It was a carnival-like atmosphere in Benin City, the Edo State capital, on Thursday, 9th November 2023 as various interest groups across the state trooped out in their numbers to join the state governor, Godwin Obaseki, on a tour of some of the laudable projects executed by his government in the last seven years.

Market women, civil societies, organized labour, civil servants, the media, and other groups who joined the governor on the tour were full of praises for the Obaseki-led administration for its giant developmental strides in the last seven years.

They said the infrastructure put in place by the governors have transformed both the physical and economic landscape of the state for the better.

The tour, which was part of activities lined up for the 2023 Alaghodaro Summit, saw the governor and the groups visiting the 6,000-barrels-per-day Edo Refinery and Petrochemical Company (ERPC) in Ologbo, Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area, as well as the 2,500bpd Duport Midstream Refinery in Egbokor, Orhionmwon Local Government Area.

The governor and the groups also visited two ethanol plants constructed by Greenhill Ethanol Plant at Ologbo in Ikpoba Okha, the Dufil Ethanol plant located in Ovia North East Local Government Area, and the multi-billion-naira Labour House at Temboga Ikpoba Hill.

Labour House, built by Governor Obaseki to be handed over to the Labour Union

Speaking on the modular refineries, Governor Obaseki said when in operation, they would not only help in solving the fuel crisis in the country but also boost the state’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The Nigerian Observer reports that the two refineries are currently refining petrochemical products and have placed a combined order of 300,000 barrels of crude from the Oza oil field. They produce diesel, naphtha and Lour Pour Fuel Oil (LPFO) and are well positioned to contribute to Nigeria’s 1.5 million barrels per day refining capacity by 2025.

Obaseki further said the two ethanol plants, which are in various stages of completion, would be commissioned before the end of his administration.

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The plants are expected to produce food-grade ethanol for use in the confectionery and beverage industry as well as create employment opportunities and boost the manufacturing sector, he said.

The groups also visited the Edo State College of Nursing Sciences, Stella Obasanjo Hospital, John Odigie Oyegun Public Service Academy (JOOPSA), Ossiomo Power Plant (a Public-Private Partnership between Edo State Government and Ossiomo Power Company), Edo Tech Park (a software engineering training institute to help actualise the state government’s vision of producing about 15,000 world-class software engineers), Benin Central Park, and the renovated High Court Complex.

Other facilities visited were Edo Production Hub on Sapele Road, Museum of West African Art (MOWAA), EdoGIS, Daisy Danjuma Centre, the Golf Mews, Benin City Mall on Sapele Road, Edo Agric Hub, Education Hub, Victor Uwaifo Creative Hub and Sound Stage, among others.

The 2023 Alaghodaro Economic Summit, themed “The Edo Story: Creating Shared Opportunities into the Future”, kicked off on Wednesday with a press conference addressed by the Chairman Board of Trustees, Alaghodaro Economic Summit Limited/Gte, Dr Asue Ighodalo.

At the press conference, Ighodalo told newsmen that the annual summit which began in 2017 has provided a platform for public and private sector participants in Edo State to chart the course for the state’s growth and development in the past seven years.

He said the prevailing economic circumstances at that time necessitated the annual investment summit which has turned out to be a step in the right direction.

“There have been some transformational changes in the state, and many of the ideas that produced those results have come from the past summits,” Ighodalo said.

“Edo State is the heartbeat of Nigeria as it has capacity beyond many other states. What this summit will do is to basically showcase the achievements of past summits, especially reforms in terms of physical infrastructures and other projects around the state,” he said.

This year’s summit is the seventh edition and the last to be held during the Governor Obaseki administration.