On the back of reforms by the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki to reposition the state as Africa’s preferred investment destination, Guinness Nigeria Plc has made an investment worth over N3bn in the state.
The Managing Director, Guinness Nigeria Plc, John Mmsunga disclosed this when he led members of the Board of Directors and other leadership of Guinness Nigeria Plc on a courtesy visit at the Government House, Benin City.
Commending the governor for the business-friendly environment provided by the government, including adequate security and quality infrastructure, among others, Mmsunga said the reforms have boosted investors’ confidence, placing Edo as a safe haven for investments.
He said, “I am pleased to tell you that we have put in 4 million pounds and will be commissioning our new water treatment plant which will be ready in the next three or four weeks and we will like to invite you to the commissioning.
“The plant takes used factory water and recycles it to the point where you can drink it.”
The Managing Director noted, “I thank you for creating the environment that allowed us to continue investing in our facilities. In the last six years, we have seen infrastructure development around the State.
“Recently, we went through the election cycle and we didn’t have destruction here in Benin. We are still able to produce and move our goods across the country from Benin with no major incidences which we anticipated and planned for but are glad didn’t happen.
“Our business has been very stable here in Benin and has given us the confidence to continue to invest as an investor here.”
He reassured, “We will continue to invest in Benin because we are seeing that the environment here offers us the opportunity to do that. If we are not confident, we wouldn’t do it.
“We have a lot of investment projects that we like to undertake in Nigeria here in Benin and we would like to partner with you in some of these projects.”
In his response, Obaseki pledged that his government will sustain ongoing reforms and programmes across all sectors of the State in line with the Making Edo Great Again (MEGA) Agenda, ensuring the State is the best and safest place to live and do business.
The governor said, “We are encouraging more people to come here and do business, while we focus and organize our key areas of attractiveness.
“Edo is a transport hub. We are putting our transport master plan together to organize transportation better.
“For agriculture, we are focusing on estate plans. In terms of capacity, we have EdoJobs training our young people on skills, particularly in areas of technology to support emerging businesses.”
He continued: “On the business side, we aim to grow our GDP significantly over the next decade to be number one and people like you, investors who are already here will be critical and key in our efforts to attract other people here to expand.
“We are also building our education system to build capacity for now and the future. We have closed out on foundational education and are moving up to mid-school education, but more importantly, emphasizing TVET and that is one area I like to talk to you about because we have a school that we would like you to adopt.
“We would like to build a TVET center and would like kids to go there and get training to one day be senior engineers with you and the likes and would like to cooperate with you.”
Obaseki added, “Other areas we would like to collaborate with you are in culture and tourism, cleaning, greening and beautifying the city and parks, and management of logistics.”