The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has tasked manufacturers in the state to leverage the investment-friendly climate to produce more export-ready made-in-Edo goods so as to boost foreign exchange revenue.
The governor made the call at the 36th Annual General Meeting of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Edo/Delta, which was held in Benin City, the state capital.
The governor who was represented by the Commissioner of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives, Mrs. Afishetu Braimoh, noted that Edo State has taken some made-in-Edo products to international trade fairs, noting that the state is one of the highest cashew producing states in Nigeria.
“We are looking at building centers of excellence in each of the three senatorial districts,” he noted.
On what the state has done to improve the business environment, the Governor noted the small claims court, the production center, the Edo Geographical Information System (EdoGIS) and the Benin Enterprise Park, among others, have been put in place to enable businesses to thrive.
According to him, “Over the last five years, the state government has instituted several reforms to address the bureaucratic constraints in the business environment. We have embarked on many processes to support businesses. One of the processes to support businesses is the introduction of the small claims court.
"Another initiative of this administration for industrial development to facilitate the ease of doing business is the creation of the Edo Production Centre which is a center for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), for those in light manufacturing and other production activities. The plan is to replicate this in the three senatorial districts”
Part of the reforms, he said, include, “Ossiomo Power Plant which provides steady power to businesses. As a government, we will continue to do everything within our reach to ensure that we position the state for industrialization, promote policies and programmes that will create the enabling environment that supports the growth of businesses in the state.”
Managing Director, Edo State Investment Promotion Office (ESIPO), Mr. Kelvin Uwaibi, noted, “Edo state is the only state which has passed the electricity bill. We are also looking at clustering businesses right now.”
Chairman, Edo/Delta Branch of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Engr. Dr. Okwara A. Udensi, commended Edo State Government for the reforms in the business environment and called on the government to persuade the MDAs to fully comply with Executive Order 003, which provides for patronage of made-in-Nigeria products.