The Edo State Deputy Governor, Rt Hon Comrade Philip Shaibu has described the Benin City River Port and access road project “as a catalyst that will massively contribute to the transformation of Nigeria’s dwindling economy”.
At the inauguration of the panel review exercise on the environmental and social impact assessment for the proposed project, the Deputy Governor, who represented Governor Godwin Obaseki, was elated seeing a major development taking place in Benin towards the realisation of the Port, which he described as one of the legacy projects of the Obaseki administration.
According to him, ” this project is very dare to our hearts. I want to assure you all that this is not a white elephant project. We do not start what we cannot complete; hence, Mr Governor is fondly called “Wait and See Governor”.
Shaibu said that the project would open the space for economic and social growth, and stability of the people of the state and Nigeria in general.
“For us, it’s a legacy project that will transform and open the space; not just the economic space, but the social growth of our people.
“We came with the mantra of change to grow our economy, and in return, the impact on the economy is to create jobs for our people. This is not about civil service jobs but a private sector-driven economy in tandem with the global tradition.
He assured that the state’s Ministry of Environment is ready for the project, while stating what the state has put in place to aid its smooth take off and completion.
The Deputy Governor further said: “Already, we have started by opening the space – dualising the road to this axis. We are already preparing the ground to make sure that when this project comes up, other aspects would be dealt with accordingly.
“Today’s public hearing is one of those things we want to receive from you; the contributions of everybody here will also help the state in preparing for the actual fruition of this project”.
While thanking the Federal Minister of Environment for the project, Shaibu tasked the host communities to put up the right spirit of comradeship and not destructive one and support the project.
“For the communities here present, this project is your project and it’s our project, your cooperation and collaboration will determine how fast this will come on stream. This should not be another project where activism will overshadow the essence of the work. Some of us are activists, but activism is to bring things that unite us, create jobs and open up the space for development and expose the economic advantage of our environment to the extent that wealth is redistributed through job creation, that’s activism. So, I plead with all our comrades in these communities to join forces and help to make this project comes to reality fast for your benefit and the benefit of the state and the country at large,” he enjoined.
Charging members of the panel to contribute their positive quota to the public hearing, the Deputy Governor added: “Nigeria will one day appreciate that Edo River Port is back to life to contribute to the growth of our country”.