The Benin Enterprise Park is being developed to address the biggest complaint that companies have about Nigeria … the lack of first class infrastructure and services to enable them to set up shop efficiently and seamlessly.

THE OPPORTUNITY FOR GROWTH IS WIDELY ACKNOWLEDGED

Firstly, the big picture and hard facts.

The United Nations estimates that between now and 2050, that 50% of the world’s population growth of close to 2.5 billion people, will be concentrated in just 9 countries: India, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Tanzania, USA, Uganda and Indonesia. In other words, Nigeria is expected to be the second largest contributor to the world’s population growth, forecast to grow from 190 million people today to around 410 million in thirty years time.

The maths tell you therefore that there will be 6.7 million more people a year living in Nigeria every year for the next 30 years … whilst this in many ways is a scary thought, the opportunity to serve this fast growing population is undeniable.

where do WE start? BY CREATING employment.

With this extreme pace of population growth, the country needs to find ways to create employment for people. How do we do that? In a country where federal government support is, at best, unpredictable, there is no other way than to rely on private companies - with state government support - to drive the growth of industry. Even the federal authorities have recognised that Nigeria has to move away from an oil based economy to that of a diversified economy. But this can only happen if the macro environment is attractive (which is unfortunately not under our control!) but also where companies are provided with an infrastructural environment that enables them to set up their operations in Nigeria (or for those already established in Nigeria, to consider expansion opportunities) in a relatively seamless and efficient manner.

In other words, industry creates jobs and hence we need to attract industrial companies to enter or expand across Nigeria.

THE BIRTH OF BENIN ENTERPRISE PARK

This is simply how the idea of the Benin Enterprise Park was seeded.

To facilitate the entry (or expansion) of enterprises in Nigeria, we had to find a location where we could build an industrial park which could house these companies and provide them with all the facilities that they need to set up their operations. This location had to be blessed with some key attributes, for example, proximity to a national road network that connects the major trading centres of the country, easy, affordable and uninterrupted supply of gas and electricity so that companies can operate efficiently and predictably, and a place which could provide stability and security to the company and its employees.

Well, to be honest, we were very lucky to find the right location, right on our doorstep! Benin City.

Ten years ago, Amaya Capital began the arduous process of developing the Azura-Edo IPP, a 461MW gas-fired power station near Benin City which has been in full operations since May 2018. The project, which has been fully supported by the Edo State Government from its beginnings - and in which the state continues to have a minority stake - is considered one of the most successful infrastructure projects developed in Nigeria over the last decade. Driven by an exciting vision for the state led by the Edo State Governor, His Excellency Godwin Obaseki, Benin City is increasingly being seen as the place for enterprising companies to come and set up shop.

Hence the birth of the “Benin Enterprise Park” a 997 hectare area of land that has already been demarcated by Edo State Government for the purposes of attracting and locating new businesses and enterprises.