…75% work done already, set to open for business in October
By Violet Osatohanmwen Obamwonyi
Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has expressed satisfaction with the progress of work done at the Benin City Mall, stating that the completion of the project would rightfully position the state as one of the best retail hubs in the country.
The Governor made this assertion on Wednesday 19th July, 2023, during an on-site inspection of the mall, located at Sapele Road, in the state capital.
Obaseki who reiterated his desire to build a mall that is better than any in the country, stressed that the Benin City Mall has a large footprint that is unique and tailored to meet global standards.
According to Obaseki,“The first Shoprite Mall was built over 20 years ago in Nigeria and our neigbouring state has two Shoprite malls and we did not even have one. I am glad and impressed that finally Edo is taking its position as a retail hub in the country. Edo people would not have to leave the state and go to other states to have their retail experience.
“We are building a mall that is better than anyone around us. It has a large footprint and a lot of thoughts have gone into it. It is not just a mall to share for retail. We have a lot of entertainment space.
“What makes this mall unique is that perhaps it is the only mall in the continent that has a library where parents can bring their children to come in and have the library experience. This is going to be part of the revamped Edo State Library which is going to be largely an e-library.”
“We expect to have more than six million titles in our library which can be accessed electronically. This is going to be one of the first branches we are opening and we are going to resuscitate all the branches of the library across the state”, Obaseki added.
Relaying the experiences the world-class facility would bring to residents in the state, Obaseki noted: “We are repositioning Edo State to take its position in the country as the destination for young people to come and have experiences, including business experience. Everything they are looking for anywhere else in the world, they would find it in Edo.
“So we have educational, retail and entertainment experiences, four world-class cinemas and many more. We are looking forward to the second edition of the Edo International Film Festival where we would have no less than seven cinema halls in this state to review all the films that would be entered for the competition.”
Earlier, the Project Manager, Hon. Joy Adaze Aguele-Kalu, the Edo State Commissioner for Finance and Budget, while addressing journalists, noted that the project is almost ready and would be launched in October this year.
Aguele-Kalu said: “This project is one that does not only beautify the environment but one that is necessary. We have 39 shops here that are fully leased out already. Work done is already set at 75%. There would be some little tweaking with the structural work but then we are ready to launch this place by October. For Christmas we would be ready to have a nice mall.”
Speaking on the readiness of the facility to cater for the retail needs of the people Aguele-Kalu noted: “On the whole we have about 49 shops; we have Shoprite, cinema, spa, gym, fashion shops, Italian, Lebanese, Chinese and other restaurants. It really caters to a lot of different sectors and fields within the retail industry. So this is letting you know that Edo State is ready for business and all the tenants have fully paid. We even have a long waiting list.”
The Commissioner also attributed the great feat to Governor Obaseki’s visionary leadership that has cut across all spheres of the economy. She said: “This is one of the Governor’s passionate projects and very soon we shall be commissioning this place. A&K as the contractor, has done a very good job and His Excellency has given us great visionary leadership for this mall to come to fruition.”