*** Edo Gov. Assures Investors, Devt Partners, Others Of Safe, Conducive Business Environment

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has said the far-reaching reforms and people-oriented policies that have changed the fortunes of the state and restored hope to the people, are among the many reasons that would earn him a second term in office.

The Governor made this declaration , as he welcomed government functionaries, business executives, academics and development partners to the Alaghodaro 2019 Edo Summit, holding in Benin, the state capital, to celebrate his third year in office.

Governor Obaseki said that: “In spite of the very difficult and uncertain political environment in which we have operated in the last one year, we are grateful to God that we are able to achieve all these successes recorded, particularly engendering hope in the youths and people of Edo State by showing them pathways to fulfilling and successful lives.

“Next year is an election year in Edo State. Despite the anxieties associated with the forthcoming elections, I want to assure you, our partners and other would-be investors, that because of the foundational and fundamental reforms, which we have undertaken that are very popular with our people, the chances of continuity of these policies and programmes are very high. We therefore encourage you to continue with your various investment programs.”

The governor continued, “In the last three years, we have been guided and governed by certain key values and tenets such as accountability, transparency, and probity in the conduct of state matters. This may not have gone well with few actors in our society. Today we can boldly tell you that when we came to office, the total revenues by all local governments in the state was N31 million monthly, but as at October 2019, we stood at a monthly revenue of N205 million. We are not there yet because there is still room for improvements. We will continue to grow.

“After three years in office, we have established credibility, not only with our civil servants, retirees, and contractors, but we have continued to promote reliability in the flow of services and commercial transactions. This is the basic minimum expectation that we have set for ourselves so that we can build on the fundamental reforms, which we embarked upon to transform Edo into a predominantly private sector driven economy, capable of creating jobs, improving the quality of lives and reducing insecurity.”

Chairman, Alaghodaro: Edo Summit, Mr. Asue Ighodalo, said that the event was organised for communicating and reviewing the progress recorded by the Governor Obaseki-led administration in Edo State.

Noting that the government has recorded impressive achievements to place the state on the path of growth, he said, “We have done a lot in the education sector, so much so that people from different parts of the world are coming to learn from us in Edo State. The achievements are visible in basic education, health and industrial sectors.”

In his opening address, Chairman of Alaghodaro: The Edo Summit, Asue Ighodalo, said that the event was organised to celebrate the governor’s astounding achievements in basic education, healthcare, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), industrialisation, among others.

We Will Empower 18,000 Women In Edo With Micro-Grant – Halima Dangote

The Group Executive Director, Dangote Industries Limited, Halima Aliko-Dangote, has said that the Aliko Dangote Foundation will provide 18,000 women across the 18 local government areas of Edo State with microgrants to improve their livelihood.

Dangote, who is also an Executive Director of the Aliko Dangote Foundation, said this during a plenary session on ‘Enhancing Social Welfare in Edo State,’ at the Alaghodaro 2019 Summit, held in Benin City, to mark Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration’s third year anniversary.

She said the board of the foundation has approved the sum of N1billion for the micro-grant scheme to be implemented across Katsina, Kebbi, Zamfara and Edo states this year.

“The Foundation is planning to come to Edo and empower 18,000 women in 18 Local Governments through the micro-grants scheme and it is expected that these funds will generate a positive ripple effect on the incomes, livelihoods and poverty levels of the beneficiaries,” she added.

She said the programme is already running in other states in Nigeria and was being extended to Edo State to empower women, noting, “So far, since the ADF micro-grants began in 2012, the sum of N3.584 billion has been disbursed to women across Kano, Jigawa, Kogi, Adamawa, Borno, Yobe, Lagos, Niger, Nasarawa and Sokoto states.”

She said thousands of beneficiaries across the partner states, who are mainly small-scale entrepreneurs, market women, subsistent farmers and petty traders in items like soft drinks and pure water, have been able to expand their business, improve their incomes and livelihoods, and take better care of their families.

According to her, “In some states, a mobile phone/bank cards to start up or improve their income-generating activities were also added to the grants as a delivery mechanism for the funds in partnership with the respective State and Local Governments and mobile money/bank operators.”

Dignitaries at the event included the Chief Executive Director, Dangote Industries Limited, Halima Dangote; Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Aspire Coronation Trust (ACT) Foundation; Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Mr. Bismark Rewane, among others.

The Edo Summit provides a platform to interogate policies and programmes aimed at enhancing social welfare, improving governance and achieving economic development.

The Summit is a culmination of activities held to mark Alaghodaro 2019, a five-day event organised to mark the governor’s third year in office.