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As Governor, I Will Use ICT To Grow Edo Economy – Omonigho Oribhahor-Obiefuna



Omonigho Oribhahor-Obiefuna

Princess Omonigho Oribhahor-Obiefuna is gaining popularity for her support of youth engagement in governance and gender equity.

She is one of the contenders running for governor of Edo State in the state’s 2024 Governorship elections.

The seasoned architect stresses the importance of young women being involved in politics on partisan as well as nonpartisan platforms.

In an interview with our correspondent, Moranyo Olorunfemi, she pushed for the need to employ technology as a tool to drive the growth of the GDP of Edo State.

Below is an excerpt from the interview with Omonigho Oribhahor-Obiefuna.


So what are your plans to improve the economy of Edo State?

In my opinion, Edo State needs to diversify its economy and strengthen its revenue pipeline. In this manner, the national economic downturns won’t completely affect our low-income residents. Therefore, Edo State needs to take the initiative in creating alternative businesses to help ease the load on the public purse. Most significant, though, is that we need to increase the state’s GDP.

So, as governor, what strategy do you intend to use to grow the state’s GDP?

Well, for the time being, technology and tourism are the two sectors that will increase the state’s GDP the quickest. We can learn how some places around the globe used technology to significantly boost their local economies. One city that has accomplished this is Bengaluru, which is located in India.

Bengaluru is frequently referred to be India’s Silicon Valley. Together with other Indian cities, it  provides 13% to the country’s GDP. This equals almost $61 billion. They are not stopping there. There is currently a strategy in place to increase it to $1 trillion, or 20% of the GDP, by 2025.

How do you think they achieve this?

For years, the Bengaluru government has been funding the development of human capital in the area of ICT. Today, Bengaluru is a global destination for outsourced work processes from around the world. Companies are now recruiting residents of the city to work for them remotely. These recruits don’t need to leave India. Instead they work from their homes in India and get paid in dollars there.

There are also many India companies and individuals offering technical support for companies in far-flung nations around the world. This is why if an American calls the customer care line of a company in America, he or she might just hear an Indian at the other end of the call.

So why can’t we replicate this in Edo State?


So how do you intend to achieve this In Edo State?

It is simple. It can happen if we organize monthly bootcamps for training residents in in-demand contemporary ICT skills such as; Cyber-Security, Programming, Systems and networks, Data Analysis, DevOps,  Cloud Computing, Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning, and business process management, etc.

With these skills and competences, these youths would be earning dollars working for companies in US, Europe and the rest of the world right from their homes in Benin City, Ekpoma, Auchi, etc.

As a government, all we need to do is hire seasoned teachers in ICT and organize these frequent boot camps and assist the graduates with ICT equipments or guarantee subsidies for the acquisition of these equipments. We will also build elaborate ICT Parks. In no time, Edo state with be the home of the biggest ICT hub in the country if not in Africa.

With these, the result of the investment in the human capital in ICT will be felt in no time.


You think so?

Yes. I know so. It has been experimented in other climes that share similar demographies and socio-economic circumstances as Edo State. It proved successful in these places. So there is no reason why it will fail in Edo State that boasts of very brilliant youth popuation.


So how will all these affect the woman on the street selling pepper?

Well, this is just like asking how the monies sent home from abroad affect the pepper seller on the street. The beneficiaries of the monies from abroad, don’t they buy pepper? The more money they receive, the more pepper they buy (Laughs).

Currently, the Edo State economy is mostly driven by funds from abroad in the form of foreign remittances. Now, imagine if the remittances are doubled or quadrupled. No doubt, the effect will be that it will boosts our local economy. But most importantly for me, it will get our youths to earn dollars, Euros and Pound Sterling legitimately. Therefore, they do not have to indulge in fraud or “Yahoo Yahoo”.

Don’t also forget, the more people earn money, the wider the tax net of the state get. This way, we generate more monies for social infrastructure development.

(To be contined..)

# Omonigho Oribhahor-Obiefuna

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