Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo has expressed the state government’s support for the anchor-borrowers’ initiative of the Federal Government to further enhance diversification of the nation’s economy away from oil towards agriculture.
The governor spoke while receiving the management team of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Benin branch at the Government House on Wednesday in Benin, restating his administration’s continued economic revolution that would guarantee youth empowerment in the state.
Speaking on the economic renaissance in the state, he said the Comrade Oshiomhole-led government laid the foundation for economic revolution which his administration will build on.
A statement on the government’s official website quoted the governor as saying: “We will build on it to make the state viable for investors to key in to the vision of this administration. Our goal in the next four to eight years is to give our people economic empowerment. We will achieve this when we leverage on the economic advantages we have as a state.”
In addition, he noted that Edo’s strategic position would enable the state execute the economic reinvigoration projected, an advantage he said, is enjoyed by “very few states that are positioned like Edo to grow rapidly in economy.
“We will do so as long as we have a stable, political and social environment. We are one state that has the benefits of hydrocarbon assets, oil and gas as well as phenomenal agriculture potentials. With these attributes, we can drive our economy significantly, provided the necessary conditions are in place”.
The governor thanked the CBN management team for providing the enabling environment for the micro-medium enterprise scheme to thrive, which the state benefited from.
He noted that officers of the bank closely monitor the funds disbursed while the feedback from the process was positive and commendable as he solicited for more funds to support small businesses in the state.
He revealed plans to link infrastructure to the scheme and build rural roads in areas where farms are located to help farmers transport crops like cassava, especially during the rainy season.
On revenue generation, Governor Obaseki solicited the cooperation of the CBN in the plans by the administration to move from cash-based revenue collection to electronic-based cash collection.
“You recall that my New Year day broadcast included a ban on collection of revenue by non-government actors, that ban has come to stay because that is the law. We want to put in place a system that will allow people to pay revenues or taxes seamlessly. We want to move from collecting cash to helping them pay electronically. On that, we need your help to deploy POS (Point of Sales) across the state to make the process easier”.
Leader of the Central Bank delegation, Renner Jumbo, expressed readiness of the bank to partner state government in its plans to develop the state and appreciated the government’s partnership with the bank in the area of Micro-small-medium enterprise.
“Edo state government has accessed about two billion from the fund and has disbursed to farms according to micro-finance bank. From time to time we equally look at areas in the state where the bank can show her corporate commitment to the people,” he said, noting that the CBN was collaborating with the Edo State government in the area of Anchor borrowers programme scheme.