President Goodluck Jonathan has commended Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State for attracting investments into the state, saying the Governor is an investor’s delight.
The President gave the commendation today 21st July 2014, during the commissioning of Presco BioGas Power Plant Project at Obayantor, Benin City.
Represented by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Olusegun Aganga, the President said, “for any form of investment, policies are critical, but the enabling environment is far more important. I wish to commend the government of Edo state, in particular the Governor of Edo State, we heard his comments when they said they needed another 20,000 hectares of land, he said it is available, come and get it. Those are the sort of governors that investors want to work with. A Governor that is dynamic, a Governor that understands the economics, that understands the needs of the people, that understands the importance of investments in their states.
“I wish also to commend the people of Edo State for providing the cordial atmosphere for Presco to operate all these years and to continue to invest in this state and in this country. It is my hope that the cooperation that has sustained Presco will be extended to other industrial establishments in Edo State.”
Dr. Agangan assured that the Federal Government will continue to partner with states like Edo in its policy to bring about results which Nigerians expect from governance.
He added, “I also want to say thank you to the Governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole for your kind support for Presco Company in boosting the agro-allied industry. It is a great honour for me to be here today for the formal commissioning of this Bio-Gas Plant.
“It is important to note that 10,000 Nigerians are among the shareholders of this company. So every penny they make and the dividends they pay have a huge success in maintaining these 10,000 Nigerians since 1991 when the Company was established.”
He said, “This commissioning is coming at a time when the country is in dire need to move towards renewable energy, waste to power and more importantly, energy for industrialization. Most of us may not realise that one of the advantages of the agro-allied sector is that from the ways of producing most of this things, we have to use adequate power.”
In his remark, the Governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole while appreciating the Management of Presco and the Federal Government in its Industrial policy said, “Part of the problem of our democracy is that we spend too much time talking politics and very little time discussing the economy, investment, wealth creation among others and yet we know that the capacity of the political class to bring prosperity to the people requires that we generate wealth.
He said: “part of the challenge in the Nigerian system is that the Nigerian banking system does not support businesses that require long-term gestation. If you borrow at 20%, 22% or 25% interest rate, it would be difficult to break even.
“When nations in Europe are lending at 4% to 6%, we are lending at 20 to 25%. It is crazy and so I appreciate those facilities that enable you to access loans in single digit.
He said: “we need to do more to ensure that there is policy coherence beyond what we see in terms of what what we do as government both at the federal and state levels. As you know, trade has never been free, nation-states must formulate policies that are informed by their enlightened self-interest.
He said: Nigeria’s policy should come first before that of West Africa and we do not have to be apologetic about it. Our country should be our centre-point, Nigeria should be the primary purpose of trade policies, foreign policies and diplomacy.
“A situation where we pursue policies that support West African neighbours at our own expense, those policies need to be reviewed. We must not compromise jobs, we must not compromise those industrial policies that are designed to put Nigeria and Nigerians back to work.”
He said the Federal government must stop the practice of granting waivers, saying “waivers are very damaging to businesses. It distorts the level-playing field, it confuses investors because the rules are unclear and it creates corruption, because the exercise of such discretion cannot in any way be objective.”
Oshiomhole said, “I want to congratulate the management of Presco for demonstrating practically your confidence in the economy of Nigeria by making long term investments. Also, by your actions, making a bold statement that Edo State is the safest place across the country for investors to come.
“Our people are friendly, they are hardworking, they are creative and as a former labour leader, I can boldly say that Edo people are the most productive of all the working people in Nigeria.”
He urged the Management of Presco to continue to demonstrate their confidence in the state by expanding their facilities and assured them of government’s support in providing the necessary incentives that they need to continue to expand.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Managing Director, Presco Company Limited, Mr Uday Pilani thanked Edo State Government for providing the enabling environment for Presco to carry out its activities.