Communities in the oil-producing local government areas of Edo State, comprising Orhionmwon, Ikpoba-Okha and Ovia North-East have praised Governor Godwin Obaseki for providing a new direction for the Edo State Oil and Gas Producing Areas Development Commission (EDSOGPADEC), which resulted in the approval of funds for industrialisation and education projects in their communities.
The projects include the Edo Modular Refinery in Ikpoba-Okha and the roll-out of the Edo Basic Education Transformation Programme (Edo-BEST) in the three local councils. A cross-section of youths in the communities said that the roll-out of the Edo-BEST programme and the construction of the modular refinery will set the state and the local governments, in particular, on the path of progress, as it will not only develop human capital but create an enabling environment for sustainable development.
Mr. Efosa Osaigbovo, an indigene of Ikpoba-Okha, said that the refinery project will breathe a new life to the local government and build the capacity of the people to be able to benefit from their God-given resources. “I am most excited with the governor’s approval because it will bring development to this local government. It will also afford youths the opportunity to develop skills for sustenance,” he added.
Barrister Ese Oviasuyi, from Ovia North-East, said that the investment in the children will go a long way in ensuring that they are well equipped to face the realities of the 21st century as they will be able to compete with their mates from any part of the world.
“The use of technology in our classrooms will change the lives of the children forever. This is why I applaud the decision of the governor in approving the full rollout. I am certain that everyone from the three local councils that will benefit from this will one day in the future look back and thank Governor Godwin Obaseki for this move.”
With the Edo-BEST programme, the state government intends to revolutionise the basic education sub-sector and make it the envy of all, with high premium on continuous capacity building for improved productivity in the classroom. The governor approved that the roll-out programme be funded by the EDSOGPADEC, with the sum of N951,594,420.00, to cover the cost of providing top-of-the-range basic education for 62,074 children in all primary schools in the three local councils.
These include the initial 11,530 children who benefitted from the pilot phase and the incoming 50, 544 pupils, who will come on onboard in the full roll-out. An initiative of the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration, the Edo-BEST programme will “develop a highly-skilled teaching workforce by training, supporting and motivating Edo State teachers to succeed in the classroom of tomorrow; enhance the Edo State Basic Education curriculum thereby empowering our children to compete effectively in the world of work.”
Similarly, Governor Obaseki, at a recent weekly EXCO meeting, approved the release of N700 million to be pooled from EDSOGPADEC, as redeemable preference shares (investment) in the Edo Refinery and Petrochemical Company Limited. According to him, “the company will be involved in the production of petroleum and petrochemical products and other related businesses. The venture will enhance the local refining capacity, thereby increasing the volume of naphtha, kerosene, diesel and residual fuel oil products available in Edo State.”