Your Excellency Sir, best wishes to you and the good
people of Edo State.
“Let the people lead”, one of your many slogans in a bid
to promote fairness and transparency in governance supports the train of
thought that incites followers to becoming leaders in their own rights either
actively or passively.
While the fat lady is going through her usual vocal
routine therapy, preparing to sing a closure to what can easily be referred to
as the most defining tenure in Edo State’s political history, one can’t help
but reflect on the spectacular and stumpy moments in a bid to evaluate over-all
performance. There are those who are warming up their palms for a round of
thunderous ‘claps’, others are rehearsing frustrations and anger, then there is
It is inconsequential of what I want to do but I am just
sitting inside the theatre knowing fully well the play is still on and the end
holds as much importance as the beginning and transitional scenes.
It is commendable the way your government prioritized the
construction and transformation of roads infrastructure stretched across the 3
geopolitical zones in the last 86 months as Executive Governor. I understand
more could have been done but I believe people who are still highly critical of
your leadership citing road infrastructure as a nail-head to hammer on, are
clearly suffering from selective amnesia.
There is a pending debate on which tier of government
impacts directly on the people, I believe each should be allowed to function
with a significant degree of autonomy and responsibility. Whether or not the 18
local governments were managed properly will be revealed in the next
administration because I have refused to have an opinion based on shared speculations
While concerns are being raised about the increased debt
profile of the State, it is easily understandable that borrowing is inevitable
for Nigerian States to foster development but what is unacceptable is when the
development and impact is minimal.
At a time when the price of crude oil is constantly
hitting depreciating values, States are being forced to diversify revenue base.
This I find a bit ironic for a State like Edo considering the debt ratio to IGR
and projected federal revenues. Small
and medium enterprises that ought to be enthusiastically encouraged are going
to have to deal with pain staking taxes just to keep the State afloat. A key
fundamental to increased IGR is capacity building, which fuels economic
activities as well as provide openings for new and active businesses. Sir as a
matter of urgency, your administration in the next few months must focus on
ways to vigorously invest in human capital.
The issue of unemployment is easily attributed to the Federal
Government but States with abundant mineral resources have also been caught
napping or better yet, sleeping on a bicycle over the past few years. The
average monthly residual revenue after meeting recurrent expenditures for a
State like Edo State makes it particularly difficult for the State government
to open up sustainable employment channels. So when I drive around the capital
city and see people harassing road users under the disguise of ‘Ministerial
Task Force’ or as they previously had, ‘Oshiomole police’, I just think of what
the future holds even for the so called employed ones. I also understand a
number of people in the past few years were absorbed into working in the Edo
State government house with almost no designation and yet salaries are to be
Your Excellency Sir, The presence or lack of functional
industries has always been a contributing factor to the teeming case of
unemployment in the State. Ok, let us ignore external contribution and
investment, Edo State known for it’s robust cultural historical heritage and
craftsmanship is having generations of idle citizens with no significant skill.
The last time a meaningful art and craft exhibition was held, I can’t even
remember. Even the famous IGUE festival that is meant to portray a long-standing
tradition is losing grounds. Discerning participation has become the order of
the day mainly due to negligence and shortage of ‘local’ recognition. The Edo
State arts and craft industry for example can be steered to rival the
entertainment Industry in Lagos for additional revenue and to promote tourism.
Digressing to our own local entertainment Industry that
currently stands as a gigantic gantry to showcase mediocrity, Information
gathered shows considerable support has been given to promote the industry.
However, individual and institutional weakness with the too many myopic and
unproductive associations has constantly jeopardized your contributions.
In this age of revenue diversification, It is non
negotiable that priority be given to the Agricultural sector which
unfortunately has received marginal provisions from your government in the last
7 years. We are currently missing out on a possible 80,000 direct employment
monthly that is provided by this sector.
Your Excellency Sir, I agree open letters are often
critical, exasperating and glory seeking but it should also be seen as a
testament to freedom where valid points can be freely drawn. I do not wish to
push a certain adverse narrative because I am also a firm admirer of your
doggedness and leadership stance.
Conclusively, It is not too late to cement a lasting
legacy by using your last few months in office to provide a blueprint for the
next administration irrespective of who emerges governor. Are you going to
spiritedly send us to farms with incentives, develop art & craft centers,
encourage small businesses, increase human capital through effective programs,
pay salaries, review policies OR are you going to act predictably by hastened
completion of pending road constructions, renovation of Central Hospital and
other ‘cosmetic’ projects to promote your political party’s candidacy in the
forth coming gubernatorial elections? I suggest you let posterity judge you
fairly by your own deeds rather than the inaction of whoever is destined to
take over the mantle of leadership. The onus is on you Mr. Governor to seize
the opportunity to drive industrialization in other to stimulate economic
growth as a corresponding exploit to complement past achievements.
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