Governor Godwin Obaseki, yesterday, said his government had, in the past six years, pursued reforms and programmes to expand Edo State’s economic base by deliberately creating the enabling environment to attract investments and ensure businesses thrive.
While addressing reporters in Benin City, the governor noted that the reforms have transformed Edo from a civil service state to a haven for foreign direct investment, attracting investments in the manufacturing, real estate, agriculture, culture and education, among other sectors.
He said: “We have also been intentional about expanding our economic base by creating the enabling environment for businesses to thrive and attract investments into Edo State as a haven for investment.
“Through this, we are transitioning Edo from a civil service dominated state to one which is attracting manufacturing, commercial agricultural concerns, service and technology companies, real estate and several SMEs, among others.”
Obaseki added: “Through a mix of reforms in revenue collection and land management, we have curtailed excesses of non-state actors, who had hitherto caused untold hardship for the people. We have cleared touts from our roads. We’re fighting land-grabbers so that there is sanity in public places, as well as transparency and certainty in land transactions.”
Regarding plans for 2023, the governor stated: “This year, we will continue our emphasis on building the capacity of our young population to find quality jobs in areas like agriculture, health services and technology. Hence, the Edo State College of Agriculture, Iguoriakhi will take in its first set of students before September this year, while the Edo State School of Health Technology will be rebuilt to meet global standards just like we did with our School of Nursing Sciences.
“Quite a number of jobs are currently being created from several opportunities in the state’s agriculture sector such as the Edo State Oil Palm Programme (ESOPP), our cassava to ethanol initiatives, forestry plantations and also in poultry production. These and many more areas will contribute significantly to our Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“In 2023, we intend to exploit the advantage which Edo has in electricity with the establishment of Edo State Electricity Commission. We will be creating a vibrant electricity market in the state to allow and encourage investors to invest in generation and distribution of grid and off-grid electric power, thus expanding our existing investments in Azura and Ossiomo Power Project.”