The Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has said his administration is working on establishing no fewer than five other production centres across the state in the next 12 months to support Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
Obaseki disclosed this when he took members of the Benin Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (BENCCIMA) on an assessment tour of business activities at the Edo Production Centre, located along Sapele Road, in Benin City.
The governor noted that his administration will continue to support entrepreneurs to scale their businesses, adding that he would work to ensure that the real sector contributes significantly to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the state.
Obaseki said, “We want to locate different production centres in Auchi, Irrua and Okpella. The production centre initiative is being implemented through collaboration with the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN). What we do is to locate these centres close to TCN sub-stations to ensure constant power supply is provided for optimal productivity.”
The governor explained that his administration’s policies are tailored to promote investment in human capital, infrastructure, law and order, security and safety to support businesses and economic growth in the state.
He urged BENCCIMA to strengthen its collaboration with the state government to enable members of the chamber benefit from opportunities being created in the state, adding, “We operate an open government and you can subscribe to our website so you can see the various opportunities we are creating in the agriculture, technology, education and other sectors in the state.”
Obaseki tasked BENCCIMA to partner with the different state government agencies such as the Investment Promotion Office, EdoJobs, Private Property Protection (PPP), as the state prepares to organise the 2019 trade fair to hold after 10 years.
He listed other initiatives by his administration to include expansion of investment in the oil palm industry through collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the plans to develop an automobile park in the state.
Earlier, President of BENCCIMA, Dr Helen Odemwingie, described the Production Centre initiative as a landmark achievement by the Obaseki-led administration, adding that the step will boost commerce and other economic activities in the state.