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April 8, 2017
[img]https://edostate.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2017/04/9b000ff937acd831a8784e771ee63f94_view.png[/img] Oba Ewuare II of Benin BENIN—INDIGENES of Edo North senatorial district of Edo State, made up of six local government areas, have stepped up preparations towards the hosting of the Oba of Benin, Omo N’ Oba Ewuare II. The Benin monarch is expected to undertake an appreciation visit to the communities that make up the entire Afemai or Edo North senatorial district of the state. A statement yesterday, in Benin by Alhaji Usman Abudah, the Artistic Director and Head of the Publicity Committee for the visit, said that the Palace of Otaru of Auchi, Alhaji Haliru Momoh, Ikelebe III, will host a meeting of all Edo North traditional rulers with the Benin monarch. The statement added that the Oba’s visit which is a continuation of his visits to communities in the state, was to appreciate the people for their solidarity and support during the burial of Oba Erediauwa and his own coronation. The statement noted that traditional dance troupes and masquerades from communities in Etsako West, East and Central, Owan East and West and Akoko-Edo, the six councils that make up the senatorial district, are expected to grace the occasion. By: Gabriel Enogholase

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September 14, 2016
[img]http://edostate.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2016/09/7a5c5282dccef38e9a0cf84cfdd6092f_view.jpg[/img] The seven suspects Seven suspected criminals, who took part in kidnappings, armed robberies and pipeline vandalism in Ikorodu, Arepo and Ibafo areas of Lagos and Ogun states, have been arrested by the police. It was gathered that the suspects, who fled their camps when security operatives launched offensives against their activities, were apprehended in Edo State, where they had gone to regroup. Sources disclosed that the suspects, who were identified as Alawei Isaac, Ganpaei Amos Yieden, Abeniko Alfred, Luke Foroijoh a.k.a. Oluku, Bebetebe Akowe, Daniel Ezekiel and Pawpaw Worimegbe, were rounded up by operatives of the Inspector General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team, IRT, following a directive of the IG, Ibrahim Idris, who ordered that fleeing militants from Lagos and Ogun states should be trailed and arrested. It was further gathered that the IRT operatives, led by Abba Kyari, got intelligence report indicating that the regrouping militants were perfecting plans to rob three commercial banks and also kidnap a woman from a wealthy family in Edo State. A source, who spoke with Vanguard on condition of anonymity, said that the militants had made statements and that they were mainly from Arogbo in Ondo State, but fled to Edo because they learned that security operatives had flooded Ese-Odo Local Government Area of Ondo State, waiting for them. By: Ifeanyi Okolie

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November 28, 2016
The General Secretary of National Union of Textile and Garment Workers of Nigeria made the appeal in a press statement on Monday. [img]http://edostate.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2016/11/1a468764f90bb46d252161d76bee082e_view.jpg[/img] Mr Issa Aremu Mr Issa Aremu, General Secretary, National Union of Textile and Garment Workers of Nigeria, on Monday urged ex-governor Adams Oshiomhole to shun the N200 million pension approved for him by the Edo State Assembly. Aremu made the appeal in a press statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Kaduna. [img]http://edostate.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2016/11/7300ae41f6eb9442df17c9895289dcb8_view.jpg[/img] “Following the trend in other states, the Edo assembly recently approved a pension benefit for a residential building worth N200million for immediate past governor of the state, while N100 million was approved for his Deputy among other benefits. “We appeal to former Governor of Edo state, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole to make a positive difference by not collecting the life pension benefit as approved by the state assembly. [img]http://edostate.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2016/11/40c0c4439dc20f9f5ff9eb5e60d9211b_view.jpg[/img] Comrade Adams Oshiomhole - Former Governor of Edo State “Comrade Oshiomhole had beaten the governors to good governance as evidenced by his globally acknowledged record of achievements as governor of Edo state. “He should therefore not join the former governors on unjust pension that is unnecessary and unsustainable in a recession. “Edo’s governance report since 2008 points to Nigeria’s renewed optimism. “Indeed we have witnessed a renaissance which defeats the old pessimism according to which nothing would work.” Aremu said the former governor must show a difference, by shunning such offers which may revert the esteem in which Nigerians view him. “This development agenda can only be further deepened and should not be supplanted with corruption.”

