• Tony Igele

Obaseki: One picture, One inside story

“How was my presentation?” Gov Obaseki asked his Press Crew.

"Hope you followed through?"

It is said that a picture is worth ten thousand words. However, a cursory look at the picture accompanying this article will not reveal the entire story herein portrayed.

The setting was the boardroom of Edo State Government House where His Excellency, Governor Godwin Obaseki had just finished a mind-blowing PowerPoint presentation to the management team of Bank of Industry, BOI, led by MD/CEO, Olukayode Pitan, on Wednesday, June 21, 2017, convincing them on why Edo was an investment destination of choice.

As is customary, visitors are accompanied downstairs by His Excellency for a group photograph. However, on this rare occasion, the governor “abandoned”, as it were, an entourage of top bankers with money to plough into industrialization of the state.

He walked up to his Press Corps to have a brief chat with them. Then he asked: “How was my presentation? Hope you followed through?"

In a unanimous response, the crew commended the governor for clearly articulating his administration's initiatives and investment opportunities in the state.

The journalists noted that his initiative on the establishment of large scale ceramics, glass, steel, and cassava value chain industries would go a long way in creating employment for the teeming youth population as well as make the state an economic hub; the governor's vision for Edo state.

One of the correspondents voiced her satisfaction with his plans in the agribusiness sector. She noted that if youths of the state keyed into the cassava value-chain production for industrial use, numerous jobs would be created.

The governor, who went through the mission and vision statement of Edo, which is currently ranked 6th in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contribution to the country, said his administration would serve as an enabler for more businesses to grow and develop. This, he said, would see the state rise to third position within three years.

His Excellency also showcased Economic Development Zones in the state, including Igarra Solid Mineral Processing, Agenebode Agribusiness, Okpella Cement Cluster, Gelegele Agro-Industrial Park, Ossiomo (Ologbo) Petrochemical Park, and Ihovbor Energy and Industrial Park.

He enumerated key investment areas as electricity, agriculture, Industrial clusters, Water, Housing and Estate, Tourism, Health care, Technology, Transport and Logistics.

Governor Obaseki, interacting further with his Press Corps, revealed he had received viable proposals, and his administration was negotiating the best financial models that would actualise them.

He however commended BOI for pledging to render financial support to grow large-scale businesses in Edo and assured he would use his experience as an investment banker to raise more funds for investment ventures in the state.

It is worthy of note that the BOI audience included the radiant wife of His Excellency, Mrs. Betsy Obaseki, a Director at the Bank; all of whom were thrilled by the captivating presentation of the governor seasoned with brilliant business ideas and economic policies.

Having got a feedback from the Press Corps, he eventually went downstairs to oblige the bankers with a souvenir photograph.

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