Elder statesman, Rtd. Col. Ogbebor lauds Obaseki on Production Center, other initiatives

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…says gov. transforming Edo into industrial hub

An elder statesman, Rtd. Col. Paul Ogbebor, has commended the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration’s initiative to construct production centres across the state, noting that the development is setting the state up to become an industrial hub in Nigeria.

Col. Ogbebor, who said this in a chat with journalist in Benin City, the Edo State capital, noted that the state government has endeared itself to Edo people by prioritising development and ensuring that projects are properly aligned with the needs of the people.

Pa Ogbebor, who was awarded an Eminent Citizen of Benin Nation by Oba Erediauwa, said the Edo Production Centre is a replica of what he found in India over three decades ago, which contributed to the industrialisation of the Asian country.

According to him, “In the Magistrate Court area along Sapele Road, I saw exactly what I knew of when I was in India. I was Deputy Military Attache to the Embassy in India in 1984. Over there, I saw what they called a business colony, where the government put up buildings and they installed machines that people go to hire and use for production. It is not everybody that has the money to purchase heavy equipment, but people have ideas they want to work on.

“All that the people in India needed to do was to go there to produce goods. These small production clusters are what are aggregated and transformed into big industries. With these business colonies, India became a world-leading industrial hub that is celebrated today.

Revealing how he tried to get the Federal Government to introduce the idea to Nigeria, he said, “I tried to influence the Federal government in 1984 when Gen. Alani Akinrinade was the Minister for Trade, and get them to replicate what I saw in India. He bought the idea but before they started, there was a change of government.  If Obaseki follows this through, you will discover that Edo will become an industrial hub in Nigeria and Africa.”

He commended the Governor Obaseki-led government for ensuring that such an initiative is brought to life and that necessary infrastructure are provided to see to its smooth operation.