Obaseki harps on innovation in revenue generation, as Edo varsity gets molecular lab

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The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has tasked the Governing Council of the Edo University Iyamho, to explore innovative approaches to generate revenue for the running of the university amidst the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The governor said this during a courtesy visit by members of the Governing Council of the university, led by its Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Council, Prof. Thomas Audu, at Government House in Benin City.

He noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused major disruptions in all sectors of governance and economy including the education sector, adding: “This university was conceived as a unique experiment in university education in Nigeria. It was supposed to be a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement between the government and the university.

“I urge the institution to attract a bit more industry and commerce in the Okpella-axis through investment. The university is situated in the mining belt of the state and it will be easy to raise funds.

“We were hoping that most countries would have a major GDP growth this year but we have seen situations where these countries have seen almost double negative GDP. As a nation, we are forecasting that we would have a negative GDP growth of eight per cent, amounting to $20 billion dollars, which will throw the Nigerian economy into huge challenges.”

Obaseki, however, noted that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the institution is making giant strides in the area of technology as it continues to make impact on the knowledge of its students notwithstanding the closure of schools across the nation using the E-learning platform.

He added: “COVID-19 pandemic has been a major distraction to the world, Nigeria inclusive. It has been very disruptive. It has put a lot of tests and strains on our fragile system across the board as the educational system is not left out.”

Earlier, the Pro-Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Thomas Audu congratulated the governor and his deputy for their nomination by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to fly the party’s flag at the September 19, 2020 governorship election in the state.

He disclosed that the Chancellor of the institution, Dr. Aderemi Makanjuola donated a Molecular laboratory which has the capacity to test 300 COVID-19 samples in a day.

The Pro-Chancellor said despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the institution is still impacting on the knowledge of students through E-learning, via CANVAS Learning Management System (LMS).

Audu said that, in the area of infrastructural development, the school in partnership with other private bodies, approved a block of classrooms for Faculty of Engineering, building of 150 rooms and hostel accommodation, while the 80-room hostel for Medical students has been completed and already in use.

Groups score Obaseki high on development, women empowerment

…reaffirm Edo women’s support for governor’s reelection bid

Women and gender focused non-governmental organisations in Edo State under the aegis of Edo Agenda 2030 Women have hailed the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki for his administration’s prudent deployment of the state’s resources in engendering economic development and improving the lives of Edo people.

Co-ordinator of the coalition, Ronke Ojekere, who led other members of the groups on a courtesy visit to the office of the Focal Person, Edo State Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Ifueko Alufokhai, applauded the governor for his developmental strides across all sectors of the state and for empowering women, especially in politics.

The women groups further reaffirmed their support for the governor’s second term aspiration on the back of his landmark achievements across the state, noting that women in the state are impressed with the governor’s performance and will vote for him en masse.

Ojekere noted: “We are in your office to meet with you and present the scorecard of Governor Obaseki on SDGs, looking at his achievements, gaps and challenges while making recommendations where necessary.”

Project Coordinator, Nigeria for Women Projects, Louisa Eikhomun-Agbonkhese, who spoke on the achievements of the governor, said: “Edo State Government has increased attention to gender equality by promoting economic empowerment and supporting enterprise growth.

Barr. Agatha Osieke, representative of Women, Youth and Children Advancement Programme, hailed the governor for his interest in women’s development, noting that in the last three years and seven months, Governor Obaseki has empowered more women in his cabinet.

Osieke said: “There are two women local government chairpersons (women), 12 Permanent Secretaries, 20 Special Assistants, 20 Senior Special Assistants, four commissioners, 400 other women appointees that cut across all strata of society.”

On her part, Focal Person, Edo State SDGs, Ifueko Alufokhai, commended the groups for their efforts in monitoring the state government’s achievements, adding: “Governor Obaseki has done well by engaging more women in politics; he has not failed to show gratitude for the contributions of women in the development of the state.

“Obaseki is passionate about women in the state that is why he ensured that the promise to empower more women in politics was fulfilled. This is the first time we are having more women in government and the governor says he is proud of the women in his administration for making him proud.”

She added: “We will continue to sensitise the people to know of the existing laws that protect women and the girl-child. I assure you that the governor will do more if re-elected into office come September 19.”

With the mass exodus of Obaseki’s supporters to PDP, we have no reason to harass anyone – Osagie

The claim by the Edo State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) that some persons are being harassed not to leave the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is mere propaganda.

The PDP in Edo State ran out of membership cards a few days ago over the unprecedented demands for the cards by thousands of Governor Godwin Obaseki’s supporters, who are coming into the PDP family from the All Progressives Congress (APC) and other parties.

