There is an ongoing Court sitting holding at Benin Appeal court to maintain the Election of the Governor of Benin State Godwin Obaseki
There is an ongoing Court sitting holding at Benin Appeal court to maintain the Election of the Governor of Benin State Godwin Obaseki
In September 2016 Ize Iyamu, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the September 2016 governorship election, had challenged Obaseki’s victory at the polls.
Ruling on the matter, Monica Dongba-Mensen, president of the panel, said that the appeal lacked merit because the election could not be invalidated on the allegation that the judges at the tribunal compromised their duties.
Dongba-Mensen also dismissed claims that the PDP and its candidates were not given ample time to carry out their vote recount, which exceeded the 14 days allowed by law.
The election of Edo state governor, Godwin Obaseki has been upheld today Friday, by the Court of Appeal sitting in Benin, Edo state.
The Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, has garnered local and international acclaim; after commissioning Nigeria’s first pavilion at the 57th Venice Art Biennale.
Applauding him were Nigerian-born international journalist resident in the United States of America, Mr. Tunji Lardner and Head of President Muhammadu Buhari’s digital communication team, Mr. Tolu Ogunlesi, who, on Wednesday, commended the governor for his achievements in office and promoting Nigeria internationally.
Ogunlesi, a Nigerian journalist, poet, photographer, fiction writer, blogger, one of Nigeria’s most active Twitter users, tweeted at Governor Obaseki: “Thank you, governor; mighty proud of what you are doing.”
“Thank you, governor,; mighty proud of what you are doing.”
This was in response to the governor’s tweet on Wednesday:
“Yesterday, I commissioned Nigeria’s first ever pavilion at the 57th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, which was the first time Nigeria would have a pavilion at the historical art biennale.” With over 331,000 twitter followers, Ogunlesi was appointed to the role of special assistant on Digital/New Media by President Buhari on February 18, 2016.
Lardner, an adjunct professor at the Columbia University School of Journalism, resident in New York, said: “Your Excellency, I throwey salute o! Well done so far… we hail una o! God bless!”
Edo State governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, on Friday, inaugurated 1000 hectares of cleared field in Sobe farm Settlement of Owan West Local Government Area in the state for maize production.
Speaking during the inauguration, the governor said the maize cultivation, which could directly empower 200 agripreneurs to become millionaires, was part of his administration’s Accelerated Agriculture initiative to create jobs in the state.
Explaining the execution plan for the initiative, he said that the phase would target job creation for 1, 000 agripreneurs through the cultivation of 5,000 hectares of maize farms across the LGAs in the state.
He said: “Today is the first step towards actualising the 200,000 jobs promised by my administration. If we invest in Agriculture, we can do more than 200,000 jobs in Edo and Nigeria as a whole. We had an agricbusiness workshop to brainstorm on the challenges in our agriculture sector and we discovered that land preparation was a major challenge in the state. This initiative is to make land preparation easy via mechanisation for our farmers”, he said.
He continued that the initiative was in partnership with Saro AgroSciences ltd, which would provide technical support for the programme.
Meanwhile, he added that mechanisation centres would be situated close to the proposed 5000–hectare maize field to enable the agricpreneurs manage the 5 hectares that would be allocated to each of them effectively.
In addition, the governor urged the farmers to follow the recommended cultural practice for maize production to ensure optimal yield.
For his part, the Group Managing Director of Saro AgroSciences, Mr Oluwole Adeyegbe said the scheme targets a minimum of 4 metric tonnes of maize yield per hectare, which would be bought directly from the agripreneurs (farmers).
He said the company was also collaborating the state government for the second phase of the initiative, which would feature the use of green houses, pig production and Cocoa Yield Enhancement Programme.
The agripreneurs, he however explained, who would be beneficiaries of the scheme, must be able to raise 10% of the capital and would be linked to the CBN ANCHOR borrower’s programme for easy access to loan.
Commending the governor for the initiative, the secretary of Sobe Farm Settlement Cooperative, Mr Anthony Aibor, appreciated the prospect of employment creation for people in the area.
He, however, appealed to the government to tackle infrastructure decay in the community and the scourge of Fulani Herdsmen.
