Category: Blog

FG, UNICEF commend Obaseki as Edo launches open defecation-free road map

FG, UNICEF commend Obaseki as Edo launches open defecation-free road map

The Federal Government and the United Nations Children Funds (UNICEF) have commended the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, for his relentless efforts and commitment towards the eradication of open defecation and its associated problems in the state.

The Minister of Water Resources, Sulaiman Adamu and UNICEF’s Communication for Development Specialist, Mrs. Caroline Akosile who were in Edo State, commended Obaseki for the launch of the Open Defecation Free (ODF) roadmap, and the Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) emergency declaration.

Obaseki launched the campaign shortly after signing the Partnership for Expanding Water Sanitation and Hygiene (PWASH) Protocol on the Federal Government’s goal of achieving an open defecation-free country by 2025.

Governor Obaseki said his administration would ensure that the state is open defecation-free, assuring that the state government would set up Small Town Rural Water Supply Agency to supervise the various water installations in the communities that have water projects.

He said, “We will take inventory of water projects in the state and fix faulty facilities as part of efforts to sustaining the WASH programme. We will ensure we have functional water systems in our schools. In every ward, we will demand up-to-date details in terms of water projects so that water associations will be formed for the water projects schemes.”

Earlier, Adamu said efforts made so far by Obaseki towards ending open defecation across Edo State were applaudable, urging the governor to show more commitment in the actualization of the goal by 2025.

The minister said he is visiting several states across the country with his team to intimate state governors on the national launch of the campaign against open defecation to be performed by President Muhammadu Buhari on the 19th of November 2019.

According to him, “Nigeria failed to meet the millennium goals in 2015 because we were relying on budgetary allocation and investment were not enough. This gave birth to the PWASH. The Federal Government intends to target water and sanitation entrepreneurship as we work with microfinance organizations on issues relating to water and sanitation to enable people earn a living.”

He said water is an economic commodity to be paid for, noting that 13 of the 774 Local Government Areas in the country have achieved the open defecation-free target.

On her part, the UNICEF Specialist, Akosile said the state government’s commitment to WASH demonstrated a determination to eliminate open defecation in communities across the state.

She said Obaseki was the first governor to pay up the counterpart funding for the Water and Sanitation Programme in the UNICEF Akure Field Office, applauding the approval of the establishment of WASH department in all the 18 Local government Areas of the state.

“Access to safe water and sanitation is a fundamental human right as declared by the UN General Assembly. Safe water, effective sanitation and good hygiene are critical to the health of every person and underpins all aspects of human and economic development”, she added.

Migration: Obaseki seeks closure of illegal entry points into Nigeria

Migration: Obaseki seeks closure of illegal entry points into Nigeria

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has called for closure of illegal entry points into the country to curb nefarious activities of some illegal migrants.

The governor made the call while declaring open the 2019 Comptroller-General of Immigration’s Annual Conference in Benin City, the Edo State capital.

Obaseki said Nigeria must join other countries in tightening their porous borders to prevent illegal migration.

He said, “There are about 1, 490 illegal entering points into the country and this is encouraging illegal migration into the country. Some of these illegal migrants commit crimes in the country and even have the Nigeria Voters Card. It is worthwhile for any country to develop a policy on migration as it is necessary to manage a country’s economy”.

Obaseki, however, commended the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) for the introduction of the National Biometric Identity Card for Intra-ECOWAS Travel and Biometric Registration of Foreign Nationals as a new security measure in the country.

He said the theme of the conference, ‘Migration Management in a Developing Economy; the Role of NIS’ was apt as it would afford stakeholders the opportunity to evaluate their roles in combating illegal migration and deliberate a way forward.

Delivering a paper presentation at the conference, entitled ‘Government’s Effort at Curtailing Irregular Migration: The Edo Experience,’ the governor said the state was committed to supporting policies aimed at reducing illegal migration.

He listed four modalities put in place by the state to combat illegal migration to Europe, to include Returnees Management; Resettlement and Reintegration; Advocacy and Awareness Promotion; Promotion of Human Rights and Development of the state’s economy.

The governor said youths in the state were being trained and empowered with vocational skills and linked to jobs, while the basic education sector has been reformed to discourage citizens from embarking on illegal migration.

Earlier, Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, said the Federal Government was working towards the introduction of a better technology for the issuance of the Nigeria Passport such that there would not be physical contact between the passport seeker and passport provider.

Aregbesola said the new method of issuance would reduce fraud in the system.

He noted that the NIS Conference was to appraise the activities of the service for better management of migration in line with global practices.

On his part, the Comptroller General, NIS, Muhammad Babandede commended the Edo State Government for its efforts and commitment in the fight against human trafficking in the state.

Babandede explained that Edo State was chosen for the conference due to its commitment and determination in managing migration in the state, noting that while people see the negative sides of migration, the conference is aimed to expose the benefits and positive sides of migration, including its economic value to the state and nation.

