Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has called for greater synergy between states and the Federal Government to help cut waste of resources and manpower in project execution.
The governor said this when he received the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation and Chairperson of Project Steering Committee on Development of AMES-Edo Inland Dry Port, Dr. Magdalene Ajani and members of the Nigerian Shippers Council, at the Government House, Benin City.
Governor Obaseki, who noted that states and the Federal Government are not communicating and collaborating as they should, further reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to creating an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.
According to him, “For a country that is in a hurry to develop, six years to incubate a project like this is just too long. The country is now officially in recession; this is the time to do whatever we can do as Nigerians to accelerate all the plans we have in place.
“The federal and state governments are not communicating and collaborating as they should. Edo is strategic due to its unique location and it hosts a lot of federal institutions, particularly transport infrastructure.
“I know you have developed a transport master plan but the plan should be co-owned with the State. This is important to enable the State to relate and link with the plan of the Federal Government. If we knew we can have an Inland Port instead of logistics hub, that would have saved us two years.”
Obaseki continued: “We must communicate a lot more with ourselves. As a government, we are very pro-investors and pro-investment; we try to create an enabling environment and provide support. In that Ologbo axis alone, we have a 55 megawatts plant built in less than 18 months; it’s an Independent Power Plant (IPP). We supported the investors and will continue to encourage and support our investors. There is also a modular refinery there.
“We want to share in the Federal Government’s master plan, to explain the opportunities here which we are currently developing.
“In this country, we have transportation assets but have not been able to optimise and link them to get the best of assets. The assets in Tincan Island and Apapa have been over stretched; we have waterways here; why can’t we push the containers here and allow people to evacuate them either from the East or North?
Earlier, Ajani, who commended the governor for creating a business-friendly environment, said a periodic and final inspection would be undertaken by the Federal Ministry of Transportation’s project delivery team to ensure that the objective of a functional Inland Dry Port is achieved.
She said the Port is part of the solutions to alleviate the problem of hinterland inadequate access to seaports and remove frequent congestion, which resulted in loss of cargoes in transit, carnage and accidents on roads.