Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki simply known as Godwin Obaseki is the current Governor of Edo State.
He was first elected governor in 2016 on the All Progressives Congress (APC) platform, defeating Mr. Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He took office on November 12 of that same year. Before taking office, he presided over the Edo State Economic and Strategy Team, which former Governor Adams Oshiomole established in March 2009.
Godwin Obaseki Biography
Obaseki, the third child of the late Pa Roland Obaseki and Gbinigie of Owina Street, Ogbelaka Quarters, Benin City, Nigeria, was born on July 1, 1957. He completed his basic schooling at St. Matthew’s Primary School before moving to Eghosa Grammar School in Benin City for his secondary education.
Following that, Obaseki went to the University of Ibadan and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Classics. He completed his one-year National Youth Service Corps requirement in Jos, Plateau State. Later, he travelled from Nigeria to the US to study at Pace University and Columbia University in New York, where he earned an MBA in Finance and International Business.
Obaseki served as the secretary of the Africa Chamber of Commerce in the US since its formation in 1992. Additionally, he served as a director for Junior Achievement of Nigeria, a local chapter of a global non-profit organization.
In 1983, Obaseki joined Capital Trust Brokers Limited to start his career as a stockbroker. Later, he began working for the International Merchant Bank. In 1988, he relocated to Lagos and began working as a project manager at AVC Funds Limited. He returned to New York and took a position as Principal with the financial advisory company Equatorial Finance Company. He concentrated on Africa and offered Structured Trade Finance for deals involving the continent.
Godwin Obaseki established Afrinvest West Africa Limited, formerly known as Securities Transactions & Trust Company Limited (SecTrust), in 1995. Since then, it has developed into one of Nigeria’s most well-known investment banking and management companies.
Later, in September 2016, Obaseki resigned from his role as Chairman of Afrinvest’s Board of Directors to run for Governor of Edo State.
Obaseki headed the Economic and Strategy Team before taking office as Governor of Edo State. As a result of the policy reforms he helped to pioneer, the state could restructure its public finances, secure money for infrastructure, and enhance the business climate to draw investment into the power, agricultural, and other crucial sectors. Obaseki also played a key role in getting the World Bank to sponsor the state’s bid for the Edo-Azura power project.
He served seven years as the voluntary chairman of the Edo State Economic and Strategy Team, the tax assessment review committee for the Edo State Internal Revenue Service, and the committee on micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSME) under his predecessor, Governor Adams Oshiomhole.
He served as the Secretary of the Committee on the Implementation of the Law, Iyamho, which established the current Edo University, and a member of the Edo SEEFOR/DPO Steering Committee and the Committee on Contributory Pension Scheme.
Obaseki formerly served on the Presidential Committee on the Reform of the Nigerian Pension System, which helped bring about the contributory pension system and other cutting-edge pension changes, before taking on his current position at the subnational level.
Additionally, he participated in the work of the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission Committee on the Review of the Investment and Securities Act and the Reactivation of the Nigerian Bond Market.
He participated in the Nigerian Stock Exchange Council from 2006 to 2009. He serves as a Trustee for the Dr. Jackson Owen Obaseki Foundation, a non-profit run by his family.
Obaseki was elected as governor on September 29, 2016, on the APC platform. Obaseki ran for re-election in 2020 as a member of the APC, but the party’s Primary Election Screening Committee controversially barred him from running in the primary elections, citing the governor’s National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) certificate’s missing letters and what other observers deemed to be flimsy justifications regarding the governor’s university admission.
The governor and his predecessor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, the then-chairman of the APC’s National Working Committee (NWC), which served as the screening committee, were at loggerheads. Political observers contend that the former governor followed a predetermined script to prevent the governor from being nominated for a second term under the APC. The APC eventually fired Comrade Oshiomhole as national chairman.
The committee claimed that the governor’s West African Examination Council High School Certificate was missing from his credentials, but the governor had it in his possession. The NYSC also issued a corrected copy of the governor’s NYSC discharge certificate while apologizing for the original error. The All Progressives Congress (APC), the governor’s former political party, filed a certificate forgery lawsuit against him that was ultimately dismissed by the Federal High Court in Abuja. The decision, according to him, was a win for the truth and the rule of law.
He claimed that the accusations made against him were a pointless effort on the part of those trying to subvert the people’s will.
Obaseki resigned from the All Progressives Congress on June 16, 2020. He announced his decision to join PDP on June 19, 2020. He was considered a great catch for PDP. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Obaseki the victor of the Edo State governorship election on September 20, 2020. He defeated his main APC opponent, Osagie Ize Iyamu, with 307,955 votes.
Since taking office on November 12, 2016, Mr. Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki has implemented programs to turn Edo State into a magnet for investment. These initiatives include:
Technology hubs Edojobs, Edo State Oil Palm Programme (ESOPP), The Benin River Port Project (Gelegele Seaport), The Benin Industrial Park, Modular Refinery Project, Power Project, and Edo Tech Park.
He has also implemented several social development programs along with his infrastructure projects. About 200 Primary Healthcare Centers have been proposed for construction by the state government. In the area of health, Obaseki is concentrating on creating a workable primary healthcare system that will give residents of the state access to inexpensive healthcare. He is also leading the way with a state-backed health insurance program to create a strong industry that will draw private investors.
Obaseki started the Edo Basic Education Transformation (Edo BEST) program to educate and prepare public school teachers to use Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in the classroom to enhance student learning. In order to better prepare the state’s workforce, a significant emphasis on technical education led to the renovation of the Government Science and Technical College (formerly known as Benin Technical College).
Additionally, he has actively promoted Edo state as a desirable investment location. His administration established the Edo State Investment Promotion Office (ESIPO) in January 2018 to facilitate investments and stakeholder engagements to enhance the state’s economic climate.
He has also helped in the fight against illegal immigration and human trafficking. He started an extensive reconstruction project to prepare Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium to host the 2020 National Sports Festival.
The Edo State Oil Palm Programme (ESOPP), an innovative idea that is poised to attract oil palm plantations to the state, attracted $500 million worth of investment into the state thanks to the governor. Over 100,000 hectares of arable land are under cultivation in the program. Among the businesses making investments in the growth of oil palms are Saro Group of Companies, Fayus, Dufil (makers of Indomie Noodles), and Nosak.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) filed a lawsuit alleging certificate fabrication against Governor Obaseki. The Federal High Court in Abuja dismissed the certificate forgery case brought by the All Progressives Congress (APC) against Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, according to the Premium Times report on January 9, 2021.
Godwin Obaseki net worth
Godwin Obaseki is a wealthy businessman who owns numerous properties. His net worth is reported to be $225 million.
Obaseki is married to financial advisor Betsy Bene Obaseki. She graduated with a Bachelor’s and Master of Science in Accounting from the University of Lagos and completed the executive management program at the Kellogg School of Business in the United States. He enjoys playing golf a lot. The couple is blessed with children.
In October 2019, Governor Obaseki received the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) Award for Best Performing Governor of the Year.