CHIEFTAIN of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and former Executive Chairman of Edo State Internal Revenue Service (EIRS), Dr Ese Owie, on Saturday in Benin City, formally declared his intention to seek the ticket of the People’s Democratic Party to contest the 2023 Senatorial Election to represent Edo South in the Senate.
Speaking at a colorful and well attended consultative session hosted by the State Vice Chairman (Edo South) of the PDP in Edo State, and Members of the Senatorial Working Committee, Dr. Owie stated that he is the most competent and most prepared of all the aspirants seeking to clinch the Senatorial ticket of the Party in the forthcoming elections.
At the occasion which also had in attendance, prominent leaders of the Party in the State, Chairmen of the PDP in all the 7 LGAs in Edo South and Members of their respective Executives, Ward Chairmen, Secretaries, Women Leaders and Youth Leaders from across Edo South, Dr. Owie succinctly highlighted his career trajectory, impeccable pedigree, and accomplishments, arguing that all things considered, he stands heads and shoulders above everyone else in the fray. The audience warmly received Dr. Owie’s message with cheers and admiration.
“I am an accomplished Practitioner in International Trade Law, Trade Policy, and Trade Economics. In the course of my sterling multi-jurisdictional career spanning over two decades, I have garnered extensive experience in advising National Governments, Multilateral Agencies and Private Organizations on International Trade Law and International Economic Law & Policy with special focus on Sustainable Trade and Regional Economic Integration, amongst others”, he stated.
“Between 2009 and 2011, I served as Special Adviser (Cabinet Rank) to the Executive Governor of Edo State on Policy and Strategic Planning and helped to shape the Administration’s strategic policy direction. I subsequently had the privilege of serving as Executive Chairman of Edo State Board of Internal Revenue and a Member of the State Executive Council, where I functioned as the Administrative Head of the State’s Internal Revenue Service.”
“At the Board of Internal Revenue, I led a transformation of the State’s Internally Generated Revenue institutional framework and grew the monthly revenue from approximately 250 million Naira per month to over 1.8 Billion Naira monthly within one year – a feat that has remained unsurpassed in any National or Sub-National Taxation or Revenue Generation Agency in Africa, South of the Sahara.”
“To the glory of the Almighty, I have successfully reformed what had been, over the years, considered the most opaque government agency in any jurisdiction, and recorded success that has remained un-matched. I am, thus, of the firm belief, that when elected the Senator representing Edo South, I will effectively mainstream the interests of Edo South into the conceptualization and implementation of the overall national development plans.”
Eruditely explaining the role of a Legislator in national development, Dr. Owie stated that “in line with global best practices, a Legislator essentially has three major functions. The first, which flows from the nature of his job, is the role of making laws, and indeed, this is why Legislators are called lawmakers. A Legislator’s first and primary responsibility is, thus, to make laws for the peace, order and good governance of the country.
“That constitutional responsibility also places a heavy onus on the Legislator to make laws that will be beneficial to his/her constituents. In order to achieve this objective, a Legislator must, through persuasion and negotiation, collaborate with his or her colleagues in mainstreaming the interests of his/her local constituency within the context of national developmental imperatives.”
“A second function, which is no less important, is the Legislator’s duty in scrutinizing the Executive’s Appropriation Bill, a process colloquially referenced as “putting together the budget” of the country. It is during this appropriation process that the versatile Legislator persuades, negotiates and collaborates with his colleagues as well as the Executive branch to attract essential federal projects and services that would engender physical development and economic empowerment of his/her constituency and constituents, respectively.”
“The third, and by far the most impactful, is the Legislative oversight upon Executive decisions and project execution.”
“Within the context of a prosperous Edo South, and a sustainable future for Edo State, our Legislative Agenda shall focus on 5 Thematic Pillars that would positively and fundamentally alter the developmental landscape of the Senatorial District” , Dr Owie stated.
“The thematic pillars are Education, Healthcare, Infrastructure, Agriculture and Wealth Creation” he added.
In terms of Education, Dr. Owie plans to revamp the University of Benin to adequately compete with other Universities on the Continet, while the Elaiho Grammar School, Eguaholor, will be converted to a Federal University of Agriculture via a private member Bill, among other initiatives.
In the Health sector, Dr. Owie gave assurances that he would ensure that the Federal Ministry of Health undertakes a comprehensive upgrade of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, which is the 2nd largest Tertiary Healthcare Facility in Africa (circa 1,100 Beds), to international standards so as to optimise access to healthcare in Edo and neighbouring states. Optimizing the operations of the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Uselu, to meet the mental health needs of our people would also be a priority.
In terms of infrastructure, the
completion of Phase 2 of the Benin Outer Road (the By-Pass) would be a priority, same as the completion of the Benin-Ekpoma-Auchi-Lokoja-Abuja Road. (To be done in conjunction with Senators from Edo Central and North).
Dr. Owie also promised to assiduously pursue the upgrading of the Benin Airport to a full fledged International Airport
In the areas of Flood and Erosion Control, he promised to ensure the commencement of the 2nd Phase of the Abudu Erosion Control Project and the 3rd Phase of the Urhonigbe Erosion Control Project
In the area of power he promised to liaise with the Federal Ministry of Power to see to the speedy completion of the Uhunmwode Electricity Project and the electrification of selected Rural Communities in all the 7 LGAs.
In Agriculture, Dr. Owie assured the Party Leaders that aggressively pursue the optimization of the operations of Rubber Research Institute Iyanomo, National Institute for Oil Palm Research (NIFOR) and Benin Owena River Basin Development Authority to ensure that Edo South maximises its comparative advantage in Agriculture.
In the area of wealth creation, Dr. Owie promised to reverse the current tokenistic approach to ’empowerment’ schemes by raising the awareness of the constituents on the available federal government state-aid and support schemes (Bank of Industry, Bank of Agriculture, SMEDAN, etc); and assist the constituents to access these aids through training/orientation, and by reduction of the bureaucratic bottlenecks.
Concluding, Dr. Owie assured the statutory delegates that by virtue of the Electoral Act 2022 (as Amended) the Primaries would be concluded by June 2022; the plan is to engage with the relevant committees of the National Assembly with a view to making adequate provisions for the proposed projects in the 2023 Appropriation Bill, such that we can hit the ground running upon election and assumption of office in May 2023″.
Present at the occasion are the Deputy State Chairman PDP, Mr Harrison Omagbon, State Vice Chairman (Edo South) Barr Nosa Ogieva, Senatorial Leader, Etose Dickson Imasogie, State Legal Adviser, Barr Arthur Esene, Barr Oni Edigin, State Woman Leader, Mrs. Lindsay Sorae, Senatorial Woman Leader (Edo South) Mrs. West-Irabor, Martin Osakue, all the 7 LGA PDP Chairmen of Edo South, Women Leaders from the 7 LGAs, Youth Leaders, Ward Chairmen, and other dignitaries.