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February 7, 2017
[img]http://edostate.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2017/02/9c1efdf25c21fbb6b0c1791d6f1eedd3_view.png[/img] The Edo State House of Assembly on Monday passed the state’s 2017 budget proposal of N153.18 billion. Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo had on December 19, 2016, presented a budget proposal of N150 billion to the Assembly for consideration and passage. The budget, as presented by the governor, consists of N75.11 billion for capital expenditure, while the proposed recurrent expenditure stood at N74.9 billion. The Assembly increased the appropriation bill with about N3 billion, representing 0.1 per cent increase. The Chairman, Assembly Committee on Appropriation and Project Monitoring, Damian Lawani (APC, Etsako Central), said the budget reflected the needs of the people and was designed to consolidate and complete all ongoing projects. During the consideration of the bill, N76.6 billion was allocated for capital expenditure, while N76.5 billion was allocated for re-current expenditure. The breakdown of the proposal showed that N18.5 billion, N7.2 billion, N3.6 billion and N6.034billion were allocated for the recurrent expenditure of the administrative, economic, law and justice and social sectors, respectively. Also, N5.68 billion, N47 billion and N1.84 billion and N22.09 were allocated for the capital expenditure for the administrative, economic, law and justice and social sectors, respectively. The Assembly, after the consideration of the document with amendments, passed the bill. The Speaker, Justin Okonoboh, directed that the clean copies of the bill be sent to the governor for his assent.

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April 17, 2017
[img]https://edostate.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2017/04/16be3860c840cc09ad116a7b446d58d9_view.jpg[/img] Oba of Benin, Otaru of Auchi and Oba Danise II of South Ibvie, during the visit Otaru of Auchi Kingdom, Ikelebe III gives insight into Oba’s meeting with traditional rulers of Edo North Penultimate Saturday, the joyous mood of indigenes and residents of Auchi town, who trooped to the Otaru’s Palace, was an indication that an important guest was about to visit Auchi and was being eagerly awaited. Most residents woke up that morning to find an unusually clean town, as major streets wore new and beautiful looks. At the Otaru’s end of the town, palace officials kept regular communication with the Oba’s Palace in Benin City. Indeed, men were deployed from the Otaru’s Palace to all strategic points in the town to direct the august visitors to the Otaru’s Palace once they arrived town. At about 2:45 p.m., the convoy of the OmoN’Oba N’Edo Ukuapolokpolo arrived Auchi and headed straight for the Otaru’s Palace, where notable traditional rulers from Edo North alongside its sons, daughters and elites from the senatorial district gathered to receive the OmoN’Oba. On why the journey from Benin to Auchi took the OmoN’Oba and his entourage such a long time, the Oba was quoted as saying, “I did not quite anticipate that the Benin/Auchi Road was in such a deplorable state.” This road happens to be one of the major links between the south and northern parts of Nigeria. Palace Watch had an interview with the Otaru of Auchi Kingdom on the visit. How will you assess the reign of OmoN’oba Eware 11 so far? I believe leaders are inspired to seek the common good of their people. It is also my belief that most kings are appointed by Almighty Allah, although there are some leaders, who one could safely say, are not too endowed with the spirit of Almighty in their rulership. But with regards to the OmoN’Oba Ewuare II, he is a man with an excellent spirit and administrative skills, no matter what some people might say. These skills he has aptly demonstrated during his tour of duties as Nigerian Ambassador to so many world countries. As expected, he is bringing this rich background to bear on the management and administration of the traditional institutions in Edo Kingdom. During his coronation recently, we all saw the assemblage of men and women of quality from diverse cultures and backgrounds that graced the occasion. Oba Ewuare II, in a deliberate attempt to demonstrate that he is clear-headed about what he wants for his Kingdom in particular, as well as other kingdoms alongside the good of the entire Edo State, immediately he ascended the throne of his ancestors, curbed the recklessness of land grabbers in Benin City and its environs. This particular action helped to check activities of known and unknown land grabbers in Benin and its surroundings. Previously, this ugly trend was becoming an embarrassment, as we had a situation, where youths went about grabbing lands that did not belong to them. They were also selling such land to one or more persons, thus creating lot of commotion, confusion and pains all over the city. But the Oba came in and said, “No, this can no longer be allowed to continue in this city.” This type of action is a mark and quality of a focused leader. I must say though that land racketeering and such other vices were not restricted to Benin City alone, as it was also occurring here in Auchi. Before OmoN’Oba’s decisive intervention, the problem of land grabbing and racketeering was more pronounced in Benin and Edo State in particular. I was, therefore, not surprised, when Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State took it up immediately. This has now kick-started a major step towards comprehensive Land Reform in Edo State. This is because the governor has come to realize that once miscreants are allowed to take over the land and deploy them to reckless use, a time will come, when the state government will need land(s) for meaningful developmental purpose, and there would be no land for such. Another bold step being taken by Oba Ewuare is the effort and spirit of having one common language for all Edo speaking people. He is presently working very hard to ensure that this objective is realized. Does that mean as an Esan or Estako person, I will now have to learn to speak the Benin dialect, whether I like it or not? No this is not exactly the position of things. Mind you, this is not the first time this initiative is being introduced. Chief Anthony Enahoro of blessed memory