Edo signs deal with firm for construction of Benin mall

Edo State government on Tuesday signed an agreement with Persianas Nigeria Limited for the development and construction of a modern shopping centre in Benin City, the state capital.

Godwin Obaseki, Edo State governor, after signing the agreement at the Government House, Benin City, said it was a public-private partnership and when completed, the government will sell its shares to Edo people.

“Our struggle to bring Shoprite or a major mall experience to Edo State has been on for more than a decade. There have been several attempts and one of the promises I made during my electioneering was that before leaving office, I was going to make Edo like modern cities in the world, making Edo people experience a retail shopping mall in the state.

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“We are very pleased and happy with our partners, Persianas. We thank the chairman, who built the first Shoprite in Nigeria. For our administration, it’s all about partnerships. This is what we call a classic public-private partnership between the government and the private sector.

“We don’t intend to keep any interest. Once the mall is built, the government intends to sell its own interests to Edo people who are interested in being part-owners. Our role is to ensure and enable transactions like this to take place in the state,” Obaseki said.

The governor restated his administration’s commitment to repositioning the state to attract investors through the creation of a friendly, attractive and supportive investment climate.

“We are bringing back industries and transactions of this nature to the state. We are stimulating investment into the state and when the businesses are set up, the government will withdraw because it has no business in running businesses,” he added.

Earlier, Tayo Amusan, chairman of Persianas Nigeria Limited, said “we are excited to bring Shoprite to Edo State. We have the experience to do business in the state, as we have done JARA stores in conjunction with the Edo State government.”

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