Edo Rolls Out Gains of Obaseki’s Reforms

•Okpella Cement, Don Mac, Duport, others lead firms with pioneer status

The reforms initiated by the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration have attracted a number of companies into Edo State which now enjoy pioneer status approval from the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC).

According to a statement yesterday, details of the company’s status were released by the NIPC in its Report on Pioneer Status Incentive Application for Third Quarter of 2023 covering July to September, 2023.

The NIPC was quoted to have stated that the release was in compliance, “with the requirements of the Industrial Development (Income Tax Relief) Act Cap I7, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and the Pioneer Status (Delegation of Certain Statutory Functions) Order of 2017.”

 According to the commission, the companies in Edo State with active pioneer status included Okpella Cement Plc, which employs 570 staff and has invested N178 billion in its operations which span manufacturing of cement, limestone, and plaster in the Okpella axis of the State.

The other companies include: “Don Mac Limited, which has invested N8 billion in the State and employs 175 staff. It has an active license which spans for 3 years, from 2021 to 2024. The company is involved in the manufacturing of gas cylinders, tanks, reservoirs and containers of metal.”

Other companies in the State processing their applications include Saro Allied Resources and Processing Nigeria Limited, Duport Midstream Company, Greenhills Agricultural Products Limited, Dufil Prima Foods Plc and Flour Mills Nigeria Plc.

The featured companies were those that have invested in the Edo State Oil Palm Programme (ESOPP) and other off-takers in the agribusiness sector. Manufacturing companies such as Don Mac Limited put up a strong following with the volume of investment. This is just as cement manufacturing is captured with Okpella Cement Limited, operated by Dangote Group.

Lecturer and policy analyst at the University of Benin (UNIBEN), Ikponmwosa Nosakhare, was also quoted to have said the development bodes well for the local economy, as it is evident of the State’s dramatic shift from a civil service State to an industrial haven.

“The State has taken a turn for the better as the rise of manufacturing, food processing and agribusiness concerns means increased productivity and more jobs for the locals.

“It also means that the graduates from the universities in the State are more likely to find jobs locally. The labour requirements are quite specific so we expect that a lot of effort would go into supporting the higher institutions in the State,” it added.

He said though a form of investment incentive, the pioneer status policy was engineered to lead to growth and expansion in the local economy in the long run because the companies would boost local capacity and ultimately contribute to economic returns.

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