Frowning at the scourge of Fulani Herdsmen, which is one of the challenges encountered by farmers in the area, Governor Obaseki revealed that the state government was concluding strategies to curb the menace.
He said a Response Mechanism Team (RMT) would be formed among the farmers in the community to allow for intelligence reports, which would help in monitoring the herdsmen’s activities.
“The success of the programme depends on how well the government tackles the menace of Fulani herdsmen as no farmer has recorded great success for the past five years due to the activities of the herdsmen,” he said.
Also at the flag-off were the chairman of the Edo Agriculture initiative, Chief Osaro Idah, the Permanent Secretary of the state’ Ministry of Agriculture, the Edo chairman of the All Farmers’ Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Chief Emmanuel Odigie and his members, and members of the Sobe Farm Settlement Cooperative.
Meanwhile, the Odibiado of Sobe, His Royal Highness, Anthony Ero, Aleburu 1 expressed confidence in the agricultural project, assuring the governor of his community’s support to the success of his administration.
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has said that a female law graduate at the Internally Displayed Persons (IDP) camp in the state would be considered for employment.
Obaseki stated this while receiving members of the Commonwealth Scholars and Fellows Alumni Association of Nigeria at The Government House in Benin on Monday.
The governor, noting that it was unusual to grow a generation in a refugee camp, said that more information about the female refugee, who recently concluded her university degree in law, would be required in order to process her employment.
He also stressed that there was need to integrate the people in the camp into the society, adding that his government had no choice but to make the IDPs part of its focus.
Obaseki further said that the school built inside the camp would be commissioned in a week to allow for its use by the inmates.
He said that his administration was committed to the welfare of people in the state, whether indigent or non-indigent.
He, however, noted that the responsibility of rehabilitation of the people in the IDP camp should not be left to the state government alone.
Suing for peaceful coexistence in the country, Governor Obaseki emphasised that no meaningful development could be made in a society devoid of peace.
He commended the Commonwealth Association for their visit to the camp and for giving succour to the inmates.
Earlier, the President of the Commonwealth Scholars and Fellows Alumni Association of Nigeria, Dr Uduak Udom commended the state government for the level of support given to the IDP camp.
Udom said that the members of the association had earlier in the day visited the camp as part of its activities to celebrate the Commonwealth Day, which hold every second Monday in the month of March.
She, however, solicited that a female law graduate in th
I owe it to my leaders and to the people of Edo State, who put me in office, to explain what we (my administration) have tried to accomplish in the last 107 days after you gave us the responsibility of providing leadership for our state.
My mandate is clear; you gave it to me on a progressive platform – so our agenda is a progressive one; a people-oriented one in which we agreed to pursue policies that will help improve the lives of our people.
We promised to provide a minimum of 200,000 jobs within four years of our administration because we realised that employment constitutes one of the state’s most daunting challenges.
I promised to do all that is within this government’s power to focus on the economy and improve it to ensure that we lift our people’s living standard to where it should be.
I also promised, if you recall, strengthening our party, making it supreme, and separating governance from politics.
In addition, I promised that, as governor, I would ensure that we have peace and stability, without which we cannot have economic growth and political development.
We were sworn in on Saturday, November 12 and on Monday November 14th, when we started work, after meetings with the permanent secretaries to understand the state of affairs, our first assignment was to the Benin Technical College.
This was deliberate – if we promised to create 200,000 jobs, then we had to identify how to go about it. We wanted to send out a clear signal that institutions for training people to acquire skills would be our first priority.
Thankfully, it went viral. People applauded the move because they could perceive its importance. Since then, we have done a lot more. As recently as last week, we went out to tender a new design for that school, which does not only include rebuilding the school itself, but encompasses plans for creating an industrial park around the school where students can go and work and acquire more knowledge in their various practices.
One of the earliest things we did was to create a consensus around key issues we campaigned on. Therefore, we had a retreat where we invited some of the leaders and officials of the party, some members of opposition parties, civil servants, traditional and religious rulers. It was a consensus meeting held in sessions, and we came up with a six-point plan on how we wanted to proceed with our administration. We have since gone ahead to focus on each of those elements.
