More businesses were seen opening to customers in the last half of the first week of the new year, with owners expressing hope for a better business year in the state on the strength of the reforms initiated by the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration.

Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki (right); Leader, Edo State Market Women Association, Madam Blacky Omoregie, during the governor’s visit to the Edo Food and Agric Fair, which held in Benin City.

In their forecasts, some shop owners on Mission Road in the Benin Metropolis said they see a prosperous year ahead with the removal of illegal revenue collectors from the streets of Benin City and other towns in the state as well as the improvement in security, with the recent launch of the state’s security architecture and trust fund.

Mr Okoro Sunday, who operates a printing press in the area, said “business has never been this good. We are enjoying a great deal of sanity under governor Godwin Obaseki. The interesting thing is that the governor has more plans for all the players in the economy.”

He added: “I read in the newspapers a few days ago that the electricity problem will soon be over in the state, as the governor has secured a licence to get electricity directly from a power generating company, which he intends to give to us and other businesses. What else can business owners ask for?”

Mr Sunday explained that “With stable electricity we can increase our scale of production, employ more people, increase our revenue obligations to the government and support the society in our own way. It will be a win-win-situation for everyone.”

Leader of Edo State market women, Madam Blacky Omoregie, said “the governor has promised to install solar-power facility in markets in the state this year.

“We in this sector of the economy welcome this initiative as it will bring to an end, the use of power generating sets in our markets. The plan will also save us a lot of money which we are currently using to fuel and maintain our generators.”

She noted that “Edo State is the best place to do business in Nigeria today as all the barriers to business have been eliminated by the Obaseki administration.”

According to her, “The reconstruction of bad roads is also impacting positively on our businesses. During the yuletide, farmers did not have much challenge evacuating their goods to our markets.

“In some cases, traders travelled to the villages to buy the goods and they all told me that the state government is working on several roads across the state.”

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