Jane Smith
Fri, Jul 14, 2023 6:20 PM

Edo State Under Governor Godwin Obaseki: A Remarkable Journey of Progress and Development

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Edo State Under Governor Godwin Obaseki: A Remarkable Journey of Progress and Development
Edo State, under the leadership of Governor Godwin Obaseki, has made significant strides in various sectors, including infrastructure, investment, and agriculture. The Benin Port project, which has finally commenced after years of delay, is a testament to the state's progress and commitment to development. With the emergence of a preferred bidder, Mota Engil Africa, the construction of the port is set to create employment opportunities and boost economic activities. The port's strategic location and focus on agro-based industries align with the country's objective of diversifying the economy and maximizing the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.

Edo State, under the visionary leadership of Governor Godwin Obaseki, has charted a remarkable journey of progress and development. Despite political differences, it is essential for all stakeholders, including the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Edo, to acknowledge the significant gains made by the state over the past six and a half years.

Governor Obaseki's administration has prioritized creating an enabling environment for businesses and the people of Edo State to thrive. One of the major achievements is the initiation of the Benin Port project, which promises to revolutionize trade and infrastructure in the region.

The strategic location of the Benin Port, situated at the confluence of the Osse River and Benin River, positions it as the closest port to the sea after Lagos, only 32km from the coastline. This proximity is a major advantage for shippers, reducing sailing time and associated security risks. Furthermore, plans for a dual carriage access road and a future railway link will facilitate efficient movement of goods across the country.

The site selection for the Benin Port project has been meticulous, ensuring that no communities need to be relocated, and garnering support from host communities. This collaboration is exemplified by cordial stakeholders' meetings and the recent award of fully funded scholarships to indigenous students to study maritime courses overseas, with the intention that they will eventually contribute to the workforce at the Benin Port.

The Outline Business Case (OBC) for the Benin Port project, prepared by appointed Transaction Advisers, CPCS Transcom, Canada, showcases its viability and potential. Potential investors have been identified for the Public-Private-Partnership contract, and the project has garnered interest from organizations such as the Nigerian Ports Authority, Nigerian Railway Corporation, and the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission.

The Benin Port project addresses the deficiencies observed in existing ports in Nigeria by offering a comprehensive port community that integrates necessary services, including dedicated areas for trailer parks, agro-industrial parks, general industrial parks, housing zones, and rail infrastructure. This approach aligns with the Federal Government's drive to diversify the Nigerian economy from oil and gas to agriculture.

The establishment of the Benin Port will stimulate mechanized agriculture and boost export potentials, given its strategic location as a transportation hub from different parts of the country to Lagos. Additionally, its proximity to the Lekki Deep Sea Port and the Dangote Refinery and Petrochemical Complex positions it as a gateway port for transshipments and product evacuation.

After years of stalling, the Benin Port project is finally taking off with the emergence of a preferred bidder, Mota Engil Africa. With a rich history of over 70 years, Mota Engil Africa has demonstrated its capacity to deliver on large-scale projects across Africa.

The successful navigation of regulatory and institutional challenges leading to the identification of a preferred bidder is a testament to the perseverance and commitment of Governor Obaseki and his team. It showcases their determination to bring about meaningful development and progress in Edo State.

The construction of the Benin Port holds immense promise for the state and the entire country. Apart from generating massive employment opportunities during the construction and operational phases, the port will position Nigeria to benefit from the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, particularly in the agricultural sector.

The expansive plan for the Benin Port, featuring an agro-based port community complex and facilities for various commercial activities, highlights Governor Obaseki's focus on sustainable development and economic growth. The port's primary goal is to boost agricultural processing and export, while also serving as a direct importation point for vehicles, supporting the thriving automobile industry in Edo State.

By reactivating pre-colonial trade routes, the Benin Port project not only rekindles historical significance but also creates new opportunities for trade and commerce in the region. It symbolizes the breaking of a jinx that hindered the establishment of a port by the Western Region Government and later the Federal Government in Benin City.

The progress and development witnessed in Edo State under Governor Godwin Obaseki's administration are commendable. The strides made in infrastructure, investment, and agriculture set a positive precedent and create a conducive environment for businesses and the people of Edo to prosper. As the Benin Port project moves forward, it holds the promise of transforming the state's economy and positioning Nigeria as a key player in international trade.

Source of content: OOO News 2023-07-14 News

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