Edo State Has An Opportunity To Be The Next Lagos, Let’s Take It, By Nosa Emwinghare
Lagos is that state the average Nigerian wants their state to be like – a thriving economy in the midst of national recession, infrastructural development at a far more advanced stage than the rest of the country, a responsive and well paid civil service. Lagos is a country in itself, insulated from the woes and perils that have become the trademark of the nation as a whole.
But Lagos didn’t get to where it to today overnight. It took years of planning, planting and foundation laying for Lagos to become the progressive, economically-independent state it is today. A big part of that which is often overlooked is the political continuity that Lagos has enjoyed since 1999. No other state in Nigeria can boast of 16 successive years of uninterrupted political leadership. Bola Tinubu laid the foundation of modern Lagos from 1999 to 2007, Babatunde Fashola built on that from 2007 to 2015 when Akinwunmi Ambode took over.
Edo State in contrast has had to ensure years of turbulent political leadership and instability in governance. But next month’s gubernatorial election presents a chance to right the wrongs and change the story forever. The incumbent governor, Adams Oshiomole through his achievements over the last 8 years can be likened to the Bola Tinubu of 2007. A foundation has been laid for the development of Edo State. A foundation that should be built on by someone who shares a similar ideology and has the same priorities as the outgoing comrade governor.
That person is Godwin Obaseki, the All Progressives Congress candidate for the governorship election in September. Godwin Obaseki is the Babatunde Fashola that Edo State needs to build on the foundation for economic prosperity and all round development. The stakes are high for Edo in this next election, and it would be counter-productive for the people of the state to risk a return to the era of political instability and lack of direction by attempting to change the change.
Godwin Obaseki is the right choice for Edo State for many reasons one of which is that his party has shown that it has more to offer the people of Edo than the opposition. Also, just like Fashola, Obaseki has worked with the outgoing governor and knows exactly where to pick up the project of developing the state. Obaseki is also an accomplished business man and a sound economic mind who began his career over 30 years ago and has established track records in Investment Banking, Asset Management, Securities Trading and the Public Sector both internationally and in Nigeria.
Godwin started out in 1983 with Capital Trust Brokers Limited as a stockbroker where he excelled and subsequently worked with International Merchant Bank (an affiliate of First Chicago Bank). In 1988 he joined AVC Funds Limited where he served as a Project Manager and led the core team that set up two of the new generation banks which eventually reshaped the face of the banking industry in Nigeria. Between 1993 and 1995 he worked in New York as a principal of Equatorial Finance Co.
Obaseki founded Afrinvest West Africa Limited (formerly Securities Transactions & Trust Company Limited (SecTrust)) in 1995 as the pioneer Managing Director. The firm has since grown to become a leading Investment Banking and Investment Management firm in Nigeria. In 1995 the company was appointed the correspondent stockbroker for Nigeria by the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
Godwin Obaseki currently serves as the Chairman of the Edo State Government’s Economic and Strategy Team (EST), a position he has held since March 2009. Some of his key achievements include the documentation of Edo State Economic Development framework through Sectors’ Strategic. Obaseki also managed the N25 Billion Infrastructure Development Bond for Edo State from the Nigerian Capital Market in 2010 and the $225 Million Concessionary Rates Development Loan from the World.
Obaseki was the Chairman Fund Raising Committee for the Oshiomhole-Odubu re-election bid in 2012 but his leadership credentials transcend Edo State. He has served on the Presidential Committee on the Reform of the Nigerian Pension System as well as the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission Committee on the Re-activation of the Nigerian Bond Market and the review of the Investment and Securities Act. He served as a member of the Nigerian Stock Exchange Council between 2006 and 2009.
Surely this is the man to trust with the future of Edo State. His experience, track record, and integrity all point to the fact that he should succeed Adams Oshiomole to take Edo to the next level.