Ex-President Jonathan commissions Edo State Secretariat Complex, hails Obaseki’s reforms, commitment to state’s devt

Former President of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, has commissioned the Edo State Secretariat Complex, on Sapele Road, Benin City, commending Governor Godwin Obaseki’s commitment to the progress and development of the State.

Jonathan also laid the foundation stone for the 1500-capacity Goodluck Ebele Jonathan Auditorium, which is being constructed at the Secretariat Complex.

Dignitaries at the commissioning ceremony include Governor Obaseki and the First Lady of Edo State, Mrs. Betsy Obaseki; the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Engr. Marvellous Godwins Omobayo and his wife; Chief Judge of Edo State, Justice Daniel Okungbowa; candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2024 governorship election, Dr. Asue Ighodalo and his wife; the Deputy Governorship candidate and Secretary to the Edo State Government, Osarodion Ogie Esq., and the Head of Service (HOS), Dr. Anthony Okungbowa.

Others are former Deputy Governor of Edo State and Chief of Staff to former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, Mike Ogiadhome; Speaker Edo State House of Assembly (EDHA), Rt. Hon. Blessing Agbebaku, members of EDHA; Chief of Staff to Edo State Governor, Dr. Osaigbovo Iyoha; Edo State PDP Chairman Anthony Aziegbemi, serving Commissioners, Permanent Secretaries and religious leaders in the State, amongst others.

Speaking on the new complex, Jonathan noted that the buildings are some of the best in Nigeria, commending the governor for his vision to complete the dream of late Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia, the then governor of Bendel State, who started the construction works.

He encouraged other governors to emulate Governor Obaseki in investing in the public and civil service and recruiting first class graduates into the service through automatic employment.

“I want to join the civil servants to thank you for your visionary leadership and improving their welfare and paying them N70,000 minimum wage. That is a wage that will actually take them home.

“If you have a vision, certainly you will find a way to overcome all challenges before you. Edo State workers are happy for your transformative leadership which has changed their lives for the better.”

On his part, Obaseki said the commissioning of the Secretariat Complex will certainly transform the landscape of Benin City, as it is not just an edifice but represents what the future of what city should look like.

“It is not just an edifice, but represents how we want to run our affairs now and in the future by prioritizing what matters most which are productivity, efficiency and excellence.

“The structures are a reflection of the investment we have made over the last seven and half years to rebuild our institutions. This has been a painstaking process which includes a total overhaul of how the public and civil service in Edo State operates. We have now built a workforce that will now drive change and advancement in pursuit of the core values of our democracy and good governance.

He continued: “After securing my mandate to govern the people of Edo State in November 2016, this complex, particularly Palm House, was the first place I visited. I started work and built this place, which was in bad shape as the civil servants were working in an uncomfortable environment. I made a pledge to them, myself and to God that I will rebuild the infrastructure of this Secretariat. Today, we are here to see for ourselves what we have done.

“The takeaways from the building of this Secretariat are that it tells us that we can achieve anything we set our minds to irrespective of the opinion of anybody. When we started the building process, many people didn’t see the big picture, but today look at where we are.

“This building is one of the most advanced Secretariat buildings in Nigeria. It has 24 hours daily power supply and high internet connectivity. We have done all this because we believed that government bureaucracy must work if we must make progress as a State.”

The governor noted that the concept of the Secretariat complex are replicated in other locations across the State, noting that they include the health hub, built environment hub, agricultural hub and the education hub.

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