Obaseki to Launch Edo Water Transportation System Next Month

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•Distributes inputs to 1,734 farmers for 2024 planting season

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said his government has commenced the construction of water stops in various riverine communities across the State with the plan to launch the State’s water transportation system next month.

Obaseki disclosed this while addressing stakeholders during an interactive engagement on the Edo State Regional Development and Benin City Master Plans, at Ovia-South-West Secretariat in Iguobazuwa.

The governor, who noted that the transportation system was a critical aspect of the State’s master plans, said it will kick off with three passenger boats in the Riverine Community.

Present at the meeting were: The Secretary to Edo State Government, Osarodion Ogie, serving Commissioners, Permanent Secretaries, market women, youths, religious and traditional leaders, National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and the Hausa Community, amongst others.

During the engagement, stakeholders from Ovia South-West and Ovia North-East interacted with the governor and officials from the Ministry of Physical, Urban and Regional Development to ensure their interests were captured in the master plan.

He said: “Water transportation is the cheapest form of transportation as we are working on how to make the state key into it. We are starting Edo State Water Transportation next month. We are starting with three passenger boats in the riverine communities. We are building water stops in various communities around the riverine communities in the State.”

On the State’s Regional Development and Benin City Master Plans, Obaseki said: “The plan I met expired, hence the need for another plan.  A master plan is not forever; it’s for sometime. I want to leave a plan for the State that will guide other successive administrations to continue the development plan.

“Today, we have developed our master plan that will guide every area of life. We are here to hear from you and have your input on the plan. Before I leave office, we will take it to the Edo State House of Assembly (EDHA) to ensure it’s signed into law.”

Earlier in his welcome, Commissioner for Roads and Bridges, Ethan Uzamere said: “Planning is very important as it is vital for development and Governor Obaseki with this plan has left a long-term plan that other administrations follow. Planning is important for real development.”

On her part, the Commissioner for Physical, Urban and Regional Development, Isoken Omo said the master plan which is a 30-year development plan for the State, has been broken down into five years to create opportunity for reassessment on its implementation.

Meanwhile, the Edo State Government has commenced the distribution of farm inputs and processing equipment to smallholder farmers across the seven local government areas in Edo South Senatorial District for the 2024 planting season.

The distribution was carried out through the State FADAMA CARES Programme and Federal Government Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises, Niger Delta (LIFE – ND) project.

Flagging off the distribution exercise, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Stephen Idehenre who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Peter Osagie said the gesture was part of efforts to boost food production and ensure a successful 2024 farming season in the State.

The Commissioner noted that a similar exercise had been done in Edo Central Senatorial District.

He said: “Today, as a follow-up, a total number of 1,734 beneficiaries will be receiving inputs such as juvenile catfish, day-old- chicks and poultry feeds.

“Others are fish feeds agricultural assets, de-feathering machines, cassava milling machines, rice processing machines, motorised sprayers and grinding machines, among others.”    

The State Project Coordinator, IFAD LIFE-ND, John Omoruyi, said the input distribution would enhance farm productivity for improved food security and to meet the Making Edo Great Again (MEGA) Agenda of the state government.

Omoruyi noted that IFAD’s LIFE-ND project was currently running in 100 communities and in 10 local government areas of the State, adding, “We are upscaling every technology being used to be ecosystem friendly, hence the distribution of smart agricultural farming equipment and inputs to benefiting smallholder farmers.”

In his welcome address, the Programme Manager, Edo ADP and State Coordinator FADAMA CARES Programme, Dr. Edward Izevbigie, commended  Obaseki, for his commitment to agriculture

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