It is just appropriately eight months and some days since Godwin Obaseki became the Chief Executive Officer of Edo state and from all indications, he is heading towards success in his governance approach if he continues in that regard. It can be seen to a great extent that some tranquil accompanies his style of leadership and we see a man diligently executing his vision without making too much noise. This has earned him the nickname “Wake and See Governor” emanating from the positive developments that Edo people sees as they wake up each day, be it road repairs, construction of new ones or policy pronouncements.
Undoubtedly, the expectations from Obaseki being a technocrat is do things differently. Furthermore, some had thought that he would be too inexperienced to handle governance and politics, but he has proven beyond reasonable doubt that he is capable of combining both and has surpassed expectations. He is not only in charge; he is well in control and personally defines what he wants, how he wants it and how it should be implemented. This is evident in the careful selection of men and women from the 18 local government areas into positions in his government.
Thus far, there is an emerging pattern of methodical and progressive style of governance. One can see an open, transparent and accountable leadership emerge. Governor Obaseki is not one to hide his views or shy away from taking tough decisions. From cutting waste, creating efficiency in governance to big policy decisions, such as restoring sanity back to the streets and his zero tolerance to corruption, he has shown to be interested in what is beneficial to the people who elected him.
Within the past eight months, Governor Obaseki has driven Edo state towards the path of progress. His vision in meticulously pursuing the six thematic pillars namely – economic revolution, institutional reforms, environmental sustainability, social welfare enhancement, infrastructural development and culture and tourism has shone through.
Gradually, we are seeing deliberate steps in reforming the civil service and the educational sector especially in basic and technical education. I think these reforms are timely as our educational system should be capable of equipping our children with the right skills to compete in the global market. Equally, the training, retraining and upskilling, with emphasis on capacity and merit will ensure efficient, effective and quality service delivery.
There is the saying that good managers do not fail for lack of managerial skills, but for lack of a solid plan and strategy to dispense their skills. This may have informed governor Obaseki’s approach to e-governance with the building of a database to plan and implement government policies and programmes. The Edo jobs Initiative is a good example.
The initiative undertook the registration of job seekers – on the Edo jobs online platform to gather raw data of the unemployed in Edo, the skills sets, qualifications, age brackets, and most importantly, robust information for planning, recruitment and training where necessary. Furthermore, the government is attracting training programs such as digital marketing for young entrepreneurs for the benefit of the people and encouraged the people to key into the federal government social investment programmes such the N-Power, the School Feeding Programme amongst others.
Edo is definitely moving in the right direction and certainly in the commitment towards job creation, attracting investors and investments to the state. I would recommend that the agribusiness model which is billed to create millionaires be made within the reach of aspiring farmers and the necessary support provided to ensure its ultimate success. Furthermore, the scope of 200,000 jobs as promised should expanded to cover sectors other than farming to give opportunities to those outside the agric sector as not everyone wants to become a farmer.
Human capacity development and the holistic approach towards the skills gap is a another good development that will ensure that Edo is able to produce a vibrant workforce. The impact of human capacity building cannot be overemphasised due to the skills shortages occasioned by our certificate-based system, where graduates or even PhD holders lack requisite employability skills.
This will bring a radical shift from the unemployable workforce to a workforce equipped with capacity, confidence and skills sets for gainful employment. A good example is the training of 50 Edo youths on concrete pavement technology for road construction in collaboration with AG Dangote. The importance of this technology is to develop proficiency in the trainees so that they could become contractors in building roads with cement, and upon completion, they would become entrepreneurs and employers of labour. These are all steps in the right direction and so far, so good in the past eight months of the Obaseki administration.
All eyes are now on the commissioners to help Obaseki continue on this right path of progressive governance and deliver his vision for Edo people.
Gloria Adagbon is a political analyst and can reached at firstname.lastname@example.org