The first was agriculture. As a basis for our economic growth, we had another workshop where we brought over 70 investors in agriculture from outside the state. We have been able to set up an Agric ad hoc committee led by Chief Osaro Idah.
We are preparing about 5000 hectares of land and we expect to get about 200 or more people to invest. We are making arrangements for over 25,000 metric tonnes of maize this season and we are hoping to get more than 200 of our young men and women to go into profitable agriculture as a business.
We also listened to the yearnings of our people. One of the issues the opposition raised during my campaign was what they referred to as ‘double taxation’. We quickly tried to understand what was going on, and found that there were all sorts of people collecting levies and fines on the streets and the money was not coming to the government’s coffers.
Therefore, in my New Year broadcast, I made it very clear that we were not going to accept that situation anymore and we banned the collection of government revenues by non-state actors – that action received a lot of applause from members of the public.
We have also been able to negotiate with some of our contractors, and I am pleased to inform you that we have rehabilitated more than 45 roads within the Benin metropolis. This is in addition to completing those inherited from the previous administration under the SEEFOR programme. We have flagged off the Agbede-Awain road in Edo North. Last week we were in Igueben, where we inspected and met with engineers on how best we could construct the Amarhor–Ogua road.
We have started something we believe will be revolutionary in Nigeria; that is the use of concrete to construct roads. Working with AG Dangote, we have commenced direct labour on a high brand road, called Nevis Street in Benin City, which connects Lagos Street with Idahosa Street, Mission road and Forestry road. We are monitoring the cost and we believe that once we get it right, we can roll out massive road reconstruction across all our major cities in the state.
One remarkable achievement that we have made, which may have gone unnoticed is the issue of electricity. During Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s tenure, six years ago, we had worked with some investors to build the Azura Power Plant, which is currently under construction. It is one of the most highly rated finance projects in the African continent today and they are ahead of schedule. That plant will be completed before the end of next year and it will produce 450 megawatts of electricity.
We have also located another investor around Ologbo and a purchase agreement has been finalised for an initial 5 megawatts of power. Once we do that, within the next first four to five months, we should be able to generate about 5 megawatts at Ring Road to power all government buildings and all our street lights in the city. Once we do that, it will be very significant because it will be the second place, after Lagos state that this has happened, and even then, the cost is economic.
Once we generate the 5 megawatts at Ring Road, we can generate another 5 megawatts at an industrial park in Sapele Road, and so even before Azura gets ready, we will be able to attract many people to come and use the ready electricity in Edo to set up factories and production centres.
Because of the progress we have made in electricity, Siemens, a German company has indicated interest in working with Edo State government. They have signed MoU with us not only to train our young men and women in electricity, but also to collaborate with us and generate an additional 1000 megawatts of power in Edo state.
We have been very passionate about education, because we believe that the only way we can create 200,000 jobs is to train our people to be ready for work. Hence, the initiative behind the Benin technical college.
We inspected the School of Nursing and School for Health Technology to confirm their states and we are now completing a redesign of the nursing school. We are also trying to reaccredit those schools to make sure that we have higher standards than the national average so that those schools become places to train quality labour.
Another significant achievement we have made in education is getting approval for the Tayo Akpata University of Education. I am pleased to inform you that the Nigerian University Commission, with the active support of the Chairman of Council has given approval for the university to commence operation.
We have set up a committee that is currently working and we are looking at the designs so that we can put in place the infrastructure required before they open in September this year. Consequently, we are moving the students registered at the College of Education, Ekiadolor to the College of Education in Igueben. Therefore, we have visited the college at Igueben, and we are working on the master plan and putting money in the budget to expand the school so that it can accommodate the students from Ekiadolor.
Meanwhile, we have commenced paying the salary arrears of lecturers in both schools. We have set up a forensic audit on SUBEB because a case came up. The report has been submitted and we are working on it. By next week, we will make payment for all the jobs that have been completed by SUBEB, clean up the mess in there and apply for funding for this year so that before June, we should get the funding and award new sets of contracts for the balance of the junior secondary schools that we have not completed.
On administration, we have commenced the Contributory Pension Scheme in Edo state. For us, this is significant because without commencing the scheme, we will not be able to draw the line to ensure that we begin to deal with the challenge in pension administration.
