The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has identified weak institutions as a bane of Nigeria’s underdevelopment, hinting on the need for leaders across the country to build strong institutions to achieve sustainable development.
Obaseki made the call while addressing youths in the state during a stakeholders’ engagement of the Edo State Transition Committee with youths and student groups at the New Festival Hall, Government House, Benin City.
According to Obaseki, “Let us hold our political leaders to account; people will come and go, but institutions will remain. Let us build strong institutions and not individuals. The buildings are there; people have come and gone.
“Let us begin to think of government that way. We must now begin to think of government differently. This is because institutions will take care of us; we also need to start to change the mentality that all arms of government go to collect allocation from Abuja. There is nothing to take. We all have to come together and create the things we need.”
Obaseki further reiterated his administration’s commitment to creating an enabling environment for businesses to thrive, in its efforts at making Edo great again.
“My message to you is one of hope. As young people, you must have hope; the fact that our oil revenue is falling on a daily basis should not bother us. Nigeria was a better country when we didn’t have crude oil.
“It will continue to be a better country when crude oil is no longer a factor in our lives and it’s only you that can make it happen. The only way this will happen is when we realize that the government is about you and when you participate in governance.
“The structure of government that we run needs to change; it has to be more localized; it has to be more inclusive. You need to participate – not just sit down and participate on social media – in your community; speak up,” the governor charged.
Earlier, the State Head of Service, Anthony Okungbowa, while giving his opening remarks, said that the state civil and public service has been the focal point of government’s attention.
Also, a participant, Alhaji Evbareke Ahmed, urged the governor to ensure the completion of the Benin River Port, adding that it would further create job opportunities for youths.