Economy Maritime Politics

Obaseki strengthens ties with US, eyes $3.2bn investment in trade, commerce

Obaseki strengthens ties with US, eyes $3.2bn investment in trade, commerce
Written by Maritime First

… As Commissioner says Delta govt guarantees CBN N25bn loan to empower farmers***

Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo said his government was equipping the youth, building infrastructure, and diversifying the economy to ensure a prosperous and progressive state that could compete favourably with other sub-nationals globally.

Obaseki said this when he received a trade delegation from Miami Dade County, Florida, the United States who came to explore business and investment opportunities in the tourism, maritime, and aviation sectors of the state.

The governor, who received the delegation at the Government House in Benin, said his government was working towards making Edo the economic and cultural capital of Africa.

He said the government also targeted the right environment for the influx of investors into the state.

“For us in Edo, we are expecting a new Nigeria and a new Africa – An Africa that is confident in itself and its young people, and a Nigeria that is ready to compete on its own terms.’

“We are spearheading the confidence of a new generation, and re-educating our youths.

We are building our infrastructure to diversify our economy.

“We are looking inwards into ourselves to discover our God-given opportunities.

We must begin to produce the goods and services that we need so that we can exchange these goods for the rest of the world.

“In your few hours in Edo, I just want you to relax, use the opportunity to make friends; go round and see what you left behind a couple of 100 years ago so that you can begin to understand those great creative instincts in you and where they came from.

“For us, culture is powerful and our dream is to make Edo State the culture capital of Africa because this is where it prophetically started,” he added.

Earlier, the leader of the 40-man trade delegation, Mr Jean Monestime, said Edo would benefit from the US and Nigeria’s bilateral trade relations estimated at $3.2 billion worth of investment annually.

Monestime, who is Miami Dade Commissioner, District 2, Miami, Florida, United States, said the state would benefit from aviation, tourism and cultural investments, in affirmation of the U.S. and Nigeria relations, to build on existing trade relationships as key allies.

He said, “The United States and Nigeria currently trade more than $3.2 billion. I do not think that this pie is big enough for Edo State to receive its fair share of trade and Commerce with Miami Dade County.

“I have learned a little about the rich culture that you have here. So, we look forward to you bringing your delegation to Miami.

“So, you can basically share with us your thoughts about how you desire to promote this great State – Edo and how the exchanges may continue between Miami Dade and the State of Edo.

“We have amongst us, different business owners. We are not here to transact ourselves but to transact business and tell you about the values that we have that you can take advantage of.

Such values “will be beneficial to the host state of yours and my immediate country, the United States,” he said.

In the meantime, Delta State Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu, has said that the state government has guaranteed the N25 billion Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) agric loan in the interest of the farmers.

The Commissioner in the company of the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, said this at a news conference on Monday in Asaba.

“The N25 billion is a CBN loan to assist farmers in the state to increase their yields, particularly in the area of oil palm production in the state.

“It is normal that the state government guarantees the loan as it is done in other climes to ensure that those profiled for the loan get it and also that they have the capacity to pay back.

“We keyed into the loan facility to enable our farmers to access the single-digit (less than 10) interest rate for the profiled farmers.

“The agric loan is domiciled in the state Ministry of Agriculture which profiled the farmers and individuals to benefit have been profiled before now and with this, we are empowering our people,” Aniagwu said.

He also reiterated that the state government was yet to access the N150 billion bridging finance it sought approval from the state House of Assembly.

Adigwu added that the Gov. Okowa-led administration would continue to work till the last day in office to deliver development to the people of the state.

On the political scene, Aniagwu said that he was sure that all the PDP stakeholders would work assiduously to ensure the party’s victory come the 2023 general election.

He said the emergence of Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Vice Presidential candidate, was divine.

Aniagwu charged those criticising Okowa’s elevation to have a rethink, adding that he never betrayed anybody but was chosen because of his performance and determination to bring development to the county.

He said though, it was natural in politics for certain persons to be annoyed when they could not get certain positions, efforts were on to reconcile the aggrieved persons in the party.

According to him, Atiku Abubarkar and Okowa ticket, as PDP Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates is for recovery to restore our country.

“They will address issues on insecurity, fix the economy and create enabling environment for growth and development and industrialization.

“As PDP, what are we asking for, is it where the president or the vice president come from but that security, economy and the country are fixed?

“We want to bring back the old good days where you are comfortable anywhere in the country as brothers and sisters without fear.




About the author

Maritime First