Vice President Yomi Osinbajo yesterday performed the groundbreaking ceremony for the building of a N200bn industrial park at Iyanomo in Ikpoba-Okah local government area.
The Benin Industrial Park is expected to produce over 600,000 metric tonnes of industrial output and provide jobs for 170,000 direct and indirect workers.
Performing the groundbreaking, Osibanjo said the park aligned perfectly with the vision of President Muhammadu Buhari for the nation to produce what it consumes.
He stated the economic recovery and growth plan unveiled recently by the President spelt adoption of Industrial parks and special economic zones as policy tools to generate growth and diversify the economy.
He noted Industrial Parks were also identified to help the federal government bridged the infrastructure gap, develop target sector, generate economic of scale and use as testing ground for broader economic initiative.
He disclosed that the federal government invested N1.3trn on infrastructure and capital project in 2016 despite the 60 percent drop in revenue.
The Vice President noted Governor Godwin Obaseki shared the same vision as Feb Asian Tiger and China that used industrial parks and special economic zones to create jobs, generate transport revenue and diversify their economy within a single generation.
According to him: “This industrial journey that we are recommending is one that other countries have embarked on and thrived.
“We stay the course and we will enjoy a similar kind of success. We have seen how China and Asia Tigers used the resources with which they were blessed to develop export oriented light manufacturing industry.
“That is the same vision that is shared by Obaseki. It is the vision of the Asian Tigers. It is the vision that enabled China to achieve its success. He must be commended for the excellent way with which he has pursued this vision.
“We will be competing with these countries for more than 80 million jobs that China is forecast to shed in the next ten years.
“We must do everything to make sure these jobs make their way to the Benin Industrial parks and other economic zones that Nigeria will nurture in the years ahead.
Obaseki said the park was one of the many his administration will build across the state in line with his promise to expand the economy for it to be productive.
He stated the park was the major output of the constructive engagement his administration embarked on.
He said the Park would complement the effort of the federal government to diversify the economy from oil.
The governor said: “This Park has been designed along with the 21st century standard. The park will have gas, electricity, water and connectivity to major markets in the South South, the East and Western state.