Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, on Wednesday said the state government would continue to provide the needed incentives to attract and support both local and foreign investments into state.
Oshiomhole made this known at the opening ceremony of the 2014 Edo Trade Fair in Benin.
He said though land was a basic challenge facing potential investors, his administration had reformed the process of land acquisition and documentation for economic purposes, thus, attracting investors interested in exploring the state’s resources.
The governor, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Professor Julius Ihonvbere, used the event to announce that the processing and issuance of the certificate of occupancy in the state had been made possible within 30 days.
On the promotion of small and medium enterprises, Oshiomhole said the state government had partnered with the Bank of Industry to create N500m soft facility which would provide accessible funds to the SMEs and cooperative societies.
The governor revealed that his administration had provided financial assistance to youths in the state, through the Graduate Entrepreneur Scheme.
He also disclosed that the government had finalised plans to grant interest-free credit facilities to market women and micro business operators in the state, through micro finance banks, as well as the construction of an industrial park, furniture park and specialised market for industrial goods.
He said, “As part of our deliberate policy to engage the organised private sector, Edo State Government will continue to support private initiatives and provide more enabling environment for investment to flourish.
“Our infrastructure base is growing and the required policy frame work that will make Edo a safe haven for investment in the country will periodically be adjusted to meet global standards.
“The task ahead of us is to improve the standard of living of the people; on my part, I have vowed not to renege on my promise of making Edo State the leading investment destination in Nigeria.”
Earlier, the President of the Benin Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, Mr. Andy Edobor, said the timing of the event was strategic in providing a proper avenue to re-launch the Edo Trade Fair, after five years, and provide opportunities for entrepreneurs to exchange ideas and break new grounds that would translate into commercial and industrial growth of the state and the nation.
Edobor, however, decried the lack of basic infrastructure at the permanent trade fair site, which was responsible for the setbacks suffered by previous editions of the fair in the state and urged the state government to provide the needed infrastructure for the state trade fair complex, as obtained in other states.
The trade fair, with the theme, ‘Great people, Bountiful resources, Boundless opportunities’, will end on August 17.