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Regional News - Nigeria; Edo Aims For 2nd Spot On State GDP Rankings Featured

By Special Features / Tuesday, 06 February 2018 13:20

Edo State plans to become one of the most productive states in Nigeria, shooting for the second or third position in the ranking of Nigerian states by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the medium term.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Edonow in Benin, the state governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki said that the state would attain this position in the course of the next 10 years.

“Edo is currently about fifth in GDP ranking of states in Nigeria. Over the next 10 years, we should have moved to number 2 or 3”, Governor Obaseki said. In effect, while Lagos State is expected to retain its position as number one, Edo will challenge Rivers State for the second position or Delta State for the third position.

The governor based his ambitious assertion on both the natural resources of the state and its strategic position in the geography of Nigeria.

“We expect to be an industrial hub. As a state, we are right there in the middle. We are blessed with good infrastructural connections, good land, mineral resources, gas resources; if we are able to put all these together in an orderly manner in a secure environment, we will attain these in the next 10 years”,  the governor asserts.

Explaining in details, Governor Obaseki said that Edo State, like its moniker, Heartbeat of the Nation, indicates, is the core of the radial that links all parts of Nigeria. It therefore lends itself to inland transportation across Nigeria, with its attendant economics. He plans to escalate this transport economics with the imminent development of the Gelegele ports.

Agriculturally, Edo State has good land, with its vegetation ranging from dense rainforest to sudan savannah. This gives the state the natural capacity to produce rainforest goods like timber, rubber and tubers as well as savannah products like grains and good grass for animals. It is a natural bread-basket.

For mineral resources, Edo is a part of the Niger Delta states that produce petroleum upon which the nation has stood for close to 50 years. In addition to that, it has huge natural gas resources which are yet untapped. For solid minerals, the state has a huge limestone deposit for the production of cement. Dangote Cement and Bua Group, two of the biggest cement producers in Nigeria have operations in the state, utilising this natural resource.

These resources and natural advantages have been there for decades, and what they had done for the state so far had been to bring it to number five   (number seven, by some sources) on the state GDP ranking. Governor Obaseki figures that what is needed to push the state higher in the ranking is the organisation and marketing of these advantages in an orderly manner in a secure environment. And that, he is doing.

In the very first days of this year, he undertook a tour of China, where he signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the development of the Gelegele port with Chinese capital. He told Edonow that his plan for Gelegele includes making it an energy hub generating power from the gas fields in the area; a hub for light manufacturing, which will be principally based on value addition to the state’s natural products, amongst others.

 

Original Publication - www.edonow.com

Author

Ojukwu-Enendu Okwudili

Ojukwu-Enendu Okwudili

Media

Exclusive Interview with Governor Godwin Obaseki, Executive Governor of Edo State of Nigeria EdoNow
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