By Lucky Isibor
Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has declared that restructuring and referendum as being agitated by some elder statesmen and leaders will not solve the nation’s current problems.
He said the only solution apart from diversifying the economy of the nation from oil, is for government at all levels to eliminate waste and cut cost deploring the long convoy of vehicles being used by government officials as unnecessary and part of the avoidable waste militating against the nation’s economic growth and development.
Governor Obaseki who stated this Thursday, 6 July, 2017 while delivering a lecture entitled “New Opportunities and New Initiatives for Development”, organized by the Correspondent’s Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Edo state also warned youths in Gelegele community in the state to stop brewing crisis that may force the government to relocate the proposed Export Processing Zone (EPZ) project in the area, declaring that government would not tolerate further crisis in the area.
Chairman on the occasion and business mogul, Capt. Hosa Okunbor, who urged other governors in the country to emulate the economic blue prints of the Obaseki administration in the state due to the prevailing recession, also called on political leaders to support the Obaseki led administration in the state for the benefit of the people.
The Governor who noted that the problems confronting the nation today was due to misplacement of priorities said rather than calling for secession by a section of the country, they should be calling for stoppage of waste in governance “because once that is fixed Nigeria will be great again”.
According to him, “dwindling oil revenue are now the order of the day. And for us to continue our socio-economic development, the paradigm must change from what we inherited from the civil war. So the bulk of the agitations we are seeing today, whether threats of war, call for restructuring, secession, are results of the evolution of our socio-economic process. Because Nigeria was not always run this way.
“As children in the 60s there were regions and the regions did not go to the center to sustain themselves. The regions were self-financing, infact some of the regions had their own offices in London at that time and they were able to deal independently with the colonial administration. so Nigeria never started this way, it was the unfortunate incident of the civil war and the role of oil after the civil war that forced us on this condition we found ourselves today.
“Such that Local Governments are legislated, states are legislated and at the end of every month, these organs or these entities that has now been legislated not as a result of the genuine desire of the people like the case of Midwest where we had to go through a referendum to decide to be a region. These entities were all time been sustained by revenues from oil but today that oil is not enough to sustain these entities. So the question now is how do we proceed?”
He added however that “the challenge is not insurmountable, the challenge is not about dismantling Nigeria, because if you dismantle Nigeria into various parts, the same problem will follow them. The answer is to sit down and say let us be realistic to ourselves. Let us understand that the way we are running the country today by making it so dependent on one source of revenue is no longer sustainable and therefore we must diversify the economy and its politics.
“We must stop wastage, how can government officials be moving with over twenty convoys, what for? These are some of the wastage. I promised a future of economic foresight which will be shaped by the willingness to do the necessary things that will lead us into a new and rapid age of development.
“Therefore the new initiatives in development in Edo state are woven around the cardinal programmes of my governance which is the essence of my topic. It is broken into six core areas, infrastructural development, environmental sustainability, culture and tourism, economic revolution, social welfare enhancement and institutional reform.
“I decided to take the mantle of leadership from Comrade Oshiomhole in order to continue on the development trajectory which we commenced in 2007.
Today every expenses of government passes through the oracle, we have blocked wastage and I can tell you that we are on course in Edo state” he declared.