The Oasis Reporters
September 15, 2020
‘Constructing a new refinery is not rocket science’ – Pedro Obaseki
For several decades, Edolites and Edo watchers would tell you that the last time they felt completely at ease with a government and were filled with pride over it was when Brigadier Samuel Osaigbovo Ogbemudia was the military governor of then Midwest State, now Edo and Delta.
The second time is the coming of Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki.
Ogbemudia made his people very proud because he built infrastructure with amazing grace and superb speed.
What did Ogbemudia not touch on ? From Agriculture to roads, rural electrification, sports development even building a sports village, transport etc, you name it. And for years and decades after Ogbemudia, from change in nomenclature to Bendel State, then Edo and Delta states, the people dominated and led in all facets of life.
[Watch Don Pedro Obaseki, PhD, speak on Governor Godwin Obaseki]
Donpedro Obaseki speaks on Governor Godwin ObasekiPosted by Pedro Obaseki on Sunday, September 13, 2020
Name it, academics, sports, etc. Ogbemudia was to Edo and Delta states what Awolowo is to the South West.
Then despicable anti people military governments happened culminating into the lacklustre civilian government of Shehu Aliyu Usman Shagari happened.
Shagari hated the liberating policies of free education initiated by Prof. Ambrose Folorunsho Alli, then Governor of Bendel State. He devised an ingenious scheme by changing the Revenue Allocation Formula that had been in place, such that the basis of sharing crude oil wealth became landmass and population which his northern region had in superabundance, thereby bankrupting the oil producing Bendel state.
Thereby Ambrose Alli’s free education would suffer a paucity of funds leading to it’s severe hiccups.
Faced with severe economic sieges, Edo people started migrating out of Nigeria in droves. Out of desperation, many slid into less honorable engagements in Europe. Many also sought greener pastures, went to various schools and joined the top leaders.
Edo as well as most parts of Nigeria went derelict. To the extent that a crude oil producing nation like Nigeria could not refine petrol for it’s domestic use.
For decades, it continues to export crude oil, and import crude oil byproducts like petrol despite it’s abundance of teeming manpower talents.
Obaseki was watching.
The moment he had the chance to become governor, he demystified the refining of petrol and every other byproduct of crude oil in his Edo Modular Refinery at a time the NNPC was announcing the collapse of all of Nigeria’s badly run refineries.
Godwin Obaseki has therefore proven that building a new refinery is not rocket science at all. Nigeria’s derelict refining ability was due to sheer incompetence and mismanagement.
So when some people say that there’s a casting down in refining, Edo Refinery that is now 90% complete gives hope to say that there’s a lifting up, and the streets of Okpella, Uromi, Auchi, Benin etc will soon witness a buoyancy in spirit over a revival of the economy. And the former migrants will begin to come back from their sojourn abroad to invest at home.
The Edo Renaissance is afoot when the new Ossiomo Power plant in Edo State, another of Obaseki’s bold initiatives to power industries and homes in Edo State would come on stream shortly, since it is almost completed.
Obaseki knew that the biggest problem inhibiting economic growth in the country is energy. Like Ogbemudia did, see how Obaseki is doing it, like a true son of his political grandfather.
Development oriented activists are urging the good people of Edo to return Obaseki to Osadebey House in Benin to do more, not only for Edo, but for the entire Niger Delta and Nigeria at large.
It is practically certain that other Niger Delta States would follow the Obaseki bold initiative to establish modular refineries, leading to a massive boost in jobs and economic buoyancy all across the Niger Delta region.
Our wealth will no longer be exported to Singapore and other Asian destinations, but remain to grow the Nigerian economy.
The choice before the Edo people is clear. There must be no mistake. The whole of the Niger Delta region is watching Edo, earnestly pleading that they renew our collective hope.
May the Oba live long.