End current monetary rascality, Obaseki replies FG

What is fast becoming a forth and back between Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki and the Federal Government continued on Thursday as the governor urged the FG to stop the act of deliberately ignoring the prevailing economic challenges in the country and take urgent steps to end the current financial rascality.

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Obaseki, in a tweet via his official Twitter handle @GovernorObaseki titled “Our advice is that we stop playing the ostrich”, noted that he is not joining issues with the Federal Ministry of Finance but was only offering useful advice for the benefit of Nigeria.

The governor had recently expressed worry over the country’s penchant for borrowing, noting that the debt profile could rise to N16 trillion by the end of 2021.

He also claimed that the Federal Government printed additional N50 billion-N60 billion to top up the Federal Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) for states to share.

Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, budget and national planning, on Wednesday, however, said it was untrue that the FG printed N60 billion in March to support federal allocations to states.

But responding via a tweet on Thursday, Obaseki, who stood by his claim, urged the minister of finance, budget and national planning to rally Nigerians to stem the obvious fiscal decline confronting the nation.

“We believe it is our duty to offer useful advice for the benefit of our country. Rather than play the ostrich, we urge the government to take urgent steps to end the current monetary rascality, so as to prevent the prevailing economic challenge from degenerating further,” Obaseki said.



Edo plans to train 15,000 software engineers, programmers

At least 15,000 software engineers and programmers will be trained over the next few years in Edo State, Governor Godwin Obaseki said on Monday.

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The governor also promised to continue to pursue policies and programmes to enhance digital transformation for businesses in the state with a view to increasing their competitive advantage, improving performance and boosting growth.

Obaseki, who boasted that Edo State was ready for digital transformation in e-commerce, reassured that his administration remains committed to creating enabling environment for investors to succeed.

He gave the assurance when he received Leo Stan Ekeh, founder and chairman, Zinox Group, who was on a courtesy visit at the government house in Benin City.

“What are the critical factors required for successful digital transformation, which leads to things like e-commerce? First is electricity. You recall that we did a deal with Azura Power; we did another deal with a Chinese company. We are building electricity infrastructure and thinking about closed networks in other parts of the state,” Obaseki said.

“The second critical factor is people; training the people to think technology and use technology to do the things they need to do.

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“The goal of this administration is to train nothing less than 15,000 software engineers and programmers over the next few years,” he said.

He, however, lamented the disruptions caused by COVID-19 pandemic, saying over 150,000 jobs were created in the state in three years as against minimum of 200,000 jobs earlier promised during electioneering in 2016.

According to him, these jobs were not going to come from the government but enterprises and business activities undertaken by the citizens.

Earlier, Ekeh commended the governor for creating a structure where various businesses can thrive.