Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki revealed that his administration has restored 218 hectares of forest land across the state as part of efforts to boost the state’s green economy.
Addressing participants at the Wood Expo 2021 in Abuja, the governor said part of the state’s strategy on reforestation include replanting of the degraded forest compartments of 256 hectares each in four zones across the state.
He said: “Edo State is positioned to engage the wood value-chain resources with 49 forest reserves summing up to a total of 574,944 hectares, which is about 29.8 percent of the state’s total land area.”
The governor, who was represented by the State Head of Service, Anthony Okungbowa said: “Edo is blessed with established wood industry clusters at Ikpoba Slope, Upper Mission Road, Wire Road and Uselu, among others. This shows our readiness for investments in this sector.
“We urge manufacturers, investors and other interest groups to come to Edo State and tap from the numerous investment opportunities that abound. Our geographical location is also a major advantage to attract investments to the state for easier logistics and dissemination of goods and services.”
Enumerating the efforts of the state government in sustainable forest management, he noted: “There is a public private-partnership agreement with Coneb Global Investment Ltd to plant 240 hectares of degraded forest land with Tectona grandis in Ehor Forest Reserve.”
Obaseki restated that the state has a partnership agreement with Rongtai Wood Company Nig. Ltd, a Chinese privately-owned limited liability company, to restore degraded areas in the state by supplying 10 million tree seedlings to boost the planting programme in the three senatorial districts of the state.
On her part, Special Adviser to the Governor on Strategy, Policies, Projects and Performance Management, Sarah Esangbedo Ajose-Adeogun, noted that the ongoing efforts by the current administration to set up the Benin River Port, the Edo Inland Dry Port, the Industrial Park, among others, is to facilitate export in the state.
She added that the Benin River Port project will help in decongesting the Apapa Port in Lagos, noting that the strategic location of Edo State as a gateway to all states in the six geo-political zones in Nigeria, is advantageous.