“It is not wrong to travel but what is important is to manage it so that the travellers, the state and federal governments, alongside the destination countries benefit from migration,” he added.

Obaseki inaugurates panel to probe financial impropriety in Colleges of Education, Agric College, others

Obaseki inaugurates panel to probe financial impropriety in Colleges of Education, Agric College, others

…inquiry to cover 10-year time span

The Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has inaugurated a five-man Commission of Inquiry with a charge to investigate financial misappropriation among other allegations in the state’s three Colleges of Education and its College of Agriculture in the last 10 years.

Speaking during the inauguration of the commission headed by former Head of Service (HOS) in the state, Mrs Gladys Idahor, in Government House, Benin City, the governor urged members of the commission to get to the bottom of what transpired in the colleges and how the institutions crumbled under the watch of those who they were entrusted with.

The institutions to be investigated include the colleges of education in Ekiadolor and Igueben; Micheal Imoudu College of Physical Education, Afuze and the College of Agriculture, Iguoriakhi.

The governor said the Commission of Inquiry became necessary because the state government discovered huge outstanding emoluments due to staff of the institutions.

“I charge you to expose anyone that has taken any actions or decisions that have criminal implications as I assure you that appropriate action would be taken.  I assure you that your findings will be implemented within the next 90 days after submission of your report.”

Obaseki disclosed that the terms of reference of the commission are to examine the finances of the institutions (receipt and disbursement) received over the last 10 years and determine if they are in accordance with the laws of the institutions and the rules and regulations guiding the public service.

The commission is also to “examine the administrative structures of the institutions in line with the laws establishing them and examine the mode of employment and promotion at the institutions with a view to determine if due process was followed.

“They will investigate any matter that may be incidental to 1 to 3 above and make an appropriate recommendation that will assist the government in repositioning the institutions for better service delivery.”

The governor added, “My administration is determined to reposition these institutions to achieve the goals they were set up to achieve by the founding fathers years ago.

“I hereby request that the commission present its findings, not less than three months from its first seating.”

Chairman of the commission and immediate past Head of Service in the State, Mrs. Gladys Idahor, thanked the governor for the confidence reposed in them to do the job, assuring that they will not disappoint him.

Obaseki: We are tackling insecurity, human trafficking with quality education

Obaseki: We are tackling insecurity, human trafficking with quality education

…stresses role of good governance in eliminating terrorism, crime

…says political power is for the improvement of lives of ordinary people

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said the state government is tackling insecurity and human trafficking in the state by prioritising and investing in quality education and ensuring good governance to engender peace and development.

The governor said this Tuesday in his lecture at the Department of State Services’ Institute of Security Studies, in Bwari, Abuja, themed: “Transhumance and International Migration: Challenges of Good Governance, Peace and Sustainable Development in Sub-Saharan Africa,” organised for participants in Executive Intelligence Management (EIM) Course 12, drawn from the State Security Services (SSS) and other sister security agencies from Nigeria and other West African countries.

He said the training will enable them acquire the necessary skills that prepare them for the ever-changing security space and the enormous responsibilities that go with it, noting that the discourse will help in enriching participants’ thought and decision-making processes in tackling security challenges that Nigeria, the Lake Chad Basin and Sub-Saharan Africa face.

Noting that there was an imperative to prioritise good governance to engender development, Obaseki said, “Any nation-state in Sub-Saharan Africa including our great country Nigeria that is committed to having and maintaining sustainable peace and achieving a developmental pedestal, such a state needs to put in place a system of good governance. By good governance I mean a system of values, policies,and institutions by which a society manages its economic, political and social affairs through interactions within and among states, civil society, and private sector.”

On the state government’s efforts at tackling insecurity and human trafficking, he said, “We have opened the flood gates of our three (3) Technical Colleges in the three senatorial districts; Government Science and Technical College (formerly Benin Technical College), Benin City (Edo South), Government Science and Technical College, Egua-Eholor (Edo Central) and Government Science and Technical College, Igarra (Edo North) to victims of human trafficking and international migration (Returnees) from Edo State who are interested in the acquisition of technology-based knowledge that will empower them and help build a technology-based Edo of our dream.

“Edo State government promised that those who volunteered themselves and key into our prioritised research-based production engineering and technology-driven knowledge within the reach of the demography of young people and specifically for the training of technologists, artisans and craftsmen in Engineering fields such as: Automobile Mechanics; Electrical installation; Welding and Fabrication; Building Construction; Mechanical Craft and Drafting; Wood Work; Business Studies; Radio and Television; and Catering and Management among others, would be supported by the government to set-up their own small-scale businesses.

“In addition to the above, I stand tall and I feel boundlessly happy to say that we have successfully established a functional innovation hub and a production centre in line with our lofty dream of technological transformation of Edo State into a technology-hub that will be a pride of South-South Nigeria and the entire country. The economic impact of these technology-based educational institutions on their immediate environment and the lives of Returnees both in the short, medium and long term cannot be over-emphasised.”

