Engr Oluseyi Makinde, the current governor of Oyo State, as an entrepreneur before his adventure into politics was an innovator per excellence whose Makon Group helped to deepen Nigeria’s capabilities in the local content space of Nigeria’s oil and gas industry and earned a patent for that.
Upon ascension into office as the chief executive of the pace setter state within his first 100 days in office, he has wowed both indigenes and others alike with some revolutionary approaches to governance in Nigeria by declaration of his assets(50 billion naira), appointment of a 27 year old Seun Fakorede as a commissioner, collaboration with digital agricultural platform Farmcrowdy to boost the capabilities of 50,000 farmers, establishment of the Oyo State anti corruption agency to reduce fraud in the state’s civil service amongst others.
A redesign anchored on adoption of smart technology will help Governor Makinde take governance a step higher. I propose a road map to make this happen.
Establishment of Oyo State Open Governance Initiative: An appointment of the Chief Data Scientist of the state who will be saddled with the integration and analysis of data from all state ministries, departments and agencies so that intelligence driven economic planning to aid allocation of scarce resources to critical sectors will create a transparent open governance model, enabling its international development partners access information to boost their support. It should also collaborate with civic tech startup Budgit which is committed to entrenching good governance in Nigeria by publishing it’s budget devoid of political considerations.
Collaboration with MainOne For Digital Oyo: Smart connected infrastructure to unlock the prosperity of Oyo State is crucial for the transformation of Oyo State. Leading broadband provider MainOne should be approached by the state government to deploy their solutions as a strategic partner similar to what they have done in Lagos and Edo States, and operational issues surrounding Right of Way sorted out for ease of their business.
Digitization of all government operations with blockchain: Governor Makinde should utilize blockchain to digitize all government contracts, ownership of all property in the state, registration of all vehicles, taxes filing and collection, monitoring of all state infrastructure such as its utilities, storage and authentication of all its agricultural commodities.
Redesigning Education with Connected Learning: Oyo State should create an E-Learning platform (Imo Oyo) which will train its public primary and secondary school students with a mix of our local content and globally competitive skills in a gamified format to make it fun. Augmented Reality will be used in training all its science students in biology, physics and chemistry to make up for the lack of efficient teachers in modern teaching tools to bring them at par globally. Also artificial intelligence tutors can train those across the state who lack access to world class quality education in Yoruba and English languages so that they are not educationally excluded. With a descent on WAEC rankings, a state of emergency with technology is needed to improve learning outcomes.
Partnership with Zenvus to deepen its farmers capabilities: Zenvus, a digital agricultural platform, which uses artificial intelligence to aggregate soil data and provide real time farm intelligence should be approached to boost the capabilities and competitiveness of Oyo state farmers through a partnership with the state government. This done for farmers via cooperatives will help in providing information on where they can sell their products, produce prices, farming record, farm insurance and access to capital in line with goal two of the SDGs.
Partnership with Medcera to boost medical delivery: Medcera, a digital healthcare platform which utilizes artificial intelligence in creating a real time digitized medical record of patients and offers telemedicine services should collaborate with Oyo State government to improve and deepen healthcare delivery for all the citizens in line with goal three of the SDG’s.
Oyo needs this construct to redesign and take the lead as the pace setter state.