Godwin Obaseki has undertaken hundreds of projects since being sworn in as Governor of Edo State on November 12, 2016. Some, however, stand out in terms of scope and long-term benefits.
In this article, we will highlight eight (8) outstanding projects undertaken by the Obaseki-led government that have come to define his tenure as Edo State governor.
Education is a key driver of national development and societal growth all over the world. Godwin Obaseki, the current governor of Edo State, is well aware of this.
Obaseki introduced the Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation – Edo BEST – in April 2018 to revamp basic education in the state.
The program’s goal was to improve the learning outcomes for 300,000 children. The students were drawn from Edo State’s 1,500 public primary and junior secondary schools. To accomplish this, the government made significant investments in educational technology.
The program was launched with the goal of retraining and supporting all 15,000 government teachers, both new and experienced.
Teachers were given tablets, while principals were given smartphones to track daily attendance. The tablets are pre-loaded with digital lesson plans for each day’s lessons.
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Headteachers are given monthly data that allows them to use smartphone software to register all children, take attendance, and manage teacher performance in each classroom on a daily basis.
Another 150 people were trained as Social Mobilization Officers to educate communities about the importance of protecting facilities in public schools in their domains.
Due to the total transformation of the state’s Basic Education Sector, public primary schools in Edo State have seen a high influx of pupils from private schools across the state’s 18 Local Government Areas.
EDOBEST is changing lives, and students in public primary schools throughout the state are at the forefront of this project.
Revolutionary Revenue Collection From Transporters
For decades, Nigeria has devolved into a country where the responsibility of collecting government levies from citizens is delegated to shady characters, touts, or politicians’ cronies.
The collection of levies from commercial motorists is a multibillion-naira industry in Nigeria’s major cities.
The assignment of the responsibility of collecting levies from commercial motorists to touts and transportation unions has resulted in the creation of billionaires from these collectors.
Governor Godwin Obaseki made a clear departure from the norm upon taking office.
Obaseki banned the use of private revenue collectors in the state on January 1, 2017. The State Government then took over the collection of levies from non-government agents.
They did this when they introduced the tax payment model based on scratch cards. This method is intended for use in the informal and mobile sectors, specifically public transportation.
This novel levy collection method has cleaned up the system. It has also protected commercial motorists from harassment by touts and agents of road unions who were previously tasked with collecting taxes.
Obaseki quickly acknowledged that the new system had increased the state’s revenue base. He stated that N500,000 is now being generated from nine points in the Oredo local government. Only N45,000 was previously remitted from these nine points.
55MW CCTEC Ossiomo Power Plant
Edo State, which has a population of approximately 4 million people, receives approximately 88MW of electricity. This is far from meeting the increasing demand for electricity for residential and commercial purposes.
Governor Obaseki recognizes the importance of a reliable power supply in promoting businesses, driving industrialization, and increasing productivity.
Governor Obaseki signed a 55MW Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Ossiomo Power and CCETC Clean Energy to change the narrative of poor power supply (CCETC-Ossiomo Power).
The CCETC-Ossiomo power plant is designed to provide reliable electricity to government buildings and public utilities such as hospitals, offices, street lights, the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, and other public facilities.
It will also provide power to the Edo Production Center, an industrialization program located along Benin’s Sapele road axis, where Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) operate.
The power plant is also meant to attract investments into the state, improve the sector for better performance, and create competition in the power supply industry.
The CCETC-Ossiomo Power Plant will conduct a test run on July 20, 2020.
The CCETC-Ossiomo Power Plant is located in the community of Ologbo in the Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area (LGA) of Edo State.
The power project will be expanded to include a 550MW gas power plant that will be built in three phases.
Governor Godwin Obaseki established the Edo State Geographic Information Service on August 1, 2017. (EDOGIS).
EDOGIS is the government agency that replaced the former Ministry of Lands and Surveys (later known as Lands Bureau).
The new “Digital Certificate of Occupancy” is a computerized process that was set up to secure land assets of Edo State residents.
The agency is the only digital repository in the state for all registered landed properties and subsequent transactions. It also keeps and archives electronic and physical copies of all transactions submitted for registration, making it easier to conduct historical searches on all registered properties in the state.
This system has aided in resolving recurring inter-community disputes over land sales and boundary disputes.
The system also reduced the cost of obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) from N300,00 to N50,000, with certificates being delivered within 30 days.
EDOGIS, according to the governor, would entice investors. This will happen if they discover that acquiring land in record time is easier and less corrupt.
