The Edo State Government has expressed its readiness to harness the scientific research capacity of the University of Benin (UNIBEN) in its efforts at revamping the state’s economy.
Governor Godwin Obaseki said this yesterday when the management of the university paid him a courtesy visit at Government House, Benin City, to intimate him of the institution’s plan to organize a summit on Agriculture and Innovation.
Obaseki commended the management of the university, for initiating the summit and said: “It is heartwarming to see that the academia have seen the wisdom in utilizing the outcomes of your research efforts for the benefit of the society.”
He further said that although his administration was already in partnership with UNIBEN in its efforts at transforming the education sector of the state, he added that he would like to extend the partnership to the development of agriculture and infrastructure.
“In the area of infrastructure, we will like to create an Information Technology Park close to the Power Plant you want to set up. There is so much we can do around you,’’ the governor said, and urged the ivory tower to rebrand the summit Edo-UNIBEN Agriculture and Innovation Summit so that the state government can play more roles at the summit.
‘’The summit is in line with our administration’s goal for agriculture, it makes sense that we partner with you. We believe it should be co-hosted by the Edo State Government and we are ready to work with the summit committee and embellish what you have done, using our experience,” Obaseki said.
Earlier, the Vice Chancellor of UNIBEN, Professor Faraday Orumwense, who led the management team on the visit, said the summit would help “develop practical framework and structures that will engender the establishment of businesses along the agricultural value chain for about 1,800 unemployed graduate youths and graduating students drawn from 15 universities as well as other tertiary institutions.”
Orumwense said the summit will be organized in September in collaboration with the International Institute for Security and Governance Studies and the Benin-Owena River Basin Development Authority and solicited the state government’s support through the provision of 2,500 hectares of land in each of the Senatorial Districts to be used for farming by youths as well funds to host the summit.