By Frank Ehizojie
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has assured that his administration will collaborate with communities in Evbobanosa and Abudu to drive inclusive development for people in Orhionmwon Local Government Area of the state.
He gave the assurance during the formal presentation of the Evbobanosa and Abudu Development Plan to the Enogie, His Royal Highness, Prof. Gregory Akenzua, at Government House, in Benin City, Edo State.
He said the plan was revolutionary because it was initiated by leaders of the communities in Evbobanosa and Abudu, adding that government’s role is to provide an enabling environment to ensure their aspirations come to reality.
The governor noted, “When we got the draft plan, we directed the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development to review what was submitted. This is commendable and I urge other communities to emulate this.”
He said that the planned development became important as his administration intends to stem rural-urban drift through policies which will encourage evolution and development of many other satellite cities outside Benin City, in Edo South and other senatorial districts.
“Edo is very blessed with almost 19 million hectares of land. But as we speak today almost 50 percent of the population are in Benin City, putting pressure on the amenities and structures, which is not ideal for the growth of cities,” he added.
Obaseki said Abudu has one of the foremost Teachers’ College in the country which served the entire Mid-West region and beyond, attracting people to the city, noting that his administration is making effort to re-establish a Teacher Training College with three schools, with one in Abudu, Igueben, and Auchi.
He added that the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) has promised to build a digital training laboratory, with construction scheduled to commence next year.
“We will collaborate with you in developing the infrastructure. The Edo State Oil and Gas Producing Areas Development Commission (EDSOGPADEC), has a mandate that covers the area. So they will collaborate to develop the infrastructure, such as electricity, road and water. It’s a modern layout. This is one initiative I fully support and will ensure it comes to manifestation.”
The Enogie of Evbobanosa and Abudu, Prof. Gregory Akenzua, expressed appreciation to Governor Obaseki for his effort to develop the plan, noting that it will help in bringing development to the area.
He said, “This plan, I believe, is the first step to the development of Evbobanosa and Abudu. It will provide facilities in nine neighborhood for a population of 90,000 people, each neighborhood has about 10,000 people.”