By Simon Ebegbulem
BENIN—GOVERNOR Adams Oshiomhole has told a governorship aspirant of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the state, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, that he was proud to call Alhaji Aliko Dangote a friend, adding, “but you, Ize-Iyamu, cannot boast of your friends and associates because some of them have been convicted for looting the state’s treasury.”
Pastor Ize-Iyamu, who was Secretary to State Government during the administration of Chief Lucky Igbinedion as governor of Edo State, had recently, said that “with the touted relationship with Dangote, it is just a few months to the end of his tenure that he could attract him to lay foundation stone for cement factory in Edo State.”
However, in a response by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Peter Okhiria, the governor said: “I am proud to associate myself with Dangote, and I am proud to say that my friendship with Dangote has yielded a $1 billion investment in the state in the form of a brand new Okpella Cement factory which will offer close to 50,000 direct and indirect jobs to people of the state.
“My friendship with Dr. David Ladipo yielded another $1 billion Azura Power Plant. My friendship with Captain Hosa Okunbo has yielded a $750 million Wells and Carlos Farms which is set to employ over 85,000 people.
“I am proud to say that under my stewardship as governor, investors now find Edo State very attractive and they are coming down here in droves. Already a Chinese Steel Company, Yongxing, is in full production and is already seeking ways to expand its operations; another Chinese company, Time Ceramics Limited, is also into full production and already into the second phase of expanding its operations.
“More Chinese companies are planning to set up their factories in different parts of the state, these are my friends, these are my records which I’m proud of.”