Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole said his administration has created conducive environment for investments to thrive, explaining that the $1 billion Azura Power Project will make the state the hub of power generation in the country.
Speaking during a visit of the United States Consul-General, Mr. John Bray to him on Tuesday, Oshiomhole said government has no business running businesses, but to create the right environment for business to thrive.
He said: “Edo State Government is a small shareholder in the Azura Power Plant and you know that our task as a sub-national government is not to try to get ourselves into running businesses, but create the environment that will make Edo attractive for private initiative to locate businesses, like Azura Power and several others.”
He continued, “Government seeking to do everything hasn’t worked, and just won’t work. I am happy with the progress they are making and as you can see, for the USAID to support it and put in their dollars, there is something that is attractive there; there is something that is doable, and like I said to them earlier, of all the challenges we have today, in terms of creating enabling environment for a competitive economy, to create jobs for our young people, power is central. And with Azura, we think that all the problems will not be solved and Edo State will become increasingly a hub for power generation and distribution.”
Oshiomhole lauded the leadership role of the United States Government, saying, “allow me to use this opportunity to convey the appreciation of the government and people of Edo State to the US government and indeed to a number of non-state actors from the US in terms of your interest and your support to our democracy, for a country that has been battered through military dictatorship since 1966. I think we will continue to need the support and encouragement of the US government.”
Earlier, the US Consul-General, Mr. John Bray, said they were in Benin to celebrate the opening of the first phase of the Azura Power Plant and to meet the governorship candidates for the September 10, governorship election in the State.
He said, “We are here to celebrate the opening of the first phase of Azura Power Plant which is a deliverable from President Obama’s power Africa initiative in 2013.
“We are also here to talk to the candidates regarding the upcoming election, and we are hoping that the election will be free, transparent and non-violent. And we will be talking about that.
“We will be meeting with the APC candidate and we are meeting with the PDP candidate this evening (yesterday), and as usual, the message we are trying to deliver and that we are hoping to deliver is free, transparent and non-violent election in September. And so, working with the candidates, and other members of the international community, we will return in September and put a strong impact together.”
Also speaking the USAID Mission Director, Mr. Mike Ivy, said “we are making our first visit to the Azura this afternoon. Basically, this is something we are extremely excited about. This is a huge investment of American capital, both from the private sector and the US government. And we know that it is going to have a significant contribution to Nigeria’s future, and we are looking forward to visiting.”


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