To sustain a friendly business environment and capital inflows, the Edo State Government has engaged Africa Palm Oil Initiative (APOI), Proforest and other stakeholders to develop and validate the Free Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) guidelines so as to improve investors’ confidence.
Speaking to journalists at the end of a one-day stakeholders meeting to validate the FPIC document in Benin-City, the acting Team Lead of the Edo State Oil Palm Implementation Office, Mr. Churchill Oboh, said the document has become pertinent in boosting the confidence of prospective investors.
He said the document is being transformed into a bill to be passed into law in Edo State so that it could serve as a guideline for investors to engage communities and government actors in harmonising protocols to ensure the success of legitimate investments in the state.
“The law would boost the confidence of investors and communities to ensure that they know what it requires to secure investment in the state,” he noted.
Oboh noted that FPIC is a collective human right of indigenous peoples and local communities to give or withhold their consent prior to the commencement of any activity that may affect their rights, land, resources, territories, livelihoods and food security.
“When the document is passed into law, investors would now have the confidence to come in knowing exactly what to do to stake their investment. The FPIC law will also let them know the role of government and what it will do to back their investment in terms of profitability as no investors will be able to cut corners when it comes to investment in Edo State.
“The laws will enable communities to have the opportunity and platform to negotiate, make their demand from the investors and have a seamless process through the investment.”
On his part, Managing Director of Edo State Investment Promotion Office (ESIPO), Kelvin Uwaibi said the workshop is necessary to create harmonization between communities, government, and investors to ensure economic development in Edo State.
“We really want to have a situation where the communities, local and state governments will work in harmony, as stipulated in the FPIC documents.”