After an initial draft of the policy, the state government had organised a Stakeholders Workshop, where it engaged with businesses and other players in the state’s industrial sector to get their input in the policy.
Edo State Focal Person for the Industrial Policy, Mr. Kelvin Uwaibi, in a chat with journalists, said that experts from UNIDO are putting finishing touches to the policy document, noting that when ready, the governor, who mandated its development, will graciously see to its implementation.
“From the government side, we are very optimistic about the document as it will drive coordinated, impactful industrialisation in the state. The good thing about the document is that it accommodates the interest of all, such that artisans, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), as well as the big players in agro-allied industries and manufacturing can contribute to the sector” he said.
Noting that the Edo State government is keen on tapping its human and natural resources to drive inclusive growth, Uwaibi said, “We have a number of big-ticket investments in the offing. The governor has already released funds for the commencement of the Edo Modular Refinery, which shows how serious we are. There is the Benin River Port, for which advance work has been carried out. It is linked to the Lekki Deep Sea Port, as the same Chinese company, China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) Ltd., is handling both projects. We also have the Benin Industrial Park.”
He said the Edo Industrial Policy would map out how all these projects will be linked and how local actors will be aligned to tap from the immense opportunities for jobs, wealth creation and inclusive growth.
“After fine-tuning the document, UNIDO will help in its implementation to ensure a coordinated, participatory approach to its realisation. This ensures that as the state creates space for the big industries, the local ones are hooked up to them to provide needed local expertise and capacity to deliver on projects,” he added.