once initiated the idea of one language for Edo State. The realisation of this objective might not be during our own time. What is important is for us to work on it, and get credible people to sit down to consider how we can marry these dialectical variances of all the people of Edo State and then have one acceptable language. It can be done. It is possible. I am not saying everybody in Edo State will be forced to speak Benin, for instance. No, this is not the idea and this was not the issue, when Chief Enahoro first mooted the idea. What is of importance is for us to come up with one common Edo language that will be acceptable to all. This can be done. Of course, some of our linguistic and history professors have said it is possible and of course, if we all put our heart to it, it will be done, Insha Allah. I believe there are some other issues that have been raised, which, when the international seminar/council for the state is inaugurated, all the gray areas and fears of our people will be adequately thrashed and taken care of. So, why is His Royal Highness in Edo North? Oba Ewuare II came visiting in the spirit of unity. He craves and wants one united, indivisible and focused Edo State people. This is the way I look at the visit. To me, he is a very simple man. You just need to know him to know that his heart is pure. He desires that Edo State people should have a common approach to all the good things of life; and that we spread from here to such places as the South-South and then across the country. He strongly believes that the Edo State people have something to offer all the segments making up Nigeria. He simply wants Edo State to be a model. This is precisely what Oba Ewuare II is navigating now. What was the kernel of your remarks, during the opening speech? I just highlighted the events that have taken place in recent time. For example, it was obvious for all to see that Oba Ewuare II had a very grand coronation. Indeed, I have never seen any other event(s) better organised or more glamorous anywhere in and outside Nigeria than that. The event was a takeoff, opening the gate of light into Benin Kingdom, in particular and Edo State in general. This was for all of us to see and appreciate. It was for us all to know for sure how it came and what it was. By the world standard, that coronation was a spectacle to behold. It was beautiful and dignifying. That paved the way for various other things the Oba wants to do. He has planned to visit other senatorial districts in Edo State. He told me he is also going to pay similar visits to other parts of the country, just to appreciate all the people that came for his coronation. He will personally go to appreciate and thank all those kings, obas, emirs and obis that graced his coronation from various parts of the world.” So, what have the Edo North Traditional Rulers gained from this visit? The visit re-created the much-desired unity among the traditional rulers and institutions in Edo State. This is a good omen. A few of our brother traditional rulers do not have the spirit or more appropriately, the know-how to negotiate and do things that will strengthen the cohesion among ourselves, thereby promoting commendable spirit in the administration of traditional and cultural values, which will bring about the unity of Edo people. This interaction will invariably become the basis for traditional rulers to discuss and initiate projects for government to work on. What was the significance of your four-year-old son presenting the Holy Qur’an to Oba Ewuare II at the occasion? My son, Aliru Momoh Mumin, who presented the Qur’an to Oba Ewuare II, is presently memorising the Holy Qur’an, with the hope that by the time he is 10, he would have successfully completed the entire Qur’an. We wanted to present the OmoN’Oba with the Qur’an, but it occurred to me he should recite a verse, i.e. any Surah in the Qur’an before the presentation. We had to pick the boy from school and I told him to decide on the Surah he would recite at the occasion. Later, the teacher came to tell me that the boy had decided to recite “Suratu AL-NUR (The Light)” in Chapter 24 of the Qur’an. It reads: “With the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Ever Merciful. This is a highly dignified Surah, which We have revealed and the ordinances of which We have made obligatory and We have revealed in it clear commandments so that you may rise to great eminence.” This Surah is in nine parts. The magical thing was that, after the recitation of the Surah and presentation of the Qur’an, to the surprise of all those present, the heavens opened and it rained heavily. You know what? It has not rained in Auchi for quite sometime now. This was a sign of good and wonderful things to come. That was the climax of the event. By: Gabriel Omonhinmin

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September 14, 2016
[img]http://edostate.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2016/09/83ea7851284ba59f9fa1539b39d7a3cd_view.jpg[/img] Ize-Iyamu and Obasek SOMETHING doesn’t look right about the decision to postpone the Edo State governorship election slated for last week. This is regardless of whatever reason or reasons informed the decision for the postponement by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC. But even on this there is nothing to fix the decision on. Conflicting reasons have been adduced for the postponement and the fact that no consensus can be reached on this apparently simple matter only raises suspicion about INEC’s motive for tinkering with the electoral calendar. Although the All Progressives Congress, APC, party in the State has denied any part in the decision but the State’s governor, Adams Oshiomole, was quoted as saying that the election was postponed by INEC because the date conflicted with the date for a West African Examinations Council’s exam slated for the same day. But it appears now that the fear that the election would be marred by violence, the reason given by the Police and the Department of State Security, is the main reason for the postponement. A quick look at each of these conflicting reasons would show why they amount to be mere excuses that do not justify the waste of human and material resources that went into preparations for the election. For a start, there is no reason why an election should be postponed or