Covid-19: Why we’re still able to pay salaries, execute projects – Obaseki

Governor Obaseki (middle), Edo NUJ Chair, Sir Roland Osakwe (right), Edo Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Efe Stewart (left)

By Jethro Ibileke

Godwin Godwin Obaseki of Edo state has explained why he is still able to pay full salaries to workers, pensioners and also execute projects, amidst hardship occasioned by Coronavirus pandemic.

He said his administration decided not to maintain the status quo of governance in the state, which he said enabled him to cope with the pressure of Covid-19.

Obaseki said this Sunday night in Benin, after receiving an award of Most lnnovative Governor in 2019, given to him by the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Edo State Council.

“I refused to follow the status quo, we also curbed waste. If we had not changed the way people see governance or  put some measures in place, I don’t know how we would have coped amid Covid-19.

“Governance today is difficult because of people’s demand, but despite that, we remain focused on our priority.

“Change is difficult, but we have to do it because maintain the status quo has not taken us anywhere, hence I have to change it.”

The governor, changing the status quo is the reason while he has faced problem in the state in the last one and half years.

According to him, “It was as a result of change he made that he was still able to pay salary to workers pensioners and continue to execute project across the state.”

Speaking on the September 19 governorship election in the state, Obaseki said the political crisis in the state and the attack on his convoy during the campaign flag-off was meant to intimidate and create fear in the mind of the people not to come out to vote.

He however assured that government will do everything possible to protect the people and ensure a free and fair election.