Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has said the state government has secured preliminary approvals for financing the development of the Benin River Port in Gelegele.
Obaseki disclosed this when he received the Flag Officer Commanding Central Naval Command, Bayelsa State, Rear Admiral Saleh Usman at the Government House in Benin City, the Edo state capital.
He said, “With the feasibility study for the project almost completed, the state government has secured some preliminary approvals for financing of the project. We anticipate that by September, the state government would secure additional funding arrangement which will facilitate the actualisation of the project.”
The governor said the state would require a Naval Base to be sited close to the seaport, noting, “There is need for a Naval Base to be sited in the state to provide full security for the Gelegele project as soon as operations kick off in the area. As we make progress in actualising the Gelegele project, the need for a Naval Base in the state is apparent.”
Obaseki expressed appreciation to the Nigerian Navy for their support for the project, noting, “Despite the fact that the Navy doesn’t have a base here, we must commend officers and men of the Service for providing security for the team of engineers working on the project site.”
He said the Nigerian Navy can do more by locating some of its social projects in the state such as schools, which would boost access to quality education in the state.
Earlier, Rear Admiral Usman, said the Navy was ready to provide Edo State with all the support required to actualise the industrialisation vision through the Gelegele project.
He noted, “The Gelegele seaport project is gigantic and would boost economic activities in the state as well as create jobs. The Naval authority is looking forward to working with the state government to site a befitting base and improve its operational activities in the state.”