From January this year, Edo State Government adopted the Contributory Pension Scheme, which means that we are not going to have any pension liability in future save those who will retire under five years. We can now deal with all the issues of outstanding pension that have accumulated up to that date. We believe that is significant and we could finally end the pension problems in the state.
The House of Assembly has also been supportive. We have sent a couple of bills to the house. They passed our 2017 appropriation bill in record time. In less than a month, they worked on the bill, we are grateful. In addition, they also helped us to finalise a bill to harmonise all rates and levies in the local governments because part of the challenge is that we never had one law stipulating what local governments should collect for services, so everyone did as they liked and appointed whoever they liked to collect taxes and levies.
However, with this law, people who do otherwise will be penalised. They have also helped us with the amendment bill of the Tayo Akpata University of education so that it will meet conditions for approval.
Additionally, they are also working on a very important bill, which will criminalise activities of CDAs. This was one of the key concerns of Oba Ewuare II during his coronation. We came up with a bill, which has passed second reading and which should be adopted into law very quickly. We have the enforcement mechanism already put in place to ensure that we introduce law and order.
We are concluding the first phase of the GIS in planning land administration in Edo state. This phase covers about 2000km radius in Benin to capture a high quality picture of the terrain, so that we can create maps. More importantly, with this GIS we can begin to reissue C of Os within 30 days, drop the cost of C of O, and ensure that we help the process of land administration and make this place more attractive for investors.
These are some of the modest achievements made in the last 100 days; but we will not be able to end it without mentioning the advanced work of the committee working on Gelegele seaport.
There is a technical team, which has surveyed the river, and has found an interesting location to locate the port. God has truly blessed us as a people; there are two large prolific gas fields close to that location. I got this information from the companies working there. They are starting to drill in one of the locations. Drilling is also expected to commence in the other location, which means that the amount of gas they will get there will be able to generate more than 1000 megawatts of power for 20 years.
We went to China, and we are optimistic that that axis will be a major industrial hub for this country. I want to thank you and I know that all of this wouldn’t had been possible if you did not accept my request that you give me the first few months to be able to sit down and plan and think about where to take this government to.
I am indeed grateful and I want to assure you that all we are doing is to help remove the pressure from you. We understand the pains, the difficulties people are facing, but the only way out is for us to change the paradigm to ensure that we create new areas of economic growth.
I want to assure you that I went round; I cannot say, as people claim, that I am not a politician – some of my statements have been misconstrued – maybe I am a technical politician because my politics is a bit more technical. That is why as we look at the political landscape, what we want to do is to try to place some order so that we can understand where we are at any point in time, and so that we can assist the political process and our political leaders.
I had a conversation with the party secretary this morning, which left me a bit worried. As we go out every day, we are looking for opportunities – we have sent people round the state, they will be located to try to register people who do not have jobs so that we can have a major database and therefore know how to begin to plan.
However, two weeks ago, the Industrial Training Fund came and we agreed to partner with them to give vocational and ICT training. We sent out to leaders across the wards and, of 450 that they requested we were only able to get 280 – for me that was worrisome. How can we say we have a problem of unemployment and of training our youths when we cannot even get them to train? I believe that as I have always argued, we have to use the party to govern and we will like to work with all of you and ensure that we are in touch with all of you so that when things come up, we can reach you.
With the signal we have sent out to the world, people have realised that Edo is the place to do business. Yesterday, we had a major international investor that flew in with his private jet and I had to take him to Illushi. He is one of the major exporters of banana. He said he heard that Edo’s soil is good for agricultural purposes and that he wants to do tissue culture. He has 6 million tissue culture of banana that he wants to grow for export into Europe. I had to spend all Sunday going around with him. On Wednesday, the National Investment Sovereign Wealth Fund is coming with major investors from South Africa. These people have 25 to 50 million dollars to spend to cultivate rice in places like Edo.
Since we have these opportunities, nothing will gladden my heart more than ensuring that as this people come in, I have people I know and people I have worked with, who are my political leaders that I can now collaborate with them to achieve the desired goals.
