Makinde performs turning of Sod for construction of NUJ Ultra-modern mall

Governor of Oyo State, ‘Seyi Makinde, on Monday, performed the turning of sod for the construction of Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) Ultra- Modern Mall.

Speaking at the brief ceremony held in Iyaganku, Ibadan, the Governor, who was represented by his deputy, Barrister Abdul-Raheem Adebayo Lawal, commended the NUJ Chairman of Oyo state chapter, Chief Ademola Babalola, for the laudable initiative, stating that the epochal project is something that should have happened long ago.

He described Babalola as a man of progress and determination who can be entrusted with any task, adding that NUJ is very lucky to have him.

Barr. Lawal, who praised the excos for being able to keep the parcel of land at the Iyaganku axis, equally commended them for thinking it appropriate to put up a legacy project on the site at this specific time in the history of the union.

He said: “I have to congratulate you for retaining this parcel of lands at this period of time for construction of ultra-modern hall. It’s really apposite for you to partner with developer to put up a legacy project on this site.”

Describing journalism as a good profession, the Deputy Governor disclosed that if he had not been a lawyer, he would have loved to become a journalist.

“I have been associated with journalists from when growing up and have never regretted being with them because they are fantastic people with wealth minds. So, if Governor Makinde is associating with journalists, there is a reason for doing so because they are pathfinders in terms of development and enrichment of our culture and tradition.

“We thank you very much for acknowledging the support Oyo government has been given to journalists. This center which was commissioned in 1992 seems to be the best that happened to journalism in Oyo state until now that ultra modern mall is about to be constructed.

“As a government, we are very proud of this project, and whatever is required in terms of support, on behalf of His Excellency, the Governor of Oyo state, it will be given so that Oyo state journalists can raise their head in the comity of journalists in Nigeria,” he added.

Earlier in his remarks, the NUJ Chairman, Mr Babalola commended Governor Makinde for his outstanding support for the NUJ and the journalism profession as a whole which has been remarkable.

He noted that the Governor’s tireless effort to nurture and foster a conducive environment for journalists to thrive in Oyo State is truly commendable.

“You have been a beacon of hope and a steadfast pillar of support throughout the years, especially when I came on board in 2019 as the Chairman of this great council of the union.

“So, on behalf of the entire NUJ community, I want to express my deep gratitude to you, our amiable and performing Governor Abiodun Oluwaseyi Makinde,” he stated.

In his own remarks, Architect Ayo Ogunlade, the project Director said that Governor Makinde is an amiable young person who is a digital governor working ahead of 21st century.

He said: “I have seen the calmness in the environment since he came over and has provided a conducive atmosphere for development. We are determined to also contribute our own qouta to the development of Oyo state as the project is estimated about N3bn due to the current situation of the country.

“The practicality of the project is that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel as the land has been there for ages and the project is about to commence.

“The project will serve the people and is going to add to the revenue of the state and also add to the landscape of the area.”

In their separate remarks, the representative of NUJ president and former NUJ secretary, Bolaji Kareem, however commended Governor Makinde for his laudable developmental projects in the state as well as for his support for NUJ.

“Journalists are very happy today because this is the future. Thank God, today is a reality. There is much to be done for NUJ”

Mogaji Alhaji Solagbade Adewole, who also spoke at the event, however appealed to Oyo government to take good care of correspondents in governor’s office and advocated for an insurance cover for them.

The event was attended by Commissioner for Information, Dotun Oyelade; Commissioner for Youths and Sport, Wasilat Adegoke; Chairman BCOS, Chief Olaitan, Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, Pastor Sulaiman Olanrewaju, Comrade Ogundele, Bolaji Kareem, among others.

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