The GDP of Edo State expanded by 140% in just seven years, from $10.6 billion to $25.8 billion, according to the chairman of the board of trustees of Alaghodaro Economic Summit Ltd/Gte, Dr. Asue Ighodalo.
The Punch reported that Ighodalo made this declaration at the 2023 Alaghodaro Investment Summit, which was attended by billionaire Aliko Dangote, governor of Edo State Godwin Obaseki, and other guests, according to a statement released on Monday.
In his speech during the summit, Ighodalo revealed that $4 billion in investments had been attracted through the Alaghodaro Summit alone in the previous seven years. He also said that the State could pull Nigeria out of its unrealized potential and steer the country back towards prosperity.
This year’s summit has the theme, ‘The Edo Story: Creating Shared Opportunities into the Future.’
He stated that “Over the past seven years, Edo State has grown 140 per cent from an economy of $10.6bn to $25.8bn today, while Nigeria’s economy grew at four per cent.
“Edo State can become a first world economy irrespective of the challenges of Nigeria. The new investments attracted from new investors are put at $4bn sourced from Nigeria and from joint partnerships as the State has the capacity and will.
“Edo State must set out at dawn to make progress and pull other parts of Nigeria and other regions up. We must continue to show in Edo that there is great hope for Nigeria through Edo State. The State can drag Nigeria out of its untapped potential, re-directing the nation to a point of development.”
He claimed that the Alaghodaro phrase means progress, moving forward, and looking ahead as the word should be a challenge to us in Edo and the purpose of the summit is to set Edo on the path of growth and development. He further noted, “Edo’s story tells us we are not a State that lacks the capacity to do well.
On his part, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, said Edo State has comparative advantage over every other State in the area of agriculture and agro-processing as well as culture and tourism, noting that the Obaseki-led administration has repositioned the State, leveraging its comparative advantage to drive growth and development across all sectors.
The Alaghodaro Summit is organised annually by the Edo State Government, in partnership with the private sector, to mark the anniversary of Governor Godwin Obaseki in office and showcase the progress being recorded in transforming the State into an investment haven.
Aliko, who was the keynote speaker at the Summit, was represented by the Dangote Group’s Managing Director, Mr. Olakunle Alake.
He said that safety and security as well as reforms in the agriculture and tourism sectors have repositioned Edo State as a tourist hub and investors’ haven.
“The ease of doing business in Edo State is the point of attraction for investors to invest in various locations as infrastructure plays a major role in ease of doing business in the State. The State is also secured and it has promoted many investors to invest in the State and this has gone a long way to grow the economy of Edo State.”
Earlier, the governor said his government has reengineered Edo State for growth and development in the past seven years and consciously laid a solid foundation for the future.
Noting that his government has delivered on promises made to Edo people, the governor said, “In the civil service, we have introduced a Computerized ERP System (E-Gov). We operate the highest paid Civil/Public Service in the Country and have set up a world-class training infrastructure at the John Odigie Oyegun Public Service Academy, trained over 6,000 Civil/Public servants, and delivered over 10,000 devices across the Service and delivered new infrastructure (workspace) to 76 MDAS in the State.”