The Governor-elect of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has ruled out the possibility of forming a government of unity in the wake of his victory at the September 28 governorship poll.
At the inception of Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s administration in 2008, he appointed three members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party as members of his cabinet.
Rather than tow the path of his outgoing predecessor, Obaseki said he would instead reach out to the opposition in terms of explaining his administration policies to them.
He ruled out anything like government of unity as according to him, “I will not be able to accept anybody from the opposition as a commissioner in my cabinet”.
Speaking in an interactive session with journalists in Benin City, the state capital yesterday, Obaseki said he would immediately put a team together for the purpose of preparing the 2017 appropriation budget
He pointed out that he had to prepare the budget to get on the ground running because he has only four weeks to present the Appropriation Bill before the legislative arm go on recess.
He said the focus of his administration would not change from the incumbent in terms of infrastructure and education but that job creation and empowerment would receive topmost priority.
“My first assignment is to put together a team and get appropriation for next year because we have to get to the ground running.
“The focus will not change in terms of infrastructure and education. The added focus will be on job creation and empowerment. That is why I need to focus on the budget and ensure I get enough appropriation to emphasis the social aspects which I promised during my campaigns. We will continue to build roads and refurbish schools. What is important is how to get people to work”, the governor-elect said.
Mr. Obaseki noted that 700 out 11,700 documented pensioners that retired under the state civil service were yet to be paid.
He explained that the 700 were those that retired from 2012 to 2015 and that vouchers for payment for those that retired from 2012 to 2013 were ready.
“Vouchers are ready for payment for 2012 and 2013 pensioners. We are waiting for a little savings to pay them. For 2104 and 2015, we need to find the cash to pay them. We pay our pensioners regularly. We will have to help the local government fiscally responsible. We will reduce their cost and increase their revenue so that they can meet their obligations including pensions and salaries”, Governor-elect Obaseki explained.