In its determination to explore financial instruments to fast-track the development of the Benin Enterprise and Industrial Park project, the Edo State Government has concluded plans to divest 50 per cent of its equity stake in the Edo Azura Power Project valued at N2.1billion for onward investment in the $200 billion industrial park project.
The development is coming in the wake of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment being undertaken by the Federal Ministry of Environment to assess the impact of the project on the host communities.
Speaking after the weekly Executive Council (EXCO) meeting at the weekend presided over by the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, at Government House, in Benin City, Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, said the decision to divest 50 per cent of its equity stake in the Edo Azura Power Project was borne out of the need to leverage existing investment resources at its disposal to finance development of the industrial park.
He explained that the state government’s equity investment in the power project was its land asset and other infrastructure, 50 per cent of which is valued at N2.1bn.
According to him, “We will be investing the 50 per cent stake being divested from Edo Azura Power Project into the development of the Benin Enterprise and Industrial Park to ensure the smooth take-off of the park.
“We are keen on the development of the Benin Enterprise and Industrial Park project. As you are well aware, we have started out with the mini-hubs; the Edo Production Centre is currently operational at the Sapele Road axis of the state. Two more are to be built in Benin, while one each will be sited in Edo Central and Edo North Senatorial Districts.
“However, in doing that, we have not lost sight of the big-ticket project, the Benin Enterprise and Industrial Park, which is going to attract the big companies to the state. These companies will operate with power to be supplied from the CCETC Ossiomo Power Plant.”
Osagie said the deployment of the proceeds from the divestment to the Benin Enterprise and Industrial Park project is a testament to the governor’s expertise in the frugal allocation of scarce resources, a quality that Edo people are now benefiting from.