I Studied Engineering Because I Saw Engineers As People Who Create —Amiolemen

BY VICTOR OKENINI
ONE vital ingredient of development in any society is infrastructure and this is of topmost priority in the present administration being led by a technocrat in the person of Godwin Obaseki, Engr. Osahon Amiolemen Abraham, the Edo State Commissioner for Infrastructural has said. In this interview with The Pointer newspaper, he spoke the vision of the governor, the present administration, his experience as a career engineer, as well as other important issues.
What is your vision for the Ministry of Infrastructure?
Thank you very much. It’s my pleasure having you in my office. My vision is tied to the vision of the Executive Governor
of our great state, Governor Godwin Obaseki. We have the vision to construct 3,000 kilometres of roads across the state at a cost effective rate. We are presently reviewing the rate or cost of road construction. This administration does a great deal of thinking before implementation. We believe strongly in brainstorming before implementation because brainstorming is at the heart of real development. Therefore, after our review of the cost of road construction, if the cost is good, we will construct more roads and this will make the state more economically viable. We believe in quality construction and diligent supervision by staff and other consultants. We have the support of the governor to work with the consultants to assist us in areas where we are deficient in staffing. I also have the vision of capacity building or training of staff. We are presently in the information
technology era. There are softwares now in every area of engineering. My intention is to ensure that every engineer is up to date in modern engineering methods and knowledge. Furthermore, our vision entails the building of the Ministry of Infrastructure that will be able to design and build-efficient and cost effective transportation and infrastructure
system that will meet the needs of all stakeholders. Our mission is to design, build and maintain a transportation system and infrastructure in the state that will be cost effective
and professionally managed to meet with international best practices, thereby enduring throughout their lifespan. We are determined to achieve all these and we are working assiduously in this regard.
As an engineer, you have extensive experience, how would you describe your experience?
As a Civil Engineer, I have always worked in the construction
industry. I have worked in road construction companies,
Real Estate construction companies as well as project management establishments. With all humility, I gave a good account of myself in these places where I worked and the experiences that I gathered over the years have been very useful to me since I became a commissioner. My experiences in these places where I have worked have really been challenging,
exciting and rewarding and I am bringing all these valuable experiences to bear in my assignment.
How would you describe Governor Obaseki’s style of administration?
Governor Obaseki came into government with a blue print of development and transformation for Edo State. At the inception of this administration, six thematic pillars were developed. These are well-thought out policy frameworks referred to as thematic pillars upon which this administration is built. I earlier told you that this administration does a lot of thinking before implementation. You can see that within a short time, he has done very well. Infrastructural development
is one of the thematic pillars and infrastructurally, the state is moving forward. One interesting thing about the present
administration is that roads even though hidden across the state are being constructed. Urban renewal is ongoing. Edo people really appreciate the governor for the wonderful work in Ring Road and in other roads around Ring Road. I want to assure Edo people that more development projects are in the pipeline. Governor Obaseki is a goal getter and silent performer. I am privileged to be part of his administration which is making history in this country. Another thing that I enjoy in this government is the versatility of the governor whenever he is talking. I admire him for this. He is also a motivator. If you are working with the governor, be prepared to be on your toes because he expects results from you and not stories.
How organised and focused is the All Progressives Congress (APC) as a political party?
The APC came with the change mantra. In Edo State, we are seeing the change. APC is a very focused party with clear cut ideology and our ideology is welfarist in nature. We are very much concerned with the overall development of the country and like I earlier said, we are working in line with this mandate and like what my bishop will always say, only fools doubt proof. There are visible changes in Edo State. Edo people are enjoying democratic dividends and more are coming.
What is your academic background like?
I read Civil Engineering from the then Edo State University,
now Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma. I have and (MBA) Masters in Business Administration from Ladoke Akintola University of Science and Technology, Ogbomosho. I have attended several seminars and workshops. I am one person who is highly interested in knowledge.
What inspired you to study civil engineering and did it ever occur to you that you will hold this exalted position one day?
I became interested in engineering while I was in secondary
school, because I saw engineers as people who can create. Indeed engineers are creators because they design projects and bring these designs to reality. I decided to go for civil engineering because civil engineers embark on big and gigantic projects. Honestly, I also want to thank Elder Pius Omofuoma and other political leaders, who were instrumental
in terms of recommending me for the appointment.
I must once again appreciate our dynamic governor for finding me worthy of this appointment, and I promise to give my best as long as I occupy this position.
In eight years from now, where do you think Edo State will be?
In eight years, Edo people will be in a state of Eldorado. What I mean by this is that Edo State will boom economically,
socially, etc because of the well though–out programmes
of the present administration. If we are able to construct three thousand kilometres of road in the state, most of our roads would have been constructed. In eight years time, we want to see a strong railway system and metro line. There is already a plan for railway transport in Edo State. In fact, in eight years, the level of development will be tremendous.
What is your philosophy of life?
My philosophy of life is living to impart people positively. This is the meaning of life and the essence of living. I believe that if everybody should live by this philosophy, the world will be a wonderful place for us to live.
How do you relax?
I relax by reading and with my family whenever the time is available.

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