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Edo’s N70,000 New Minimum Wage to Be Funded by Government Savings, Says Governor Obaseki

Edo governor Obaseki says the N70, 000 new minimum wage for public servants will be funded by savings from government expenditure.

Godwin Obaseki

The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has said the N70, 000 new minimum wage for civil and public servants in the state will be funded by revenue inflow savings from government expenditure as a result of nuanced reforms by his government over the past seven and a half years.

Stressing that the government was also pushing for business-friendly policies, Obaseki, who spoke to journalists in Benin City, said some of the monies will come from savings from the State’s fleet management system.

According to him, these include the e-gov platform which has eliminated the need for the purchase of papers and investment in the Ossiomo Power Project which is saving the government millions of naira for diesel purchase, among others.

The governor said: “I have been a private sector person for most part of my career before I ventured into the public sector. With that training and background, we don’t just make statements without careful analysis of our revenue flow and expenditures and then analyse how we are going to go about ensuring that we are able to live up to our promise.

“We have been very strategic in Edo State. We embarked on a very radical reform of the civil and public service which engendered a transformation exercise that completely turned around our civil service and has made it more efficient and effective.

“We are perhaps the only state government in Nigeria that has now gone totally paperless, we run our government on the e-gov platform and we have made a lot of savings from there.

“We have what we call a fleet management system for our vehicles in the state government so we no longer have multiple vehicles for multiple public officeholders running different expenditures to manage all these vehicles; they are all managed in one single pool called the fleet management system. We have made massive savings from there as well.”

Obaseki added that early in his  first tenure, he entered into an agreement with a private company to generate electricity and serve the government and this has come on stream since 2020.

“The state government has now been taken off the national grid and curbed the use of diesel and petrol to run the government because we now have a 24-hour power supply from Ossiomo.

“So, we have cut down on diesel expenditure and in many other areas. Another area is training. Before, people had to leave the state to get trained but now we have John Odigie Training Centre where all our civil servants are trained at very frequent intervals at little or no cost because we have a training centre in the state.”

“All of these have resulted in massive savings for government which allows us to be able to take this bold decision which also means that we will be able to sustain it,” he added.

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