By Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin
Riding on the back of the impressive outing of Azura Edo Independent Power Project (IPP), which has just begun generation of electricity seven months ahead of schedule, investors are thronging Edo State to pitch their tent and partake of the conducive business environment and progressive posture of the government towards genuine investments.
Special Adviser to Governor Godwin Obaseki on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osage, in statement, said that the influx of investors and the outstanding success recorded by Azura-Edo Power, is a testament to the numerous reforms undertaken by the Governor Obaseki-led administration, sustained from the earlier efforts of his predecessor, to disentangle bottlenecks, institutional bureaucracy and other lapses and administrative barriers that have hindered public-private partnerships (PPP) projects in the country.
According to him, “The Azura-Edo IPP has just come on stream and has been linked to the National Grid, a feat that is happening seven months ahead of schedule. This, for us, is not just a commendable feat, but also a confirmation of what we have been saying all along that Edo State is ready for business. With the success of the Azura-Edo IPP, the state is seeing a growing influx of people trooping in to key into the boundless opportunities for investment, presented by the state.
“There is no denying that the Edo State government has undertaken reforms to see it attract and keep investors. A number of reforms have been undertaken and the Azura Edo Power Project, which is being financed by a number of development finance institutions shows that we mean business. But what we must not lose sight of in this case is the pace of the construction, which has not suffered any setbacks since commencement. In fact, the project is even being delivered ahead of schedule.”
Noting that the economic benefits of the project to the state are numerous, he said, “In recent times, stakeholders have watched the impressive handling of the project with the support of the state government, we have held a number of meetings from interested investors from all over the world, who have all expressed their intentions to set up factories in Edo State.
“At the moment, we are treating enquires from companies that are into steel-making, agro-allied, construction, building materials, Information Communication Technology (ICT), energy, to mention only few.
“The Azura-Edo IPP is estimated to engage 1,000 persons. Some of that have been done, but we expect that with the influx of investors to the state, a lot more jobs will be created, which dovetails with the government’s job creation strategy.”