I want to thank you again.
By Governor Godwin Obaseki, Executive Governor, Edo State, Nigeria
There is the saying that when good things are happening, one will hardly take notice of the time. This is true to Governor Godwin Obaseki’s 100 days in office. I remember when I was chatting to a friend who asked me if it’s already 100 days that Obaseki assumed Office. The 100 days has flown by with remarkable landmarks in the various sectors of Edo State economy.
I remember my very first encounter with Obaseki Campaign Organization. I had come in from Abuja, having arrived from London. I had previously established lines of communication before I came to join the campaign. I was so much interested in him becoming the governor of Edo State after appraising his track record and the need to have a capable hand manage Edo’s economy in the wake of the financial crisis. More importantly, I knew what a Continuity Government meant for our people and what would have befallen the State if power shifted to the People Democratic Party (PDP). So, I literally co-opted myself into the Team Godwin Obaseki called TeamGO. We campaigned hard and literally engaged in fierce online battles. The rest they say is history and Obaseki emerged victorious.
So what has Obaseki achieved in his 100 days in office?
Governor Godwin Obaseki immediately after assuming office embarked on a series of inspections to get firsthand assessment and take stock of what and where should get his urgent attention. In 100 days, Governor Obaseki has done a marathon but with methodical steps to prepare the structure and portfolios for his incoming cabinet and here are some of his landmarks achievements.
1. The inspection visit to Benin Technical College to find out its current situation and what should be done. Since the inspection of Benin Technical College, Obaseki has put the machinery in motion to ensure the College is revived.
2. The Inspection to the Secretariat, the home of Edo civil service, where he read the riot act to civil servants to shape up in performance, cleanliness of their work environment and service delivery.
3. The setting up of the Gelegele Seaport Committee to make Gelegele an export processing zone. The export free zone is envisaged to have an airport strip to evacuate processed goods from the zone and road networks. This will lead to the promotion of trade and commerce, and employment not to mention the significant infrastructure development.
4. The setting up of the Committee under the Agriculture Empowerment Initiative to revamp agriculture in the state. The advantages this Agric initiative cannot overemphasised especially as our national vision is on diversifying the economy through agriculture to ensure self sustainability. The target of this Agric Empowerment Initiative is to create about 80,000 jobs.
5. Governor Obaseki organised the agribusiness workshop where stakeholders in the agric sector mapped out strategies to revamp the sector.
6. The policy of involving and encouraging the partnership between the state government and private sectors to drive investment, enlist capacity, expertise and knowledge in executing programs. For example, the partnership with Saro AgroSciences, a leading company in the agribusiness space of Nigeria with expertise in crop production and protection in the Agribusiness initiative.
7. The prohibition of tax collection by non state actors.
8. The cessation on manual collection of taxes and the introduction of a tax waiver system of up to 50 percent for defaulting taxpayers.
9. The commissioning of a committee to look into electronic means as an alternative to the manual system of tax collection.
10. The synergy of purpose with traditional institutions. Obaseki visited the Oba of Benin to seek his support but unsurprisingly, the Oba’s vision correlates with Obaseki plans for Edo. So, there is mutual understanding from the outset.
11. The The Oba of Benin unprecedented and reciprocal visit to Obaseki in which said he would support his administration.
12. The engagement of religious leaders in the state to promote religious tolerance and peaceful coexistence of citizens irrespective of their faith. The fallout of the engagement was the agreement to establish inter religious council, I think the first in Edo to promote harmony, solve the issue of street children and joint partnerships with religious leaders to tackle security problems like the herdsmen menace.
14. The criminalisation of the activities of Community Development Associations in the state.
15. The paradigm shift in education policy – technical and vocational education that will revive the skills gap and improve employability. This will equip citizens with technical skills ready for work and massively improve the quality of human resources to drive the process of industrialization and agriculture.
16. The rebuilding and rehabilitation of schools in some communities in Edo State which undoubtedly will strengthen the facilities for our children and provide a more conducive environment for learning.
