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Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, has inaugurated a seven-man Edo Agricultural Produce Development Strategy Implementation Committee to drive the state government’s policies in repositioning the state as an agricultural produce hub.
Speaking at the inauguration of the committee in Government House, Benin City, the governor said setting up the committee is one of the first steps in diversifying the state’s economy to agriculture, noting that his administration is committed to investing in the cultivation of value crops like oil palm, rubber and cocoa.
According to Obaseki, “We have to diversify our economy in Edo State because countries like Malaysia that came here for joint research on oil palm in 1963 are generating higher revenue and their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is also higher than ours.
“As a government, we will create the enabling environment and support investors to give Edo State the competitiveness needed to excel globally.”
He said one of his administration’s cardinal objectives was to create the enabling environment and also provide the regulatory framework to grow the state’s economy, and that agriculture would play a key role in the new direction the state was headed.
Chairman of the committee, Peter Aikpokpodion, expressed appreciation to the governor for the privilege to serve in the committee, assuring that they would collectively work for the development of the state.
Meanwhile, in furtherance of the state government’s drive to create opportunities for promising talents to blossom, the state governor redeemed his promise to a music artiste, Inwanfero Stella, by providing support for the advancement of her career.
Addressing journalists after presenting a cheque of N1 million to Inwanfero, the Edo State Commissioner for Art, Culture and Diaspora Affairs, Osazee Osemwegie-Ero, said the artiste was spotted during her performance at the 2018 Edo Festival of Arts and Culture (Edo-FEST).
According to Osemwegie-Ero, “We are presenting a cheque of N1 million to Mrs Inwanfero Stella because of her outstanding talent showcased at the 2018 EDOFEST. As a result of her performance, Edo State Government will support her by purchasing musical instruments to enhance her career.”
Osemwegie-Ero said similar effort was carried out last week when a cheque of N10 million was presented to another artiste, Razalee, adding, “I can confirm to you now that Slize Entertainment has secured accommodation and a car for the physically challenged music artiste and by next week, we will have a full report with evidence on how the money is being spent.”
“I am sure Stella will utilize the funds judiciously to purchase musical equipment, as she is expected to perform with the instruments at the National Festival for Art and Culture to be hosted by Edo State from October 19 to 26, 2019,” he added.
Commissioner for Wealth Creation, Cooperatives and Employment, Emmanuel Usoh said the support facility was part of efforts to boost entrepreneurship in the state.
He noted, “Boasting entrepreneurship is one of the cardinal initiatives of the Obaseki-led administration. The governor is working on his promise to empower young people. With this, Stella will be able to eke out a decent living and empower other persons.”