29 January 2017, Benin – Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has commenced discussions with the Japanese government to drive investments in agriculture, transportation, solid minerals and youth empowerment in vocational and technological services.
The governor at a meeting in Abuja with the First Secretary, Economic Development and Cooperation, Embassy of Japan in Nigeria, Gaku Sato, said he would be meeting over 70 potential investors in agriculture on the exchange of agricultural products.
He sought the cooperation of the Japanese government, saying vocational and technological services were part of his strategic plan to empower the people of Edo State.
Speaking with journalists after the session with the envoy at the Edo State Liaison Office in Abuja, Obaseki said his administration, as a key strategy of empowerment, would build the capacity of the people.
According to him, one of the things currently being done in collaboration with the Japanese government is the improvement of the technical colleges and other training facilities in the state.
The governor said, “This is part of why we approached the Japanese Embassy under the various bilateral agreements we have in revamping the technical schools. As you know, Japan also has a lot of experience in growing rice. And we have a large rice belt in the state and we have looked at cooperating with them.
“This weekend in Benin, we have over 70 investors in agriculture who will be meeting with me. We are talking very direct with them and asking them of taking our agricultural products, in addition to getting the right seeds and rice farming practices so that we can engage our youths properly.”
Speaking on advancing investment in the transport sector, Obaseki said, “Edo State is a transport hub and as I discussed with the ambassador, there are lots of Japanese companies investing in transportation and automobiles, and we will be exploring that opportunity in the area of manufacturing.
“We are also intensifying efforts in the areas of solid minerals, as we have 200 mining licences, while we are working out details on how to collaborate with the Ministry of Solid Minerals, so that some of our raw materials can be used in producing ceramics.”
In his reaction, the envoy said he had commenced discussion with Japanese investors about doing business in Edo State.
Sato said, “We are already talking to Japanese business people about Edo State. For most of them, Nigeria is Lagos. But we are working hard to ensure that they focus attention on other states as we are already discussing on areas of investment with the governor.”