LESS than two weeks to his inauguration as Edo State governor, the APC candidate, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, who was declared winner of last month’s state governorship elections is yet to constitute a transition committee. However indications are that some persons within his campaign team have more or less transformed themselves into a pseudo- transition committee and are already meeting to fine tune the state’s 2017 budget. An unidentified member of the committee last week issued a press statement saying that, the decision by Obaseki to begin work on the budget was a move to ensure that lawmakers receive the budget before the end of the year. The member of the transition committee also said Obaseki stressed that next year’s budget estimates should prioritise on jobs and empowerment. Contacted for the transition committee list, Messrs Adams Oteghe and John Mayaki who were principal actors in the campaign team of the APC candidate were not forthcoming with any comments on the reason for the delay in making public the list of transition committee members. Reacting to the absence of a transition committee, the State Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Chris Nehikhare said, it is a matter of grave concern that neither the APC as a party or Mr. Godwin Obaseki has thought of setting up the transition committee. “For a party that claims it won the election and has the mandate of the people, isn’t it curious that they are not celebrating, inaugurating a transition team and interacting with the people that “gave them the mandate”? Obaseki’s many promises to the people of Edo State are detailed in his manifesto tagged “Achieving economic prosperity for Edo State is our mission”, on his website, where he outlined things he would do for Edo people if elected. They include the Creation of over 200,000 new jobs in 4 years through investment in agriculture by repositioning it and making Edo the hub of agriculture in Nigeria. He also said his government plans to invest in eight technical vocational education and training institutions which will create direct jobs for the youths. On Security (law, order and justice), Obaseki promised to strengthen the Criminal Justice System and support the police and other state-sponsored agents in various capacities including the infrastructure that supports them in the work they do. He also promised to revive moribund industries, invest in new industries and attract private capital into all state owned enterprises under privatisation. On infrastructure such as roads, schools, hospitals, housing, he promised when he comes into power, to continue where Mr. Adams Oshiomhole left off. He said the renovation of school infrastructure already commenced will be completed. The government will ensure a continuous maintenance culture for the sustainability of the education infrastructure. He planned to redevelop the Ikpoba River valley projects to generate electricity and also as a source of water supply for industrial and domestic users. With regards to entrepreneurship, he said his government plans to support at least 20,000 entrepreneurs over the next 4 years to stimulate the economy through Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, MSMEs, development by creating not less than 50,000 additional jobs. In terms of meeting human basic needs such as salaries and pensions of civil servants, he said his government will achieve this by ensuring that salaries are paid as at when due. “Also, all outstanding pension owed pensioners will be cleared. Civil servants he said will also receive their full entitlement immediately after they retire”. He promised to rebuild the civil service into a world-class work environment powered by Information and Communication Technology, ICT. Public and civil servants will also be trained and empowered with modern management tools. He said his government will focus on financing primary healthcare level across the state, while visual and dental health will be integrated into the healthcare policy and master plan. He also promised to re- introduce scholarship and payment of bursary in all state- owned higher instructions. For the women in the state, he promised to create an enabling environment for women to achieve their highest potential with a women empowerment initiative which will be taken beyond the phase of empowering women to empowering society as a whole. Obaseki said Edo State will be restored as the number one state in sports in Nigeria. He said schemes will be developed to encourage artistic output and a sustainable tourism industry will be developed.
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