For the past three months, there has been a new lease in Edo State as Governor Godwin Obaseki has adopted a new style of governance.
One of those is revamping facilities in the Government House such as the mechanic workshop, which had been abandoned and parts of the space converted to a car park.
Obaseki also chose to engage female technicians to fix government vehicles in their various states of disrepair.
“I want to throw an offer to you today. In Government House, we have a workshop. We would like you to come and take a look at it and also see if you can take over maintenance of the vehicles in Government House,” Obaseki said at the graduation ceremony of 25 female mechanics in Benin late last year, which many persons thought was just another political statement made to attract applause.
The governor, who said his government would partner with the Lady Mechanic Initiative, a non-governmental organisation, to promote youth employment in line with his electioneering campaign promises, offered to engage them for the maintenance of government vehicles.
Today, the workshop is a beehive of activities, as lady mechanics, under the leadership of Ms. Sandra Aguebor, are working on scores of abandoned, but serviceable vehicles, ranging from Sport Utility Vehicles, Hilux vans, saloon cars and other brands.
“These are government vehicles. Of course, they are not that old as they appear to be. Many of them are about four years old. They have one issue or the other, they needed to be repaired. That’s what we are doing.
“Right now, we have about 30 vehicles in the workshop that we are working on and we need to deliver them to the state government in the next one month.
“Our work includes everything about automotive. We work on the engine and the body. We have commenced spraying some vehicles and we are building a spraying booth over there,” Aguebor told our reporter.
The unique thing about the training given to the lady mechanics working at the Government House is that they can work on all brands of vehicles.
Aguebor, who is from Benin, is the first female mechanic in Nigeria and founder of Lady Mechanic Initiative.
“Right now, we are training about 100 female mechanics,. They are in modules and they are sponsored by Coca-cola,” she said.
According to her, “We are doing our best to help the governor to achieve the 200,000 jobs he promised to generate. In the next three months, we will graduate another batch and they will become self-employed and even become employers of labour. We are doing it in modules.”