The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, on Thursday, said his administration will sustain policies and reforms to ensure an enabling environment for both local and foreign businesses in the state to thrive.

Obaseki, who met with the World Bank team and investors under the Edo State Oil Palm Production Programme (ESOPP) at the Government in Benin City, said the government is committed to ensuring that the state is peaceful and attractive for investors.

According to him, “We understand that we have to create the enabling environment and make the State attractive to both local and foreign investors to contribute their quota to the development of the State. For us, Edo State must be attractive for businesses.

“It must be attractive to our own people first and they must invest before outsiders and foreign investors will follow. We have to make the environment easier to invest in. Our focus and goal are to remove the rigidity, as our principle is on law and order.

“We need to ensure law and order in the environment, which will attract both local and foreign investors,” he added.

The governor continued: “We must create the enabling environment for investors because without investment, we can’t have efficient production and will not be able to give our services to our people that will lead to their growth and development.

“People will not come unless they have reasons to come. We have to make the State attractive by providing those things that will sustain businesses and help people make profits. Human capacity is important with the right attitude and orientation; this made our administration focus and emphasize more on education.”

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Hailing the World Bank for its continuous support for the government’s programmes and projects, Obaseki stated, “The World Bank gave us $75 million to strengthen our basic education system and also invested in the initiative to upskill our young people.

“We invited you here to join our partners to see what we are doing in the area of food production. Our presentation here today shows you the type of reforms that we are taking in the oil palm industry.”

The governor said his administration has continued to focus on training and retraining of public and civil servants, noting that the effort has started yielding positive results.

He further said, “We will continue to invest in our civil and public servants, supporting them with the capacity to deliver effective service for the development of the State.

“We would talk with the World Bank; we don’t need money but technical support to strengthen the public and civil service because our people know what to do at every point in time.”

On his part, the Managing Director, Development Policy and Partnership in the World Bank, Dr. Mari Elka Pangestu said, “We are here to help think through the whole agricultural value chain and work to improve it. We will also work with you to improve the lives of the people of the State.”

Other guests at the occasion include the wife of Edo State Governor Mrs. Betsy Obaseki; Speaker, Edo State House of Assembly (EDHA), Rt. Hon. Marcus Onobun; Secretary to Edo State Government, Osarodion Ogie Esq. and Chief of Staff to Edo State Governor, Hon. Osaigbovo Iyoha, amongst others.