Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State says his administration will run
a government that is very transparent and listens to the people,
explaining that this is the government the people yearned for, and
this is the dawn of a new era.
Speaking while receiving members of the Edo State House of Assembly
who visited him at the Government House, Benin City, Wednesday,
Governor Obaseki said, “I want to assure you that we are going to run
a very transparent government and your duty of over sight is very
important. I want to assure you that you have in us, a government that
you have yearned for, a listening government. We would rather hear
from you before we talk to you. Like we said on several occasion, this
is the dawn of a new era. The last 8 years of this state witnessed
rapid transformation. Before that transformation, we had to first of
all recover our state politically and that created the platform for
the rapid transformation you have seen in the past 8 years.”
He continued, “So the last 8 years were basically years of foundation
laying. We have laid the right foundation for our economy and socio
take off and so, the next 4 to 8 years by the special grace of God
will- be one in which we will now take Edo to much more higher level
than we have seen in the last four decades.
What are the key issues we seek to address? First, we must recover our
society. We are likely to lose our society if we do not begin to
emphasis those key issues of human development and economic
empowerment. We have too many young men and women in our own estimate
between half a million to 3 quarter of a million, between the ages of
15 to 30 who have nothing doing. We have to engage them and to engage
them, we need to do several things and so, the last two days, you
would have noticed that we are trying to understand the issues.”

According to the Governor, “We are going to create jobs. We promised a
minimum of 200,000 jobs and to do that, we first have to understand
our direction and the challenges we face in terms of unemployment. On
Monday, we went to Benin Technical College which was established 40
years ago to champion technical and vocational training for young men
and women. The challenges are enormous because what we saw was
pitiable and even though we have an obvious task, we are not daunted
at all. So, we will, using this institution to quickly understand what
we need to do and the investments we need to make. To create the
platform, put a lot of our young people through training so that they
can be employed in the businesses that we are attracting.
We also understand that no matter how great, no matter how interesting
the policies we pronounced are, no matter the bills we have put
forward, if we do not have the institutional framework, if we do not
have the bureaucracy that can execute, these policies would just be as
good or as nice as they have been pronounced.”
Obaseki assured, “Therefore, the key priority for us would be to
ensure that we revamp and strengthen our civil service. That informed
our visit yesterday to just have a firsthand understanding of how our
civil servants work. Members of the house, we have a lot of work to
do. In the last 40 years, not much have been done, particularly, in
the physical environment in which our civil servants work, but more
critically, I even training them and building their skill level.
We understand that we have to continue to invest in infrastructure
despite very lean resources but we are very clear and resolute that
working with you, and with the kind of support we enjoy from you, we
will be able to overcome all these challenges we face.”
Finally, the Governor said his pre-budget team would start discussing
the 2017 Budget proposal with the House of Assembly as from next week,
“Next week, we will be sending our first executive bill to you. It is
critical and when the time is right, we will know publicly. I want to
thank you because, though we are separate arms of government, you have
decided to, on your own, take time out to come and say, we want to
work with you, and to assure you that the very step you take, we will
first consult with you. Starting from next week, when we will be
sending the team, the pre-budget team to come and meet with the budget
committee of the house to seat down and begin to discuss the framework
for next year budget.
We believe that if we have this sort of interaction, it will go a long
way in facilitating understanding of one another in the process of
crafting the bills; it makes it a lot more efficient”, the Governor
Also speaking, the Speaker, Edo State House of Assembly, Rt Hon. (Dr.)
Justin Okonobo said they were in Government House for a
familiarization visit to the Governor and pledged their readiness to
work with Governor Obaseki. The Speaker declared that they were ready
to formulate laws that would be of benefit to the people of Edo State.