17. The major focus on human capacity development to bring out the creativity and entrepreneurship of Edo people.
18. The payment of salary arrears of former lecturers and staff who worked at the College of Education, Ekiadolor, now Tayo Akpata University of Education
19. The commitment to make Tayo Akpata University technologically driven – benchmarked on global standards and the subsequent setting up the Tayo Akpata development team, which he chairs.
20. The smooth passing of the 2017 Budget of Consolidation and Prosperity. This showed the harmonious relationship between the Executive and the Legislature.
21. The Contributory Pension Scheme with the appointments of 15 pension fund administrators to undertake the enrolment of employees in the state public service in accordance with his 2017 budget speech.
22. The passing into law the Pension Bill that will organise the implementation of the Contributory Pension Scheme.
Since inauguration, Governor Obaseki has refocused Edo State to dig deep and transform itself to become of the best state to do business in Nigeria. Within 100 Days, we have seen the unprecedented high level of investors queuing up to do business in Edo State.
On the non appointment of commissioners within 100 days, my view is that this is not only strategic but also a determination to do things differently. By working directly with permanent secretaries of government, Obaseki is able to hear directly from civil servants and the several challenges facing their ministries and the ongoing refocused approach to work in the civil service.
In 100 Days, Governor Obaseki has risen to the challenges of the inherent financial crisis in the system. He is steadily streamlining the cost of governance and reducing inefficiencies. Governor Obaseki has proven the confidence reposed in him by Edo people to manage their affairs. His commitment, passion and zeal to place Edo State on the global map has shone through. He has throne himself into the trenches; not afraid to get dirty, he is out and about inspecting roads, carrying personal on-the-spot assessments and working tirelessly to reposition Edo State. Obaseki is on course.
Governor Godwin Obaseki has presented a budget of 150 billion appropriation bill to the Edo State House of Assembly to fast track economic and social transformation of the state.
Governor Obaseki, who christened the 2017 budget as “Budget of Consolidation and Prosperity” said it was wrapped around the six key policy areas.
“Mr Speaker, we have proposed a budget size of N150,011,831,079 Billion which is a nominal 29% increase over 2016 budget estimates made up of N74,900,297,917 as Recurrent Expenditure and N75,111,533,162 as Capital Expenditure.
“The revenue estimates are based on a $42.0 benchmark for crude oil and average daily production of 1.9mil barrels per day and expectations of improved performance of Internally Generated Revenue.
“Hence we will maintain a balance of capital to recurrent expenditure (50%: 50%) in line with our plan to spend our way out of recession
The governor, said “this Budget would have a deficit of N25 Billion for 2017 which is within the acceptable threshold.
“The deficit will be funded mainly by external borrowing from the third tranche of the World Bank budget support facility.
He named the six key policy areas of the 2017 budget to include Economic Revolution, Healthcare services, Infrastructure development, Institutional Reforms, Environmental sustainabilty, social welfare enhancement and Culture and tourism.
Governor Obaseki, while reviewing the 2016 budget, noted that “the crises we face today are not insurmountable, with focussed planning, discipline and faith in God, we can “develop a modern and progressive Edo State, where every citizen is empowered with opportunity to live life in its fullness”.
“I am honoured to present to you today christened “Consolidation and prosperity”.
According to him, “the policy directions of this budget are largely informed by my interactions with Edo people during my campaign which was validated in a strategy dialogue comprising political, religious and traditional leaders, professionals, civil society, women and youth groups.
“The policy bedrock of the 2017 budget rests on Economic Revolution, Infrastructural Expansion, Institutional Reform, Social Welfare Enhancement, Culture & Tourism and Environmental Sustainability.
“These are the pillars which – if pursued with uncommon focus, will help us build a new society, create new jobs, new opportunities and wealth – and usher in a new era of prosperity for all.
The Governor, in his review of the budget proposal, sets aside N7.5billion for investment;N22.2billion for economic sector; N22.3billion for infrastructure, development and upgrade; N3.2 billion for pension scheme; N6.05billion for outstanding grauitities and pension and N6.6 billion to rebuild infrastructure of institutions in 2017.
Governor Obaseki said “this Budget of Consolidation and prosperity clearly outlines our first priorities and serves as our compass to the future we seek.
He said “building this new society for Edo State will depend on the timely implementation of reforms to further boost business climate, attract private investment, improve our social welfare and foster needed development.