To address the growing demand for our membership cards, the party’s hierarchy had to place orders for the mass production of PDP membership cards through several vendors.

This mass exodus of people into the PDP was widely reported in the media. So why would a well established party like the PDP, with tested structures and verifiable track records for electoral triumphs in Edo State, harass anyone desiring to leave the party?

The APC is in a dilemma and working hard at deflecting attention away from the credibility crisis it is engulfed in, with the status of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who has been jumping from campaign grounds to the court to face his N700m criminal trial.

Marketing a defective product like Ize-Iyamu must have been frustrating and burdensome for the APC, as he is clearly the worst candidate that any party has presented for elections since the country’s return to democracy in 1999. No campaign manager has had the task of selling a candidate that shuttles between EFCC cell, the courts and campaign grounds, in our recent political history.

However, churning out falsehoods and propaganda will not help APC’s case either.

Crusoe Osagie is the Special Adviser on Media and Communication Strategy to Governor Godwin Obaseki

Obaseki provides support for training, empowerment of over 77,000 people in Edo

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has provided support and safe space for the training and empowerment of over 77,000 people across the 18 local government areas (LGAs) of the state.

Focal Person, Edo State Social Investment Programme, Osayuwamen Aladeselu, who disclosed this to journalists in Benin City, noted that the governor has in the last three years and seven months embarked on people-oriented projects and programmes aimed at improving the quality of lives of majority of Edo people.

According to her: “Lives are being changed on a daily basis and families are experiencing the developmental strides of Governor Godwin Obaseki. Now, the majority of the people are reaping from the dividends of good governance and most of them now feel that the government actually cares about them. It’s not just about infrastructure like roads and buildings but about the lives of the people, which is one of the thematic pillars of this administration.

“Whether it is coming from the federal government, an international organisation or wherever it’s coming from, the fact is that Governor Obaseki has a vision to improve the quality of lives of all Edo people. He is able to tap, bring in and sustain the vision and bring development to our dear state to make sure that the lives of many are touched.

“There is no aspect of human life that has not been touched; I am just talking about the Social Welfare Enhancement thematic pillar, but there are other pillars. I can tell you that Governor Obaseki has done tremendously well and the truth is that every day he still wants to do more. The governor has the plans to achieve this and we are ready to ensure that his vision is actualised.”

Commending the governor’s efforts towards the success of the National Social Investment Programme (SIP) in Edo State, the focal person said: “We have 13, 227 N-Power beneficiaries; 15,679 pupils in 146 schools and 179 cooks under the School Feeding programme. For our Conditional Cash Transfer Programme, we have 11, 994 beneficiaries. For the Market-Moni, we have 4009 beneficiaries; in Trader-moni, we had 45,000 people and for our Edo Startup Fund we have 20 beneficiaries who have got the funds but we have trained over 2,000 people. For the N-SIP Hubs, we have had over 20 people beneficiaries. In total we have had over 77,000 people who have benefitted from the Edo State Social Investment Programme.”

Ize-Iyamu has no good example to lead by – Osagie

…questionable character can’t lead Edo people to promised land

I watched with dismay, a video that has the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the September 19 gubernatorial election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, flaunting a document he christened Simple Agenda.

One of the planks of the so-called agenda is a promise to lead Edo people by example if elected as governor of the state.

The APC candidate’s personality is in public domain and he has been consistent in character since his days in the university as the violent cultist who bathed his fellow student with acid and condemned the victim for life.

Edo people are thoroughly familiar with his ongoing N700 million fraud trial that has dragged for well over three years now, and we possess the reasoning ability to sort through the many unrealistic promises in the Simple Agenda and the truth about the character of Ize-Iyamu, who is facing trial for fraud.

So which example does he want to lead by? Is it the example of a violent cultist that takes delight in bathing innocent students with acid or the example of someone facing trial for N700 million naira? A questionable character cannot lead Edo people to the Promised Land.

His performance in government, as Secretary to the State Government and Chief of Staff, is dotted with stories that no one wants to associate with.

Edo State parades some of the best and brightest persons in virtually every sector, and one of our best is clearly, Governor Godwin Obaseki.

Edo people take exception to the APC candidate’s wishful thinking that we will ignore the compelling evidence about his character, which we are all familiar with, and embark on a voyage to jail with him.

It is even ridiculous, to say the least, that he would describe governance in the 21st century as simple, given the myriad of socio-economic challenges facing nations of the world today, compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, ravaging even developed economies.

A manifesto, such as that of Ize-Iyamu, that does not provide for a post-COVID-19 economy is outdated, behind our state’s current realities and should be in the dustbin.

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