The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has identified data as a necessity in the socio-economic development of any society, noting that his administration will leverage technology to provide the needed data for proper planning and sustainable development of Edo State.
Obaseki stated this while addressing participants during a workshop in Benin City organized by the Edo State Ministry of Physical Planning, Urban and Regional Development, after the recertification exercise, tagged, ‘Operation Show Your Building Plan’ in the Amagba axis of Benin City, the state capital.
The programme has the theme, ‘Physical planning for our communities: The Amagba experience,’ and was attended by top government officials as well as heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in Edo.
The governor said his administration plans to leave data that will serve as a compass for proper planning of the state so as to ensure sustainable development across all communities in the state.
He noted, “The only job I have left as governor is to make sure that I put down a compass, a direction that Edo should go, at least in the next 30 years. We are not here to find fault. This is a reality and if we continue like this as a country, we will fail.
“Nobody is going to fix it for us; we have to fix it for ourselves. Nobody is coming from Abuja or abroad to help us fix these things. If we don’t, we are the ones most at risk, because we are living in a society where you have no control and anything can happen to you at any time.
“That’s why this is so important. I think it’s a foundation that future governments would rest and we would not relent.”
Obaseki added, “As we are going on with the ‘operation show your building plan’ exercise, we should also take note of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) data too. Look at INEC delineations to see whether when it comes to elections, people are registered and participating in governance. Except we work together, even if we bring all the money in Nigeria, we cannot develop Amagba.”
He continued: “People are asking, what will happen after you leave? What will happen is that we will have it right and the people will know, and then anybody who comes in and does not give them what they want, the person will have to answer to them. So, we can sustain this development if we decide to.
“We are going to every community in Edo, every local government and every ward. We need to know every village in them and how they are governed. The assignment today is that every agency of government must tell us why they exist and how they are providing services to our people.”
“We’re going for local government elections. We need to open up the space. In a normal democracy, what we are doing now is a local government function, but the local governments have collapsed and we need to come up with an arrangement to ensure that the local government works,” he noted.
The governor further noted, “Every agency must now have a planning team and the head of that agency must be the Chief planner because you are the one, we will hold responsible. You will tell us how you intend to roll out your services to our people.
“We will need to beef up our planning as we are undertaking data to replan the existing areas. There’s a need for the ministry of budget and planning to be involved in this, because we have to tie the socioeconomic planning and physical planning together.”
Earlier, the Edo State Commissioner for Physical Planning, Urban and Regional Development, Isoken Omo, said the Ministry has concluded the recertification exercise in the Amagba axis of Benin City, visiting over 5,000 properties in the area, walking from street to street and door to door.”
She said there are approximately 25,000 residents in the area, noting that there are 3796 bungalows, 756 Storey buildings and 608 vacant plots in the axis.