All Eyes On Obaseki, Edo Governor-Elect | Independent Newspapers Limited
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All Eyes On Obaseki, Edo Governor-Elect

Edo, Obaseki
Posted: Sep 30, 2016 at 2:35 pm   /   by   /   comments (1)
By Ejikeme Omenazu.
BENIN – Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki, the candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), was on Thursday declared the winner of the Edo State governorship election by the Independent National Electoral Commission i(INEC). Obaseki polled 306,663 votes to defeat his main opponent, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who garnered 244,363 votes.According to INEC, APC won in 13 local government areas, while PDP won five. Even as the Obaseki’s camp, his party and the Edo State residents are rejoicing over the victory, Pastor Ize-Iyamu has described the results as a “rape of democracy”.

However, having won the election, what are the expectations of Edo people from the governor-elect, Obaseki? A look at his campaign promises shows that the people will have a lot to smile for giving their mandate once more to the APC, which has been in power for eight years under Governor Adams Oshiomhole.

During his campaign, Obaseki outlined 10 major areas he will concentrate on if given the mantle of leadership to govern Edo State. Thus, the people are now filled with expectations as they expect very much from him, especially in these 10 areas.

Job Creation

Obaseki, during his campaign, promised that within four years, his administration would create over 200,000 new jobs across the state through agriculture, entrepreneurship schemes, attracting investments for the development of industries and technical and vocational skills development. On this, he promised to make public a template to be jointly used by the public and the civil society to track the achievement of this objective.


The governor-elect, Obaseki, also promised to lay emphasis on agriculture. On this, he had said: “In line with the popular aphorism that states give a man fish and you feed him for a day, but when you teach a man how to fish, you feed him forever, therefore, our agricultural development model will reposition agriculture from being subsistence farming or a way of life to Agriculture as business.
“Many Edo people will generate wealth by keying into our value chain development of oil palm, cassava, cocoa, grains, rubber, fruits and vegetables, we will create over 150,000 jobs within the next four years under a farm ownership and management model or out-growers’ scheme.”Entrepreneurship

Another area which Obaseki promised would receive special attention is entrepreneurship. On this, he promised to provide Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) loans at single digit interest rates to encourage micro and small businesses to grow. Also, by so doing, he hoped that medium enterprises would become large companies on the long run. He expressed optimism that through this, over 50,000 jobs would be created to support over 20,000 MSMEs in the next four years.

Development of Industries

Obaseki also promised to give indusial development a pride of place. To this end, he pledged to ensure that there would be constant electricity to power the state’s industries in line with his campaign promises in this regard. Currently the electricity demand in Edo State is over 450 mega watts, but the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) is rationing about 150 mega watts of electricity between the four states it serves. Obaseki said his administration plans to generate 20% of Nigeria’s electricity from plants sited in Edo State.
On this Obaseki said: “We will attract more investments in large and small scale electricity generation and working with the BEDC, we will ensure that more power is available for domestic and industrial use. We will also ensure that areas not previously connected will be linked with the electricity grid. Excess generation will be sold to the national grid.”

Women Empowerment

Obaseki also pledged to give special attention to women empowerment considering the importance of the womenfolk to the development of the society. According to him, “we will provide the enabling environment for women to achieve their highest potential by taking our women empowerment initiative beyond the phase of empowering women.
“We will empower society as a whole through the women because when we strengthen women we are empowering our domestic economy. We will advance government services when women occupy leadership positions.”

Youth Empowerment

The youths of Edo State were not left out in Obaseki’s plan to make Edo State great. He said: “In addition to providing access to Medium and Small Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) financing for our young entrepreneurs, we will focus on the development of our youths through investments in sports, arts and crafts. Our key target will be to link these talents with resources to become globally competitive and access to markets to unlock their inherent potentials.”

Civil Service Reforms

The civil service is crucial for the success of any administration. To underscore the unique position of the civil service, Obaseki pledged to build a strong civil service whose population would be proud to be identified as Edo State Civil Servants anywhere they find themselves. To this end, he said: “My government will invest in training and capacity building of the civil service within a broad plan of refocusing the service to meet the 21st Century governance demand.”

Infrastructure Expansion

Expansion and development of infrastructure is another area which Obaseki said he would give attention. According to him, “we will consolidate the gains of the last seven and a half years by continuing the infrastructure revolution and urban renewal efforts. We will complete the improvement on the Education Infrastructure in the remaining schools and build new ones.”
He also pledged to take the state’s health care delivery to the international standard to reduce medical tourism, which consume a lot of money from governments in the federation. According to reports, Nigerians spent close to $2 billion in medical tourism to in India in 2015 alone. This trend, Obaseki said his administration would discourage in Edo if elected into power.

Obaseki also promised to give attention to security. As the Chief Security Officer (CSO) of the state and in line with the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution, Obaseki said his administration would “entrench law and order across the state by cultivating a government that is alive to the need to the security of lives, property and investments while speeding up dispute resolution and strengthening the criminal justice system.”

Tax Reforms

Due to his desire to carry our massive economic development programmes in the state, Obaseki promised to carry out tax reforms to buoy the state’s finances without hurting the people. As he put it, “bearing in mind our economic development initiatives, which we will commence immediately upon assuming office and recognising the role of taxation in development, we will implement a pocket friendly tax regime to grow the tax base.

“In this regard, I am quick to remember the words of an accomplished jurist, Sandra-Day O’Conor, that no one learns more about a problem than the person at the bottom. I have been a private sector businessman paying taxes to government and also as a senior official of government helping with taxation management, I know the pains of taxation and the benefits that come with responsible management of tax proceeds. Our government shall commit itself to a transparent management of tax payers resources at all times.”

Having won the election, analysts are of the view that Obaseki will between now and the handover time, assemble credible and efficient team of experts who will assist him to bring to reality these 10-point agenda for the benefit of Edo people.

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