Edo State Government is in talks with the Government of Canada to harness the huge potentials in the state’s mining and tech space to boost economic growth and development.
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, recently met with the Canadian Deputy High Commissioner and Senior Trade Commissioner to Nigeria, His Excellency, Teshome Nkrumah, to chart a path towards reaping the enormous gains inherent in the sectors.
The two leaders met at a luncheon in honour of Nkrumah at the Government House, Benin City, which was attended by stakeholders from the technology and mining sectors.
The Deputy High Commissioner noted that Edo State is blessed with numerous mining assets which, if properly harnessed, could translate to economic transformation and prosperity for the state.
He said the state has about 18 explorable mineral resources in the mining sector that could turn around the economic fortune of Edo State if properly and effectively utilized.
According to him, “The state is blessed with numerous minerals in the mining industry but in terms of exploration, the state has about 18 explorable mining minerals. The sector has the potential to transform the economy of Edo State.”
Nkrumah disclosed that with the policy framework by the Edo State Government, more Canadian companies will be coming in to explore the potentials and benefits in the mining sector.
On the tech scene, the Deputy High Commissioner said the Canadian Government will partner with Edo State Government to support the growth of startups in the tech space.
He noted, “Techstarts Toronto Accelerator programme is a platform created for investment and innovation as we connect entrepreneurs, investors and corporations.
“Techstarts gives seed capital to startups; it provides co-chain, network, and all necessary platforms to scale up to the next level.
“We are planning to have one event in the startup space to introduce Canadian incubators and accelerators to the Nigerian marketplace. I assure Edo State that we would find an opportunity to let them know the great work you are doing in the startup space.”
Obaseki on his part said the government will sustain reforms and policies to make the state the darling of investors, noting that Edo is being transitioned socially, politically and socially under his administration.
“In diversifying the economy away from oil, the state’s emphasis is on human capital development, education, infrastructure and capacity building.
“We are also focusing on our environment, especially our rainforest. We have suffered from deforestation, and knowing that Canadians are experts in forestry management, we would love to work with you in this area.”
On reforms to support the technological advancement of the state, Obaseki said, “Our Tech Park is for talents and startups. We have built some basic infrastructure to support the growth in the area of technology and connectivity.
“We are one of the largest producers of limestone and host two cement companies in the State. We want to do the same with other specialized minerals that would support manufacturing locally. We know Canada is a place to go to raise money for such,” he added.