BENINâ€”Rich individuals who hoped to enjoy Edo State government’s sponsorship to the Holy lands are in for tough times, as Governor Adams Oshiomhole has said that only the less-privileged in the society would be sponsored by the state.
A statement by the governorâ€™s Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mr. John Mayaki, said Governor Oshiomhole would no longer sponsor rich individuals and appointees of the state government on pilgrimage, including politicians, as was obtainable in the past.
According to him, â€œif we asked people to pay taxes, it is not to sponsor prominent people to pilgrimage.
â€œGovernment will give support to strengthen the institution of God just as it is our prayer to God to support Governor Oshiomhole in taking decisive decisions.
â€œGovernment policy on sponsorship of intending pilgrims is sacrosanct. The governor believes in holy pilgrimage but the point is the propriety of the government to spend public funds to sponsor those who can afford it.
â€œUsually, friends of the governor, the Secretary to State Government, Chief of Staff, women leaders, party leaders, youth leader, among other top government functionaries, benefit from this exercise. I do not think this is in line with religious injunction because the governor believes it should be for those who are in need.
â€œWe must reform our polity. If we ask people to pay taxes, it is not to sponsor prominent people to holy pilgrimage. Government will give support to strengthen religious institutions, both Christians and Muslims alike.
â€œThis government will work closely with the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) andÂ Muslims and we will collaborate in any way that we can in order to foster the harmony and religious tolerance we have enjoyed in this state.â€
Edo State governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has said the development of efficient, accountable, transparent, and participatory governance was the panacea to fostering sustainable social and economic development in the state.
He said in realising his aspirations for the state, he would enhance economic productivity, which in turn dependded on broad improvements in the intellectual capacity of the people of the state.
The governor said in a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mr. John Mayaki, that his government would concentrate on empowerment and building of the capacity of youths in Edo State, stressing that remained the only way they could actualise their dreams and contribute meaningfully to the development of the state.
â€œThe governor thought it wise to rebuild Edo State on a solid footing and provide pillars upon which a new emerging Edo would be viable and capable of realising the aspirations of its people.
â€œSuch formidable pillars, for example, are guaranteeing the well-being and productivity of the people and fostering sustainable social and economic development and this is certainly not an easy task.
â€œOshiomhole believes that empowering ordinary Edo people to take charge of their basic needs in the face of scarce resources is the best way to address poverty and insecurity and not by lamenting it away.
â€œThese macro-economic measures are what will directly impact on the lives of the ordinary Edo people. They are not tangible things we can see and touch or quantify,â€ he said.