In what has turned into a fierce battle for the juiciest piece of investment opportunity, international and local companies are jostling for exhibition space at the Edo State Alaghodaro Investment Summit, holding in Benin City, the state capital.
The state government, in a statement, said it has gotten an avalanche of requests from companies angling to clinch vantage points at the summit, which is primed to showcase the state’s domesticated version of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) and vast investment opportunities in agriculture, industries, healthcare, education, infrastructure, among others.
The three-day summit is christened ‘Alaghodaro,’ which means progress and will hold at Edo Hotels, Okada Avenue, Benin city. It will run from November 10 to 12, and would host the crème of Nigeria’s investment heavyweights.
According to the state government, dignitaries attending the summit include President Muhammadu Buhari; Vice President Prof. Yemi Osibanjo; Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah; Minister of State for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire; former Governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke; former Inspector General of Police (IGP), Solomon Arase; Senator Ben Murray Bruce, and many more.
Some of the international companies billed to attend the event are General Electric (GE) of the United States (US), Mahindra Group of India, Tolaram Group of Singapore, Olam Group, Indorama, WACOT Limited among others.
Leading African businessmen to the summit is Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote of Dangote Group, to be joined by Managing Director (MD), Shell Nigeria, Osagie Okunbor; Cosmas Maduka of Coscharis Group; Chairman of Africa Initiative for Governance (AIG) and former Managing Director of Access Bank, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede; BUA Group, Okomu Oil Plc., PRESCO Plc., SARO Agroscience, Guinness Plc., Nigerian Bottling Company, and many others.
Chairman of Alaghodaro 2017, Asue Ighodalo, said the summit is a departure from past parleys, noting that there is a move to mobilise investors to Edo and steer the state off heavy dependence on oil money, as it was evident that, with the decline and continued uncertainty in the oil sector, the summit promises a better future for Edo people.
Speaking on the importance of the summit, Ighodalo, “The world over, governments are looking beyond oil to alternative revenue sources in order to ensure sustainable development, and we must also get creative and take action today for our future and the future of our children.”