15th May, 2013
Arrangements are in top gear for the establishment of a $250 million fertiliser plant in Edo State, southsouth Nigeria by the government of the United States of America.
Consul-General of the United States to Nigeria, Mr. Jeffry Hawkins, who disclosed in Benin during a courtesy visit to Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, and inspection of projects in the state, described him as one of the most effective governors in Nigeria.
He said the $250 million fertiliser plant is being planned by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation of the United States Government.
“We are here because we are proud that the Overseas Private Investment Corporation of the US government is involved with the Green Petrochemical Company which is making a $250 million investment and we are happy that this important fertiliser plant will have the support of the United States Government. It will create about one thousand five hundred jobs. That is something we are hoping to take a look at when we are here,” he noted.
“The United States has had a long relationship with you way back before your time in politics and your activities as one of Nigeria’s premier labour leaders and we are very happy to continue with that relationship.
“We are happy that people of your state obviously think highly of you and your re-election is what we in America call landslide. You are someone many people point to when answering the question who is the most effective governor in Nigeria, often the answer is Comrade Adams Oshiomhole,” Hawkins added.
Responding, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole thanked the United States government for the planned investment in the state, noting that “we trust we can count on your support.
“I am happy for the good news, that a US agency is supporting a fertiliser plant here and this shows the confidence and we are happy about that. We are also able to attract one of Nigeria’s foremost investors, Dangote group, and they are constructing a factory somewhere in Edo North behind the bank of the river Niger. That is the largest fertiliser plant in this part of the continent.
“In addition, we also believe that we can easily be a hub for power generation, supply and distribution if the Federal Government gets its policies right. Strategically located we have gas which is the resource for power generation. We realize that there is need to build institutions rather than strong men. We are already looking at Edo state after my tenure,” he added.
The Governor maintained that, “we think we can strengthen institutions. We are making investment in ICT, trying to deepen transparency and avoid waste in our system.
“For too long the Nigerian electorate has been taken for granted. This is the only country somebody is elected and has not finished four years in office, you are already predicting you will win the second term as if your performance is irrelevant. When you have a system like that in a democracy you can’t be sure of the future,” said Oshiomhole.
Hawkins later joined the Governor on a tour of some of the projects in Benin metropolis.
Speaking in an interview after the tour of projects, Hawkins said, “I specially want to thank the Governor for his kind heart. We have seen a number of things that he is doing ranging from roads, health, education and drainages. He has worked hard to develop the infrastructure of the state.”
He noted that “by far the most impressive of the projects are the drainages. It is a high prestige project. In a city like Benin it makes all the difference. The state government has paid a lot of attention to it and is working very hard to address the issue of flooding.”