He said: “There is no doubt that you are stakeholders in our partnership to develop our dear state because through your various manufacturing outfits, you are helping us to generate employment.
“I must commend you for your contributions to the development of our state through taxes and levies we generate from you. More important is the fact that you are helping us to keep our people employed and it matters a lot to us.
“We realise that the development of roads is good for the movement of goods and services and at the moment, it consumes a lot of our finances.
“I am particularly thrilled with the need to partner in entrepreneurship skills development and hope that the Ministry of Trade and Investments as well as Office of Chief Economic Adviser should look into the possibility of a partnership as soon as possible.
“This is very important as we look forward to helping the young ones develop skills that will enable them stand on their own in future,” Okowa said.
On complaint of multiple taxes, the governor said the state government had harmonised taxes. According to him, “We have asked that we should have only one demand notice for any company in the state.”
“The local government councils are a separate tier of government but we will talk with them because we don’t want to stifle our industries,” he stated.
On power supply challenges, Okowa said that there was still a problem with power generation and distribution in Nigeria, stressing that “any monopoly of generation and distribution will not augur well for the country both now and for the future”.
Earlier, Chairman of MAN in Edo/Delta, Okwara Udensi, commended Okowa for his outstanding accomplishments in road construction and various skill acquisition programmes for youths in the state.
He called for the harmonisation of taxes and levies in the state to make it much easier for the association’s members to pay, adding that manufacturers in both states were experiencing power challenges.
Udensi commended the state government for establishing an Economic Council as it required harnessing of ideas and appealed for the inclusion of MAN in the council.
“We are aware of your efforts to attract investors into the state and as stakeholders, we are ready and willing to partner with you in the development of the state.
“We thank you for the massive road construction in the state because as manufacturers, we need roads to move our goods.
“As manufacturers, we are pleased with your efforts at developing youths in the state with skills acquisition programmes, especially the Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP). We are willing to engage youths who are willing to work and to share knowledge with our youths in Delta,” he said.