When will Obaseki appoint commissioners?


The Prof. Agbonlahor-led committee has completed their work and the list ready for submission to the House of Assembly. Those who made the list are unknown, but the commissioners to be appointed will have to key into Obaseki’s style of adequate data gathering, careful planning, enforcement, implementation and execution.

SIx months after Godwin Obaseki was elected as governor of Edo State, he is yet to appoint his commissioners. Also yet to be named are Special Advisers, although lawmakers in the House of Assembly has given Obaseki the nod to appoint 12 Special Advisers.

On assumption of office in November last year, the governor had while reeling out his policies asked politicians in the state to give him six weeks to work with Permanent Secretaries in the various ministries to enable him understand the structure of governance and the system, to meet the high expectations of the people. Another reasons he adduced for the six weeks was the need to restructure, make government more efficient and reduce the cost of governance.

Before the expiration of the six weeks, Obaseki set up a strategic dialogue team led by Professor Julius Ihonvbere, and 149 others to raise implementable plans for his administration. Ihonvbere outlined six thematic areas, namely: Economic Revolution, Culture and Tourism, Environmental Sustainabilty, Welfare Enhancement, Infrastructure Development and Institutional Reform, which Obaseki should focus on.

However, Obaseki said he would need another six weeks  to drill down on the six areas before political appointments would be made. This, he said, was to enable political appointees have ideas on the specifics of what his administration set out to achieve.  He vowed to evaluate those he would pick as his cabinet members.

The additional six weeks have since elapsed and several workshops on judiciary, housing, environment, sports, and other sectors have been held where experts brainstormed on which area Obaseki should focus on and what those expected to work with him are to achieve.

However, in line with his resolve to take governance to the grassroots, Obaseki asked the All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders across the 192 wards to recommend competent people for appointments. Some criteria were spelt out by the governor as he opted to pick one Special Assistant from each ward, a commissioner from each local government, three Senior Special Assistants from each local government and two Special Advisers from each senatorial district.

What was supposed to be a simple process of nomination by party leaders have turned to muscle flexing in some local government areas over who should make the list. In many of the local government areas, it was gathered that party leaders decided to pick their preferred choice against the governor’s directives. A top government official said Obaseki was disappointed that some leaders nominated their children and loyalists that have no working experience or expertise.

To further review the nomination process, Obaseki raised a committee headed by Professor Dennis Agbonlahor, a former Vice Chancellor of the Abmrose Alli University. The committee was to, among other things, look into areas where two different lists were submitted and to ensure that those picked meet the criteria.

It was learnt that, unlike in the past when some political appointees lurked about government house without offices or specific duties, the Special Assistants and Senior Special Assistants to be appointed by Obaseki, would not have any offices around the government house. Sources said they are to have offices in their various wards and local governments. The purpose, according to the source, is to take governance to the people and serve as a link between the government and the party at the ward levels.

Government sources said the Prof. Agbonlahor-led committee has completed their work and the list ready for submission to the House of Assembly. Those who made the list are unknown, but the commissioners to be appointed will have to key into Obaseki’s style of adequate data gathering, careful planning, enforcement, implementation and execution.

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