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Salami, Rewane call for reforms, growth opportunities at Edo exco retreat

By Michael Egbejule, Benin City
18 January 2022   |   4:04 am
Edo State Government, yesterday, hosted members of the Executive Council to a management leadership strategy retreat aimed at harnessing its human and natural resources to drive sustainable development across all sectors of the state’s economy.

Eight-man Economic Advisory Council is headed by Prof. Doyin Salami

• State explores water transport to boost economy
Edo State Government, yesterday, hosted members of the Executive Council to a management leadership strategy retreat aimed at harnessing its human and natural resources to drive sustainable development across all sectors of the state’s economy.

In attendance were the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki; Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu; Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie, special advisers, commissioners and other members of the council.

The retreat, themed: ‘Building the Ethos of Governance and Business,’ held in Lagos and played host to the Economic Adviser to the President, Dr. Doyin Salami; Managing Director, Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Bismarck Rewane, Chief Executive Officer, Zinox Group, Dr. Leo Stan Ekeh, among others.

Salami lauded the government for the initiative and stressed the need for data to inform decision-making and engender sustainable development in the state.

Speaking on how the state could grow its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), he advised the state government to invest in creating economic opportunities that directly impact on the lives of the people.

He said: “There is a need to generate data at the state level and I suggest the creation of a data agency so that the state can generate internal data that will be able to drive sustained and sustainable progress.”

He noted that one of the quickest ways of impacting the lives of the people is to devise policies to reduce food prices, one of the biggest challenges facing Nigerians.

Rewane said Edo State could grow at a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rate of 7.8 per cent if the government takes bold and strategic decisions to harness its resources to drive development.

According to him, some of the issues that may impact growth rate in the state include Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA), PMS subsidy removal, Dangote Refinery, agriculture, imposition of taxes such as sugar tax and digital service.

He noted that the growth areas in the state include agriculture, culture and tourism, light manufacturing and power, noting that the state has huge potential to become a leisure hub.

MEANWHILE, the Chairman of Edo State Oil and Gas Producing Areas Development Commission (EDSOGPADEC), Pastor Kennedy Osifo, has disclosed that the state government is sustaining programmes and reforms to harness the economic potential in water transportation to boost economic growth and development, in line with its Making Edo Great Again (MEGA) Agenda.

He disclosed the plan to journalists in Benin City, when he led the Edo State Commissioner of Police, Philip Ogbadu, and other board members of the commission on an inspection tour of some of EDSOGPADEC’s projects and facilities.

The team inspected the recently procured four Nr200HP armoured gunboats and four speedboats at the Government House, the Marine Police Base on Ologbo River, and the modern concrete pedestrian jetty, with awaiting lounge at Ologbo, Ikpoba-Okha council.

Osifo noted that the state’s waterways offer a unique economic opportunity to the government and citizens, noting that if properly harnessed, the waterways have the potential to boost the state’s revenue and ensure economic prosperity for the state.

He noted that the vision of the Commission is in line with the MEGA plan of the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration to make Edo an economic and investment hub.

The EDSOGPADEC boss added, “these facilities would also positively affect the physically challenged as there is a part on the walkway of the Jetty designed for the physically challenged. Also, there would be 24 hours electricity supply to boost business frontiers.”

In his remarks, Ogbadu thanked Obaseki for the initiative to secure the waterways in the three oil and gas producing councils in the state.

He said with the facilities, the crime rate in the state would be reduced to the barest minimum.