PHOTO: Edo State seals deal with China for Gelegele Seaport, others

Edo State seals deal with China for Gelegele Seaport, others
Edo State seals deal with China for Gelegele Seaport, others (via-twitter/governorobaseki)

Edo State is to develop a Seaport, Industrial Park and a Refinery, after the Governor of the State Governor Godwin Obaseki a few hours ago, sealed an agreement with the Vice President of China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), Li Yi, for the development of the Benin River Port in Gelegele area of the state.

According to the statement released by the Governor of Edo State, Governor Godwin Obaseki on his website www.godwinobaseki.com, the deal is coming after months of vigorous engagements by both parties to look into the possibilities of Edo State having her own Seaport, just like the other Niger-Delta States.

Aside from signing an agreement for the establishment of a Seaport, the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki also signed the final investment agreement to develop the Benin Industrial Park with CHEC as well as the pact to develop a modular refinery in Edo state.

This agreement came as African leaders and Chinese investors look for investment opportunities as the quest to help African countries develop in terms of Infrastructures dominates discussions as the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Corporation.

This the Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki who traveled with President Muhammadu Buhari alongside other Governors, has taken advantage of, as Edo State and China further consolidate their existing relationship to expand the scope of business opportunities for both parties.

While speaking on the agreement, on the development of the Benin River Port, Governor Obaseki, said the agreement includes the building of a port on the Benin River, dredging of the river which is a channel of about 40 kilometres, and the construction of a link road to the Benin bye-pass.

He explained that the Benin River when completed, will link the Lekki Deep Seaport, help decongest the ports in Lagos State, open up Edo State to the international market by serving as a platform for import and export trade. He said:

“The company we are working with is the largest investor in the Lekki Deep Seaport. The Benin River Port is going to be a sister port to the Lekki Deep Sea Port. We expect that up to 30 per cent cargo going to the Lekki Deep Seaport would be meant for Benin port,” he said.

He added that the construction of the Benin River Port would also provide opportunities to export agricultural and manufactured products being produced in the state.

“We are investing massively on agriculture particularly in areas like oil palm, rubber, cassava, fruits and all range of agricultural produce which need to be processed and exported outside the country.

“There are companies operating in the state and are seeking to export their products. The port will provide opportunity not only to export agricultural produce but also some of the products that are now being manufactured in our area,” Obaseki added.

“Another advantage is that once you create the infrastructure, there is the possibility that other industries would spring up in the state. This opportunity is going to rapidly help in diversifying the economy of Nigeria,” he explained.

The Benin Industrial Park is expected to create over 170,000 direct and indirect jobs on completion, and will be home to over 1000 companies and will generate an excess of over $3 billion annually.

Before departing Benin City for China, Obaseki approved the release of N700 million for the Benin Refinery project, as part of her contribution to the project.

With the latest agreement with Peiyang Chemical Equipment Company of China (PCC) in China, the coast is clear for the commencement of work on the modular refinery project.

According to Obaseki, his administration’s investment drive in China and elsewhere, was conceived to steer the state away from dependence on oil and set it on the path of prosperity anchored on a solid industrial base.

“We are excited about the Modular Refinery project and the project is going to transform the state’s economy and position us as a hub for fabrication of refinery parts with the setting up of fabrication yard to groom local capacity in that sector,” the governor said


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