November 12, 2022

Alaghodaro investment summit: Obaseki sets N60bn revenue target for 2023

•Lists Benin Enterprise Park, Cultural District, Ossiomo Power, others

By Ozioruva Aliu

The Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has set an Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) target of N60 billion for the state in 2023 at the Alaghodaro Investment Summit, holding in Benin City, the state capital.

The summit is organised yearly, in partnership with the private sector, to mark the anniversary of Governor Godwin Obaseki in office and showcase the progress being recorded in transforming the state into an investment haven.

This year’s edition, to mark the governor’s 6th anniversary, themed “Edo’s Transformation: Partnerships, Resilience, Impact,” is taking place between Friday, November 11 and Sunday, November 13, 2022.

For the first time in six years, the Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Ewuare II, CFR attended the summit.

Oba Ewuare II who only superintended over the traditional breaking of kolanut during the opening session of the event did not make any speech at the event.

Other dignitaries at the event include Edo State Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu; Secretary to Edo State Government, Osarodion Ogie Esq.; Speaker, Edo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Marcus Onobun; Chief of Staff to the Governor, Osaigbovo Iyoha; Commissioner for Culture, Tourism and Diaspora Affairs, Hon. Olaitan Bamidele, and Chief Imam of Benin Kingdom, Alhaji Fatai Enabulele, among others.

Meanwhile, experts at the event predicted a positive economic outlook in Edo on the back of the Benin Enterprise Park, the Cultural District, Modular Refinery, Ossiomo Power Company and other numerous transformative reforms and projects pursued by the state government.

Obaseki, in his address, said the state’s growth will come from leveraging its comparative advantage and exploring opportunities in culture, forestry, manufacturing, agriculture and technology, among other sectors of the state’s economy, to drive development.

The governor said, “We see growth ahead of us and this growth is going to come from certain endowments that we have which most people don’t have. Our culture – people must come and see us and admire what our forebears built. Our forestry assets – the world is talking about net zero carbon and we have something to contribute to the environment and environmental economy.

“Manufacturing is the way to go. Edo has the largest onshore gas reserve in Nigeria with most of our other gas in the swamps and the offshore. With that energy source, there’s no reason we cannot  generate enough energy to attract investors to drive industrialization. Agriculture; that’s what we grew up with. Of our 19 million square kilometres of land, there’s practically no way we cannot grow something. For us, the future is technology, because the world is talking about technology and that is the new area of focus.”

Noting that the government hopes to raise over N60bn in 2023 from internally generated revenue, Obaseki said, “In the last six years, things have not been easy, but we have tried in our own little way. You can see that from 2016 when we got in, we tried to increase Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). Except for the COVID-19 year, we sustained an increase in our IGR and we hope to end the next year with over 60bn IGR.”

Reinstating the need to rebase the nation’s economy from consumption to production, the governor stated, “In spite of all the challenges that face as a country, we have over 200 million people who are going to be 450 million in 2050 and will not stop consuming. Therefore, if this is our reality, it means that we cannot and should not be despondent.