Saturday, October 1, 2016 6:04 pm
Mr. Godwin Obaseki, the Governor-elect of Edo state, has stated that his first assignment would be to put a team together for the purpose of preparing the 2017 appropriation budget immediately.
This is even as he said the focus of his administration would not change from the incumbent in terms of infrastructure and education, but that job creation and empowerment would be added.
Obaseki who spoke during an interactive session with journalists in Benin City, said he would have to prepare the budget in order to hit the ground running, noting that he has only four weeks to present the budget before the legislative arm go on recess.
His words, “My first assignment is to put together a team and get appropriation for next year because we have to get to the ground running.
“The focus will not change in terms of infrastructure and education. The added focus will be on job creation and empowerment. That is why I need to focus on the budget and ensure I get enough appropriation to emphasis the social aspects which I promised during my campaigns. We will continue to build roads and refurbish schools. What is important is how to get people to work.”
The Governor-elect who ruled out anything like government of unity or having members of the opposition political parties as part of his government, however said he would reach out to the opposition in terms of explaining his administration policies to them.
According to him, “I will not be able to accept anybody from the opposition as a commissioner in my cabinet.”
Recall that at the inception of Governor Adams Oshiomhole administration in 2008, he appointed three members of the Peoples Democratic Party as members of his cabinet.
Commenting on the issue of pensioners in the state, Obaseki noted that 700 out 11,700 documented pensioners that retired under the state civil service were yet to be paid.
He explained that the 700 pensioners were those that retired from 2012 to 2015 and that vouchers for payment for those that retired from 2012 to 2013 were ready.
He however said the opposition wanted to use it as and advantage over the APC.
“Some people took advantage of the electioneering and tried to get at us. People had hoped that with the anxiety to win election, we would have resolve the issues. Pension issues are not as they are reported.
“Vouchers are ready for payment for 2012 and 2013 pensioners. We are waiting for a little savings to pay them. For 2104 and 2015, we need to find the cash to pay them. We pay our pensioners regularly. We will have to help the local government fiscally responsible. We will reduce their cost and increase their revenue so that they can meet their obligations including pensions and salaries.