Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, on Friday, performed the groundbreaking for the 20-hectare permanent site of the Edo Tech Park and inaugurated a shared facility for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Edo State.
Inaugurating the shared facility for furniture production in Edo, Osinbajo said MSMEs are of top priority to the government in boosting the country’s economy.
Commending the Vice President, Obaseki said the state government will adopt the facility model to build similar facilities in the six technical colleges across the state.
According to Obaseki, “I want to thank you for locating this facility in Edo for furniture production. It is a delight for me and the people of Edo State that we are here to witness the beginning of another slide in our quest for making Edo great again.
“We are blessed with the main resources required to make furniture, which is timber and it’s available in our rain forests. We have built a decade-old reputation for producing top-quality furniture, which is being moved to other parts of Nigeria and around the world.”
“Mr. Vice President, following your guide, as a government, we are also undertaking initiatives to boost MSMEs production in the state. What we plan to do is to now use this model to build similar facilities in six of our technical colleges,” the governor noted.
On his part, the Vice President charged MSMEs engaged in furniture production in Edo to take full advantage of the facility to boost productivity.
He noted: “This is a priority of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration; as we all know, they are the engine of growth for the economy.
“This facility, as we have seen already, is equipped with state-of-the-art machines and equipment, which at full capacity can produce about 250 furniture items daily, including doors, tables, dining tables and cabinets.”
Osinbajo continued: “It is equally notable that the Edo State Government is thinking of replicating the furniture manufacturing cluster across the 18 local government areas of the state and in some of the technical colleges.
“There are plans that whenever we find any state willing to cooperate to provide this kind of facility, we are willing and ready to support. We are ready to support all other efforts of Governor Obaseki, either in this facility or any other MSME programme in the state.”
“Our MSMEs partners will ensure that final products from here meet global standards and are exported to the rest of the world,” he stated.
Meanwhile, laying the foundation for the Edo Tech Park, the Vice President said the government will continue to play the role of a regulator in the tech space.
In response, Obaseki said, “Let me thank you for bringing to our consciousness the fact that we could be a real digital hub; you did this more than three years ago. You gave us the first innovation hub in the South-South of Nigeria. That mustard seed you sowed is what you saw at the take-off campus of the Edo Tech Park.
“That seed is what has brought us here this afternoon and it’s being germinated to reflect where we want to be as a people. It is all about technology, and as government, we want to align the future of our children in Edo with the reality on the ground.”
Soliciting support and partnership with the federal government, Obaseki added, “This wouldn’t have happened without your support. We believe in the digital policy of the federal government and whatever assistance that can be rendered to us by the federal government, we will surely appreciate.”