Obaseki charges NGOs to monitor Edo State government

By Alema Ozoriuva-Aliu and Michael Egbejule, Benin   |   04 May 2017   |   3:40 am  

Godwin Obaseki

Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki has urged civil societies and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) operating in the state to keep an eye on the activities of his administration and offer constructive criticism.

According to the governor who spoke yesterday while receiving executive members of Conference of Non-Governmental Organisations (CONGOS), who paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House in Benin City, “it is by watching our every activity and offering advice that we can achieve what we desire for this state together.”

The governor urged the group to be exemplary because total independence, which would enable them positively check the government, was the hallmark of credibility.

He said: “NGOs should contribute in providing solutions to the challenges faced by the government or review the government’s activities to help them roll out policies that will better the lots of the people, but not to become critics of the government without the necessary facts”.

The governor said his administration would not expand the government, but utilize resources accrued to the government to improve the lives of the people of the state.

Obaseki also reiterated the commitment of his administration “to run a courageous and transparent government that will focus on human and physical development of the state.”

He told his guests, “We are not afraid; we are transparent and have nothing to hide from the people. My focus is to use the available resources to pursue my administrations programme and improve the lives of the Edo people who trusted us and elected us to power.”

Leader of CONGOS, Comrade Jude Obasanmi lauded Obaseki’s policies and success rate with these policies, while also applauding the governor for his tenacity and courage to ban revenue collection in the state, which had become worrisome and negative to the state’s image.

He said the governor was already addressing other important issues of concern to the group, adding that they were more prepared to be involved in the success story of his and called on the governor to establish Edo State Emergency Management Agency to enable the state take proactive steps against disasters.

Meanwhile, the governor has assured staff of Edo State Polytechnic, Usen that his administration would pay the 10-month salary arrears owed them, and would enforce prompt salary payment in the institution.

He said this as he received executives from the school’s chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP) during which he noted that the blame for the school’s condition lie with both the government and the school’s administration.

“Most of the challenges faced by the Institution are not new to this administration. We have reflected on the issues and the position of this administration is to depart from the old ways of trading blames or doing things. Instead, we’ll work to ensure that things are done differently to take us away from the past,” he said.

The governor said his administration would set up a committee involving organised labour and the government to identify the cause of the problems faced by the institution and find ways to solve them.

His words: “We will have an agreement with you on the structure and modalities the school will be operating with, and also take a critical look at the master plan of the school to get the commitment of both the students and staff of the institution and ensure its progress.

“Any Council that cannot meet the obligation of payment of staff salaries will be removed and replaced. I want to assure you that your issue will be resolved this month, after which I will hold you responsible for any problems that surface in the institution again”.



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