cancelled simply because it coincides with a public examination. The only reason this should look like and in fact is considered a problem at all is just because elections are like war operations in our parts of the world. To attend events leading to an election including campaigns is like accepting an invitation to a war. Not only is violence on full display but even the state itself shuts down public spaces and the entire country experiences a lock-down. Combat police personnel and the military are mobilised and states and the country’s borders are closed until the conclusion of the exercise. So what does this say about us and our country? We are a long way from democracy is what this tells me. This is not the way things are in other parts of the world where people could stop to vote in an election on their way to or from work. Many don’t even have to show their face at the polling booth as they could vote electronically. But here, it is a different story. Elections are a demonstration of madness exemplified by violence. It is therefore not surprising that intelligence report that the election would be violent was the initial reason given by INEC for the election. The campaign to replace the outgoing governor of Edo State has been intense. The election is being closely fought by the leading parties particularly the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the APC whose respective candidates are Ize-Iyamu and Godwin Obaseki. There have been accusations and counter accusations and abuses of all kinds among the candidates and their supporters. Depending on what side of the contest one stands, the election is expected to swing either way of these two parties. Supporters of both parties are not limited to those within the state. They extend beyond it and those people outside the state may well define the outcome of the election either in terms of how violent it gets or who eventually wins. Already, there are talks of thugs and militants acting as mercenaries imported into Edo State. The election is more or less a two horse race between the PDP and the APC whose supporters are bent on ensuring victory for their respective parties. In a sense, therefore, this election is a battle for the control of Edo State and by projection Nigeria between the two leading parties in the country today. It was the accretion of small victories from across the states and local governments in the country that ultimately transformed into national victory for the APC in its battles against the PDP in the 2015 elections. The PDP has learned from this, taken a leaf or two from its opponent and is no longer content to remain on the sideline. It is ready to take the battle to the APC that has the onerous task of ensuring security both nationally and in Edo State. This cannot be easy on the ruling party because irrespective of wherever it turns, the APC will be gored. Be it last Saturday or whenever the election is rescheduled to, any breakdown in law and order would be blamed on the APC. It would not matter whether it is responsible for such breakdown or not. As the ruling party it is responsible for security of life and property. If the last Rivers State election is any guide then there may be need for caution. But the PDP like the APC in 2015 knows it does not have to be too worried, at least not as much as the APC, about the potentially violent outcome of last Saturday’s election. It was in support of the election going ahead and has not been silent since INEC buckled, contrary to its initial bluff to carry on with the election irrespective of the warning from the police and the DSS. Thus, the PDP has been vociferous in criticising the postponement of the election. The party suspects fraud in the postponement. And you cannot blame that party if you’re familiar with its own record of election postponement. It contrived a postponement in the 2015 presidential election when all indices indicated that the election would be close but that the PDP might lose. The writing on the wall was too clear for even the blind not to see. It was in these circumstances that the National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, advised against the presidential election going ahead as originally planned. He took his campaign abroad apparently to prepare the international community for the bombshell and to protect itself against any backlash from the decision. Dasuki cited security reasons for his infamous advice even when the blind knew that the party wanted to buy time to enable it make better preparations to win the election by both foul and fair means. From February 14 the election was postponed to April. But this could still not save the PDP that was beyond redemption in spite of its massive deployment of funds to bribe voters and traditional rulers. Given what Nigerians knew the PDP wanted to achieve by postponing the 2015 presidential election, it makes sense for them to worry that what looks like that is again happening under the APC. It is by no means certain that the APC wanted to influence the Edo State governorship election when INEC decided to postpone it. But there is now a large room for suspicion which makes the decision to postpone stink - By: Rotimi Fasan -

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November 29, 2016
[img]http://edostate.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2016/11/71649b97be0a22acdff24d468c4abe38_view.png[/img] Godwin Obaseki, Edo State Governor ABUJA—GOVERNOR Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has said his government is working to attract more development and investments to the state, even as the government is striving to ensure that the 2017 budget proposal gets to the state’s House of Assembly before December 15. The governor spoke in Abuja after his visit to World Bank Country Office, the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Budget and National Planning. At the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Governor Obaseki, who met with the minister and other top-level administrators in the ministry, expressed his determination to work closely with the ministry to attract more development to Edo state. According to him: “I came to visit very senior officials of the Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning to make sure that Edo State keys into the Federal Government’s programmes aimed at sustaining the development of this country and also getting the country out of recession. As you are aware, there are social intervention programmes that are being finalised by the Federal Government that would help to create jobs, boost the economy and sustain the current economic reforms being driven by the current administration. We do not want Edo to be left out, we want to be a key participant. “We will submit our budget before December 15 and that is one of the reasons we are making these visits to be sure of the amount of donor funding or support that we need to include in our budget.” At the World Bank, the governor sought the input of the institution as the state prepares its 2017 budget, explaining that the bank would provide a lot of technical support to the state in sectors that could accelerate economic progress and job creation. By: Omeiza Ajayi

