The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has assured entrepreneurs, investors and traders of a safe and conducive business environment to enhance local capacity, creativity and productivity in the state.
The governor, who said this in commemoration of the Africa Industrialisation Day 2019, noted that one of the major areas his administration is making progress despite inhibiting factors in the local business environment is in spurring industrialisation, noting that it has the potential to unlock economic growth.
According to Obaseki, “Industrialisation is what Nigeria needs to be less dependent on other countries of the world, diversify its economy and focus on its rich resources. This will consequently contribute to poverty eradication through employment and wealth creation.
“That is why we have industrialisation as one of the core pillars of this administration. Already, we have created much impact in this regard and we will continue to provide the needed environment to spur industrialisation as it has the potential to boost economic growth and development.”
Governor Obaseki continued, “While we are on course on our legacy projects, such as the Benin River Port and the Benin Enterprise and Industrial Park, we have successfully piloted the Benin Production Centre in the Sapele Road Axis of Benin City, as part of multi-pronged strategy to drive industrialisation in the state.
“The Centre hosts hundreds of artisans and Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) operators, who are provided with a serene work environment and access to shared infrastructure, 24-hour electricity, security, water supply, internet, access to low cost loans.”
He continued, “There is no denying the place of electricity supply in driving industrialisation and productivity. This is why we have made concerted efforts to ensure we are building capacity to generate and distribute electricity within the state. Aside the successful Azura-Edo power plant project, which is servicing the National Grid, we have signed a Power Purchase Agreement with CCETC Ossiomo Power to power government offices, streetlights, public utilities and the industrial cluster at the Sapele Road axis of the state.”
Noting that the theme for this year, “Positioning African Industry to supply the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) Market”, is apt, he said the the state would continue to explore ambitious initiatives and projects to ensure it boosts its productive capacity to leverage on the framework of the newly created African Continental Free Trade Area.
The Africa Industrialization Day (AID), was first observed on November 20, 1990, and represents a unique platform to enhance international cooperation and dialogue on the pan-African industrialization agenda, and to raise awareness of the opportunities and challenges associated with this innovation drive.