Posted by on 2/6/2003 11:06:59 AM

Education: The western system of education was introduced into the state through the religious institutions that got established in the region during the 19th Century. The Universal Free Primary Education (UFPE) was introduced into the former Western Region of Nigeria on 17th January, 1955. The region comprised the present Oyo, Ondo, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti, Delta states and some parts of the present Lagos State. In 1955, the total primary school enrolment in the state then comprising Oyo and Osun states was 213,789.

By 1980, enrolment had risen to 1,281,744, an increase of about 600 percent over the 25 year period. Similarly, the number of primary schools had risen from 1,895 in 1955 to 2,475 in 1980 an increase of 229 percent. Phenomenal increases were also witnessed in the establishment of secondary schools in former Oyo State between 1979 and 1985. Fortyfive new secondary schools were opened bringing the total schools were established making a total of 681 sec f ondary schools in the present Oyo and Osun States , (Oyo State ,1981).

The pattern of growth in the number of primary and secondary schools and in their student enrolment has continued in the present Oyo State, since the carving out of Osun State in 1991. While the present Oyo State alone had, as at 1985/86 aca t demic year, 1071 primary schools and 290 secondary schools, by the 1992/93 academic year, the total number of primary and secondary schools had risen to 1,453 and 309 respectively, with corresponding increases in student enrolment .

Similarly substantial increases have been witnessed in the enrolment figures for technical and teacher education in the state since 1980. Successive governments in the state have also encouraged adult education encompassing basic literacy, continuing education, remedial education and vocational education.

Health Services: The health programme of Oyo State is hinged on the provision of free drugs and services in government health institutions. Since 1980, government has concentrated highly on preventive medicine.

Consequently, the Epidemiological Unit of the Preventive Division of the Oyo State Ministry of Health embarked on an Expanded Programme of Immunization in the state. It established mobile units covering the different zones in the state for the immunization of children who are four years and under, against the six main killer diseases tuberculosis, poliomyelitis, tetanus, I whooping cough, diptheria and measles.

All women of childbearing age (fifteen to fortyfive years) are given two doses of tetanus toxoid each. The work of these mobile units is supplemented by the health centres and child welfare clinics distributed all over the state. Special units have been established for the control of communicable diseases like leprosy, malaria and tuberculosis. The addition of the School of Midwifery in Shaki and two new Schools of Nursing in Oyo and Ogbomoso in the early 1980s to the existing health institutions in the state has improved training facilities for the different grades of Health and Medical personnel.

In Oyo State, Three hundred and twentyfive of these or twentythree percent are General and Private Hospitals while 374 or 26.47 percent are public and private maternity clinics. Other important facilities include dispensaries, which make up about 21.6 3 per cent, and Rural Health Centres and General Clinics which make about twelve percent each .

While the health facilities are generally spead all over the state, the largest share of these (about thirtytwo percent) are located within the five Local Government Areas of lbadan alone while the remaining twentyeight local government areas share the rest. Another feature of health delivery in the state is that government owns about fiftyeight percent of the facilities while the remaining forty two percent are owned by private establishments.

Transport And Communications: In Oyo State, road transportation is the most important mode of movement. The rail has ceased to be relevant in intercity movement within the state since the rail transportation system in Nigeria became moribund in the 1980s. There are no large navigable streams in the state over which water trans portation could be developed.

The major rivers the Oba, Ona, Ogun and Osun and their tributaries, flowing through parts of the state pass through steep gradients and hence are fastflowing or are not wide enough for water transportation to be developed along their courses. Consequently, government has, in the last twenty years, concentrated its efforts on the development of intercity and town ship roads in the state.

Since 1979, the intercity and township roads which have been either reconstructed or rehabilitated include the lbadanAkanranOlugbuyi roads; the lseyinSakiOkehoRiver Titiale road, the River TitialeAlaga road, the OgbomosolgbetiKishi Ogbomosolregba road and the Ogbomosolresaapa Oko roads. Similarly, the township roads rehabilitated include those within lbadan, Ogbomoso, Oyo and lgbo Ora.

These development activities were effected by the joint efforts of the state government and the World Bank Roads Rehabilitation Programmes. The Federal Government has recently awarded contracts for the reconstruction of the lbadanOyo Ogbomoso and OyolseyinShaki roads. These various road development projects have resulted in a very high mobility level in the state. Oyo State has one of the highest rates of telephone subscription in the country.

The state also has a high density of postal services; in 1985, there were sixteen General Post Offices and 103 Postal Agencies. About a decade later, the services increased to 23 General Post Offices and 149 Postal Agencies. By this development, there is hardly any settlement in the state with population up to 20,000 that does not have either a General Post Office or a Postal Agency.

Tourism And Recreation: Oyo State is blessed with a wide variety of rich natural and cul tural features that could be productively utilized for its tourism development. Some of the features in some cities are highlighted below. lbadan: The University of lbadan Zoo has a variety of interesting animal species including lions, hyenas, tigers, monkeys, crocodiles, snakes, ostriches and peacocks.

The British Captain R.L. Bowers, who was said to have checked the practices of kidnapping and human sacrifice in the area. Agodi Gardens, with its collection of a variety of plants and animals, is located at the base of the Premier Hotel Hill and close to the Oyo State Cultural Centre. The Centre has facilities for entertainment and art exhibitions.

Ogbomoso: The 'OgunOJalu' (War has never attacked the town) monument and the set of sociocultural corecomplex comprising the Soun of Ogbomoso's Palace, the Town Hall, part of the Ogbomoso North Local Government Secretariat, the Central Mosque, and the two traditional markets (Ojalgbo and OjaJagun) are notable tourist attractions.

Oyo:. The Alaafin's Place with its surrounding components of traditional chiefs' residential features, the agelong Atiba Hall and Markets, Oyo Calabash Carving and Leather Works are notable tourist centres.

Old Oyo National Park: This is located at about 160 kilometres North of lbadan. It contains some of the ruins of Old Oyo, the seat of the Old Oyo Empire. It is part of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments.

Ado Awaye Suspended Lake:This is a very attractive natural lake suspended on the crest of one of the rocky outcrops. Standing on these rocks, one gets a beautiful panoramic view of the surrounding region. Ado Awaye is a distance of about twenty kilometres west of lseyin.

lseyin: This is a very important cloth weaving centre in Yorubaland. These are the popular traditional 'Aso Oke' produced from dyed yarns of different components.