God­win Obaseki

The Africa Report - - FRONTLINE -

Af­ter work­ing as an in­vest­ment banker in the US and Nige­ria, God­win Obaseki served d as an eco­nomic ad­viser to the Edo State gov­ern­ment for seven years un­der gov­erno or Adams Osh­iomole. Obaseki launched public fi­nance re­forms and at­tracted in­vestors to fund ma­jor power, trans­port and wa­ter projects. He played a key role in get­ting World Bank fund­ing, along with other for­eign in­vest­ment, for the Azura-edo power project. Obaseki also helped to launch a N25bn in­fra­struc­ture spend­ing pro­gramme in 2010. Close re­la­tions with Osh­iomole, who is now chair­man of the gov­ern­ing APC, helped Obaseki win the gov­er­nor­ship in 2016. Be­cause of Edo’s his­tory as a spir­i­tual cen­tre in the Delta, Obaseki has been pro­mot­ing a cul­tural re­nais­sance. The Smith­so­nian Museum in the US, which is help­ing to ren­o­vate a museum in Benin City, has re­turned pho­tos taken by a royal court pho­tog­ra­pher. Obaseki also per­son­ally fi­nanced a Nige­rian con­ti­gent at the Venice Bi­en­nale in 2017. He has com­mis­sioned an ex­port-pro­cess­ing zone in Gelegele, a project mooted in the ’60s by his grand­fa­ther, then the tra­di­tional prime min­is­ter of Benin. Un­der Obaseki, Edo has paid ar­rears to staff at the state’s ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion in­sti­tu­tions. The state is fi­nanc­ing a re­vamp to feeder roads in or­der to re­duce grid­lock.

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