The Chairman Board of Trustees, Alaghodaro Economic Summit Ltd/Gte, Dr. Asue Ighodalo, has said that the yearly Alaghodaro Summit, has in the last seven years provided a platform for public and private sector participants in Edo State to chart the course for the State’s growth trajectory.
The Summit is organised annually by the Edo State Government, in partnership with the private sector, to mark the anniversary of Governor Godwin Obaseki in office. It also showcases the progress being recorded in transforming the State into an investment haven.
In its seventh edition, the Summit is taking place in Benin City, the Edo State capital, between November 8 and 12, 2023, with the theme, “The Edo Story: Creating Shared Opportunities into the Future.”
Briefing journalists in Benin City, Ighodalo said insights from the summits in seven years have helped in shaping the government’s reforms and programmes, which have bettered the lives of the majority of Edo people and placed the State on the path to sustainable and accelerate growth and development.
He said, “The Alaghodaro Summit came after 10 months of Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration in 2017. He created the platform where top government functionaries, officials, heads of MDAs, and Permanent Secretaries, among others can interact with the private sector, business people, NGOs, and civil society groups. It is primarily to ensure we exchange ideas on the way forward for Edo people.
“Obaseki is very focused on the developmental strides that must be made to move Edo State from where it was to a more desirable height. He set up a board and incorporated it as a company limited by guarantee and separate it from the government itself so as to enable us to drive the process annually.
“We get recommendations from every Alaghodaro, and provide same to government and the government looks at it and sees parts which key into the government’s policies and plans. These have helped to enhance the development of Edo State and move our people out of poverty through strong infrastructure and others.”
Ighodalo further stated, “There are lot of work to be done but in the last seven years, there have been transformational changes in the State and many of the ideas have come from the outcomes of the Alaghodaro Summit.
“This is the seventh summit and each summit has been an improvement on the last and the recommendations from each summit have always been submitted to the governor and the State EXCO as it has helped in a lot of work done in the State.
“We are proud to have been able to serve on the board and contribute to the developmental thinking and policy formation and reform steps in the State.”
Speaking on activities lined up for this year’s summit, the Board Chairman said, “Alaghodaro starts today, Wednesday with this press briefing which will be followed by the Edo Women Conference to enable the women to give their own views about governance in the State.
“Thursday, November 9th, we will be showcasing some of the things done in the State, particularly physical and other infrastructure around the State. We are embarking on a tour for this purpose.
“The Oba has given us his consent for tourists to come into the palace for a tour of the palace and all the places we have our artifacts. We will bring them to the Observer Newspaper to enable them to see the renovation that happened here and hopefully, the first edition will be rolled out on Thursday 9th, 2023. We have success stories to tell the world.”
He continued: “On Friday, the 10th of November will be the main day of the Alaghodaro Summit as the event will start by 9 am. The event will end with a State dinner where all our past governors since the advent of democratic governance in Nigeria will be recognised for their contributions to the development of the State and will be given awards by Mr. Governor.
“Saturday will be for the Golf Tournament. We will also be having an Edo Food and Fun Fair as we will be bringing producers from the three Senatorial Districts of the State to sell produce at prices lower than the market. These products will be cheaper and the market will be at Garrick Memorial, along Ekenwan Road. We are getting our people to participate by creating a carnival-like atmosphere.
“Also on Saturday, we will have a massive concert where our citizens come back home to perform and showcase their talents to encourage other youths to showcase the creative aspect of Edo people.
“The governor will commission the world-class studio built at the Sir Victor Uwaifo Creative Hub as it will welcome anyone that wants to record world-standard jobs. It will attract world-class entertainers who will use the facilities.”
Ighodalo added, “On Sunday, we will have a thanksgiving praise evening, starting from 4 pm where we all will come to give thanks to God for what he has done in our State.”