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Obaseki seeks investments to transform Edo’s economy

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Governor of Edo, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has called for investments in manufacturing, agricultural and tourism sectors to transform the state’s economy.

Obaseki made the call at the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) Meet the Governor of Edo State Forum with the theme: “Investment and Business Opportunities,” on Thursday in Lagos.

The governor said a 1,000 hectare property with 40 megawatts of electricity on the Benin -Sapele expressway had been set aside for investment.

He added that talks were ongoing to build the core infrastructure, gas networks, sewage facilities to make the location environmentally compliant.

Obaseki stated that investors had shown interests in developing pharmaceuticals.

He, however, added that he was very keen to work on food processing to address food importation and shore up the contribution of the agricultural sector to livelihood and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the state.

“With the escalating food prices in the world, there is really no reason why we are spending what we are spending on food importation.

“The state government is very committed to creating the needed environment for business partnerships to thrive in Edo.

“This administration is also very committed to moving upwards our GDP ranking to at least third position from its current seventh place via its vast investment opportunities before the end of my tenure.

“To this, Nigerians are encouraged to come take advantage of the opportunities currently existing in Edo following our clearly set out policy directions to transform the state’s economy,” he said.

The Edo governor said the state had transformed its educational sector to develop human capacity to a global standard.

He added that it had also addressed its security architecture with a four tier security system that involved communities right from the street corners, and rebuilt police facilities and retrained officers.

Obaseki said the state, due to its deep rooted cultural nature, had developed a structured manner of harnessing the rich history and culture via recollection of artifacts and building of museums to drive tourism.

He added that top investment opportunities in Edo were in tourism, digital and port infrastructure.

“With a phenomenal population growth, and GDP ranking at number seven, we are aspiring to be number three by the end of our tenure.

“To this, we have properly trained and transformed our public service, our educational system, improved our healthcare and social welfare and have used technology to harness human capacity development,” said Obaseki.

He added that as top priority, there was need to connect Edo via the Benin city river port, which was being worked on to massively decongest Apapa ports of its gridlock.

“There is also massive integrated planning to connect communities via the land programme, given our rich and active diaspora ready to invest in the real estate sector.

“Edo is the home of culture and what we have done is define the archeological district for tourism.

“It’s not so much the return of artifacts but the right museums to host the returned pieces properly.

“We plan to use museums as research facilities to connect to roots as those assets offer huge potential for tourism,” he said.

Chairman, Edo State Oil Palm Programme, Mr Rasheed Sarumi, tasked Nigerians to take advantage of investment in the state’s sustainable oil palm production to reduce Nigeria’s import of crude palm by about 20 per cent.

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