A clarion call for Abia indigenes to invest at home
Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, Abia State governor.

By PETER OKORE

On assumption of office, 2015, the present administration in Abia state initiated a process of prioritizing the developmental needs of the people in terms of infrastructural development of the state.

According to the state governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, the “resources of the state must be properly channeled to address fundamental needs of the people”.

To this end the governor, firstly, took a critical look at Aba, the commercial hub of the former Eastern Region of Nigeria and its past glory and resolved to be the Executive Marketing Officer for “Made In Aba products”.

Not only that. He made a clarion call on Abia entrepreneurs in the diaspora to either come home and invest or establish Subsidiaries of their Companies or Industries in Abia. He also promised to provide favourable economic environment and facilities for their investments to thrive.

Soon after that, Small and Medium-scale Enterprises(SMEs) were encouraged to put their efforts together, form combines, assess necessary funds and join the crusade for creating the awareness for the quality of Made in Aba products. This effort yielded great dividends when the Vice President of Nigeria, Prof Osinbajo opened a Small and Medium-scale Enterprises clinic in Aba, where he named the Enyimba City as the SME’s Centre in Nigeria.

Since that epoch-making event and classification, Abia state government commenced churning out a number of policy guidelines which would eventually culminate into rapid economic growth and development of the state.

The first of such policies was the Ease-of- Doing Business in the state. This introduction removed the unnecessary bottlenecks usually encountered by business men and women in the state in the bid to fast-track their businesses. Government followed this up with the creation of two vital Ministries, namely; Ministry of Trade and Investments as well as that for Small and Medium-scale Enterprises(SMEs).

Next is emphasis placed on the realization of the Inland Container Dryport(ICD) Or Dry port being cited at Ntigha in Isialangwa Local Government Area of Abia state. Several years this project was approved for Abia state by the federal government, along with others located at different states of the federation; that of Ntigha is yet to take-off.

The Dryport project is a multi-million dollar project, jointly being executed and owned under a tripartite agreement, between the federal and state governments and the private sector ( East gate being major concessionaire).

In fact, virtually all Abia state governors, under this political dispensation, has performed the turning of the Sword to this project. It is also said that Certificate of Occupancy (C-of-O) to the Land space had been given to the federal government as required by the terms of Agreement, yet no progress, so far. Hence one of the primary assignment of the Umuahia Investment Group and the essence of this Investment Summit is to create the necessary awareness and draw attentions to this laudable project as well as sensitize investors and populace about the importance of this Dryport.

For the purpose of this write-up, a Dryport provides services for the handling and temporary storage of Containers, general and bulk Cargoes that enter or leave the Dryport by any mode of Transport, like Roads, Railways, Inland Waterways and Airports. Dryport performs same functions as Seaports. The major difference is that dryports are located far into the hinterlands; but assessable to the Sea, Air and Land.

If a Dryport is established in Abia, it will create employment for many, save shippers and owners of Goods the problems associated with haulage and alleged extortions usually encountered with security operatives along the routes. It will also shorten the long-time and stress importers from the Eastern States usually pass through before they clear their Goods from Port Harcourt and Onne Terminals, respectively.

Another carrot that the Abia state government is dangling before Investors is the Enyimba Economic City (EEC) Project. This is another multi-million dollar viable project that should not be allowed to delay any further. Again, the expectations of this summit and Umuahia Investment group is to prepare investors and small scale entrepreneurs on how to reap from this project when it takes off. This is why the group is currently carrying out advocacy on capacity building: “How to diversify Trades and Businesses along Product-lines or Value-chains”. All these efforts are geared towards influencing the take-off of these projects already designed by the Abia state government.

Of course, to cap them all, Government has developed what it calls, “30-year Development Plan for Abia”. In fact , there is a suggestion by well meaning Abians that this Document should be domiciled by the Abia state House of Assembly to make sure that the contents are implemented to the letter. If this is implemented, it will lead to rapidity and sustainability in the economic growth of Abia economy. This is the main reason for the clarion call for Abians, in the Diaspora, to come home and invest, just as friends of the state are equally called upon to come and invest.

In all, it is being said, and rightly too, that Abia state has the largest mineral deposits in the Eastern states. These have not been tapped yet. In summary, if all these proposals come to fruition, Abia government’s IGR will increase. The state will depend less on Federation Account (FAAC) and will pay salaries, pensions, gratuities and other emoluments as at and when due. And, the people will be happy for the new gesture!

clarion call for Abia indigenes to invest at home
By PETER OKORE
On assumption of office, 2015, the present administration in Abia state initiated a process of prioritizing the developmental needs of the people in terms of infrastructural development of the state.

