The Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, has set an Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) target of N60 billion for the state in 2023. He made this known yesterday at the Alaghodaro Investment Summit, held 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, which marked the governor’s 6sixth anniversary, is themed; “Edo’s Transformation: Partnerships, Resilience, Impact,” The three days summit ends tomorrow. 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 industrialisation. ‘‘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 (IGR), 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.” Alaghodaro chairman, Ighodalo, in his welcome address, said the governor and his team have worked tirelessly to transform Edo State into “a land of plenty, where peace and justice reigns, where all her citizens are safe, secure and healthy.” Commending the governor for repositioning the state for economic progress and prosperity, Ighodalo said; “His vision and leadership have led to the creation of a longterm vision for the state, and the implementation of several initiatives and programmes to improve the lives of our citizens.” Dignitaries at the event include the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II; Edo State Deputy Governor, Comrade Philip Shaibu; Secretary to Edo State Government, Osarodion Ogie; Speaker, Edo State House of Assembly, Marcus Onobun; Chief of Staff to the Governor, Osaigbovo Iyoha; Commissioner for Culture, Tourism and Diaspora Affairs, Olaitan Bamidele; and Chief Imam of Benin Kingdom, Alhaji Fatai Enabulele.