In a commitment to rebase agriculture in Edo State, south-south of Nigeria, the State government has injected $500 million into the development of oil palm estates and plantations in the State.
In a chat with journalists, Godwin Obaseki of Edo State noted: “In agriculture, we have attracted almost $500 million investment into palm oil cultivation having allocated the first phase of 60,000 hectares of land under the Edo State Oil Palm Production Programme (ESOPP). Nigeria has not witnessed this scale of oil palm cultivation since independence.”
He added: “We placed the people at the center of our politics, which led to huge investment in human capital development, particularly across all tiers of the state’s education system, starting with the Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (EdoBEST) programme, which has transformed the lives of over 400,000 pupils across the state and improved learning outcomes.
“There has been a deliberate emphasis on strengthening partnership with the private sector, from which we have reaped the immense benefit. We signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Ossiomo Power Company to provide stable power to government institutions and to also drive the state’s industrial sector.”
Today, the company generates 95MW out of 550MW it has set out to provide, supported with a distribution infrastructure that has been developed to supply government offices, streetlights and the state’s growing industrial sector with constant electricity.”
Stating that the state has built a virile industrial sector, he said: “With the robust partnership with the private sector, the state government has succeeded in encouraging generation by attracting firms like Azura (450Mw), Ossiomo Power (95MW) is now proceeding to create its own electricity markets to encourage investments in the distribution of power within the state. Currently, there is stable electricity to power public institutions and infrastructure in metropolitan Benin City.”