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February 13, 2017
[img]http://edostate.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2017/02/b63740e7d0168271e6e33f592fd98443_view.jpg[/img] Gov Godwin Obaseki delivering his key note address at the 3 day worksop on Agric-business in the state. “Our vision is for Edo State to become a leading agric-business hub in Nigeria, attracting some of the biggest agric-investors, transitioning the state into a world of Agro-industrialization” – Obaseki When the Godwin Obaseki led administration during the governorship electioneering campaign promised to create 200,000 jobs, the major opposition political party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) made it a laughing issues and mock the Obaseki. The party said Comrade Adams Oshiomhole who is projecting Godwin Obaseki was unable to create 10,000 jobs rather he sent people into the labour market, how then will Obaseki create 200,000 jobs? The opposition party focused on the job issues and try to use it to distract Obaseki and his campaign team, but he never relented rather he continued to reiterate his determination not only to create 200,000 job but to make the state an economic hub of the nation as well as surpassing the achievement and record of the Comrade Governor. As they made mockery on the job promises, governor Obasek was busy planning, strategics and using his connection in the private sector to gather would be investors. As soon as the elections were over and he became the governor of the state, he hits the ground running as he made one giant stride travelling to China to woo investors. His critics were not too comfortable as they felt his travelling to China is another way of wasting tax payers’ money but the more the opposition made noise to distract the governor, the more he set machinery in place to actualize his promise to his people and shame his critics whose business in government is to loot the treasury of the state. Unlike the politicians who makes political promises and statement just to win election, Obaseki is a different breed who have an economic mind to run the state and was ready to prove his critics wrong by deviating from the usual political way of doing things to a new way where you make promises and you are sure to fulfill them. Obaseki is not a politician, but an economist and a technocrat from the private sector who is ready to bring his wealth of experience to bare in the public sector. Obaseki is ready to teach his detractors how to govern and utilize government resources to favour the masses rather than feeding political fathers or party leaders who had nothing to contribute to the development of the state. There is no more free lunch in government house neither is there any avenue to share government money rather the citizens should be ready to work to turn the fortune of the state around from agriculture as the Obaseki era is for industrialization. The major crops in the state include cassava, cocoa, rubber, rice/plantain, maize/yam and citrus/pineapple. Available statistics shows that the state is the second largest producer of rubber, second largest producer of oil palm, sixth largest producer of cocoa, ninth largest producer of rice and the fifteen largest producer of cassava. Edo state enjoys favorable climate condition as the state is located around the tropical region of Nigeria. It has two distinct climate seasons; the rainy and dry seasons. The rainy season is between April and October with a two-week break in August. Average rainfall is between 150cm in the far North of the state to 250cm in the South. The dry season lasts from November to April, with a cold, humid and dusty harmattan period between December and January. The average temperature ranges between 25◦ C in the rainy season and 28◦C in the dry season. Generally, the climate is humid tropical in the Southern areas of the state and sub humid in the North. The state has the potential to be an export of Agricultural products because she has most versatile soil (sandy loam) able to support cultivation of wide variety of crops and livestock; good climate condition; cultivable land (1.1 million hectares) and the state has friendly policy direction towards agricultural investors ready to do business in the state. The aim of the present administration led by Mr. Godwin Obaseki is to revolutionize the agricultural sector in the state; to address food security; employment generation; wealth creation and industrialization. Increase food availability will be one of the benefits of Agricultural investors in the state considering the caliber of investors the state has been able to attract, the land to be utilized, general agricultural activities, there is no doubt that food availability is totally obtainable within a short period of time, to ensuring Edo State becomes the food basket of the nation. Secondly, it will generate employment despite the numerous challenges caused by unemployment world over. To fight this scourge, the Obaseki led administration is committed towards tackling this challenge by introducing the investors-friendly policy direction. This development can in turn yield over 100,000 jobs in the state, affecting all classes and age group(s) of the state as companies start from cultivation to packing of products. Thirdly, the level of poverty in the state will drastically reduce. There is no magic to poverty eradication, once there is an enabling environment to thrive, investors to invest, job creation