Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has revealed plans to develop the Gelegele seaport into a modern container terminal.
Obaseki disclosed this during the inauguration of a technical committee to oversee the development of the seaport in the state.
He said that the state government was in talks with the Federal Ministry of Transport on the possibilities of making the seaport a container terminal.
According to him, making it a container terminal would boost revenue generation; create more jobs; and in the end, boost economic activities in the state.
He added that the location would also house an agro-industrial park that would increase exportation of agricultural produces from the state.
Obaseki however noted that the inauguration of the committee was one of the major steps taken by his administration to fire up the state’s economy as well as the country’s economic frontier at large.
He said, “The importance of developing the Gelegele sea port cannot be overemphasized. Apart from the historical importance, Gelegele seaport still has a significant role to play in the future of the economic development of Edo. It will lead to promotion of trade and commerce and employment and lead to significant infrastructure development within the host community and environs”..
Meanwhile, the governor urged the committee to come up with a blueprint on how to actualise the vision to create a viable seaport.
In addition, he outlined the terms of reference of the technical committee to include “advising the government on the feasibility of developing the seaport as an import and export zone, and, to liaise on behalf of the state with relevant federal government agencies and other maritime related agencies, private sector participants and other stakeholders respectively”.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Committee, Engineer Greg Ero thanked the governor for the confidence he showed in the committee to drive the process of developing the seaport. He assured the governor that the Committee would not fail in the discharge of its duties.
“We are happy that you put this project of developing Gelegele in the front burner of your economic policy of your administration. Gelegele has been wasting away for centuries now; we thank you for your foresight to join hands with the Oba of Benin to develop it”, he said.