Stakeholders in the investment sector, including officials of the Bank of Industry (BoI) have toured facilities set up by the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Edo State to improve the ease of doing business and increase productivity.
The team of investors were conducted around the Edo Innovation Hub, Edo Production Centre in Benin City and the Edo Food Processing Cluster in Ehor, to get a glimpse of the different hubs for innovation, manufacturing and agro-processing available to SMEs in the state.
The BoI team was led by Mr Ayo Gbajumo. The tour was held with support from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ). Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Skills Development and Job Creation, Mrs. Ukinebo Dare, said the stakeholders were in the state to assess how the state government is assisting entrepreneurs to activate their ideas, start and grow businesses through the use of technological innovations.
She said at the Edo Innovation Hub, in Benin City, the Obaseki-led administration has provided training opportunities for youths to develop skills in graphics and web design, artificial/business intelligence, data analysis, among others. During the stop at the Entrepreneurship and Agribusiness Development Center in Ehor, Dare explained that the Ehor Centre houses the Edo Food and Agric Cluster (EDOFAC), which was initiated by the state government to empower rural farmers, with the training programme focused on enterprise development, food processing, marketing and distribution.
The governor’s aide added that the goal of the stakeholders’ tour was to provide an overview of the opportunities for investment in different sectors of the state’s economy, noting that government was playing the role of the driver of the process so that more private organisations would participate without hindrance. At Ehor, the BoI team inspected the shoemaking and poultry farming sections, where trainings were ongoing.