Obaseki begins work on 2017 budget

AHEAD of his inauguration on November 12, Edo State governor-elect, Godwin Obaseki, has raised a committee to prepare next year’s budget for the state.

This, according to sources, will enable him to hit the ground running and ensure that lawmakers get the budget this year.

A member of the transition committee said Obaseki emphasised that 2017 budget estimates should focus on jobs and empowerment.

At a media briefing after his election, Obaseki said he would not have a large State Executive Council (Exco) but find other means to empower political supporters.

During his campaigns, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate promised to create 200,000 jobs.

Explaining how he would create jobs, Obaseki said: “Take, for instance, agriculture, the registered farmers in Edo State and in the 18 local government areas outnumbered 35,000 small holding farmers. This statistics is according to records at the Ministry of Agriculture.

“This record also shows that each of these 35,000 farmers occupies at least, two to five hectares. This means 115,000 hectares with a labour requirement of three workers per hectare of production,” he said.

“This means a rice farmer would have five workers per hectare of production; the same applies to cassava. Arithmetically, this translates to manpower of 315,000 and up to 500,000 workers.

“This calculation in the agricultural entrepreneurial scheme is for two crops alone. This is the basis for the governor-elect’s conservative 200,000 jobs to herald the emergence of future stars and alleviate poverty, if it does not eradicate it.”