-By Inwalomhe Donald
Mr.Godwin Obaseki the APC governorship candidate told Governor Oshiomhole to take upon himself some ambitiously near impossible tasks and turned them around. Edo roads and Edo Water Storm project are obvious examples. It is very credible evidence that the state is a viable centre for global investment hub. Obaseki is instrumental to the setting up of the 450MW Azura-Edo gas power project and other projects.
The strategic role Godwin Obaseki has played in the economic development of Edo State, especially in his capacity as Chairman of the Economic and Strategy Team, a position which he has held since 2009, have yielded desirable outcomes for the state notably in the areas of infrastructure development, investment and financial administration. He also brings a wealth of technical knowledge and experience to the planning and execution of key projects and initiatives.
In 2008, a large proportion of Edo roads remained in very poor conditions with only 1 per cent of Edo roads in good condition. Out of over 50,000 kilometers of secondary and tertiary roads, with an average registered network of 400 kilometers per local government, only about 10 to 15 per cent was paved. It is sad to note that rural roads which are statutorily referred to as local government roads, which constitute about 40,000 kilometres (87.7 per cent) of the entire road networks in Edo, were the worst hit by this state of disrepair before Oshiomhole became governor of Edo State.
Some paved roads had lost their asphalt surface and reverted to being gravel roads. Some of the road systems were barely usable, especially in the high rainfall areas of the south senatorial district.
Obaseki told Oshiomhole that if Edo people should start raining curses on the condition of Edo roads especially before 2009 over the loss of lives and properties on a regular basis, witches and wizards would definitely key in to support the curses. And that the curses will be justified from generation to generation.
Obaseki had reminded Oshiomhole to fix Urhonigbe road, Igbanke township roads, Abudu township roads and Ugoneki-Ehor road all in Edo South. The Road sector then went ahead to witness the spectacular power of innovation and creativity of the Comrade Governor.
Today, the Model for road development is comprehensive and encompasses the full complement of the road infrastructure including walkways, side drains, pavements, green areas, green median for the dualized roads and street lights. These are innovations that have dramatically changed the landscape of Benin City as State Capital and other major towns in the State.
Considering the public apprehension at that time, the bullish courage and the massive energy that attended the reconstruction and dualization of Airport Road, it will not be out of place to describe it as one of the star projects. Others are Siluko road dualization, Sapele road dualization, Mission/Upper Mission road, New Lagos Road dualization, Akpakpava road dualization, Upper Lawani, just to mention a few. Several completed adjoining streets at Upper Mission, Upper Lawani have been delivered. As we speak, the hitherto abandoned major arterial 2nd East Circular road is nearing completion.
From the thirty kilometers Ekperi – Anegbette road in Edo North senatorial district, to the forty kilometers Igueben – Ewohimi – Ewatto – Ebudin – Emu – Okhuesan road in Edo central Senatorial district, to the fifty seven kilometers Evboeghae – Ugo – Urhonigbe road in Edo south Senatorial District.
There is no doubt in our minds that this government has achieved its primary purpose; that of restoring confidence and hope in governance and demonstrating that it is possible to develop Edo State.
A workable template for the development of the State has been clearly established and the delivery of new and modern infrastructures has resulted from it across the State for all to see. As things stand, nobody will come to Edo State without noticing the ubiquity of road projects and the revolutionary accomplishment in the sector. Edo state has now successfully emerged from the insular backwater in which she had hitherto wallowed.
This success story will forever be celebrated by all, home and abroad. The need to continue this success story leaves us with no other choice than to vote Godwin Obaseki for Governor on September 10.
EVBOEGHAE-UGO URHONIGBE ROAD
BEFORE: The 57.4km length, in Orhionmwon Local Government Area. It was impassable for road users due to the fact that that the road was overgrown with grass, deep potholes, weak existing bridge and deep gullies as a result of erosion & flooding.
PRESENT CONDITION: The road project is completed and it is passable from Ugo town-Urhomehe-Urhonigbe town with asphalt overlay and construction 18.om length of bridge.
BEFORE: The 25km road in Ovia South West Local Government Area had parts of it surface dressed. The road was initially marked with failures and deep potholes that often left commercial vehicles and other road users stranded. Vehicles were always trapped in these deep potholes thereby making it difficult to smoothly transit from beginning to the end without hitches. The road was usually avoided by commercial drivers during raining season for fear of being stranded or getting their vehicles damaged and the few that agreed to ply the road usually charged exorbitant fares.
PRESENT CONDITION: Asphalt overlay is completed from beginning to the end with road with road marking, culverts and drain. Hence, the road is now accessible all year road without any impediment to road users.
Godwin Obaseki has strong grasp of the state’s issues and his immense contribution in raising the revenue profile of the state and effectively managing scarce resources to ensure that projects are executed and salaries paid promptly, have helped to lay a solid foundation for the economic empowerment and development of Edo State, and expressed a desire for continuity in the implementation, monitoring and completion of key projects in the state.
Inwalomhe Donald, a Public Affairs Analyst writes from Benin City. firstname.lastname@example.org