The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has said the state government is determined to exploit its mining, oil and gas assets to boost economic growth. The governor, who said this at the management leadership strategy retreat for members of the Edo State Executive Council, in Lagos, stated that there was the need for a quantum leap of its economy to be able to survive from the fiscal headwinds besetting Nigeria. Noting that there was a need to expand the state’s economic base, Obaseki said the state is focused on exploring the opportunities in mining, oil and gas sectors.
According to him, “We have done a lot in the oil palm sector with the Edo Oil Palm Programme (ESOPP), but we know there is a lot to be done in the mining, oil and gas sectors. We know we have huge mineral deposits and we have huge potentials in gas as well. A lot of people are coming into Benin and going to the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) everyday. We want to participate in that sector as well.” On mining, Edo State has the third largest number of licences for mining, only behind Kaduna and Nasarawa. The Chinese companies in Utesi are mining silica sand to make glass. We need to know how many of the licences available in the state are not being exploited,” he noted.
The governor, who identified mining, oil and gas as strategic to the state’s development and growth plans, stressed that with increased investment in the sectors, the state can rapidly increase its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate.