The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, Thursday, hosted key players in Nigeria’s private sector, including Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of conglomerates, members of the diplomatic corps and other stakeholders in the investment community to a business dinner in Lagos.
The dinner was organized by Alaghodaro Economic Summit Ltd/GTE to showcase the numerous investment opportunities in Edo State and galvanize private capital to boost the state’s economy, accelerate productivity and engender sustainable growth and development.
Dignitaries at the Business Summit held at the Civic Centre, Lagos, include Chairman of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote; Chairman of Heirs Holdings, Tony Elumelu; Chairman of Caverton Offshore Support Group Plc, Dr. Aderemi Makanjuola; Founder of Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, Dr. Atedo Peterside, and the Founder, Silverbird Group, Ben Murray-Bruce.
Others are: Founder of Persianas Nigeria Limited, Tayo Amusan and Managing Director, Saro International, Dr. Rasheed Sarumi, among others.
The governor said that rather than wait for Nigeria in the wake of economic uncertainties, the state has decided to step up and do things differently.
He said the state government, in search of solutions, decided to focus on developing its people; tapping its rich cultural heritage; exploring its unique ecology to drive agricultural development; focus on exploiting technology and manufacturing; building on tourism and entertainment assets and leveraging its locational advantage to drive growth.
According to him: “We have moved our systems to an electronic platform. I will be the last governor to sign papers in Edo. I sign all approvals in the state on the Oracle platform. Minimum wage is now N40,000 and we believe it is not enough.”
The governor noted that on the back of education reforms under the Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (EdoBEST) programme, the state is considered to have the single largest reform in education on the African continent.
He added: “We are creating more opportunities for technical education so that we can de-emphasize the culture of certificates. We also intend to train mid-level manpower in agriculture and would like to partner with the private sector to develop the curriculum for the institution.
“We are also building capacity in the healthcare sector. There is really no need to complain about other countries poaching our health workers. All we need to do is to train more.”
On his part, the Chairman of Alaghodaro Ltd/GTE, Dr. Asue Ighodalo, in his welcome address, said that the event was organized to engage with and seek private investors’ partnership and participation in driving the state’s 30-year development plan.
Stressing that Edo State remains Nigeria’s best kept investment secret, he said the state government has created a conducive investment climate for investors by strengthening institutions and ensuring a reign of “peace, security and justice.”
“In Edo State, we will continue to demonstrate our commitment to lead the charge. We do it because we understand unequivocally the potential of states to create a groundswell of activity that can galvanize national economic renewal.”
“It was this sort of thinking that grew the average GDP rate of our country to 8 percent between 1956 and 1963.
“In the last five years, Edo State has evolved dramatically. Governor Obaseki and his team have demonstrated by execution a clear and unwavering resolve to transform Edo State into Nigeria’s foremost investment destination with different signposts that include a technology village, a tourist hub and transformation of the state to Nigeria’s case study in human capacity development. This has been national and internationally recognized.