Betsy Obaseki Tasks SMEDAN, NEPC on Export of Rural Agric Products

  • As Edo govt accelerates work on road construction

Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City

Wife of Edo State Governor, Mrs. Betsy Obaseki has expressed her readiness to partner, train and provide soft loans to over 500 members of a Non-Governmental Organisation, Women in the New Nigeria, on their Farmer’s Mart initiative towards ensuring that their farm produce meet the quality that is fit for export.

The Governor’s wife also tasked the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) and the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) to ensure they facilitate the export of farm produce once the WINN Farmer’s Mart products are ready for export.

Giving this assurance at Spirit and Life Bible Church, Ekenwhuan Road Benin City, Edo State, during the inauguration ceremony of Farmer’s Mart Edo State, the wife of the Governor commended the facilitator of the programme, Mrs. Deb’rah Eunice Osagiede, for the initiative, as it would go a long way in empowering women and youths in the state that are into agriculture.

Mrs. Obaseki intimated them of her Edo Women for Agriculture and Enterprise project which seeks to empower women all over Edo State through agriculture and small scale businesses, while promising that she would ensure that the members of WINN benefit from loan facilities given by the Bank of Industry to help small scale businesses.
“On my own part, I cannot wait to confirm that you are fully organised in cooperatives, you are producing well, and we will support you in the bank of industry with soft loans.

“I find a lot of value in this initiative. Value first and foremost to us as women, value second to the state and government, as you all know that a major focus of the government currently is on agriculture. I want Edo women to key into the government’s agenda to grow the agric sector in our state. I want the women in Edo State to be active in everything that is happening in government,” she added.

Addressing representatives of SMEDAN and the NEPC who were present at the event, Mrs. Obaseki said “SMEDAN and NEPC, from today you are partners of this initiative, and everything you promised here, you must fulfill. When our women begin to produce for exports, you must facilitate it and make sure we export goods out of Edo State, abroad so that our women can earn dollars”.

On her part the facilitator of the Farmer’s Mart, Mrs. Osagiede, stated that the WINN is a Non- Governmental Organisation that has spread across the world to correct the ills in the society and train women and youths in over twenty-five skills in order to ensure self-reliance.

She stated that the Farmer’s Mart would showcase products that were personally and naturally cultivated by the women in the rural areas unlike products cultivated by farmers who used chemicals in enhancing the quality and looks of their products.

The high-point of the ceremony was the unveiling of the Farmer’s Mart by Mrs. Obaseki.
Meanwhile, reconstruction and rehabilitation work on over 90 kilometres of roads across the three Senatorial districts of Edo State are nearing completion in the state’s resolve to deliver the projects before the raining season sets in.

Commissioner for Infrastructure in the state, Engr. Osahon Abraham Amiolemen, who disclosed this after a recent inspection tour of some of the roads in Benin City, assured listeners that the roads would be ready for use as promised by the government.
Amiolemen assured that the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration was committed to completing all ongoing road projects within the stipulated time as the contractors handling the projects have been duly mobilised.

“We are using the dry season to work on the roads; the contractors are doing a good job and are ready to deliver the projects within the stipulated time. The drains are well laid and the quality of the drains is commendable,” he said.

He explained that the rehabilitation/construction of different roads stretching over 150 km spread across the state would commence before the middle of the year, and stressed that “all bad roads will be fixed in phases.”

The Commissioner noted that the dualisation of the popular TV Road measuring 2.3km and the reconstruction of Lucky Way (3km long) both in Benin City would be completed before the middle of the year.

He also mentioned construction of Irhirhi-Aroobga- Obazagbon- Obagienevbosa- Oghehghe road spurs to Enogie palace and Ogbekpen Community in Edo South; Ekpoma – Uhumudumu road in Edo Central; and Agbede-Anwain road, Uzzeba -Ukpoji road and Okuokphellagbe road in Edo North Senatorial Districts.