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Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki has intimated that Nigerians are wealthier than the country as a whole.

During a meeting of the State Transmission Committee which saw the presence of over 27 professional organisations in Benin. The governor, who encouraged practitioners to work with his administration to extend the state’s tax net so that the government would deliver on its mandate of making the better, expressed concern about the state’s salary and emoluments pressure, which he predicted would soon reach N40 billion per year.

Obaseki emphatically stated that it is the money of Nigerians that would develop Nigeria and in the same way the money from Edo people will help build Edo.

 He said: “For us as a government to continue to behave the way we used to behave before, when the circumstances that brought us into government are totally different; I think it will be grossly unfair to God and the people of Edo State. We are in government to serve you; we want you to join us and make Edo great again.

“So, without the commitment and collaboration of these different professional groups, there is not much that we can do because right now, we spend almost N40 billion a year in paying people’s salaries and all sources of emoluments.

“In the past, we used to get that amount from oil revenue and now, that amount will have to be paid by taxes from you. Therefore, should you not have an input? Should you not have a say? And that say, should it just be about criticizing the government?

“Truly speaking, if we do not build institutions, if we continue in the old ways, trying to build super stars and strong men, we will have no future, because these strong men will die, then what now happens?”

The governor, who noted that money is no longer available for government as it used to be, insisted that the money “is with us Nigerians. Nigerians have more money than Nigeria. It is the money of Nigerians that will develop Nigeria. It is the money of Edo people that will develop Edo.

“The government can do so much and you have seen what we are trying to do with the little resources that we have. I know how much we can achieve. There is a need for all stakeholders to change their attitude towards contributing to good governance.

“For us as a government to continue to behave the way we used to behave before, when the circumstances that brought us into government are totally different; I think it will be grossly unfair to God and the people of Edo State. We are in government to serve you; we want you to join us and make Edo great again.

“So, without the commitment and collaboration of these different professional groups, there is not much that we can do because right now, we spend almost N40 billion a year in paying people’s salaries and all sources of emoluments.”

“In the past, we used to get that amount from oil revenue and now, that amount will have to be paid by taxes from you. Therefore, should you not have an input? Should you not have a say? And that say, should it just be about criticizing the government?” he asked.

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