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FG challenge is irresponsibility–Obaseki

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By Abraham Adekunle

Edo governor links bad governance to the current economic situation.

As the new administration nears its three-month mark, Nigerians have experienced a number of repercussions due to the implementation of new policies. The most popular, and arguably the most affected, is the removal of subsidy on premium motor spirit (PMS). The previous administration had argued that the money paid to subsidize fuel for Nigerians is not only running the country’s foreign reserves down but also unaffordable. As soon as the subsidy was removed, the price of PMS shoot up from its former N187 per liter to as much as N650 per liter, with further announcements that it could exceed N700 per liter due to scarcity of the dollar.

Expectedly, the cost of transportation also tripled, and the price of goods on the market also took a corresponding increase. Also, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) announced in July that the country’s daily consumption of petrol has drastically reduced because of the policy. Before its implementation, Nigerian daily consumption was 65 million liters. After it, the figure came down to as low as 46.38 million liters with signs that it was reducing per day.

Obaseki blames FG for the current situation.

However, the governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has linked the aggravating socio-economic challenges bedeviling the nation to the failure of the federal government to live up to its responsibilities. While speaking to journalists in Benin City, he condemned the bad state of federal roads in the State, and called for an urgent action to salvage the situation and to reduce the sufferings of the commuters and other citizens. Not long ago, the governor and his envoy were stuck in traffic because of the deplorable state of a road.

Social media users circulated the video, passing negative criticism at the governor. The comments were understandably the result of anger towards the government and the individuals at the helm of affairs for not fixing the road. As time went by, information circulated online that the road belonged to the jurisdiction of the Federal Government and that the state government had no power to repair it. In response to the backlash, Gov. Obaseki instructed that a signboard be mounted along the road informing residents of the state that the Federal Government was responsible for the road.

Federal roads abound in the state because it links major regions.

The governor, who described the condition of the roads as appalling, said that he traveled through the federal roads linking Uromi in Esan South East to Agbor in Delta State and saw the deplorable state of the road with over 1,000 trailers stuck with goods as a result of bad roads. He said that despite the hiccup from the federal roads, it took a few minutes to traverse the state roads when he and his convoy entered from Igueben, Ujogba to Ugoneki in Edo State.

He said that the problem today is the failure of the central government. The road network in Edo that ought to be a blessing to the residents is not, he said. Meanwhile, the Federal Government roads in Edo connect several locations across the country, but economic activities are stalled because the roads are bad. Obaseki said that Edo State has many federal roads because it links the West to the East, and nobody can travel from the North to the South without passing through the state.

Abia State also faces the same road issues.

Meanwhile, Abia State House of Assembly passed a resolution urging the governor, Alex Otti, to seek the Federal Government’s intervention on the Umuahia-Bende-Ohafia-Arochukwu federal road. During the plenary where the resolution was announced, the speaker of the House, Emmanuel Emeruwa, appealed to the senator representing Abia North, Orji Uzor Kalu, to join Otti to seek the intervention. The legislative chamber had to pass the resolution following a motion raised by the member for the constituency and the majority leader of the House, Uchenna Okoro, who bemoaned the deplorable conditions of the roads in the state.

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