follows suit and poverty is reduced/eradicated. In the light of this development, job creation would undoubtedly lead to economic growth. The state government in the last seven years has ensured road construction in the rural areas to the urban cities to ensure easy passage of foods and services within and outside the state. This will in turn be a starting point for investors to build upon as the process will equally increase the state government revenue from taxation. Activating his action plan of making Edo State the economic hub of the nation through investment in the Agricultural sector taking our strategic position, fertile soil, almost 2 million hectares of harvest-able land spanning several vegetation, energetic manpower, Obaseki set up an ad-hoc Agricultural Committee headed by Chief Osaro Ideh. He said the major focus of the Committee is on four items which include creation of 5,000 hectares for the cultivation of maize; 10 hectares of green house of vegetables and tomatoes; 4,000 hectares of piggery farms and also government supporting cocoa farmers to improve their yields for this season which is hoped to achieve and should create between 50,000 and 80,000 jobs this year 2017. The governor said the need for this Committee at this point in time is that the administration is racing against time and wants the Committee to help the government think through and identify some specific projects which the administration must begin to identified immediately and also begin some agricultural activities before the next cropping season. “We have just three months of dry season left to undertake all the preparations required before the raining season comes in”. “If we went through the normal process of government, we may have to wait till the cabinet is constituted and if that is the case, we will miss the cropping season. I want to congratulate you on this appointment. At some point later in the life of the administration, we would constitute a full team to look holistically at all our Agricultural initiative”. In other not to miss the cropping season, governor Obaseki was able to muscle over 87Agricultural entrepreneurs in various field of Agriculture across the world to Benin City Edo State for a three day workshop to deliberate and kick start the process of Agric-business in the state. The venue; Randehki Royal Hotel in Benin City, Edo State Capital. Theme: “Harnessing Resources and opportunities to optimize Agribusiness”. Under the distinguished chairmanship of Mr. Tony Ogunbor. Agric entrepreneurs came from across the globe to cross fertilize ideas on how to make the state an economic hub of the nation in line with the Godwin Obaseki’s administration creating job through agriculture. The deliberation commenced on Thursday 26th through 28th of January 2016. A glance at the activities and programs for the event shows how successful the workshop will be as entrepreneur will have the opportunity to engage themselves for the three days they will spend together at Rankhiki Royal Hotel under the watchful eyes of the government of Edo state showing how ready they are to turn mare political statement to action and fulfilled the promises made to the people of the state. Welcoming participant to the workshop, the chairman Mr. Tony Ogunbor said the inaugural Edo State Agric-business workshop has brought participants from both within and outside the country to deliberate putting years of experience together, cross fertilize ideas, turning the outcome into government policies to move the state forward through agriculture. Ogunbor who linked the successes of development in Lagos State to the experience Babatunde Fashola brought in from the private sector to transform the public sector said the state is a model to emulate and a trend state should start adopting for economic growth. He said he has no doubt in his mind that Edo State will soon be like Lagos, as Obaseki has brought his wealth of experienced that is spanning over 30 years to bare in the state and surly the state will be better for it. “There will certainly be a great difference when you put the managerial skills acquired in the private into the public sectors”. The chairman commended the Godwin Obaseki led administration for departing from the political way of doing things, organizing a workshop of this magnitude which outcome will transform the state into an Agro-industrialization state. He said instead of lamenting or complaining, the governor has hit the ground running. “This is not the time to dive into missed opportunities but harness the agricultural potentials of the state to return the state back to its pride of place among states in the nation. In time past Edo state was in the fore front of production in oil palm, rubber and cassava but today all that are in the past but thank the governor for setting machinery in place to return Edo State back to reckoning in the nation”. He said if we develop the agric sector it will lead to industrialization. Ogunbor said despite the fertile soil in the state, oil has made us to lose focus and the ability to think progressively but commended the governor for putting a programe of this nature in place as it will change our orientation and put us back on track to think progressively to develop the state through agriculture. Allaying the fears of investors, Ogunbor express delight in the bold and decisive step taken by the governor to criminalize the activities of Community Development Association (CDA) whose activities has scare potential investors out of the state. “We thank the governor for setting out to criminalize the activities of the CDA through enacting a bill that will enable violators to be punished. The move is commendable and very inimical to investors and the development of the state. Edo state can become the food basket of the nation if agric is the centers focus. Agriculture will help grow the internally generated revenue of the state. I want to assure the governor that all the investors here are ready for business to help the government actualize the dreams”. Chairman of the Strategic Planning Unit of Godwin Obaseki led administration Prof. Julius Ihonvbere commended the government of Edo state for the Agric-business initiative which he said will increase food production, input to the industrial sector, earn revenue and foreign exchange for the State and create jobs