Benin Port: Obaseki assures project ‘ll create over 30,000 jobs

….parleys host communities, other stakeholders

L-R: Representative of Edo State Governor and Special Adviser on Strategy, Policy, Projects and Performance Management, Sarah Ajose-Adeogun; Chairman of the Benin Port Project, Engr. Greg Ogbeifun; beneficiary of NIMASA scholarship representing Ogbinbiri community, Bulara Edith; Project Director of Benin Port, Dr. Joe Aigboduwa, and beneficiary of NIMASA scholarship representing Egor Community, Yama Afeye, during a meeting with host communities and stakeholders, in Benin City, on Tuesday.

Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State , on Tuesday, said the Benin Port Project, would boost economic activities in the state and create over 30,000 jobs.

He also parleyed with the host communities and stakeholders of the Benin Port Project.

The governor at the town hall and stakeholders’ meeting in Benin City, called for the support and collaboration of all stakeholders for the realization of the big-ticket project.

Obaseki said his administration is developing a community content policy for the Benin Port Project which will ensure that all host communities are carried along as the project progresses to enable them to directly benefit from the project.

The governor, represented by his Special Adviser on Strategy, Policy, Projects and Performance Management, Sarah Ajose-Adeogun, appealed to the host communities to embrace dialogue and engagement so as not to frustrate the progress of the project.

He said, “The Benin Port Project will create employment opportunities for the people of the State, especially for the host communities who will benefit directly from the project.

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“The project will create over 30,000 employment opportunities. Already, scholarships have been awarded to people even before the groundbreaking of the project.

“10 members of the host communities are already on scholarship abroad for professions in the maritime industry.

“More will benefit from the scholarship programme as each community will register members of their communities to enable them to benefit from the project.”

Noting that the Benin Port is an iconic project that will put the State on the global map, the governor said:

“This project will change the State’s economy as Edo will occupy a global stage in terms of logistics and global economy.

“We are building an agro-allied port, allowing us to have access to agro-allied products as the project is very key.

“This project will elevate our communities, reduce poverty, and develop the State and communities as Edo will become a global player in the maritime industry.”

In his welcome address, the Chairman of the Benin Port Project, Engr. Greg Ogbeifun, commended the governor for his foresight in developing the project.

He added, “With projects like this, States borrow huge resources to fund the project and mortgage the future of the State but the Edo State Government is building the Port without borrowing any money.

“We are building through the Private-Public-Partnership arrangement policy which the Federal Government is now emulating.”

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He assured, “The groundbreaking for the Port will take place this year and I am happy for the cooperation of the host communities so far.

“I appeal for a more conducive environment to ensure the Port comes into existence.”

Project Director of Benin Port, Dr. Joe Aigboduwa, said:

“The Benin Port will encourage the exportation of agricultural products from the State and also decongest the Lagos Port.

“The Benin Port will be the closest to the Dangote Refinery and the Lekki Deep Sea Port and will take five hours sailing to other ports when we start operation.”

He noted that after the completion of the Benin River Port Project, a Maritime Transportation Institute will be established inside the Port to train dock workers while the scholarship programme continues for host communities.

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