Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, yesterday pledged his readiness to partner with the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) Plc to industrialise the state and create jobs for its teeming unemployed youths.
The governor made the pledge during a courtesy visit by the board and management of BEDC led by its Chairman, Mr. Victor Gbolade Osibodu and Managing Director/CEO, Mrs. Funke Osibodu, in Benin at the weekend.
A statement from BEDC said Obaseki reaffirmed his government’s focus on leveraging on comparative advantages and key factor endowments in production and commerce, stressing that the partnership with BEDC as a service provider in the area of electricity would assist his administration to optimize its job creation potentials.
He said his government would develop an industrial hub that will focus on agro-business value chain, and provide about 10,000 jobs for the unemployed youths of Edo, urging BEDC to key-in into the initiative through power supply synergy to facilitate the realisation of this objective.
The governor reiterated his resolve to achieve economic prosperity for Edo State by attracting private capital into all state-owned enterprises, thereby creating 200,000 new jobs in four years, saying that the role of BEDC in this regards as a power provider, was critical.
Earlier in her presentation during the visit, Managing Director/CEO, BEDC, Mrs. Funke Osibodu, had solicited for partnership from Edo State government on power improvement and in enumeration process.
Mrs. Osibodu, who said about 50 per cent of energy supplied to customers in Edo State, was not paid for, sought for the government’s assistance in the criminalisation of energy theft and fast-tracking prosecution of offenders, through the set-up of specialised courts for power sector offences.