The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has set up a seven-man automobile technical committee with a mandate to fashion a strategy for an improved, profitable and sustainable automobile industry in the state.
Speaking at the inauguration of the committee in Government House, Benin City, Obaseki said the committee has 90 days to come up with a workplan to sanitise and transform the industry and position it to drive productivity and economic growth in the state.
He said, “I am setting up a sub-committee with some members of the Edo State Government and over the next three months, they will come back with work plans and recommendations.”
He said his administration is committed to leveraging Edo State’s strategic position as a transportation hub to grow the local automobile industry, with the input of key stakeholders from the national scene.
“Studies have shown that Benin City is the second largest automobile market in the country. We will like to have an automobile mall or park where we have one big market, where people can come to get what they need for their vehicles.
“We are working on a preliminary design and have acquired a site for the establishment of the automobile village,” he said.
The governor noted that there is a need to regulate the automobile business in the state and ensure that bad elements are shown the way out, adding, “We have to strengthen the Nigeria Automobile Technicians Association (NATA), Edo State Chapter. We are discussing with the Ministry of Justice to promulgate a law to strengthen the association and move the association forward. We must have an enforcement arrangement to make sure we take charge of the business in Edo State.”
Earlier, Chairman of NATA, Edo State Chapter, Comrade Felix Inegbenosun Irabor, commended the governor for his developmental strides and for bringing governance closer to the people.
“You have done well in terms of road infrastructure, health and education, human capital development and prompt payment of salaries. Your second term ambition is not negotiable as this association will support you all the way,” he said.
The automobile sub-committee includes Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Infrastructure, Mr. Ferguson Enabulele, as Chairman; Managing Director, EdoJobs, Mrs Ukinebo Dare; Head of Business Bureau, Mr. Kelvin Uwaibi, and four members of NATA, Edo State chapter, as members.