By Eseoghene Emuke
Mr. Godwin Obaseki, Governor of Edo State on Wednesday visited his colleague in Delta State, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa where both governors met behind closed doors for about an hour in Asaba, the state capital.
Obaseki arrived the Government House, Asaba with top members of Edo State Executive Council at about 1:10pm.
Addressing journalists after the visit, Obaseki said meeting was aimed at deepening economic ties and improve on the security situation in the two states.
Revealing details of the meeting, Governor Obaseki disclosed that they discussed issues of common interest including socio-economic development of the two states and strengthening of the BEDC to provide electricity to its area of coverage.
BEDC has received strong criticism over the power situation in the states of Edo, Delta, Ekiti and Ondo. Obaseki had recently walked out the management of BEDC from his during a courtesy call over the epileptic power supply to his state.
The Edo State governor said, “A regional Master Plan is necessary for implementation by the NDDC and we also looked at the area of energy as Delta, Edo, Ondo and Ekiti States are major stakeholders in BEDC. So, we need to be proactive to strengthen BEDC to provide electricity to our people and restructure the company so as to make it work efficiently for the region.
“We also agreed to ask for the inauguration of the NDDC advisory committee of Governors and also, to work with our colleagues to improve governance in the Commission.
“We are of the view that based on the resources the Commission receives, there is need for improvement in project conception, citing and execution because nothing stops the Commission from using 50 per cent of its resources to solve the energy problem of the region.”
“Today, Edo and Delta States could be the main power house of the country giving our energy and agricultural potentials; we looked into how to strenghten our economic ties and our participation in Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross Rivers, Edo and Delta (BRACED) Commission.
“We looked at insecurity in our common borders, especially, communal clashes and general insecurity and we have agreed to ask the Assistant Inspector-General of Police and the Commissioners of Police to come up with a plan to restore security in our states.”
Obaseki, while congratulation Governor Okowa on his second term inauguration, noted that there was need for the two states to promote and sustain the aged-long peace and unity that has existed between the various ethnic nationalities in the areas.
“I am here to congratulate my friend and brother for his victory at the polls and successful inauguration for a second term; we came from the legacy Bendel State; we discussed economic cooperation between our two states”, he added.
Responding to questions, Governor Okowa said it was not the first time the two governors will be meeting on issues on economic and security importance to the two states.
According to him, “It was a meeting between brothers, friends who are now Governors and more interesting is that, our states belonged to the old Bendel and he came with ideas that will move the two states forward.
“We want to leverage on our strong ties as members of old Bendel State to better the lot of our people.”