Governor Adams Oshiomhole says Year 2016 will be tough going by the crisis in the economy triggered by a sharp decline in the national revenue by more than 55%. He was however optimistic that his government will finish strong in spite of the economic indicators.
Speaking during a meeting with traditional rulers from Edo Central Senatorial district yesterday, the Governor said
“it is clear from all indicators that the coming year is likely to be very tough with the continued decline in revenue and rising expectation on the part of our people and with many state governments, local governments, and perhaps, even some federal agencies defaulting in the payment of salaries and allowances.
“The level of strike activities in the economy is going to be very high and of course, the level of unemployment is already unacceptably high and it could get even higher if we are not careful.
“So we have a lot of challenges ahead, but I am very confident that the President is determined and has the political will to do the needful and ensure the country remains stable and safe. The rest of us as state governments have responsibilities, working with the Local Governments and your good selves, the traditional rulers, to ensure that there is peace.
“In Edo State, we have done our best, even as things are, to ensure that we pay salaries as and when due. I believe our civil servants, teachers, everybody have been paid and have got their alerts so they would have something to celebrate their Christmas, but it not likely to be so in many other states, but we are the heartbeat of the nation. We must be positively different from the rest. So, we are trying to ensure that we sustain this tradition of meeting our wage obligation, because if we do not, I am clear that the consequences are huge. But thank God, the year is ending on a happy note as in Edo State, we have paid our salaries before the Christmas.”
Governor Oshiomhole assured the royal fathers of his commitment to the completion of the Emu – Ohordua Road, and the construction of a bridge to link the two communities, saying “the whole idea is to integrate the communities by facilitating movement between the communities. So the bridge will be done in the new year. We have to get the engineers to review the design in the light of the way the road is now, and you will see work starting there within the first quarter of next year. I believe, hopefully, the budget will be passed in January and once the budget is passed, we will start the process of constructing the bridge.”
In his response, the Onojie of Opoji, HRH Aidenojie Ehidiamen who spoke on behalf of the traditional rulers expressed appreciation to the Governor, saying “before your administration, there was no government that has done anything like this, but you have started well with us and we want this rapport which you have come to establish in Edo State, and we want it to be a continuous one.
“You are a friend to the traditional rulers across the State and it is true we have observed that you have never encouraged disaffection among the traditional rulers in this state, which we respect you for. And we are happy again that you will continue the good work you have started, and at the end of your tenure, the incoming governor will continue from where you have stopped.”