Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, on Monday, met with executives representing Mitsubishi, Sojitz, Toyota, Sumitomo, Yamaha, Yokogawa, Panasonic and the Japanese Trade Organisation (JETRO) to plan potential investments in Edo state and assure them of availability of resources including labour.
This was 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 utilised 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 a 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.