Despite Rising Population, Nigeria Earns Less Than In Second Republic- Obaseki

(Photo Caption) Reverend Imaekhai (left), his wife, Governor Obaseki (3rd left), his wife Betsy, an official of the state government, and Crusoe Osagie, the governor’s spokesman.

• Urges Different Approach To Governance

Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki, on Sunday called for a different approach to the nation’s governance to avoid doom at a time when her revenue has dropped below the average that obtained in the second republic years between 1979 and 1983 of President Shehu Shagari.
This, he continued, is made even worse by the fact that the nation’s population has grown over the period from just 100m to an estimated 200m currently, with far-reaching implications for national wellbeing.
Speaking during a New Year Service at the St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Eguare-Ekpoma, Edo State, the governor, according to a statement by his media office, said the days are gone in Nigeria when idle funds existed which actors within the polity distributed to persons and groups, without commensurate return of value.
The governor who was accompanied by his wife, Mrs. Betsy Obaseki and some members of the Executive Council, recalled that “between 1979 and 1983 when President Shehu Shagari held the helm of governance in the country, the total earnings of Nigeria amounted to about $100bn within the four years.”
This, he continued, amounted to about $25bn annual earning, when the country’s population was less than 100m people and lamented that today, when the country’s population is about 200m persons, the country’s annual earnings for 2017 fell under $22bn, indicating that the country was not as financially buoyant as it used to be four decades earlier.
This is why, he continued, the nation’s political leaders “have to do things differently. If we don’t change our approach to governance urgently, we perish.
“When people come to political office holders and say give me something without the intention of creating equivalent value, that attitude is a recipe for socio-economic catastrophe. There is no free money anymore in Nigeria today.”
“God will not bless me if I distribute the funds that belong to everybody to just a few people. And I will not do it. The money we earn as government is meant for the service of our people. When I build the market road where this church is located, everybody will use it and benefit from it.
“But if I have to share the fund meant to construct this road for everybody, how much will get to the people. It is therefore the right thing to do before God to deploy the people’s resources towards the development of infrastructure and provision of services for everyone, and not a select few,” he stressed.
The governor however noted that it is not all gloom, stressing that there is hope for Edo state and Nigeria due to the availability of abundant resources, chief among which is human.
All that is needed, he continued, is a government that is committed to channeling the energies of the people and efficiently managing material resources to take the people from where they are to where they ought to be.
Also speaking at the Church Service, Archbishop of Bendel Province, The Most Reverend Dr. Friday John Imaekhai commended the Obaseki administration for its integrity, noting that the governor is not only sincere, but committed to bettering the condition of the people.
“This is the first time a sitting governor is coming to this church on a New Year Day. We appreciate the governor for his commitment to the people, and how he has kept his promises to the people,” he said.