Obaseki told the participants that political power should be used to better the lives of the people, adding Edo State under his watch, has used its leadership and social work skills to identify  areas of needs of all our teeming returnees and has given them opportunity to choose a skill area of their interest.

According to him, “They are afforded opportunity to learn a skill or vocation that economically empowers them and gives a source of livelihood. Skills development is a cardinal point in the assignment of the taskforce which allows returnees to learn a vocational training or acquire skills which help them to have a meaningful and dependable means of livelihood.”

On efforts to reintegrate returnees, he said, “It is my delight to note that over Six Hundred and Thirty-three (633) Returnees have benefited from the first phase of the training and skill acquisition programme. It is important for us to state that we have got huge support from governmental and non-governmental organisations such as Women’ Helping Hand (an initiative of the Wife of the Vice-President, Her Excellency, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo), Genius Hub Organisation, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Action Aid, Edo State Ministry of Justice, the British American Tobacco Company (BATN), the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Department for International Development (DFID), United Nations’ High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), International Organisation Migration (IOM), The European Union (EU), Italian Embassy and American Embassy.

He explained that over 2500 returnees have benefited from his administration’s  Returnee Monthly Stipend Payment Scheme in the first phase of the scheme, noting, “Apart from skill acquisition to empower the Returnees, we have decided to be giving the Returnees monthly stipend for them to keep their bodies and souls together and this we are doing at different categories. A single Returnee is entitled to a monthly stipend of N20, 000 while female pregnant Returnees are entitled to a monthly stipend of N25, 000 each. Children Returnees who of course come in company of their parents or single mothers are entitled to N10, 000 monthly.”

He said based on the terms of reference of ETAHT, the Edo State Anti-Human Trafficking Law was passed on May 23, 2018, after relevant stakeholders had made their inputs to the legislation process.

According to him, “This good governance enhances the capacity of the state to respond efficiently and effectively to the numerous societal demands. This, of course will involve strategy, which is conceptualized here is what Hyden and Bratton, (1993) describe as “the art and science of applying resources for the optimal attainment of stated policy objectives…“degree of trust; reciprocity of relationship between government and civil society; degree of accountability; and nature of authority wielded.”

He advised that in the light of all discussed in this lecture, government at the national and continental level can take a cue from Edo State on the strategies we have adopted in approaching the challenge of the crisis at hand as well as keying into our suggested recommendations.

The governor also stressed that Nigeria and other African countries are sitting on the keg of gunpowder if the challenge posed to sustainable peace and development by these phenomena on our society is not addressed, noting, “This is so much so that without peace, the logic of development cannot and will not be sustained.”

UNIDO picks Edo as leading state for industrial devt. Partnership

UNIDO picks Edo as leading state for industrial devt. Partnership

…to collaborate on SMEs, Agric, Environment, others

The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) has picked Edo State as a leading state-partner in the organisation’s multi-sectoral development programme.

UNIDO’s Regional Director to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and Nigerian Regional Office, Dr. Jean Bakole, made this known in Abuja on Tuesday during a meeting with the Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki.

According to the UNIDO boss, the choice of Edo State was informed by the series of reforms that the Obaseki-led administration has initiated to catalyse business and industrial activities in the state.

He explained that the sector-wide partnership cuts across Industrial Governance; Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Private Sector Development; Trade and Commerce and Environmental Sustainability.

Others are Minerals and Mining Sector development; the development of Special Economic Zones and Industrial Parks; Renewable Energy development as well as the expansion of the state’s agro-allied industries.

Bakole noted that Edo State under Governor Obaseki has set the stage for the planned partnerships, which are in line with UNIDO’s focus on creating shared prosperity, advancing economic competitiveness, safeguarding the environment and strengthening knowledge and institutions amongst others.

In his response, Obaseki acknowledged the unique role UNIDO is playing in expanding socio-economic opportunities for Nigerians and other nationalities and assured of the state government’s readiness to key into the developmental programmes of the organisation.

Governor Obaseki congratulates Sterling Bank Chairman, Asue Ighodalo on 60th birthday

Governor Obaseki congratulates Sterling Bank Chairman, Asue Ighodalo on 60th birthday

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has congratulated Sterling Bank Chairman, Mr. Asue Ighodalo, on his 60th birthday, describing him as a respected Edo son, who has contributed immensely to corporate Nigeria.

Obaseki, in a statement, said: “As you turn 60 today, I send you warmest wishes and pray that God grants you excellent health.”

The governor added: “As a state, we are proud of the legacy you are bequeathing corporate Nigeria and your support for the charity.

“With the culture of hard work you have built over the years, you are indeed a role model for millions of Edo youths and I pray for God’s continued guidance in your new age and beyond.”