IFC commends Obaseki for stimulating private sector-led economic growth


…pledges more support for gov’s plan on human capital devt  

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has commended Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki for his commitment to promoting economic development through partnership with the private sector.

IFC Vice President, Middle East and Africa, Mr. Segio Pimenta, said this during a business meeting between the IFC officials and the state governor, at Government House, in Benin City, Edo State.

Pimenta said the organisation has heard of all the good works the governor is embarking on and what the administration is doing to develop the state and its economy, which are geared towards making life better for the people of the state.

He said the organisation is supporting progressive states that are doing well in various areas, with education as one of the major areas of focus, noting “Education is one area the state is getting our fundamental support. We look at human capacity index focusing on how we can help build human capacity in countries and states we operate in. This is responsible for the collaboration with Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (EDOBEST) programme and BRIDGE.”

He assured that the organisation will continue to support the state government’s educational programmes.

Governor Obaseki thanked the delegation for the commendation and the IFC’s support, noting that his administration in 2019 is focused on the Benin Industrial/Enterprise Park and Free Trade Zone, Oil Palm production and education to drive sustainable economic development.

In a presentation titled: ‘2019-2021: Driving Private Sector Participation through Policy Reforms,’ Obaseki said, he intends to drive economic growth and create jobs for Edo people.

“We are focusing on three key projects now, namely: The Industrial Park, Oil Palm production and education. In terms of economic growth, we are leveraging on our key natural reserves like energy, land and other assets including our rich cultural heritage in Benin Kingdom,” he posited.

The Governor said his administration will develop the capacity of Edo people to build a vibrant workforce and improve the ease of doing business, which will attract foreign investors to the state.

On oil palm production, the governor said his administration is looking at the opportunity and possibility of re-establishing large oil palm plantation to make the state one of the largest producers of oil palm in the world, adding, “Our administration is working round the clock to ensure that what we do can compete globally, as such we have decided to first deal with the issue of concern to environmentalists by taking a forest audit and now we have been able to earmark close to 250,000 hectares of degraded forest land for agricultural purposes.”

The governor said that the state government is exploring options in developing mechanized farming in the state, so that it can improve productivity and attain food security through efficient management of resources.