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Obaseki, Swedish Embassy partner to boost skills devt, entrepreneurship, tackle irregular migration in Edo

19 May 2024

Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki (right) presenting a souvenir to Swedish Ambassador and Head of Mission to Nigeria, Annika Hahn-Englund, during a courtesy visit, at the Government House, Benin City, recently.

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has said the state government will leverage its diplomatic and business ties with the Swedish Government to create more opportunities in education, cultural exchange and entrepreneurship for youths in the State.

The governor said this when he received the Swedish Ambassador and Head of Mission to Nigeria, Annika Hahn-Englund accompanied by her husband Magnus, and Sara Ibru of the Trade and Investment Department in the Swedish Embassy, who were on a courtesy visit to the Government House, Benin City, the State capital.

Obaseki commended the Swedish delegation and the level of creativity and innovation in Sweden, noting that as the most strategically located State in Nigeria, Edo State is ready to partner with the Swedish Government to advance its developmental drive.

He added that Edo State's strength lies in the areas of transportation, agriculture and energy, stressing that the state generates over 1000MW of electricity.

The governor stated that his administration has in the past seven years engaged in job placements and other areas of bilateral cooperation in education, cultural exchange and managing migration working closely with the European Union, IOM and other partners.

He said: “Sweden is a country that is a global leader in innovation. In Edo, we are strategically located in the Country. We are an economic hub because all national infrastructure is here for gas and electricity. We have taken a major transformation to encourage people to stop here and do business."


On efforts to tackle illegal migration, the governor said: "We have had to contend with issues of illegal migration in the last seven years. We worked closely with the EU to curb irregular migration and human trafficking from Edo State. At some point, we had about 30,000 young men and women in Libya trying to cross to Europe. That is not the case today anymore.”

Obaseki noted that efforts were made to tackle the issues headlong, especially in driving a reorientation programme that led to a drastic reduction in Edo youths engaged in irregular migration.

According to him: “We emphasize foundational education and also job training and placement. Also, we focused on new areas like technology, building digital infrastructure and providing opportunities for people to work. We also focus on our culture and entertainment because of the creative instinct of our young people. We worked hard to upskill our youths. Today, we have placed emphasis on supporting businesses in culture, technology, logistics and manufacturing.

Earlier, the Swedish Ambassador to Nigeria, Hahn-Englund said the visit is aimed at boosting the diplomatic and business ties with the Edo State Government and Nigeria leveraging on the presence of over forty Swedish companies offering services in areas of transportation, energy, ICT, mining and healthcare in the country.

She added that the Swedish Government is seeking further areas of collaboration in addressing the issue of irregular migration in the State.

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