The Edo Fertilizer and Chemical Company
The Edo State Fertilizer and Chemical Company Limited was reactivated by the Godwin Obaseki-led government in collaboration with the Wacot Group of Companies (ESFCCL).
The fertilizer plant was built 14 years ago but never used.
The Governor stated that the goal of revitalizing the plant is to make the state self-sufficient in food production and to provide farmers with fertilizer at reasonable prices.
The fertilizer plant will also improve the state’s socioeconomic status and provide an opportunity for young people to benefit from the expertise of major players in the agriculture sector.
The plant has a capacity of 60,000 metric tonnes of fertilizer per year.
The facility would help neighboring Kogi, Delta, Ondo, and Anambra states by providing fertilizer.
On August 29, 2017, Nigeria’s Vice President, Yemi Osibanjo, commissioned the NPK fertilizer plant.
Auchi, Edo State, is home to the Edo State Fertilizer and Chemical Company Limited (ESFCCL) plant.
Edo Modular and Refinery Company Limited
The Edo Modular and Refinery Company Limited is one of Obaseki’s many ongoing legacy projects.
AIPCC Energy Limited owns the refinery. The company is a collaboration between AFCOM and China’s Peiyang Chemical Equipment Company (PCC).
It was founded through a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Edo State Government, as well as local and international private investors.
The Chinese consortium consists of Peiyang Chemical Equipment Company of China (PCC), a world-leading modular refinery company; Sinopec International Petroleum Service Corporation (SIPS), a subsidiary of Sinopec, the world’s largest chemical conglomerate; and African Infrastructure Partners (AIP), a Nigerian infrastructure company.
The refinery’s capacity is expected to be 5500 barrels of crude oil per day.
It would produce 50% diesel (500,000 litres), 25% naphtha (300,000 litres), and 20% fuel oil (200,000 litres) from its feedstock.
When completed, the Edo Refinery and Petrochemicals will supply 20% of Nigeria’s diesel, save over $350 million in foreign exchange each year, earn over $125 million from naptha exports, and meet 100% of Nigeria’s LPFO demand.
The crude would be obtained from the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) facility – oil-mining lease (OML) 111, located near Benin City.
The most notable aspect of the MOU with the Edo State Government is the deal’s local content component.
The MoU states that Edo citizens must be trained in welding, refinery operation, and fabrication work, among other things. This will allow them to participate in the refinery’s construction as well as its operation and post-commissioning.
The Obaseki-led government approved the release of N700 million to get the project started (seed investment). The fund is made up of redeemable preference shares in the Petrochemical Company Limited and the refinery.
The project is expected to generate legitimate job opportunities. This will reduce poverty and provide job opportunities for the communities’ teeming youths. It will also make it easier to establish a fabrication yard, as proposed by the promoters. This will contribute significantly to the development of expertise, professionalism, and additional training in the oil and gas industry.
The refinery cost $10.2 million to construct. It is currently 70% complete and is scheduled to begin operations in October 2020. The refinery is in Ologbo, in the Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area (LGA).
The construction of a seaport is part of the government of Godwin Obaseki’s efforts to industrialize Edo State.
The state government accomplished this by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a Chinese company. This was done in order to help the development of Gelegele Seaport.
China Harbour Engineering Company, China’s largest infrastructure company, will lead the development of the seaport under the terms of the MoU.
The seaport will be used to export manufactured goods from the Benin Industrial Park (which is currently under construction) and other manufacturing companies in the region. The Gelegele Seaport will also connect Edo State to the global market.
Governor Obaseki stated that “The project will function as a processing zone for agro-exports. The state government and the private sector will drive it “.
The Gelegele Seaport is currently under construction.
Benin Industrial Park
The most common complaint that businesses have about Nigeria is a lack of first-rate infrastructure and services.
Governor Godwin Obaseki initiated the development of the Benin Enterprise Park in response to this complaint.
Benin Enterprise Park is an industrial complex. It is being built to be easily accessible, affordable, and to have an uninterrupted supply of gas and electricity. This is done to ensure that businesses in the area can operate efficiently and predictably. The industrial center encompasses 997 hectares of land.
Obaseki stated that his administration is focused on creating a favorable business environment. This is being done to increase investment and job opportunities in the state.
Tianjin-Yuyung Construction Engineering Company Ltd, a Chinese company, is collaborating with the state government on the development of the Benin Industrial Park (BIP).
The Edo State Government has approved N2.1 billion in electricity for the Benin Industrial Park. Godwin Obaseki
Anchor Tenant, an investor, committed approximately $250 million to the development of the Benin Enterprise and Industrial Park project in July 2019.