Deputy Governor of Edo State, Rt. Hon. Philip Shaibu, has said that the state government ould not relent in its efforts to put in place all enabling laws to guarantee safety of lives and property to boost the confidence of prospective investors .
Shaibu gave the assurance when he received the Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Sadanobu Kusaoke on behalf of Governor Godwin Obaseki in Government House, Benin-City.
Shaibu, who warmly welcomed the Japanese to the state, urged them to encourage their countrymen (investors) to explore the abundant Edo state business potentials while assuring them of safety of lives and their investments. He added that the governor is working round the clock to ensure that the necessary laws that guarantee favourable investment climate are put in place.
He particularly drew the attention of the visitors to three key sectors of the economy, Agriculture, Education and Green Energy which might be of interest to them, insisting that Edo remains the most peaceful state in the country. Shaibu did not mince words, saying that:
“We wish to partner with Japan and strengthen our international relations through business ties. And it might interest you to know that in addition to the peaceful nature of the state, Edo state is strategically located such that it connects the four geographical zones of the country. And we are also building an industrial park at Gelegele sea port to aid the industrialisation process.”
In his response, the Japanese Ambassador who said he was visiting for the first time ,told the deputy governor that their visit was to intimate the Governor with their interest to enhance ties between their country and the state.
Kusaoke also said that Japan is currently paying attention to Edo state because unlike some other states, Edo is peaceful and has some attractive potentials.”Your Governor visited Japan and he has been talking about industrialisation process and agric potentials, hence we are here to see how we can do business together.” He said.
The deputy governor later led the visitors to the palace of the Oba of Benin, his majesty Oba Ewuare 11on a courtesy call where the monarch also urged the foreigners to invest in Edo state, citing cultural Renaissance and industry as areas of mutual interest.
The Benin Monarch who specifically requested the Japanese Diplomat to advise the palace on the possibility of building a twin city(Benin) in Japan,also urged them to site a big industry in Edo state to help fast track industrialisation process in the land to foster closer ties,just as he saluted the technological strength in the Japanese.
Meanwhile, the Japanese Ambassador in his address informed the Monarch that his visit was to enhance ties between Edo and his country.
The visitors were later led on a guided tour of the Azura Power plant in Benin-City with the Deputy Governor where they were conducted round the facilities by the General manager, Eric Lathouwers and his site manager, Raphael Akhigbe who said the plant, on completion will boost the National electricity grid by 1000 MW. The Public Private Partnership, PPP project occupying about 30 hectares of land and bordering three communities in Ohunwhunde Local Government area of Edo State costs about $900 million dollars on completion.