According to the state governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, the “resources of the state must be properly channeled to address fundamental needs of the people”.

To this end the governor, firstly, took a critical look at Aba, the commercial hub of the former Eastern Region of Nigeria and its past glory and resolved to be the Executive Marketing Officer for “Made In Aba products”.

Not only that. He made a clarion call on Abia entrepreneurs in the diaspora to either come home and invest or establish Subsidiaries of their Companies or Industries in Abia. He also promised to provide favourable economic environment and facilities for their investments to thrive.

Soon after that, Small and Medium-scale Enterprises(SMEs) were encouraged to put their efforts together, form combines, assess necessary funds and join the crusade for creating the awareness for the quality of Made in Aba products. This effort yielded great dividends when the Vice President of Nigeria, Prof Osinbajo opened a Small and Medium-scale Enterprises clinic in Aba, where he named the Enyimba City as the SME’s Centre in Nigeria.

Since that epoch-making event and classification, Abia state government commenced churning out a number of policy guidelines which would eventually culminate into rapid economic growth and development of the state.

The first of such policies was the Ease-of- Doing Business in the state. This introduction removed the unnecessary bottlenecks usually encountered by business men and women in the state in the bid to fast-track their businesses. Government followed this up with the creation of two vital Ministries, namely; Ministry of Trade and Investments as well as that for Small and Medium-scale Enterprises(SMEs).

Next is emphasis placed on the realization of the Inland Container Dryport(ICD) Or Dry port being cited at Ntigha in Isialangwa Local Government Area of Abia state. Several years this project was approved for Abia state by the federal government, along with others located at different states of the federation; that of Ntigha is yet to take-off.

The Dryport project is a multi-million dollar project, jointly being executed and owned under a tripartite agreement, between the federal and state governments and the private sector ( East gate being major concessionaire).

In fact, virtually all Abia state governors, under this political dispensation, has performed the turning of the Sword to this project. It is also said that Certificate of Occupancy (C-of-O) to the Land space had been given to the federal government as required by the terms of Agreement, yet no progress, so far. Hence one of the primary assignment of the Umuahia Investment Group and the essence of this Investment Summit is to create the necessary awareness and draw attentions to this laudable project as well as sensitize investors and populace about the importance of this Dryport.

For the purpose of this write-up, a Dryport provides services for the handling and temporary storage of Containers, general and bulk Cargoes that enter or leave the Dryport by any mode of Transport, like Roads, Railways, Inland Waterways and Airports. Dryport performs same functions as Seaports. The major difference is that dryports are located far into the hinterlands; but assessable to the Sea, Air and Land.

If a Dryport is established in Abia, it will create employment for many, save shippers and owners of Goods the problems associated with haulage and alleged extortions usually encountered with security operatives along the routes. It will also shorten the long-time and stress importers from the Eastern States usually pass through before they clear their Goods from Port Harcourt and Onne Terminals, respectively.

Another carrot that the Abia state government is dangling before Investors is the Enyimba Economic City (EEC) Project. This is another multi-million dollar viable project that should not be allowed to delay any further. Again, the expectations of this summit and Umuahia Investment group is to prepare investors and small scale entrepreneurs on how to reap from this project when it takes off. This is why the group is currently carrying out advocacy on capacity building: “How to diversify Trades and Businesses along Product-lines or Value-chains”. All these efforts are geared towards influencing the take-off of these projects already designed by the Abia state government.

Of course, to cap them all, Government has developed what it calls, “30-year Development Plan for Abia”. In fact , there is a suggestion by well meaning Abians that this Document should be domiciled by the Abia state House of Assembly to make sure that the contents are implemented to the letter. If this is implemented, it will lead to rapidity and sustainability in the economic growth of Abia economy. This is the main reason for the clarion call for Abians, in the Diaspora, to come home and invest, just as friends of the state are equally called upon to come and invest.

In all, it is being said, and rightly too, that Abia state has the largest mineral deposits in the Eastern states. These have not been tapped yet. In summary, if all these proposals come to fruition, Abia government’s IGR will increase. The state will depend less on Federation Account (FAAC) and will pay salaries, pensions, gratuities and other emoluments as at and when due. And, the people will be happy for the new gesture!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here