The Voice Newsmagazine
I WILL ATTRACT MORE INDUSTRIES TO EDO STATE - GODWIN OBASEKI
EDO State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has continued to receive commendations from a cross section of the society for having the will power to bring development to the state.
The governor has in the past seven years deliberately opened up the rural communities with the construction of several of roads across the state bridging the gap between the urban cities and the farming villages.
There is no doubt that the people, both in the cities and in the rural areas now have different stories to tell, because in the past it was a story of despair and disappointment due to decades of criminal neglect, marginalization and deceit by different administrations.
These unique transformations which have also impacted positively on the economy, education, health sector, tourism, and the civil service has continued to elicit the admiration of the generality of the people. It is therefore not surprising that majority of the people are concerned about who will take over from the comrade governor November this year.
They are insisting that the next governor should be able to build on the successes already recorded by Adams Oshiomhole and should be someone who has the working knowledge of how within this years a lot that has torched on the lives of the people could be achieved.
That may be the genesis of the word continuity in governance because if an insider working closely with the Comrade Governor becomes governor there is the likely hood that those projects already executed will be improved upon and others executed for the benefit of the people.
One of those who believe on this theory is Prof. Eddy Erhagbe of the university of Benin. He maintains that, “let there be continuity of governance in the state.” He made this statement while delivering a lecture at a seminar organized by Edo Accord initiative in Benin City with the theme, Edo state in the Eye of the present economic down town and the future.
At the well attended event graced mostly by invited delegates of the All Progressive Congress APC, stakeholders of the party at the Bishop Kelly Pastoral Centre early this Prof. Erhagbe, a member of the 2014 Constitutional Conference, said that in the search for who will take over from Oshiomhole the question must be asked, “ who are the people who know how to perform the magic in Edo State.”
The professor of History amongst other points raised told the delegates from the 192 awards across the State and others present that through the precarious situation the nation has found itself today, economically and politically Nigeria leaders have been talking of diversifying the economy all this while.
“As we try to move forward, there are certain things to be done for the government to survive and Edo State is yearning for improvement in the industrial sector,” he noted.
To corroborate what Prof, Erhagbe said, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, the All Progressives Congress APC candidate in his remarks at the event had said, “The first thing I will do as governor of Edo State is to bring investors. We need to create industries; at least fifteen industries will be attracted to the state. Even if it is the production of gele (head tie) for women, we will make so much money, that is my government will attract people to produce, “he disclosed.
“ I will concentrate on how to survive by using my experience in the stock exchange to attract investors to the state. It is no news that several states in the country cannot pay salaries of workers, some for up to nine months, you can count states that have paid. The comrade Governor has provided the infrastructures such as roads, schools, electricity and water. What we now need is to build industries and bring investors,” he noted.
According to him, “Edo State is strategically located at the centre that is why it is the heartbeat of the nation; it takes about nine hours to Calabar, about an hour to Onitsha, three hours to Portharcourt.”
A financial adviser to Alhaji Aliko Dangote, the multi-billionaire businessman in the country, Mr. Obaseki who has been the Head of the Economic team in Edo State enthused that, “I am human and by the grace of God, I will use every resources at my disposal to transform Edo State industrially.”
He lamented the fact that Edo State is made up of about five million people and three million are under the age of twenty five years. “Out of this figure, seventy percent of employable ages have no work, which is a major problem in the country today.”
Obaseki requested to know from the delegates how many of them were wearing made in Nigeria clothes, saying that majority of them are imported into the country. “It then means that money we get is used to import. Therefore, anybody not producing what they wear will end up poor,” he added.
In the words of Godwin Obaseki, popularly called the G.O, “Until we change the attitude of Importing we will be poor. The dollar has gone up and we cannot continue to import. We must change the situation and somebody needs to help us. The government can make it possible by assisting those who want to produce.
He enjoined the youths to be friendly to investors when he becomes the governor noting that if investors come to them they should please welcome them and provide security for them.”
He disclosed that the government will set up and promote soft loan finance to small scale businesses at low interest rates and directed the women to join cooperative societies to enable them access the loans through micro finance banks.
As for the youths, he said vocational centers will be built to train them to be able to use machines like harvesters and tractors for agricultural production. “The government will set up extension services in all the local government areas in the state and in three or four years, we will be able to create jobs for the people in the state,” he assured.
He commended the Chairman, Edo Accord Initiative, Hon. Dennis Idahosa for organizing the seminar, nothing that more of this seminar should be held at the senatorial levels, with experts to speak to the various group businessmen and women.
In the words of a delegate in one of the wards from Edo central, Patrick Ejuolen “I have heard several things about Mr. Godwin Obaseki but today after hearing him speak of what he plans to do for the state, I have a different view about the man. No wonder it is not wise to judge someone without having a personal experience rather than relying on people’s views about the person. This delegate and obviously the others left the venue of the seminar apparently convinced when Mr. Godwin Obaseki, spoke like a technocrat outlining his vision of transferring the state into an industrial hub in the nation.
Another guest lecturer, Pastor (Mrs.) Esther Uhunoma Igbineli, while delivering her paper titled, sourcing funds for small and medium Enterprises (SME) urge Mr. Godwin Obaseki to invest in SME to develop a crime free society and improve the standard of living in the state.
“If the SME’s are well funded and encouraged, joblessness will reduce, youths will be engaged positively, prostitution and child trafficking will be reduced because those who would have gone into these vices will be occupied with one trade or the other. People will diversify into many businesses that will sustain and promote the economy, and social lives will be improved because poverty will be alleviated.”
There were other speakers like Dr. Carl Nosakhere Isibor who spoke on conflict management and the president of the Akugbe ventures Tony Kabaka, who spoke on youth’s empowerment as well as a goodwill message from a two time governor of Midwest and Bendel States, Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia who was represented by Dr. Imasuen.
It was no doubt the outcome of such meetings and several other fora that exposed the people to the potential and ability of Mr. Obaseki to transform the state economically and this that it easy for him to get the APC ticket to contest the governorship election coming up on the 10th of September this year.
By Eubaldus Enahoro