for the teeming youths of the state. He said Agric is one of the sure sectors to create job. This is why we have called the investors as a financier to Edo; some came from Europe and America. He said the goal of the administration is to identify those who are ready to help, to begin work immediately and them to enjoy the new incentives which the governor is unveiling. “For the first time in Edo, we are computerizing the C of O issuance and making it faster and ready to provide support and work on security for farmers. We are prepared to work with communities to create a conducive atmosphere for farmers. It is a total package that the governor is unveiling to encourage investment and increase output. We have community and local government donating land to the state. So far we have over 250,000 hectars already donated voluntarily which will be made available to farmers so that there will not be excuse of land”. An Agric Entrepreneur Willma Aguele expresses delight in the step taken by Obaseki to develop the state through agriculture. “I am very happy to be here and very pleased that Edo State Government and its team are going forward to try to take Edo State out of poverty. We are happy to be part of it. We are always conscious of the fact that economic matter void of politics but I am glad that we have a state governor that is driving the process of taken Edo state to the next level”. Another Agric Investor Mr. Julius Akanoba Managing Director of PEMO Farms Limited expressed delight for the step taken by the government to empower the people and develop the state through Agriculture. He said education is necessary for farmers as it will go a long way to improve productivity. “We need to educate the farmers and associate with them as there is nothing anybody can do without education in Agriculture. Agriculture today is no longer a way of life unlike in good old days when farmers farm for only their families but today, they farm for the nation”. He said several topics have been handled here in this 3 day workshop as the resolution will be pass to the relevant authorities which has the power to translate the resolution into government policies. An indigene of Edo State who is also an entrepreneur Captain Hosa Okunbor thank the Godwin Obaseki’s administration for setting the platform through which Edo state will become developed. “Obaseki has started in a right way and the right way to go is Agriculture. Our state is well position in Nigeria, we have the land, if all worked out as planned, in two years to come we will become the Agricultural hub of the nation”. He commended Obaseki for showing the determination, zeal and commitment to move Edo State forward. “his passion for developing Edo State is never in doubt non questionable as the entire citizens are very hopeful and expect to see changes soonest “. Hosa said the governor has an Economic mind to run the state and this is what is required to drive the process of developing the state, bringing it back to its lost glory to the envy of other state. Delivering a key note address at the workshop, the Chief of Staff to Edo State Government Mr. Taiwo Akerele thank participant in the Agric-business for desiring to join the government of the state to develop it through Agriculture. He said the government is ready to invest in the Agricultural sectors to create job for the people of the state saying that the government is ready for the business of developing the state. Akerele said the government is ready to create an enabling environment for investor to come into the state to invest without fear of being harassed as the Obaseki’s administration has put modalities on ground engaging with communities that have crises with investors encouraging such communities to ensure they create the enabling environment and atmosphere for business to thrive in the state. “Edo state is an investment friendly state and the governor is investment friendly. He is set to position Edo on the part of progress as he assured the people that in 3 years Edo will be made one of the biggest competing state in the area of Agric-busniess with Lagos or Ogun State”. He urged the participants to take the workshop seriously as the Agric-business in the state is for serious investors that will join hands with the government of the state to develop the state. He wishes the participant a fruitful deliberation. Governor Obaseki who was physically present at the event was elated, his face beaming with smiles like a fulfilled general who just returned from a victorious battle, he expressed delight on the caliber of investors who honored the invitation of his government to be part of the Agric-business workshop to contribute their wealth of experience in moving Edo state forward. Obaseki said if we are going to be leaders in our region in terms of Agribusiness as we seek to be, we must question old ways of doing things and seek fresh ideas to face our current challenges. “We must continue to encourage small farm holders to improve farming practices and obtain modern technology; we must implement the policy of mechanization and commercialization using technology”. “Today Edo State is the second largest producer of rubber, second largest producer of oil palm, sixth largest producer of cocoa, ninth largest producer of rice and fifteen largest producer of cassava. Our mission is to become the largest producers of these crops within the next five years”. Obaseki said to achieve this set goals we must do things differently. “As we seek to achieve this goal, there is no better time to rethink and re-position the economy of our state. The old habit of depending on excessive federal revenue must now give way to a robust private sector driven local economy that is anchor on a solid foundation of Agric business”. He said subsistence farming of the old must now be replace with modern method as input gear towards meeting market demand and making profit for both the rural farmers and out growers on a large commercial farm. “The aging farming population must now be replaced with a new breed of innovative young and energetic farmer. We are here for action not lamentation. We are here with those who have the experience and those who are in the sector. We want knowledge driven solution, I am here today not to talk but to act and act decisively”. In doing this the governor said the strategy of the