The Edo chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party on Tuesday said Governor Godwin Obaseki’s several foreign trips since assumption of office on November 12, 2016 had brought no economic benefit to the state.
The state Chairman of the party, Chief Dan Orbih, gave the assessment at a news conference in Benin to appraise Obaseki’s one year in office.
Orbih said: “These foreign trips have had no economic value to the people of the state. These have been wastage of tax payers’ money.”
He said the business of governance was a serious one, urging Obaseki to address the problems of poverty, poor state of roads, unpaid pension and gratuity and insecurity at home.
Orbih said the health sector was also in a pitiable state with the “recently commissioned ultra-modern emergency ward built with billions of naira still empty and desolate”.
He said it was shameful that a recent report by the Debt Management Office listed Lagos and Edo as the most indebted states in Nigeria, with Edo State’s foreign debt standing at $213.95 million.
The state PDP chairman criticised Obaseki for spending huge sums of money on a just-concluded summit to commemorate his one year in office anniversary, describing it as a talk show.
But in a swift reaction, Crusoe Osagie, the Special Adviser to Obaseki on Media and Communication Strategy, described the PDP as lacking capacity to appreciate the new direction of Obaseki’s administration.
Osagie said the PDP was only attempting to tarnish the rising profile the state had earned with her lofty programmes, especially the Alaghodaro Investment Summit organised by the All Progressives Congress-led Edo State Government.
Osagie said: “We wish that the PDP remnant will follow their former members who have evolved from stomach-seeking politics, have come to terms with the new people-oriented governance and have found a place in the APC.
“It is not surprising to see that the feeble PDP remnants cannot see the benefits of an investment summit that assembled over 5,000 business leaders from across the world in Edo State to discuss the opportunities that abound in our state.
“These are companies that are investing millions of dollars in Edo State, including the chief executives of BUA Group whose $1billion three million tonnes cement plant was inaugurated by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, recently in Okpella, Edo State.
“The President of Dangote Group that is kicking off a $1 billion cement factory in Okpella to expand its cement production in Nigeria, Mahindra Group that is collaborating with the Edo State Government to build the N200billion Benin Industrial Park and Tolaram Group to mention a few.
“You cannot give what you do not have. The PDP clearly lacks the capacity to see the opportunities in the governor’s investment drive because of his profile as an investment banker.
“His dexterity is currently on display at the Edo Chemical and Fertiliser Company which was a drainpipe for the PDP to siphon state funds, but is now up and running and producing fertiliser to Edo farmers and Nigerians at large.”