Edo government is to clinch a chunk of the $60 billion proposed Chinese government’s financial support for the African continent.
The Special Adviser on Media and communication Strategies to Governor Godwin Obaseki, Mr Crusoe Osagie, confirmed this in a statement on Monday.
He said Obaseki is currently attending the ongoing 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) where he is formalising partnership with Chinese investors on the state’s critical projects..
Osagie quoted the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, that in the next three years China would float eight major initiatives with African countries, to realise a closer China-Africa community of shared destiny.
The Chinese President noted that the fields of interest for China included industry, investment, trade, infrastructure, health, culture, environmental protection and security.
Obaseki, with representatives of the federal government in Beijing, has engaged representatives of the Chinese government and top officials of the China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) Limited.
Osagie said the discussions were the last lap of talks to secure final investment decisions and commence full scale development of the Benin River Port project, the Benin Industrial Park and the Modular Refinery.
“The project is expected to open the state for foreign trade and boost local production, leveraging the state’s strategic location to attract investment and grow manpower.’’
Before leaving for China, Obaseki approved the release of N700 million for the Benin Refinery project, which the state government is executing partnership with a Chinese consortium.
“With the initial investment capital approved, experts conversant with the project, say the state government is well placed to seal the deals for the projects so that development work can commence in earnest,” Osagie said.
According to Osagie, the governor’s investment drive is to steer the state away from dependence on oil and set it on the path of prosperity anchored on a solid industrial base.
“We are excited about the Modular Refinery project and are certain that with our Chinese partners, we will begin work on the project in no distant time.
“The project is going to transform the state’s economy and position us as a hub for fabrication of refinery parts with the setting up of SIPS fabrication yard to groom local capacity in that sector.”