government is to provide land, make it accessible, drive agriculture from top to bottom, attract and partner with those with large capital and commercial farms because they have the capacity, capital and the knowledge to drive the business”. Continuing he said at the end of the 3 day workshop, the state will commission an Agricultural plan to deal with all the agricultural issues hindering the state from economy developing. He said the solution of the issues facing the agricultural sectors came from the presentation of discussant during the discussion sections where investors cross fertilize their idea and experience. “The solution came from the last presentation which is that we do not have an Agricultural master plan whether at the Federal or state level. All the issues we have been discussing here today would have been dealt with through the plan frame work”. Governor Obaseki said the take away for him is that immediately after this section; Edo State must commission an agric master plan. “Once the Agric master plan is in place, we now begin to tackle core issues like land, were we talked about ownership and control. It is something we’ve been struggling with, that is why we invited party chairmen at local government areas to come”. Speaking further, the governor said after setting up the Ad-hoc Committee to look at the possibility of participating in this season using the advantages of the raining season, words were sent to local government council and communities to donate land for the course as priority will be given to those who donated in our investment. “Within a week, we had received offers of almost 250,000 hectares of land. It shows that working with the communities and ministry of land we can actually create a sensible land bank”. Furthermore, he said the issue of ownership or control is something the government know and can be dealt with as she understands what the issues are. “Part of the change is the land use act and the way it’s been implemented is the part of the experience and on how to structure transactions in spite of limitations of that law. The issue of infrastructure is an interesting one because we don’t have a master”. At the end of the three day workshop the investors which were divided into groups came to government to discuss with the governor on the way for the state. Each of the groups tabled their discussions, the challenges they face, what they need to thrive in the state, the assistance the state should render, the numbers of people they can employ, how ready they are to invest in the state and the likes. The agric business has come and gone, expert in various line of agricultural business has shared their ideas on how to develop the state using their own line of business. The stage is set, the die is cast, the investors are ready, the government is ready, the result is what the people of the state is anxiously waiting to see and it is sure Edo State is set for development and development the people will see as Godwin Obaseki led administration will not fail in his campaign promises. By: RICHARD EWEKA

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August 24, 2016
[img]http://edostate.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2016/08/a170719a4a75e1dd2e344a2a51486688_view.jpg[/img] A tanker carrying fuel exploded in Edo state and one person has been confirmed dead. The tanker reportedly exploded while plying the Upper Mission junction on the Benin-Auchi expressway, in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of Edo State. The explosion occurred at about 7:00am, Wednesday, August 24. With one person dead and not less than four people sustaining injuries, the fire which erupted following the tanker’s explosion destroyed properties worth millions of naira. [img]http://edostate.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2016/08/afc1de963c324acef569e1fd5d283a44_view.jpg[/img]

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September 16, 2016
[img]http://edostate.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2016/09/ca61c8b555180f1a47ddc8c7e734539d_view.jpeg[/img] Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State PORT HARCOURT- Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has enjoined his Edo state counterpart, Governor Adams Oshiomole not to blame him for purportedly losing the support of Edo state people ahead of the governorship election in his state, adding that he (Oshiomhole) brought President Muhammadu Buhari and 10 APC Governors to Edo State and was not satisfied, but panicking because two PDP governors visited the state. Governor Wike who spoke against the backdrop of recent allegations by the Edo state governor that he assisted the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate in Edo state with N2 billion for the guber election said the Edo governor had become known for his alleged penchant for lies and inconsistencies. Wike spoke in Government House, Port Harcourt when the Inter Party Advisory Council, IPAC in the state paid him a visit, dismissing as untrue allegation that he had mobilised militants to storm the postponed election in Edo state. The governor recalled that himself and Oshiomole embraced themselves at Benin airport on the day of the PDP’s guber campaign in Edo state, adding that his Edo state counterpart was warm towards him. Wike said: “Oshiomhole even cornered me and said ‘don’t mind these people, they don’t know that we meet and talk”, he said. If Oshiomhole has lost the confidence of his people, he should not blame me. He brought the President and 10 APC Governors and he was not satisfied. Only because two PDP governors visited Edo State, Oshiomole is panicking. “Oshiomhole at his age should stop dramatizing and telling lies. What will his children say when they see him behave like that. If you cannot win election, you cannot win election no matter the number of security reports that you write. Oshiomhole doesn't know when to stop lying. Why do you think that you will continue to deceive the people. This was the same man who praised former President Goodluck Jonathan for promoting free and fair election, one man, one vote which saw Oshiomhole win a second term. Today in his notorious inconsistency, anywhere Oshiomhole goes, he insults the former President. When President Buhari leaves office, Oshiomole will do the same to him”. BY: JIMITOTA ONOYUME