point in time, malign the person or character of anybody in government. We desire to see progress in our communities, as we are partakers of whatever becomes of our State and country.

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