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Edo 2024: The real story of foreign investments in Edo and why APC, Mayaki can’t see beyond their nose

It is election season again in Edo State and the hawks and purveyors of hopelessness and despair are on the loose. They are scurrying to find a sweet spot to exploit the candidates in the September 21 gubernatorial election, writing disjointed pressers in an attempt to justify their pay from overlords who seek to upend the gains made in Edo State in the last eight years.

Hence, it is not so surprising to see that a defanged penpusher, John Mayaki, who has been disgraced publicly for trading in lies and falsehoods in previous election seasons, has taken on the job of media handler for the All Progressives Congress (APC). He has returned to his rusty pen because he has found people to pay him to tell baseless lies and embark on ill-fated propaganda.

As it has become a tradition for him, he has kicked off with the same old script of peddling lies, falsehoods and half-truths. With a candidate who had to opt for a ‘miracle centre’ to obtain High School certificate at the age of 36, the APC has elected to parley Mayaki to do their bidding, seeing that they can’t run the election on facts, credibility and sound reasoning.

The target this time is to rewrite the story of investment inflow into Edo State, premised on a curious report that had said that the State had attracted zero foreign investment in the last 3 years – a rather curious discovery.

The report would have given one sleepless night except that it is not true and doesn’t reflect the reality in Edo State. Perhaps, one would say that Edo has been one of the busiest states for investors in the last few years. The State has attracted big-ticket investors that have led to the expansion of the local economy.

The total inflow of investment into Edo State for the past 8 years is capped at N5.6trn. One of the biggest investment windows is the Edo State Oil Palm Programme (ESOPP), a N700bn investment outlay attracted to the State for the development of over 70,000 hectares of oil palm plantation across Orhionmwon, Ovia South West and Ovia North East, Uhunmwonde, Owan West Local Government Areas of the State. The project has been described as the biggest oil palm development programme on the African continent.

Some of the companies investing in the ESOPP programme include Dufil Prima Foods, which has Singaporean-Indonesian origin; Fayus Inc., an America-based company, Flour Mills of Nigeria (FMN), among others. These companies are replicating the Okomu Plc and Presco Plc marvel by developing expansive plantations in the State and employing thousands of workers. Aside from cultivating oil palm, some of them, like Dufil Prima Foods, are investing in an integrated farm, which also features an ethanol plant.

Other investors in the state include Radisson Group of Hotels, which is building a 170 key hotel in Benin City. Although the government is involved financially in the project, the group is also making commitments to the building project, which will transform the hospitality and tourism sector in the State.

Another key investor in the State is Mota Engil, a Portuguese international group, which has emerged as the preferred bidder for the Benin River Port. The company is set to move to site to commence construction of the 300,000 TEU port project in Benin.

Also, the Ossiomo Independent Power Project is the product of an earlier partnership between a local company and CCETC Power, a foreign company. The 6600 barrels per day (bpd) Edo Modular Refinery was also birthed through a partnership with AIPCC Energy, which has a Chinese origin. The slew of foreign investments are testaments to reforms undertaken to open the space up for private capital either from within or outside the country.

It is not surprising that the APC and Mayaki cannot appreciate the import of attracting investment because that is not how they reason. They are more concerned about fleecing the people, eating the ‘seed yam’ and empowering non-state actors to unleash mayhem on hapless citizens.

For Edo, it has been a story of an avalanche of investments in the last eight years. The companies, plantations and factories that have been set up are testament to these. The fruits are already sprouting. The efforts to rewrite this feat by emergency historians will amount to naught.

Edo people know better and will not be deceived by efforts of charlatans to market a bad candidate in their quest to return to government to serve their selfish ends. Not only are they blinded by greed, the APC and Mayaki cannot see beyond their nose, which is why they are incensed by the progress recorded in Edo in the last eight years.

Rev Olu Martins
Deputy Director General, Media and Publicity
_Edo PDP 2024 Governorship Election Campaign Management Council_

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