CHAIRMAN, Edo Investment
Summit, Mr. Asue Ighodalo,
has described Edo State as
Nigeria’s best secret in driving
growth and development in a
post-oil economy.
Ighodalo, who is also the
Chairman of Sterling Bank,
made this known at the
maiden edition of the Edo
Investment Summit in Benin,
the state capital.
He explained that, with its
geographical location, natural
endowments, dedication and
commitment to drive privatesector
investments, the southsouth
state had the capacity
to create massive employment
and become a sub-national
economic hub.
Ighodalo, while delivering
his address at the summit
which attracted other captains
of industry from the public
and private sector, said, “The
Edo State Government has
convened this gathering of
global, national and state
leaders from the government,
business and civil society to
unveil and showcase Nigeria’s
best kept secret, and Nigeria’s
best kept secret is Edo State, and
to reset the vision of the state
in a post-oil economy, a vision
of prosperous, productive and
peaceful Edo State that rises
to its full economic potential
as a vibrant engine of growth
within the Federal Republic of
Nigeria.
“In conceptualising our
agenda for the summit, Edo
State has engaged in a deep
and rigorous assessment
of factors and drivers of its
future, which we will over the
next few days deliberate on
and then we will all together
agree on the focus strategies
and actions that will make Edo
State the investors’ preferred
choice.
“Our goal at this investment
summit is simple. We will
identify the factor endowments
that give Edo the competitive
and comparative advantage.
We will explore and examine
what we must do to create the
factor conditions to maximise
these endowments and we
will commit to the actions
that make Edo State the most
competitive sub-national
investment environment in
Nigeria.”
Besides, he said the report
and recommendations from the
summit, tagged Alaghodaro
2017 and with the theme,
“Envisioning the Future,”
would provide a framework
for the Edo strategic action
plan going forward.
He noted that a lot of
work had already been
done in conceptualising and
providing structures and
appropriate incentives, which
had led to the increase in
investments and interest in
the state.
Ighodalo, however, stressed
that there was still “so much
work to be done” based on
the state’s current economic
rankings.
These, he said, included
being ranked 16th out of
the 36 states on budget size,
eighth for solid mineral
production, 19th for domestic
debt profile, third among the
36 states on external debt
profile and fifth for internal
revenue generation.
Ighodalo added, “These
rankings are now in our past.
We are going forward and we
are looking forward. We will
strive to attain global bestin-
class in socio-economic
development rankings and
ratios.
“So, as we look into the
future, we in Edo State do
so conscious that what has
brought us thus far is not
enough to take us into the
future. So collectively, we
shall uplift.

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