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Obaseki Reveals Secret Of Funding Of N70,000, Other Projects In Edo

Lucky Obukohwo, Reporting


As other states are still contemplate their possibilities of paying the new minimum wage due to paucity of funds, the Edo State governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki has since taken his stance and has told the world that the feat was not a rocket science but his ability to cut down the cost of governance in his state.

Recall that the state governor has since commenced the payment of the new minimum wage of N70,000 to workers in the state.

Obaseki, who spoke to journalists in Benin City, said the State Government made plans for the minimum wage three years ago when the telltale signs began to show that the economy was going in the wrong direction.

According to him, “I am able to pay N70,000 because two or three years ago, I raised an alarm that we were resorting to massive borrowings, which will be inflationary in the long run. I predicted there will be massive devaluation of our currency.

“You will ask, if you knew this, what did you do? We knew it would translate into the demand for higher wages because of inflation and so we said, look, let’s focus on building a much more efficient economy. Let’s focus on reducing our cost of governance. Let’s focus on training our people and getting more productivity out of them.”

On efforts undertaken by his government to reduce the cost of governance, Obaseki said, “We have a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) where we purchased 5-10 megawatts of power, which we use to run all of government offices and the street lights at night. So, I don’t have to buy diesel.

“I have a fleet management service, my own Uber, where I have put my own transport system, our cars, and vehicles into one transport system. So, I’m running the government at a fraction of what I used to run the system in the past.”

He further stated, “The savings I’m making from that, I’m saying, you know what, my most valuable assets are my people, let me pay them more and get more productivity out of them. I am measuring teachers today in terms of learning outcomes.

“My teachers can’t be absent from school because I can see all that from my tablet, whether a teacher is in class or not. I can relate my drug programme, what I pay for medicines to what’s been dispensed in my primary healthcare centers because I’ve trained my people. I have invested in technology. We have hugely invested in technology infrastructure.”

The governor added, “We have 2000 kilometers of fiber optic cable laid across the State. Every local government is connected with fibre optic technology. So, I’m able to extend telemedicine to a PHC in a community and get my doctors on the system. Why are we doing this? It’s to bring a better life to our people and how do you do it? We can’t make omelets without breaking eggs. So, once you decide that you want to make omelets, break the eggs. People will complain, but that’s the way it goes.”



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