April 17, 2024

Governor Obaseki’s Scorecards: The Countdown to 2024

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By Raphael Ihonde, Ikhili Ebalu, Moses Abehe, Elempe Dele and Cynthia Agbonavbare-Ayin

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As the administration of Mr. Godwin Obaseki, Governor of Edo State approaches the exit gate, the Midwest Herald Editorial Team has lined up series of Special Reports on “The Countdown” to help our readers evaluate all of his government programmes, married with his 2020 electoral promises.

Obaseki flagging off ‘Agripreneur’ programme

The following sectors will be objectively covered and reported to enable Edo people and Nigerians score the government that will be replaced on November 12, 2024.

  • Agriculture
  • Education (Primary, Secondary and Tertiary)
  • Public Transportation
  • Bureaucracy and Civil Service
  • Security
  • Housing and Shelter
  • Jobs Creation
  • Sports Development
  • Local Government and Rural Development
  • Traditional Institutions and Integration in Governance
  • IT and Digital Deployment
  • Urban Renewal and Development
  • Roads and Bridges
  • Environment
  • Healthcare
  • Tourism, Arts and Culture
  • Museum of West African Art (MOWAA)
  • Wellness
  • Industry and Commerce
  • Fiscal Disciple and Corporate Governance
  • Politics
  • Legislation
  • Judiciary
  • Intervention Agencies (EDSOPADEC, UBEC)
  • Revenue Generation (Internal Revenue Board)
  • Loans and Multilateral Donations
  • Legacy Projects (Edo North Airport, Benin Port and Judges Quarters)
  • Edo North Cargo Airport, ENCA.

Specific attention will be given to rural roads like those connecting local government areas and within the different local government areas.

Schools – primary and post primary in the 192 wards will be covered pictorially to evaluate the acclaimed ‘EdoBEST’ education intervention scheme.

The ratio of teachers to pupil and students; ‘tablets’ for teachers-students will be critically examined to applause the reformation in Edo education sector.

Dilapidated Ramat leisure Park

The Sobe Farms and other flagship ‘Agripreneur’ farms will be revisited to see how well Obaseki has kept his promise to turn Edo State into the food basket of Nigeria.

The nagging question of how many Farmers were able to access the agriculture loans that were procured from the Central Bank of Nigeria and other donor agencies will be answered.

In like-manner, the success or failure of ‘EdoJOB’ will be examined along side the grants and loans from the Bank of industry, to see if Governor Obaseki will be able to breast the tape with his 200,000 jobs he promised in 2020.

On the issue of security, we shall speak to the local hunters, vigilantes and other volunteer groups that constitute the Edo State Security Network, to see how government has funded and equipped the operatives with light weapons, vehicles, communication gadgets and salaries.

Model of MOWAA, doubt over completion

The reports will also find out how well Obaseki has been able to deal with the menace of killer herders in Edo State.

Our team of reporters are presently visiting the moribund industries to see how well government has done in reviving the cassavita factory in Uromi, Fruit juice factory in Ehor, Ikpeshi chemical plant and others.

The question of how well has Obaseki’s policy of special interventions helped to restore the past glory of Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, the high turnover of acting Vice Chancellors and administrators and their impact on the institution will be examined. 

Tourism has been a major policy thrust of Governor Obaseki’s administration. Midwest Herald will introspectively assess the plan of making Edo State a tourist destination before November 2024.

Apart from launching the ‘Tourism Master-Plan’, not so much has been done to prepare the state to attract private sector investments.

The dirty environment, bad roads, poor basic sanitation and lack of scenic places in the capital city, puts government’s tourism goal in jeopardy.

What Obaseki has done so far is akin to putting the cart in front of the horse or taking the tourism timelines in the wrong order!

The recent investment on Radisson hotel or the arrival of new airlines to Oba Akenzua II Benin City airport are unable to put Edo in the tourism calendar.

Along this line of thought, Midwest Herald will investigate the progress of work on the five leisure parks that were touted and contained in the 2022 budget allocations.

We will conduct an indebt report on the ‘game-changer’ Benin Port, and also see the level of work done on Ekenwan Road which is the only access to the port. 

The Benin Industrial Park was designed to be the biggest in West Africa by Obaseki’s administration. It was to be what Tinapa was to Cross River State. The editorial team will tell the level of work done, legal encumbrances (if any) and the viability of the park.

Flooding has become a life threatening situation in Edo State. What is the current state of the Benin Water Storm project? What has the state government done to reduce the impact of flooding in Etsako East and Etsako Central?

We will also find out if the current administration has improved the availability of potable water in Edo Central?

One area that has generated attention (good and bad) for Obaseki’s administration is the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban and Regional Development.

Pupils of Osaretin Primary School Uzalla, Uhunmwode LGA begging Governor Obaseki to save them from dangers of collapsing school block

How much work has been done to improve the traffic congestion, epileptic traffic lights, poor public transportation, removal of shanties and sand dews from the artery roads into Benin City?

How well has Obaseki’s administration performed with his housing programme? We shall cover the various government housing schemes, apart from the exclusive 68 units – Emotan Gardens next to Government House in Benin City.

A very knotty inquisition that the present administration has faced is the finances of the state. This they say, is critical to the viability of the state and our reports will examine the debt components – local, foreign and grants that have been received by government since November 2020.

According to the Ancient Greek, “Politics is the affairs of the cities… It is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations among individuals, such as the distribution of resources or status.”

Has Governor Obaseki failed to meet the Greek definition of politics? We shall trace the genesis of his undulating political journey and why he has been involved in incessant fights with key political figures in Edo State.

How is it possible to be a ‘good governor’ and a ‘bad politician’ at the same time?

We shall find out!

The goal of this project is to ensure that Edo people are able to make responsible and informed choices, rather than acting out of ignorance or misinformation.

Information serves a checking function, therefore, Edo people should ensure that elected and appointed political office holders uphold their oaths of office and fulfil electoral promises.

5 thoughts on “Governor Obaseki’s Scorecards: The Countdown to 2024

  1. People like us should be allowed to contribute objectively to this project as an active participant in the political process all through.

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