I represented Mr. Kayode Adaramodu at the annual lecture organized by the EKSU Alumni, Ekiti Chapter. Kayode Adaramodu, a retired banker, is a leading aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party in the forthcoming governorship election in Ekiti State. My remark at the event borders on the need to rethink our political selection criteria as citizens. I wish to emphasize some of the issues I raised at the event.

The dictionary defines knowledge as facts, information, and skills acquired through experience or education. In my view, a knowledge-economy is all about injecting intellectualism and quality thinking into governance. While I can safely confirm that Ekiti do not lack knowledge, how well we apply the knowledge into our development planning and governance activities in Ekiti remains grossly inadequate. I believe this is why the organizers of today’s event has intelligently used refocusing, as the operative word in the topic before us. It is all about re-engineering our knowledge to solve real problems confronting us as a people in Ekiti. As the popular saying goes: we can not continue to do the same thing and expect a different result.

The need to re-engineer the abundance of knowledge in Ekiti propelled Kayode Adaramodu, a development expert, into the contest for Ekiti State governorship. Unapplied knowledge or knowledge that is wrongly or badly applied is worse than ignorance.

Let us quickly peep into some critical choices that past governments in Ekiti had made and see if they were justifiable, both in conceptualization and execution. The investment of several millions of Naira into procurement and importation of cows into Ikun dairy farm under the management of the Civil Service and its bureaucracy. While another administration invested N1.6billion on hotel construction around Ikogosi Warm Spring at the mercy of the same bureaucracy of the Civil Service. Or the investment of several billions of Naira into building of lodges in Ado-Ekiti, Lagos and Abuja for the State’s Governor – an investment targeted for the pleasure of a few while millions of people are seeking the basic means of livelihood.

Again, we cannot continue walking the same and similar path expecting to arrive at a different destination.

It is time to use our vote smartly. In 2022, Ekiti deserves a smart Governor; a governor that is innovative. We cannot be planning agriculture that is dependent on nature when the world has perfected the use of Green Houses to maximize agricultural output. We cannot be talking about industrialization by focusing on primitive approaches when the world is building artificial intelligence around production.

An agrarian state like ours that is limited by land mass cannot depend on planting yam once in a year if we must bring our citizens out of poverty quickly. We must bring our knowledge to bear on how to maximize our limited land resources. This is where a smart leader like Kayode Adaramodu comes handy.

A state blessed with a youthful population like Ekiti should not sweat to raise IGR in this innovative world. Imagine Ekiti state as the innovation hub of Africa under a smart political leadership? Just one successful company that is built on innovation can change Ekiti fortune.

Let’s take a look at some innovative companies and how such could positively affect the lots of Ekiti.

Just in 3 months in 2021, Apple reported $20.6B Profit on $83.4B revenue. Facebook generated $85.9 billion revenue in 2020 and declared an operating profit of $32.6 billion. Microsoft’s turnover by 2020 was $143 billion. Zoom’s revenue in 12 months amounted to $2.65 billion, the video conferencing company ended the year with a net profit of $671 million. Despite the impact of covid19, Uber generated $11.1 billion revenue in 2020. All these are examples of global companies that are succeeding mainly on the strength of human thinking – knowledge!

In the year 2020, Ekiti State budget was N124.5 billion i.e $288 million, which was later reduced to N91.13 billion ($212 million). An application of a mere 10 percent tax on the profit of any of these blue chip innovation companies will be more than the budget of Ekiti State in 2020.

Those whose mentality is restricted to the past will argue these are not possible in Ekiti. I say they are achievable. Ekiti does not lack the Human Resources required for innovation, we are blessed with a youthful educated population. All we need to guarantee are the other critical ingredients for innovation, such as: good internet access, power, server infrastructure and adequate training.

My conclusion is that Ekiti will compete favorably once we can solve our only problem; we need a smart political leadership.

Omooba ‘Tosin Jegede
Spokesperson, Kayode Adaramodu Campaign Organization.
December 19, 2021.