Gov Obaseki eyes tech-based economy in second term


* Launches Make Edo Great Again (MEGA)
* Wants to induce massive tax compliance through evidence of IGR uses

Every governor or president going into a second term usually has a definite agenda he wants to apply to leave a strong legacy. In Edo State, it may a technology-based economy for global competitiveness.

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki on Thursday promised that his administration would in the next four years use technology to grow the state into a globally competitive economy.

Obaseki made the promise in his inaugural speech shortly after being sworn in for second term in office at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium by the chief judge of the state, Justice Esther Edigin.

The governor took the oaths of office and allegiance along with his deputy Philip Shaibu.

Obaseki assured that his administration is committed to working for every Edo State citizen and lifting their wellbeing by ensuring that Edo State grows into a globally competitive economy enabled by technology for the benefit of all her citizens.

While expressing optimism that before 2025, Edo State would develop and grow its digital economy and operate a digital government, he noted that the digital government currently being built by the state government would plug it into the new digital age.

He also assured that the development would ensure that government deliver better and efficient services to all the citizens.

“In the last four years, we have shown that there are superior ways of running government. We have utilized core values such as transparency, accountability, inclusiveness, prudence and co-governance.

“Today, we are acclaimed to be a success story in good governance in Nigeria because of our antecedents in managing resources and redefining and deepening the social contract between government and Edo people.

“We believe that despite the problems and challenges we currently face, we shall overcome. This social contract between government and the people, which you redefined in the last election, calls for trust and reciprocity. We do not claim to have the solutions to all our problems.

The governor, who lamented citizens’ apathy towards taxation noted that it is the core duty of citizenship.

“Why should we have problems getting our people to pay taxes to a government who they voted for? Government does not have money of its own. The money government utilizes to provide service for its people is actually the peoples’ money”, he added.

He however, guaranteed the citizens that government will provide value for their money (tax revenues) by utilizing it judiciously, transparently and with accountability.

He explained that in the last four years, his administration was able to improve access to quality education, quality of healthy, significantly upgrade road networks, commence reforms in civil service and justice administration, develop human capacity and created jobs, as well as improve the security of lives and property in the state.

In his plans for the next four years, the governor promised through the “Make Edo Great Again “(MEGA) programme to define a template for development and growth in the state up till 2050.

He posited that modalities have been set for a 30-year development plan to provide government with necessary tools, guidelines and milestones for development planning.

Obaseki said he plans to grow social sector by constantly improving education, healthcare system, provision of social security and safety nets, caring for the vulnerable and the disadvantaged people in the state.

Also , in his priority is the rapid development of critical energy, housing, digital and road infrastructure, which provides a framework to drive inclusive growth.

Others are to build the economy and drive industrialization, trade and investment, to solidify the state’s status as the choice investment destination in the country.

The governor, further, promised in the next four years to Preserve the environment and public utilities, to make the state more functional and adapt to the challenges of climate change and rural-urban migration.

“Our major drive will be clean and green Edo initiative and sustaining our campaign to plant trees and restore the forest.

“Enshrine peace amongst our people and improve the general security to lives and property within the state, by working closely with all religious, traditional and community stakeholders.

“Exploit agriculture and natural resources, by tapping our God-given resources to provide food security, create wealth and improve the livelihoods of our people.

“Strengthen Public Service, Public Finance and Public Revenue, by recalibrating our workforce for the future world of work.

“Sustain Law, Judiciary and Legal Reforms, to ensure justice, equity and fairness in private and public dealings;

“Promote Arts and Culture, to preserve the past, document the present, envision the future, and use our arts and culture as a springboard to develop tourism.

“Revamp the transport sector, by developing transport infrastructure to a more modern and affordable system.

“We have identified key initiatives that will drive public service reforms over the next twelve months by accelerating capacity building; finding new ways of working and operationalizing the Civil Service Training Centre as a centre of excellence in training public servants”, he added.

He added that in the last four years, his administration had changed how government works with the introduction of memoranda of understanding and memoranda of agreement with organisation and communities.

He explained that policy has assisted government in allocating responsibilities and relating with the people and other partners in development.