“Therefore, the timely passage of this budget is crucial,’’ saying that “Edo State must become the standard bearer of progress in Nigeria.
“We must lead the nation in social and economic progress. We will be unrelenting in our pursuit of a cleaner, greener and digital Edo.
“In this task, our government will shun all acts of corruption. We shall hold all accountable and will aggressively ensure justice is meted to offenders.’’
Obaseki, in his presentation assured the honourable members saying that “I remain confident that we would continue to enjoy a harmonious working relationship in the interest of our dear State and to the glory of God, our Maker”.
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has paid glowing tribute to the late business mogul, Olorogun Michael Ibru, who passed on recently, describing him as one business minded personality who redefined the Nigerian business environment.
Governor Obaseki said this shortly after the funeral service for the late Business icon, at the All Saints’ Cathedral Church, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Iwhreko, Ughelli, Delta State, on Wednesday.
Obaseki described late Ibru as a colossus, truly blessed by God and whose wealth robbed of on his members of his generation
He said, “We take solace in the Lord that Chief Ibru as you know was a colossus. He was truly blessed by God, and he spread out his blessings as much as he could as a human being.”
Obaseki said the late Michael Ibru not only had tremendous impact on the business scene but redefined the business environment in Nigeria.
“As you know, Chief Michael Ibru redefined the business environment in Nigeria, and he had tremendous impact on the business scene during his lifetime. And we are grateful to God for his life.”
He said late Ibru started his business life in Benin City and he lived a worthy life.
“We in Edo State are grateful to him because as you recall, he started his business life in Benin City in the late 50s and 60s, and we are grateful that he lived a worthy life.
“May his soul rest in peace,” Obaseki said at the occasion, which also had the presence of Governor Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, of Delta State.
Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki on Tuesday received in audience, former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Billionaire businessman, Capt. Hosa Okubor, as part of government’s efforts to create conducive business environment in the state.
A government house statement by the Chief Press Secretary, Mr. John Mayaki, said Obasanjo was in Government House to give his blessings to Governor Obaseki, his policies and programmes, especially in the area of job creation, industrialization and wealth creation.
The statement added that both investors – ex-President Obasanjo and Okunbor had visited “ ” in within Benin metropolis – along Sapele Road Bye-Pass before calling on Mr. Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki.
It said former Obasanjo, who parried reoporters’ questions said “I have come to visit the Governor and the Governor has accepted my visit.’’
In his normal humorous manner, Chief Obasanjo said, “I come salute Governor and Governor don pick my salute. That one no do?”
When prodded further, he said again, “I say, I come greet Governor, I come salute Governor and Governor don pick my salute,” and laughed his way through the crowd of reporters who besieged him to extract words over his visit.
It is recalled that Capt. Okunbor had recently started a multi-billion naira agro-allied business in the State in partnership with a Mexican firm, Wells Sam Carlos Farm worth $750million (about N150 billion).
The farm, designed to create 85,000 jobs in the State, will create 25,000 direct jobs and 60,000 indirect jobs.
The newly sworn-in governor of Edo state, Godwin Obaseki has promised to fulfill his campaign promise of creating 200,000 jobs in the state within the next four years.
The governor made the remarks shortly after taking oath of office administered by the Chief Judge of Edo state, Justice Cromwell Idahosa at the Dr Samuel Ogbemudia stadium Benin City.
Obaseki who extolled the achievements of former governor Adams Oshiomhole added that; “I’m honored to be succeeding a true friend and I will always uphold your trust. I will resolve to build your legacy.”
In his speech with witnessed huge applause from the crowd, Obaseki promised to attract industries and aide small businesses for Edo people in order to produce goods and services
He added, “Edo state belongs to all of us no matter our political parties. Let’s integrate our ideas with diligence and focus on investing on preventive medicine as it is better to prevent than cure.”
On Education, the governor said, “We will thrive to improve the quality of our schools by introducing ICT and broadband into our schools.”
On infrastructure, Obaseki promised to continue to consolidate on the infrastructural development which Comrade Oshiomhole started, saying; “We will focus on completing all on-going projects.”