Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State on Monday, met with executives representing Mitsubishi, Sojitz, Toyota, Sumitomo, Yamaha, Yokogawa, Panasonic and the Japanese Trade Organization (JETRO) to plan potential investments in Edo state and assure them of availability of resources including labour.
This happened in Lagos where the governor also told them that Edo was safe, had good economic policies, three government owned universities, two private universities, a college of medicine, an Institute of Management Technology and a Polytechnic that could train middle level labour.
He added that the state had developed a database of unemployed young people in the state, which the Japanese could tap into, adding that Edo’s proximity to Lagos and Port Harcourt could also be utilized to develop a lucrative trade route.
Edo North, explained Governor Obaseki, was rich in solid minerals such as limestone for cement production and fertile soil for cocoa production; while Edo South and Edo Central were good for maize, cassava, rubber and palm production.
All these complemented an onshore gas reserve located at Oben near Benin City where some critical national assets such as power installation passed through the state.
On power, the governor disclosed that Edo would be contributing 900 additional megawatts to the national grid through the 450MW Azura power plant and the 450MW National Integrated Power Plant (NIPP) project in Benin City.
Meanwhile, he also explained to them that the state government had signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Ossiomo power in Ologbo to supply uninterrupted power to all the government buildings located in the Sapele Road axis of the city.
Security would not be a problem, stressed Governor Obaseki, as the state was in collaboration with the Nigerian police to curb isolated incidences of crime in and around the state, and there was no time to waste in developing the state.
Responding to the governor’s short, medium and long term sectoral plans, Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Sadanobu Kusaoke appreciated the sincerity and sense of responsibility of Edo State government, insisting that the Japanese were interested in collaborating with the Obaseki-led administration to expand the economy and create employment.
Also, Governor Obaseki on Monday hosted three prospective members of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, who are on their way to the United States for a six-week internship training and human capital development.
The training, which will be conducted across several universities in the United States and will be attended by diverse people from numerous countries in Africa, was open to people within the age bracket of 25 and 35.
The Governor, who announced that Edo state government was proud of their achievement, congratulated the beneficiaries, Mrs. (Dr) Ajimego Ikuonobe, Mrs. Isibor and Miss Otokhina, all from Edo State, who had gone through a screening process to be selected for the fellowship.
He expressed gratitude to the American government for giving women a voice in the development and governance of global affairs.
While their major projects ranged from Early Child Development to school feeding programme and management of vulnerable women, other thematic areas of focus included employability, youth capacity building, sickle cell management and policy action for the endangered.
The Governor disclosed to the awardees that his government was investing heavily in the health sector of the state, especially in the area of primary health care development, insisting that the only way the government could arrest 60% of common diseases in the society was through establishing primary health care centers.
He advised that on returning from the service in America, the recipients should be given platforms to share their experiences with members of the civil society, academia and government officials in the state.
Chief Press Secretary (Interim),
Governors Office, Benin
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