Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole
Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, and his deputy, Dr. Pius Odubu, Monday took the oath of office for a second term, promising to improve the living standard of the people of the state.
The inauguration of Oshiomhole and Odubu was sequel to their victory at the July 14, governorship election in which the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, General Charles Airhiavbere, and other candidate were defeated at the polls.
Oshiomhole, who took oath of office administered by the state Chief Judge, Justice Cromwell Idahosa, at about 12.10 a.m. in front of the 36,000 capacity Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in, Benin City, promised to better the life of the people of the state in the next four years.
Specifically, Oshiomhole said the challenges before his administration were how to focus attention on industrialisation of the state and attract foreign investments to the state.
He also promised to create a new layout in Benin City, to make it a modern city worthy of mention, with determination to revisit water provisions in city.
According to him, “in the next four years, we shall continue to rebuild faith in government and governance at all levels; mobilise our people to commit to collective growth and development, and strengthen institutions for efficient and effective service delivery. It is our hope that traditional leaders and institutions as well as religious bodies and civil society groups continue to mobilise their members to complement our efforts. We shall not fail to deliver on all our promises and to complete all on-going projects.”
The governor noted that while his administration would continue to work on infrastructure, emphasis would also be focused on “promoting sustainable economic growth and development of human capital, training and retraining of teachers and public servants; promotion of agriculture for food production, employment and increased income to farmers and rural dwellers; small and medium scale industrial development, attraction of local and foreign investors to the state in order to create more jobs for our people.
“We shall continue to use Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and ensure that all forms of waste are eliminated in the public service. In collaboration with the security agencies, we shall continue to work hard to ensure the safety and security of our people.
“Our goal is to ensure that Edo State becomes a major investors’ haven in Nigeria and that our small and medium scale industries are fed with products from our agricultural initiatives,” Oshiomhole stated.
He further announced that some attention would be given to three areas namely-agriculture, local government and education, adding that the goal of his administration in the next four years would be to increase the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the state, create jobs for people and forge strong linkages between agriculture and industry.
To achieve this, he said: “Our government will provide substantial incentives such as provision of rural roads and other incentives to promote large scale commercial agriculture. Emphasis will be placed on productive partnerships, processing and storage that will generate new opportunities for training and income to our small scale industries and farmers.”
On local governments, he said government was aware that the impact of governance, policies and leadership at the local level has not been visible or felt by the people, and so will address same through the conduct of local government elections early next year.
By so doing, he pointed out that the goal would be to ensure that qualified, committed, exposed, capable and innovative candidates that will make the required difference in the lives of the people participate.
Oshiomhole said: “We need men and women that will reinvigorate the communities, deploy resources carefully and strategically, complete on-going projects, stimulate production, and initiate new realistic projects. This would stem migration to the rural areas and encourage productivity at the local levels. Sectors such as health, youth and women empowerment, education, agriculture, rural industries, housing and security must take priority.
“The monitoring of the activities and performances of local governments will become a priority of government because it is not a crime to live in the rural areas. Our government will put an end to the era of absentee local government chairmen and design pro-people programmes to make life in the rural areas worth living.”
In the area of education, he said government would continue to rebuild school structures across the state with special attention to technical education so as to provide the required skills for industrialisation.
According to him, “teachers will be monitored to eliminate ghost teachers, lateness, and poor delivery. A special fund will be created to ensure retraining, especially in the area of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). We will emphasize technical education geared towards skill for jobs.
“Our schools will be required to establish libraries and reading rooms with computers to broaden the world-views of our children and keep them at par with their contemporaries around the world. A merit scholarship will be established to support indigent but brilliant children to acquire higher education in those areas where we have manpower deficits. The modalities for this are being worked out by the Ministry of Education.
“We, the people of Edo State remain totally committed to the unity and progress of Nigeria. Challenges and contradictions are, in the first instance, evidence of leadership failure at all levels as exemplified in the Edo State. This is not the time for lamentations and despair about the future of Nigeria, but time for rekindled patriotism, hard work and collective commitment to build a reunited Nigeria.”
Oshiomhole who used the opportunity to thank everybody particularly people of Edo State for freely giving him and his deputy another four-year mandate, invited all Edolites to be part of his administration and movement to transform and reposition it.
Dignitaries at the ceremony included the governors of Delta, Imo, Anambra, Ekiti, Rivers, Lagos, Osun and Ogun States.
Also at the inauguration are former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon; former Defence Minister and chieftain of PDP in Edo State, Major-Gen Gowin Abbe (rtd); Senator Daisy Danjuma, Catholic Arcbishop of Benin City, Most Rev. Dr. Augustine Obior; NLC President, Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar; the governor.
The mother, Hajia Aishetu Oshiomhole; ACN national chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, Senator Bola Tinubu, among others.