Obaseki’s 30,000 Jobs gain or loss?


You would recall that a few weeks ago Edo State government released a braggadocio statement shouting on the roof top that the State government has provided 30, 000 jobs in his more than one year in office. The statement went further to praise the government and literally told us that the government is doing us good by creating jobs for our teeming youths. This statement is by far the most blatant of all lies that this government has so far been accustomed to since assumption of office. It is not enough to throw figures around but the government must do more to relate specific figures to specific sectors. And because of the credibility loss, the government has suffered over time, it should be gracious enough to publish the names of the individuals with their phone numbers. Only then can it be believed by a sceptical public.

It is shocking that a government can lie to us in this manner when in fact it is a public knowledge that the Edo people are actually loosing their jobs daily. How can a government that built an emergency wing of the specialist hospital, got it commissioned by the President for over a year now and refused to equip it and hire doctors, nurses, cleaners, lab scientist, pharmacists, security guards etc say it has created jobs? In which sector one would ask! When the shopping mall at Etete Road got burnt and men and women doing business there practically lost everything, what was the government’s response? A deafening silence. Even when they organised themselves into groups and went to the government for help, they were driven away from government house. Is this the same government that has created jobs? This is unbelievable.

Obaseki’s wife worked with the Bank of Industry and it will interest you to know that one of the meager empowerments done by her was to call a few women together who apparently campaigned for the husband and gave them a few chicken each and called it empowerment. She told them she was empowering them so they could start a poultry with them. Is it native chicken one uses in starting a poultry? Guess what the women did with the chickens? They cooked them and ate. One of the women who refused to eat hers and gave them away saying she feared that it must have been intended for (Salaka) sacrifice. Early this year, 23, 000 artisans and traders benefited from the Federal Government soft loan scheme across 13 states under the Government’ Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) through the Bank of Industry and Edo state wasn’t even included in spite of the fact that the governor’s wife works there. The only time the BOI visited the State was in June 21st this year when they were led by the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (MD/CEO) of Bank of Industry, Mr. Pitan Olukayode who indicated the bank’s interest to seek more areas of collaboration with the Edo government, yet, nothing has come out of it. Two days later, the same group was in Ebonyi state and the Bank of Industry and the government of Ebonyi agreed to set up a N2bn fund for the development of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in the state. The agreement for the N2bn fund was finalised by the Managing Director of the BOI. What does this tell you? Why other state governments are sealing big deals for their states with the Same Bank of Industry, our government is content with just mere meetings and a Photo shot with them.

Any wonder why the “Alaghodaro” summit was dead on arrival? It was a phony summit hurriedly put together with the aim of celebrating the governor’s one year in office. Nothing more. It was never intended to attract investors and that was why the investors that came weren’t new to us. They have been in the State far before even the garrulous Oshiomhole’s tenure. So which 30, 000 jobs are they talking about? Perhaps the ones they lost. Are we not aware that most businesses in the state have all closed down because of punitive and arbitrary taxation systems? It is noteworthy to state that It was after they realised this fact that the deputy governor announced a reduction in the arbitrary tax but that didn’t help as most have already relocated. In my recent interview with Vanguard, I also mentioned how my dry cleaner relocated because he couldn’t meet up with the tax hike. Are we not also aware that more than 100, 000 market women have been displaced for lack of shops?

A serious government would have built modern markets in strategic places and conveniently relocate them to the new markets in order to keep them in business. Again they wielded the big stick without any plan to re-absorb them. Our government today is no different from a military government. They operate in a Gestapo style without empathy. These women are now at home — looking through their windows and wondering where the next meal will come from. How could they ever explain such high level of government’s insensitivity to their plight. So which 30,000 jobs are they talking about? This is a government that promised 200,000 jobs yet unable to create even 2,000 jobs after one year in office. I am confident that Edo people are taking notes of these lies and will respond to the government at the appropriate time and I can assure you that it will be more tolerable for Oshimhole than Obaseki.