*Says Edo needs regular energy supply to create jobs, wealth
Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Edo State governorship election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, has promised to partner with Azura Edo Plant and others in energy sector to improve power supply in the state, as part of his strategic plans to embark on jobs/wealth creation for the citizens of the state.
He said the Edo State needs regular power supply in order to achieve his agenda for industrialisation of the state.
‘’A strong and prosperous Edo State will depend on a vibrant and growing manufacturing sector that can create competitive advantages in the midst of rapid technological change and globalization of markets, production and innovation. Manufacturing is an antidote for unemployment, a creator of wealth and a harbinger of sustainable development.
‘’The primary objective of the industrialization program of government will be to accelerate the pace of industrial development in the state by leveraging private financing through Public-Private-Partnership. In doing this, we need regular power supply in the state’’, he stated on Sunday in a press statement by his campaign organisation.
Azura Edo Plant, which is located in Benin City, is the country’s largest Independent Power Plant (IPP) and the first fully financed private power plant in Nigeria.
The plant currently produces 450 megawatts of electricity but in the long run, the plant is expected to produce 1,500 megawatts.
The governorship hopeful explained that his desire to partner with Azura and other interested investors in energy in the state is predicated on the fact that energy plays a huge role in the economic development, poverty reduction and security of any state or nation.
Ize-Iyamu added, ‘’Uninterrupted power supply is vital for economic growth and any nation that is desired to create jobs and wealth will crucially depend on the long-term availability of power from sources that are reasonably priced and available.
‘’Energy is a critical factor in all the sectors of any country’s economy. Energy supports the delivery of basic needs such as cooked food, relaxed living temperature, lighting, piped born water, essential health care, educational aids and other social amenities.
‘’Regular power supply also fuels productive activities including agriculture, commerce, manufacturing, industry, and mining. And lack of power supply contributes to poverty and can contribute to the economic decline.’’
The APC governorship candidate said that Edo State government under his leadership will embark on wealth creation for the citizens of the state through the uncommon embrace of the public private partnership paradigm to bring about economic prosperity in various sectors of the state’s economy.
He added that a robust and wealthy Edo State will largely depend on a vibrant and growing manufacturing sector that can create competitive advantages in the midst of rapid technological change and globalization of markets, production and innovation, saying manufacturing is a remedial for unemployment, a creator of wealth and a harbinger of sustainable development.
Ize-Iyamu further explained that the primary objective of the industrialization program of his government will be to speed up the pace of industrial development in the state by leveraging private financing through Public-Private-Partnership.
‘’In doing this, the focus will be to re-examine the state existing public and private industries with a view to resuscitating their activities, ensuring profitable operations and increasing employment opportunities. Establish one functional industrial park in each Senatorial District; establish an Export Processing Zone as an industrial and commercial hub.
‘’Mentor the local government to establish an industrial cluster in their jurisdiction; to stimulate the growth and development of a culture of industrial production and entrepreneurship in the state.
‘’We intend through PPP to establish a refinery in Ikpoba-Okha because of the oil fields in that locality and its proximity to Koko Port. We also intend through the same PPP to establish a gas plant at Oben in Orhiomwon because of the abundant gas in that area’’, he added.
He promised to work with the Edo State Chambers of Commerce and Industry to provide support, information, business start-ups and growth capacity enhancement programmes across the three senatorial districts.
“Our government will partner with stakeholders, banks and financial institutions to resuscitate and revamp the state owned industries including the Fertilizer plant, Auchi; Cassavita Industry, Uromi; Ava Cement Factory, Akoko-Edo; Fruit Juice Factory, Ehor; Bendel Brewery, Benin and Ewu Flour Mill to mention but a few’’, Ize-Iyamu stated.
He estimated that the policy would create additional 3000 direct jobs and sustain over 5,000 related jobs in the economy.