- … Answers Sceptics As He Swears-in Osaze-Uzzi, Ex-INEC Director, 14 Others As Commissioners
Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki insisted on Tuesday that the ongoing Benin Port project is real. Dismissing insinuations that the project is a scam, Governor Obaseki said all the designs and processes for the port project, as well as the Enterprise Park, expected to drive the state’s industrial growth and boost the economy, have started.
The port project is in partnership with the Edo State Government and the Federal Government through the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA.
It is being executed under a Public-Private Partnership arrangement approved by the Federal Government through the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, ICRC.
Speaking at the swearing-in ceremony of 15 new commissioners, one of them, Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, former Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC’s National Commissioner and Director, of Voter Education, the governor contended that “The Benin Port is not a scam as we will be going to Antwerp next month to sign with the Port of Antwerp in Belgium. We must ensure all we can to get the finance to start and ensure the construction is in place before we leave office. All the designs and processes for these projects have started. We need to work with speed”.
According to him, “Our Benin Enterprise Park must take off as the local content board has taken 50 hectares of the park while we also need to build 100 hectares as there is electricity and gas to create room for investors to come to Edo to manufacture.
“We also have to complete a five-star hotel as we have a delegation arriving from the States for this purpose. We must carry our people along in all we do as the government must be for the people we govern.”
He, therefore, charged the new cabinet members, made up of new and returning ones, to sustain efforts by the government to improve the livelihood of the people and ensure economic prosperity for the State.
Governor Obaseki noted that “We have had an excellent team since we started our administration six years ago. The team has helped us to actualise our vision of transforming Edo State to where it should be. Any transformation is a work in progress and doesn’t end. I thank all members of the Edo State Executive Council in the last six years who have worked closely with me to define and reshape the new Edo we have now. Hard work and your diligence have brought us this far.
“We are inaugurating today what we call the finishing team which is made up of men and women of high standing in their careers and communities as they take over the baton, ensuring the administration finishes strong. This team is coming to consolidate the excellent work done so far to make Edo great again. We are all aware of the developmental strides this administration has made since coming into office in the area of law and order. Harassment of traders in various markets has ended in the state, creating room for businesses to thrive.”
Speaking on reforms by his administration to drive economic growth, Obaseki said, “The President just signed an electricity bill allowing states to generate and distribute electricity within their states. This was made possible through our own Ossiomo Power Plant in the state. People are now coming into the state to do business because the state is safe. Our various reforms have placed us on the path of progress which we must sustain as this is the least expected of the people of Edo State. We need to reconnect with our people, letting them know what we have done over the last six years so that together, we can sustain what we have started to enable it last as the expectation is high”.
Urging the new commissioners to sustain the developmental strides across the state, Governor Obaseki posited that the government would not be distracted in the next 18 months “as we have a lot to finish in various sectors.
“We have more to do in the areas of providing micro-finance to our women to trade, deploying more security cameras across the state; deploying fibres, and connecting all our local governments, schools, and healthcare centers in the state. This new EXCO is charged with the task of developing various successes recorded in the education sector. We are still working on disarticulating junior secondary schools from senior secondary schools. We must ensure that by the time our children are leaving junior secondary school, they must have work. We must complete all the work we have started in our colleges of education and agriculture, as well as polytechnics, and build functional manpower with less emphasis on certificates”.
The commissioners sworn in include Ethan Osaze Uzamere, Christopher Osaretin Nehikhare, Monday Osaigbovo, Dr. Joan Osa-Oviawe, Isoken Omo, Stephen Ehikhioya Idehenre, Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, Patrick Uanseru, and Dr. Samuel Alli. Others are Adaze Aguele-Kalu, Kingsley Uwagbale, Uyi Oduwa Malaka, Joshua Omokhodion, Ojiefoh Enaholo Donatus and Christabel Omo Ekwu.
Speaking on behalf of others, Joan Osa-Oviawe, thanked the governor for the trust and opportunity to serve. She solicited the collaboration and support of the people.
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