Sustaining Governor Obaseki's reforms by Ethan Uzamere

By Ethan Osazemen Uzamere

Governor Obaseki’s administration since 2016 has been a trailblazer in every aspect of governance — from civil service reforms, rapid state industrialisation, the attraction of key investments, people-centred policies, and driving top performance in all governance sectors. Indeed, he’s a very pragmatric and visionary leader.

Also, his antecedents in corporate boardrooms and many years of experience creating valuable investments have solidified Edo’s place as a front-runner across all developmental indices. It’s a little wonder then, that the Edo human development index has increased by over 18% in 7 years, greater than previous administrations combined. In the area of school enrolment, Edo is top, with the lowest number of out-of-school children. Even in recent national examination ratings, Edo is always one of the top five, departing from being at the lowest rungs before the inception of Governor Obaseki’s administration.

Governor Obaseki has performed exceptionally well in changing the narrative about the great Edo people. He has changed the way we are perceived both in Nigeria and globally. First, he resolved to transform the state from a purely civil-servant-driven economy to one driven by local and foreign investments. Today, Edo is a rapidly industrialising state with the introduction of reforms in key factors of production, such as land and labour as well as the production of clean energy for seamless production with the Ossiomo power plant.

Due to these reforms, Edo has been a destination point for investors in the last six years. For example, Dufil (makers of power oil and indomie noodles) is now in Edo. GreenHill Farms, which is building an ethanol refinery from cassava feedstock, now operates in Edo. There are also functional modular petroleum refineries in Edo State, whereas refineries controlled by the Federal Government are all comatose. Edo is also home to an independent power source, the celebrated Ossiomo power plant.

In agriculture, Edo has seen the revamping of Edo Fertilizer and Chemical Company Limited, Rubber Estate Nigeria Limited, which handles a 2500-ha Rubber Plantation. Other investors include Agripam Limited, Saro oil Palm, Fayus Nigeria Limited, Saturn Farms, Loquat Farms, and Barnsley Farms.

In upskilling our teeming youth population, this administration created the Edo Tech Park, Edo Innovation Hub and the Edo Production Centre, which are all offshoots of Edo Jobs. The transparency with which tax administration has been emplaced in Edo has restored investor confidence and is a key driver to these investment inflows.

Every endeavour rises and falls on the strength of the foundation, which is why Governor Obaseki is laying a solid foundation in Edo State through his visionary plans. He has introduced a blueprint for the next 30 years that will enable his administration lay a solid foundation for the future.

In a world disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic and modern wars, Edo is already looking ahead by planning for the future today. With Governor Obaseki, the people of Edo are regaining hope in the democratic governance system. In the last governorship election, the massive support of Governor Obaseki is a testament to his long-term vision for Edo. A vote for continuity will have far-reaching effects on the citizens of Edo. For example, our people now see that Ossiomo power is powering government buildings and public utilities such as street lights. They also see that some other private establishments are being supplied 24-hour power through Ossiomo power at a time when the Federal Government cannot provide even 10 hours of power supply daily. The Governor’s achievement in this regard is no mean feat.

In terms of his personality, Governor Obaseki is an individual who is practical and people-oriented. He derives joy in seeing people succeed. He is committed to developing Edo. He is a man that can be best described as a modern Edo builder. Through him, market women now trade in peace without assault by thugs. With him, our teachers once again have earned their pride of place in society in their teaching profession.

With him, workers and retirees get their salaries, pensions and gratuities by the 26th of every month. He ensured that Edo pays the highest minimum wage in the entire country without any pressure from organized labour. He is also, providing a bespoke worker-friendly environment through the rebuilt secretariat buildings. To ensure that every citizen gets a fair chance, he has introduced transparency in the recruitment process across the Civil and Public Service.

Governor Obaseki, has also ensured that infrastructural development is given top priority. For example, the TV-Ehaekpen road, Textile Mill Road, Saint Saviour Road, and Benin Abraka Roads, amongst others too numerous to mention, are products of this infrastructure focus. With Governor Obaseki, every ward in Edo has become a massive construction site.

Our Governor has lived up to the mantra as the people’s Governor in every aspect. In this way, he has distinguished himself even in his comity of Governors in Nigeria. Other state governments have showered encomiums on him regarding his invaluable experience in the economy and governance. Lagos State Governor, Mr Sanwo-Olu, has said he borrowed key transformative ideas from Governor Godwin Obaseki.

Edo State is blessed to have a visionary leader like Governor Obaseki. He deserves to get overwhelming support from all of us. Let’s support all PDP candidates in this Saturday’s election and ensure that Governor Obaseki has a competent legislative house to complement his giant strides.

Ethan Osazemen Uzamere


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